Previously School of Library & Information Studies
Friday Afternoon Seminar: Summaries.
296a-1 Seminar: Information Access, Fall 2011.
Fridays 3-5. 107 South Hall.
Schedule. Weekly mailing list.
Summaries will be added as they become available.
Friday Aug 26: Clifford LYNCH and Tuukka RUOTSALO.
Clifford LYNCH: Introduction to Seminar, and Introductions by Participants.
A brief overview of the seminar and some highlights for the upcoming semester.
Data Citation and Annotation (Lynch & Buckland). This week, we have both attended
a National Academies Symposium on Data Citation and Annotation, and also a meeting of the DataCite
project. We will provide a summary of the key issues in data citation and annotation in the
context of both emerging data intensive scholarly practices and the growing emphasis on the
curation and reuse of research data by funding agencies, and report on outcomes of these meetings.
Tuukka RUOTSALO: Searching the Web of Data.
Web Data is a way of publishing structured data on the Web so that
it can be interlinked and become more useful. It builds upon standard Web technologies,
but rather than using them to serve web pages for human readers, it extends them to
share information in a way that can be read automatically by computers. While such
data is increasinly available on the Web, accessing large scale Web data respositories
is far from trivial. I will present overview of the research I've conducted during
my post doc appointment at the iSchool. I will present retrieval and access methods
for Web data, discuss open problems, and present future research directions.
Tuukka Ruotsalo is completing a year as Visiting Scholar in the School.
Friday, Sep 2: Labor Day weekend: No Seminar meeting.
Friday, Sep 9: David LESTER, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH).
Centers of Intention.
The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH)
at the University of Maryland has become recognized as a leading digital humanities
center, and supports work from Shakespeare to Second Life." As interest in digital
humanities (DH) grows and its practice becomes increasingly institutionalized, the role
of centers reoccurs in conversations; particularly at institutions that do not have one.
This talk will provide a broad overview of active digital humanities projects
at MITH, address the intentional growth and direction of the center, and develop distinctions
made by Steve Ramsay about research and service at DH centers. In the absence of centers,
how do humanities faculty, students, and staff connect and coordinate funding and
collaborations? What technical support is provided and necessary? The talk will conclude
with a look at alternative models to centers, and other institutional efforts.
Dave Lester is Creative Lead at the Maryland Institute for Technology
in the Humanities (MITH)
and a Masters student at the Berkeley iSchool. Prior to returning
to school, Dave was Assistant Director at MITH and also worked at the Center for History
and New Media at George Mason University, where he co-founded THATCamp, The Humanities And
Technology Camp unconference.
Friday, Sep 16: Clifford LYNCH & Michael BUCKLAND: Data Curation and Re-Use.
The rise of data intensive scholarship has focused new attention on the
reuse of data; funding agencies are calling for data sharing plans; there is renewed
discussion of the appropriate relationship between traditional scholarly publications
and the data that underlies them, and recent meetings have focused on the very varied
barriers to more extensive data-reuse. In this seminar, we'll review recent developments
and lead a discussion of ways forward.
Friday, Sep 23: Mario PEREZ-MONTORO, Visiting Scholar; University of Barcelona.
Mario will talk about his background,
scientific production, consulting projects and current research on
Knowledge Management and Information Architecture and Visualization.
The main goal of this talk is to open the possibility of
synergies and collaborations with people interested in these topics.
Mario Perez-Montoro is a Professor in the Department of Information
Science at the University of Barcelona (Spain) and is currently a Visiting Scholar
here in the School of Information. See
Friday, Sep 30: Ruth MOSTERN, U.C. Merced: Spatially Aware History Teaching.
History classes explain how phenomena change over time, but they do a poor
job demonstrating that human activity has a spatial dimension as well. In order to rectify
this, I have begun to integrate Google Earth and other tools into my history classes. In this
talk, I will introduce my classroom Google Earth assignments, as well as a virtual globe demo
that I am developing for a textbook publisher. I will also introduce survey data about
student response to the assignments, showcase student work, and reflect upon the challenges
of using Google Earth in a history classroom. Finally, I will discuss the experience of
evaluating digital and spatial student work: my Google Earth assignments include detailed
and transparent evaluation standards with potentially broad applicability in both
pedagogical and research domains.
Ruth Mostern is Associate Professor at the University of California, Merced
where she contribute to the undergraduate program in History and to the Graduate Group in
World Cultures. She is author of "Dividing the Realm in Order to Govern": The Spatial
Organization of the Song State (960-1276 CE). She was formerly Head of Collection
Development at the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative. More at faculty.ucmerced.edu/rmostern/index.html.
Friday, Oct 7: Clifford LYNCH: Names and Lives In the Cultural Record.
Historically, cultural memory organizations and particularly
libraries have taken some responsibility for managing names as part
of their practices of bibliography and cataloging, and of managing
the national cultural record. The explosive democratization of
content creation and sharing, the generative nature of the internet
environment, and new developments in scholarly communication all
drive demands for new approaches to the management of names and name
authority. Genealogists and historians have also been concerned with
names, and with the public records that accompany those names; we
have seen debates about how much of an individual's life should be
part of the public record, about how accessible this record should
be, and we have also seen the emergence of enormous biographical
databases, including Wikipedia. In the 20th century, we have seen
the emergence of bibliometric techniques that have offered new
insight into the growth and evolution of knowledge, but this work has
been hampered by very poor name management in the key corpora. As we
enter the 21st century, both the potential contributions of these
approaches and the problems of disambiguation have expanded. In my
lecture, I'll survey these converging historical developments and
propose a restructured set of roles and responsibilities for the
management of names in the cultural context, as well as framing a few
questions about public policy and social norms.
Friday, Oct 14: Patrick GOLDEN and Michael BUCKLAND: Editors' Notes and Humanities
The preparation of scholarly editions of historically important texts
requires extensive expert research in the context of each document but much of the
contextual material cannot be included in the eventual published volume and remains
effectively inaccessible. We will report on "Editorial Practices and the Web", a two-year
project supported by the Mellon Foundation to move the editors' notes into digital form and
make them openly accessible.
This is a joint project with the Emma Goldman Papers Project (Berkeley), the Margaret
Sanger Papers Project (New York Univ.), The Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Papers
Project (Rutgers), and The Labadie Collection (University of Michigan). They all
contribute to and use a shared environment using the Django web framework and Zotero which
we will demonstrate. Our experience suggests a reconsideration of the relationship
between scholarship and publication.
Patrick Golden is a research assistant both at the Emma Goldman papers and
also on this project.
Friday, Oct 21: Fred GEY and Ray LARSON: Nuclear Forensics: A Scientific Search Problem.
Nuclear forensics discovery is the tracking of origins of nuclear materials.
If a significant amount of smuggled nuclear material is seized, can its origin be traced
to both track down the would-be terrorists and to prevent further illicit activities?
Fred Gey and Ray Larson have just received a $300K grant from National Science Foundation
with the project title: "Recasting Nuclear Forensics Discovery as a Digital Library Search
Problem" as part of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office Academic Research Initiative
(in cooperation with Department of Homeland Security). To see the award: www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1140073.
This talk will begin by discussing the nature of scientific search. Is
scientific search 1) search of the scientific literature 2) search for scientific/engineering
discoveries (e.g. Patent Search) or 3) a process of 'needle in haystack' search in a
technical domain (e.g. fingerprint or DNA matching)? Are there more categories than these three?
This project falls into category 3. It approach nuclear forensics as a
specialized search problem. The 'signatures' of seized smuggled nuclear samples are to
be matched against large libraries of radio-chemically analyzed existing samples (up to
100,000 records) to discover the geolocation and origin of the seized sample. The project
will develop new models of discovery: 1) graph matching on nuclear decay graphs, 2)
machine-learning of classification to find geo-locations of sample origins, and 3)
rule-based matching capturing the processes by which human forensics experts would
identify matches. Educational materials will be developed to bridge between search
professionals and nuclear chemists and make each research community aware of the challenges
and benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration.
Fred Gey was for many years a manager at UC Data Archive & Technical
Assistance (UC DATA) in the campus Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. UCData is UC
Berkeley's principal archive of social science data. He is now active there as an Information
Scientist. More at ucdata.berkeley.edu/gey.html.
Friday, Oct 28: Megan FINN, Stuart GEIGER and Elisa OREGLIA: Three Social Studies.
Three papers to be presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Society for Social
Studies of Science (4S) in Cleveland, Ohio.
Elisa OREGLIA: The women's connection: circulation and use of ICT
between urban and rural China.
The floating population of Chinese migrant workers who move from the
countryside to the city to find jobs and then go back home after a few years,
creates a crucial link between more developed urban areas and the mostly poor countryside.
Women are a large part of this population, and they rely heavily on woman-to-woman social
networks to move to the city, find jobs, and secure emotional support. Young migrant women
are also keen users of information and communication technologies, which they use to
maintain contact with their families, but also to maintain their city-based social networks.
This talk, based on fieldwork in Beijing and in 3 rural villages, focuses on the nature of
these networks and on the role that women play in bringing ICT and knowledge about ICT back
to the countryside.
Megan FINN and Elisa OREGLIA: Situation Reports and the
Politics of Information Sharing in Emergencies (In The Politics of Uncertainty:
Disasters and STS).
A situation report, or sitrep, is a document commonly used by UN
agencies, humanitarian NGOs, and other organizations involved in
emergency response to disseminate information to/from relief workers
in the field. The sitreps issued by the UN Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) face an impossible task - to circulate
highly-politicized information about a disaster to the appropriate
people in order to serve competing and conflicting goals under the
banner of "coordinating" humanitarian response. By some people's
judgment, this information system, which produces and distributes
sitreps, has failed. To examine the complex information ecology OCHA
sitrep belongs to, we conducted more than a 100 interviews with OCHA
staff and sitrep stakeholders, as well as document analysis. On the
basis of this data, we argue that traditional information management
systems developed in business contexts to facilitate information
sharing ignore the fact that no system can fulfill its implicit
objective of representing a far away situation simply and accurately.
We build upon the work of Lewis and Madon, who argue that information
management in development-oriented NGOs must be understood from a
different perspective than that of traditional economic organizations.
We suggest that humanitarian organizations require a different
framework for evaluating the utility of an information system, and we
argue for (a) renewed focus on supporting rather than altering certain
types of multi-channel information systems, and (b) implementing
systems that represent multiple, imperfect perspectives on emergency
R. Stuart GEIGER: 'The Internet Is Here': The Virtuality
of 'Online Communities' in Physical Spaces.
In this presentation, I critique the concept of "online
communities" by calling into question both of these core terms. I present
cases from 4chan and Wikipedia to illustrate how conceptual issues arise when
such groups converge in physical spaces -- specifically examining claims of
presence made when 'IRL' meetups occur. While still problematic, I argue that
the term 'virtual' is far more productive than "online" to describe distributed
groups of individuals who utilize many different kinds of tools, techniques,
technologies, and spaces to interact.
Friday, Nov 4: Pinar OZTURK and Michael BUCKLAND.
Pinar ÖZTÜRK, Visiting Scholar:
My Current and Recent Research Interests.
Pinar ÖZTÜRK, Associate professor of Artificial Intelligence and
Computer and information Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology,
Trondheim, Norway, will briefly introduce herself and her work. Her interests include
multi-agent systems for motor control and case-based reasoning for problem solving
and for information retrieval. See www.idi.ntnu.no/~pinar.
Michael BUCKLAND: Information Access Old and New.
Conventional information access (indexing, cataloging, classification)
is mainly based on 19th century ideas implemented with spectacular success in
the 20th century (online catalogs, Medline, OCLC, etc.). As of 1990 the achievement
was impressive. But now, rather suddenly, it all seems outmoded, even rather
irrelevant as new techniques with novel names have swept the scene: Tagging, ontologies,
name spaces, RDF, georeferencing, the Semantic Web. Also FRBR and RDA. Are these
mainly old wine in new bottles? Or the logical development following evolving
technology, Or really new and different? How do these new techniques relate to
the old ones? How should we adopt them and/or adapt to them?
What are the implications for curriculum development and faculty
recruitment in i-schools?
: Join me for a discussion.
Friday, Nov 11: University holiday. No Seminar meeting.
Friday, Nov 18: Juliane STILLER: Europeana and Beyond: User Interaction and Collaboration in
Multilingual Cultural Heritage Information Systems.
An overview of cultural heritage information systems and in particular
Europeana (www.europeana.eu), Europe's single access point to
cultural heritage aggregating material from archives, libraries and museums. Due to the
multicultural and multilingual dimension of Europeana, a supporting project cluster tackles
issues such as the heterogeneity and multilinguality of the presented objects and/or their
metadata. I will focus on cross-lingual search solutions developed in these projects and
In addition, a project will be presented which offers innovative ways for
users to interact with cultural heritage, and the idea of a collaboratively formed cultural
information space will be discussed. This project also demonstrates how users can add their
perspectives, through story telling, to cultural heritage material they engage with.
Juliane Stiller is a researcher at the Berlin School of Library and
Information Science at Humboldt University, Berlin, and is currently visiting student
researcher at the I School. She is working on multilingual information retrieval and evaluation
of digital libraries within the EU-funded projects EuropeanaConnect, GALATEAS and Promise.
The research of her doctoral thesis focuses on user-generated content and user interaction
in cultural heritage information systems and how this can be leveraged to improve multilingual
information access. Before taking on this research position, she was employed at Google Ltd.
as a Search Quality Analyst for web search.
Friday, Nov 25: Thanksgiving. No Seminar meeting.
Friday, Dec 2: Clifford LYNCH & Elisa OREGLIA.
Clifford LYNCH: Biomedical Libraries in the Next Decades:
Open, Diffuse, and Very Personal.
This talk will look at some of the forces that are reshaping both biomedical
informatics and biomedical libraries, and the complex convergence occuring between the two
on intellectual and institutional levels; it will also examine radical changes building
up the scholarly publishing system that serves this discipline. Finally, I'll briefly
discuss the unstable consensus about privacy, database development, and scientific
inquiry in the context of broader social developments in health care and citizen science
and the opportunities for perhaps profound shifts that could enhance discovery.
Elisa OREGLIA: Social Relationships, Information Flows and Agriculture in
Can a mobile phone make farmers in developing regions rich? Some economists
believe so: information technologies can improve access to price information and to markets,
reducing price dispersion and improving efficiency. However, access to markets and information
are also socially negotiated processes that can result in counter-intuitive behaviors.
In this presentation, I will discuss how Chinese farmers find and make sense of agricultural
and market-related information, how the social relationships within the village shape their
reactions to it, and how mobile phones and computers still have not found a place in this
Elisa Oreglia is in our PhD program.
The Seminar will resume on January 20.
Fall 2011 schedule.