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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS070119)

Use and Recognition of Digital Images of Source Materials by Humanities Researchers: Approaches from Text, Paratext and Context
No.70, p.119-142
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Purpose: This article aims to clarify how humanities researchers recognize the digitization of source materials and use them as academic resources. Various trials for the digitization of source materials have been performed for more than half a century in humanities research, and yet in library and information science, research on using digital images of source materials has only recently begun. Therefore, the recognition of digital images of source materials by humanities researchers has not been clarified. This article discusses the status of these images and the demand for digitization by humanities researchers.

Methods: From July to October 2011, semi-structured interview surveys were conducted on 13 humanities researchers. They covered the use and recognition of source materials and their substitutes, such as facsimiles and digital images, on humanities research. Three main research approaches were used as the analytical framework for assessing the status and use of digital images: text, paratext, and context.

Results: The text and paratext approaches showed that digital images of source materials can be used as an academic resource to varying degrees in humanities research. While several researchers argued that some information could only be obtained from source materials, others argued that there is a mutually complementary relationship between information obtained from digital images and source materials. The demand for digitization by humanities researchers can be classified as follows: digitization that is faithful to source materials, digitization by the collection unit, clarification of conditions, and the policies for digitization and improvement of bibliographic information.

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