Creating Smart and Accessible Ubiquitous Knowledge Environments

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Abstract

Digital libraries offer substantial volumes of declarative knowledge to the information society. This paper explores the extent to which current and future digital libraries, also known as ubiquitous knowledge environments, can be made sufficiently usable, accessible and smart to support an inclusive information society and the aspiration of universal access. Using a range of converging methods to evaluate a random sample of such digital library websites, it is concluded that, whilst they act as substantial and functional repositories for knowledge, there is potential to improve, particularly in accessibility and smartness. The current methods are validated through the substantial statistical significance levels and by the meaningful patterns found in the resulting data. A new measure of system smartness is introduced and found to provide a useful metric for present purposes, though it is clear that further work will be needed.