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Providing access across sectors: the technical issues
From a technical point of view, providing seamless, integrated access is primarily a
question of making diverse technological systems interoperable.This requires "detailed
consideration as to how previously private and often proprietarily monolithic systems
can be opened up." (Miller, 2000) As a rule of thumb, the more diverse the systems, the
more complex the issue of data exchange.With regards to seamless access, we can talk
about an interdependent, yet conflicting system with three parameters: the degree of
interoperability, the quality of search results and the comprehensiveness of the provided
metadata:
The higher the metadata complexity, the better the search results, but the lower the
degree of interoperability.What becomes obvious through this matrix is that providing
seamless access across institutional and sector boundaries always demands a compromise.
Future work in this area should be striving to reach an optimum between these three
parameters: High search quality based on comprehensive metadata, at greatest level of
interoperability:
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IX TECHNOLOGY
Interoperability
high
high
high
Metadata
complexity
Search
quality
Optimal situation:
Metadata complexity: high
Search quality: high
Interoperabilty: high
The interdependent system of providing seamless access
Source: Salzburg Research, 2001
Interoperability
high
high
high
Metadata
complexity
Search
quality
Metadata complexity: high
Search quality: high
Interoperabilty: low
Interoperability
high
high
high
Metadata
complexity
Search
quality
Metadata complexity: low
Search quality: low
Interoperabilty: high
The interdependent system of providing seamless access
Source: Salzburg Research, 2001