Saturday, December 6, 2014

16.Digital Library Services

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं -

16.Digital Library Services

P- 01. Digital Libraries*

By :Jagdish Arora, Paper Coordinator

Multiple Choice Questions

0 / 1 Points

Question 1: Multiple Choice

Candy is open source software used for
  • Wrong Answer Checked RSS feed
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked CMS
  •  Un-checked Chat Service
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked Browsing
1 / 1 Points

Question 2: Multiple Choice

In which Library Service barcode technology is used:
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked Stock verification
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked Library Security
  • Correct Answer Checked Circulation
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked Reference Service
1 / 1 Points

Question 3: Multiple Choice

QuestionPoint reference services provided by
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked LC
  • Correct Answer Checked OCLC
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked JANET
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked INL
0 / 1 Points

Question 4: Multiple Choice

What is the name of SDI services provided by the Academic Press?
  •  Un-checked IDEAL Alert
  • Wrong Answer Checked Content Direct Service
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked Dialog Alert
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked Current Contents
0 / 1 Points

Question 5: Multiple Choice

Which is the one not meta search engine?
  •  Un-checked Blekko
  • Wrong Answer Checked mrsapo
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked iboogie
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked ixquick
1 / 1 Points

Question 6: Multiple Choice

ZOTERO is a –
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked Content Management System
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked Reference Management System
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked Serials Management System
  • Correct Answer Checked Bibliographic Reference Management System
3 / 6 PointsFinal Score:

fill in the Blanks

Unmarked / 1 Points

Question 1: Open Ended

Digital Engineering Library (DEL) provides online access of engineering articles from _____________
Unmarked / 1 Points

Question 2: Open Ended

Library of Congress initiated an “Ask A Librarian” service, in ________
Unmarked / 1 Points

Question 3: Open Ended

RDF (1999) Site Summary, the first version of RSS was created by __________________
Unmarked / 1 Points

Question 4: Open Ended

The abbreviation of CDRS is _____________
Unmarked / 1 Points

Question 5: Open Ended

____________ is the product of Science, which provide access of premium engineering eBooks was hosted on Elsevier’s Engineering Village platform.
0 / 5 PointsFinal Score:

0. Objectives

The objective of this module is to discuss, deliberate and impart knowledge on digital library services that are offered by a digital library with or without human intervention.

1.0 Introduction

Over the last few decades, there have been significant efforts to provide digital libraries services. These efforts, however, largely focused on the building digital collection and technical infrastructure including intuitive interfaces to support search and browsing, networks and telecommunication, computing infrastructure, digital rights management,standards and protocols, metadata schema, etc. that enabled digital libraries to function effectively and efficiently. The digital resources and associated technical infrastructure is only a means to generate services keeping its potential users in mind. Like printed resources are used in traditional libraries to generate services by the library staff, the digital resources are used to generate services using software driven web-based interfaces. 

The library research and development in digital libraries, in the beginning, was focused mainly towards providing search and browsing interface to its collection. However, providing access to its resources is only one of the several services offered by a traditional library to its users. Other services offered by a traditional library to its users include reference services, acquisition, cataloging and classification, circulation of physical documents, document delivery services, inter-library loan, Current Awareness Service (CAS), Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI), bibliographic services and reprography services. Reference services, for example, provide personalized services to a user with human touch. The importance of reference service has increased many-fold with introduction of new information technologies in libraries. Users, who are not well versed with use of web and Internet technology, find it difficult to retrieve information from plethora of resources accessible to them from various digital repositories. Sloan (1998) emphasized that technology and information sources, on its own, cannot make up an effective digital library. Helping users in finding resources, either in physical or electronic environment, is the foremost task of a librarian. 

Web-based digital resources can potentially support a range of traditional and non-traditional library services. Computer programs substitute for the intellectually demanding tasks that are traditionally carried out by skilled professionals. Computer programs through web-based interface, with or without human interventions, perform activities that require considerable mental activities, like reference service, cataloguing and indexing, etc..

While it is recognized that librarians may not be responsible for the design and implementation of digital library infrastructure, they, as managers of digital libraries, are responsible for generating and creating awareness about digital library-based services. Most of the library services generated using digital resources resemble closely to those generated manually with improvements and modifications to suit the requirements of automated services.  However, digital resources have also been used to generate innovative services that did not have a counterpart in manual parlances. 

This module deals with different types of services that are being offered by or using digital libraries. Such services include e-mail alerts, digital reference service, real-time digital reference service, RSS feeds or atom, Web-based reference aggregation,Web-based user education, personalization, electronic document delivery services andAsk-An-Expert.

2. E-mail Alerts

The service, variably called as E-mail Alert, Table of Contents Alert, News Alert, etc., offer the ability to set up an e-mail alerts for the table of contents from a specific journal or group of journals by the end user. A user can subscribe to e-mail alerts to get periodic emails with links to new content automatically that are added to the publisher's web site. The service, offered by most of the digital libraries and databases, can broadly be equated to Current Awareness Services (CAS) offered by traditional libraries.

The first time when a user requests an e-mail alert or table of contents alert, he or she is required to create a personal user profile / user login. A user is prompted to provide details such as name, email address, postal address, field of interest, user name, password, etc. Once these details are filled-in and a login ID and password is assigned to the user, he / she is required to login on to the publisher's web site and then from there he / she can start creating his / her user profile. A user may select journal titles or subject areas that he / she would like to receive regular email alerts for. All e-journal publishers that provide an email alerting services provide some kind of on-line help and /or FAQs.

The publishers offer a variety of email alerts. Major types of e-mail alerts offered by the publishers are given below.

2.1. Types of E-mail Alerts

Different publishers provide different types of e-mail alerts. Types of e-mail alerts offered by different publishers are mentioned below:

  • Table of Contents (ToC) Alerts:Most publishers offer Table of Content (ToC) e-mail alerts. The ToC Alerts are sent to subscribing user as soon as a new issue of a journal is published online.

  • Enhanced Alerts: Enhanced Alerts allow a user to design his / her alerts on selected subject categories or keywords. A user is alerted as soon as article(s) matching his / her criteria are published.

  • New Issue Alerts:A user gets e-mail alerts with link to new issues of chosen journals as soon as it is published.

  • Citation Alerts:A user receives emails when selected article(s) are cited by new article(s). Such alerts include full citation details (title, author, journal, volume, issue, page number) of the citing article.

  • Publication Alerts:A user gets mail when there are new publications in selected subject areas.

  • eBook Series Alerts:A user gets mail when new eBooks in selected series is published.

  • iFirst Alerts: A user gets mail when new iFirst articles (articles that are accepted for publication) are available.

  • Database Alerts:A user gets e-mail alert as and when the selected database is updated with new records.

  • Reference Work Alerts:A user gets mail as and when the selected Reference Works is updated.
  • Search Alerts:A user gets e-mail alert when new content matching his / her saved search expression are added to the publisher’s site.

3.0 Digital Reference Service

The term reference services or sometimes referred to as reference and information services in a traditional library can be defined as personal assistance provided by trained personnel to library users seeking information. The terms digital reference services, web-based reference services, electronic reference services, electronically-mediated reference serviceor “Ask-A-Librarian” are used interchangeably. A digital reference occurs when a question is received electronically and responded to electronically (Bertot, McClure and Ryan, 2000).The technology now allows reference librarians to reach out to the users using the network instead of waiting at the reference desk for users to come by. Besides, imparting instructions on mechanisms of using a library, a reference librarian is also involved in delivering reference service that require deep intellectual understanding of subject. Although automated libraries are not yet sufficiently advanced to offer interactive reference services, electronically-mediated reference services are increasingly available through libraries and information centres.

Digitalreference services are Internet-based question and answer service wherein libraries or a voluntary organization offer reference services to the users typically through e-mail or via web.  It is generally considered as an extension of library’s existing reference service to their users who are not able to visit library in person.The service connects users with individuals who possess specialized subject knowledge and skills in conducting precision searches (Davis, 2000).

Digital reference services are generally operated through a network of experts and intermediaries distributed in different institutions. In case of voluntary organizations offering digital reference services, people who serve as digital reference experts are called volunteers or mentors who are most of the time information specialists, affiliated to various libraries.

Most digital reference services have a web-based question submission form or an e-mail address or both. Users may submit questions by using either form. Once a question is read by a service, it is assigned to an individual expert for answering. An expert responds to the question with factual information and or a list of information resources. The response is either sent to the user's e-mail account or is posted on the web so that the user can access it after a certain period of time. Many services have informative web sites that include archives of questions and answers and a set of FAQs. Users are usually encouraged to browse archives and FAQs before submitting a question in case sufficient information already exists.

The QuestionPoint service (, is a subscription base service that provides libraries with access to a growing collaborative network of reference librarians in the United States and around the world. Library patrons can submit their questions at any time of the day or night through their library's Web site. The questions will be answered online by qualified library staff from the patron's own library or may be forwarded to a participating library around the world. 

4.0 Real time Digital Reference Service: Library Chat Rooms

Many libraries are experimenting with Internet chat technology as an innovativemethod for offering real time digital reference service, using chat software, live interactive communication software, call counter management software, web contact software, interactive customer assistance system, such as LivePerson, AOL Instant Messenger, Conference Room and Google Talk, etc. While digital reference service is asynchronous method of information delivery, the Internet chat providing the benefit of synchronous communication between a user and a reference librarian (or mentor). Interactive reference services facilitate a user to talk to a real, live reference librarian at any time of day or night from anywhere in the world. Unlike with email reference, the librarian can perform a reference interview of a sort by seeking clarifications from the user. The librarian can conduct Internet searches and push websites onto the patron's browser, and can receive immediate feedback from the patron as to whether his or her question has been answered to his satisfaction. Several institutions in US including Cornell University, Internet Public Library, Michigan State University, North Carolina University are offering Internet chat-based service.

LiveRef (sm) ( maintains an online registry of real- time digital reference services.

5.0 Web Feeds: RSS Feeds or Atom

Web feeds are data formats used for providing users with frequently updated content. The two main web feed formats are RSS and Atom. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary and Atom format was developed as an alternative to RSS. The technology, on one hand allows a web site to list the newest published updates (like table of contents of journals, new articles) through a technology called XML; on the other hand, it facilitates a web users to keep track new updates on chosen website(s). Like a personal search assistant, RSS feed readers visit pre- defined web sites, look for updated information and fetch it automatically on to the user's desktop. In order to use RSS Feed, users are required to download RSS feed reader or RSS feed aggregator, which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based and then "subscribe" to the RSS feeds by copying a link from the web site of a digital repository into their feed reader. The reader can then check the subscribed feeds to see if any of those feeds have new content since the last time it was checked and if so, retrieve that content and present it to the user. Both RSS and Atom are supported by most of the feed readers.

Digital libraries of most of the publishers provide RSS Feed for delivering contents of their journals to their users. RSS feeds on web pages are typically represented by a rectangle with theletters XML or RSS. Users generally have a choice to get all the contents of issues of a journal or get contents on a given topic or subject.

6.0 Web-based Reference Aggregations

An aggregated collection of reference works from different publishers put together with a common search and browse interface has the great advantage that the whole collections of material can be searched at once. There are several reference sources from a given publishers or aggregators of publishers that are now available through a single interface for searching and browsing. The Gale Group and H W Wilson were early pioneers in providing web-based reference aggregation. Oxford University Press has recently launched “Oxford Reference Online”.Xrefer (,provides access to 2,887,964 entries from 256 titles from 55 publishers. Referex ( on the other hand, is a collection of 156 handbooks in engineering available from the EI village platform. Similarly, McGraw Hill's Digital Engineering Library (DEL) provides online access to a selection of more than 4,000 engineering articles from McGraw-Hill's 150+ reference classics.

7.0 Web-based User Education

The WWW provides a dynamic environment for distributing information over a large network and web-based instructions is a suitable tool to do so. Web-based guides and teaching tools can be easily updated, accessed, and printed on demand. They may include colour graphics, and screenshots. The web-based user education provides a high degree of interactivity and flexibility to the users offering them the benefit of self-pace, graduated to teach from basic to highly advanced levels and designed in a wide range of formats that accommodate diverse learning styles. Moreover, the web technology provides for incorporating both synchronous and asynchronous interactivity in the web-based user education.The proliferation of digital resources will generate greater demands on reference and instructional services. With availability of digital resources that can be used any where at any time, requirement for instructional and reference services would also grow. Failure to develop both the technological aspects and required service components would lead to under utilization of digital resources. The library web sites can use web-based user education for imparting training to users in the following area:

i)     Basic library skills along with glossary of library terms;
ii)    Using Library OPAC / webPAC, locating books, magazines and other library materials;
iii)   Instructions on subject searching training, using Boolean operators and searching Internet resources through search engines.
iv)   Instructions for searching CD ROM and web-based databases and other electronic resources.

8.0 Personalization: Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) in Digital Library

The personalization in digital library facilitates filtering of information with an aim to provide personalized and enriched experience to user.  It plays an important role in tapering the information gap between huge amount of information available in a digital library and task-specific tailored information for individuals and communities.

Personalization is defined, as “the ways in which information and services can be tailored to match the unique and specific needs of an individual or a community”. This goal is achieved by adapting presentation, content, and/or services based on a person’s task, background, history, device, information needs, location, etc., essentially the user’s context (Callen, et al, 2003).

User-centric models of personalization that are being used to support portals and personalization include: recommender system, collaborative filtering, roles-based personalization and middleware to support portals and personalization.

Recommender systems(RS) are a type of implementation of personalization that are designed to learn about an individual’srequirements and then proactively identify and recommend information that meets those requirements. Amazon, for example, has implemented a recommender system for their clients that suggest books that he / she may purchase based on books that are purchased by other clients with same or similar subject interest.

Collaborative filtering (CF) is a method of making automatic predictions (filtering) about the interests of a user by collecting preferences or taste information from many users (collaborating). The underlying assumption of the collaborative filtering approach is that if a person A has the same opinion as a person B on an issue, A is more likely to have B's opinion on a different issue x than to have the opinion on x of a person chosen randomly. For example, a collaborative filtering recommendation system for television tastes could make predictions about which television show a user should like given a partial list of that user's tastes (likes or dislikes).(Wikipedia, 2014).

Middlewareare computer programs that connectssoftware components or applications on clients and servers.Middleware ensure that the client and server can communicate with each other irrespective of different hardware and software involved. This is made possible by use of standardized sequence of messeges called protocols. The Application Programming Interface (API) is the middleware component that facilitates the transferring of messeges between clients and server based on protocol. Middleware can be used effectively by libraries to interface and integrate between monolithic digital library, institutional repositories, internal resources, open access resources, etc. to deliver personalized information to its users. A middleware integrator is a thin-layer database that enables the library to describe content once and to act as an interface within the library portal or to be selected by users as part of their Personalized Information Environment (PIE) (Deegan, 2002). Extent of interoperability and availability of appropriate descriptive metadata are limiting factors in effective implementation of middleware integrators.

Role-based personalization involves categorization and classification of users into different groups of interest based on their i) user profile and ii) role in the application domain. However, role-based personalization is insufficient to reflect users actual requirements using advanced user profile techniques. As such, it requires additional inputs from the users, their information seeking-bahariour and history and situation-based adaptation in context of information retrieval and access. It should, however, be noted that personalized information retrieval and access should be a process of adaptation, where applications providing personalized information based on dynamically and automatically detecting an information seeker’s behaviour and situation. 

Two elements that determine functionalities of the desired personalization system are i) User’s profile, including navigational history and user preferences; and ii) information collected from the navigational behavior of the digital library users. User profile should include all the information relevant to user including personal information, which can be publicly made available by each user in order to facilitate the discovery of similar interests; and navigational history and behavior records, which will be used with the personal information by the personalization system to build the set of recommendations that will help each user in browsing and searching the digital library. (Ferran, 2005)

Most publishers of full-text e-resources and bibliographic databases offer the personalization features including ability to customize delivery of  setup an email alerts for the table of contents from a specific journal or group of journals. Different terminologies such as Personal Profile, My Profile, User Profile, My Settings, etc. are used by various digital resources. Science Direct, for example uses "My Setting". A user is generally required to create a personal profile or personal login where he /she may specify journal(s), subject area, frequency of email alerts, etc.

9.0 Electronic Document Delivery Services

Abstracting and indexing services have proved themselves as most effective means of finding recent and retrospective published research work. The effectiveness of these secondary services are further enhanced with availability of these secondary services on CD ROM with efficient search interfaces and other features that are possible only in electronic media.

Once a researcher gets bibliographic references relevant to his research work, the more arduous task of locating the full-text of research article begins. While the parent library may cater only to 10 - 20 % of his references, remaining articles may have to be arranged through Inter Library Loan (ILL)or through Document Delivery Services (DDS) which can be very time consuming. Most Library use commercial (Informatics India) and non-commercial (BLLD,NISCAIR and DELNET) document delivery services to ensure quick and efficient access to primary information for the library users. Most online search services like DIALOG, ESA /IRS and STN have been offering manual document supply services since their inception. The process is labor-intensive and time consuming.

The term "electronic document delivery systems" implies delivery of electronic version of a document that might involve reproduction of an electronic copy of a document if it is not already available in electronic format. The libraries had been using fax machines for immediate delivering photocopies of articles via telephone lines. The first use of electronic document delivery was based on scanning technology. With maturity of scanning equipment and technology, document supply services started scanning the documents as bitmap page images. Applications are built in such a way so as to automatically produce a hard copy together with a header page containing the address of the applicant which can again be sending by snail mail or facsimile. A software package known as "Ariel" is used in several libraries in developed countries for delivery of scanned articles via the Internet. The Ariel software is loaded on an Internet-enabled computer can receive and send electronic information to other libraries which have installed Ariel. The ADONIS system developed in late 1980s is a document delivery system based on bit-mapped page images.

Availability of most of the peer reviewed research journals in electronic format, inexpensive technology to scan articles and improved electronic delivery mechanisms are some of the enabling factors that have contributed to well-established electronic document delivery system now available commercially. Most of the secondary services that were available on CD ROM or through online search services are now available on the Internet where the journals are linked to the publisher's site. The technology has now been perfected and there are several electronic document delivery services that allow a user to download an article in full-text from their site or deliver them electronically as attachment to e-mails. Most electronic publishers and aggregators like Elsevier, Springer, Wiley, Taylor and Francis, EBSCO, etc. are offering full-text of articles at a cost ranging fromUS $ 30 -45 through their web sites. Different vendors have various payment options; some charge each time the journal is used, whereas others provide access for a set annual fee. A user who wishes to have the item delivered can enter a credit card number and specify a delivery method (postal, UPS, fax, e mail, etc.) and indicate whether it is a rush item (with a rush order fee attached.)

Some of the publisher’s based Electronic Document Delivery Services include:

CAS Full-text
Wiley InterScience

10. Ask-An-Expert

"Ask-An-Expert" is a service offered by several digital libraries and databases. It is an Internet-based question and answer service that connects users with experts who possess specialized subject knowledge and skill in a given domain. Digital libraries and database provides this service as platform to connect users with experts who can answer specific question and instruct users on developing certain skills. This service is often restricted to a given user community and subscribers of a database or full-text resource.

A number of fee or fee-based question answering and other reference and information services are now available through the Web and severasl of them are being offered by non-library organization. The some of the web-based reference services are mentioned here:

i)     Askjeeves (
ii)     Infoplease (
iii)     Internet Public Library (IPL) (
iv)     AllExperts (
v)     Xrefer (
vi)     Ask-a-librarian (
vii)     AskDr.Internet (

Yahoo Directory-Ask-an-Expert (

11. Summary

This module deals with different types of services that are being offered by or using digital libraries. Such services include e-mail alerts, digital reference service, real-time digital reference service, RSS feeds or atom,Web-based reference aggregation,Web-based user education, personalization, electronic document delivery services andAsk-An-Expert.


Bertot, J. C., McClure, C. R. and Ryan, J. (2001). Statistics and performance measures for public library networked services. Chicago: American Library Association.

Callen, J et al (2003). Personalisation and recommender systems in digital libraries: Joint NSF-EU DELOS Working Group Report, 2003. (

Davis, G. Digital reference services: An overview. (

Deegan, Marylyn and Tanner, Simon (2002). Digital futures: Strategies for the information age. London, Library Association Publishing, p. 175.

Ferran, Nuria, Mor, Enric and Minguillon, Julia (2005). Towards personalization in digital libraries through ontologies. Library management, 26(4/5), 206-217.

Sloan, B.G. Service perspectives for the digital library remote reference services. Library Trends, 47(1), 117-143, 1998.

Wikipedia (2014). Collaborative filtering. (

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