This past month, the Texas Digital Library (TDL) and several prominent water researchers began the process of developing a new collaborative resource for sharing water data across the state of Texas. The Texas Water Digital Library (TWDL) will federate water research currently stored in dispersed databases and websites at various Texas universities. A model for the cooperative efforts of the Texas Digital Library, the TWDL will electronically harvest these resources from cooperating institutions (using a technology called OAI-ORE) and deposit them in a TDL-hosted DSpace repository. This federated repository will create a single place for researchers to search for water data from every part of the state: the Texas Water Digital Library.
The purpose of the Texas Digital Library is to provide services to faculty members at member institutions that will facilitate collaboration with their peers as they conduct and disseminate their research. The TWDL uses two of the services (repository, peer-reviewed journaling system) provided by TDL and represents the kind of collaboration that TDL intends to foster and support.
The creation of the TWDL involves cooperation among key researchers at several Texas universities, including Dr. David Maidment, the director of the Center for Research in Water Resources at UT Austin; Dr. B. L. Harris, Director of the Texas Water Resources Institute at Texas A&M; and Dr. Ken Rainwater, Director of the Texas Tech University Water Resources Center.
Participants in the project met on February 17 to begin discussions about how best to provide resources. Future meetings to advance the project are in the works, and the TWDL planners will provide an update on the project at the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries, to be held at UT Austin in May.