Saturday, 10 July 2010

Research participants wanted

As the final part of my Masters course, I’m writing what feels like an endless dissertation. It’s on the subject of digital libraries and how new features/technology can affect digital asset management now and in the future. And I need help.
The central thesis is that digital libraries are held back by aping the hierarchical organisation systems used in print libraries. A wide range of technologies – including increased storage capacity, hypertext, Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web – offer the potential for large-scale networking of documents which more accurately mirrors the associative relationships between the disciplines of human knowledge. By synthesising the ideas of the computer science pioneer, Vannevar Bush, and the socio-biologist, E. O. Wilson, we arrive at a vision for a large-scale networked digital library: if this library had enough books, it could be useful in helping to achieve consilience, the fundamental intellectual pursuit of the coming century. The core of the research is investigating the plausibility of this vision.
The first phase of my research involved analysing the features of a range of digital libraries. The aim was to compare current technology with projected technology to see how digital libraries are developing. This has yielded some fascinating results and leads into the second phase of the research.
The second phase involves collecting and analysing user opinion on the current developments of digital libraries as identified from the results of the feature analysis. For this phase, I will be using questionnaires to gather collective user opinion.
I am looking for anyone who would be willing to participate in this project. Participation will consist in a small Internet or e-mail distributed questionnaire sent within the next few weeks.
Please contact me if you would like to be involved, either through this blog, through Twitter, or e-mail on

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