International Journal on Digital Libraries

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 169–207

Interaction and the epistemic potential of digital libraries


DOI: 10.1007/s00799-011-0066-8

Cite this article as:
Fast, K.V. & Sedig, K. Int J Digit Libr (2010) 11: 169. doi:10.1007/s00799-011-0066-8


This article presents a framework of micro-level interactions with visual representations of information in digital libraries. The framework is comprised of three basic interactions—conversing, manipulating, and navigating—and 13 task-based interactions: animating, annotating, chunking, cloning, collecting, composing, cutting, filtering, fragmenting, probing, rearranging, repicturing, and searching. In a typical digital library, the purpose of interaction is to locate and access relevant information. In this framework, the purpose of interaction is to help people create knowledge, develop understanding, solve problems, and acquire insight from the resources in a collection. In other words, interaction can have epistemic benefits and, consequently, it can be used to leverage the epistemic potential of digital libraries.


InteractionEpistemic actionInformation visualizationKnowledge environmentDigital library



INteractive Visual ENvironmenTs


Visual representation of information

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information Architecture and Knowledge ManagementKent State UniversityKentUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science & Faculty of Information and Media StudiesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada