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13th European Conference on Digital Libraries

by Giannis Tsakonas and Christos Papatheodorou

The organization of the European Conference on Digital Libraries (ECDL) 2009 in Corfu from 27 September to 2 October 2009 signaled the second 'visit' of ECDL to Greece, following ECDL 1998 in Heraklion, Crete. The theme of the conference was "Digital Societies", addressing the main issues that users and user communities confront within modern digital libraries, such as the creation and enrichment of information artifacts, sharing and distribution of information objects, retrieval and filtering mechanisms, enhancement of user interfaces to increase productivity, and digital preservation.

128 full papers, 15 short papers and 38 posters and demos were submitted to the Conference. The final number of accepted papers was 28 in the full paper category, with an acceptance rate of 21.88%. There were two invited speeches: in the opening session Gary Marchionini, University of North Carolina, talked about "Digital Libraries as Phenotypes for Digital Societies", and on the final day Peter Buneman, University of Edinburgh, presented his thoughts on "Curated Databases".

ECDL opening session.
ECDL opening session.

This year, it was decided to introduce some novel features to the conference structure. The first feature was the proposal of four special plenary sessions which solicited focused high quality papers on the areas of Infrastructures, Services, Foundations and Content. For each of these areas, a separate call for papers was distributed to the research communities. The reviewing process for the special sessions was united with that for the main Call with an acceptance rate for these submissions of approximately 25%, resulting finally in two special sessions on Infrastructures and Services. The second innovative feature was the recreation of Posters and Demos in Second Life in order to digitally preserve this year’s posters and demos. This effort was undertaken successfully by the Digital Libraries and Preservation Group, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA and Information Systems Group, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal.

The Conference was accompanied by a very large number of satellite events. On Sunday 27 September a Doctoral Consortium and four tutorials were held. The Consortium consisted of presentations and discussions of the work of eleven Ph.D. students; the post-Consortium proceedings will be published by the Bulletin of the IEEE Technical Committee on Digital Libraries. The tutorials were on:

  • Aggregation and reuse of digital objects metadata from distributed digital libraries
  • Knowledge Organization Systems in Digital Libraries
  • Designing user interfaces for interactive information retrieval systems & digital libraries
  • Digital preservation: Logical and bit-stream preservation using Plato, EPrints and the Cloud.

Nine workshops were also organised on 1 and 2 October, following the main conference:

  • Digital Curation in the Human Sciences
  • Digital Libraries: Interoperability, Best Practices and Modelling Foundations
  • Harvesting Metadata: Practices and Challenges
  • 8th European Networked Knowledge Organisation Systems Workshop
  • 2nd Workshop on Very Large Digital Libraries
  • BooksOnline '09: 2nd Workshop on Research Advances in Large Digital Book Collections;
  • Workshop on Exploring Musical Information Spaces
  • 9th International Web Archiving Workshop
  • 10th Cross-Language Evaluation Forum.

In addition numerous project meetings were held and three lectures on important topics of digital libraries were given by well-known experts to students of the International Master in Digital Library Learning programme (DILL,

Digital Libraries is a very multidisciplinary domain and the more than 220 participants at the conference came from a wide range of domains. This number rose considerably for the workshops which were attended by nearly 300 people. Although the majority of attendees were from Europe, there was also a good contingent from North America and Asia plus a few people from Africa. Approximately 25% of the participants were graduate or PhD students.

During the ECDL Steering Committee meeting, there was much discussion on the future directions of the conference. One of the points made was that the inclusion of European in the name was limitative. It was agreed that the conference name should be changed to "Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries" (TPDL) with the 2011 conference in Berlin. ECDL 2010, which will be organized by the University of Glasgow, UK (, will thus be the final version with the name of ECDL.

ECDL2009 was organized by the Laboratory on Digital Libraries and Electronic Publishing, Department of Archives and Library Sciences, Ionian University, Corfu, Greece. The General Chairs were Sarantos Kapidakis and Christos Papatheodorou and the Organizing Chair was Giannis Tsakonas, all from Ionian University. The Programme Chairs were Maristella Agosti, University of Padua, Italy, and Jose Borbinha, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal.

The ECDL2009 proceedings are published by Springer in the Lecture Notes for Computer Science series. ECDL 2009 was sponsored by ERCIM.


Please contact:
Christos Papatheodorou, Giannis Tsakonas
Department of Archives and Library Sciences
Ionian University, Greece.
E-mail: {papatheodor, gtsak}

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