In the article the research database is systematized and classified according to the research methodology, research topics, and types of publications. It is shown that the research of D-innovations in higher education is interdisciplinary in nature, that is includes studies in the field of philosophy of education, sociology of education, cognitive psychology, didactics, methods of teaching of certain subjects, comparative education and so on. Stages of development of D-innovations in higher education (the 80s of the XXth – the 10s of the XXIst century) are defined according to the chronology of the emergence of the most important digital tools, devices and technologies for the production, storage, processing and dissemination of information, means of communication entities in digital networks. The author determined the aspects of the university activities, the improvement of which requires the use of digital technologies. It is shown that D-technologies are aimed at improving the implementation of all aspects and dimensions of the university life. However, they do not change the mission of the university in modern society. The genesis of philosophical principles of D-technologies in higher education from сognitivism to social constructivism and to connectivism that became widespread in last decade is outlined. Factors of D-innovations in higher education efficiency at the macro-, meso- and micro-levels of operation are identified. The conclusion about the fundamental characteristics of D-innovations that determine the effectiveness of their use in the educational process, including student-centrism, flexibility, availability, high level of educational contacts between teachers and students is made. It is emphasized that the main factor of the efficiency of the educational phenomenon under investigation is the synergy of D-technologies and student-oriented teaching methods, which allows developing and implementing creative potential of all subjects of the educational process, acquiring the skills of self-education and professional competencies.