To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

E-lending in digital libraries: a systematic review

Mehdi Alipour-Hafezi (Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Faculty of Psychology and Education Science, Allameh Tabataba’i University (ATU), Tehran, Iran)
Hamid Reza Khedmatgozar (Iranian Research Institute for Information Science and Technology (IRANDOC), Tehran, Iran)

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Article publication date: 15 August 2016




The purpose of this paper is to systematically review e-lending research studies in the digital library domain to identify their subjects, existing research gap and their research methods.


This is a systematic review. Through several stages of searching in related databases, 30 research works including journal and conference research papers, theses and dissertations, research and technical reports were identified and reviewed based on the guidelines of systematic review protocols.


It was found that research in e-lending domain is growing, and the subject will receive greater attention in the near future. Studies were in the following four categories: e-books (specifications, creation and software and viewpoints), business models, e-book status in libraries and copyright issues, e-book lending and inter-library loan. Some research gaps were identified including e-lending domain, business models and legislation. Little has been done with qualitative and mixed approaches in terms of research methods. Moreover, findings showed that this area has received less attention in developing countries.


This is the first review of the e-lending domain in digital libraries. It identifies the key works related to e-lending, categorizes them, provides an overview and identifies emerging research issues.



The authors would like to thank Dr Hamid Reza Jamali for his kind help in editing the article and suggesting some important directions to enhance the article.


Alipour-Hafezi, M. and Khedmatgozar, H.R. (2016), "E-lending in digital libraries: a systematic review", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 44 No. 3, pp. 108-114.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles