Previously School of Library & Information Studies
Seminar: Information Access.
("The Friday Afternoon Seminar")
Summaries - Fall 2006.
Fridays 3-5. 107 South Hall.
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
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
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
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!
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
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,
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):
Manuel Zacklad: Documentarisation and Post-Modernity: Documentary
Collections and Communities of Imagination.
Carol Choksy: Documents and Communities of Practice in Business.
3.30-4.00pm: Coffee break.
Andreas Varheim: Social Capital and The Multicultural Challenge:
The Role of the Public Library.
Anne Gerd Lehn: "Eyes lifted! The Understanding of Art as a Document
in Five Different Art Institutions\224.
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:
Library Schools and I-Schools Forgotten?
Oct 20 follows both last week's Document Academy
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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,"
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
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
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.
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.