Integration of Digital Reference Service for Scholarly Communication in Digital Libraries

Integration of Digital Reference Service for Scholarly Communication in Digital Libraries

Vilas G. Jadhav (Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2500-6.ch002
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Digital libraries are a key connector to the information resources that are necessary for the growth of research in today’s era. The ability to disseminate and promote one’s work and research is an important component of managing and communicating information. Digital libraries and the Web have brought enormously powerful search mechanisms to the desktops of many researchers. The present chapter is a conceptual approach to discuss the various aspects of digital libraries, scholarly communication, and the integration of the digital reference service in the digital environment. The chapter analyzes various skills required of the researcher for searching quality information in digital libraries. As a result, researchers should be trained to read and evaluate material from a much wider range of subjects than previously necessary.
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The Web-based digital environment has enabled the formation of many new kinds of works that are available and accessible to end users directly, and many of these resources have become essential tools for scholars conducting research (Maron & Kirby, 2009). The digital libraries are playing an important role to bring together digital and non-digital intellectual collections that benefit the research scholars by providing value added e-services to facilitate research, teaching, and learning. Scholarship and research in academics involves a complex network of local and international relationships. The organization of documentation for scholars has rapidly evolved in the early twenty-first century. Many journals are now available on free websites or in a wide variety of broad-based digital libraries. Moreover, there are increasingly sophisticated searchable interfaces to digital libraries that allow authors to search by keywords across wide subject coverage or even across all disciplines. Some of the reasons researchers start moving from physical libraries toward digital libraries are as follows:

  • The users of the physical library need to go to the library physically while this is not the case in a digital library.

  • In a physical library, people cannot gain access to the information other than library timings while in digital libraries people can gain access to the information at any time.

  • In a physical library, the same resources cannot be used simultaneously by a number of institutions or clients, while not is the case in digital libraries.

  • In physical libraries, searching resources is somewhat difficult while in digital library the user is able to use any search term (word, phrase, title, name, and subject) to search the entire collection.

  • The traditional libraries are limited by storage space, while digital libraries have the potential to store much more information.

  • Digitization is not a long-term preservation solution for physical collections, but does succeed in providing access copies for materials that would otherwise fall to degradation from repeated use.


Defining Digital Libraries

Digital Library has been defined by a UCLA-NSF Social Aspects of Digital Libraries Workshop as

a set of electronic resources and associated technical capabilities for creating, searching and using information. In this sense they are an extension and enhancement of information storage and retrieval systems that manipulate digital data in any medium (text, images, sounds, static or dynamic images) and exist in distributed network (Gourley, 2001).

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