Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Proceedings of the 18th ASIS&T SIG/CR Classification Research Workshop

The special interest group on Classification Research (SIG/CR) of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) held its annual workshop a couple of weeks ago. The proceedings are available online in the DLIST open archive. They are an interesting window on what is happening in the American organization having maybe the scope closest to ISKO...

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Strong UK representation at IBERSID 2007

Several ISKO UK members attended IBERSID 2007 (the XII International Conference on Information and Documentation Systems) in Zaragoza in early October. They were there to speak as well as to listen. Of 12 speakers in a day-long special session entitled Ontologies: principles and practice, five were from the UK, three of them ISKO UK members. The session was chaired by ISKO UK founder member Alan Gilchrist.

The papers presented in the ontology session were:

Ontologies: modelling and logic - Alan Flett, (Senior Consultant, TFPL)
From thesauri to ontologies: the challenges of standardisation - Stella Dextre Clarke (Information consultant)
Topic Maps: Theory and Practice - Bob Bater (ISKO UK Vice-chair & Principal Associate, InfoPlex Associates)
Semantic Web for the Public Sector - Dr. Harith Alani (University of Southampton)
The Lexical Constructional Model: the general architecture - Prof. Dr. Francisco José Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez (Universidad de La Rioja, Spain) & Prof. Dr. Ricardo Mairal Usón (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain)
Cognitive Linguistics and Language: Guided Ontology Construction - Prof. Dr. Tony Veale (University College Dublin, RoI)
Ontologies and the semantic web: problems and perspectives for LIS professionals - Mtro. Javier Calzada Prado (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain)
A descriptive algorithm for a wine tasting lexicon corpus - Dña. Margarita Goded Rambaud (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain)
Contributions for an Improvement of the Children’s Catalogue in the Public Library - Mtra. Sandra Cosme (Universidade de Évora, Portugal)

These papers are not included in the main conference proceedings, but may be published separately next year.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Only KOnnect

It seems that ISKO UK's mission is well in-tune with British Library Chief Executive Lynne Brindley's view of the future for the information profession. In her keynote speech at CILIP's Umbrella 2007 conference, she is reported (CILIP Update, 6(11) November 2007) as saying:
Cataloguers 'interbreeding' with other professional groups such as programmers and graphic designers (for example in shopping channels, and the advertising industry) means that our backroom skills have become hot! Resource discovery is the key to the future of web services - we surely must be major contributors to all this.

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon.
Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted,
And human love will be seen at its height.
Live in fragments no longer.
Only connect...

E.M. Forster, Howards End

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Guardian and Observer Archives to be Digitized

In an item posted on the KOnnect blog back in August I commented on our sister group KIDMM's expression of interest in digital preservation issues and referenced the current tussle between Microsoft's OOXML format and the Open Source community's ODF as leading contenders for a preservation format. I also referred to the PDF/A format as a possible third contender, and posted a further item on this blog noting the launch of an XMP editor for PDF under Windows.

In a highly significant development, the Guardian News and Media group (GNM), publishers of the Guardian and Observer newspapers, have recently announced that they are to digitize the whole of the archives of the two newspapers. The announcement adds:
"The group says the move will ensure the preservation of the papers’ legacy as microfilm and paper archives are in danger of degrading beyond repair."
Why is this interesting? Well, firstly because there are many in the Records Management community and beyond who claim that paper and microfilm are still the preservation formats with the longest lifetime, and who scorn the suggestion that digital formats can have greater longevity. Can anyone shed any further light on this debate?

Secondly, I wonder what retrieval facilities are to be offered for the new archive; plain content-based FTR plus author & title, or something more sophisticated? We shall find out soon enough, since the archive is free to access during November.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

PDF (XMP) Metadata Editor for Windows

Pound Hill Software, a developer of metadata software tools, announced in late August 2007 the release of MetaGrove Suite 1.0 for the Windows XP platform. MetaGrove is a software suite of products that provide XMP metadata capabilities to users of Adobe Creative Suite CS2, which includes the popular Adobe Acrobat (PDF) cross-platform document format.

Why should KO professionals take note? Because the PDF format - as PDF/A - is a possible contender for the archiving of digital information, and Adobe's W3C-conformant XMP metadata specification provides an extensible platform for organizing digital information to make it discoverable.

The roots of this thread lie in the growing importance of LIS (KO) skills in today's world of information glut and knowledge scarcity. This was briefly referenced in my posting to the KOnnect blog entitled 'Bringing it all Back Home', where I referenced our sister-group KIDMM’s recognition of digital preservation as an important issue.

Although current discussion of digital archiving formats tends to focus on the Microsoft OOXML / ODF contest, PDF/A allied with XMP should not be dismissed. The appearance of a sophisticated XMP editor for Windows heralds a new stage in the battle for supremacy in this important KO arena.

A brief review of Pound Hill Software's MetaGrove for Windows metadata editor will appear on ISKO UK's KOnnect blog soon.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Presentations and audio recordings - Meta Knowledge Mash-up 2007

The BCS "Knowledge, information, data and metadata management" (BCS-KIDMM) project - organized a one-day conference on 17 September 2007 entitled "Meta Knowledge Mash-up 2007: Putting information back into IT".

    A Mash-up for knowledge: From an origin in Jamaican creole and the music industry, ‘mash-up’ has come to mean putting together data from different sources to produce a useful new resource. The aim of our event is to tear through the boundaries between different professional specialisms, and ‘mash-up’ the perspectives we carry from our own practice, to create something for the benefit of all.

Slideshows and audio recordings can be found at the Mash-up outputs page


  • Conrad Taylor (Electronic Publishing SG) "Introduction to the day, plus: An overview of methods of adding ‘handles and labels’ to data, information and knowledge products"
  • Tony Rose (Infomation Retrieval SG) "Information Retrieval today: an overview of issues and methods"
  • Tom Khazaba (SPSS) "Data Mining, Text Mining and the Predictive Enterprise"
  • Ian Herbert (Health Informatics Forum) "Interoperability of health information, and the role of controlled vocabularies"
  • Dan Rickman (Geospatial SG) "Geospatial information and its applications"
  • Christopher Marsden (Victoria & Albert Museum) "The V&A’s Core Systems Integration project: Using a common data model to unify museum catalogue databases"
  • Terry Freedman (The National Archive) "Digital preservation – what are the issues?"
  • Leonard Will (Will Power) "Overview on subject indexing classification and thesauri"
  • Richard Millwood (Core UK) "Enabling knowledge communities"

Presentations and audio recordings from the ISKO Seminar "Tools for Knowledge Organization Today"

ISKO UK Seminar Tools for Knowledge Organization Today was held on 4th September 2007 at University College London.

The Seminar exploried current developments in knowledge organization systems, standards and the work of groups in the knowledge organization field, such as Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Services (NKOS) and British Computer Society - Knowledge, Information, Data and Metadata Management (BCS-KIDMM).

Slideshow files and audio recordings of the talks given by Stella Dextre Clarke, Douglas Tudhope, Vanda Broughton and Conrad Taylor, are now available from the event's website

Presentations from the 6th NKOS Workshop at ECDL conference

The 6th European Networked Knowledge Organization Systems and Services (NKOS) Workshop was held at the 11th ECDL Conference, Budapest, Hungary on September 21st 2007

Slideshows are available from the Workshop's site.
The main themes of the workshop sessions were:

  • Folksonomies and Social tagging

  • Panel Discussion on Project ISO NP 25964: Structured vocabularies for information retrieval

  • Implications of online KOS applications

  • Mapping

Outputs from the past NKOS workshops and special meetings, as well as relevant NKOS related publications, are available from the NKOS website.