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D-Lib Magazine
March 2003

Volume 9 Number 3

ISSN 1082-9873


Education and Digital Library Research

This issue of D-Lib Magazine focuses on practical uses of technologies developed from digital library research in the areas of education and scholarship. The six articles reflect the broad international impact of digital library research initiatives; two are by authors from the USA, one article comes from Brazil, one from Spain, one from the United Kingdom and one from New Zealand.

Acquisition of knowledge and the subsequent creation of new knowledge — whether in formal education, lifelong learning, business and industry, or any other area — involves several steps: locating existing information; accessing that information; studying and synthesizing it; adding to it, and either acting on or disseminating the results of this new knowledge. Digital library technologies help accelerate the first and last steps in this process, and by doing so, potentially provide more time for study, synthesis, and knowledge creation.

Although at this time only a fraction of the world's knowledge is available in digital form, that fraction is daily growing larger due to the digitization of tangible information resources and the fact that most new information is "born digital". Therefore, in addition to testbeds of information on which to conduct digital library research, we now have an increasing number of operational digital libraries that can be evaluated to determine whether or not the technologies they use actually enhance and/or improve the educational process. And things are soon going to get even better in this regard.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) in the US and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the UK recently announced a new collaborative digital initiative to "investigate and exploit the potential of online resources in learning and teaching across a range of pre-selected subject disciplines…with new research to develop the underlying information technology. The result will be resources that will provide exemplars for the provision of digital resources in disciplines beyond the ones chosen for development" [1]. D-Lib Magazine will continue to track and report on the latest developments in these areas.

Bonita Wilson

[1] Wise, Alicia, "Press Release: JISC and NSF to collaborate on major digital initiative", Joint Information Systems Committee, February 24, 2003. For more information, see "Digital Libraries in the Classroom Programme." Available at <>.


Copyright© 2003 Corporation for National Research Initiatives

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DOI: 10.1045/march2003-editorial