The purpose of this paper is to examine personal digital libraries (PDL) as a self-archiving approach, mainly based on individuals’ activities. Literature presents a wide range of perceptions of the term PDL. The rationale of using PDL and the capabilities that PDL should offer are also discussed. The key questions we focus on are: “What are the critical features of PDL?” and “Are there technologies that enable the implementation/incorporation of such capabilities in a low cost software product?”
We focus on “a user centred view of information process”, and examine how PDL could assist individuals to “create, seek, share and manage the life of information” (Foster et al., 2010). The capabilities that PDL should support, and the related technologies, are also discussed. Then, we describe experimentation with a prototype implemented to support/provide the mentioned capabilities. It is used to clarify our view for the creation of PDL. Finally, further discussion and conclusions are presented.
The technology is mature enough for building up PDLs with the specified features/capabilities.
A new perception of the term PDLs is presented. This perception tries to combine the self-archiving approach of information, based on a low-cost tool, and the user-centred approach to manage the “life of information”. This type of library is mainly used to cover personal needs. Users benefit from this type of PDL by personalised handling of information, reduced time to search and seek specific documents in their personal collections and less possibility for broken links or unavailable documents. We must also mention that new opportunities seem to appear for offering PDL as a service in the cloud.
This research has been co-funded by the European Union (Social Fund) and Greek national resources under the framework of the “Archimedes III: Funding of Research Groups in TEI of Athens” project of the “Education and Lifelong Learning” Operational Programme.
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 3rd International Conference on Integrated Information, IC-ININFO, held in Prague, Czech Republic, from 5 to 9 September, 2013, http://history.icininfo.net/2013/
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