School of Information
 Previously School of Library & Information Studies

 Friday Afternoon Seminar: Summaries.
  296a-1 Seminar: Information Access, Fall 2014.

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

Aug 29: No seminar meeting.

Sep 5: Clifford LYNCH: Introductions to the Seminar and of participants.
    Reconsidering the Challenges of Software Preservation and Sustainability.

    Reconsidering the Challenges of Software Preservation and Sustainability.
    Software preservation has long been recognized as a very hard problem. However, there has been much less focus than one might like on the purposes and audiences for software preservation; further, there has been a certain fascination with particularly difficult or even pathological cases that has dominated considerations of preservation at scale. While the connections between software and digital documents of various types (and the prospective role of standards in making these connections less crucial) has long been recognized, in recent years the growing focus on the stewardship and reuse of research data has forced the recognition of potential critical interdependencies between data and the software to work with it; here standards do not seem to be as helpful, and other approaches may be key. Finally, we have a deeper understanding of software lifecycles and the challenges of software sustainability (which is emerging as an enormous problem) and the problems that these pose to research communities that depend on specific software; yet the connections between sustainability and preservation are not well articulated.
    In my talk and the subsequent discussion, my hope is to take a fresh look at the overall formulation of the challenges involved in both preservation and sustanability of software, and the connections between these twin objectives.

Sep 12: Aaron MARCUS, Aaron Marcus and Associates: Mobile Persuasion Design: Combining Information Design with Persuasion Design to Change Behavior.
    The mobile Machine projects of Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc. (AM+A) will be described. Each combines information design and persuasion design to change people’s behavior. The mobile products employ smart phones, tablets, and/or Web portals. The Green Machine concerns energy conservation and sustainability in order to save energy use. The Health Machine concerns nutrition and exercise to avoid obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. The Money Machine concerns saving/spending money so baby boomers can retire safely. The Story Machine concerns story-sharing among generations of geographically dispersed, asynchronous families. Time permitting, other Machine projects will be described, including the Travel Machine, which seeks, to change business and leisure tourists into culture travelers and the Learning Machine, which seeks to enable students to take advantage of virtual universities and MOOCs on tablets.
    Aaron Marcus is President and Principal Designer/Analyst of Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc. (AM+A) in Berkeley. He has extensive experience in graphic design and interface design. Three of the projects to be described won design awards from the International Institute of Information Design in Vienna. Reports on this work have been presented at CHI 2012, APCHI 2012, User Friendly 2012, and DUXU 11, 13, and 14. Mr. Marcus is currently at work on a book, Mobile Persuasion Design, about all of these projects. More at

Sep 19: George OATES, Good, Form & Spectacle: If You Could Design A Museum From Scratch, What Would It Be Like?
    George Oates is a designer in the information gathering phase of a project to do just that, to make a working model of a museum. Come and enjoy a speculative design session on what a museum of the 21st Century could be.
    George Oates has worked on the web since 1996. She was the lead designer at Flickr from its inception until 2008, where she invented the Flickr Commons She redesigned the Open Library system at the Internet Archive from scratch, and then went on to do art direction at Stamen Design About three months ago, she left Stamen to start her own thing, a design firm called Good, Form & Spectacle The firm's mission is design in service to cultural heritage.

Sep 26: Michael BUCKLAND, Clifford LYNCH & Ryan SHAW: Digital Tools and Humanities Scholars.
    A wide variety of impressive projects demonstrate the possibilities of applying digital techniques in the humanities, softer social sciences, and cultural heritage when substantial funding and technical expertise are available. In parallel, a variety of more of less complex standards have emerged (e.g. Linked Open Data). But the typical individual historian, editor, archivist, or curator does not have the financial or technical resources (technical knowledge or experience, time, resistance to opaque ‘black box’ options, IT support, and/or money) to take advantage of the techniques and tools that have been developed, usually at considerable expense. Even simple tools made available for free are unlikely to be adopted if they are not smoothly incorporated into existing work practices and standard office software suites and/or web browsers. Widespread adoption of new tools is likely only if they are well-understood, the marginal cost and effort of adoption is very low, the practical benefits are high enough to motivate use, and stability of Sep 26: Michael BUCKLAND, Clifford LYNCH & Ryan SHAW: Digital Tools and Humanities Scholars.
support is assured. Join us for a discussion of these issues. For background take a look at the website and the “Light and shadows” website
    Ryan B. Shaw, PhD '10, who will join us by skype, is Assistant Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is Chief Scientist in the "Editorial Practices and the Web" project. More at

Oct 3: Chan LI & Jacqueline WILSON: California Digital Library: Calculating Scholarly Journal Value.     The number of scholarly e-journals has grown considerably in the last ten years, however many academic library budgets have not kept pace. To cope with this imbalance libraries have been looking for an effective way to analyze journal quality and use this information to make informed collection decisions. The California Digital Library (CDL) developed a value-based strategy to assess journals which is now used as a major part of the University of California's systemwide e-journal collection planning process. The value-based process is objective and quantifiable and is based on measures of utility, quality, and cost effectiveness, with a goal of alignment to UC's user communities and programmatic needs.
    The strategy involves using objective metrics to calculate the value of scholarly journals and identify titles that make a greater or lesser contribution to the University's mission of teaching, research, and public service. A key aspect of this strategy is the use of the CDL Weighted Journal Value Algorithm to assess multiple vectors of value for each journal title under review. This methodology compares each UC e-journal title licensed for systemwide use against other UC-licensed titles within the same subject category according to a variety of objective value indicators, in order to arrive at a comparative value for each journal within the UC shared licensing portfolio. The current analysis covers over 7,600 journals. Individual journal value metrics can be compiled in order to assess the value of journal publisher packages and to compare the value of a journal publisher package to other journal publisher packages.
    CDL recently completed an extensive evaluation of the algorithm. We gathered feedback and recommendations from a broad community including bibliometric scientists, library school faculty, librarians, economists, and statisticians in order to validate the algorithm's accuracy and reliability. For more information see
    Chan Li received her MLIS in 2006 from University of California Los Angeles. She is senior data analyst at the California Digital Library (CDL), where she manages all aspects of electronic resource analysis activities. In the recent years, Chan has been a key player in the development of CDL's weighted value algorithm to assess the significance of UC systemwide electronic journals across disciplines. Chan currently serves on NISO SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) Standing Committee.
    Jacqueline Wilson supports management of high-profile University of California negotiations with large academic publishers and parallel coordination with campus libraries, facilitates various collaborative collection decision making processes, provides support for systemwide policy and planning efforts for the UC Libraries and scholarly information activities, and provides project management and leadership for various systemwide library pilots and trials. She is Senior Associate for Collection Development and Management at the California Digital Library. She has an MLIS from Berkeley, American Management Association Certificates in Project Management and Executive Leadership, an ARL Certificate in Measuring Library Service Quality, and completed the Senge Group Systems Thinking Institute, Interaction Management Program.

Oct 10: Zachary PARDOS: Scaling Cognitive Modeling in Digital Education.
    Cognitive models of skill acquisition have been a successful measurement device in Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) to determine when a student has reached mastery. I will overview model extensions that have incorporated individual learner differences as well as effects of individual resource and resource ordering on skill acquisition. Incorporation of student affect detectors into the model will also be touched on. Current and future work discussed will include application of cognitive models to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and expanding the impact of learning analytics through a reproducible research platform for education (
    Zachary Pardos is an Assistant Professor in both the School of Information and the Graduate School of Education. His interests include educational data mining, learning analytics, and Formative assessment. More at
    Also: Özgür KÜLCÜ, Visiting Scholar, will briefly report on Online Access to Turkish Cultural Heritage Resources.
    Özgür Külcü is Associate Professor, Department of Information Management, Hacettepe University, Ankaha, Turkey.

Oct 17: Clifford LYNCH: Reader Privacy and the Flow of Information about Who is Reading What.
    1. Report and Observations from the Conference on Digital Experimentation held at MIT October 10-11. See for information on this event.
    2. Reader Privacy and the flow of information about who is reading what. I will return to this topic, which I introduced in the seminar last spring, from a broader perspective, exploring what kinds of data are being collected, who they are being shared with and what this might mean to privacy, authoring, and publishing. This topic has been very much in the news over the last two weeks with the discovery that the most recent edition of Adobe Digital Edition captures and distributes (in the clear, no less) vast amounts of reader data, though the details are still not totally clear.
    Also Ruchita RATHI & Dheera TALLAPRAGADA: Brief Progress Report.

Oct 24: Dagobert SOERGEL, University at Buffalo: Ontology mapping: A concept hub for storing mapping data and linguistic methods for producing mappings.

    Mapping between Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS), generally called Ontology Mapping for short (ontologies being a type of KOS) is central to achieving interoperability between systems, such as Electronic Health Record systems, and to reaching the full promise of the Semantic Web by finding any answer that can be derived by combining data posted by many agents. The problem of ontology mapping and its application can be divided into (1) designing systems that hold mapping data for use and (2) methods for creating mapping data. I will approach both issues from a deep conceptual perspective. On (1), mapping data are often stored "bilaterally" for individual pairs of KOS. I propose an alternative, dubbed concept hub, which takes the approach used in the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) one step further. In a concept hub for a group of KOS, concepts from each KOS are stored as description logic formulas, using a base vocabulary of elemental concepts and of concept relationships. The relationship between any pair of concepts in the hub can then be computed by a reasoner. On (2) I will present an approach for mapping from complex terms for the material of an art object, such as acrylic paint on canvass mounted on wood, as found in records in the ARTstor database, through elemental concepts from the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT). In the example, the description logic formula is:
    surface canvas; subsurface wood; coating acrylic paint.
The mapping process can be partially automated by discerning linguistic patterns that correspond to description logic patterns, with the role of each element in the description logic pattern can be seen from the place of a term in the linguistic pattern.
    Dagobert SOERGEL is professor in the Dept of Library and Information Studies, University at Buffalo and Professor Emeritus at the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland. He specializes in thesauri and classification (taxonomy and ontologies). More at

Oct 31: Halloween: No seminar meeting.

Nov 7: South Hall 202. Michael BUCKLAND & Tapan PARIKH. Special program welcoming California Library Association attendees.
  Michael BUCKLAND: How California Librarians Influenced Library Services in Japan: Some US Influecnes during the SCAP Occupation After World War II.

    Japanese librarianship was transformed during the allied occupation after the Second World War and California librarians had a strong influence. Robert Gitler, ’31, founded the first college-level library education program in Japan in 1951. Another alumnus, Philip Keeney, '27, got fired for fighting censorship in Montana then ruined by being denounced as a Soviet spy during the Red Scare. But in between he was "Library Officer" on the allied occupation staff and deserves recognition he has never received. He channeled the California County Library system developed by California State Librarian James Gillis, his charismatic county library organizer, Harriet Eddy, and others, into a unified plan for library services in Japan. It is a complex tale involving the School's founding director, Sydney Mitchell, Berkeley city librarian Carleton Joeckel, and more.
    Tapan PARIKH: Local Ground: Empowering Teenage Engagement in Community Issues.
    Avaaj Otalo, a phone-based voice message board allows small farmers in rural India to ask, answer and browse agricultural questions and answers. It receives hundreds of calls every week and impacts farmers’ decisions and has reduced use of less effective and potentially harmful pesticides. While Avaaj Otalo illustrates the importance of designing appropriate user interfaces for representing knowledge from underrepresented groups, knowledge must still be translated to structured, quantitative forms for aggregation and policy decision-making. Local Ground is a data collection, mapping and information visualization tool that helps youth develop data skills by making connections between different representations of empirical phenomena. Students collect open-ended qualitative data, in the form of free-hand drawings, pictures and audio interviews, then design structured data collection instruments for more systematic inquiry and analysis. These various forms of data are combined into narratives that can articulate youth perspectives to a variety of stakeholders. Local Ground has been used to involve youth the planning of a public park, ground-truth civic data about food access, and document air quality issues across the BART transportation system.
    Tapan Parikh, Associate Professor in the School of Information, explores several themes in his work, including the design of more accessible interaction techniques allowing new populations to author content, the importance of bottom-up data for planning and evaluating development projects, and how we can employ participatory computing technologies to improve learning and human agency. More at

Nov 14: Ruchita RATHI & Dheera TALLAPRAGADA: Moovit! Also Lisa BÖRJESSON: Lost Contexts.
    Ruchita RATHI & Dheera TALLAPRAGADA: Moovit!: Joint Interactions between a Smartwatch, Sensors, and Smartphones.

  The research topic seeks to explore design paradigms for joint interactions between a smartwatch, sensors, and smartphones. The final application prototype will be geared towards kids (4-6 year olds) and parents. We also seek to explore the impact of designing using applied behavioral economics principle specifically the principal of soft paternalism and its impact on interaction design for wearables.
    Lisa BÖRJESSON, Visiting Student Researcher; Uppsala University, Sweden: Lost Contexts: Limited Genre Understandings Hindering Access to Professional Archaeology Documentation.
    Knowledge production in archaeology is heavily dependent on field work documentation, and on efficient dissemination and retrieval of that documentation. As most archaeological surveys and excavations are performed outside university research as contract archaeology, a majority of the documentation is produced and managed in professional settings. The genres of professional documentation, also known as ‘grey literature’, have an ambiguous status in archaeology. On the one hand they represent most of the archaeological undertakings; on the other hand they are accused of being inaccessible and of having low quality content. Academic archaeologists neglecting the grey literature are in turn blamed for being disrespectful of professional archaeologists’ work. The discussion of the ‘grey literature problem’ in archaeology is multifold, but often returns to a tension between academia and the professional sphere. In my dissertation research I argue the focus on the tension between academia and professional archaeology limits understandings and usages of professional archaeology documentation. I propose a perspective on professional archaeology documentation as shaped by a larger context, including policy, public administrative and market logics as well as those of academia and professional work. The seminar presentation will give a line of historical examples supporting the study of archaeology documentation as shaped by a larger context, explain my dissertation research design, and briefly touch upon findings this far.
    Lisa Börjesson, M.A., is a second year doctoral student from Uppsala University in Sweden. During Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 she is a Visiting Student Researcher here in the at School of Information. Her research is a part of the research project Archaeological Information in the Digital Society (ARKDIS)

Nov 21: Short Reports and Clifford LYNCH.
    Short reports: The Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) Annual Meeting; etc.
    Clifford LYNCH: Preserving News and Stewardship Changes.
    News is an integral and important part of the broad cultural record and key evidence to support a very wide range of scholarly inquiry. In this conversation I will partially recapitulate and partially re-assess comments that I offered in a keynote talk very recently at a conference on preserving the news, with particular but not exclusive focus on "born-digital" news. I will also connect challenges involved in news to a much broader framework I am trying to develop and that we have discussed several times in the seminar which looks at stewardship transitions as key control points and events in the survival and management of important segments of the cultural record.

Nov 28: Thanksgiving: No Seminar meeting.

Dec 5: Last Meeting of the Semester: Ashwin CHANDAK: Camp Kinnect: A Sports-Based Youth Development Program.

    An addressable problem: Studies have demonstrated that 62% of middle-school students will fail to be ready for college and career success by the time they graduate from high school, and 36% of those already falling behind are at risk of dropping out in their first year of high school. A proposed Solution: Camp Kinnect is an after-school program that provides middle-school students with meaningful opportunities for deep learning and personal growth through innovative curricula, highly trained staff, and intentional mentorship. The program is designed to harness the interests and passions of youth to produce an integrated development of character, life skills, and career aspirations. We strive to equip each child to create and achieve his or her own path to success in a challenging and supportive environment.
    Ruchita RATHI & Dheera TALLAPRAGADA: Moovit!: Joint Interactions between a Smartwatch, Sensors, and Smartphones: Update.
    The research topic seeks to explore design paradigms for joint interactions between a smartwatch, sensors, and smartphones. The final application prototype will be geared towards kids (4-6 year olds) and parents. We also seek to explore the impact of designing using applied behavioral economics principle specifically the principal of soft paternalism and its impact on interaction design for wearables.

December 12: No Seminar meeting.

December 19: Additional Seminar meeting co-sponsored by the Institute for South Asia Studies:
    Joyojeet Pal, School of Information, University of Michigan: Social Media and the Political Right in India: An analysis of Narendra Modi's Tweeting.

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has over 8.2 million followers on Twitter and over 25 million "likes" on Facebook, making him among the most followed politicians on social media. With a mix of ‘feel good’ messages, shout-outs to other celebrities, well-timed ritualized responses, as well as a careful strategy of ‘followbacks’ for a small selection of his most active followers, Modi has been able to grow his following dramatically since 2013. Twitter helps Modi circumvent the mainstream media and directly reach a significant constituency of listeners. At the same time, social media is also central to his broader campaign of public image shaping as a technology-savvy leader who represents pan-Indian aspirations of modernity, away from Modi's own past image in the popular media as a central political figure in some of the worst communal riots in India.
    Joyojeet Pal, MIMS '04, is Assistant Professor in the School of Information, University of Michigan. His research is on technology and development in the Global South. His recent work has focused on the use accessible technology by people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries, and on the role of social media in political brand building in India. More at

The Seminar will resume in the Spring semester on January 23, 2015.
Fall 2014 schedule   Spring 2014 schedule and summaries.