Digital libraries, documents and mediations

This second path of research is structured around the evolution of libraries, archives and documentation services brought about by onlining documents and digital collections. Several dimensions are envisaged:

  • that of the hybridisation of professional practices, when digital republication permits walkthroughs of collections, like the virtual museum tours proposed by libraries and archives that incorporate both spatial and temporal dimensions;
  • that of access to information and new forms of disseminating knowledge in an era when the new tools available to professionals and the general public allow them to become co-authors in their construction;
  • that of designated uses compared to real uses; that of practices in teaching and in research;
  • that of the socioeconomic models of publishers, libraries and cultural institutions.

The researchers involved have already forged strong links with different institutions, notably with municipal and university libraries, with producers of scientific and technical information (INIST, open archives), with CCSD, with commercial publishers (Elsevier) and with professional organisations working in the domain. The object brought to the fore and studied in the specific framework of Lyon is the digital library. An analysis of different current perceptions should lead us to studying the continuities and discontinuities involved in the changeover from a library to a digital library. Attention will be given to all the sectors covered by libraries, i.e. science, general reading, specialised reading, by basing the works on the team’s expertise in automated content analysis, knowledge organisation analysis and analysis of document classification (knowledge perception analysis).

In the latter path, the researchers implement competences in infometrics underlying ELICO’s expertise in the use of scientometric and bibliometric techniques. Three examples are given below:

  • The analysis of the dissemination from 1992 to 2004 of a corpus of pharmacology journals from the INIST, by taking into account three factors: lending, popularity (measured by the number of citations), typology of clients (private and public laboratories, etc.). Cf. Interlending & Document supply.
  • A comparative analysis of the scientometric indicator h-index and the well-known impact factor for the 50 most popular journals of the ISI in pharmacology and in psychiatry. (Cf. Scientometric).
  • Lastly, a theoretical work on the historic laws of information and communication sciences (Lotka/Bradford /Shannon/ Zipf) that merges notions of infometrics (law of cumulative advantages, dispersion and obsolescence of scientific literature) and intellect technologies involving writing (a work is due for publication at the end of 2011).