1.1 Concepts & Objectives

In the last decades, many communities of information studies –as well in the natural science pole as in the humanities and social sciences- have been created, trying to promote a deep understanding of the manifold information phenomena, but with diverse approaches and interests, and usually focusing on different aspects of reality. However, the need for interdisciplinarity in information concerns has been proven and claimed as well in scientific issues as in the realm of societal problems especially arisen in contemporary societies spinning around information (Díaz & Salto 2009). Thus the nowadays relative lack of communication and cooperation among communities of information studies –due to the clefts existing in the academic life and geographically– has been a hinder to promote a more qualitative and effective approach to information, having the consequence of a less efficient use of resources and a mayor limitation in the commitment to scientific and societal problems. The European effort to build an inclusive, trustworthy, safety, democratic and citizen-friendly Information Society requires bringing at stage this needed interdisciplinary on information concerns and doing it at the international level (RISEPTIS 2009, rec.1, 2, 6).

A cross fertilisation among information studies might be fostered if their respective knowledge is shared, discussed and contrasted. In this sense the electronic infrastructures represent a clear opportunity to jump over the obstacles of the academic life and to allow an interdisciplinary approach, enabling the emergence of a better knowledge on information concerns, accessible to all participants of the information society and better reflecting their real problems.

This proposal aims at fostering this interdisciplinary stage by means of developing a system for networking communities of information studies at the European and international level. The proposed system is planned aiming at: (1) sharing resources and results, improving its availability, linkage, quality assessment, curation and annotation, (2) improving communication and interaction means, (3) fostering discussion, scientific knowledge and innovation, (4) promote collaborative and cooperative research, (5) offering educational means, (6) enabling the access and participation of social actors in information research, (7) disseminate results.

To this end, the “resource center for information studies” (domusBITae from now on) is proposed to develop a structured-, interactive-, and integrated scientific information system suited to: a) community-driven development of information sciences including the deployment of services for data generation, quality assessment, verification, curation, annotation, navigation and management so as to promote the sharing of information assets and the developing of trust (3rd objective of the call); b) the provision of advanced tools for the integration, retrieval and visualization of relevant data and virtual interaction (4th objective). Furthermore, it pursues: c) a flexible integration based upon an innovative approach using metadata, semantics and ontologies directly connected to the on-going research and being a part of it. On the other hand our approach: addresses education, social participation, the deployment of open standards and open source contents and technologies.