School of Information
 Previously School of Library & Information Studies

 296a-1 Seminar: Information Access.
 ("The Friday Afternoon Seminar")
 Summaries - Fall 2007.

Fridays 3-5. 107 South Hall. Schedule.
Summaries will be added as they become available.

Friday, August 31: Clifford LYNCH: Introductions. Audience and Interactivity.
    "Round-the-table": A regular part of the seminar is an opportunity for participants to talk about briefly about their own work, or about interesting things that they have seen and read. At this session of the seminar, we'll invite everybody to introduce themselves briefly, and ask them to quickly summarize the most interesting thing they have read, or the most interesting presentation that they've seen, since the seminar last met in May.
    Audience and Interactivity: There has been a lot of discussion about interactive exhibitions and interactive collections, particularly in the context of so-called Web 2.0 services. I will make the argument that these are relatively trivial examples of a much more complex set of challenges that are arising as cultural memory organizations interact with the public through exhibitions and collections; I'll provide some examples and raise a number of research problems that might be explored.

Sep 7: Clifford LYNCH: Authorship and Identity.
    I'll look at various developments in scholarly communication (citation indexing, web statistics gathering, preprint archives); in identity management; and in name authority control. My fundamental thesis will be that there is an opportunity to begin to deliberately and systematically relate and potentally converge developments in these different areas; I'll lead a discussion of the issues and actors that might be involved in doing so.
    In this talk, I'll look at various developments in scholarly communication (citation indexing, web statistics gathering, preprint archives); in identity management; and in name authority control. My fundamental thesis will be that there is an opportunity to begin to deliberately and systematically relate and potentally converge developments in these different areas; I'll lead a discussion of the issues and actors that might be involved in doing so.

Sep 14: Lewis LANCASTER, Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative: 3-D Visual Analysis of the Korean Buddhist Canon.
    A report on two related projects:
- 1 - "Text Analysis and Pattern Detection: 3-D and Virtual Reality Environments". The physical positions of each ideograph on the woodblocks used to print the 1,500 Chinese Buddhist texts provide a physical framework for complex analyses of the woodblocks, the texts, and their associated metadata. A new project funded by the National Science Foundation; and
- 2 - The "Religious Atlas of China and the Himalayas" is expected to include names, dates, coordinates, and associated information for several thousand religious places in China and the Himalayas, including mosques, churches and temples; sacred mountains; religious kingdoms; monumental statuary, and other categories of features. The Henry Luce Foundation recently awarded a grant for a three-year continuation. See
    Using the Chinese Buddhist canon as a backdrop for exploring these issues, 3-D and graphic interfaces can offer a dynamic experience for canonic research by combining multiple modalities (text, images, maps, audio, video, 3D graphics, etc.) and contextualizing them in space and time.

Sep 21: Michael BUCKLAND: Reference Library Service in a Digital Environment.
    A valuable feature of the paper-based library is the reference library, with carefully selected resources for answering all kinds of questions. Somehow the reference library seems to have got lost on the way to the digital library environment. A review of the research literature on library reference services reveals a seriously incomplete record with an emphasis on empowering librarians rather than on empowering library users. What would be the characteristics of an ideal reference service in a digital environment?
    An opportunity to re-design reference library service for a digital, network environment arises in a new project entitled "Context and relationships: Ireland and Irish Studies" funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities' joint NEH-IMLS Advancing Knowledge program. The challenge is to provide any reader with the best available explanations of names, words, places, events, etc., encountered while reading. This can be done by supporting queries to trusted internet-accessible resources. The Queen's University, Belfast is funded to scan and digitize back-runs of journals in Irish Studies, JSTOR-style. The Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (in collaboration with the Celtic Studies Program and the School of Information) has been funded to use those texts as a test case for proof-of-concept self-help reference support. More at the project website at

Sept 28: Bruce MILLER, University Librarian, UC Merced: The University of California, Merced Library: What other research libraries will be.
    R Bruce Miller, Founding University Librarian at UC Merced, will discuss the rapid transition of the UC Merced Library from concept in 2001 to a fully functional cutting edge research university library in 2007. The UC Merced Library superficially is similar to other research university libraries, but a closer look reveals unique organizational structures, atypical programs focused on communication with users, bold attitudes regarding access to information resources, integrated and non-intrusive technology, and pizza delivery to the reading rooms. The role of Librarians is focused on initiative, leadership, and creativity. Librarians are not allowed to do "piecework". Miller will discuss problems and successes. The focus will be on the evolving nature of libraries and the opportunities and challenges that face the profession.

Oct 5: Two reports:
    Natalia LOZOVSKY & Michael BUCKLAND: Designing a Medieval Place Name Resource
    Latin place names continued in use in Africa, Asia and Europe long after the Fall of Rome. Existing lists of medieval Latin place names exhibit many of the worst aspects of the print environment, being largely out-of-date, incomplete, and inaccessible. So what would be the best course of action today to harvest existing resources, update the notion of what a place name list can do, and maximize accessibility, currency, completeness, and usefulness through cooperation, open source software, quality control, and peer production?
    Ryan SHAW: Conceptual Schemas for Events.
    This past spring I began a survey of current practice in representing events by examining a number of standards from the historical, archival, and genealogical communities. This fall, I am continuing that survey by looking at models of event structure and event relationships developed by philosophers, cognitive psychologists, and researchers in the multimedia computing and Semantic Web communities. My goal is to develop a comprehensive understanding of different disciplinary approaches to conceptualizing and representing events that can inform the design of event-oriented systems of information organization.
Oct 12: Ray LARSON and others: Tutorial Workshop on the Mark-up of Biographical Text.
    XML and the roles of mark-up; the contexts of documents and of readers; "context finder" and "context builder" interfaces with a 4W-facet approach (What, Where, When & Who); pre-processing biographical text for named entity extraction; and the treatment of events.
    This presentation is based on the "Bringing Lives to Light: Biography in Context" project and will be repeated at the ECAI/PNC conference on Oct 20, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Oct 19: "Area Studies, Then and Now": Shared sessions with the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative and Pacific Neighborhood Consortium Annual Conference and Joint Meetings.
    Anyone who attends the Friday Afternoon Seminar is invited to participate instead in the ECAI/PNC conference sessions.
- 14:00-15:50: Bechtel Engineering Center- Bentley Room (120B) "e-Resource and Service".
- - It Takes a Community; Saving Today's Heritage for Tomorrow Citizens. The LOCKSS and CLOCKSS Program. Victoria Reich, Stanford University Library.
- - Breathing New Life into Static Materials. Jieh Hsiang, National Taiwan University Library. - - The e-Resources & Services of the National Central Library in Taiwan. Wei Peng, National Central Library, Taiwan.
- - A Semantic Web based Model for Evaluation of Electronic Resources and Service. Arthur Chen, Academia Sinica Computing Centre.
- 14:00-15:40. Hearst Memorial Mining Building, 1F (HMMB): "Cultural Atlases Contextual Infrastructure".
- - Linking Texts to External Resources for Context and Relationships. Michael Buckland, Berkeley.
- - Annotating Space and Time in Historical Atlases: Then and now. Elwin Koster, University of Groningen, Netherlands.
- - A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place: the architecture behind A Vision of Britain. Humphrey Southall, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
- 16:00-17:40. Bechtel Engineering Center- Bentley Room (120B): "e-Science".
- - Building and Operating Grid Infrastructures for e-Science - Lessons Learned and Recommendations. Wolfgang Gentzsch, D-Grid, Duke, and RENCI.
- - Scientific Workflows: Cyber Infrastructure for e-Science. Bertram Ludaescher, University of California, Davis.
- - Establishing e-Science Infrastructure in Asia. Eric Yen, Simon C. Lin, Academia Sinica Grid Center, Taiwan.
- 16:00-17:50. Hearst Memorial Mining Building (HMMB) 1F: "Institutional Collaborations and Funding"
    Details at
    If you wish to attend more than the Friday afternoon sessions, then you need to register for the conference.
    There will be no separate Friday Afternoon Seminar meeting.

Oct 26: Megan FYNN: The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake: Post-disaster Information Ecologies.
    My research proposes to look at what I am calling "post-disaster information ecologies" after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake by examining the information infrastructure. Disasters represent a particularly interesting site for research, and particularly research about "information" because of the paucity of information after a disaster. People simply need information to make sense of what has happened and to understand the most appropriate actions to take. I will look at several cases of the information infrastructure (such as radio, telephone, and building annotation) from Loma Prieta. There are three questions which my dissertation proposes to address about this case:
    1. How do people make sense of their environment after a disaster using the information infrastructure?
    2. How is the information infrastructure influenced by formal and informal social structures?
    3. Why is it problematic to try to understand how "information" "works" after a disaster without looking at the ways in which information infrastructure is shaped by and shapes social worlds?

Nov 2: John WILLINSKY, Stanford University: The Current Shakeup in Scholarly Communication, Chapter 23: A Critical Incident in Academic Freedom, Bioethics, and Open Access.
    A participant-observer's view on how the 2006 firing of editors at a prominent medical journal came to highlight conflicts in the epistemological and economic principles at work in biomedical scholarly publishing, while demonstrating how the ethics of academic freedom can be reasserted through new publishing models.

Co-sponsored by the Office for History of Science and Technology.
Nov 9: Colin BURKE, Univ of Maryland Baltimore Campus: From Science Information's Concilium Bibliographicum of the 1890s to Espionage and Communist Dungeons in the 1950s.

    This talk describes a forthcoming book on the history of an 1890s attempt to create and sustain a world-wide, random-access, cumulative, and updatable data-base of all scientific information indexed in an "international language", a language that helped to develop the UDC. The Zurich Concilium's history was deep and long. It's fate was tied to the birth of the American research university, the wealth and values of a liberal American Quaker family, the struggles between pragmatic and theoretical information specialists, the internationalist movements (including the work of Paul Otlet), the rise of America's eastern liberal elite and its institutions, the nationalist urge in American science information, and, much, much more,--including the modern art movement. The history of the Concilium's founder, and his family, are also linked to: the ambitions of the American intelligence agencies in World Wars I and II; Soviet espionage in the 1930s and 1940s; the brutal purges in Eastern and Central Europe in the 1940s and 1950s; and, the shaping the cold war's science information systems.
    Colin Burke is Emeritus Professor, Dept of History, University of Maryland Baltimore Campusr. His writings include Information and Secrecy: Vannevar Bush, Ultra, and the other Memex (Scarecrow Pr., 1994), The secret in Building 26 : the untold story of America's ultra war against the U-boat Enigma codes (with Jim DeBrosse) (Random House, 2004), and "History of Information Science" Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 4 (2007): 3-54.

Nov 16: Dan PERKEL: How Does an Online Art Community Take Shape?
    How do ongoing practices of making and sharing art shape the development of the technological aspects of an art community website and how does the production of the site in turn shape the social and creative practices of the diverse groups of people involved? What are the various ways in which the site's "users" influence the technological production of the site? How is the creative expression and creative production going on in the site structured by the social organization, technical implementation, and ongoing social practices on the site? Finally, what role do youth play in the site's development and how do they understand their own practices on the site? I intend an ethnographic approach to technology use and design by participating on the site, finding ways to get into the lives and activity of the site's members (including both "users" and "designers," a highly problematic distinction on this particular site), and tracing the historical and ongoing development of particular site features and practices from multiple points of view.

Nov 23: Thanksgiving. No seminar meeting.

Nov 30: Vivien PETRAS; also Ryan SHAW.
    Vivien PETRAS, GESIS-IZ, Bonn, Germany: Terminology Mapping for Distributed Search.

    Between 2004-2007, the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research funded a major terminology mapping initiative at the GESIS Social Science Information Centre in Bonn (GESIS-IZ) with the task to organize, create and manage 'cross-concordances' between major controlled vocabularies (thesauri, classification systems, subject heading lists) centred around the social sciences but quickly extending to other subject areas. To date, 62 mappings between 25 different controlled vocabularies and almost half a million relations were created. I will introduce the project, show some possible applications and present results from an evaluation effort that was targeted toward measuring the effectiveness of these mappings in search.
    Also Ryan SHAW: Conceptual Schemas for Events: Final Progress Report.
    This fall I looked at theories or models of event structure and event relationships developed by philosophers, cognitive psychologists, and researchers in the multimedia computing and Semantic Web communities. I will present some conclusions about these models and their usefulness as a basis for designing systems that index documents in terms of historical events. I will end by speculating on some alternative approaches that may be more useful and discuss upcoming work to implement these approaches in a working prototype.

Dec 7: Last meeting of Semester: Clifford LYNCH: The Fall in Review.
    To conclude this semester, I'll quickly review a number of documents and events that we haven't had time to cover in detail, including the draft report of the Library of Congress Task Force on the Future of Bibliographic Control, developments at the National Science Foundation Office of Cyberinfrastructure, the fall meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, and the Ithaka report on Universities as Publishers in the Digital Age and its aftermath.

Fall 2007 Schedule.   Spring 2007 schedule and summaries.   Spring 2008 schedule and summaries.