Editorial

Anna Maria Tammaro (Department of Information Engineering, University of Parma, Parma, Italy)
Juan D. Machin-Mastromatteo (Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico)

Digital Library Perspectives

ISSN: 2059-5816

Article publication date: 4 September 2020

Issue publication date: 4 September 2020

265

Citation

Tammaro, A.M. and Machin-Mastromatteo, J.D. (2020), "Editorial", Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. 36 No. 3, pp. I-III. https://doi.org/10.1108/DLP-09-2020-0094

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited


In a normal year, Issue 3 is dedicated to fall planning and an evaluation of the first six months of the year. However, 2020 was not a normal year, and the COVID-19 pandemic made us live months of uncertainty and breaking old habits. We want to use this space for a first reflection on the past months to get clarity, feel more grounded in our Digital Library Perspectives (DLP) community, and get inspiration on what’s next. Here are a few prompts we want to use as a conversation guide.

What lessons have we learned?

With the outbreak of COVID-19, we have been able to understand how important the access to information and communication technologies (ICT) and digital resources is. As more and more businesses moved online, such as education, research and communication, we saw the impact of the digital divide around the world. There are several factors that impact this disparity, including socioeconomic, geographic and individual-capabilities factors. From the perspective of the digital library community, we must recognize that technology is not neutral, but instead either reinforces or challenges existing inequities.

Diversity and inclusion is one of the biggest societal and workplace challenges today, and research and publishing have a significant role to play in helping to break down these barriers.

Although diversity and inclusion are not exactly aligned with the sustainable development goal of “no one left behind,” they support sustainability.

However, an organization can be diverse without being inclusive. A company can be diverse without being equitable. An institution can be sustainable but not inclusive.

What will we take into the new normal?

Why do we value diversity? Diversity and inclusion are needed to close the digital divide and are part of our digital library community values.

There is a need for a knowledge base enriched with research and practices from different sociocultural contexts and system structures, with a multiplicity of voices to portray a more balanced picture of DLP.

Emerald has recently published a report, “The Power of Diverse Voices,” [1] which inspired us to focus on diversity and inclusion issues. Emerald is also among the signatories of the Joint Commitment for Action Inclusion and Diversity in Publishing [2].

In the past few years, the literature on inclusion and diversity has increased, but the library and information science (LIS) field still has work to do in regard to amplifying marginalized voices (Gibson and Hughes-Hassell, 2017). DLP has been addressing discrepancies in article acceptance likelihood, by focusing on increasing author, reviewer and editor diversity.

For whom are we creating more inclusive environments?

How will we ensure that inclusion is real? DLP can serve as a gatekeeper and can make a huge difference in determining which stories are amplified and which are shut out.

If the communities of authors, reviewers and editors working in DLP are not a heterogeneous group, how can different voices really be represented in its papers? Our digital library communities and societies are increasingly diverse and adequately represented in DLP. This third issue of 2020 indeed shows the vast range of research areas in digital libraries and topics that have an unusual diversity in their coverage of geographical areas and domains.

Juan Machin-Mastromatteo interviewed Andrés Melgar to provide insights into the current strategies that the National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation, Peru, is implementing, given Peru’s recent developments and important growth in the areas of research and innovation within Latin America as a region. It is important for information professionals to get such insights from the government bodies dedicated to research management and evaluation as one important stakeholder in the development of DLP’s areas of interest (education, research, scientific publishing).

Kanita Beširević describes the project “Digital Library of required classical literature for elementary and secondary school curricula in the domestic languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina.” This project was initiated to support the physical school libraries, but in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, its importance increased exponentially, since classes went online.

Anisha Tanveer, Rashid Yasir, Zeeshan Shaukat and Imran Sadiq’s paper, “Value co-creation features: an empirical case study of B2B collaboration and interactions in New Zealand,” analyses the “points of value creation” between vendor and client during an ICT systems integration project. The findings highlighted four features of the value co-creation process: motivators, outcomes, disadvantages and management. Moreover, personal and network aspects of the value co-creation process emerged. This paper provides future research motivations for researchers currently working to develop the service-dominant logic of marketing.

Christopher Owusu-Ansah, in “Conceptions of digital libraries: an African perspective”, explores the conceptions of digital libraries to provide lenses through which the concept may be viewed and appreciated from the perspective of developing countries. This paper argues that the concept of digital libraries is a Western creation and that there was a need for developing societies to develop their own conceptions to guide their own digital library development agenda. This paper provides an efficient view of the Western-centric biases in the conceptions of digital libraries that also point to opportunities for developing countries to create their own conceptions to guide future digital library initiatives.

David Barina and Ondrej Klima, in “JPEG 2000: Guide for Digital Libraries”, try to help resolve tradeoffs that can be encountered in practice. The JPEG 2000 image compression system is being used for cultural heritage preservation by dozens of big memory institutions worldwide. This is a viewpoint that could be helpful for our readers.

Joy Iguehi Ikenwe and Sebastian Egbuna Anaehobi, in “Ability to identify extent of information need, and access information as correlates of utilization of digital library resources by lecturers,” investigate the relationship between lecturers’ abilities to identify information needs, information access and digital library usage at federal universities in Southern Nigeria.

Umme Habiba and S.M. Zabed Ahmed, in “Demographics and perceived computer skill levels as predictors of faculty awareness and use of electronic information resources,” examine the role of demographics and self-reported computer skill levels as predictors of e-resources awareness and use by faculty members working at various public and private universities in Bangladesh.

The papers in this third issue are indeed manifestations of great diversity and highlight that research on the digital library is aimed at overcoming the digital divide, in all its forms. We are using this editorial column to raise these concerns and want to stimulate the continuation of our community discussion on diversity and inclusion issues. Our next issue, “Digital libraries and COVID-19: responding to a global emergency”, will present insights and initiatives from international LIS researchers and practitioners as responses to the pandemic.

Notes

Reference

Gibson, A. and Hughes-Hassell, S. (2017), “We will not be silent: amplifying marginalized voices in LIS education and research”, The Library Quarterly, Vol. 87 No. 4, pp. 317-329, doi: 10.1086/693488.

Acknowledgements

Erratum: It has come to the attention of the publisher that the editorial, Tammaro, A.M. and Machin-Mastromatteo, J.D. (2020), “Editorial”, published in Digital Library Perspectives, Vol 36 No. 3, pp. I-III was omitted from the issue when it first published.

This error was introduced in the editorial process and has been corrected by retrospectively including the editorial in the issue, in the online version. The publisher sincerely apologises for this and for any inconvenience caused.

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