Previously School of Library & Information Studies
Friday Afternoon Seminar: Summaries.
296a-1 Seminar: Information Access, Fall 2018.
Fridays 3-5. 107 South Hall.
Details will be added as they become available.
Aug 24: Clifford LYNCH & Michael BUCKLAND: Introductions.
Clifford LYNCH: The Cultural Record in the Information
We are seeing several developments that are rapidly
destabilizing the cultural record. These include the ability to
fabricate very persuasive audio and visual material (sometimes called
"deep fakes"), the exploitation of various mechanisms that include
online news media and social media platforms to target attention, and
the ability to exploit security breeches to corrupt rather than simply
steal information. This discussion will summarize a number of these
developments, and then focus on processes and infrastructure that the
cultural memory sector might emphasize to help to manage and
contextualize these materials. The discussion will be based in part on
a brief EDUCAUSE review article that should appear early this fall.
Aug 31: No Seminar meeting.
Sept 7: Luciana Corts MENDES: A Hermeneutical Metatheory for Information
The aim of the research is to present a unifying
framework for Information Science that has hermeneutics as its foundation.
Hermeneutics, a theory and methodology of interpretation, will be
briefly explained, as well as how it can underlie Information Science’s
basis. The research argues that a unifying framework for Information
Science that is based on hermeneutics posits human sense-making within
society at the core of the field, establishing that the question of
meaning is central to the development of information services. Preliminary
results will be presented.
Luciana Corts Mendes is here as a visiting student
researcher for six months. She is a PhD candidate in the Graduate
Programme in Information Science at the School of Communications and
Arts of the University of São Paulo, Brazil.
Sept 14: Michael BUCKLAND: Our First 50 Years: 1918-1968.
By 1900 there was an acute need for qualified librarians
and no program in the western states to prepare them. At Berkeley,
California’s land-grant university, President Wheeler accepted the need
but prevented action. The dramatic expansion of public library services
around 1910 induced the California State Library to start a school in
Sacramento until Berkeley could take over. In Fall 1918 the UC Berkeley
Library quietly began a one-year
full-time program for students already on campus without Wheeler’s
knowledge. A degree, a department, and a budget eventually followed.
The program remained very stable until expansion after 1946 and
doctoral programs in the 1960s. I will describe these developments
and some of the individuals involved, especially State Librarian
James Gillis, his charismatic organizer Harriet Eddy, and Sydney
Mitchell, who lead the school for nearly thirty years.
Sept 21: Matt BAYLEY: Towards a Distributed Web Crawling and
Indexing Infrastructure that Facilitates Diverse Collection and
Brief introduction of topic.
Michael BUCKLAND: Information Access: Scope and
What are the limits to discovery and access in a digital
context? Text printed on paper was the dominant medium for
some 500 years and a wide range of techniques were evolved to
support description, discovery, and forensic analysis for
authenticity, provenance, etc., mostly under the term
"bibliography". But the dominance of printing (and indeed of
writing) has receded with the rise of new media and new
publication forms which urgently need comparable attention.
After a brief historical account of concepts,
terminology, and anomalous claims by Suzanne Briet, Donald
McKenzie, and Karl Popper, I will address the limits of
information access. How far are the limits a matter of custom,
how far a matter of economics, and, more interesting, where are
the inherent limits (i.e. what in principle can information systems
not do and why) regardless of medium? This extends last
semester's discussion which is available at dlis.hypotheses.org/1783.
Sept 28: Marcia BATES: Designing Search Interfaces for our Inner
Hunter-Gatherer: Getting Serious about Browsing.
Seeking information and interacting with it is
fundamental to the life of all animals on earth. Human beings are
master information seekers, but our most native and natural ways of
doing it can best be seen in neolithic times, before even writing
was invented. These early hunter-gatherer behaviors still drive
our most familiar and instinctive information seeking. What can we
learn from these early patterns? In modern information system design,
how can we make it easy to follow those instincts, while also
enabling searchers to negotiate dense and complex text-rich
Marcia J. Bates is Professor Emerita in the
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 has received awards for
research and leadership. She has been active as a technical
consultant to numerous organizations. She is a graduate of
Pomona College (B.A.) and of this School (M.L.S., Ph.D.).
She served in the Peace Corps in Thailand. More at pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/bates/
Oct 5: Zachary BLEEMER: The University
of California ClioMetric History Project.
I will discuss the data-scientific methods with which the
UC ClioMetric History Project has reconstructed a near-complete database
of all students enrolled, faculty teaching, and courses taught at
UC Berkeley since the late 19th century, much of which has been made
publicly-available. Particular attention will be devoted to
characteristics of students who enrolled at Berkeley's 100-year-old
School of Information. I will show a selection of visualizations from
these data, and then highlight a few new findings related to the
history of Berkeley's faculty salaries and the end-of-career wages
of Berkeley graduates from the 1960s and 1970s.
Zachary Bleemer is the Director of the University
of California ClioMetric History at the Center for Studies in
Higher Education at UC Berkeley, where he is also a PhD candidate
in economics. His research examines the long-run consequences of
young Americans' post-secondary education and specialization
decisions, with a side-interest in the computational analysis of
structured text. For more information, see his website econgrads.berkeley.edu/bleemer/.
Oct 12: Peter BRANTLEY, UC Davis: "I don't want to be a publisher!"
Regulating liability for the sticky parts: An exploration of CDA Section
230, sex work, and user content.
Over 20 years ago, the U.S. Congress passed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a landmark piece of legislation which protected Internet platforms from liability for user generated content -- a distinction from the editorial determinations made by publishers. This year, Congress passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), reducing liability protections in Section 230 for certain types of speech. Targeted at sex trafficking, the new law not only immediately threatens the safety of sex workers, but also encroaches on the protections afforded online archives that host third party content, leading both the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Internet Archive to file suit to block the law. Further, the rise of fake news and partisan manipulators of platform content place further pressure on Internet hosts to take a more active editorial role, threatening the safe harbor of Section 230. We'll discuss the threats to information sharing, users, and free speech in this open conversation.
Peter Brantley is the Director of Online Strategy for the University of California Davis Library. Previously, he was the Director of Digital Development at New York Public Library, and before that, the Director of Scholarly Communication at the open source not-for-profit, Hypothes.is. Mr. Brantley worked at the Internet Archive on policy issues and open standards, and has managed technology groups at a variety of academic research libraries. More at www.linkedin.com/in/naypinya.
Oct 19: Howard BESSER, New York University: Digital Privacy for
Librarians (and Others).
With almost weekly revelations of massive privacy attacks
(on email providers, health care companies, governmental agencies,
universities, political campaigns, etc.), the public has developed a
heightened awareness of the vulnerability of their private information.
But there is a large gap between knowing that data breeches and hacks
take place, and changing one's behavior as a protective measure.
This talk reports on an IMLS-funded project to train
librarians to go out into their communities and make those communities
more aware of privacy threats, and to train community members in tools
and habbits that will offer protection against various types of threats.
The talk will cover methods for training these Privacy Advocates in
techology-based tools, in discourse and advocacy, and in community
engagement. It will also discuss the various types of threats, and a
variety of tools designed to mitigate some of those threats. And it will
raise some concerns about conflicts between privacy and preservation.
The seminar will close with a vigorous public discussion of digital
privacy issues and concerns.
After a dozen years as an LIS professor, Howard Besser
became Professor of Cinema Studies at NYU, and Founding Director of the
Moving Image Archiving & Preservation MA Program. His work over the past
35 years has emphasized policy issues (copyright, privacy), technology
issues (image and multimedia databases), metadata (Dublin Core, METS,
PREMIS), media archiving and preservation (Personal Digital Archiving,
museum time-based media conservation), and teaching with technology
(distance learning). He is a graduate of South Hall. More at http://besser.tsoa.nyu.edu/howard.
Oct 26: Patrick GOLDEN, University of North Carolina, Chapel
Hill: Florilegia: Organizing Scholarly Annotations in PDFs.
Annotation techniques that developed over centuries of
reading paper documents have persisted with the advent of digital
publishing. Highlighting, underlining, marking with symbols,
scribbling lines, adding notes in margins, and bookmarking pages all
remain common and important practices for interacting with
digital documents. Yet while tools for authoring and reading digital
documents have proliferated, the way that researchers are able to
interact with annotations has not generally improved. Given that
annotations are such a crucial part of the scholarly research process,
more systems should be available that treat annotations themselves
as documents worthy of being described, recalled, and connected in
their own right. I will present a system I am currently developing,
called Florilegia, which is intended to combine the representational
capacities of PDF, RDF, the Web Annotation Data Model, and common
annotation practices, towards the hope of re-centering the annotation
in the scholarly process.
Patrick Golden is a doctoral student at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research focuses
on the history and cultivation of scholarly research infrastructure.
Prior to moving to North Carolina, Patrick was a researcher here at
the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative,
where he worked on the project Editorial Practices and the Web.
More at https://ptgolden.org/cv.pdf.
Nov 2: Double Program: Matt BAYLEY and Mark GRAHAM and also
David S. H. ROSENTHAL.
Matt BAYLEY and Mark GRAHAM: Facilitating Diverse Collection
and Curation in Web Crawling and Indexing.
We propose to create an open and publicly available
index of the public Web. Building on the 22 year history of Internet
Archive’s effort to archive, and make available, web pages (URLs) we
will construct a publicly accessible list of web sites (hosts). We
will provide a variety of ways for people to interact with the data
with two key areas of focus being efforts to support more/better web
archiving as well as general research about the Web. In addition to
indexing about 2 billion URLs for web hosts we plan to create/associate
various metadata including language, genre and last observed HTTP
status codes. We consider this project to be foundational to an
ongoing and expanding effort to map resources available via HTTP.
Obvious additional enhancements (beyond the scope of this initial
project phase) might include adding link graph data and
Matt Bayley is a MIMS student at the I School
with a background in data engineering and an interest in software,
infrastructure, and tech policy.
Mark Graham has created and managed innovative
online products and services since 1984. As Director of the
Wayback Machine he is responsible for capturing, preserving and
helping people discover and use, more than 1 billion new web captures
David S. H. ROSENTHAL: Blockchain: What's Not To Like?
We're in a period when blockchain or "Distributed
Ledger Technology" is the Solution to Everything™, so it is
inevitable that it will be proposed as the solution to problems in
academic communication and digital preservation. These proposals
typically assume, despite the
evidence, that real-world blockchain implementations actually deliver
the theoretical attributes of decentralization, immutability, security,
anonymity, lack of trust, etc. The proposers appear to believe that
Satoshi Nakamoto revealed the infallible Bitcoin protocol to the world
on golden tablets; they typically don't appreciate or cite the nearly
three decades of research and implementation that led up to it. This
talk will discuss the mis-match between theory and practice in
David S. H. Rosenthal is retired from
Stanford Libraries. He was a team member of CMU's "Andrew Project";
an early employee and Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems;
Employee #4, first Chief Scientist, and first sysadmin at Nvidia; and
Co-founder 20 years ago of the LOCKSS Program. He has been
blogging since 2007, about blockchains and cryptocurrencies since
Nov 9: Cathryn CARSON, Dept of History: Data in the Undergraduate
Undergraduate institutions nationally and internationally
are increasingly grappling with how to provide data analytic
competencies to their students. This talk offers three lines of
sight into this development, reflecting on drivers internationally
(looking at the case of a recent German national initiative),
nationally (taking a synoptic look at recent U.S. efforts), and at
Cathryn Carson is the faculty lead of the
undergraduate data science program at Berkeley. She is a historian
of science and technology. Her research has dealt with the
intellectual, cultural, and political history of the
twentieth-century sciences, especially physics; the integration of
social scientific and humanistic perspectives into engineering
education; the organization and management of contemporary research
universities; and the history and ethnography of data science. More at
Nov 16: *POSTPONED. TO BE RESCHEDULED* Günter WAIBEL and John CHODACKI, California Digital Library:
Community-Owned Data Publishing: CDL’s new partnership with Dryad.
The California Digital Library (CDL) has invested
considerable effort researching and building exemplars in research
data management and data publishing. Like most institutions, we have
had varying levels of success, especially when it comes to adoption
and reach. In many instances, University of California researchers
have taken advantage of
tools that are offered to a much broader community, and are better
integrated into their workflows. CDL’s strategic vision acknowledges
that in many instances, to best serve the University of California,
we now need to think and act in a context that is broader than our
institutional home. To meet researchers where they are, CDL entered
into a formal partnership with Dryad. This partnership will make it
easier to integrate data publishing into researcher workflows, and
to be focused on building a sustainable product that is a credible
alternative to commercial offerings within the research data space.
With both CDL and Dryad’s expertise, we will be able to offer:
- Researchers: a higher level of service and integration into their
- Publishers: direct integrations and more comprehensive curation
- Institutions: a globally-accessible, community-led, low-cost
infrastructure and service that focuses on breaking down silos
between publishing, libraries and research.
For more info about the Dryad partnership, see: https://uc3.cdlib.org/2018/10/24/community-owned-data-publishing-infrastructure/.
For CDL’s strategic vision, see: www.cdlib.org/cdlinfo/2018/04/12/introducing-cdls-strategic-vision/.
Günter Waibel is Associate Vice Provost & Executive
Director of the California Digital Library. He has extensive
experience in the digital library and broader cultural heritage
communities and is well-known for his work in promoting cross-domain
collaboration. In his previous position he oversaw the strategic plan
for creating a digital Smithsonian out of the institution’s 19 museums
and 9 research centers. More at www.cdlib.org/contact/staff_directory/gwaibel.html
John Chodacki is UC Curation Center Director,
California Digital Library. He has a background in product management
within digital publishing and scholarly communication organizations.
More at www.cdlib.org/contact/staff_directory/jchodacki_profile.html.
Nov 23: Thanksgiving: No Seminar meeting.
Nov 30: Matt BAYLEY and Clifford LYNCH.
Matt BAYLEY: Facilitating Diverse Collection and Curation
in Web Crawling and Indexing.
Matt Bayley will briefly summarize his work this semester with
the Internet Archive on collaborative web crawling, archiving, and
indexing. This will include a survey of existing techniques and
initiatives as well as an exploration of new protocols for
crowd-sourcing these data and representing them within a shared
Clifford LYNCH: Developments in 2018 and Prospects for
Every December, I give a plenary talk at the member
meeting of the
Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), where I serve as the
director. Among other things, this talk summarizes what I see as key
developments in the previous year and critical prospects for the coming
year across a very broad landscape of technology and networked
information. Recently, we've established a tradition at Berkeley where
the final session of the Fall seminar has been used for a somewhat more
leisurely exposition and exploration of these developments and
prospects in preparation for my plenary talk. Please join us for the
2018 version of this survey.
The Seminar will resume on January 25.
2018 schedule and summaries.
2019 schedule and summaries.