Previously School of Library & Information Studies
Friday Afternoon Seminar: Summaries.
296a-1 Seminar: Information Access, Spring 2017.
Fridays 3-5. 107 South Hall.
Schedule. Weekly mailing list.
Friday, Jan 20: Michael BUCKLAND: New Designs for Discovery and Access
There was a deliberate and fundamental change
in library service strategy 200 years ago and the
following design principles emerged:
(1) The catalog became a self-service alternative to the librarian’s direct
mediating between readers and the collection;
(2) A library catalog is a specialized form of bibliography limited to
what the library owns;
(3) Subject catalogs are an acceptable substitute for subject arrangement
on open shelves;
(4) Library catalogs record locations of copies, bibliographies don’t;
(5) Catalogs record publishers' units (whole books; periodical titles); and
(6) Standardization brings beneficial cost-effective uniformity for everyone.
Not only can these principles be questioned, but
existing library and bibliographical practices
for discovery and access are still based on now-obsolete assumptions
that pre-date digital networks. So we need
to go back to basics and build more useful designs based on contemporary
assumptions. Join us for a discussion.
Jan 27: Clifford LYNCH: Reading Analytics and the Emerging
Calculus of Reader Privacy.
Reading analytics are a relatively new development
but are being deployed in many contexts and at a variety of scales.
In this presentation, I'll report on work I've been doing over the
last few years to understand developments in this area, and the
conclusions of a lengthy paper that I've just completed. This will
include a discussion of the emergence of new consumers of reading
analytics data, including authors, and case studies that include
both mass-market ebooks and scholarly journals.
Feb 3: Michael BUCKLAND: Where Does the Study of Information
Lead To? Part 1.
Discourse on the scope of information science /
studies has drawn heavily on definitions and disciplines.
But what if we took a central concept and see where it leads to?
I was recently asked to prepare an 8,000 word encyclopedia article
on “document theory” which has led me into some unfamiliar
areas (e.g. “thing knowledge”). I will review what I have
included (and why) and the conclusions that I am drawing,
including a strengthened belief that discourse based on
definitions and in terms of disciplines (being
interdisciplinary, or meta-disciplinary, etc.) is questionable.
Join us for a discussion.
Continued on February 17.
Feb 10: Elaine SEDENBERG & Jennifer KING: The Center for
Technology, Society and Policy.
Co-directors Elaine and Jen will give updates about
the second year of the center, including successes and lessons
learned from the inaugural year. The talk will include ideas for
the upcoming year on engaging young scholars and expanding the
role of the "citizen technologist" in the public roles. The
talk will conclude with a discussion about the challenges of
and opportunities for translating research and technical
expertise into the current policy landscape.
Feb 17: Michael BUCKLAND: Where Does the Study of Information
Lead To? Part 2.
Continued from February 3.
Feb 24: Rob SANDERSON, Getty Institute: Every Identity, its Ontology.
Or ... The shared identity of the concept of the
fictional person Dr Strangelove: How I learned to stop worrying
and love inconsistency.
The notion of Linked Open Data is that there
are identities that can be shared and reused. The cultural
heritage sector demonstrates a common challenge for this ideal in
its multitude of "authority" lists from Library of Congress,
to OCLC, to the Getty Vocabularies. Even when mapped into Linked
Open Data, these existing identities are inconsistent, even
unintelligible, as we lack a common ontology to serve as the
means of expressing the fundamental particulars of the individuals
we claim to have those identities. The long established tradition
of collecting names of things and blessing one over others does
not translate successfully into an ecosystem predicated on shared
identities. For example, some systems distinguish pseudonyms just
as alternate names, some as personae that can act separately, and
others as actual individual people. Given this challenge, which is
both philosophical and practical, what paradigm shifts are possible
to bring about sufficient confidence in the distributed system that
we can have a true web of cultural data? This seminar will address
some of the philosophical difficulties of identity within Linked Data,
some of the practical improvements that we can make, and some of
the processes that will be improved by doing so.
Rob Sanderson is Metadata Architect at the Getty
Center, Los Angeles. For a recent interview, see blogs.getty.edu/iris/a-conversation-with-the-gettys-new-semantic-architect/.
Mar 3: Max EIBL: Teaching Information Retrieval as a Game.
The talk presents some issues about teaching information
retrieval to a heterogeneous group of students. It introduces a web-based
tool which enables the students to playfully gain experience with the
components of an information retrieval system (IRS). The system allows
beginners to build an IRS by simply clicking and dragging the components.
The system integrates game mechanics which leads to a playful experience.
More experienced users can also modify the components or add new ones
can easily and rapidly run evaluations like CLEF or TReC. By this they
gain immediate insight in the effect of the different components of
their retrieval system.
Maximilian Eibl is a professor of Computer Science
at Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany. His research interests
include Information Retrieval and Human Computer Interaction focussing
on applications in the field of cultural heritage and museums. He is
currently visiting scholar at iSchool. More at
Mar 10: Patrick SCHMITZ and Chris HOFFMAN:
New developments in Research IT services.
Patrick Schmitz and Chris Hoffman will present
recent work across the
programs supported by Research IT, including Berkeley Research Computing,
Research Data Management, and Museum Informatics. They'll describe projects
and collaborations that are advancing research across the campus.
For the work of Research IT see:
Berkeley Research Computing:
Research Data Management: researchdata.berkeley.edu
Patrick Schmitz is Associate Director of Research
IT, and Program Director of Berkeley Research Computing.
Chris Hoffman is Program Director of Research Data Management,
and Manager for Museum Informatics.
Mar 17: Ofer BERGMAN, Bar-Ilan University, Israel:
The Science of Managing Our Digital Stuff.
Personal Information Management (PIM) is an activity
in which an individual stores personal information items (e.g. files,
emails and Web favorites) in order to retrieve them later. Despite
the fact that PIM is a fundamental computer-based activity and
millions of computer users manage their personal information on a
daily basis, we nevertheless lack systematic scientific knowledge
in this domain. The talk will review findings from a book Prof. Steve
Whittaker and I wrote, which was recently published by MIT Press.
I will report on multiple studies that compared the use of the
traditional folder method with various alternatives – search, tags
and group information management. I will explain our counterintuitive
results in terms of our new cognitive and neuropsychological findings.
I will conclude by introducing the user-subjective approach, which is
the first design approach dedicated specifically to PIM.
Dr. Ofer Bergman is Associate Professor in the Information Science Department at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and currently on sabbatical leave at UC Santa Cruz. Dr. Bergman is a specialist in Human-Computer Interaction, Personal Information Management, and Information Behavior. He has published over 30 papers in the field. He received the Best JASIST Paper Award in 2009 and has received several grants and awards. More at http://is.biu.ac.il/en/bergman and mitpress.mit.edu/books/science-managing-our-digital-stuff.
Mar 24: Clifford LYNCH: Documenting "Algorithms".
The term "algorithms" is now being used,particularly
by legal scholars and researchers in the social sciences, as shorthand
to describe complex, large scale socio-technical systems such as social
media platforms, various analytic systems, recommendation engines, and
the like that actually depend on a myriad of frequently
opaque and constantly changing computational algorithms (in the
classic, computer-science use of the term), often including various
kinds of machine learning technologies. There has been a great deal of
interest in recent years in understanding the various behaviors and
potential biases embodied in such systems, and conferences have been
convened addressing themes such as "algorithms and accountability".
Less well explored is how we might document the behaviors of these
constantly changing systems at a given point in time. In this seminar,
I will explore the nature of the problem, and discuss very preliminary
thinking on pathways to address the increasingly urgent need to
document and preserve these often-critical social and societal
Mar 31: Spring Break: No Seminar Meeting.
Apr 7: ** Change of program. In South Hall 210 **
Michael BUCKLAND: Documentary Film: Emanuel Goldberg
and the First Search Engine.
During the 1990s work in South Hall on the history of
the forgotten work of Emanuel Goldberg (Moscow 1881-Tel Aviv 1970),
who, among many other accomplishments, designed and
demonstrated the first electronic
search engine in 1931 (sic) in Dresden, Germany.
Earlier this month, on March 10,
museum opened an exhibition entitled Emanuel Goldberg: Architect of
Knowledge and premiered a documentary film about him:
"A nearly forgotten genius, Emanuel Goldberg influenced
the history of photography, documentary and media art, and laid the
foundation for Israel’s optical industry now to be recognized in the
first documentary of his extraordinary life."
Since both the exhibition and the film were
based on my biography of Goldberg, I attended as an invited guest.
Join me for a brief explanation and enjoy the North
American premiere of the film (78 minutes in English and German with
Vannevar Bush's famous essay "As we may think" (1945)
was based -- without acknowledgment -- on the technology developed
and patented by Goldberg. For more on Emanuel Goldberg see people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~buckland/goldberg.html.
Jeff MACKIE-MASON, University Librarian, has been
rescheduled to the Fall semester.
Apr 14: Laurie PEARCE & Patrick SCHMITZ: Berkeley Prosopography Services (BPS): a toolkit supporting humanities research.
The work of social, economic, and intellectual historians
depends on identifying participants in communities, transactions,
and processes being investigated. BPS supports research workflows
through abstracting and implementing the probabilistic heuristics
commonly applied in the process of disambiguating namesakes in text
corpora, by offering the user the opportunity to modify the heuristics
to explore "what if" scenarios, and to visualize the results in
interactive graphs. Here, we consider the contributions and
challenges of developing and applying this approach to humanities
The presenters are project manager and technical lead,
respectively, of Berkeley Prosopography Services.
More at dev.berkeleyprosopography.org/ and at berkeleyprosop.digitalhumanities.berkeley.edu/.
Laurie Pearce's research is focused on the social
and economic history of Mesopotamia in the first millennium BCE. She
directs Hellenistic Babylonia: Texts, Images and Names, part of the
digital text consortium On-line Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus
(Oracc). She is a lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Studies,
which has an active presence in the Berkeley DH community.
Patrick Schmitz is Associate Director of Research
IT Architecture and Strategy, providing IT strategy and solutions in
support of campus research; and Program Director of Berkeley
Research Computing. He has provided technical leadership to build IT
solutions supporting museums and faculty collections, various research
projects, and education, with an emphasis on data science and semantic
technologies (NLP and statistical linguistics, social media and
Apr 21: In South Hall 205: Jeanette ZERNEKE, Electronic
Cultural Atlas Initiative: Mapping & Visualization of Cultural Data:
Native California, Mosques in China, Maritime Buddhism.
The current popularity of Digital Humanities provides
an opportunity to examine issues in mapping and visualization of
transdisciplinary data. This presentation includes: demos of early
California history; mapping of religious institutions in China; and a
collaborative project mapping the migration of Buddhism from India
through Southeast Asia to China. With these ECAI projects as case studies
the presentation will consider themes including: data collection and
curation, the function of visualizations, technical choices, collaboration,
and what are the results / academic outcomes.
Jeanette Zerneke has work at UC Berkeley for
over 30 years as an Information System Developer, Manager, and as
Technical Director for ECAI since 1998, Jeanette has created a wide
range of digital resources, contributed to development of many new
technologies, participated in local and global collaborations, managed
development of cultural atlases, and designed and hosted conferences,
workshops, and training sessions.
Apr 28: Cathy MARSHALL: Personal Digital Archives: From Accumulation
During an individual’s lifetime, the content and organization of
a personal digital archive depends largely on whatever personal
information management regimens the collection’s owner(s) have adopted.
Some aspects, for example, outward-facing parts of the collection held
as social media, may be extensively curated; other portions may be subject
to policies imposed by storage providers and surrogate stewards of the
data (e.g. in the case of governmental, financial, and medical records).
Still other portions (e.g. local and cloud storage) may show patterns
of long-term accumulation and benign neglect. What do these diverse
policies and practices mean for personal collections as historical
legacy? I use my experience with personal papers held in research
library collections to investigate four issues that will play a
major role in shaping tomorrow’s personal digital archives:
(1) ephemerality, permanence, and privacy concerns; (2)
self-representation and reliability; (3) historical, biographical,
and genealogical utility; and (4) copyright, ownership, and access policies.
Cathy Marshall is a San Francisco-based
adjunct professor at the Texas A&M University Center for the Study
of Digital Libraries and sometime volunteer at the Internet
Archive. See www.csdl.tamu.edu/~marshall.
The Seminar will resume on August 25.