Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Browsing in Digital Libraries

  • Rao ShenEmail author
  • Edward A. Fox
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_40


Exploring; Looking over/through; Surfing


Informally, browsing is a process that involves looking through a collection of information. Thus, in a traditional library, one may wander about the stacks, glancing at titles of works in regions where one expects to find interesting material. In the broadest sense, browsing is considered as one type of exploration, typically less directed or purposeful than searching, in that the goal or result is not always precisely known in advance. In the World Wide Web, this is very common, making use of “browsers” like Firefox or Internet Explorer. Sometimes the colorful term “surfing” is used when it seems appropriate to emphasize the excitement that some feel when exploring new Web content or the thrill of getting closer to some desirable result. Yet, the WWW is but one example of a hypertext (or, if multiple media types are considered, hypermedia) environment. Accordingly, in a digital library, which many believe must include a...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Baeza-Yates R, Ribeiro-Neto B. Modern information retrieval. Reading: Addison-Wesley; 1999.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fox EA, Urs SR. Digital libraries, chap. 12. In: Cronin B, editor. Annual review of information science and technology, vol. 36. Medford: Information Today, Inc.; 2002. p. 503–89.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fox EA, Rous B, Marchionini G. ACM’s hypertext and hypermedia publishing projects. In: Berk E, Devlin J, editors. Hypertext/hypermedia handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1991. p. 465–7.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Goncalves M, Fox EA, Watson L, Kipp N. Streams, structures, spaces, scenarios, societies (5S): a formal model for digital libraries. ACM Trans Inf Syst. 2004;22(2):270–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Shen R., Vemuri N., Fan W., Torres R., and Fox E.A. Exploring digital libraries: integrating browsing, searching, and visualization. In: Proceedings 6th ACM/IEEE-CS joint Conference on Digital Libraries. 2006, p. 1–10.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yahoo!SunnyvaleUSA
  2. 2.Virginia TechBlacksburgUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Amr El Abbadi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceUC Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA