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Digital libraries and the continuum of scholarly communication

Christine L. Borgman (Department of Information Studies University of California, Los Angeles)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



This article explores the relationship between scholarly communication, an established research area receiving renewed interest, and digital libraries, a relatively new area of research. Scholarship is inherently a social process and it is embedded in a structure of relationships with other scholars, with scholarly societies, and with publishers and libraries. These stakeholders agree that the relationship has become unbalanced with the advent of electronic publishing, digital libraries, computer networks and associated changes in pricing, intellectual property policies and contracts, but they do not agree on solutions to redress the balance. Several problems worthy of research lie at the intersection of scholarly communication processes and digital libraries. These include the ability of digital libraries to support the cycle of information seeking, using and creating; the ‘social life’ of documents; and electronic publishing. Other interesting problems exist at the intersection of structures of scholarly communication and digital libraries. These include increased interdependency of scholarly documents, as links are embedded between documents, both within and between digital libraries; the indefinite preservation of digital documents; business models for electronic publishing and digital libraries; and conflicts between the physical and virtual aspects of libraries.



Borgman, C.L. (2000), "Digital libraries and the continuum of scholarly communication", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 56 No. 4, pp. 412-430.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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