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Information retrieval features in Indian digital libraries: a critical appraisal

Anup Kumar Das (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, New Delhi, India)
Chaitali Dutta (Department of Library and Information Science, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India)
B.K. Sen (Information and Communication Society of India, New Delhi, India)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Article publication date: 20 February 2007




The purpose of this paper is to assess the present situation in the development of indigenous digital libraries in India. The study aims to evaluate different retrieval features of Indian digital libraries, especially those provide access to multilingual and multimedia documents.


For this study, eight digital libraries originated in India, which are available in 24×7 timeframe and accessible worldwide through the internet, have been identified and selected. The retrieval features and other information on these digital libraries have been collected mostly from their respective websites and from other published literature, annual reports, etc.


The paper finds that Indian digital libraries provide universal access to informative and culturally rich digital content related to South Asian region. The digitisation efforts in Indian institutions make these digital libraries operational.

Research limitations/implications

The institutional repositories and open access archives of Indian institutions that give access to the current research literature are not included in this study, because their retrieval features are mostly similar to each other as they use either DSpace or GNU EPrints open source software.

Practical implications

Indigenous digital libraries in India provide universal access to information and knowledge related to culture and heritage of people of South Asian counties. This study gives an insight on how diverse contents are integrated and disseminated to the end‐users in a user‐friendly manner. This study also indicates research initiatives on different aspects of multilingual contents in this region.


No such evaluation on Indian digital libraries has been done from the perspective of information retrieval features. This study will generate new knowledge in area of indigenous digital libraries in a developing country like India. This study is also an attempt to popularise Indian indigenous digital libraries among the world community.



Das, A.K., Dutta, C. and Sen, B.K. (2007), "Information retrieval features in Indian digital libraries: a critical appraisal", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 92-104.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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