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Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries: 8th European Conference, ECDL 2004, Bath, UK, September 12-17, 2004, Proceedings

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We are delighted lo present the ECDL 2004 Conference proceedings from the 8th European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Li- braries at the University of Bath. Bath, UK. This followed an impressive and geographically dispersed series of locations for previous events: Pisa (1997). ller- aklion (1998), Paris (1999). Lisbon (2000). Darmstadt (2001). Rome (2002), and Trondheim (2003).

The conference reflected the rapidly evolving landscape of digital libraries, both in technology developments and in the focus of approaches tu implemen- tation. An emphasis on the requirements of the individual user and of diverse and distributed user communities was apparent. In addition, the conference pro- gramme began to address, possibly for the first time, the associated themes of e-research/e-science anil e-learning and their relationship lo digital libraries. We observed increasing commonality in both the distributed information architec- tures and the technical standards that underpin global infrastructure develop- ments. Digital libraries are integral to tins information landscape anil to the creation of increasingly powerful tools and applications for resource discovery and knowledge extraction. Digital libraries support and facilitate the data and information Hows within the scholarly knowledge cycle and provide essential en- abling functionality for both learners and researchers. The varied and innovative research activities presented at FX'DL 2004 demonstrate the exciting potential of this very fast-moving field.

The 148 papers. 43 posters. 5 panels, 14 tutorials and 4 workshops -submit- ted this year were once again of the highest quality. They covered a very wide range of topics and were submitted from many countries reflecting the standing anil profile of this major European conference. Our international Programme Committee of 70 expert reviewers carried out an exacting peer-review process to assure continued quality standards and to generate an outstanding conference programme. We were able to accept 47 papers, 4 of which were short papers, which equates to a 32% acceptance rale. In addition we had three leading ex- perts giving keynote presentations: Prof. Tony Hey (Director, UK E-Science Programme). Neil McLean (Director, IMS Australia), and Lore an Dempsey (VP Research & Chief Strategist. OCLC). All information relating to the con- ference is located at http://www.ecdl2004.org/.

We recognize that there is a huge effort required to organize a successful major international conference and thanks are due to many individuals and or- ganizations. In particular, we should like to extend our thanks lo the Organizing Committee, the members of the Programme Committee, the additional referees, the conference Chairs, the invited speakers, panelists, all the presenters (panels- papers, posters, workshops and tutorials) and of course all the participants. We are grateful for the support of the University of Bath, Delos NoE, JISC. and MLA and for the helpful advice and guidance of many experts who willingly and freely gave their time and expertise for our collected benefit.
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