EffectiveFactorsonIntegratingtheDigitalLibrariesinIranianUniversitiesofMedical Sciences: A Conceptual Model
Introduction: The goal of integration of digital libraries (DL) is to utilize various autonomous DLs in concert to provide knowledge from such island-DLs. Integrated digital libraries (IDLs) appeared after the emergence of DLs in 1990s, invention of integrated information systems from 2000 and consolidation of them during the recent decade. The Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MHME) of Iran has emphasized the integration of health services throughout the country which unavoidably requires the integration of digital libraries in Iranian universities of medical sciences. The main purpose of this investigation was to identify effective factors on such integration.
Method: The present research was conducted through analytical-descriptive approach. The related data were gathered from literature, assessed by the Delphi Panel members and analyzed by Fuzzy TOPSIS technique (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Situation). The research population (Delphi Panel) consisted of 15 specialists in digital library areas. The snowball method was used to determine the research statistical sampling. The data were gathered through a five-point Likert scale self-made questionnaire after its reliability and validity were evaluated.
Results: Study of related published studies in literature revealed that DLs, Integrated Information systems and IDL were three systematic related phenomena, which emerged and developed in a definite and unavoidable order. The findings showed that 34 affecting factors could be considered which influence the integration process of digital libraries in Iran Universities of Medical Sciences. The affecting factors could be classified into five main groups of strategic, technical, digital, organizational and human factors, according to their proximity and importance.
Conclusion: IDLs are the outcome of merging the experiences of DLs and integrated information systems, which have led to efficient and remarkable informatics systems. According to the findings of the present work five main factors consisting of strategic, technical, digital, organizational and human ones affect the integration process of DLs in Iranian medical science universities.
Keywords: Integrated digital library, Information systems, Medical universities, Effective factors, Conceptual model, Iran
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