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As paper gives way to electronic mail, a secure means for validating and authenticating messages is required. The answer could be one of several digital signature schemes. In the last few years, research in cryptography has provided various methods for generating digital signatures, both true and arbitrated. Some of these methods utilize conventional private-key cryptosystems such as the Data Encryption Standard (DES), while others are based on the so-called public-key approach. This article on digital signature schemes is a survey of work done in the area since the concept was introduced in 1976. For readers unfamiliar with modern cryptology several overview articles and a number of texts on the subject are noted among the list of references of this article.