Historical Social Research

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Hans-Christoph Hobohm, Can Digital Libraries Generate Knowledge? [Abstract]

This paper argues that the information processing paradigm which is still fundamental to digital library engineering is not adequate for the way in which information and informational objects – as stored in Digital Library systems – should be treated. The recent move within information science towards emancipation from the Shannon/Weaver information theory concept provides some indications of how Digital Libraries could be conceptualised in a way that has not yet been implemented in standardised formal frameworks such as the DELOS or the 5S-Framework. A deeper understanding of information processes beyond the concepts and usage of such systems could help to make better use of the enormous potential and resources in the field of Digital Library engineering. Resulting effects could be the way in which knowledge transfer and acquisition processes are supported by adequate interfaces and, subsequently, by new ways of embedding collections in communities of information practice, such as research teams or learning groups.