Digital Libraries (DLs) were envisioned as network-accessible repositories in 1990s. Now, DLs extend the classical brick-and-mortar library concept, bring value to society, and transform the information landscape by improving and changing the means of knowledge access, creation, use, and discovery across disciplines regardless of temporal and geographical barriers (Larsen & Watctlar, 2003; Reddy & Wladawsky-Berger, 2001). The speed of technological advances in information technologies (IT) in the last ten years has enabled DLs to provide innovative resources and services to people.
DL research and development are very vibrant, international, and broad in scope since the field requires contributions from many diverse (Arms, 2000). Availability of research funding for DLs in the 1990s attracted attention from various disciplines not only library and information science and computer science but also sociology, political science, and others (Borgman, 1999). This attention led not only to the development of interdisciplinary and international research but also to the integration of results from diverse array of fields. Arms (2000) argues that majority of the challenges researchers and practitioners face in DL development are influenced by social, economic, and legal factors rather than by technical factors.
Academic institutions and their libraries pioneered a number of successful DL software/platform development efforts such as Fedora by the University of Virginia Library and Cornell University, Greenstone by the University of Waikato, and DSpace by the Massachusetts of Institute of Technology. Beerkens (2004) draws attention to complexities in collaborations at the international level in teaching and research due to regulatory, social, and cultural context in which academic institutions operate. He cites a number of factors at the national level (e.g., public and regulatory pressures), at the institutional level (e.g., organizational culture), and at the individual level (e.g., values, academic standards). Oguz (2007) found that the decision-making process in DLs is a complex social process in which organizational, individual, and technology-specific factors play critical roles when making technology adoption decisions.