By design, this study provides a review of status and trends in digitallibraries and their enabling technologies in Japan. The objectives are tocompare research underway in Japan with that in the United States, to identifyopportunities for collaboration, and to suggest ways to refine the thrust ofU.S. research programs. The term &"digital information organization&"is meant to include digital libraries and related information accesstechnologies and systems. Of special interest are Japanese infrastructure andpolicies to promote these new technologies; new Japanese experimentalfacilities established for the development and evaluation of new informationaccess technologies, including digital libraries; new search enginetechnologies; and human interaction technologies.

While the library provides a convenient metaphor, the sponsors, NSF andDARPA, were more broadly interested in technologies for computer-basedinformation creation, access, and management that are under development toimprove the transfer of information to and from information systems; in theability to conduct efficient and effective searches of databases; and in thequality of content in those databases. These technologies can address problemssuch as information overload, insufficient speed of information processing,multi-language information, and intellectual rights protection. The recentlarge-scale Japanese experiments in electronic libraries, museums, and commercewere to be examined as means of integrating these technologies and deliveringthe results.

Published: February 1999; WTECHyper-Librarian