Document Models for Navigating Digital Libraries

S. Reich, W. Behrendt, C. Eichinger, M. Schaller
Eich00a (2000)
Kyoto International Conference on Digital Libraries: Research and Practice, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, November 13th-16th, pp. 277-284, ISBN 0-7695-1022-1, IEEE Computer Society Press, 2000.
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Digital libraries allow novel ways of interaction between the users and the resources provided by a (digital) library. Traditional libraries only support a simple pattern of searching the catalogue, retrieving some books, browsing through them, and reading the most relevant ones. We propose a new way of looking at the resources of a library: rather than keeping just the books, digital libraries offer a way of also keeping the history of interactions between the resources and their users. In this paper we introduce the concept of portable, stand-alone and living meta objects which assist users in traversing associations between artefacts. We refer to these objects as AKOs - autonomous knowledge objects. AKOs maintain the complex knowledge structures that already exist between artefacts; they also accept the users's annotations, and assist the users in navigation between the artefacts. AKOs are first-class objects themselves, i.e., they can be created, edited, communicated or even traded like any other artefact in a digital library. This way, the library enhances its knowledge value as it is being used.