Saturday, 31 March 2007

Teleconference roundtable "Bridging the gap between folksonomies and taxonomies"

Link courtesy of Jan Wyllie:

A roundtable on 17 May 11:00 am - 2:00 pm (Eastern), 8:00 am - 11:00 am (Pacific) via teleconference
Bridging the gap between folksonomies and taxonomies"

"Is it possible to combine the creativity of "social tagging" with the rigor of professional document indexing? In this teleconference roundtable, Bradley Allen will do a joint presentation with Rafael Sidi of Elsevier Engineering Information about a system that lets metadata managers associate author-generated keywords with terms in a controlled vocabulary and lets users use the results for search."

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Study on tagging behaviour on Flickr

Pauline Rafferty and Rob Hidderley are currently working on a small scale study of tagging behaviour on Flickr, using Jakobson’s model of communicative functions as a framework through which to analyse the empirical data. The aim of the project is to determine whether tags assigned to images are informational in function, or appear to be operating in respect to other communicative functions.

Pauline is an ISKO UK member and we hope to hear more about this study at the next ISKO UK open meeting in September.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Tim Berners Lee talk (BCS Lovelace Award Lecture)

This is a video of Tim Berners Lee's recent talk "Looking Back, Looking Forward" including a transcript:

Link courtesy of Dave Crossland

"These lecture notes are informal, and although they cover the talk in
detail, should not be taken as a transcription and may contain many
errors, misattributions and so on. Verbatim copying and redistribution
of this entire article are permitted provided this notice is

ISKO UK inaugural meeting of the British Chapter

In the discussion among members which arose from Alan Gilchrist's talk "If it rained knowledge..." at our inaugural meeting I was struck by the fact that research work on user behaviour on the internet - on exactly how they set about retrieving information - is thin on the ground. Some guidelines on a research project on user behaviour are urgently required.
In wondering where these guidelines might come from I thought of all the practical experience that librarians in public libraries have of user behaviour on the freely available internet pc's. Internet users in public libraries come from all types of background and some formal attempt to record their enquiry patterns would be quite possible. How to do it is the issue.

CFP - special issue of NRHM

Douglas Tudhope, the editor of the New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia invites paper for the special issue on Studying the Users of Digital Education Technologies: Theories, Methods, and Analytical Approaches.

This special issue of NRHM addresses issues associated with the qualitative understanding of the use of digital educational technologies in real-life contexts (with a focus on digital libraries, broadly conceived), by emphasizing the importance of contextual sociotechnical studies of technology use and design. The issue will consider educational technologies as complex mixtures of people, practices and technologies, embedded in a range of institutional, technological and social contexts. The editor therefore invites contributions that address the qualitative and sociotechnical study of digital educational technologies and users 'in the wild.'

Guest editor: Michael Khoo (
National Science Digital Library, University Corporation for Atmospheric
Research, Boulder, Colorado, United States

Submission deadline: 16 May 2007
Acceptance notification: 2 July 2007
Final manuscripts due: 20 August 2007

Submissions should be sent by email to the guest editor, preferably in
pdf format. Questions and enquiries concerning this call should be
directed to the guest editor. Open topic papers meeting NRHM's scope in
general are also welcome (send to Editor:

CFP - IKONE: Session 'Future of Knowledge Organization', Bangalore, 3-5 September 2007

Peter Ohly invites contributions for a special session, titled 'Future of Knowledge Organization' at the IKONE conference, in Bangalore, 3-5 September 2007. The session's main emphasis is on indexing and retrieval languages, and other tools of ordering and organizing information.

The main objective of the session is to discuss general trends, problems
and requirements, although it may also include presentations and
elaboration of individual solutions. The session will take form of a panel discussion.

Proposals for contributions should be e-mailed to Peter Ohly ( by 15th April 2007.

Additional information about the venue: accomodations are available at the campus. There are direct flights to Hindustan Airport, Bangalore. The climate in Bangalore should be moderate as it is situated at an altitude of about 1000 m.

dLIST - Tell a colleague link

The editor of dLIST (Digital Library of Information Science and Technology) open archive, Anita Coleman informed yesterday about "Tell a Colleague email link" feature available now with all articles in dLIST to spread the word about research! To check it out, visit any item: for example, Bailey's Open Access Bibliography. Once in that record, click on the Tell a colleague hyperlink. Your email client will open with brief information about the article, including the dLIST URL and an invitation to read it. Simply insert the appropriate address(es) and send the email to interested colleagues. DLIST welcomes - comments and suggestions.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

KM vs. KO

In my (self-appointed) role of rapprochement imp, I regularly monitor discussions in many information and knowledge management domains. May I present to you an excerpt from a message recently posted to a KM discussion group, which might shed some light on the space currently separating the KO and KM communities.

"Unfortunately, labels are necessary and categorizing (stereotypes, archetypes, taxonomies, ontologies) makes them easier to manage and leverage. As a KM practitioner, I am, like the biochemists, more interested in the "what can we do with this or how does it work", because this is where I think the value comes from. Even in my role as an author of a book about categories of personalities written as animal metaphors, I am still more interested in how this can be applied than the categories per se. The character types enable us to identify (with) a pattern of behaviour that we can more easily remember and assist others to understand and apply. The pure taxonomist would be happy if the characters fit nicely into "a box". However, we know that human behaviour (or KM for that matter) is rarely like that. The best we can do is describe a common set of characteristics and place similar things in it to make them easier to manage. Why would we do that? So it becomes easier for others to get the knowledge into context and for the knowledge to be transferred to others and applied. The risk is, what happens when the context changes? If we rigidly stick to our categories, we may miss significant opportunities, or our categorization
systems could become obsolete."



Friday, 16 March 2007

ISKO News Section - include commercial events?

I know that I am not the only one among ISKO UK's membership, but I am a member of the North American taxonomy mailing list TaxoCop. This list is primarily oriented towards the role of taxonomies (and related approaches to structuring information) in the corporate information environment. There is an associated Wiki. The list is run by Seth Earley of Earley and Associates, whose business is taxonomy building and deployment, although TaxoCop is not run as a commercial operation.

From time to time, the TaxoCop community run conference calls on specific topics. Some of these are free, but more often they cost USD50 per person (plus the call costs, of course). TaxoCop have announced such a conference call for March 28th, entitled 'Taxonomy and KM'. I am wondering if we wish to carry notices of such items in the News section on the ISKO site?

Although the TaxoCop conference calls are charged, they are not really commercial events, and may therefore qualify to appear in our News section. However, there are a number of events around the topic of taxonomies which are run as commercial events, such as the Taxonomy conferences which Ark Group (used to?) run, and the very interesting sessions at the Online Conference last November involving Joseph Busch, Jayne Dutra, Tom Reamy and others. Should we carry news items for such commercial events also, where they are relevant?

I have no wish to interfere with editorial policy for our Web site, but it seems to me that we need to clarify our position in this respect. What do other members think?



Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Top ten journals in information science?

Controversial issues of impact factor as a measure of a journal's importance are well documented. We can often read about misuse, manipulation and skewness of this measurements. The ASIS&T SIGMETRICS list is, for instance, a good forum to discuss all these problems.

However, in spite of all reservations, most of us like to keep an eye on Thompsons ISI citation index, whatever conclusions we may draw from it.

Here are what appear to be the most frequently cited journals in 2005 (for the sake of the simplicity of this message I had to leave out "Immediacy Index","Cited Half life", and "number of articles in 2005" which are all needed to get a full picture - see calculation... but anyway).

Total CitesImpact Factor
Management Information Systems Quarterly23954.978
J. of Am Medical Informatics Association20404.339
Information & Management, Amst.12301.524
Journal Of Management Information Systems11671.406
Int. Journal of Geographical Information Science9601.562
Information Systems Research9492.054
Journal of Information Technology3471.543
Annual Review of Information Science and Technology2982.652

PROTON - basic upper level ontology

This comes from the SKOS list. Bernard Vatant pointed towards a basic upper level ontology created within the SEKT (Semantically Enabled Knowledge Technologies) project (2004-2007).

The project worked on combining three core research areas: ontology management, machine learning and natural language processing.

Among other things, this project demonstrated how pre-existing knowledge in the form of a basic upper-level ontology can be used for metadata generation and as a groundwork for the overall knowledge modelling and integration strategy of a KM environment.

The PROTON ontology, itself, contains about 300 classes and 100 properties, providing coverage of the general concepts necessary for a wide range of tasks, including semantic annotation, indexing, and retrieval of documents.
Base upper-level ontology (BULO) Guidance introduces and documents the PROTON ontology.

Information work in museums - articles

A collection of articles on information work and research in museums and implications of introducing new technologies into the museum environment (2005, 2006, 2007) by Paul F. Marty are now available in dLIST open archive.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

The use of 'tag clouds' in text presentation/analysis/indexing?

Marcia Zeng posted today the following message to the NKOS (Networked Knowledge Organization Systems) list:

    Everyone knows about the 'tag cloud' approach when showing popular tags. How about using this same idea for presenting keywords in documents and making a dynamic cloud which matches a particular event? Here are some examples I found interesting.

    US Presidential Speeches Aging Tag Cloud Timeline
    The tag cloud shows the popularity, frequency, and trends in the usages of words within speeches, official documents, declarations, and letters written by the Presidents of the US between 1776 - 2007 AD.

    Microsoft's evolution, in keywords
    At both case, there is a timeline on the top. Move the slider around for a unique glimpse into the document of a particular time.

    Information about tagline generator is at:

Monday, 12 March 2007


--Call for papers--

BCS IRSG - Symposium on Future Directions in Information Access/Retrieval(FDIA), Glasgow 28-29 August 2007

Organized in conjunction with the Summer School on Multimedia Semantics: Analysis, Annotation, Retrieval and Applications

The aim of the IRSG FDIA symposium is to provide a forum where future directions of information access can be presented and discussed in an open and friendly environment.

The objectives of the Symposium are:

  • To provide an accessible forum for early researchers
    (particularly PhD students, and researchers new to the field) to share and
    discuss their research.

  • To create and foster the formative and tentative research ideas.

  • To encourage discussion and debate.

The IRSG FDIA Symposium aims to provide researchers with an excellent opportunity to receive constructive feedback on their current and future research directions.

Submission focusing on new directions and emerging work in Information Access/Retrieval which create discussion and provoke reaction are strongly encouraged. See details on the symposium website.
Submissions should be send to Dr Andrew MacFarlane.

CFP - Contexts and Ontologies, Denmark, 21 Aug 2007

---Call for Papers---

The Third International Workshop on Contexts and Ontologies: Representation and Reasoning

August 21, 2007, Roskilde University, Denmark.

OBJECTIVES The goal of this workshop is to bring people from the context and ontology communities together to discuss the approaches they use for information integration from the knowledge representation and reasoning perspective. Therefore, the workshop will push the cross-fertilization and exchange of ideas (e.g., which of the methods from the context community can be successfully adopted in the ontology community, and vice versa), and, hence, make their meeting mutually beneficial.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

New KO-related books from Chandos

For anyone who has not seen the latest catalogue from Chandos Publishing, it contains a number of books relevant to our field. Some are new (and even yet-to-be-published) and some have been out for a while.

Not least is the eagerly-awaited book by Patrick Lambe, "Organizing Knowledge: Taxonomies, knowledge and organizational effectiveness" (ISBN 1-84334-227-8).

Others include:
  • Information Architecture for Information Professionals. Dr. Susan Batley.
  • Knowledge, Information and the Business Process. Liz Taylor.
  • Challenges of Knowledge Sharing in Practice: A Social Approach. Gunilla Widen-Wulff.
  • E-Journal Invasion: A Cataloger's Guide to Survival. Helen Heinrich.
  • Theory and Practice of the Dewey Decimal Classification System. Dr. M. P. Satija.
  • Indexing: From Thesauri to the Semantic Web. Pierre de Keyser.
  • Metadata for Digital Resources: Implementation, systems design and interoperability. Muriel Foulonneau & Jenn Riley.
  • Descriptive and Subject Cataloguing: A Workbook. Dr. Jaya Raju.
  • Classification in Theory and Practice. Dr. Susan Batley.
Further details available on the Chandos Web site via an author search.


Saturday, 3 March 2007

Conference announcement: Semantic Image Retrieval, 26-27 March, Brighton

Semantic Image Retrieval - the User Perspective, Brighton 26-27 March 2007.
The conference brings together members of the practitioner and research communities in image retrieval. A number of leading members of both communities will be giving presentations, and the programme features a keynote address by Corinne J├Ârgensen, a world authority on theory and practice in image retrieval.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Pedagogical vocabularies and Dublin Core metadata

A brief update on the activities of Dublin Core - Educational Community.
The DCMI Education Working Group is focusing on developing the DC-Ed Application Profile and vocabularies for this AP - primarily vocabularies for 'learning object type' and 'instructional method'.
To start with they will draw from The JISC-CETIS Pedagogical Vocabularies Review report which already contains a number of relevant vocabularies. These will now be the subject of more detailed scrutiny.

Today, Sarah Currier, the group's moderator, announced their new wiki.

Knowledge organization of solidarity, sustainability and non-violence subjects

Luis Gutirrez announces the new issue of his Newsletter
"Solidarity, Sustainability, and non-Violence"
This Newsletter contains a knowledge organization section that proposes a two-taxonomy approach in dealing with these specific subjects:
- knowledge organization taxonomy
- knowledge access taxonomy

Paper "Facet analysis and Semantic Web"

You may find F. J. Devadason's text "Facet analysis and Semantic Web" of interest.
A link to this paper/website was recently posted to the CLASS discussion group and also to Tomas Wilson's "Information Research" blog.

typology of controlled vocabularies

The other day, there was a discussion on 'general types of controlled vocabularies' on the SKOS list. Some texts were proposed that cover this issue:

- "Ontology metadata framework, a doctoral thesis in which there is a typology of controlled vocabularies based on G. Hodge's "Systems of Knowledge Organization for Digital Libraries"

- NISO 39.19 - Guidelines for the Construction, Format, and management of Monolingual Thesauri

- Terminology Services and Technology JISC state of the art review

[All of these are listed in the ISKO UK topics and standards pages respectively.]

I was wondering... if we wish to read about the typology of indexing languages where should we look? Are some of these still relevant?

    "Subject approach to information" by A.C. Foskett (1999)
    "Languages of indexing and classification" by W. J. Hutchins (1975)
    "Abstracting and Indexing" J. Rowley (1988)
    "Indexing and Abstracting in Theory and Practice" by F. W. Lancaster (2003)
    "Indexing languages and Thesauri"(1974) or "Organizing Information" (2006) by Dagobert Soergel
    "Subject analysis and indexing: theoretical foundation and practical advice " by Robert Fugmann? (1993)

    or e.g.:
    Documentation - methods for examining documents, determining their subjects, and selecting indexing terms: international standard 5963. Geneva, International Standard Organization, 1985

... etc.

CILIP workshop on Web 2.0 - 6 Mar 2007, London

Web 2.0 – A look beyond the hype and hope of the "Next Net".
6pm - 8pm
Venue: 2-3 New Bridge Street, London. EC4V 6AA
cost: free

See details here

Thursday, 1 March 2007

CFP: IKONE 2007, Bangalore (India)

Please check: first announcement and call for papers for IKONE 2007, the International Conference on Future of Knowledge Organization in the Networked Environment, to be held 27-29, August 2007, Bangalore (India).
Scholars in knowledge organization, information architecture, knowledge management, information systems, digital libraries, and related areas are invited to submit full papers by 30 April 2007 (notification of acceptance: 31 May 2007).

Notes on "Blunt Dialectics" Seminar held on 8 Feb

Notes on the "Blunt dialectics" seminar held on 8 Feb 2007 at Kingston University can be accessed directly here or from the section 'documentation' on our ISKO UK topics page.

If it rained knowledge ... ISKO UK Inaugural meeting

ISKO UK will hold its inaugural meeting on March 26, 2007 at University College London. You are cordially invited to attend.

Further information is available on our web site at

If you would be interested in attending this meeting, please would you kindly send a message to "info [at] iskouk [dot] org" - so we can estimate numbers.