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DigiCULT
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Info
14
rent sectors within the Community and
will ensure that scarce resources, including
financial and human, will be used more
effectively and efficiently.
T
o ensure that all interested sectors,
and ultimately the citizen, benefit, a
European-wide project - independent yet
representative of different interests and
perspectives - is necessary. It is essential
that the knowledge-base built and exper-
tise developed will not remain the preserve
of any one sector, but will be shared
among all, including:
- those charged with responsibility for the
document lifecycle management and
provision of access to e-content;
- those in academia with a research
interest in e-content issues; educators
responsible for the education and training
of information professionals; and
- those in the information and telecom-
munications industries involved in the
development of new products.
A
s participants will be drawn from the
European Union and other
European countries with a variety of legal
and juridical contexts, research findings
will be rigorously tested in differing cir-
cumstances, something which should
make the knowledge and expertise deve-
loped more widely applicable. It will also
allow the identification of national laws of
the Member States in relation to such
matters as access to information, protec-
tion of personal privacy and copyright,
where greater harmonisation can be
achieved and areas of activity requiring
regulation at the European Community
level addressed. Ultimately, greater integra-
tion of effort in a common area of con-
cern across EU Member States will be
fostered.
These recommendations included one on
the organisation of a multi-disciplinary
forum, to be held in the framework of the
Community, on the problems of the
management, storage, conservation and
retrieval of information in digital format,
in which representatives of public admini-
strations and national archives services, as
well as representatives of industry and
research, would be invited to participate.
T
he resultant DLM Forums in 1996,
1999 and again in 2002 were invalu-
able steps in attempting to achieve a mea-
sure of concerted action by all relevant
parties.These forums stressed the impor-
tance of ensuring that archives, and the
digital formats of which they are increa-
singly comprised, are the collective
memory of the Community and that
their preservation and continued accessi-
bility are essential. Papers presented at the
DLM Forum in 1996 pointed to the
importance of digital archives in the con-
text of the European Union's concept of
the Information Society and of the wider
significance of access to them in the con-
text of the citizens' right to information.
Objectives
T
he Network of Excellence that will
be embodied in the proposed DLM
Network project aims to complement the
DLM initiative by creating a network of
expertise and competence in the area of
digital document lifecycle management and
access to public information that reaches
the broadest possible constituencies.
Through the creation of a network, it is
hoped to further the DLM aim of brin-
ging diverse stakeholders together, to use
their expertise and knowledge, and to
share this information among the Commu-
nity Member States and elsewhere in
Europe. It aims to identify and promote
research endeavours and products that
enable private and public institutions in
Europe.
T
hrough its thematic seminars and
training workshops, the proposed
DLM Network will further contribute to
the wider Community aims of exploiting
more fully the benefits of the Information
Society as set out in the eEurope Action
Plan by:
- offering relevant training opportunities
tailored to target groups and those who
are at risk of seeing their skills over-
taken by rapid change;
- forming a network of learning and
training centres for demand-driven
information, and communications
technology training;
- fostering collaboration between private
industry and public organisations;
- closing the digital divide between
countries in the area of digital document
lifecycle management and access to
public information by allowing smaller
nations the opportunity to participate in
a wider research network; and
- fostering links between industry and
other stakeholders in the area of digital
document lifecycle management and
access to public information.
T
he proposed network will also con-
tribute significantly to the identifica-
tion of areas of digital document lifecycle
management and access to public infor-
mation requiring further research and
investigation, and standardisation and
regulation. In addition, the knowledge
base developed will assist in the identifica-
tion of new areas of e-initiative that can
be stimulated to create employment and
to bring the European Union to the fore-
front of the information industry.
A
s a Community-wide project, the
DLM Network will facilitate pooling
of the complementary expertise that exists
across the academic research, cultural,
public administration and industry sectors
in Europe and will focus on the research
activities required.The problem of develop-
ing the solutions required for document
lifecycle management and access to public
information is one that is faced in varying
degrees by all of the sectors mentioned
above. However, it is one that is too
immense to permit the development of
viable solutions by any one sector.
A
project undertaken at European level
will avoid duplication of effort by
individual organisations and/or in diffe-