Enhancing Scientific Practice and Education through Collaborative Digital Libraries.
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The need for accurate and current scientific information in the fast paced Internet-aware world has prompted the scientific community to develop tools that reduce the scientist's time and effort to make digital information available to all interested parties. The availability of such tools has made the Internet a vast digital repository of information. But the ad hoc nature in which information is gathered and organized on the Web, makes access to such information a time consuming and sometimes frustrating affair. Digital library systems have the potential for solving problems in maintaining high quality scientific content delivered via the Web by providing tools for scientists to collect, verify, organize, manage, and update their collections. This paper describes an environment that reduces the effort and time required by scientists to share their data with other collaborators in an automated and asynchronous manner, thereby allowing them to focus mostly on their own scientific practice. The data is maintained as a collaborative collection in a digital library that can also be used as an educational resource. (Contains 22 references and 3 figures.) (Author)