Friday, 30 September 2011

Slides and audio recordings online - Classification & Ontology

Classification & Ontology: Formal Approaches and Access to Knowledge, was the third biennial conference in a series of UDC Seminars organized by the UDC Consortium and hosted by Koninklijke Bibliotheek.

The conference took place on 19-20 September 2011 and was attended by 141 delegates from 30 countries from Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australia. The keynote address by Patrick Hayes kick-started a two-day programme consisting of 21 talks and two poster presentations.

Excellent input from all speakers combined with a very engaged audience made this conference an important and successful event. The meeting of semantic technology specialists and classificationists, inspired many interesting discussions and gave us plenty of ideas and topics for the next UDC Seminar.

Slides and audio recordings can be accessed from the conference programme page.

Proceedings, published by Ergon can be purchased online on the conference website.

UKeiG names Professor Alan Smeaton as the 2011 Tony Kent Strix Award winner

UKeiG is delighted to announce this year’s winner of the UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award.

Professor Alan Smeaton of the School of Computing, Dublin City University is a worthy winner of this prestigious award with sustained contributions in the field of natural language processing techniques for textual information retrieval as well as in the indexing and retrieval of image, audio and video data. He now leads a research team at the University of 40 researchers working in areas including life-logging, video analysis, summarization and search, data aggregation in environmental sensor networks, collaborative search techniques, data fusion from sensor networks and using sensors in media applications. He was founding director for the Centre for Digital Video Processing, a world-leading research centre for video processing and retrieval. Professor Smeaton was also the founding coordinator of TRECVid, which started as an independent evaluation exercise of the Text REtrieval Conference (TREC) in 2001 – an initiative that has clearly been instrumental to the progress of the field of digital video retrieval.

The presentation of the ‘Owl’ Trophy and a certificate will take place on Monday 24th October at the Enterprise Search Europe event at the Hilton London Olympia. Martin White (UKeiG Chair), Doug Veal (Chair of the Strix Award Panel) and David Hawking, the Keynote Speaker for the opening day, will preside over the presentation. They will be joined by representatives of the UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award’s two sponsors: ASLIB and the Chemical Information and Computer Applications Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Further information about the award, as well as a list of past winners, can be found at

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Defragmentation of the Information Professions

Since August 2010 there has been some discussion and debate within CILIP and some other groups about how the information professions seem to be increasingly fragmenting into different specialist interest groups with no over-arching organization to pull them together. ISKO UK has been asked to offer its opinions and possibly support for the setting up of some kind of umbrella group that could provide a unified voice for such activities as lobbying government on information issues. There is an Information Professions wikispace with more background about the discussions that have taken place so far.

What do you think about the formation of such an umbrella group? Should ISKO UK be involved or not? If ISKO UK should be involved, in what ways? Would it dilute ISKO UK's purpose to get involved, or would it be beneficial? Do you think professional fragmentation matters, or are we best served by numerous specialist groups?

ISKO UK is run by committed volunteers, not paid staff, and seeks to keep costs to members as low as possible, so becoming part of an umbrella group could be costly. On the other hand, such an umbrella group could be something that you as ISKO UK members would actively want to support as a way of promoting the information professions in general and knowledge organization work in particular.

Please tell us what you think – all comments, ideas, questions, and suggestions are appreciated. You are welcome to leave comments on this blog, to email, or to send a tweet or a DM to @ISKOUK on Twitter.

Monday, 12 September 2011

International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA)

I attended the 42nd conference of IASA in Frankfurt last week and spoke to the Organising Knowledge Task Torce. There is a lot of interest in semantic metadata and Linked Open Data in particular amongst the archival community. Some archivists are already well versed in Semantic Web techniques and technologies, others are just beginning to think about how to make their collections findable online, and others know that they have well-structured metadata in their catalogues but are not sure how best to transform these to fully digital formats.

I have written more about the conference on my blog, VocabControl.