The IMesh Toolkit
What are subject gateways?
Subject Gateways are subject-based resource discovery guides that provide links to information resources, (documents, collections, sites, or services), predominantly accessible via the Internet, characterised by resource description and subject classification. Examples of such Gateways include: Gateway for Educational Materials (GEM) and Finnish Virtual Library. Quality control is ensured through careful selection of resources, collection development and management, and metadata-based resource description, with a high level of manual creation and intervention. Subject Gateways provide search and browse access as their core service, as well as other functionality such as community-building collaborative services. Partly due to the history of subject gateway development, described in Dempsey (2000), technical deployment decisions have resulted in the employment of various metadata standards, mechanisms for information retrieval and underlying data repositories. Open source packages have been used for Gateway development (e.g. ROADS, Zebra). Proprietary and commercial software solutions have also been used (See Iannella (1999)).
More recently, a collaborative approach is being taken to develop networks of subject gateways, such as the Resource Discovery Network (RDN) in the UK and Renardus, a European initiative. Shared services which increase functionality for the user are being investigated, for example as in the OAI approach to metadata sharing described.
Desire Information Gateways Handbook
Peter Cliff, Brian Kelly, Andy Powell. RDN-Include: Re-branding Remote Resources. Poster Paper, 10th WWW conference, Hong Kong.
Lorcan Dempsey, The subject gateway: experiences and issues based on the emergence of the Resource Discovery Network Online Information Review, 24(1), 2000, 8-23
Renato Iannella, Technical Review of RDNC Subject Gateway Services, 1999
Australian Subject Gateways
Report from ECDL98
Warwick IMesh workshop report (1999)
John Kirriemuir, "A Brief Survey of Quality Resource Discovery Systems"