DRIVER is a multi-phase effort whose vision and primary objective is to establish a cohesive, pan-European infrastructure of Digital Repositories, offering sophisticated functionality ervices to both researchers and the general public. It sets out to build an advanced infrastructure for the future knowledge of the European Research Area. Aimed to be complimentary to GEANT2, the successful infrastructure for computing resources, data storage and data transport, DRIVER will deliver the content resources, i.e. any form of scientific output, including scientific/technical reports, working papers, pre-prints, articles and original research data. The vision is to establish the successful interoperation of both data network and knowledge repositories as integral parts of the E-infrastructure for research and education in Europe.
With the end of the first stage of DRIVER in November 2007, a testbed system was delivered which produced a search portal with Open Access content from over 70 repositories while it focussed on the infrastructure aspect, i.e., open, clearly defined interfaces to the content network, which allow any qualified service-provider to build services on top of it.
The present stage of the project, DRIVER-II, aims to introduce key innovations compared to the original DRIVER project, while building on its results. The main novelties envisioned are:
- establishment of a European Confederation of Digital Repositories as a strategic arm of DRIVER;
- inclusion of Digital Repositories with non-textual or non-publication content, e.g., images, presentations, and possibly primary data;
- construction of “enhanced publications”, which combine interrelated information objects into a logical whole, e.g., publications coupled with relevant presentations and associated datasets;
- provision of advanced functionality to address the requirements raised by the above iinnovations and to serve varied modes of scientists’ research explorations.
Additionally, DRIVER-II moves from a test-bed to a production-quality infrastructure, expands the geographical coverage of Digital Repositories included in it, intensifies state-of-the-art and future-direction studies, and escalates dissemination, training, and community building activities. DRIVER-II significantly broadens the horizons of the whole DRIVER endeavour regarding infrastructure operation, functionality innovation, and community relevance, and constitutes a major step on the way to the envisioned Knowledge Society.