Previously School of Library & Information Studies
Friday Afternoon Seminar: Summaries.
296a-1 Seminar: Information Access, Fall 2015.
Fridays 3-5. 107 South Hall.
Schedule. Weekly mailing list.
Summaries will be added as they become available.
Aug 28: Clifford LYNCH: What does pervasive security failure mean for archives,
cultural memory, and scholarship? Some introductory speculations and
Introduction to the seminar, and introductions of seminar participants.
Brief reports on interesting conferences, readings, publications and other
developments over the summer.
We have seen a very long series of high-profile security
failures over the last year or so: Sony, the US Office of Personnel
Management, Ashley Madison, and various universities, to name only a few.
The prospects for ending this series anytime soon don't seem promising.
The characteristics of these incursions are changing and the objectives
behind them are now very varied, including often simply making public
large colllections of corporate or government information rather than
simple fraud or identity theft. What role do these corpora legitimately
play in the cultural record, and what organizations might want to take
responsibility for preserving and organizing them?
A second issue: to the best of my knowledge, virtually
all the incidents recently deal with the theft, exposure, or (much more
rarely) outright destruction of information. Particularly when systems
are penetrated for very long periods of time, with these penetrations
often going undetected, deliberate data corruption or introduction of
falsified data seem to me to be difficult problems that aren't recieving
sufficient attention. How serious are these concerns, really, in light
of current practices? What are the key scenarios of concern here for
scholarly work, and for preservation of the cultural record, and what
steps might be taken to mitigate them?
Sep 4: No Seminar meeting. Labor Day weekend.
Sep 11: Clifford LYNCH and Nick DOTY.
Clifford LYNCH: Short Reports. A conference
and workshop in Edinburgh, Sept 7-8, on long term preservation
of the scholarly record, and the Library of Congress Archival
Storage Symposium, Sept 9-10 in Washington, DC.
Nick DOTY: Imagining our Center for Technology, Society &
Nick Doty will introduce the Center, which we intend
to focus on engineering ethics, technology and well-being, standards
and governance, and digital citizenship. We will discuss topics that
the I School community would be interested in seeing as part of that
Center and practical/conceptual issues involved in organizing around
tech policy in our academic environment.
Link to the Center website (and a form to sign up for
the mailing list): ctsp.berkeley.edu.
Nick Doty, Co-Director of this Center, is
a PhD student studying how privacy and other values are considered
during the technical design process. He researches privacy in
technical standard-setting and other multi-stakeholder fora and
co-teaches the Technology & Delegation seminar. He also works
with the World Wide Web Consortium and Internet Architecture
Board on improving support for privacy and security in Web and
More at https://npdoty.name/.
Sep 18: Lincoln CUSHING: Kaiser Permanente:
Archiving the Corporation: Managing Historical Information at
What does it mean to be a corporate archivist? The job
can range from routine document processing to substantially more
interesting and challenging tasks. Cushing will discuss the ups and
downs of private sector information management in a dynamic national
nonprofit organization. His work includes writing a weekly public
history column, building and cataloging thousands of corporate
intellectual assets, and working with community partners such as the
National Park Service. Some of the subjects that will be discussed
include the intersection of archival practice and corporate journalism,
the challenges of building an enterprise-wide digital asset management
system, and serving as the deep conscience of an organization.
Lincoln Cushing earned his Master in Information
Management and Systems from the UC Berkeley School of Information in
2001. His commencement speech addressed the need for socially responsible
information stewardship. www.docspopuli.org/pdfs/Graduation_Speech.pdf.
He subsequently worked as a librarian and archivist at UC Berkeley
before settling into his current position. An experienced graphics artist
he has published five books of historic political posters. More at http://www.docspopuli.org/Personal.html.
Sep 25: Michael BUCKLAND: Links, Meaning, and Contexts.
Tools for resource description and resource discovery,
such as vocabulary control, classification schemes, ontologies, and,
now, linked data provide order, allow clarity, and support efficient
services. Linked data, especially Linked Open Data, is increasingly
important in the Web. On the other hand, the topics sought and the ways
in which they are requested can resist tidy definition and clarity of
language. So what can be said about the limits of links? – and how can
they be mitigated? We will look at a variety of links used in discovery
and selection services; the cultural and contextual considerations that
limit the reliability of links; and how probabilistic approaches can
help. We will discuss how the limited set of link relations might be
extended and scope for making links more widely.
Oct 2: David ROSENTHAL, Stanford: Emulation as a Strategy
for Digital Preservation.
20 years ago, Jeff Rothenberg's seminal "Ensuring the
Digital Documents" compared migration and emulation as strategies
for digital preservation, strongly favoring emulation. Emulation was
already a long-established technology; as Rothenberg wrote Apple was
using it as the basis for their transition from the Motorola 68K to the
PowerPC. Despite this, the strategy of almost all digital preservation
systems since has been migration. Why was this?
Preservation systems using emulation have recently
been deployed for
public use by the Internet Archive and the Rhizome Project, and for
restricted use by the Olive Archive at Carnegie-Mellon and others. What
are the advantages and limitations of current emulation technology,
and what are the barriers to more general adoption?
David S. H. Rosenthal invented the
LOCKSS (Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) technology and has been
chief scientist of the LOCKSS program at the Stanford Libraries
since it started more 17 years ago. The program
develops tools that allow libraries to collect and preserve web
published materials (ejournals, books, blogs, web sites, archival
materials, etc) using low-cost, collaborative, peer-to-peer technology.
Dr. Rosenthal is a long-time Silicon Valley engineer. He was an early
employee at Sun Microsystems, where he helped developed the X Window
System which has long been the open source standard. He was employee #4
at Nvidia, now the leading supplier of high-performance graphics chip.
Oct 9: Dong-Hee SHIN: Creating a New i-School.
Clifford LYNCH: Pervasive Failures and Bad Translations.
And other short reports as time permits.
Dong-Hee SHIN, SKKU, Korea:
Creating a new School of Information in Korea.
Professor Dong-Hee Shin
is the founding
of a new school of information, based in part on Berkeley's School of
Information, at Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea. It is named School
of Interactive Science. Professor Shin will talk about the design and
implementation of the program. More at http://is.skku.edu/english/
Prof Dong Hee Shin has wide interests in
human computer interaction, technologies and telecommunications. He
received his PhD from the
Syracuse University School of Information Studies, then taught at the Penn
State University College of Information Sciences and Technology, before
founding the Dept of Interaction Science at SKK University.
Clifford LYNCH: Pervasive Failures & Bad Translations.
Followup on Pervasive Security Failures:
Earlier in the semester,
I raised a number of issues about roles that memory organizations
might need to consider in the age of pervasive security failures
that create massive public or semi-public data dumps, and some
of the problematic characteristics of those data dumps. I'll return
to these questions today, and add a few more related to material
that has been embargoed in various ways, technically or otherwise.
Understanding the Effects of Bad Translation -
Posing a few Questions: Machine Driven translation is getting
ubiquitous and very cheap, and I'll give some examples of this.
The problem is that it often isn't very good (and I'm not sure
that the weaknesses are very well characterized). How might we
understand the implications of what's happening because of this
Oct 16: Stephen ABRAMS, California Digital Library:
A Domain Model for Digital Curation.
Digital curation is a complex of actors, policies,
practices, and technologies enabling successful consumer engagement
with authentic content of interest across space and time. Having a
clear conceptual model of the curation domain is important for planning,
performing, and evaluating curation activities in a formal and systematic,
rather than ad hoc and idiosyncratic manner. While the curation and
preservation communities have developed a number of useful pragmatic
frameworks and rubrics (NAA, OAIS, PREMIS, BRM, etc.), it is not clear how,
or indeed, whether, they cohere into a unified and theoretically sound
representation of the curation domain. Too many fundamental terms of
curation practice still remain overloaded and under-formalized, perhaps
none more so than "digital object." This presentation will describe
an effort at the UC Curation Center to synthesize and extend existing
frameworks into a consistent, comprehensive, and parsimonious domain
model for digital curation. The new model's vocabulary highlights
important nuanced distinctions between various types of objects.
It can also be used to make precise yet concise statements about
curation intentions, activities, and outcomes.
More at http://wiki.ucop.edu/display/Curation/Foundations.
Stephen Abrams is the associate director of the
UC Curation Center at the California Digital Library, with
responsibility for strategic planning, innovation, and technical
oversight of UC3's systems, services, and initiatives.
Oct 23: Laine FARLEY, California Digital Library:
Behind the Scenes at the California Digital Library.
In the early days of “digital libraries”, there were
a number of high-profile, grant-funded initiatives that explored
this concept, largely in a theoretical way. The California Digital
Library was one of the first practical digital libraries and has
evolved and matured over the last two decades. As one of the
few remaining people who were involved from “before the beginning”,
I will reflect on why CDL was formed, how it has met various
challenges, and what a “digital library” may mean in the future.
Laine Farley recently retired as Executive
Director of the California Digital Library. More at www.cdlib.org/contact/staff_directory/lfarley.html.
Oct 30: Bruce WASHBURN, OCLC Research:
Looking inside the Library Knowledge Vault.
How do we ascertain truth on the web? That's a
question being pursued by researchers at Google who have articulated
a flow of data that generates discrete statements of fact from
countless web sources, relates those statements to previously
assembled stores of knowledge, and fuses these mathematically to
identify which statements may be more "truthful" than others. They
describe this assembly of scored statements as a "Knowledge Vault."
As OCLC Research works with data from library, archive, and museum
sources, we may benefit by taking a closer look at the Google
Knowledge Vault idea, to see how it applies to a vault of library
knowledge. In this discussion we will describe how OCLC Research is:
- extracting simple statements about entities and their relationships
from bibliographic and authority records,
- establishing a relevant score for similar statements provided
by different sources,
- viewing the Library Knowledge Vault data using a prototype
- and testing how statements contributed by users of that prototype
can find their way back to the Vault.
Bruce Washburn is a Consulting Software Engineer
at OCLC Research, and a member of a team of software engineers
and research scientists at OCLC who are experimenting with
real-world applications using library linked data.
Nov 6: Tom LEONARD, University Librarian Emeritus:
Well-Behaved Pirates, Publishers, and Libraries: The Early Years.
Tom Leonard will talk about how library digitization efforts changed
scholarship on 18th century pirates and how a concept born in that
distant era (the"pirating" of intellectual property) began to drive
authors and publishers mad.
Tom Leonard recently retired after many years as
professor of Journalism and fifteen years as University Librarian.
More at journalism.berkeley.edu/faculty/leonard/ and
Nov 13: Cathy MARSHALL, Texas A&M University: Reviving Joan.
In 1951, well before he was a recognized literary
figure, writer William S. Burroughs shot and killed his common-law wife,
Joan Vollmer. I've spent the past two years trying to solve a seemingly
intractible mystery: What was the nature of Joan Vollmer's influence
on a nascent literary movement? What was the trajectory of her short
life? In an effort to answer these questions, I've also taken on a
methodological puzzle: can a combination of traditional sources (e.g.
special collections held by research institutions) and non-traditional
sources (newly available online collections and other digital resources
and tools) be used to create a more nuanced view of someone's life?
In this talk, I'll report on my progress and discuss the issues that
have arisen from this research.
Cathy Marshall is an adjunct professor at Texas A&M University and a computer scientist gone rogue.Website.
Nov 20: Ryan SHAW, Patrick GOLDEN, and Michael BUCKLAND: Making
Research Notes Accessible Online.
Ryan Shaw and Patrick Golden will join us by skype for a
status report on the "Editorial Practices and the Web"
We will discuss progress on Working Notes, a successor to Editors Notes editorsnotes.org. Working Notes is
a web-based tool for managing humanities research notes. Since our last
presentation at the Friday Afternoon Seminar, we have made fundamental
changes to the interface in hopes of allowing researchers to easily
interconnect their notes. We will discuss our development of a
domain-specific markup language, based on the CommonMark standard, which
allows users to refer to Working Notes items within free text in a
semantically significant manner. We will also report on our ideas
for enabling users to author arbitrary structured data for entities in
Working Notes. Feedback from the Seminar about the latter subject will be
Ryan Shaw is an Assistant Professor and Patrick
Golden is a PhD student in the School of Information and Library
Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prof. Shaw
teaches information organization, Web architecture, and digital humanities.
More at aeshin.org/.
Nov 27: Thanksgiving: No Seminar meeting.
Dec 4: Information Access: the last 25 years and the next 25 years.
To celebrate 25 years of the Friday Seminar, the
co-chairs Clifford Lynch, Ray Larson and Michael Buckland will each reflect
on how their view of the policies, practices and technologies related to
information access have shifted and evolved during over that time period,
drawing in part upon the shifting agenda for the seminar. They will then
lead discussion speculating about developments that may drive the agenda
for the next 25 years.
- The evolution of the discipline: the ischool movement and data science
- The re-invention of bibliography
- The management and communication of research outcomes: public and
open access, research data management, the role of software, etc.
- The emergence of stewardship as a systematic practice and policy priority
- The federation of disparate information and knowledge resources
- Privacy and secrecy
- The change in library services
- Preservation at scale
The Seminar will resume in the Spring semester on January 22.
Fall 2015 schedule Spring