The technologies of digital libraries will dominate the Net of the 21st century. There will be a billion repositories distributed over the world, where each small community maintains a
collection of its own knowledge. Semantic indexes will be available for each repository, using scalable semantics to generate search and navigation aids for the specialized terminology of each community. Concept
switching across semantic indexes will enable members of one community to easily search the specialized terminology of another (Chen et al., 1997).
The Internet will have transformed into the Interspace,
where users navigate abstract spaces to perform correlations across sources. Information analysis will become a routine operation in the Net, performed on a daily basis worldwide. Such functionality will first be used
by specialty professionals and then by ordinary people, just as occurred with text search on the Internet. Information infrastructure will become the essential part of the structure of everyday life, and digital
libraries will become the essential part of the information infrastructure in the 21st century.
This special issue consists of 7 papers that report research in digital library technologies and social
impact studies. We hope this collection of research papers will help advance our knowledge and understanding of this fascinating and evolving field of digital libraries.
Visualizing Document Classification: A Search Aid for the Digital Library
YewHuey Lieu, Paul Dantzig, Martin Sachs, James T. Corey, Mark T. Hinnebusch, Marc Damashek, and Jonathan Cohen
Sachs, Corey, Hinnebusch, Damashek, and Cohen, describe the design of a languageindependent document classification system being developed to help users of the Florida Center for Library Automation.
Digital Library Resources as a Basis for Collaborative Work
Wilensky presents a document model called multivalent documents, which provides a means to support spontaneous
collaboration. An implementation of the model in this Berkeley DLI project allows users to develop behaviors that support different but common digital library types and annotation capabilities.
Alexandria Digital Library: User Evaluation Studies and System Design
Linda L. Hill, Larry Carver, Mary Larsgaard, Ron Dolin, Terence R. Smith, James Frew, and MaryAnna Rae
Hill, Carver, Larsgaard,
Dolin, Smith, Frew, and Rae, describe the evolution of the Alexandria Digital Library system and the effect of user evaluation on that evolution.
Guided Paths through WebBased Collections: Design,
Experiences and Adaptations
Frank M. Shipman III, Richard Furuta, Donald Brenner, Chung ChiChung, and Haowei Hsieh
Shipman, Furuta, Brenner, Chung, and Hseih of Texas A&M, present Walden's Paths,
which is designed to enable authors to collect, organize, and annotate information from online collections for presentation to their readers.
NCSTRL: Design and Deployment of a Globally Distributed Digital Library
James R. Davis and Carl Lagoze
Davis and Lagoze report a major DARPAfunded project that developed a digital library
architecture that makes it possible to create managed information spaces within the Web.
CrossLanguage Information Access to Multilingual Collections on the Internet
GuoWei Bian and HsinHsi Chen
Bian and Chen report query translation and document translation in a ChineseEnglish information retrieval system called MTIR.
A UserCentered Interface for Information Exploration in a
Heterogeneous Digital Library
Michelle Q. Wang Baldonado
Baldonado presents SenseMaker, which unifies citations and articles from heterogeneous sources by presenting them in a common schema.