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Design and development of a user-centred digital library system: some basic guidelines

Meyyappan, N. and Chowdhury, G. and Foo, S. (2001) Design and development of a user-centred digital library system: some basic guidelines. In: Digital libraries: dynamic landscape for knowledge creation, Fourth International Conference on Digital Libraries, 2001-12-10 - 2001-12-12.

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Beginning with an introduction and justifications for the need of user-centred digital library development, this paper outlines the architecture, the basic components and functionalities of a Digital Work Environment (DWE) that forms the basis of a user-centred digital library development at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The information resources include full-text articles, online and other forms of databases, collections of theses and dissertations, library OPAC, union catalogues, and so on, that are scattered across the Internet, university's intranet, NTU Library's Gateway to Electronic Media Services (GEMS) and Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) system. The user-centred DWE design aims to provide a systematic access to these resources by organising them using a task-based approach. With this, users are able to browse through a hierarchy of tasks and sub-tasks and identify appropriate resources. In order to support added search and information retrieval variety, DWE also supports browsing of an alphabetical list of all resources, searching of individual information resource attributes of intranet documents, GEMS and OPAC, user-selected Internet search engines, and a combined search of these various options through a single unified query. Based on the experience of a continued research on the design and development of the DWE, a set of generic guidelines for the design of a user-centred digital library system is provided.