School of Information
 Previously School of Library & Information Studies

 Friday Afternoon Seminar: Summaries.
  296a-1 Seminar: Information Access, Fall 2020.

Fridays 3-5. 107 South Hall. Schedule. Weekly mailing list.
Details will be added as they become available.
Meetings by Zoom only in Fall 2020 semester. Participants are now required to have and to use their own Zoom account.
The link to each Seminar session will be available only at the School's event listing:

Aug 28: Clifford LYNCH: Lifecycle Planning and Cost Estimation for Biomedical Data, and Implications for Repository Strategies
    Introduction to the Seminar.
    Over the past 18 months or so I have had the opportunity to serve on a US National Academies committee looking at approaches to lifecycle planning and cost estimation for biomedical data at the request of the National Library of Medicine. The committee released its report in June 2020. I'll discuss some of the highlights of the report from my perspective, with particular focus on what it implies for our thinking about data curation, repositories, and data archiving. More on the committee at:
    The report can be downloaded for free at:
    The link to each Seminar session is available only at the School's event listing:

Sept 4: **Labor Day: No Seminar Meeting.**

Sept 11: Michael BUCKLAND & Wayne DE FREMERY, Sogang University, Korea: Contexts.

    An examination of contexts. Although often used to mean the circumstances or setting of an event, statement, or idea, the history of the word “context” has its origins in the idea of connecting, of weaving together. We examine how different kinds of contexts are woven together, the ways that they fray, what connects creators, documents, and other observers, and what disconnects them. We consider the problems of lack of context and the obsolescence of recorded contexts. We also consider mass media, social media, and big data as they are connected to totalizing effects and totalitarian ideologies. Lists and list making are connected with context etymologically and provide a useful material and conceptual tool for thinking about what counts as the circumstances of an event, statement, or idea. Considering lists and their contexts helps to contextualize information science as a field concerned with enumerating useful contexts.
    Wayne de Fremery teaches Korean literature and bibliography at Sogang University in Seoul, Korea, where he develops new technologies for investigating Korean literature and documentary traditions, as well as information systems as cultural systems. More at

Sept 18: Cliffored LYNCH: The Impact, Priorities and Prospects for Sustained Infrastructure Investment in Scholarly Communication.
    More than thirty years of sustained and strategic investment, largely by libraries, has positioned the research and higher education communities to navigate the disruption of the current pandemic to a considerable extent. To see this graphically, imagine that the pandemic had occurred in 1985 or 1990 and consider the implications for the higher education and research enterprises. We'll discuss some of these specific areas of investment, and also where continued or new investments are needed going forward.
    For background, read

Sept 25: **2:00-3:30** UC Berkeley School of Information 102nd Birthday Celebration.
    A virtual event focused on women’s leadership at the School, beginning with the School of Librarianship up through the present day. This event is in conjunction with the campus-wide Berkeley 150W History Project, which marks the 150th anniversary of the UC Regents’ unanimous approval of a resolution that women be admitted to the University on “equal terms in all respects with young men.” Visit the School of Information's own 150W History Project page:
    Professor Steven Weber, associate dean and head of school, will kick off the event with a welcome and an update on the school during these unprecedented times. Professor and former dean Anno Saxenian will give an overview of the history of women leadership at the I School. They’ll be followed by Assistant Adjunct Professor Morgan Ames (MIMS ’06), Associate Professor Jenna Burrell, Associate Professor Kimiko Ryokai, and Assistant Professor Niloufar Salehi, who will present their research areas of interests and passion projects. Time for questions will follow.
    Registration is required. See

Oct 2: Clifford LYNCH: Continuity of the Research Enterprise during the Pandemic.
    Since April 2020, the Coalition for Networked Information (the organization I lead) has been trying to understand the effects of the pandemic on the research enterprise in the US, and what needs to be done to strengthen research resilience in future. While questions of instructional continuity have received a tremendous amount of media attention (including plans for fall 2020 semesters at various institutions), equally important questions about the research enterprise have gotten much less consideration. CNI convened a series of roundtables in April 2020 to discuss developments with representatives from our member institutions; the report of these conversations can be found at:
    An additional series of roundtables are scheduled for mid-September and a report on those will also be placed on the CNI web site.

Oct 9: Tim TANGHERLINI: Conspiracy in the Time of Corona: An Automated Pipeline for Narrative Framework Discovery on Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories.
    We focus on deriving the underlying generative narrative frameworks in social media posts related to Covid-19 conspiracy theories. Building on earlier work on conspiracies and conspiracy theories, we present an automated pipeline that discovers and aggregates the central actants (people, institutions, places, things) and the interactant relationships that allow us to understand the complex interconnections that narrators build as they move toward creating monological narratives explaining phenomena such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Our model operationalizes aspects of narrative theories first presented by Algirdas Greimas, Joshua Labov and William Waletzky, and Alan Dundes. In this work, we explore the interactions in social media of (i) pre-existing conspiracy theories, such as the globalist cabal behind the pandemic, (ii) emerging conspiracy theories, such as the role 5G telecommunications plays in triggering the virus, and (iii) the intersection or absorption of narratives into totalizing conspiracy theories, such as Q-Anon.
    Tim Tangherlini is a professor in the Dept of Scandinavian, and the graduate advisor for the Program in Folklore, at UC Berkeley. His work focuses on computational folkloristics--the data-driven analysis of traditional expressive forms and their circulation on and across social networks. Recent articles include a study of Pizzagate and Bridgegate (PlosOne 2020), and explorations of text reuse in a large corpus of Danish legends. His research has been supported by the NSF, the NIH, the NEH, the ACLS, the JS Guggenheim foundation, and Google. More at

Oct 16: Nick MERRILL, CLTC: Understanding The 'Splinternet'.
    The Internet is breaking apart. Or is it? Recent moral panic around Internet fragmentation, or the "splinternet," hides an uncomfortable truth: the Internet has never floated freely, untethered from political realities. But how does the Internet differ across national borders? How are these variations shifting over time? This talk discusses our efforts to measure Internet fragmentation (and interoperability). Our measurements reveal a multi-polar Internet, one that challenges the simple binaries of "free" and "closed." We then correlate our Internet measurements to other domains of international relations, trade, military alliance and political culture, underscoring the degree to which the Internet both drives and reflects the political alignment of states.
    Nick Merrill, PhD 2018, directs the Daylight Lab at the UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. This lab produces tools for understanding and addressing critical issues in security. More at

Oct 23: Daniel PITTI, University of Virginia.
    Daniel Pitti is Associate Director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia.

Oct 30: Salwa ISMAIL, University Library.
    Salwa Ismail is Associate University Librarian for Digital Initiatives and Information Technology Associate CIO for UC Berkeley Library.

Nov 6: Elaine SEDENBERG, Facebook.

Nov 13: Howard BESSER, New York University.

Nov 20.
Nov 27: **Thanksgiving: No Seminar meeting.**
Dec 4: Last meeting of the Semester

    The Seminar will resume in the Spring Semester.
Spring 2020 schedule and summaries. Spring 2019 schedule and summaries.