Previously School of Library & Information Studies
Friday Afternoon Seminar: Summaries.
296a-1 Seminar: Information Access, Fall 2017.
Fridays 3-5. 107 South Hall.
Details will be added as they become available.
Aug 25: Clifford LYNCH: Introductions. Introducing the "Age of
Paulo OHTOSHI, Univ. of Brasilia: An Ontology-based Model of Information Behavior.
Paulo Ohtoshi, a visiting doctoral student will briefly
introduce his research.
Clifford LYNCH: Introducing the "Age of
This is now widely acclaimed to be the "age of
algorithms", which refers both the pervasive personalization of web
sites and other services, and to the employment of computer algorithms
(often based on some form of Machine Learning) to various complex
social-technical systems. There is an urgent need to document this
new world, which I believe demands a major departure from traditional
archival perspectives, and the methodologies for creating this
documentation are very poorly explored. They are related to -- but,
ultimately, distinct in important ways -- from the methodologies
that have been proposed by various social scientists, policy analysts,
and social justice advocates for "auditing algorithms" or "holding
algorithms accountable", to use a few popular slogans.
I first discussed my initial ideas on this topic at
this seminar in Spring 2017; since then I have had several opportunities
to share them more publicly, and have developed a paper on the topic
that has been submitted for publication. At this discussion, I'll
summarize my conclusions and opportunities for future research in this
Sep 1: No Seminar: Labor Day Weekend.
Sep 8: Abigail DE KOSNIK, Berkeley Center for New Media: A Ratings System for Piracy.
I will present my current research on peer-to-peer file
sharing of media content, which is labeled piracy by the
media industries. My spouse, Benjamin De Kosnik (a C++ senior engineer
and data artist) and I are currently working on a data science/digital
humanities project called alpha60, which is an investigation into global
media piracy using a data scraping and visualization tool that we have
developed, with funding from a BCNM Faculty Seed Grant.
The media industries constantly characterize media piracy
as theft that robs creative workers of their rightful income.
However, scholars from postcolonial and critical legal studies, such
as Lawrence Liang, Kavita Philip, and Ramon Lobato argue that
unauthorized file sharing is how millions of Internet users in the
Global South access the cultural output of the Global North and
achieve full participation and fluency in the media literacies of
technological modernity. While media corporations have established
strict "windows" of content distribution, which typically result
in the U.S., Canada, and Western European nations accessing new
content months or years earlier than those in developing nations,
piracy enables people around the world to access and experience
content (including films, television series, software, books, music,
and videogames) in a synchronous way. Lobato writes that many
users understand media piracy not as an immoral act, but as a "banal,
quotidian activity practiced in a context where legal alternatives do
Our research shows that piracy is rampant in the Global
South, but also reveals that the Global North is not exempt from
illegal downloading. While U.S. copyright defense organizations such
as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) point to Russia
and China as the major perpetrators of piracy, alpha60 maps show that
piracy takes place in every region of the U.S. as well as throughout
Canada and Western Europe. Institutional barriers to access of
media content, such as the rising cost of cable subscriptions and
paywalls on online portals, adversely affect users all over the
world, not only those in impoverished zones. Piracy therefore can
be said to operate as a universal, rather than localized, hack for
Abigail De Kosnik is an Associate Professor at
the University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in
the Berkeley Center for New Media and in the Department of Theater,
Dance & Performance Studies. She is the author of Rogue Archives:
Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom (MIT Press, 2016). More
Sep 15: Betsy COOPER, Center for Long Term Cybersecurity:
Why the Future of Cybersecurity is Closer Than You Think.
Cybersecurity is quickly becoming the master problem of
the Internet era. Digital technologies connected by the Internet have
the potential to extend revolutionary contributions to human life and
support the generation of new ideas, politics, relationships, and
businesses, but only if they can be made secure. To get there will
require a broad set of changes, where the intersections between humans
and machines are more creatively and deeply imagined, more proactively
defined, and in turn, more effectively researched and managed.
Dr. Betsy Cooper, Executive Director of the Center for Long-Term
Cybersecurity (CLTC), will give a brief introduction of CLTC's research
and programming, as well as introduce the basic concepts behind
scenario thinking, a methodology underpinning the Center's Cybersecurity
Futures 2020 Report.
Betsy Cooper, Executive Director of the Center for Long-Term
Cybersecurity (CLTC), has worked at the Department of Homeland Security,
in Ireland, the U.K., and the World Bank. She is an expert on
US and European immigration and refugee policy.
In addition to her law degree, Betsy holds a DPhil in Politics from
Oxford University, an M.Sc. in Forced Migration from Oxford University,
and a B.A. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
Sep 22: Special program: Ray Larson's Academic Life.
1:10 - 5:00 pm in South Hall 202.
An afternoon of short reports by colleagues and collaboratore
on the academic work and interests of Ray Larson, student and then
faculty member 1978-2017.
1:10 PM Michael Buckland, Chair: Introduction.
Elizabeth Young: Ray before Berkeley and as an academic in the family.
Rob Sanderson: Ray and medieval manuscripts.
Message from Michael Cooper: Ray as student at Berkeley.
Clifford Lynch: Ray at the Division of Library Automation.
Paul Watry: Ray's literary interests. (Video).
Vivien Petras: Classification clustering and search term recommenders.
Judy Weedman: The Sequoia Project.
Marti Hearst: Collaboration in the 1990s.
3:00 PM BREAK
3:15 PM Clifford Lynch, Chair.
Michael Buckland: The Larson/Gey/Buckland joint projects.
Fred Gey: Multilingual and Geographical Information Retrieval.
Jerome McDonough: Cheshire (Early).
Rob Sanderson: Cheshire (Later).
Clifford Lynch: Social Networks and Archival Context.
Anno Saxenian: Ray and the MIDS data science program.
5:00 PM RECEPTION hosted by the Dean.
The program was recorded and can be viewed online. See www.ischool.berkeley.edu/events/2017/tribute-ray-larsons-academic-life.
For more on Ray Larson see www.ischool.berkeley.edu/news/2017/in-memory-of-ray-larson.
Sept 29: ** NO SEMINAR MEETING **
Oct 6: Jeff MACKIE-MASON, University Librarian: Can We Afford to go
Gold (Open Access)? Can We Afford Not To?
There is wide-spread (though not universal) agreement
that scholarly publications should be available open access, so that
research results — often funded by tax dollars — can be read and
built upon by all scholars, scientists and practitioners, anywhere,
rather than be locked behind a paywall (what we used to call
”subscriptions“). However, despite over 25 years of manifestos and
conferences and experiments in open access publishing, we are still
very far away from having most scholarship openly available.
Berkeley is the second of five US institutions that has signed the
OA2020 Expression of Interest; see oa2020.us for more info. Yet nearly
90 institutions worldwide have signed the EOI. Most US university
libraries and other organizations have resisted, or are outright
hostile to the core proposal of OA2020, which is to pursue open
access through the ”gold" business model route. I will discuss the
underlying economics of the scholarly publishing industry, and then
focus on the implications for different pathways to achieve open
access, and to reduce publisher monopoly power. I’ll de-construct
some of the myths common in current conversations about these
issues, and explain why Berkeley has taken a somewhat unpopular
leadership position among US universities on this issue.
Jeffrey MacKie-Mason is University Librarian,
Chief Digital Scholarship Officer,
Professor in the School of Information and Professor of Economics.
More at www.jeff-mason.com/
Oct 13: Elaine SEDENBERG & Daniel GRIFFIN: The Center for Technology,
Society & Policy: What Works, What Doesn't, and How to Set a Research
Agenda that Empowers Student Impact.
Center for Technology, Society & Policy (CTSP) directors
Elaine Sedenberg and Daniel Griffin will give updates on the center's
growth and progress, as well as lead an open-ended discussion about
the challenges and opportunities available to a small-scale,
student-focused center. The directors will discuss challenges
associated with bridging the practitioner/researcher divide, and
give a sneak peak into planned activities.
For more on the Center for Technology, Society &
Policy see ctsp.berkeley.edu/.
Elaine Sedenberg and Daniel Griffin
are PhD students in this School. See ctsp.berkeley.edu/leadership/.
Oct 22: David ROSENTHAL, Stanford: The Amnesiac Society.
This talk is a rehearsal for the keynote of the Pacific
Neighborhood Consortium in Taiwan next month. The PNC theme is "Data
What is the data that informs a society? It is easy to
think that it is just numbers, timely statistical information of the
kind that drives Google Maps real-time traffic display. But the rise
of text-mining and machine learning means that we must cast our net
much wider. Historic and textual data is equally important. It forms
the knowledge base on which civilization operates.
For nearly a thousand years this knowledge base has
been stored on paper, an affordable, durable, write-once and somewhat
tamper-evident medium. For more than five hundred years it has been practical to print
on paper, making Lots Of Copies to Keep Stuff Safe. LOCKSS is the name
of the program at the Stanford Libraries that Vicky Reich and I started
in 1998. We took a distributed approach; providing libraries with tools
they could use to preserve knowledge in the Web world. They could work
the way they were used to doing in the paper world, by collecting copies
of published works, making them available to readers, and cooperating
via inter-library loan. Two years earlier, Brewster Kahle had founded
the Internet Archive, taking a centralized approach to the same problem.
Why are these programs needed? What have we learned in the last two
decades about their effectiveness? How does the evolution of Web
technologies place their future at risk?
David S. H. Rosenthal is the recently retired
Chief Scientist of the LOCKSS www.lockss.org/ program at
Stanford, which like Google
celebrates its 19th birthday this month.
Oct 27: Michael BUCKLAND: What counts as Information?
What counts as a Collection?
A progress report on two topics:
(1) “Information” usually refers to text, images, or data, but specimens and other objects can also be informative. Suzanne Briet’s famous declaration in 1951 that an antelope in a zoo could be regarded as a document is now widely cited. However, she provided minimal explanation. A search for her sources led to the same ideas and a thoughtful explanation in 1947 by Robert Pagès, a social psychologist, whose work I will summarize.
(2) The welcome rise of Open Access in a network environment calls into question the traditional role of the library’s collection and, especially, of the library catalog. It also revives older issues concerning the relationship between the human librarian and the library catalog and the relationship between the catalog and bibliographies. A fundamental re-consideration is indicated.
Nov 3: Clifford LYNCH: Developments in the Marketplace for Cultural
Materials, with Implications for Access and Preservation.
In this seminar session, I will discuss some emerging
and troublesome developments that are becoming clear as the marketplace
for cultural materials becomes not only increasingly digital, but also
fragments into huge numbers of separate distribution channels, and shifts
from the (sort of permanent) licensing of digital objects to their
performance through streaming. In addition, I'll summarize some
developments from the recent Internet Archive Library Leaders meeting
dealing with the ability to re-format physical materials into
electronic form and their implications.
Nov 10: University holiday: No Seminar.
Monday Nov 13, 4-5 pm, South Hall 107.
Claudio GOTTSCHALG-DUQUE, University of Brasilia, Brazil:
Towards Knowledge-Based Decision Support System using Propositional
Analysis and Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST).
The project's leading objective is to develop a Natural
Language Interface for Knowledge-Based Decision Support System (KBDSS)
using Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) and Propositional Analysis.
KBDSS is a system that provides specialized expertise (problem-solving)
stored as facts, rules, procedures, or in similar structures that can
be directly accessed by the user. The idea is to develop an independent
module that, based in IRS collections. texts, generates questions in
natural language to help users to find the relevant information in
the system. It is a research project basically, but not only, in
fields of Linguistic, Computational Linguistics, Artificial
Intelligence, Information Retrieval and Information Science.
Claudio Gottschalg-Duque is Professor in the
Department of Information Science and Documentation, University of
Brasilia, Brazil. He has doctoral degrees in Information Science
and in Linguistics. More at lattes.cnpq.br/8531105272766089.
Nov 17: Christine BORGMAN, UCLA: If Data Sharing is the Answer,
What is the Question?
Data sharing has become normative policy enforced by
governments, funding agencies, journals, and other stakeholders.
Reasons for data sharing include leveraging investments in research,
reducing the need to collect new data, addressing new research questions
by reusing or combining extant data, and reproducing research, which would
lead to greater accountability, transparency, and less fraud. Much of the
scholarship on data practices attempts to understand the sociotechnical
barriers to sharing, with goals to design infrastructures, policies, and
cultural interventions that will overcome these barriers. Yet data sharing
and reuse are common practice in only a few fields. Astronomy and genomics
in the sciences, survey research in the social sciences, and archaeology
in the humanities are the typical exemplars, and remain the exceptions
rather than the rule. The lack of success of data sharing policies,
despite accelerating enforcement over the last decade, indicates the
need not just for a much deeper understanding of the roles of data in
contemporary science, but also for developing new models of scientific
practice. This presentation will report on research in progress, funded
by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to examine three factors that appear
to influence data practices across domains: How does the mix of domain
expertise influence the collection, use, and reuse of data and vice versa?
What factors of scale – such as data, discipline, distribution, and
duration – influence research practices, and how? How does the
centralization or decentralization of data collection influence use,
reuse, curation, and project strategy, and vice versa? Context for this
talk is drawn from the presenter’s recent book, Big Data, Little Data,
No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World (MIT Press, 2015).
Christine Borgman is Distinguished Professor and
Presidential Chair in Information Studies at UCLA and the author many
publications including three books: Big Data, Little Data,
No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World (2015); Scholarship
in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet (2007);
and From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to
Information in a Networked World (2000). She is Co-Chair of the
CODATA-ICSTI Task Group on Data Citation and Attribution.
At UCLA, she directs the Center for Knowledge Infrastructures. More at http://christineborgman.info/.
Nov 25: Thanksgiving: No Seminar.
Dec 1: Michael BUCKLAND and Clifford LYNCH.
Michael BUCKLAND: Bibliographical Access to
Bibliographical techniques to provide sophisticated access
to print publications were developed long ago. Access to other media
has been slower to develop. Librarian Suzanne Briet asserted that an
antelope could be a document and bibliographer Donald F. McKenzie said that
bibliography should extend to the description of significant landscapes.
How might a unified framework for the description, indexing, and discovery
of all such resources be developed?
Clifford LYNCH: Year in Review and Preview: A Few Major
At the December CNI meeting, as part of my annual
plenary I note some major developments over the past year and some that
I am expecting in the coming year. I will very briefly summarize a
number of the key trends I am tracking and seek reactions, including
suggestions for important developments I may have overlooked or
The Seminar will resume on January 19th.