Uwe Rosemann
VASCODA - Cooperations for the German Digital Library

vascoda is a new portal for academic information resources. It offers subject-specific and interdisciplinary information in many different fields. The number of subjects that are covered by vascoda as well as the number of documents that are covered by a search in vascoda are growing steadily.
vascoda provides a chance to access documents that are scattered across the world. Printed as well as digital and other materials can be found through vascoda. Dependent on the physical form of the documents and the license situation, the document can either be viewed directly or it can be ordered through a document delivery service.
More than 40 German institutions - libraries as well as information centres etc. - are involved in the creation of vascoda. The first release was realized through a co-operation of the Information Alliance, sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and the Subject-Based Virtual Libraries sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as well as the Electronic Journals Library (EZB). In the meantime the number of partners has grown considerably, especially through the integration of the Consortium of Library Networks (AG Verbundsysteme), including the German Union Catalogue of Serials (ZDB). With these partners, access to a very huge number of documents can be realized.
Creating high quality Digital Libraries requires a lot of time and money from everybody who is involved. International co-operations on a subject level as well as on the portal-level will help to save resources. A first meeting with one possible international partner - the Danish Electronic Research Library (DEFF) - took place in Copenhagen in August 2003. In the future, more and more partners who provide content or technical solutions or both will be integrated in order to make vascoda a central access point to the wealth of dispersed resources.
The vision is to create a cascading model in which the user has seamless access to material that is supplied by local, regional, national or even international providers. In this sense, every library caters to the basic needs of its scientific community, while regional networks and vascoda also provide material for highly specialized subject-specific questions.

Bielefeld University Library - last update: 12/11/2003