1.3.1 Architecture

In order to achieve the proposed objectives, domusBITae is planned to be modularly integrated by 5 interrelated subsystems: 
  1. domusBITae Gate basically composed by: (i) a confederated set of communities using a specialised Content Management System (dB-CMS) adapted to the needs of the communities in information studies and providing immediate access to the domusBITae resources (see preliminary design); and (ii) a user interface based on social interactions enabling the engagement of users as active participants.
  2. Directory of Communities of Information Studies providing immediate linking among domusBITae e-Communities (i.e. confederated by using the dB-CMS, as well as linkage among communities, contents and information about communities in information studies).
  3. Repository of documents and other open access digital assets in the field of information studies, in which the community and any user can self-archive according to a policy of progressive access regarding liaison and under an evaluation scheme to provide quality assessment.
  4. Collaborative and Educational Toolkit (C&E tools) for the parallel constitution of emerging collaborative teams and e-learning platforms within domusBITae and integrated by tools for: (a) interoperability with resources and community and (b) effective e-Venues enabling empowering interaction. This combination of tools offers the basis for the constitution of e-Campus in interdisciplinary information studies for both research and education.
  5. virtual community glossary with a twofold objective: (a) promoting interdisciplinary clarification and disambiguation on common terms and problems, and the concerned viewpoints; (b) providing a semantic network for the interoperability and knowledge integration of the infrastructure. The already working platform BITrum glossary (since 2008), in which the proponents are involved, conforms the ground for this module, which inherits its name.

The whole system architecture –composed by these modules- should be designed in order to provide the most effective functionality regarding the work within the communities themselves and the collaborative stage. With this purpose, a thorough analysis of the global community needs has to be carried out as a first step of development and axis of the whole system. The modules will be built on following an analysis – design – testing  implementation cycle (Morville 2007).

The accessibility, openness, safety, friendly usability and effectiveness of resources, will be a specific target of the system design as a whole, not only attained to the following of standards but also aiming at innovation, granted by the expertise of consortium members.

The domusBITae proposal, addressing to a target community of over 300 groups in more than 40 countries (see §3), converges as well with the ESFRI Road Map regarding e-infrastructures by contributing to the erection of the so called “virtual research environment” (ESFRI 2008), as with the emergence of a new scientific domain, the “Science of Information”, where information studies articulates in a efficient production of knowledge that has been oft envisaged as a stance for potential solutions to several scientific conundrums and societal problems (Díaz & Salto 2009, Doucette et al 2007, Lyre 2002, Marijuán 1998). Whereas the scientific and societal interest strives for the institutionalization of this emerging discipline (e.g., attempted in USA or China) Domus BITae proposal offers to the EU the possibility to lead the process and helping “to make the European Research Area attractive at a global level” (ESFRI 2008, p.5).