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Though distributed across computer networks, such digital libraries will appear as single archives. Simple key word searches will eliminate lengthy quests through disjunct libraries and streamline the flow of information between scientists.
Efforts are underway at NCSA to build a digital library for astronomy. Researchers who access this library would be able to compare their results quickly with data or images deposited previously in the archive. For instance, in examining a specific object in the sky, they might correlate images produced in different wavebands of the electromagnetic spectrum, or compare what the images show with theorietical predictions based on computer simulations.
The astronomy digital library will also provide a common database to widely dispersed researchers collaborating across high speed networks. Data or images appearing on-screen will be same, regardless of the locations of the p articipants.
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