Semaine du document numérique

et de la recherche d'information

18-20 mars 2010, Sousse, Tunisie

Conférenciers invités : Maristella Agosti


Maristella Agosti is full professor in computer science, with a main focus on databases, digital libraries and information retrieval, at the Faculty of Humanities and at the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Padua, Italy. Her research Interests are in digital library systems, digital library architectures, information retrieval, search engines, analysis of log data in digital libraries and search engines, annotation of digital contents, design and development of advanced services for archives and digital libraries. She is one of the founding members and the coordinator of the Information Management Systems research group of the department. She coordinates a number of national and international research projects, and she has been the organizer of national and international conferences. She is member of the Editorial Board of Information Processing & Management (Pergamon Press) and of the International Journal on Digital Libraries (Springer-Verlag).


Digital Annotations and Digital Libraries


Digital Libraries have moved from being monolithic systems to become component and service-based systems, where easily configurable and deployable services can be plugged together and re-used in order to create a Digital Library. Moreover, Digital Libraries started to be seen as increasingly user-centred systems, where the original content management task is partnered with new communication and cooperation tasks, so that Digital Libraries become a common vehicle by which everyone will access, discuss, evaluate, and enhance information of all forms.

In this evolving scenario, the design and development of effective services which foster the cooperation among users and the integration of heterogeneous information resources becomes a key factor. A relevant example of this kind of new services are annotations, i.e. providing users or groups of users with the possibility of adding personal annotations on the managed information resources, even crossing the boundaries of the single Digital Library.

Throughout our history, annotations have been often used as asynchronous communication tools and as a vehicle for knowledge creation and sharing. Nowadays, in the digital context, annotations come to us as a powerful tool to involve users in approaching Digital Libraries, to promote the communication and cooperation among users, and to allow us to enhance, enrich, and curate existing content by exploiting user-added information.

Digital annotations allow users to naturally merge and link personal contents with the information resources provided by a Digital Library and to create new relationships among existing contents, by means of links that connect annotations together and with existing content. Moreover, annotations and annotated resources constitute a hypertext that can span and cross the boundaries of the single Digital Library and connect information resources that belong and are managed by different Digital Libraries. In this way, not only annotations foster cooperation among users but they also make Digital Libraries that otherwise would have been separated cooperate together. Therefore, digital annotations have the potential for contributing to shaping the vision for the next generation Digital Libraries.

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