Nevill-Manning, C. G., Witten, I.H. & Paynter, G.W. (1997). Browsing in digital libraries: a phrase-based approach. (Working paper 97/04). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Department of Computer Science.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/1067
A key question for digital libraries is this: how should one go about becoming familiar with a digital collection, as opposed to a physical one? Digital collections generally present an appearance which is extremely opaque-a screen, typically a Web page, with no indication of what, or how much, lies beyond: whether a carefully-selected collection or a morass of worthless ephemera; whether half a dozen documents or many millions. At least physical collections occupy physical space, present a physical appearance, and exhibit tangible physical organization. When standing on the threshold of a large library one gains a sense of presence and permanence that reflects the care taken in building and maintaining the collection inside. No-one could confuse it with a dung-heap! Yet in the digital world the difference is not so palpable.
- 1997 Working Papers