Virtual library

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Virtual libraries are a special form of web portals for information searches. Unlike online libraries , they do not keep the digital media they present themselves available; Rather, these are owned and controlled by the respective providers on their web servers.

Types of play and way of working

As a special library defined by the type of document considered , they use the library management methods developed in library science and practiced in "real" libraries , insofar as they are applicable to a collection of Internet publications. The virtual library is a subject of library science.

The added value created by the virtual library consists in the qualitative selection, the formal and content-related indexing of the listed Internet publications. In practice, there are numerous forms of internet portals created by librarians, which mostly only use part of the library's cataloging resources, so that the transition between a link collection and a virtual library is fluid.

In terms of their size, there are large differences between virtual libraries, depending on the degree of intellectual access and staffing levels. Naturally, it is not possible to establish the completeness of the intellectual Internet indexing and can at best be aimed for in the case of special collections - as far as possible. The virtual library cannot and does not want to replace search engines , but complement them. If the virtual library itself is recorded by search engines, it makes a contribution to improving the research results that can be achieved using search engines.

Virtual libraries are maintained cooperatively or by individual libraries or individuals. They can be characterized in more detail by the subject area covered, the document types involved, the internationality or the language area and the target group.

Important types of Internet publications presented by virtual libraries include

"Link collection" is the characteristic that distinguishes virtual libraries from digital libraries .

The virtual libraries can be divided into two types: On the one hand, there are virtual libraries that “solely” consist of a collection of links to electronic information on the Internet categorized according to subject areas.

Examples of this type of virtual library are the Düsseldorf virtual library and the virtual general library . The Schopfheim hypervirtual library was a virtual library of virtual libraries.

The second type of virtual library also offers a research unit for finding electronic and paper-based specialist texts, often also an open access repository with research access . An example of this is the virtual library for biology vifabio . The vascoda portal bundled these research units of virtual specialist libraries in a meta search engine. This service was discontinued in 2011 .

What the virtual and digital libraries have in common is that the location of electronically available scientific or quality-checked information of general interest is of great importance.

Direct access to full texts

Many trade journals offer abstracts or complete journal articles free of charge or on the basis of micropayment . A large number of articles can be accessed via the portals of the university libraries (for the respective customers).

It is now common for dissertations to be submitted in electronic form so that they can be made available on the Internet.

Among other things, Project Gutenberg makes digitized literature available online that has become public domain .

Latin texts are available from The Latin Library .

Research and ordering

There are catalog databases for literature information, the data of which can be queried via retrieval systems.

With regard to monographs , the Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog is the main option for global research using a meta search engine.

Important databases for journal articles in Germany are JADE and MEDLINE . The ordering options for digitized articles via JASON and subito are linked to JADE ; direct orders are possible with MEDLINE. The articles are sent here as scans by email.

See also


  • Heidrun Wiesenmüller: The concept of the “virtual library” in the German library system of the 1990s . Greven, Cologne 2000. ISBN 3-7743-0580-3
  • Gisela Minn: Conference Report Virtual Research Platforms in the Humanities - Requirements, Problems, Approaches to Solutions ; 21-22 October 2009, Trier. In: H-Soz-u-Kult , March 13, 2010 ( online ).

Web links

Commons : Virtual Libraries  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Website of the vifabio (Virtual Library of Biology).