Browsing in Digital Libraries
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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