The Digital Public Library of America (
and Europeana (
invites interested and qualified individuals or firms to submit a proposal
for development related to the infrastructure for the International Rights
Statements Working Group.

   - A PDF version of this request for proposals is also available at:
   - A PDF version of the *Requirements for the Technical Infrastructure
   for Standardized International Rights Statements *is available at:


   - RFP issued: *18 September 2015*
   - Deadline for proposals: *00:00 GMT, 6 October 2015*
   - Work is to be performed no sooner than 8 October 2015.
   - Functional prototypes for components A and C must be completed by *24
   December 2015*.
   - Work for components A, B, and C below must be completed by* 15 January


This document specifies the project scope and requirements for technical
infrastructure supporting a framework and vocabulary of machine-readable
rights statements under development by the International Rights Statements
Working Group, a joint Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)–Europeana
Foundation working group.

The working group shall provide and maintain RDF descriptions
the rights statements, with canonical serializations in Turtle
modeled as a vocabulary in the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS)
These descriptions will include multiple official translations of each
statement, and support versioning of the statements and/or vocabulary
scheme. Alongside the descriptions statements, the working group will
produce a summary of the data model and properties used.

The contractor will provide an implementation that acts as a platform for
hosting these statements. The platform consists of an application for
publishing the rights statements according to linked data best practices
and a content management system to be used by the working group to publish
materials related to the project. These two components should provide the
feel of an integrated user experience, and must be served publicly from a
single domain ( As part of this contract, the
contractor will also provide one year of maintenance, support, and security
updates for these components, their dependencies, and the operating systems
for servers on which they are deployed.
ComponentsComponent A. Rights Statements Application

A web application that provides both machine-readable representations of
the rights statements (in RDF serializations including JSON-LD and Turtle)
and human-readable representations. The working group will provide a canonical
version of the rights statements in Turtle-serialized RDF as needed for
as well as a testing version used to implement and test specific features,
including, but not limited to, versions (see 3a) and translations (see 4b
and 4c).

   1. Human readable representations
      1. The application shall provide a human-readable web page
      representing each rights statement, with provision for versions, multiple
      language support, and additional request parameters as described
in *Requirements
      for the Technical Infrastructure for Standardized International Rights
      2. All human-readable representations shall be generated from the
      canonical Turtle-serialized RDF.
      3. Human-readable representations must be available as HTML5 with
      RDFa 1.1 or RDFa 1.1 Lite.
      4. Human-readable representations must provide links to the RDF
      representations listed below.
   2. RDF representations
      1. The application shall provide multiple RDF serializations of the
      individual rights statements through content negotiation on the statement
      URI. Minimally, it must support Turtle and JSON-LD
      Additional serializations are desirable but not required.
      2. The application shall provide multiple RDF serializations of the
      entire vocabulary through content negotiation on the vocabulary version
      URI.  The vocabulary shall support the same RDF serializations as the
      individual statements.
      3. All RDF serializations must be equivalent to the canonical
      Turtle-serialized RDF.
   3. Versions
      1. The application shall support multiple versions of each statement.
      The structure of the versions is described in *Requirements for the
      Technical Infrastructure for Standardized International Rights Statements
      2. Otherwise valid statement URIs that omit the version number should
      respond with code 404.
   4. Languages and translation
      1. Human-readable representations should dynamically handle requests
      for translations of the statements through HTTP Accept-Language
      through the use of parameters as specified in *Requirements for the
      Technical Infrastructure for Standardized International Rights Statements
      2. The working group will provide text in one or more languages for
      each statement as RDF language-tagged literals in compliance with IETF
      All language-tagged literals will be encoded as UTF-8.
      3. The working group will provide translations for content not
      derived from the statement RDF, e.g., navigational elements. The
      application will support this through an internationalization framework,
      e.g., GNU gettext.
   5. Additional request parameters
      1. For specific statements, human-readable representations must
      accept query string parameters and generate a view of the statement
      enhanced by additional metadata described in *Requirements for the
      Technical Infrastructure for Standardized International Rights Statements
   6. Resource URIs and HTTP request patterns
      1. The HTTP behavior of the application shall follow the URI
      structure and interaction patterns described in *Requirements for the
      Technical Infrastructure for Standardized International Rights Statements
      2. Resources must follow best practices
      serving both human- and machine-readable representations for linked data
   7. Visual identity
      1. The working group will provide static HTML templates developed by
      another vendor charged with implementing the site’s visual identity.
      2. These templates must be transformed to work in the context of the
      application to ensure that human-readable representations follow
the visual
      identity of the site as provided by the working group.

*Component B. Content management system*

An implementation of an off-the-shelf, free/libre/open source content
management system (CMS), and associated plugins to publish pages about the
project and initiative, related publications, etc.

   1. The CMS will be separate from the rights statements application.
   2. The CMS may be a static site generator.
   3. The CMS should support multilingual versions of content, either
   natively or through the use of plugin modules.
   4. A theme or templates for the CMS must be provided, which follow the
   visual identity defined for the site.
   5. The CMS must provide export of static content (text and multimedia).
   6. All content will be edited and maintained by members of the working

*Component C. Server configuration, deployment, and maintenance

An implementation of an existing free/libre/open source configuration
management and deployment automation system, and any needed templates,
scripts, etc., used to install dependencies, to configure and deploy
components A and B above, and to manage the servers.

   1. The implementation must be published to a version control repository
   under the working group’s organization on GitHub.
   2. The implementation should support a shared set of configuration with
   templating to allow the components above to be deployed to a staging
   virtual machine and a production virtual machine using a common set of
   3. An implementation of an agentless configuration and deployment
   management system (e.g., Ansible) is strongly preferred.
   4. The implementation must include a configuration for an HTTP proxy
   server (e.g., Nginx, Apache HTTPD, etc.) that will allow components A and B
   to be presented together through a single domain name.
      1. The proxy server configuration must allow components A and B to be
      served from a common domain name (
      2. The proxy server configuration should provide caching for requests
      that respects the HTTP interaction patterns described in *Requirements
      for the Technical Infrastructure for Standardized International Rights
   5. The vendor will also develop, execute, and provide reports for a load
   testing strategy for the implemented configuration.

Other restrictions

All components must run within a shared Linux virtual machine, preferably
running Debian stable. The virtual machine will be hosted on a server
physically located in a Luxembourg-based data center. The working group is
providing both a staging environment and a production environment.

All materials developed during this project shall be released under open
source/open content licensing. Source code will be licensed under the European
Union Public License, version 1.1
Documentation will be licensed under a CC0 Public Domain Dedication
Guidelines for proposals

All proposals must adhere to the following submission guidelines and

   - Proposals are due no later than 00:00 GMT, 6 October 2015.
   - Proposals should be sent via email to *[log in to unmask]
   <[log in to unmask]>* as a single PDF file attached to the message.
   Questions about the proposal can also be sent to this address.
   - Please format the subject line with the phrase
“* Proposal
   - [Name of respondent]*.”
   - You should receive confirmation of receipt of your proposal no later
   than 00:00 GMT, 8 October 2015. If you have not received confirmation of
   your proposal by this time, please send an email to *[log in to unmask]
   <[log in to unmask]>*, otherwise follow the same guidelines as above.

All proposals should include the following:

   - *Pricing*, in US Dollars and/or Euros, as costs for each work
   component identified above, and as an hourly rate for any maintenance
   costs. The exchange rate will be set in the contract. The currency for
   payment will be chosen by the agent of the working group that is the party
   to this contract.
   - *Proposed staffing plan*, including qualifications of project team
   members (resumes/CVs and links or descriptions of previous projects such as
   open source contributions).
   - *References*, listing all clients/organizations with whom the proposer
   has done business like that required by this solicitation with the last
   three years.
   - *Qualifications and experience*, including
      - General qualifications and development expertise
         - Information about development and project management skills and
         - Examples of successful projects, delivered on time and on budget
         - Preferred tools and methodologies used for issue tracking,
         project management, and communication
         - Preferences for change control tools and methodologies
      - Project specific strategies
         - History of developing software in the library, archives, or
         museum domain
         - Information about experience with hosting and maintenance of
         RDF/SKOS vocabularies and linked data resources
      - *Legal authority/capacity,* or proof that the vendor is authorized
   to perform the contract under national law. Proof of the above is to be
   provided by (a copy of) a certificate of registration in the relevant trade
   or professional registers in the country of establishment/incorporation.

Contract guidelines

   - Proposals must be submitted by the due date.
   - Proposers are asked to guarantee their proposal prices for a period of
   at least 60 days from the date of the submission of the proposal.
   - Proposers must be fully responsible for the acts and omissions of
   their employees and agents.
   - The working group reserves the right to extend the deadline for
   - The working group reserves the right to include a mandatory meeting
   via teleconference with proposers individually before acceptance. Top
   scored proposals may be required to participate in an interview to support
   and clarify their proposal.
   - The working group reserves the right to negotiate with each contractor.
   - There is no allowance for project expenses, travel, or ancillary
   expenses that the contractor may incur.
   - Ownership of any intellectual property will be shared between the
   Digital Public Library of America and the Europeana Foundation.

Mark A. Matienzo, Director of Technology
Digital Public Library of America |
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