School of Information
 Previously School of Library & Information Studies

 Friday Afternoon Seminar: Summaries.
  296a-1 Seminar: Information Access, Fall 2016.

Fridays 3-5. 107 South Hall. Schedule. Weekly mailing list.
Friday, Aug 26: Clifford LYNCH: Factual Biography as Insfrastructure.
    Clifford LYNCH and Michael BUCKLAND:

    Introduction. Review of Seminar objectives and plans for Fall 2016. Introductions by participants.
    Clifford LYNCH: Factual Biography, Names, and Identifiers as Infrastructure for the Digital Humanities and Beyond.
    What I am calling "Factual biographies" in machine-parsable structures can provide vital infrastructure for historians, biographers, and many other kinds of research work, and indeed for the scholarly record itself. I will begin with definitions and examples, and discuss some of the drivers for creating, sharing and reusing such biographies and some of the data sources that can feed them; this will include a discussion of the essential subordinate role of bibliography here. I'll examine a second, lower level of key infrastructure -- names and identifiers -- and the state of developments in those areas. Finally, the presentation will cover some considerations about the availability and use of aggregated factual biographies at scale, including privacy questions.

Sep 2: No Seminar: Labor Day Weekend.

Sep 9: Clifford LYNCH: Stewardship: I. Stewardship as a Discipline and a Research Area.

    This is the first of what are planned to be four lectures on Stewardship which, starting from first principles, summarize and synthesize the various discussions we have had over the past decade in the Friday seminar.
    This first talk will initially define stewardship as a topic of research, including its relationship to other areas, including information security and preservation, and to other disciplines. We will explore some paradoxes of stewardship of the physical and the role of digital surrogates of the physical, as well as born-digital materials. Also to be considered are questions of access and visibility of materials. If time allows we will begin a consideration of key actors in the stewardship enterprise and their different traditions, including the vital and often overlooked role of private collectors.

Sep 16: Marcia BATES: The Nature of the Information Professions.
    What are the information professions? Do they share enough in common to be considered as a group? Is there actually any "there" there? How do they fit in with the rest of the academic disciplines and professions in universities? Are they interdisciplinary? (Hint: No.) Has the advent of digitization so commoditized information service that any sense of professions will, necessarily, fade away?
    Marcia J. Bates is Professor Emerita in the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Information Studies. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, she is a leading authority on information search, human-centered design of information systems, and information practices. She was Editor-in-Chief of the 7-volume Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, 3rd Ed., and is the recipient of many awards for her research and leadership. In addition to her teaching and scholarship, she has been a technical consultant to numerous organizations in government, foundations, and businesses, including technology startups. A graduate of Pomona College (B.A.) and the University California at Berkeley (M.L.S., Ph.D.), Bates also served in Thailand in the Peace Corps.

Sep 23: Michael BUCKLAND: From Scholars' Notes to New Forms of Scholarly Communication.
    First, a summary of six years experience with "open notebook humanities" during our "Editorial Practices and the Web" project working with historians preparing scholalrly editions of historically important texts. Then, an examination of how scholars working notes might lead to alternative approaches to scholarly publication without the high costs, long delays, and restricted access characteristic of legacy publication practices. David W. Lewis' new book "Reimagining the academic library" (Rowan & Littlefield, 2016) assumes a systematic transition to open access publication. How might that be achieved?

Sep 30: Maximilian EIBL, Visiting Scholar from Chemnitz, Germany: Digitizing Archives of Local TV Stations in Eastern Germany Documenting the Transition of Political Systems after the Reunification.
    Surprisingly, the communist government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) sometimes quietly tolerated and even supported the erection of community antennas all over East Germany in the 1980s even though these antennas were used to receive West German television. After reunification in 1990 many antennas and their accompanying cable networks became the nucleus for local TV stations whose programming reveal in a fascinating way the transition of the socialist system to a market economy. Surviving recordings on tape are deteriorating and at risk of loss.
    The talk will present the software frameworks AMOPA (Automated Moving Picture Annotator) and xTrieval (Extended Information Retrieval Framework) developed at Chemnitz University of Technology. The frameworks are used for different purposes in teaching and research. I show how the xTrieval framework can be used to enhance teaching Information Retrieval using real-world experiments and game mechanics. Also I report on experience using the frameworks to save the local TV archives.
    Visiting Scholar Max Eible is professor of Media Informatics at Chemnitz University of Technology in Germany. He studied Information Science, History, and Philosophy at the University of Regensburg (Germany) and Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U.S.A.) and at Sheffield University (UK). From 1996 until 1999 he was a research assistant at the Social Sciences Information Center in Bonn and did his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Koblenz-Landau. His thesis was on:“Visualization in Information Retrieval – Integrating concepts of HCI and Graphic Design to Improve Interaction.” In 2000 he became head of the Internet Group at the German Social Sciences Infrastructure Services (now GESIS). Since 2006 he has been professor of Computer Science at the Chemnitz University of Technology.

Oct 7: Clifford LYNCH: Stewardship II. The Cultural Record and Its Evolution in the Digital Age.
    This talk will focus on scoping and understanding the nature of the cultural record and how this is changing as more and more material is produced and distributed in digital form. It will include consideration of the relationship between the scholarly record and the broader cultural record. several brief case studies of particular classes of material that are part of the cultural record and how they are evolving will be explored: books, music, news, the web, ephemera, and personal and family information and records.

Oct 14: No Seminar meeting
    Rob SANDERSON, Getty Center, will be rescheduled early next semester.

Oct 21: Clifford LYNCH: Stewardship III: Legal and Policy Issues.
    This talk will examine intellectual property law, creator's rights, and privacy as they relate to stewardship. Private ownership of cultural materials, movement of these materials, and cultural and national patrimony will also be considered. A key question here is how to recognize and balance the public interest in effective stewardship against many other competing priorities.

Oct 28: In South Hall 210: Alex AMIES: Experience with Open Source Linguistic Data and Tools for Analysis of Chinese Text.
    The speaker will discuss experience in access to linguistic data from the development of a reader and corpus analysis tools for Chinese Buddhist texts ( To begin with there is much promise and hype in open source projects that have been used or investigated in this project. Some of these sources are truly useful, such as CBETA, which provides a digitization of several versions of the Chinese Buddhist canon. The presentation will describe challenges actually working with these sources, including inferior quality, small volume, and critical missing pieces of the open source data sources compared with copyrighted or otherwise locked materials. The presentation will then describe approaches to overcoming challenges, in particular tools, such as Jupyter and Pandas, for efficient curation of linguistic data in a semi-automated manner.
    Alex Amies is working on a project to build a Chinese text reader ( for the Taishō Shinshū Daizōkyō version of the Chinese Buddhist canon, as part of a Master of Arts in Applied Buddhist Studies at Nan Tien Institute, Australia. Alex works as a technical solution consultant specializing in cloud computing as a full time job. He graduated with a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering from Stanford and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Nov 4: Niels W. LUND, Univ of Tromsø, Norway: Information, Documentation or ....? Do Paradigms (or Labels) Matter?"
    Also: Maria Skou NICOLAISEN, Copenhagen: Short Report: Digitally Informed Perspectives on Text.
    How are notions of text reflected in and affected by digital technology? A comparative study of the conceptual frameworks guiding current digital literary projects.
    Niels Windfeld LUND, Tromsø, Norway: Information, Documentation or ....? Do Paradigms (or Labels) Matter?
    In 1996, "Documentation Studies" was established in Tromsø, Norway, and provided an alternative to the information paradigm within the library and information science world and it became more and more common to talk about documents and documentation, not only in LIS, but also in social sciences and in society in general. In 2001, Niels Lund, the founding professor of documentation studies, presented in Berkeley a complementary theory of documentation. Fifteen years later, he returns to discuss whether it is still relevant today both in research and society in general or if we now need a new label or paradigm ?
    Niels Windfeld Lund was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. An historian and ethnologist, he became associate professor at the Royal School of Librarianship, Copenhagen, 1975-88; founding professor of Documentation Studies at the University of Tromsø, Norway, 1996-2014 and, since 2014, professor emeritus. Niels Lund was co-founder of The Document Academy, 2001, and visiting professor at UC-Berkeley in 2001 and 2005-06.

Nov 11: University holiday: No Seminar.

Nov 18: Clifford LYNCH: Stewardship IV: Stewardship Failures and Transitions.

    Stewardship institutions can fail, or abdicate parts of their historic mission; further, there are many reasons why stewardship responsibility needs to be transferred from one party to another. This is particularly critical and sensitive for digital information, due to its fragile properties. This talk will include a survey of a number of example drawn from libraries and book collections, the world of art objects, archives, and data collections. It will also include some further discussion of the special role of private collectors in these transitions.

Nov 25: Thanksgiving: No Seminar.

Dec 2: Last Seminar meeting: David Lin WANG and Clifford LYNCH.
    David Lin WANG: Max Boisot's Information Space and Economic Systems.

    The Information Space (I-space) model was developed by Max Boisot to explain empirical evidence that the planned economy of mainland China had not moved, as expected, to an orthodox capitalist economy. The model will be described with an explanation of how it could be made more complete from the perspective of information science.
    For Max Boisot see
    "David" Lin Wang is Associate Professor in the Department of Information Resource Management at Tianjin Normal University, P.R. China. He obtained his PhD in Information Science at Peking University of Beijing and is currently a Visiting Scholar here in the School of Information.
    Clifford LYNCH: Stewardship V: Stewardship Transitions and Failures. Conclusions and Future Directions.
    This hour brings to a close my series of talks on Stewardship; originally planned for four lectures, it has expanded in length slightly. In this talk we will complete our discussion of stewardship failures and transitions, and then summarize the series with some thoughts on key problems, central policy issues, and changes in approach that are needed to address the challenges of pervasive digital content.

The Seminar will resume on January 20th.
Fall 2016 schedule. Spring 2016 schedule and summaries.   Spring 2017 schedule and summaries.