Digital art in digital libraries: a study of user-oriented information retrieval

Konstantelos, Leonidas (2009) Digital art in digital libraries: a study of user-oriented information retrieval. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
Printed Thesis Information:


This thesis presents an empirical investigation of the problems of including pictorial digital art in the context of Digital Libraries (DLs). The rational for this work is that digital art material is a significant source of learning and research, provided that it is systematically collected and maintained in structured electronic repositories. The thesis addresses a fundamental question: How to provide description and retrieval services, which are based on the needs of digital art user communities? This raises three research issues. One is the need to combine DL collections into meaningful and functional content. The second is the importance of a user-oriented approach to designing and developing Digital Libraries. The third is the requirement for continuing access to digital art as a record of modern culture.

These questions are explored through a needs assessment targeted to Arts & Humanities scholars, digital artists and representatives of the DL community. A data collection methodology is developed, based on the principles of Social Informatics and a case study of evaluation efforts in extant projects. The results from this process demonstrate that the scholarly value of digital art can be established by aggregating material from various repositories into a unified dataset. The results also identify specific documentation and retrieval issues deriving from inclusion of digital art in a DL environment that necessitate further investigation. To this end, a review of sixteen digital art online resources is conducted which reveals ad-hoc collection strategies and metadata deficiencies. The work presents a prototype Digital Library for enhancing the educational outcome of digital art. The application is used as an implementation platform for material aggregation and augmented documentation through the Media Art Notation System (MANS). The summative evaluation findings confirm that the suggested solutions are highly rated by the targeted audiences.

The thesis makes a contribution to academic knowledge in situating the representation of digital art within modern society. By critically examining the unique requirements of this material using the resources of social theory, the thesis represents a contemporary and pragmatic perspective on digital media art. In a well-structured Digital Library, the scholarly potential of digital art is much greater than the currently employed ad-hoc context. This work offers a sustained reflection and a roadmap for selecting and consistently applying a strategy that aims to continually improve the quality of digital art provision.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: digital art, digital libraries, evaluation, case studies, information retrieval, metadata, documentation, social surveys, user studies, needs assessment
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Information Studies
Supervisor's Name: Ross, Prof. Seamus and Anderson, Dr. Ian G.
Date of Award: 2009
Depositing User: Mr Leonidas Konstantelos
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-1333
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2009
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 10:38

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