Digital libraries can be deployed at many points throughout the life cycles of scientific research projects from their inception through data collection, analysis, documentation, publication, curation, preservation, and stewardship. Requirements for digital libraries to manage research data vary along many dimensions, including life cycle, scale, research domain, and types and degrees of openness.
This article addresses the role of digital libraries in knowledge infrastructures for science, presenting evidence from long-term studies of four research sites. Findings are based on interviews (n=208), ethnographic fieldwork, document analysis, and historical archival research about scientific data practices, conducted over the course of more than a decade.
The Transformation of Knowledge, Culture, and Practice in Data-Driven Science: A Knowledge Infrastructures Perspective project is based on a 2×2 design, comparing two “big science” astronomy sites with two “little science” sites that span physical sciences, life sciences, and engineering, and on dimensions of project scale and temporal stage of life cycle.
The two astronomy sites invested in digital libraries for data management as part of their initial research design, whereas the smaller sites made smaller investments at later stages. Role specialization varies along the same lines, with the larger projects investing in information professionals, and smaller teams carrying out their own activities internally. Sites making the largest investments in digital libraries appear to view their datasets as their primary scientific legacy, while other sites stake their legacy elsewhere. Those investing in digital libraries are more concerned with the release and reuse of data; types and degrees of openness vary accordingly.
The need for expertise in digital libraries, data science, and data stewardship is apparent throughout all four sites. Examples are presented of the challenges in designing digital libraries and knowledge infrastructures to manage and steward research data.
URL : http://works.bepress.com/borgman/371/
Access to Digital Libraries for Disadvantaged Users :
« Digital libraries, designed to serve people and their information needs in the same way as traditional libraries, present distinct advantages over brick and mortar facilities: elimination of physical boundaries, round-the-clock access to information, multiple access points, networking abilities, and extended search functions. As a result, they should be especially well-suited for the disadvantaged. However, minorities, those affected by lower income and education status, persons living in rural areas, the physically disabled, and developing countries as a whole consistently suffer from a lack of accessibility to digital libraries. This paper evaluates the effectiveness and relevance of digital libraries currently in place and discusses what could and should be done to improve accessibility to digital libraries for the disadvantaged. »
URL : http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libphilprac/916/
Legal Issues in Mass Digitization: A Preliminary Analysis and Discussion Document :
« This Preliminary Analysis and Discussion Document (the “Analysis”) addresses the issues raised by the intersection between copyright law and the mass digitization of books. The Copyright Office (the “Office”) has prepared this Analysis for the purpose of facilitating further discussion among the affected parties and the public – discussions that may encompass a number of possible approaches, including voluntary initiatives, legislative options, or both.
On March 22, 2011, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected a proposed settlement of the class action lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild and a related suit by book publishers against Google for the mass digitization of books in several large U.S. libraries. The court ruled that the class action settlement would have redefined the relationship between copyright law and new technology, and encroached upon Congress’s ability to set copyright policy with respect to orphan works. Subsequently, on September 12, 2011, the Authors Guild and several prominent authors sued five university libraries that participated in Google’s mass digitization project as well as a library consortium known as the HathiTrust after the universities announced their intention to offer access to some of the book scans Google had provided to them.
These developments have sparked public debate on the risks and opportunities that mass book digitization may create for authors, publishers, libraries, technology companies, the general public, and the corresponding legal framework. The questions are many: What mass digitization projects are currently underway in the United States? What are the objectives and who are the intended beneficiaries? How are the exclusive rights of copyright owners implicated? What exceptions or limitations may apply, to whom, and in what circumstances? To the extent there are public policy goals at issue, what could Congress do to facilitate or control the boundaries of mass digitization projects? Would orphan works legislation help? Are efficient and costeffective licensing options available? Could Congress encourage or even require new licensing schemes for mass digitization? Could it provide direction and oversight to authors, publishers,
libraries, and technology companies as they explore solutions? Indeed, these stakeholders may be in the best position to find points of consensus and create strategies for the U.S. book and library sectors.
The issues discussed in this Analysis are complex and require public discussion. The Office recognizes that the Google Books proceeding, initiated more than six years ago, and the recently filed lawsuit involving the HathiTrust Digital Library will continue to influence the public debate over mass digitization. International developments may also contribute to the debate in the United States. Although the marketplace and the issues will continue to evolve, the Office believes there is sufficient information to undertake an intense public discussion about the broader policy implications of mass book digitization. By necessity, this discussion must address the relationship between the emerging digital marketplace and the existing copyright framework. »
URL : http://pub.bna.com/ptcj/USCOMassDigitization_October2011.pdf
Library Student Journal: The role of digital libraries in providing access to networked information (2011) :
« This paper introduces the concepts of Global Information Infrastructure (GII) and a global digital library. A comprehensive literature review is conducted to explore the role a global digital library might play in providing network access to information within a GII based on current and emerging paradigms in the information sciences and information service professions. Particular attention is given to the concepts of system usability and content usefulness. Conclusions are drawn based on the observations of the studies reviewed within the conceptual framework discussed with emphasis on the role of digital librarianship. »
URL : http://www.librarystudentjournal.org/index.php/lsj/article/view/234/311
Collaboratory Digital Libraries for Humanities in the Italian context :
« The study investigates the approach to collaboration in Humanities, within the Italian context, to test the possibility of collaborative digital library for scholars. The research hypothesis is that collaboration can foster innovation and scienti c development: therefore, within Humanities, digital libraries can be the collaborative laboratory for research. Thus, understanding perception of scholars towards collaboration, especially online, and comprehending if wiki systems could be the framework of collaboration were the objectives of the study. A qualitative approach has been adopted, using case study as research method: in-depth, semi-structured interviews to Digital Humanities scholars provide data integrated with interviews with two key informants (one of which is prof. Umberto Eco). The results of the study show that Humanities, within Italian context, do appreciate collaboration and the concept of a collaboratory digital library, though several issues need to be solved. In fact, Humanities are still tied with individual work and collaboration is not easy to pursue, for cultural, technical and political reasons. Great e ort needs to be done at many different levels to eliminate obstacles and facilitate online collaboration for scholars. The study provides a draft model for a collaborative digital library arisen from gathered data. »
URL : http://eprints.rclis.org/handle/10760/15839
Mbooks are open-access, digitized books freely available on the Internet. This article describes the Auraria Library’s experience of loading brief MARC records for Mbooks into its online public access catalog and looks at some of the issues that arose from the record-loading project.
Despite the low quality of the records, librarians in Auraria Library thought that loading them into the catalog was advantageous because of the rich content in the collection, and because many of the records could be improved using the global update functionality in the catalog.
Making the records available through the catalog, as opposed to merely linking to the entire collection from the Library’s Web page, was considered to be valuable because of the aggregation a catalog provides, and because the Mbooks collection helped fill gaps in the Library’s physical collections.
As more open-access, digitized books become available, libraries will need to plan and manage how best to provide access to them.
URL : http://eprints.rclis.org/handle/10760/15841
Digital Libraries – Methods and Applications :
« Digital library is commonly seen as a type of information retrieval system which stores and accesses digital content remotely via computer networks. However, the vision of digital libraries is not limited to technology or management, but user experience. This book is an attempt to share the practical experiences of solutions to the operation of digital libraries. To indicate interdisciplinary routes towards successful applications, the chapters in this book explore the implication of digital libraries from the perspectives of design, operation, and promotion. Without common agreement on a broadly accepted model of digital libraries, authors from diverse fields seek to develop theories and empirical investigations that to advance our understanding of digital libraries. »
URL : http://www.intechopen.com/books/show/title/digital-libraries-methods-and-applications