School of Information
 Previously School of Library & Information Studies

 296a-1 Seminar: Information Access.
 ("The Friday Afternoon Seminar")
 Summaries - Fall 2006.

Fridays 3-5. 107 South Hall. Schedule.
Summaries will be added as they become available.

Aug 18: Julian WARNER, Queen's University, Belfast.
    Forms of Mental Labor in the Feist Judgment.
    The Feist judgment by the Supreme Court, which denied copyright to telephone white pages, occurred in 1991 and is regarded as one of the most significant copyright decisions concerning information technology and inordinately Delphic even by Supreme Court standards.
    This presentation attempts to clarify the judgment by distinguishing different forms of mental labor, and their relation to technology, which are implicit or covert in the judgment itself. The presentation is deliberately exploratory and the presenter encourages communal contributions.
    Julian Warner is a faculty member in information science at the Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he teaches courses in the human aspects of modern information and communication technologies and in information policy. He has been a visiting scholar here in South Hall and at the Universities of Illinois and Edinburgh, and a visiting professor at Indiana University. He has published a number of journal articles in information science and three books, the first of which was translated into Japanese and selected as a recommended reading by Microsoft Japan.

Sept 1: Clifford LYNCH: Introduction. Cyberinfrastructure Initiatives.
    Introduction to the seminar, and introduction of participants.
    Review and update on US cyberinfrastructure initiatives in both sciences and humanities. Cyberinfrastructure (more often called "e-science" or "e-research" outside of the United States) encompasses a set of initiatives in high performance computing, advanced networking, sensors, distributed collaboration, and data management and curation intended to both support and enable changes in the practice of scholarship. I'll review the development of these ideas and programs, with a particular focus on developments over the last six months both at national (e.g. National Science Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies) and institutional (e.g. university) level, with an emphasis on issues involving data curation and management.

Sept 8: Clifford LYNCH: Cyberinfrastructure; and Emerging Issues in Digital Stewardship.
    First I will complete last week's discussion of cyberinfrastructure initiatives with an examination of data curation and management issues.
    We can think of digital stewardship as encompassing both traditional organizational and philosophical ideas of stewardship in a world where the intellectual record is increasingly digital in nature, and also the application of digital technologies to advance the objectives and address the obligations of stewardship. In this talk, I will outline a number of the key questions and recent developments in these areas.

Sep 15: Daniel M. Russell, Google Search Quality & User Happiness:
    What Do People Do When They Use Search Engines? Three Methods To Understand It, And Some Observations.

    Web search engines have a huge interest in understanding what our users are trying to do. To a certain degree, this means discerning the intent of a search in the queries and patterns of behavior. In this talk I'll say a little bit about what we do to understand what our users have in mind, giving examples of queries, user sessions. To make this tangible, I'll discuss some of the techniques we use to analyze the data and outline the size and scope of the problem. In particular, I'll focus on the problem of combining data in the small (field studies, usability studies) with data in the large (log data analysis of millions of interactions), illustrating how we can improve our understanding of users by combining the best insights from both ends of the spectrum.
    Daniel M. Russell is a senior research scientist at Google in the area of search quality and user experience. Most recently, Dan was a senior scientist and senior manager at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. He is best known for his work on IBM's Blueboard system (a large groupware display system) and for establishing the basis of sensemaking theory while at Xerox PARC with Card, Pirolli and Stefik. In addition to IBM and PARC, Dan has also worked in Apple's Advanced Technology Group, and taught at both Stanford and Santa Clara Universities. He enjoys word play, music, and long distance running, becoming disgruntled when all three can't be in one day.

Sep 22: Peter BRANTLEY, California Digital Library:
    Second Life as a Virtual Environment for Collaboration and Teaching.

    This talk will discuss the growing use of virtual environments such as Second Life in immersive education and collaborative research. Organizational and challenges will be discussed, and there will be speculation about future trajectories in the use of these distributed environments, including the growing availability of VR middleware such as croquet and multiverse.

Sep 29: Kim CARL, Ray LARSON, Vivien PETRAS & Jeanette ZERNEKE:
    Interface Development for What, Where, When and Who Searching.

    A two-year project, Support for the Learner: What, Where, When, and Who is nearing completion. It is based on the ideas that understanding requires knowing context, that network resources ought to be as easy to search and use as resources in a library reference collection, and that a structured approach based on the four facets WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, and WHO, respecting the special characteristics of each, would be an effective approach. The interface designed for this purpose, involving maps and timelines as well as text will be described and demonstrated in searches of the Library of Congress catalog, the Wikipedia, the Metropolitan Museum website, U.S. Census data, and other diverse resources. See
    Also Ruth MOSTERN, UC Merced: Visualizing Historical Events Through Interactive Timelines.
    History textbooks are filled with timelines and temporal thinking is critical for history and other disciplines besides. But visualizing time in an interactive and digital environment has received little attention. With Ian Johnson (Univ. of Sydney), I am developing a timeline builder allow seamless moves among temporal scales from individual battles to geological time, and to relate individual events to complex phenomena. I will review existing timeline visualizations, discuss the nature of temporal information, the requirements for temporal data models, and introduce specifications for the timeline builder system.

Oct 6: Three Projects in Progress -- and More!
    Lois WEI: A Scalable Front-stage Service Application for a Non-profit Tutoring Agency.

    An initial progress report on designing and implementing an ideal front end application that provides an optimal service experience for handling online appointment scheduling, student enrollment, and payment reminder. The application will also provide business intelligence service such as business progress tracking, data and trend analysis, and dynamic report generation. Such an application will be designed specifically for a local tutoring agency that is in the process of expanding to several locations.
    Also Bernt WAHL: Defining Neighborhoods with Distinct Boundaries.
    Cities are generally broken down into census groups for data analysis based on zip codes rather than neighborhood characteristics. Many data users might want to target neighborhoods based on socioeconomic classes. A neighborhood's ability to define regions has substantial commercial benefits. As Internet search / mobile mapping becomes more granular, it is important for location based services to target neighborhood demographics with consumer neighborhood name recognition and neighborhood demographic consistency to be able to target these communities more effectively. Since neighborhood boundary data for cities is not commercially available, we have gone ahead to create this data. By producing high-quality data sets based on well-established GIS principles, we hope to create standards that will be adapted by major companies and institutions, including search engine companies (Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft), real estate firms and governmental agencies.
    Also Lincoln CUSHING: Unprocessed Poster Collections at UCB and Suggestions for Improved Access.
    The UC Berkeley libraries have many significant collections of 20th century poster art, yet most of them remain virtually inaccessible to the public. This is partly due to technological barriers and partly due to lack of institutional will. Cushing will make a case for the academic value of these materials, review some example collections, and offer an alternative model for improved processing and access. More at:
    -- And More! (Details not yet available.)

Oct 13: Joint Session with the Document Academy Conference.
    The fourth annual Document Academy ("DOCAM") Conference organized by the Documentation Science Program at the University of Tromsoe and the Berkeley School of Information is Oct 13-15. To avoid a difficult choice between two excellent programs, Friday Afternoon Seminar attendees are invited to attend the Friday afternoon sessions of the DOCAM conference without conference registration. The Friday afternoon program is (subject to change):
2-2.45pm: Manuel Zacklad: Documentarisation and Post-Modernity: Documentary Collections and Communities of Imagination.
2.45-3.30pm: Carol Choksy: Documents and Communities of Practice in Business.
3.30-4.00pm: Coffee break.
4.00-4.30pm: Andreas Varheim: Social Capital and The Multicultural Challenge: The Role of the Public Library.
4.30-5.00pm: Anne Gerd Lehn: "Eyes lifted! The Understanding of Art as a Document in Five Different Art Institutions\224.
5.00-5.30pm: Marc Richard Hugh Kosciejew: The Racial Information of Apartheid.
    Better yet, register to attend the whole conference! Details at:

Oct 20: Bernd FROHMANN and Michael BUCKLAND:
    What Have Library Schools and I-Schools Forgotten?

    Oct 20 follows both last week's Document Academy conference <> and this week's i-school conference in Ann Arbor <>.
    Selected highlights of the Document Academy conference and a forthcoming volume of essays marking the 10th anniversary of the Documentation program at the University of Tromso (Norway) will be briefly reviewed.
    What, now, in 2006, could form a fresh approach to the foundations, curriculum, and research agendas of library schools and i-schools? What criteria should be applied?
    Join us for an informal discussion. Next week the Dean will tell us what the participants in the i-school conference thought.
    Bernd FROHMANN is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, and author of Deflating Information: From Science Studies to Documentation (University of Toronto Press, 2004). His main research interests are concerned with the materiality and the institutional environment of documentary systems: how the circulation of documents of all kinds, together with their related technologies of production and consumption, intersect with social and institutional structures to produce specific effects, such as knowledge, cultural phenomena, social distinction, hierarchies of expertise, domination, and possibilities of freedom. He has also published on information ethics and the ways in which information, its users, and its uses are constructed as objects of disciplinary knowledge. More at

Oct 27: Dean AnnaLee SAXENIAN: Comments on the 2nd I-School Conference.
    The "I-school conference" is a meeting of some twenty schools that are, or would like to be considered, "Information schools." They are, or were, with few exemptions, schools of Library and Information Studies continuing the long-term broadening of their scope. They have started to meet annually to discuss what the phrase "i-school" might mean and how that role might best be performed. More at
    Also Alex DAILEY: Virtual Libraries in a Digital World.
    Brief report: The virtual world Second Life has attracted enormous interest as the next iteration of online experience. It's the 3-D web, with companies like Intel, CNet, Sun, and Reuters, as well as educational communities like Harvard and New Media Center setting up shop to explore what is - and isn't - novel about this emerging space. Alex Dailey will talk about some emergent properties of this "metaverse" in the context his collaboration with the California Digital Library to explore ways to meaningfully engage with the new technology.
    Also Joseph Lorenzo HALL: Electronic Voting as a Case Study in Supporting Transparency in Digital Democracy.
    Transparency is a value that is not particularly important (or not "supported") in mass-market computing and networking products. However, as these technologies are used in the most basic function of representative governments - elections - transparency becomes a very important "feature". I'll outline my dissertation proposal which includes a discussion of what I call the "enclosure of transparency" over the U.S. electoral history and what our research is doing to bring transparency back to computerized elections.

Nov 3: Jack XU, Vice President of Engineering & Research, eBay Fellow, eBay Inc.
    Architecting to Scale.     eBay is one of the largest global transaction platforms with over 200 million of users and processes over 300 million searches per day. eBay users trade about $1,600 worth of goods on the site every second. The total value of successfully closed items on eBay's trading platforms was $13 billion in Q2-06. This talk will discuss architectural innovations at eBay and why real-time update underlying the trading platform is important and challenging. This talk will also be illustrated with lessons learned along the way in architecting several large scale of systems including Excite (one of the first Internet search engines, launched in 1995), Netease (leading Chinese portal), and eBay (the leading global trading platform).
    Jack Xu joined eBay in 2002. He was named an eBay Fellow after serving as the company's vice president of software development. In that role he led development of the company's overall search and listing infrastructure. Jack is currently eBay's VP of Engineering & Research where he is responsible for all aspects of the company's research activities, as well as product development in the areas of search, listing, catalog, classifications, etc. He is also the founding Chairman of eBay's first global engineering center outside the U.S.
    Prior to joining eBay, Jack was the Chief Technology Officer at Netease (Nasdaq: NTES) where he was responsible for Netease's technology, operations, marketing, research and product development. Before that, Jack was the director of core technology at Excite. Jack is also an author of a numerous research papers.

Nov 10: No seminar meeting: Veterans' Day.

Nov 17: Judson KING & Diane HARLEY, Center for the Study of Higher Education:
    The Influence of Academic Values on Scholarly Publication and Communication Practices.

    We have examined academic values as they influence publishing choices and attitudes of University of California, Berkeley faculty. Direct interviews were carried out with relevant stakeholders -- faculty, advancement reviewers, librarians, and editors -- in five fields: anthropology, biostatistics, chemical engineering, English-language literature and the intersection of law and economics. The results of the study strongly confirm the vital role of peer review in faculty values and publishing practices, and indeed in underlying the entire system of research evaluation. There is much more experimentation with regard to means of communication while research is in progress, for which single means of publication and communication are not fixed so deeply in values and tradition, than there is for final, archival publication. We conclude that approaches that try to move faculty and deeply embedded value systems directly toward new forms of archival, final publication are destined largely to failure in the short-term. From our perspective, a more promising route is to (1) examine the needs of scholarly researchers for both final and in-progress communications, and (2) determine how those needs are likely to influence future scenarios in a range of disciplinary areas. We are pursuing that line of approach in further work.
    For more on this project see Note their recent Occasional Paper "The Influence of Academic Values on Scholarly Publication and Communication Practices" at
    Jud King started as a faculty member in Berkeley's chemical engineering department forty-two years ago. In addition to chairing that department, he has been Dean of the College of Chemistry and Provost for Professional Schools and Colleges at Berkeley, and Provost and Senior Vice President -- Academic Affairs for the UC system. Since leaving that latter post in April 2004 he has been Director of the Center for Studies in Higher Education.
    Diane Harley is a Research Associate in the Center.

Nov 24: Thanksgiving. Campus closed.

Dec 1: Jim PITMAN, Departments of Statistics and Mathematics:
    Math People, a Distributed Name Authority System.

    Math People is a Web 2.0 application which leverages multiple sources of personal name data to provide a distributed name authority system for people in the mathematical sciences. For users browsing a suitable webpage related to mathematical science, the system will provide links back to a name server which will match names and identifiers in the text and url of the page with name and identifier data gleaned from various sources including homepages and open access digital repositories, to provide authoritative links to these sources whenever possible. The system also allows authorized users to make identifications and disambiguate the name data.
    It is designed to be an open navigation system to allow users to pass through the walls which currently separate various information resources. If successful in achieving this purpose in mathematical sciences, there appears to be no obstacle to propagation of the system to provide a distributed name authority network spanning any branch of human knowledge with enough people and professional organizations willing to support it.
    The proposed business model for long term maintenance of the system is that data providers with adequate financial resources support the system to enhance the appeal to users of their electronic offerings, with either open or gated access: with a small tax on that income from gated resources to support the linking infrastructure. In determining the extent of its support of such an open system, each data provider will have to balance its interest in the open flow of academic information against its instinct to keep users away from competing sites, or to restrict navigation by a closed linking system such as CrossRef which does not acknowledge open access digital repositories or professional homepages. For more see
    Jim Pitman is Professor of Statistics and Mathematics at U.C. Berkeley, and President of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics Over the last few years he has been working towards improving the quality and quantity of open access content in the mathematical sciences, by promoting and launching open access journals for expository and survey material, and by creating bibliographic software to encourage distributed alternatives to centrally controlled indexing systems. More at

Dec 8: Alexis DAILEY: Progress Report: Education in the virtual world.
    The virtual world called Second Life is quickly becoming a platform for a wide range of innovative online experience. Over the past semester Alex Dailey has been working with the California Digital Library and UC Office of the President to explore how this space is being used in higher education. He will report on his survey of the organizations and the kinds of learning spaces that are emerging in-world.
    Also Paul COURANT, University of Michigan, and Abby SMITH, Historian and Consulting Analyst:
    Making Digital Preservation Policy: the National Perspective.

    Abby Smith and Paul Courant, consultants to the Library of Congress's national digital preservation program, will describe the Library's development of a national strategy to preserve at-risk digital content. Areas of particular focus are:
  * the identification of content with long-term value;
  * the allocation of roles and responsibilities among organizations with interest in long-term access to that content;
  * the economics of archiving;
  * and a range of public policy issues, such as intellectual property, that the Library is engaging.
    Paul N. Courant is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Economics, and Faculty Associate in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. From 2002-2005 he served as Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs. More at ac_dir.php.
    Abby Smith is a historian and consulting analyst interested in the creation, preservation, and use of the cultural record in a variety of media; the impact of digital information technologies on cultural heritage institutions; and the evolving role of information as a public good. She has worked at the Council on Library and Information Resources (Washington, DC) and at the Library of Congress. She currently works with the Library of Congress's National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) in development of its national strategy to identify, collect, and preserve digital content of long-term value. (See "Distributed Preservation from a National Perspective: NDIIPP at Mid-Point," in D-LIB

Dec 15: Special session: *10 a.m. - Noon*: Final Progress Reports:
    Lois WEI: Berkeley Academics Management System (BAMS)

    The goal of BAMS is to complete the design and implementation of an application for handling online appointment schedule matching, and payment reminder processing. BAMS is specifically designed for Berkeley Academics, a local tutoring agency that is in the process of expanding to several locations. The application will also provide business intelligence service such as business progress tracking, data and trend analysis, and dynamic report generation. BAMS is an extension of a 2006 Master's Final Project titled Berkeley Academics Information Redesign.
    Lois will report on the user studies conducted to determine application features and requirements; the different web technologies explored to possibly replace the current PHP based application; and the progress made on the implementation of an automatic schedule matching system that allows for human intervention.
    Bernt WAHL: Who Is In My Neighborhood? Defining Neighborhoods with Distinct Boundaries & Identifying Localized Context.
    Cities are generally broken down into sub-regions for data analysis based on zip code rather than neighborhood characteristics. Many data users might want to target neighborhoods based on socioeconomic classes. The ability to precisely delineate neighborhood boundary brings substantial commercial benefits. However, neighborhood boundary data for cities are not commercially available. Using multiple criteria, we developed a new dataset which identifies neighborhood boundary for 11,000 neighborhoods for the 150 largest cities in the U.S. on well-established GIS principles. This dataset has many potential uses by search engine companies, real estate firms, governmental agencies, researchers, and others.

    The seminar will resume on January 26, 2007.
Fall 2006 schedule.     Spring 2006 schedule and summaries.     Spring 2007 schedule and summaries.