Mapping digital library research is very helpful for digital library research and education communities to have a knowledge platform to guide, evaluate, and improve the activities of digital library research, education and transforming it into a digital library ontology for various applications. However, so far, there has not been any research on mapping digital library research for serving such purposes.
The thesis was aimed to build a knowledge map of the digital library domain for analysing the past of digital library research (1990-2010) and predicting the future of the digital library research. Also, based on the knowledge map, a digital library ontology and a visual knowledge map were created.
The study was conducted in three following phases:
Firstly, in the Phase 1, the core topics and subtopics of digital library research were identified and organized in order to build a knowledge map of the digital library domain. The methodology comprised a four - step research process and two knowledge organization methods (classification and thesaurus building). A knowledge map covering 21 core topics and 1015 subtopics of digital library research was created, providing a systematic overview of digital library research of the last two decades (1990-2010).
Secondly, in the Phase 2, using the 21 core topics and 1015 subtopics of digital library research from the knowledge map, bibliometric method and regression analysis, R-Square (R²) techniques were used to analyse the past of digital library research (1990-2010) and predict the future of digital library research.
Thirdly, in the Phase 3, based on the digital library knowledge map, the Protégé ontology software was used for creating the main components of the digital library ontology, viz. individuals, properties and classes, etc. for building the basic digital library ontology that can be visually seen as a knowledge map of digital library research.
The research added value in the following areas:
Firstly, the digital library knowledge map can be used as a knowledge platform to guide, evaluate and improve the activities of digital library research (digital library research management), education (digital library curriculum development) and practices (digital library project management and development). Also, the research methodology can be used to map any human knowledge domain because it is a scientific method for producing comprehensive and systematic knowledge maps based on literary warrant.
Secondly, this research will help digital library researchers, educators, and practitioners to measure and foresee the digital library research outputs for planning and managing the digital library research, education and development effectively.
Thirdly, the digital library ontology can be applied to a number of areas within the digital library domain, for example as software agents and Semantic Web development; knowledge management, i.e. knowledge sharing and reuse, knowledge collaboration, knowledge interoperation, digital library research and education, etc.
The knowledge map and the ontology can be expanded in future by using other databases and open access publications in digital libraries.