Supportive Services for Digital Scholarly Editors in the National Library: A Marriage of Necessity or the Necessity of a Marriage?


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Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

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Joint Master Degree in Digital Library Learning (DILL)


Due to the constantly evolving nature of digital scholarly editions, this user group has some unmet needs. A supportive service in a national library can help meet these needs since they are service-centered institution whose mandate includes national textual heritage and they should have staff with the required competences. The research aim of this thesis is to achieve a collaboration between the two institutions that will support scholarship in its present processes and safeguard editions for ongoing sustainability and developmant. To achieve this it determines the answer to three objectives concerning the current state of the edition in each institution, their needs (especially those which are unmet) and the facilities and competences necessary to meet the needs. The investigation is an interprevist, instrumental case study which uses interviews as a collection technique since the topic is subjective and institutionally context bound, there is a need to have a rich and detailed result going deeply into the phenomenon and a spontaneaous account concerning the possible alliance from each of the interviewees. The sample consists of members of an independent scholarly institute, a national library and a university library all of which fit together to form one case study the parts of which build one upon the other. In order to acheive this the case study is analyzed using a critical ethnographic framework. Normally a research method it is used here as an analysis tool since it looks for a practical outcome rather than a simple theory and and an «the ought» rather than an «is» tool is necessary to bridge the gap. The analysis was applied to the case study yielded an answer to the aim and objectives since it showed how a library could meet the needs and success factors of scholars pointing to certain necessary competences. If the library was not able to meet those needs, the critical ethnographic analytic framework made recommendation of how best to achieve the aim and objectives The findings showed that while there is still a gap between the needs of digital scholarly editors and services in the national library, given the right conditions, collaboration is possible especially using virtual research environments with all the tools for editing and storing their matierial with the support of digital curators.


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