Digital library research: major issues and trends

G.G. Chowdhury, S. Chowdhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Digital library research has attracted much attention in the most developed, and in a number of developing, countries. While many digital library research projects are funded by government agencies and national and international bodies, some are run by specific academic and research institutions and libraries, either individually or collaboratively. While some digital library projects, such as the ELINOR project in the UK, the first two phases of the eLib (Electronic Libraries) Programme in the UK, and the first phase of DLI (Digital Library Initiative) in the US, are now over, a number of other projects are currently under way in different parts of the world. Beginning with the definitions and characteristics of digital libraries, as proposed by various researchers, this paper provides brief accounts of some major digital library projects that are currently in progress, or are just completed, in different parts of the world. There follows a review of digital library research under sixteen major headings. Literature for this review has been identified through a search on LISA CD-ROM database, and a Dialog search on library and information science databases, and the resulting output has been supplemented by a scan of the various issues of D-Lib Magazine and Ariadne, and the websites of various organisations and institutions engaged in digital library research. The review indicates that we have learned a lot through digital library research within a short span of time. However, a number of issues are yet to be resolved. The paper ends with an indication of the research issues that need to be addressed and resolved in the near future in order to bring the digital library from the researcher‘s laboratory to the real life environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-448
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1999


  • library services
  • literature
  • research measurement


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