Uwe Borghoff, Eberhard Hilf, Remo Pareschi, Thomas Severiens, Heinrich Stamerjohanns, Jutta Willamowski
Proc. 2nd Int. Conf. on the Practical Application of Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agent Technology (PAAM '97), April 21-23, 1997, London, U.K., pp. 271-285
Today in physics, more and more scientific documents are prepared electronically, are posted and archived.
At the same time, an increasing number of heterogeneous Web-servers are dedicated to hosting such archives.
While this trend makes available more relevant scientific information, it also complicates the task of finding,
retrieving, processing and printing scientific documents. As a consequence physicists could benefit from an
efficient user-friendly tool that integrates functionalities for document retrieval and distribution. In this paper, we
present a solution to this problem. Our approach links two systems together: an agent-based search engine for
document retrieval and a printing-on-demand service that handles printing, binding and shipping of retrieved
documents to readers who request them. We discuss a prototype already available that enables document
retrieval from a number of Web servers, including the global network of physics preprints, set up by P. Ginsparg,
and the PhysDoc broker which integrates 1000 distributed European Web-servers maintained by local physics
departments. Although our motivation is the physics community, it goes without saying that the ideas and
issues of this project apply in general.
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