Digital Legacy: A Systematic Literature Review Journal Article uri icon



  • To more effectively support the dying and bereaved in end-of-life contexts, over the past two decades HCI and social computing scholars have sought to understand digital legacy. In this paper, we argue that it is time to take stock of digital legacy scholarship, examining what we know, what gaps remain, and what areas are imperative for future work. Through a Grounded Theory Literature Review, we identify four foci in digital legacy research to date: how identity is navigated in the passing of digital legacy, how digital legacies are engaged with, how digital legacies are put to rest, and how technology interfaces with offline legacy technologies. Based on our analysis, we present a model depicting how digital legacy research examines a lifecycle of data as it is passed down. This model identifies that digital legacy data moves through three stages: encoding, accessing, and dispossessing. The model illustrates gaps in current research and charts possible inflection points for future social computing research. Specifically, we highlight the importance of multi-user and multi-generational networks of people in end-of-life scenarios. Additionally, the model exhibits emerging theoretical findings and major concepts in the nascent field of digital legacy research.

publication date

  • September 28, 2023

has restriction

  • hybrid

Date in CU Experts

  • October 17, 2023 6:53 AM

Full Author List

  • Doyle DT; Brubaker JR

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2573-0142

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 26


  • 7


  • CSCW2