Use of a digital work environment (DWE) prototype to create a user-centred university digital library

Meyyappan, N. and Chowdhury, G. and Foo, S. (2001) Use of a digital work environment (DWE) prototype to create a user-centred university digital library. Journal of Information Science, 27 (4). pp. 249-264. ISSN 0165-5515 (

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An architecture of a prototype digital work environment (DWE), designed to lead users of an academic community to the required information resources based on their tasks, is proposed. The important aspects of the DWE include the identification of information resources available in the academic environment, the various categories of users and the tasks associated with each category of users. Digital information resources include full-text articles, databases, theses and dissertations, e-journals, e-books, multimedia databases, etc. Other information resources, e.g. university course calendars, university statutes, course registration information, thesis and dissertation guidelines, style guides, etc, are also needed by users of an academic community. As these information resources are spread across different servers and in different home pages, academic users find it difficult to obtain the needed information for their work in a desired format at the right time. A prototype DWE has been designed using the School of Computer Engineering at Nanyang Technological University as an example of such an environment. The DWE provides links to various information resources according to users' needs, as well as a personal workspace to record/store the user's publications, frequently used or favourite hyperlinks and references or notes. Various stages of the prototype design and development are described and future work on DWE are highlighted.