Knowledge organization and representation

  • Making things of interest Discoverable, Referencable, Relatable, ...June 10, 2012 – I came across the Ernest Hemingway phrase 'gradually, then suddenly' in an online discussion recently. Here is the context on the useful Goodreads quotable quote page. It seemed a statement appropriate to our times, and especially apt to a recent phenomenon: the growing importance of large-scale knowledge bases which collect...read full entry...
  • Linking not typing ... knowledge organization at the network levelJanuary 01, 2012 – 'Knowledge organization' seems a slightly quaint term now, but we don't have a better in general use. Take the catalogue. This has been a knowledge organization tool. When an item is added, the goal is that it is related to the network of knowledge that is represented in the catalogue....read full entry...
  • Nostalgia, the Dublin Irish Festival, and variant forms of namesAugust 05, 2011 – The Dublin Irish Festival is on this weekend - Dublin, Ohio, that is. I notice that Moya Brennan is performing. As some folks will know, Moya Brennan is an Irish singer who was a member of the well-known family group, Clannad. They emerged in the 70s, playing very much in...read full entry...
  • The idea of FRBR ...September 19, 2010 – Not having a copy of The Idea of a university to hand, I was looking in Google Book Search and Amazon earlier. Newman is in the news (here is the Wall Street Journal), and I was curious to have a quick look. Sad to say, I even did a search...read full entry...
  • Curating the web ...August 15, 2010 – A couple of recent events interestingly relate ... First, I read in Search Engine Land of the resignation from Yahoo of Srinija Srinivasan. Srinavasan was once arguably "the most powerful person in search" writes Danny Sullivan. This was when "humans edited the web" and Yahoo emerged as its central directory....read full entry...
  • A web-siting at Yale: other editions and xISBNMay 31, 2010 – I was looking at the Vufind implementation of the Yale University Library catalog - yufind - and was interested to see that it implements a link to OCLC's xISBN service to pull together other editions of a displayed result. Here is an example where several versions of Krapp's Last Tape...read full entry...
  • Name, rank and serial numberFebruary 26, 2010 – As authors are recognised as resources to be discovered, managed, ranked, and tracked, an interest in names and identifiers will continue to grow. A focus on research evaluation, reputation management, publication management drive this, as well as general information management issues in a web environment. Historically, national libraries have managed...read full entry...
  • Bruges Public Library catalogueFebruary 09, 2010 – Prompted by a recent entry, I got a note from Koen Calis, Librarian Bruges Public Library, about their catalogue, Cabrio. Here is quite a full presentation which covers a range of interesting feature: Cabriology The Bruges Aquabrowser ExperienceView more presentations from Koen Calis. I was interested in their adaptation of...read full entry...
  • Beyond bibliographic recordsDecember 06, 2009 – Our cataloging model revolves around the 'manifestation', the particular edition or version of a work that is to be added to the collection. This is also the unit of bibliographic exchange: we ship around MARC records which have data about 'manifestations'. These are the 'inputs' into our catalogs and bibliographic...read full entry...
  • Worldcat Local usability results and FRBRAugust 07, 2009 – I posted a while ago about the potential benefits of sharing usability results between libraries, and there was some interest in Worldcat usability testing at the time. In that context, some readers may be interested in the following report which OCLC prepared for distribution at ALA: Some Findings from WorldCat...read full entry...
  • Working around worksAugust 02, 2009 – There is a significant - if little read - literature of cataloging theory. A recurrent theme is the balance between gathering like items, and discriminating between them. Managing similarity and difference in this way, and making sensible user interface choices, is not straightforward. The FRBR model represents a recent approach...read full entry...
  • Border country: classifying across disciplinary boundariesJune 19, 2009 – Terry Eagleton said somewhere that Raymond Williams was a librarian's nightmare, meaning presumably that his work crossed academic boundaries and resisted easy classification. Let's have a look using the Classify prototype. The prototype provides access to more than 36 million WorldCat records that contain Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) numbers, Library...read full entry...
  • Articles on structured data: matching, mining and mixingApril 19, 2009 – The current issue of Library Resources and Technical Services (not on the web) has a couple of interesting articles which touch on the complications of processing inconsistent data. Creating organization name authority within an ERM system Kristen Blake and Jackquie Samples LRTS 53(2) April 2009 p 94-107 This article looks...read full entry...
  • Virtual International Authority FileApril 03, 2009 – Thom discusses the updated viaf.org site ... The VIAF site has recently had a major overhaul. What you now search are records created from a merge of matching source authority records. Within this record you can see what source records were used to create it, along with cross references and...read full entry...
  • Programmatically promoting dataMarch 11, 2009 – Several items have come over my desk (?) in the last few days which together point to the growing importance of techniques for programmatically promoting data from unstructured documents, including web pages. The Economist had a piece about Autonomy, the search sofware company a while ago. Yet the most important...read full entry...
  • Name authorities, crowdsourcing, and Máire Mhac an tSaoiFebruary 04, 2009 – I was sad to read of the death of Conor Cruise O'Brien [Wikipedia, Worldcat Identity] before Christmas. See the obituary in The Times and John Naughton's note for context. O'Brien was the husband of Máire Mhac an tSaoi, noted scholar, writer and poet in the Irish language. Mhac an tSaoi...read full entry...
  • Flexibility may not be a good design goalSeptember 26, 2008 – Jerry McDonough has written an interesting and important article about XML, interoperability, and the social context of standards making: Structural Metadata and the Social Limitation of Interoperability: A Sociotechnical View of XML and Digital Library Standards Development. Drawing on a number of examples he presents a strong conclusion: The digital...read full entry...
  • TagCrowd: yet another tag cloud generatorSeptember 26, 2008 – Several services will now generate tag clouds for you based on a submitted URL or text. I suppose these make ideal 'cloud' services (ho, ho, ...). I have just come across TagCrowd. Here is what it makes of this morning's CNN home page. It is pretty clear what is on...read full entry...
  • The future of bibliographic control and the OCLC/ALISE research grantsJuly 16, 2008 – Each year we collaborate with ALISE to award several research grants. Check out the details page: Full-time academic faculty (or equivalent) in schools of library and information science are eligible to apply. OCLC and ALISE encourage international proposals and collaborative projects under this program. To aid new researchers, priority will...read full entry...
  • Name authoritiesJuly 14, 2008 – Libraries have invested significantly in name authority work over the years, and have created extensive infrastructure to help manage names of people and organizations. The relationship between this work and broader interest in this topic is something that will need to be addressed in coming years if this work is...read full entry...
  • Class numbers on worksJuly 09, 2008 – Classify is a protoype service which provides a snapshot of what class numbers (DDC, LCC, NLM) have been assigned to works in Worldcat. The records are grouped using the OCLC FRBR Work-Set algorithm resulting in a work-level summary of the class numbers assigned a title. You can retrieve a classification...read full entry...
  • Terminology servicesJuly 07, 2008 – During the deliberations of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control (of which I was a member) there was quite a bit of discussion about 'webifying' (or 'webulating', to use the phrase of my colleague Stu Weibel) library terminology and authority resources. What this meant...read full entry...
  • Tagging at the network levelMay 11, 2008 – There is a fascinating entry by Seb Chan of the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney documenting experiences one month into their participation in the Commons on Flickr. The Powerhouse Museum has been alert to various ways of combining professional and audience metadata in its services. It was an early comer to...read full entry...
  • Serendipitous encounter through tagsApril 03, 2008 – The University of Michigan has introduced a social bookmarking application, MTagger. Here is Ken Varnum: More important than the tagging functionality itself is what MTagger will allow our faculty, staff, and students to do. MTagger brings a social component to research that we have not previously had. It will allow...read full entry...
  • TagsMarch 29, 2008 – Stanford researchers collected data from del.icio.us and come to some pretty interesting conclusions about tagging. Of course, they are talking about tagging of web pages where the text of the tagged item is available for indexing. Social bookmarking is a recent phenomenon which has the potential to give us a...read full entry...
  • FRBR and Learning Objects (FLOR?)January 30, 2008 – Phil Barker looks at FRBR in the context of learning object metadata. The proposed object model borrows from the scholarly works application profile (SWAP) application model, which in turn is based on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) entity model. The rationale behind this was that, firstly, scholarly works...read full entry...
  • QOTD: the bibliographic archipelagoJanuary 18, 2008 – Our bibliographic systems are like an archipelago. Scattered islands which need to be visited individually. In this context I was interested to read Bob Wolven: Now, however, more radical change seems both possible and responsible in light of developments taking place outside library cataloging. The balkanized system that has characterized...read full entry...
  • Cataloging and standardsJanuary 18, 2008 – Bob Wolven has an interesting piece in netConnect about cataloging. He mentions our approach to standards, among other things. Perhaps worse, the kind of consensus we have demanded drives us toward complexity. Our libraries acquire a vast and wildly diverse set of resources, yet we insist on treating all of...read full entry...
  • On the record: report of the LC working group on the future of bibliographic controlJanuary 10, 2008 – The final report of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control has been submitted and is now available on the LC website. On the Record: Report of The Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control (January 9, 2008) Read final report [PDF, 442...read full entry...
  • Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic ControlDecember 15, 2007 – I am one of the two 'at large' members of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control. A draft final report for comment was released a while ago and today is the final day for responses. Karen Calhoun submitted a comment [PDF] on behalf of OCLC yesterday....read full entry...
  • Deweybrowser IIDecember 12, 2007 – A new version of the Deweybrowser has appeared. This is a prototype system with some nice features. It is built using Solr and highlights the use of a classification system in retrieval: The DeweyBrowser, beta version 2.0, has a new interface and updated database. You can search for a topic...read full entry...
  • Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibligraphic ControlNovember 30, 2007 – The draft final report of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control has been made available [PDF] for public comment. Responses are being accepted by the group until December 15, 2007. Different communities of bibliographic practice have grown up around different resource types: library collections of books and...read full entry...
  • Some notelets on Facebook and the social graphNovember 22, 2007 – Some holiday morning notelets .... 1. The social graph in action. I felt a tremor in the social graph this week. A bundle of my Facebook befrienders attended the CETIS conference. I was suddenly aware of status lines, notes, imported blog entries. I had a sense of some of what...read full entry...
  • Worldcat Identities againNovember 14, 2007 – Thom has some more details about Worldcat Identities. What is returned is really XML with a reference to an XSL stylesheet to transform the XML into the HTML displayed by the browser. [Outgoing: Links to WorldCat Identities] He talks about how links from Worldcat work and also describes direct linking...read full entry...
  • Worldcat IdentitiesNovember 12, 2007 – Worldcat Identities went into production as part of Worldcat.org over the weekend. It is currently linked to from under the 'details' tab. We will be interested to see how it is used and review other integration options over time. One nice feature is that the Tag Cloud (these are FAST...read full entry...
  • Webified terminologies againNovember 10, 2007 – My colleagues recently organized a meeting to discuss demand for and potential uses of webified terminologies. A strawman document [pdf] was produced to inform the meeting, which provides some use cases. A summary report of the meeting is now available. It seems increasingly clear that if the 'classic' terminologies used...read full entry...
  • Webified DeweyNovember 06, 2007 – My colleague Michael Panzer discusses issues involved in the 'webification' of Dewey in a recent presentation [ppt]. The presentation will briefly introduce a series of major principles for bringing subject terminology to the network level. A closer look at one KOS in particular, the Dewey Decimal Classification, should help to...read full entry...
  • Names, names, names, .....October 19, 2007 – Name authority files are often national in scope and will be created under different policy regimes. This is the rationale for VIAF (the Virtual International Authority File). Thom and colleagues have just made a prototype VIAF system available. Read more about VIAF on the project page: The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, the...read full entry...
  • Organized, internationallyOctober 13, 2007 – There was some discussion a while ago in various places about the relative merits of bookstore and public library shelf organization. I was thinking of this as I was looking at music in Borders earlier today. Borders used to have Irish music in a section called World. Now they have...read full entry...
  • QOTD 2: identifers againSeptember 28, 2007 – Tony Hirst of the Open University says:In the days when this blog was dominated by library related concerns, I used to spend a lot of time working out how to use ISBNs as pivot points for various book related searches; (librarians, of course, don't rate ISBNs - they'd rather focus...read full entry...
  • QOTD: URI patternsSeptember 28, 2007 – A quote about URIs: I propose that a resource and its URI ought to have an intuitive correspondence. …. URIs should have a structure. They should vary in predictable ways: you should not go to /search/Jellyfish for jellyfish and /i-want-to-know-about/Mice for mice. If a client knows the structure of the...read full entry...
  • Give us a subject heading ...September 02, 2007 – I was interested to read the following in Susan Gibbons' The academic library and the Net Gen student. As gaming becomes a more mainstream pastime and an important element in popular culture, academic libraries should begin to develop collections of books and journals about gaming. To find some recent monographs,...read full entry...
  • Bibliographic fore-understandingJuly 29, 2007 – On the website of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control ... A webcast of the third meeting, the topic of which was economic and organizational issues. For those few who do not have the time or the inclination to experience the full range of presentations ;-),...read full entry...
  • LCWGFBC IIIJune 07, 2007 – The background paper for the third open meeting of the Library of Congress Working Group on Bibliographic Control has been released [pdf]....read full entry...
  • Systemic change: CIC and GoogleJune 06, 2007 – Today Google and CIC announce an agreement to digitize ten million volumes across the CIC libraries. Google has been adding new partners since the first announcement was made about the Google 5. Some folks have wondered what rationale has governed selection of partner opportunities. We do not know, but they...read full entry...
  • LCWGFBC IIMay 27, 2007 – The report from the second open meeting of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control is now available. The topic was Structures and Standards for Bibliographic Data....read full entry...
  • Four sources of metadata about thingsMay 20, 2007 – I think it is useful to think of four sources of descriptive metadata in libraries. These are not mutually exclusive, and one of the interesting questions we have to address is how they will be mobilized effectively together. I don't have good names for these. How about: professional, contributed, programmatically...read full entry...
  • LC WCFBCApril 09, 2007 – A short background paper for the second open meeting of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control is now available on the LC website [pdf]....read full entry...
  • WGFBC note of first open meetingMarch 18, 2007 – A quick note pointing to a summary of the first Open Meeting of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control by Nancy J Fallgren....read full entry...
  • Metadata across cultural domainsMarch 13, 2007 – An interesting article by Mary W. Elings and my colleague Günter Waibel on cross-domain metadata practices has just appeared. Integrating digital content from libraries, archives and museums represents a persistent challenge. While the history of standards development is rife with examples of cross-community experimentation, in the end, libraries, archives and...read full entry...
  • LC WGFBCMarch 09, 2007 – The first open meeting of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control was held yesterday. I am traveling but will post some thoughts in coming days. Karen Coyle was typing very fast and has posted a series of comments....read full entry...
  • Libraries, books and network level servicesMarch 03, 2007 – The growth in variety and volume of sites for personal collection management is fascinating to watch, especially those where addtiional value is created by pooling choices and preferences across users. Sites for music and books especially. Typically these sites display network effects, they improve as more people connect and share...read full entry...
  • LC Working Group on the future of bibliographic controlMarch 01, 2007 – The LC Working Group on Bibliographic Control is having an open meeting about 'uses and users' of data on 8th March at Google in Mountain View, California. This is the first of three open meetings. There will be several expert speakers, and interested parties are invited to attend or submit...read full entry...
  • Future of bibliographic controlDecember 11, 2006 – I am a member of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control convened by Deanna Marcum of the Library of Congress. Advances in search-engine technology, the popularity of the Internet and the influx of electronic information resources have greatly changed the way libraries do their work. To address...read full entry...
  • FocusNovember 12, 2006 – For those interested in current developments with RDA (that's AACR3 to you), Ann Chapman has a nice article in the current issue of Ariadne. William Denton mentions it and remarks on Ann's title: Interoperability Focus Officer. Ann works at UKOLN. Brian Kelly also works at UKOLN. His title is UK...read full entry...
  • Metadata ...November 07, 2006 – Günter has a nice entry on metadata and explores correspondences across the GLAM sectors - libraries, archives and museums. He notes a specific content type in each domain, bibliographic, archival, and material culture, respectively. Then he compares the metadata stack for each type of material, using a useful typology: data...read full entry...
  • The Browne Issue System and public transportNovember 07, 2006 – I mentioned the Brown(e) Issue system below, and noted that there was not a wikipedia entry for it. A couple of interesting things. Tom Roper pointed out that it is indeed Browne and not Brown as I typed, and points to Harrod's glossary to provide some description. Interestingly, a search...read full entry...
  • Terminology servicesOctober 05, 2006 – A new report has appeared from UKOLN which provides a state of the art review of terminology services (including discussion of personal name authorities). This is a very helpful piece of work which reviews a variety of approaches. What is especially interesting about it is that it looks at work...read full entry...
  • KwicSeptember 17, 2006 – Interesting .... the University of Bristol has a Kwic-style listing under its website A-Z index. It seems to work quite well....read full entry...
  • Placing namesMay 28, 2006 – Driving home from The Serpent Mound a few weeks ago, we passed through Belfast, Ohio. We have also been to London, Ohio, and, of course, OCLC is located in Dublin, Ohio. I was in Cardiff, Wales, a little while ago [ppt], and will be in Edinburgh, Scotland at the beginning...read full entry...
  • FRBResqueMay 19, 2006 – In recent discussion, an RLG colleague used the word 'FRBResque' to describe its rolling up of results into a work-level view. A very nice expression, I thought. And appropriate too. It is important to remember that wherever its (slow) formal elaboration goes, we do not currently have something called FRBR...read full entry...
  • A note on namesMay 17, 2006 – Writing about the catalog in these pages, I noted that one issue moving forward is how the controlled approaches that we use in catalog data (e.g. for subjects and personal names) might play with approaches in other areas. An obvious example arises if you want to mix catalog data and...read full entry...
  • Lifting out the catalog discovery experienceMay 14, 2006 – I have been talking to a variety of groups in recent weeks, and the future of the catalog has risen to the top of the list in discussion and questions. The catalog is a topic of major debate. However, this discussion is really raising a set of broader issues about...read full entry...
  • The semantic waveApril 06, 2006 – I was interested to see this picture in a recent presentation on the Semantic Web by Tim Berners-Lee. It is a nice way of showing recent developments and anticipated movement. Of course, not everybody would see the wave moving in the way shown here, but that is another discussion. The...read full entry...
  • Know your audienceMarch 23, 2006 – We have made an 'audience level' service available as a prototype. This is available as a human interface, a web service, and as greasemonkey scripts which insert an audience level in an Amazon or Open WorldCat page based on interaction with the web service. This service is based on the...read full entry...
  • FRBR presentationsMarch 22, 2006 – In preparing the first presentation below, I linked to a variety of colleagues' presentations which touch on some aspect of FRBR. Lorcan Dempsey On the discrimination of Huck Finns: a short presentation on FRBR (PPT) Reading 2.0, 16 March 2006, San Francisco, California (USA) Diane Vizine-Goetz FictionFinder: Don Quixote to...read full entry...
  • Reading 2.0March 17, 2006 – I have just returned from the congenial Reading 2.0 conference organized by Peter Brantley. The topic was the emergent contexts of reading and books in a network environment, and a diverse group spoke about issues. I will have some things to say about it anon. In the interim, here are...read full entry...
  • Thinking about the catalogJanuary 12, 2006 – I said a few entries ago that I was working on an entry on the catalog. I need to hurry up! Some big catalogish things came along this week. First the University of California released a significant report on its bibliographic infrastructure, on how catalogs should be built, presented and...read full entry...
  • Further FRBR applicationsJanuary 04, 2006 – University of Chicago law professor Randy Picker recounts some experiences with Google Book Search. He talks about looking for The Wealth of Nations. Of course, the publication of Smith's work was the second great event of 1776 (or was it the first?), so it would be surprising if the work...read full entry...
  • On cataloging, the semantic web and hairstylesDecember 18, 2005 – Cathy Marshall spoke at OCLC the other day. Her topic was the long term fate of our personal digital belongings, digital belongings that are increasingly important to us as traces of a life. She spoke about the pleasures of 're-encounter', the pleasure of remembering experience as recorded in photographs, letters...read full entry...
  • IdentifiersDecember 07, 2005 – A couple of things come together ... I was going to do a short post on the renaissance of interest in identifiers based on the approval by the IESG of the Info-URI, and on the growing awareness that we need to consistently identify the entities in our environment (institutions for...read full entry...
  • Link-addressible artifactsDecember 07, 2005 – I mentioned the other day that a part of the value of Flickr was that it made images citable, or, in the term suggested by Jon Udell in a nice post about media, 'link-addressible'. Jon's last sentence below (my emphasis) is a nice statement of the importance of 'citability'.In my...read full entry...
  • A handful of presentationsNovember 30, 2005 – I just noticed how out-and-about my OR colleagues have been in the last few months. Here is a note about presentations since September, pulling in a variety of things in passing. System and service architectures David Bigwood asked recently about the Microsoft Research Pane. We have been using it as...read full entry...
  • FRBR fervorNovember 14, 2005 – FRBR is another of those things that we have given a public-unfriendly name to. This is a pity, because the concept is one that makes a lot of sense to people when they understand it. For example, in discussions about how OpenWorldcat data is surfaced in search engines this is...read full entry...
  • A tagging pointerNovember 07, 2005 – One of the presentations now available on the Access 2005 website is one on tagging by Gene Smith. This was a very balanced presentation - delivered with tact to a library audience which much appreciated it. Sorting Out Social Classification: Folksonomies and Tagging In Practice - Gene Smith Slides |...read full entry...
  • Engaging the viewer/listenerOctober 30, 2005 – The BBC has been a web innovator, and has a significant international web presence. Tom Coates has a post on a current project looking at user annotation of audio. This was interesting to me for several reasons which touch very closely on current library issues. First, he briefly describes the...read full entry...
  • A decimal browseOctober 07, 2005 – We have added some new collections to the Dewey Browser. These are wcat, 2.2 million of the most widely held records in WorldCat, and a selection from the Abridged Edition 14 of the DDC.The wcat collection has been grouped based on the OCLC FRBR work-set algorithm and includes links to...read full entry...
  • Simpler spellingAugust 25, 2005 – Whenever I write something in Word, it will still usually suggest several spelling changes where I have used centre or some other version with which the US spell-checker is unfamiliar. I notice from that invaluable resource that Melvil Dewey - spelling reformer as well as library innovator - is responsible...read full entry...
  • What's the catalog forAugust 18, 2005 – David Weinberger noted Tim Bray's nice post about the Bodleian a while ago. He discussed the catalog and went on to say:So, for fifteen years a catalog was useful for browsing for books you did not know existed. After that, the catalog reverted to being a tool for inventorying stock...read full entry...
  • Austen, globalization and FRBRAugust 13, 2005 – We just saw Bride and Prejudice, Pride and Prejudice recast in contemporary Amritsar, London and Los Angeles. Bollywood meets Hollywood was the tagline. The most interesting and telling shift for me was that Elizabeth Bennett's suitor, the fussy clergyman Mr Collins, who represented financial and social security, was updated here...read full entry...
  • A Dewey browseJuly 30, 2005 – I am very pleased to see the DeweyBrowser appear on our ResearchWorks page. Thom trailed its appearance a while ago and had discussed some technical context. There is some more information on a background page. We have brought it up over a collection of eBooks extracted from WorldCat; we will...read full entry...
  • It's the DDC blogJuly 01, 2005 – Welcoming Jonathan Furner and 025.431: The Dewey blog. What categories are being used for entries ... let me guess ;-)...read full entry...
  • Bibliographic web servicesJune 18, 2005 – We have been experimenting for some time with web services in a research mode to deliver 'loosely coupled' bibliographic services. The idea is to be able to embed relevant services in a variety of different environments. Thom discusses our work with the LC name authority file. The aim here was...read full entry...
  • Dewey and trivial pursuitMay 29, 2005 – I read Nick Hornby's The Polysyllabic Spree on a plane trip recently. It is built on a nice conceit: a month-by-month accounting of books bought and books read. My eye was caught by the following on page 128, as he wrote about some new acquisitions:But as I was finding a...read full entry...
  • TaggingMay 27, 2005 – For those puzzling over tags and tagging there is a useful entry on The Search Guy's WebLog:Here's an interesting fact upon which I'll base the rest of my argument: people are horribly inconsistent when assigning keywords to documents. If you give two people the same document and ask them to...read full entry...
  • AACR3, The CODE, antelopes and documentsMay 05, 2005 – Barbara Tillett gave an interesting presentation [ppt] at the FRBR Workshop just finished here about FRBR and AACR3. Or should I say RDA (Resource Description and Access) which is apparently the working title for the new code. She did say that they were still open to suggestion for a new...read full entry...
  • FRBR fervorMay 02, 2005 – FRBR in 21st Century Catalogs, a workshop on the development and application of FRBR, is underway here at OCLC as I write. Various speaker presentations are already available on the website, and others will appear in due course....read full entry...
  • DDC summariesApril 29, 2005 – We made the Dewey Decimal Classification system summaries available for open use a while ago on the ResearchWorks website (the top three levels). I am not sure how widely noticed this was.The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system uses simple decimal notation to divide recorded knowledge into 10 main classes, 100...read full entry...
  • Quotes about order and disorderApril 10, 2005 – Order seems very much a part of the public perception of the library, often counterposed to the potential disorder of the materials themselves. I was struck by this looking at recent entries. I mention aura below. I plan to come back to Benjamin's discussion of aura in a future post,...read full entry...
  • MARC up?March 20, 2005 – Terry Willan, of Talis, has a thoughtful post on the current discussion about the relationship between MARC and XML on the xml4lib mailing list. He reminds people of the three layers in the classical library metadata stack: encoding (ISO 2709 or Z39.2), content designation (as expressed in the various MARC...read full entry...
  • Music AustraliaMarch 03, 2005 – The National Library of Australia has innovated with federations/aggregations such as Picture Australia. Now we have Music Australia, a very nice service which provides access to Australian music resources of various types. A strong feature about the service is that it makes data work - it is possible to traverse...read full entry...
  • Smoke and mirrorsFebruary 19, 2005 – Roy wonders if the screenshot showing works-based access below is smoke and mirrors. There is only a puff of smoke involved - really. Roy is right to note that this is not the direct response to an 'alice' search. It is several screens into a search (see, for example, that...read full entry...
  • Works 4 you?February 17, 2005 – Dorothea left a comment which wondered how one would present FRBRized results to the user. We have been working on this internally. This screenshot shows an approach. Now, please note that this is an internal prototype at the moment. We are working on how to roll some of this into...read full entry...
  • FRBR fervorFebruary 10, 2005 – Various of my OCLC Research colleagues have long thought that a work-based approach to bibliographic data would better serve user needs. The ability to enter an information space at the work level, and then to drill down to the various editions, translations and so on that manifest that work has...read full entry...
  • Find other editions in Open WorldCatJanuary 29, 2005 – We recently added a button on the Open WorldCat rendezvous page to find other 'editions' of the found item. This is an interim approach to implementing the FRBR model which clusters versions of a work. It helps find, for example, translations of a particular item. See Reading in the dark...read full entry...
  • TBL at SouthamptonDecember 05, 2004 – Tim Berners-Lee is to take up a chair at the University of Southampton in parallel with his MIT appointment. Electronics and Computer Science, where the chair is, has been developing a strong presence in semantic web and related work. 'Tim's appointment is a fantastic boost to our work here in...read full entry...
  • Bibliographic access divisionNovember 20, 2004 – The Bibliographic Access Division of the Library of Congress has released its Stratgic Plan FY2003-2008 Goals and Initiatives for Fiscal Years 2005-2006 [pdf]. Its vision is The Bibliographic Access Divisions (BA) lead in providing immediate and convenient discovery of the universe of knowledge and creativity.Its mission is To provide effective...read full entry...
  • Collecting booksOctober 10, 2004 – I have just had occasion to reread Walter Benjamin's essay Unpacking my library. It is full of memorable lines (from the Zohn translation in the accessible Illuminations collection):"The only exact knowledge there is," says Anatole France, "is the knowledge of the date of publication and the format of books." And...read full entry...
  • Rehak's papersOctober 03, 2004 – Dan Rehak is very active in the development of specifications in the learning technology arena. He is based at the Learning Systems Architecture Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon. Two recent papers intersect with our interests. Good&plenty, Googlezon, your grandmother and Nike: challenges for ubiquitous learning & learning technology [PDF]. This caught...read full entry...
  • Seven ways?September 25, 2004 – Nathan Shedroff on seven ways to organize data. The Dewey Decimal Classification is noted as organization by 'number'. The first step in transforming data into information is to explore its organization. This simple yet crucial process can appear futile, but often you can discover something through it that you had...read full entry...
  • Cataloging mission statementSeptember 10, 2004 – I have just come across the MIT Libraries' Cataloging Mission Statement.The cataloging units of the MIT Libraries develop and apply creative solutions to manage and facilitate the use of information resources. We continually build expertise in metadata standards and database structures, as well as knowledge of the resources and their...read full entry...
  • OntologiesAugust 29, 2004 – JISC announces the publication of Latest TechWatch report: role of ontologies in teaching and learning by Ruth Wilson. And so the two communities - LIS and computer science - find themselves in similar places, working on ontologies for sharing data between a variety of knowledge organisation systems to make better...read full entry...
  • FRBR and other cataloging issuesAugust 20, 2004 – Powerpoints from the UK Cataloguing and indexing group annual meeting are available. They include an overview [ppt] of FRBR by Patrick Le Boeuf with implementation examples, including FictionFinder. Other presentations cover collection level description and the UK E-government metadata schema [ppt] and the Government category list [ppt]. Ariadne carries a...read full entry...
  • What's the catalog forAugust 18, 2004 – David Weinberger noted Tim Bray's nice post about the Bodleain library a while ago. He discussed the catalog and went on to say:So, for fifteen years a catalog was useful for browsing for books you did not know existed. After that, the catalog reverted to being a tool for inventorying...read full entry...
  • Vocabularies in library and information scienceAugust 06, 2004 – A 1999 article by Michael Buckland on vocabulary as a central concept in library and information science. Vocabulary problems are central to the economics of digital libraries because unfamiliar vocabulary reduces search effectiveness. Issues of identity are central to Library and Information Science because of the indexical role of vocabulary....read full entry...
  • Bosak on XMLJune 19, 2004 – Discussion in the library community sometimes seems to imagine that XML alone can deliver full interoperability. A nice corrective:JavaOne Today: What's the most common nonsensical notion about XML? Bosak: I guess that XML will, by itself, solve the information interchange problem. In reality, XML just clears away some of the...read full entry...
  • SchematizingJune 09, 2004 – Schematize is cropping up in various places. Jim Gray spoke about schematized storage at OCLC recently [ppt]. He was talking about associating metadata with data. Here is Steve Gillmor:HailStorm's notion of a massive in-memory cloud of XML data and metadata was doomed, not by the daunting mechanics of schematizing a...read full entry...
  • MADSJune 06, 2004 – More about the Metadata Authority Description Schema at: The Library of Congress' Network Development and MARC Standards Office has developed the Metadata Authority Description Schema (MADS), an XML schema for an authority element set that may be used to provide metadata about agents (people, organizations), events, and terms (topics, geographics,...read full entry...
  • CS course on semantic webMay 29, 2004 – Interesting to see what a course, CS646, on the Semantic Web looks like. One of the exam questions looks at developing a (simple) ontology for a library. Not immediately clear what level this is at....read full entry...
  • Mark Butler on semantic webMay 26, 2004 – Mark Butler {HP Labs : People Pages : Dr Mark H Butler) is a researcher at HP Labs working with Simile and Dspace at MIT. He has some interesting pieces about the semantic web which query the utility of RDF. See for example Is the semantic web hype? [pdf]....read full entry...
  • Berners Lee on semantic webMay 22, 2004 – "People ask," he said, "so what's the Semantic Web killer app going to be? That's not the right question." The real proof of the Semantic Web, he said, is when new connections are made, and new links between information emerge. [XML.com: Berners-Lee Keeps WWW2004 Focused on Semantic Web [May. 20,...read full entry...
  • McGrath on classificationMay 08, 2004 – Much followed blogger Sean McGrath on classification and metadata.My favorite example of shelf-stuff type 3 came from the same bookstore where they filed Dublin's Bus and Train timetables under 'General fiction'. The Bus and Train company was not amused. [E-BUSINESS IN THE ENTERPRISE - Would the real source of metadata...read full entry...
  • DDC in new Seattle Public LibraryApril 12, 2004 – DDC has a role in new landmark Seattle public library building: Travel > What's Doing: In Seattle">Even with its unusual shape, the standout feature of the library, at 1000 Fourth Avenue, (206) 386-4100, www.spl.org, may well be the Books Spiral, a gentle ramp that winds through four floors spanning the...read full entry...
  • Phil Agre and semantic webMarch 25, 2004 – Phil Agre has a background in AI and has moved into more social/political studies of the co-evolution of technologies and social patterns. He teaches in the information science school at UCLA. His course notes on the Semantic Web provide some introductory remarks and a collection of readings, most of which...read full entry...
  • Terminology servicesMarch 25, 2004 – I gave the opening presentation recently at the JISC Terminology Services Workshop. This event aimed to provide input as JISC considers whether to provide some national terminology services within the context of its Information Environment initiative. People were assembled from different backgrounds, but broadly one could identify those within a...read full entry...
  • Trip report ACOC FRBR WorkshopMarch 09, 2004 – When in Australia I presented [big ppt - 11.7MB] at an Australian Committee On Cataloging workshop, Revolution or Evolution? The Impact of FRBR. Barbara Tillett gave a FRBR overview. Marie-Louise Ayres spoke about AustLit, a resource on Australian literature created from the start based on the FRBR model. It is...read full entry...
  • Yee on RDFFebruary 18, 2004 – Raymond Yee has an interesting and frank discussion of his attempts to grapple with RDF and the Semantic Web.Ever have some subject area that you think that you should be able to understand but can't quite manage despite valiant attempts? You know that it shouldn't be that hard but, for...read full entry...
  • How good is the catalog?January 25, 2004 – Pretty interesting piece by a member of faculty in the history department at Swarthmore. I quote at length -- follow the link for the full piece.Using our library's catalogue, Tripod, I was both impressed at how generally strong our collection is for a small liberal-arts college (shared with Bryn Mawr...read full entry...
  • New OS asset management system based on FRBRJanuary 24, 2004 – This is the development wiki of LibDB, an open-sourced Perl/MySQL library and asset management system based on and inspired by the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (pdf), triples from the semantic web, and "the end-user doesn't, and shouldn't, need to know this stuff". In English, this means that you'll be...read full entry...
  • Changing library environmentJanuary 18, 2004 – I have been looking at some of the presentations of Andrew Pace listed at NCSU Libraries Staff Presentations. Andrew is head of systems at NCSU Libraries and writes and presents frequently. In the light of OCLC discussions about 'unplug and play', I was interested in his presentation on the disintegrated...read full entry...
  • VTLS and FRBRJanuary 12, 2004 – Another announcement from VTLS .. "We are happy to be able to bring to reality (in the form of a working system) the intellectual work done by the Library of Congress, OCLC, BNF and others in developing the FRBR model," said Dr. Vinod Chachra, CEO of VTLS Inc. "I believe...read full entry...
  • Statement of international cataloguing principlesJanuary 07, 2004 – Noted the following on Catalogablog. Statement of International Cataloguing Principles produced by the First IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code. Other background papers also available. [ddb, IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code, papers]...read full entry...
  • Authorities and archivesDecember 04, 2003 – I was in Yale for a couple of days this week where there was a little discussion about EAC (encoded archival context):For some time, archivists have been discussing the need for a standard structure for the recording and exchange of information about the creators of archival materials. Following up on...read full entry...
  • FacetsNovember 16, 2003 – Ed organised a discussion with Endeca last week, given shared interest in faceted classification. In that context was interested to come across this website:Given the significant difficulties in categorizing books, papers, and articles using traditional library classification techniques, it would seem next to impossible for humans to classify the small...read full entry...
  • Thesauri and RDFNovember 14, 2003 – Work is ongoing to develop RDF vocabularies for describing thesaurus data. We would like to be able to encode monolingual and multilingual thesauri, and cope with the variations in semantics and structure between different thesauri. [SWAD-Europe Thesaurus Activity]This activity is part of the SWAD-E project funded by the European Community....read full entry...
  • Course classification and the organisation of information resourcesNovember 13, 2003 – I came across CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) last year. The CIP is a taxonomic coding scheme that contains titles and descriptions of primarily postsecondary instructional programs. It was developed to facilitate NCES' collection and reporting of postsecondary degree completions by major field of study using standard classifications that capture...read full entry...
  • CIP stands for a lot of thingsNovember 13, 2003 –  Definitions of CIP on the Web [Google Search: define: cip]More about CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) later....read full entry...
  • Report on terminology servicesNovember 11, 2003 – The HILT Phase II Final Report: Pre Evaluation Version is now available, though not linked in (received via Diane). It is mounted as an HTML TOC pointing to individual MS Word files. HILT is a JISC project investigating terminology services. Particularly interesting is Appendix J, written by Rachel Heery, which...read full entry...
  • Shirky on the semantic webNovember 10, 2003 – There is a list of technologies that are actually political philosophy masquerading as code, a list that includes Xanadu, Freenet, and now the Semantic Web. The Semantic Web's philosophical argument -- the world should make more sense than it does -- is hard to argue with. The Semantic Web, with...read full entry...
  • IBM Ontology Management SystemNovember 10, 2003 – IBM Ontology Management System (also known as SNOBASE, for Semantic Network Ontology Base) is a framework for loading ontologies from files and via the Internet and for locally creating, modifying, querying, and storing ontologies....IBM Ontology Management System provides a mechanism for querying ontologies and an easy-to-use programming interface for interacting...read full entry...
  • BlogsNovember 02, 2003 – There was some discussion about blogs at the all staff meeting the other day. I have little sense of what penetration Catalogablog has, or how widely read Jon Udell's weblog is, or who looks at Dave Beckett's JournalBlog. I do know that they are all valuable, well-informed resources. They are...read full entry...
  • New issue of Ariadne availableOctober 30, 2003 – I always look out for new issues of Ariadne as I set it up many years ago with John MacColl (now at University of Edinburgh). The October 2003 issue is now available with some interesting articles and trip reports from ECDL, DC2003, and other stuff. Ariadne Issue 37 | Contents...read full entry...
  • Automatic classification and web harvestingOctober 30, 2003 –  Jessica Lindholm, Tomas Schonthal and Kjell Jansson describe the background to and the work involved in setting up Engine-e, a Web index that uses automatic classification as a means for the selection of resources in Engineering. Considerations in offering a robot-generated Web index as a successor to a manually...read full entry...
  • Jian Qin and Learning Object VocabularyOctober 24, 2003 –  The Learning Object Vocabulary (LOV) was generalized from sources in instructional design and technology, learning theories and practices, and conventional library classification and thesauri. This version has the following main categories of learning models, learning objectives, and learning objects. Sources used in creating this ontology include DDC, ERIC Thesaurus,...read full entry...
  • Godfrey Rust and OntologyxOctober 24, 2003 – Godfrey Rust's company Ontologyx has been acquired by Rightscom, a digital rights management consultancy. At the same time they have announced a partnership to promote their 'ontology' based rights management approach. Godfrey Rust is the main resource behind INDECS.The Ontologyx™ range of products has been developed to enable effective automated...read full entry...
  • Roy Tennant in Current Cites on delivery of the DC2003 conference proceedingsOctober 23, 2003 – From all appearances, all of the papers given at the conference are here in Adobe Acrobat format, and presented through an interesting application called "Seamark" from Siderean Software, which also serves as the host for the papers (I can't help wondering if anyone is backing these up somewhere, but maybe...read full entry...