Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Draft of ISO 25964-1 - Now available

Draft of ISO 25964-1 "Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies. Thesauri for information retrieval”

Work has been under way since May 2008 to revise and extend the international standards for thesauri, ISO 2788 and ISO 5964. The updated content of these two standards, plus other material needed to support interoperability, will be combined in a new standard ISO 25964, as follows:

ISO 25964. Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies
Part 1: Thesauri for information retrieval
Part 2: Interoperability with other vocabularies

Part 1, officially numbered ISO/DIS 25964-1, has been released as a draft available for public comment until the end of February 2010.

Part 1 covers monolingual and multilingual thesauri. As well as updating the entire content of ISO 2788 and ISO 5964, coverage includes:
guidelines for thesaurus management software;
a data model for monolingual and multilingual thesauri;
recommendations for exchange formats and protocols.
An XML schema for data exchange is included as an informative appendix, and is available free of charge here. Please click the “comments” link on this web page, to give your feedback on the draft schema.

The whole standard may be viewed online. You have to register on the site, but there is no charge for registration, and it is easy to submit comments on each clause, whether you are in the UK or not. Alternatively a hard copy is available from BSI at a price of £36 (just £18 for BSI members). Place your order online (where the draft is listed under an alternative number of 09/30165649 DC).

A copy of the whole draft may also be obtained from any of the national standards bodies which are members of ISO, the International Organization for Standards.

Development of the standard is managed by a Working Group known as ISO TC46/SC9/WG8, which has participants from 15 countries and is led by Stella Dextre Clarke of the UK. The Secretariat is provided by NISO (USA). WG8 is now actively working on Part 2 of the standard, which will provide guidance on mapping between vocabularies.

See official website. Further information may be found in the ASIS&T Bulletin, and in an article in the Technology Watch Report.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Conference Outputs "Classification at a Crossroads"

The International UDC Seminar 2009 entitled "Classification at a Crossroads - multiple directions to usability" took place in the Koninklijke Bibiotheek in The Hague on 29-30 October 2009.

There were 135 delegates in attendance from 32 countries.

The highlights of the conference programme include keynote addresses by Dagobert Soergel: "Illuminating chaos: using classification to harness the Web" and Dan Brickley: "Open Web standards and classification: foundations for a hybrid approach", but a number of other talks reinforced the message put forward by Dagobert and Dan in terms of the relevance of classification schemes for resource discovery and for creating a web of linked data.

Slides and mp3 recordings of these and the other twenty talks are now available from the conference website.

Recordings by Dan Brickley and Jakob Voss are also available in Slideshare and have been synchronised with their presentation slides, which colleagues may find especially interesting. Both talks contain some inspiring ideas that relate classification schemes and semantic technologies.

8th NKOS Workshop presentations available

Courtesy of Traugott Koch:

All presentations and posters from the 8th European Networked Knowledge Organization Systems (NKOS) workshop, that took place at the ECDL conference in Corfu (Greece) on October 1st 2009, are available at the workshop website:


Among the topics covered are: a vocabulary bank; a SKOS encoding and web service, offering a bilingual economics thesaurus; UK projects experimenting with tag recommenders; evaluations of the information retrieval effects of a large number of pairs of mapped vocabularies; user interfaces for search term recommendation and query expansion; the development of the new thesaurus standard ISO 25964; the creation of faceted structures in a section of UDC and management issues in networked KOS as experienced with the same classification system.

A short report by Traugott Koch has been published in D-Lib Magazine.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Last call for registration: Classification at a Crossroads

Classification at a Crossroads: Multiple Directions to Usability
Internatinal UDC Seminar
The Hague, 29-30 October 2009.

The final Programme with abstracts and speakers' biographies containing a selection of 22 talks is now available.

This conference will cover a variety of topics: classification of web resources, automatic classification, relationships between thesaurus and classification, terminology services, web ontology standards, some new approaches in using or presenting classification and classification use in library networks.

The programme highlights are talks by our keynote speakers Dagobert Soergel "Illuminating the Chaos: Using Classification to Harness the Web" and Dan Brickley "Open Web Standards and Classification: Foundations for a Hybrid Approach".

A recent addition to the programme is a presentation by Stella Dextre Clarke "Providing for interoperability between thesauri and classification schemes in ISO 25964" on the new ISO standard for structured vocabularies and its approach to classification.

Ergon Verlag will exhibit and sell books from its series Advances in Knowledge Organization at a special 50% discount. All delegates are given 20% discount to Facet Publishing Titles. Both publishers contributed a number of books for a lottery draw and delegates will have a chance to win a book.

The registration for the conference will close on 20th October. To register, with an option to pay online go to http://www.udcc.org/seminar2009/php/registration.php.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

CFP: Transcending Boundaries in Europe in the Period of the Belle Epoque: Organizing Knowledge, Mobilizing Networks...


Colloguium: Transcending Boundaries in Europe in the Period of the Belle Epoque: Organizing Knowledge, Mobilizing Networks, and Effecting Social Change - Mons (Belgium), 20-21 May 2010

VENUE: Mundaneum [see: wikipedia entry on Mundaneum]

The colloquium will explore aspects of network development,information creation, organization and exchange, and related "boundary spanning" activities of individuals and institutions and the scholarly tools and techniques that this enabled them to develop during the period of the "Belle Epoque" in which the Western European world underwent extensive social, political and "epistemic" change from approximately 1880 to 1914 [read more].

Paul Otlet & Henry Lafontaine

Abstracts (in English or French) of not more than 500 words should be sent by January 31, 2010 to Prof. W Boyd Rayward (wrayward@illinois.edu).

Notification of acceptance 28 February 2010. Accepted papers must be delivered at the Colloquium in English.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

ISKO UK Seminar: Records and Information Management in Transition

You are cordially invited to the next ISKO UK afternoon seminar

16 September 2009
VENUE: University College London
FEE: £20.00 (ISKO members and students FREE)

Good governance, accountability, transparency, freedom of information: noble aims for our society but achieving them depends on keeping, and being able to find, records of our dealings. In the largest and the smallest organizations today, systems and resources for keeping the records are feeling the strain.

To address these questions and the practical reality of today's challenges we have a team of speakers, battle-hardened from long experience as consultants and/or practitioners. They will discuss the organizational challenges at all levels, from the strategic to the intensely practical.

Facet Publishing is giving a special 20% discount on a selection of titles to participants and the chance to win a book!

To see the full programme and to book your place go to the event's website.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

CFP: 8th Networked Knowledge Organization Systems and Services (NKOS) Workshop

The 8th Networked Knowledge Organization Systems and Services (NKOS) Workshop will take place on Thursday, 1st October 2009, as part of ECDL 2009 in Corfu (Greece).

Contributions are invited for the following topics:
  • Linked data
  • Models and methodologies for creation and development of KOS
  • Social tagging
  • KOS Interoperability
  • Terminology services
  • User-centred design issues
  • Semantic Web
  • Economic and social issues
See more details on invited topics at http://www.comp.glam.ac.uk/pages/research/hypermedia/nkos/nkos2009/.

This year's workshop invites proposals for both presentations and for posters. They should include aims, methods, and main findings in approximately 500 words for presentations and 200 words for posters. Submission deadline is the 19th June.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Librarians: Reactionaries or Revolutionaries?

In his report on Dave Snowden's talk to ISKO UK on 23 April 2009, Jan Wyllie, an ISKO UK member and co-founder of the Open Intelligence blog raises some challenging points regarding the role of librarians and information managers. "The ISKO audience of librarians and information professionals seemed somewhat bemused as to what disintermediation and self-signifying data had to do with them, although I am sure that they did not like the sound of the word 'disintermediation'", says Jan.

Well, bemused they were not, because 'disintermediation' is an occupational hazard they have become familiar with, firstly with the arrival of the personal computer 20-odd years ago and more recently with the advent of the Web. In both cases, these developments were heralded by the technocratic sooth-sayers as spelling the end for the profession. But information professionals got over their discomfort, adapted to the changes and became all the stronger for it.

Jan goes on to say: "The opportunity that Dave is pioneering indicates that metadata itself has its own very valuable significance as an attribute of collaborative intelligence. Entertaining this proposition would require a complete change in the belief systems of ‘information professionals’ and ‘knowledge managers’ about why they are there and what is right."

Ironically, Jan is hoist by his own petard in this statement. In a polemic against interpretation, he uses his interpretation of what information professionals do, and one which is way off the mark. Any enquiry among information professionals would show, I’m sure, that in their intermediation between the information seeker and information resources, they are rarely, if ever, called upon to 'interpret' what those resources signify. Their role is to maintain resource collections and to devise systems and spaces to facilitate access by the end user to those collections. To think that they are there to advise the reader what a book, a journal or a recording signifies is to seriously misinterpret their role.

Jan does have a point to make though, and a serious one at that. It's the same point that Charlie Leadbeater made at the recent Unlocking Audio 2 conference at the British Library, reported by Charlie Inskip in CILIP's Library & Information Update, May 2009. Inskip reports that Leadbeater "encouraged libraries and archives to work with users rather than to or for them." and that "business models should develop, allowing users to 'Enjoy, Talk, Do'". Inskip also reports Leadbeater's view that "we should allow users to use the resources in libraries and archives to create new things, rather than simply absorb them" and that "successful organisations [are] those which engage users through participation and collaboration but also get people to the resources they need."

Jan's point would have been far better made had he avoided the temptation to attack a sitting target and had cast his critical net a little wider. To be sure, the selection of books for the shelves of the public library, the class marks assigned to them, the descriptors added to digital resources, the designation of records by records managers are all acts of interpretation of sorts. But no more so than the selection of consumables in the supermarket, radio and TV schedules, newspaper stories, court judgements and - dare we say it - the focal subjects of the Open Intelligence blog and the Categories provided for us to classify them. Jan's target should have been supermarket marketing strategists, journalists and news editors, maybe also authors of non-fiction - particularly historians and economists (although the latter's output is probably better placed in the realm of fiction).

Certainly, Web 2.0 and the possibility of accessing and acting upon collective intelligence in a spirit of mutual aid promises to be the latest nail in the coffin of the hegemony of baseless 'authority'. Whether Web 2.0 can sufficiently build upon the heritage of the likes of Godwin and Kropotkin, Goodman and Illich to become the nail which finally lays to rest the old paradigm of command-and-control, and to liberate the individual and collective intellects creatively in a new synergy, remains to be seen. But one thing is certain: in any such development, information professionals will prove to be your allies, Jan, not your enemies.

Friday, 27 March 2009

EARLY BIRD CLOSE: Content Architecture, ISKO UK 2009 Conference


Content Architecture: Exploiting and Managing Diverse Resources, ISKO UK 2009 Conference
London, 22-23 June 2009

VENUE: University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

EARLY BIRD FEE - if registration is completed and payment received by ISKO UK on or before 31st March.

135 GBP
115 GBP (ISKO members, speakers and students)

To avoid delays, excessive and uncertain bank charges and exchange rate problems, payment by PayPal using a debit or credit card is strongly recommended for delegates from outside the UK. Those within the UK can also pay by bank transfer or by sending a cheque (if you trust first class post to deliver it in time!).

For payments received after 31st March, the fees are

165 GBP
135 GBP (ISKO members, speakers and students)

See the complete conference programme.

We have 28 presentations, with speakers from ten countries. Topics include semantic interoperability, image retrieval, multimedia challenges, mapping and modelling.

As keynote speakers we have:
- Professor David Crystal, the renowned author, linguist and broadcaster, talking about semantic targeting;
- Clifford Lynch, Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, on the subject of e-Research and New Challenges in Knowledge Structuring

To take advantage of the early bird discount, register as soon as you can on the conference registration page.

"Content Architecture: Exploiting and Managing Diverse Resources", is the first biennial conference of the UK Chapter of ISKO (International Society for Knowledge Organization).

Friday, 20 March 2009

2009-03-17: W3C Invites Implementations of SKOS

From the W3C news;

W3C Invites Implementations of SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System) Reference; Primer Also Published

2009-03-17: The Semantic Web Deployment Working Group invites implementation of the Candidate Recommendation of SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System Reference. This document defines the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS), a common data model for sharing and linking knowledge organization systems via the Web. SKOS—Simple Knowledge Organization System—provides a model for expressing the basic structure and content of concept schemes such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies, folksonomies, and other similar types of controlled vocabulary. As an application of the Resource Description Framework (RDF), SKOS allows concepts to be composed and published on the World Wide Web, linked with data on the Web and integrated into other concept schemes. The Working Group also published today a Working Draft of SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System Primer. Learn more about the Semantic Web Activity. (Permalink)

Sunday, 8 March 2009

ISKO UK Event - Human-Machine Symbiosis for Data Interpretation

The next ISKO UK open meeting will be held on 23 April 2009, at University College London.

David Snowden will talk about "Human-Machine Symbiosis for Data Interpretation" followed by a panel discussion. The seminar will be preceded by the ISKO UK Annual General Meeting to which all potential members are also invited.

Tea will be provided, and there will be drinks and an opportunity for networking. We hope that it will be an enjoyable afternoon and are looking forward to seeing you at this ISKO UK event.

Cost: 10 GBP (students and ISKO members free)

To book you place go to the event's website.

Invitation "Content Architecture: Exploiting and Managing Diverse Resources" Conference

"Content Architecture: Exploiting and Managing Diverse Resources", is the first biennial conference of the UK Chapter of ISKO (International Society for Knowledge Organization) to be held in London, 22-23 June 2009.

Venue: University College London.

We have 28 presentations, with speakers from ten countries. Topics include semantic interoperability, image retrieval, multimedia challenges, mapping and modelling. See the full conference programme.

Our keynote speakers are David Crystal, the renowned author, linguist and broadcaster, talking about semantic targeting and Clifford Lynch, Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, talking on the subject of e-Research and New Challenges in Knowledge Structuring

Early Bird Fee (to 31st March):

£135 GBP
£115 GBP (ISKO members, students)

To take advantage of the early bird discount, register as soon as you can on the conference webiste.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Conference: A Picture's Worth a Thousand Euros - Return on Investment?

The "A Picture's Worth a Thousand Euros - Return on Investment?" event will be held at The Royal Thames Yacht Club, London, 28-29 January 2009.

Bridgeman Art Library, Collections Trust and Electric Lane are promoting industry-wide collaboration with The MILE (Metadata for Image Library Exploitation) Project to develop company infrastructure and commercial strategy, at this key event held at The Royal Thames Yacht Club, London.

“Running a picture library isn’t economic for many museums. These museums should either work together as a collective, or use an established commercial provider."
Nick Poole, Collections Trust

This event will challenge current working practices, exploring stakeholders’ and users’ needs in relation to workflow systems and productivity, and examining the commercial case for a unified approach to metadata classification.

Attendance includes lunch and refreshments and costs only £30!

To register contact lucy.geering@bridgemanart.co.uk

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Planet Cataloging

This blog is aggregated on the widely-read Planet Cataloging, "an automatically-generated aggregation of blogs related to cataloging and metadata designed and maintained by Jennifer Lang and Kevin S. Clarke."

Thanks to Jennifer Lang for the add.

Free UKeIG Intranets Forum Meeting

What would an intranet be like if it was designed by a librarian?

Free informal Intranets Forum meeting for UKeiG members
to be held at:
4 More London Riverside

Thursday 19th February 2.30 – 4.30 p.m.

There will be two presentations:

Jennifer Smith, OneIS
Frustrated by the lack of good information management principles in most IT systems, Jennifer Smith, a law librarian, created OneIS. Jennifer will demonstrate the system which is due for launch in Spring 2009.

Janet Corcoran, A survey of Imperial College London Library staff intranet: process and results
A map and directions are available at http://www.lg-legal.com/contact_us/london.html
Nearest tube: London Bridge

If you would like to attend this meeting, please contact:
Janet Corcoran, Imperial College London j.m.corcoran@imperial.ac.uk

If you are not a member of UKeiG but would like to come along to this meeting, visit the UKeiG website http://www.ukeig.org.uk/join/index.html for joining details.