Previously School of Library & Information Studies
Friday Afternoon Seminar: Summaries.
296a-1 Seminar: Information Access, Spring 2021.
Fridays 3-5. Zoom only during the Spring 2021 semester. Campus policy requires all participants to sign into a Zoom account prior to joining meetings hosted by UC Berkeley.
A link to each
Seminar session is available only at
the School's event listing: www.ischool.berkeley.edu/events.
Details will be added as they become available.
Jan 22: Nick MERRILL: 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, UC Berkeley, 2018) directs the Daylight Lab at the UC Berkeley
Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. His lab produces tools for
understanding and addressing critical issues in security.
Jan 29: Clifford LYNCH: Science Nationalism.
In late 2020 I led a seminar discussion on emerging science
nationalism and its implications for the research enterprise and the
global system of scholarly communication. This was partially to do some
preliminary exploration of issues to be examined in two Coalition for
Networked Information (CNI) Executive Roundtables in mid-December 2020.
In this seminar I'll present some of the issues, themes, and research
questions that emerged from these roundtables for further discussion;
CNI has released a report on the Roundtables. See www.cni.org/go/science-nationalism-fall-2020-roundtable-report.
Feb 5: David ROSENTHAL: Securing the Digital Supply Chain.
The Internet is suffering an epidemic of supply
chain attacks, in which
a trusted supplier of content is compromised and delivers malware to
some or all of their clients. The recent SolarWinds compromise is just
one glaring example. This talk reviews efforts to defend digital supply
David Rosenthal started programming in 1966 and
retired 51 years later.
He was a member of Carnegie-Mellon's "Andrew" project, a Distinguished
Engineer at Sun Microsystems, employee #4 at Nvidia, and a co-founder of
the LOCKSS digital preservation program at Stanford. His talks to the
Information Access Seminar have included "Blockchain: What's Not To
Like?" (2018), "The Amnesiac Civilization" (2017), "Emulation and
Virtualization as Preservation Strategies" (2015), "The Half-Empty
Archive" (2014), "The Truth is Out There: Preservation and the Cloud"
(2012) and "Stepping Twice In The Same River" (2010).
Feb 12: Paul DUGUID: Historicizing Information.
The 900-page Information: A Historical Companion
was released by Princeton University Press in late January. It
is the outcome of four years working with three co-editors and more
than 100 contributors. It was also personally the outcome of 15
years teaching the course "History of Information" to undergraduates
here at Berkeley. In this talk, I will reflect on these experiences
to explore the utility and challenges of historicizing information.
For the publisher's blurb, see https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691179544/information.
Feb 19: Cathy MARSHALL: Prediction Games: Using Evidence and Data-based
Forecasting to Pique Interest in Complex Topics and Real-world Events
Prediction games pit players against one another as they
use open data and news stories to forecast the outcome of real-world
events. These games, motivated by the high uptake of fantasy sports,
as well as established offshoots like FantasySCOTUS, can encourage
players to engage more deeply with different types of evidence and data,
as well as learn about the game’s central topic. This talk explores the
basic principles of prediction games via a design exercise conducted
with 24 study participants, many of whom don't ordinarily play fantasy
sports. What's essential? Where is the elasticity? What makes a
prediction game appealing? I'm presenting work done in collaboration
with Gabe Dzodom and Frank Shipman at Texas A&M University.
Cathy Marshall is a San-Francisco-based research
scientist in the CS Department at Texas A&M University, and a former
principal researcher at Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley and Xerox
Feb 26: Wayne DE FREMERY & Michael BUCKLAND: Context and Relevance.
"Context" and "relevance" have long been central to
information science. Yet both still lack satisfactory explanation.
The usual empirical approaches yield endless definitions and
descriptions. A linguistic approach to context based on the word
"context" yields a more relevant conceptual framework for considering
context and its relationship with relevance.
Wayne de Fremery is associate professor in the
School of Media, Arts, and Science at Sogang University in Seoul and
Director of the Korea Text Initiative at the Cambridge Institute for
the Study of Korea in Cambridge, Massachusetts (/www.koreatext.org). He
represents the Korean National Body at ISO as Convener of a working
group on document description, processing languages, and semantic
metadata (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 WG 9). Some of his recent research
projects have concerned the use of deep learning to improve Korean
OCR (funded by the National Library of Korea) and technology and
literary translation (paper forthcoming in Translation Review).
More at www.pwdef.info..
Mar 5: Marcia BATES: Information Seeking Research: A State of the Art.
Research in information science on information seeking and
transfer between people in all sorts of work environments, cultures, and
personal situations has been done in the field for fifty years. Over those
years, many different models and paradigms have been experimented with by
researchers. The bad news is that no one theoretical model has captured
everyone’s allegiance to produce a single focused body of results. The
good news, however, is that each model or proto-paradigm has enabled the
field to enrich and extend its understanding of information seeking in
ever more novel ways, until we have reached a point of very rich
understanding of this phenomenon in ways that most other social sciences
do not have.
I will review some of these research orientations and the
kinds of things we have learned from them, and bring us up to date with the
current enthusiasms in the field, including the information behavior vs.
information practice debate, a radically new concept of information
literacy, and the interest in the role of embodied information.
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/
Mar 12: Clifford LYNCH: Post-Covid Issues.
Later this month, my organization, the Coalition for
Networked Information (CNI) will convene leaders from our membership,
which includes the majority of the major US research universities,
to explore and discuss the assumptions and strategies that they are
using to plan for the 2021-2022 academic year, and the broader
post-pandemic environment. This includes consideration of the ways in
which online and in-person instruction will operate and in what
proportions, space utilization on campus, workforce issues, the shape
of the research enterprise, ongoing investments in resilience, and
many other issues. In this seminar session, I'd like seminar
participants to share their views on the key decision-making parameters
of university leaders, the most important areas of uncertainty, and
the issues and even opportunities that are not being sufficiently
considered in most analysis at present. I'll start by briefly
summarizing my views on some of these questions to seed
discussion My hope is that this seminar discussion will inform the
upcoming CNI roundtables.
Later in the semester, I plan to report on what I
actually heard in the CNI roundtables, and we can compare them to the
perspectives offered by the seminar participants.
Mar 19: Clifford LYNCH and Michael BUCKLAND: Varied Topics.
The originally scheduled program for March 19 will be rescheduled:
Leslie JOHNSTON, NARA: Applied Trustworthy Digital Repositories
and Risk Assessment.
One of the greatest challenges for any digital collection
is the multiplicity of file formats, some of which may be decades old,
each of which carries different risks and risk mitigation strategies.
The discussion will cover some leading digital preservation risk models,
what risks exist that they measure (or not), and what data you need.
This will be accompanied by an applied use case from the United States
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and its Digital
Preservation Framework, which includes a holdings profile, a risk
analysis matrix, and preservation plans for 550 file format variants.
Leslie Johnston is the Director of Digital
Preservation for the National Archives and Records Administration
(NARA), responsible for developing and executing their digital
preservation strategy. Ms. Johnston has worked in the cultural
heritage, higher education, and federal communities; her expertise
includes system design and implementation, setting and applying
content and metadata standards, still image digitization, and the
preservation of born-digital and digitized collections. She has a
B.A. and an M.A., both from UCLA.
Mar 26: NO SEMINAR MEETING. Spring break.
Apr 2: Ryan SHAW, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill:
How to Care About Information.
Why should students care about what information
professionals do? When students enter graduate programs at information
schools, the question is easily answered: They should care because
they are preparing to do it themselves, or because they hope to
research or teach about it. But when information schools expand into
undergraduate education, the question becomes more difficult to answer.
One possibility is to repeat the same answer in a slightly different
tone: they should care because they are potential pre-professionals,
like their pre-med or pre-business friends. Over eight years of teaching
an introductory information science course for undergraduates, I’ve
explored a different possible answer: they should care because what
information professionals do is intrinsically interesting, and because
we all ought to know more about the practices that organize our lives.
Ryan Shaw is associate professor and director
of the undergraduate program at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill's School of Information and Library Science. He teaches
courses on the foundations, theory, and practice of information
science and information organization. Research-wise, he interested
in how information technologies are used to conceptualize and model
our worlds and pasts. He is a member of
More at aeshin.org.
Apr 9: Susan EDWARDS,
Gisèle TANASSE, Lynne GRIGSBY, and Salwa ISMAIL, University Library:
Local to Global: E-Reserves at UC Berkeley.
Providing course reserves in the Library has been an
important safety net for generations of students. But the sudden
closure of the physical library in March 2020 abruptly ended this
service. And when the university decided that students could
participate from anywhere in the world, students with the financial
resources to buy their books -- but living in countries where Amazon
doesn’t deliver, and the local bookstore doesn’t stock the titles they
need -- joined financially challenged students in needing e-access
to required readings and videos. The Library had an opportunity to
rise to the challenge and provide required materials to all students
in a fully virtual, global, environment.
Join us for a discussion of how the Library adapted its
service model, through a complex and creative mix of in-house scanning,
controlled digital lending via HathiTrust Digital Library, reformatting
to streaming video, and licensing for all formats, which helped provide
resources to not only UC Berkeley users, but faculty and students
across all the ten UC campuses. We will also discuss some of the
challenges we've encountered to opening access to scholarship --
overly restrictive digital rights management (DRM), exclusive
licensing, and even some resistance to open educational resources
Gisèle Tanasse, Film and Media Services Librarian
Lynne Grigsby, Head, Library IT
Salwa Ismail, Associate University Librarian for Digital Initiatives
and Information Technology, and
Susan Edwards, Head, Social Sciences Division
Apr 16: Clifford LYNCH & Ivy ANDERSON, CDL.
Clifford LYNCH: Stewardship of the Cultural Record:
Recent Case Studies in "Cancellation".
There has been a lot of press recently about the
announcement that several Dr. Seuss books are being withdrawn from
sale. This situation has been widely mis-represented. Further, the
impact of the situation from a stewardship perspective is very limited,
because we are dealing with physical books. Possibly more telling
harbingers have been developments around libraries of historical films
on various streaming services in recent months, where we can see genuine
dangers emerging. In this short conversation and discussion during the
first 50 minutes of seminar, I will try to briefly describe what is
actually happened and suggest an analysis for discussion.
Approx. 4:00 pm: Ivy ANDERSON, California Digital Library:
The University of California's new open access
agreement with Elsevier.
More at: UC
secures landmark open access deal with world’s largest scientific
Apr 23: Ron DAY, Indiana University: “Living Document”: from Mimesis to
Indexicality, from Documentation to Documentality.
My discussion will explore the concept of the “living
document” as it was understood in the mid-twentieth century as the problem
of joining knowledge and experience, science and literature. It will
focus on documents as representation versus documents as what various
authors have called documentality or philosopher Barry Smith has called
“document acts.” In this context I will attempt to articulate documents
as strongly fixed and strongly causal indexical, rather than
representational, signs, which move agents from one point to another,
physically or logically, epistemically within chains of what Latour has
Ronald E. Day is Professor and Chair of the
Department of Information and Library Science, Indiana University. He
researches the philosophy, history, politics, and culture of information,
documentation, knowledge, and communication in the 20th and 21st centuries
in the U.S. and Western Europe and in the discipline of Library and
Information Science. His writings include The modern invention of
Information: Discourse, history, and power (2001) Indexing it
all: The subject in the age of documentation, information, and data
(2014), which won the ASIST Book of the Year Award; and Documentarity:
Evidence, Ontology, and Inscription (2019). More at https://info.sice.indiana.edu/~roday/index.html.
Apr 30: Clifford LYNCH: Higher Education Planning Assumptions and Strategies
Emerging from the Pandemic.
My organization, the Coalition for Networked Information
(CNI), convenes topically-focused executive roundtables periodically
for leaders of its member institutions, which are predominantly major
research universities in the US. In mid-March 2021 we convened a series
of these meetings to discuss institutional planning assumptions and
strategies for the 2021-2022 academic year and what we hope will be
a post-pandemic environment. Earlier this semester, I led a discussion
in this seminar about the potential issues to be considered in planning
for fall 2021 and beyond. In this session, I'll report what I actually
heard from the leadership of research universities around the nation.
A report on these workshops is available now available at https://www.cni.org/go/post-pandemic-strategic-planning-s21.
there is an early readout video that I presented at the CNI spring
member meeting plenary days giving a very preliminary read-out of
these meetings at vimeo.com/533198974.
The Seminar will resume for the Fall semester on August 27.
2020 schedule and summaries.
2021 schedule and summaries.