RusDML - Project details (Russian Digital Mathematics Library)

Cooperative development of an archive of digitized Russian mathematical literature

Project Description

The primary goal of the so-called DML (Digital Mathematical Library) is to make all mathematical literature digitally available. RusDML, the Russian Digital Mathematics Library, is part of this global enterprise. The activities of the RusDML project currently lie within the digitalisation of the most important Russian language journals from 1866 to the present. This information is to be made available online, using Zentralblatt MATH as a portal


RusDML (Russian Digital Mathematics Library) is part of a global effort to make all mathematical literature digitally available to mathematicians around the world. The focus of the RusDML project, as its name suggests, is Russian-language literature. The first stage of this project is to digitalize the most important Russian-language journals from 1866 to the present. This information will be accessible online using Zentralblatt MATH as a portal. The RusDML project, which is supported by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), involves three German partners: the Technical University Berlin, Goettingen State and University Library, and the Technical Information Library Hannover. The Russian partner is the National Public Academic Technical Library in Moscow.

Motivation for the RusDML project

There are many situations encountered by modern-day mathematicians in which the digital availability of Russian-language literature would be beneficial. First of all, many libraries do not carry a wide variety of Russian-language journals, and special orders can cause delays and may also be costly. Even if the library in question carries an English translation of a Russian journal, it is often necessary for the mathematician to view an article in its original form because the translations of the articles often contain errors due to the fact that non-mathematicians who are not always aware of the mathematical terminology do the translating. Sometimes the translation contains a typographical error in a formula that the mathematician needs to look up in order to understand the work. Furthermore it is much more convenient for the mathematician to access the information sought via computer.

The Application Tool

The goals of the RusDML project make great demands on the software. Standard solutions or already existing scripts are not sufficient for the RusDML project, so a new solution has to be found. Among other things, the software that has to be developed must fulfil the following requirements: With the help of the tool it will be easier to collect and to edit the different information of the journals. This affects the generation of the general metadata and the hierarchical structural data of the volumes and also concerns the matching of logical (printed) and physical page numbers. Metadata from different sources (for example from the "Zentralblatt" and the "Jahrbuch über die Fortschritte der Mathematik") are to be imported on the basis of an XML format. Via a WebDAV server, the tool will enable read/write access on external file systems and their data (for example for quality control or editing of scanned images). Furthermore the components for a distributed workflow management will be integrated into the tool. This ensures the administration of the production and the communication between the project partners. Thus it will be possible for each partner to view detailed information about the status of a certain journal at any time. To enable a decentralized work, the tool will be realized as a web application and may thus be accessed from distributed locations. Through the consistent adoption of Java technology, which does not depend on a special hardware or software environment, it will be ensured furthermore that both Western European and Eastern European fonts could be used within the tool by means of unicode encoding.

Translation and Transliteration

For the purpose of retrieval, all titles will be offered in the original language of the article. Additionally, a translation will be provided in, at least, English and/or Russian. All personal names and titles appearing originally in Cyrillic letters will be transliterated into Latin (according to ISO 9).


Benefits from RusDML for Zentralblatt MATH

The meta-data is to be provided for RusDML by Zentralblatt MATH. In return, the RusDML project will contribute to the usefulness of the database of Zentralblatt MATH in several ways. Gaps that have occurred due to the lack of access to journals, especially during the war years, are to be filled. Another problem to be resolved within the RusDML project is that caused by the multitude of transliteration schemes. On the technical side, a large portion of entries in the database for the time-period 1931 to 1984 have links to a scanned version of the printed review in Zentralblatt MATH, making it impossible to search for keywords within the text. The same is the case for the entries in the Jahrbuch database. For these entries, the inclusion of the review text within the access structure, one of the most important features to be developed by RusDML, will remedy this situation. Additional handling in the form of providing keywords and classifications will further enhance the information retrieved.



SUB Göttingen departments / units involved in the project

Former project staff of the SUB Göttingen

Nils Lindenberg, Felix Lohmeier, Dr. Heike Neuroth, Ralf Stockmann, Nils Windisch