Life Cycle Assessment of E-Publishing and Digital Libraries: Linking Industrial Ecology, Research and Education
At 7.1 million volumes, the University of Michigan (UM) Library is one of the country's largest. Its Digital Library Initiative has been at the forefront of promoting the use of electronically published books and journals. This application of information technology (IT) will have profound effects on research, education, and the environment. An interdisciplinary team with expertise in industrial ecology, library and information science, e-commerce and environmental engineering studied this interface between IT, human behavior and environment. The team conducted a life cycle investigation of e-publishing and the UM Digital Library to evaluate environmental aspects and identify opportunities for improvement.