Some things read this week, 20 – 26 April 2008

Sunday – Thursday, 20 – 24 Apr 2008

Lodge, David. 1992. Changing Places: A Tale of Two Campuses. New York: Penguin Books.

Wasn’t sure if I was going to continue this but I read it on and off on Sunday and made a big dent at dinner in the Alley on Monday. I’m 66% of the way through so I imagine I’ll finish it and then shift back to more serious things.

Finished this Thursday afternoon. I guess it was OK as it had some moments but I can’t recommend it overall.

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2008

2007. Running & Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind. Malden: Blackwell Pub.

  • Ch. 17 : “Where the Dark Feelings Hold Sway”: Running as Aesthetic Experience by Martha Nussbaum
  • Ch. 18 : The Power of Passion on Heartbreak Hill by Michelle Maiese.

Only one chapter left to go. Good book.

Friday – Saturday, 25 – 26 Apr 2008

Guarino, Nicola and Christopher A. Welty. “An Overview of OntoClean.” In Staab, Steffen, and Rudi Studer, ed. 2004. Handbook on Ontologies. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Actually a fairly good article, but I have major concerns over their explanation of rigidity. It has certainly been a bit since I last read Kripke or any other relevant literature on rigidity … but they blow it in their explanation, IMHO.

I think they have it right in the end. But. Their presentation is confused. They use a highly questionable example and then make several implicit assumptions in its use and description. It might actually work if they spelled out all of their assumptions but there must be better examples.

I ran it by one or two people and would read a sentence and they’d say, “See, they’re assuming such and such and they are right.” Then I’d read the next sentence where the assumption seems to be reversed and they went, “Oh!”

Lest you think this is nit-picking—it may be but I do not think so—I also have the same complaints about many of the examples used in the cataloging and classification literature. These examples are critical. Many of these concepts are extremely difficult and nuanced. Crystal clear and meaningful examples are a must. Also, in today’s world, quit with the culturally-specific examples. I fully realize that The Wizard of Oz is fairly international by this point. I also realize that there may be few to no fully international examples available, but with a little care I do think excellent examples could be found for anyone who might be reading this kind of literature in the first place.

Recommend. But read carefully.

Saturday, 26 Apr 2008

Frohmann, Bernd. 2008. Subjectivity and information ethics. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 59, no. 2:267-277. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asi.20742 (Accessed March 2, 2008).

Recommended if you are into information ethics at all.

Some things read this week, 30 March – 5 April 2008

Note: Not that it matters to anyone but me but my chronology may be a bit off due to Comcast pretty much taking over my life for most of this week and the end of the last one.

Sunday – Thursday, 30 Mar – 3 Apr 2008

Budd, J. (2008). Self-Examination: The Present and Future of Librarianship. , 281. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited.

Read ch. 2 Place and Identity (Sun.?) and began ch. 3 Being Informed about Informing (Thu).

For anyone interested in the current debates about the profession/”just who is a librarian?” there is a decent discussion in ch. 2 of this topic, along with one on LIS education. Not saying I fully agree with Budd on either, but he makes some good points on both heads.

Monday – Friday, 31 Mar – 4 Apr 2008

Critchley, S. (2001). Continental philosophy : a very short introduction, Very short introductions, 43. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.

This is an excellent introduction to the split between Continental and Anglo-American (or analytic) philosophy, along with why it needs to be eradicated and some ways to work towards a reconciliation.

The primary reason for the split is the professionalization of the discipline and self-identification by said professionals. Hmmm. Sounds kind of familiar. Sadly.

Highly recommended.

Wednesday – Thursday, 2 – 3 Apr 2008Dousa, Thomas. (2008) Subject Heading Specificity with Especial Reference to LCSH: A Basic Bibliography.

Tom has produced an excellent annotated bibliography for his 3rd assignment in 590SA (Subject access & subject analysis).

Friday, 4 Apr 2008

Budd, J. (1992). The Library and Its Users: The Communication Process. , Contributions in librarianship and information science., 71, 193. New York: Greenwood Press.

Grabbed this because Budd cited it in ch. 3 of Self-Examination. “As one would suspect, the literature on communication is voluminous. That literature will not be covered in great depth here; elsewhere I (Budd, 1992) have examined it in some detail” (79).

Now that was interesting to know, so I grabbed it the next day as quickly as I could. And I might, in fact, read this one first and then go back to Self-Examination.

I need to know about these texts. There is another one Pauline told me about that used to be a textbook, at least 4 editions. I picked up all 4, which we had. It seems our profession goes through cycles in the (mostly) lip service paid to our being in the business of communicating.

Read the Introduction and ch. 1 Libraries, Information, and Meaning at lunch.

As I suspected, and complained about last week, Budd does not make the same mistake here re the need for language for the possibility of communication.

Saturday, 5 Apr 2008

Library of Congress. (1951). Subject Headings: A Practical Guide. , 140. Washington: U.S. Govt. Printing Office.

Read parts of this for Tom’s presentation/discussion of his project this coming Tuesday (see the bibliography above).

Svenonius, E. (1976). Metcalf and the principles of specific entry. In W. B. Rayward (Ed.), The Variety of Librarianship: Essays in Honour of John Wallace Metcalfe (pp. 171-189). Sandy Bay, Tas: Library Association of Australia.

Same as above. Recommended.

Web Ontology Language: OWL (ch. 4 of a soon-to-be published book on the Semantic Web from MIT Press, I believe. Handed out in class last week.)

For 590OD. Good stuff to know, to say the least. But it just feeds my beliefs that the Semantic Web will not save the world despite what Sir Tim and others might think. There is actually so little of importance that can be modeled using First Order Logic, or, should I say, there is so much more of importance than what can be modeled by FOL.

In fact, I believe they even blow one of their examples. I may have to go to class on Tuesday just to find out. Or else I’ll simply talk to Allen or Karen about it

Some things read this week, 27 January – 2 February 2008

Sunday, 27 Jan 2008

Nonmonotonic Logic. Leora Morgenstern. MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science.

Suggested by fellow classmate Tom Dousha for additional elucidation for Ontologies Development. Highly understandable resource for non-experts in logic, although having a basic grasp probably helps.

Sunday – Wednesday, 27 – 30 Jan 2008

Harris, Roy, and International Association for the Integrational Study of Language and Communication. 2006. Integrationist Notes and Papers : 2003-2005. Crediton, Devon, England: Tree Tongue http://www.librarything.com/work/details/26156294 (Accessed January 26, 2008). Discover UIUC Full Text
[more info here] [WorldCat]

  • 6 : Synchrony and Diachrony
  • 7 : Integrationism and Philosophy of Language
  • 8 : On Determinancy of Linguistic Form
  • 9 : Integrationism and Arbitrariness (Tue)
  • 10 : Integrationism and Etymology (Tue)
  • 11 : Signs and Stories (Tue)
  • 12 : Meaning and Experience (Tue)
  • 13 : On Holistic Models of Language (Wed)
  • 14 : Integrationism and the Foundations of Mathematics (Wed)
  • 15 : Integrationism and Godspeak (Wed)

I believe this is the 1st book I have finished this year.

Thursday, 31 Jan 2008

Markey, Karen. Users & Uses of Bibliographic Data. [paper presented in lieu of her attendance at the 1st LC Working Group Meeting, March 8, 2007]

This is a very interesting statement that ought to be taken seriously. Once we see the data in the forthcoming article: Markey, Karen. In press. 25 years of research on end-user searching. Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology.

One should check … actually it was published in two parts in JASIST 58(8), June 2007: 1071-1081 and 1123-1130.

Markey, Karen. (2007) Twenty-five years of searching, Part 1: Research findings.

Markey, Karen. (2007) Twenty-five years of searching, Part 2: Future research directions.

Downloaded the pdfs and imported the data into Zotero. Will need to read them soon.

Looks like Wiley-Interscience is making some improvements on the ASIST Digital Library. Whoever is responsible, thank you.

Friday – Saturday, 1 – 2 Feb 2008

Harris, Roy. 2005. The Semantics of Science. London: Continuum. Discover UIUC Full Text

Re-read Chap. 6 : Mathematics and the language of science

Another rather light week as I was trying to finish my Harris and Hjørland bibliography and essay by Thursday. I did make this deadline thankfully. In the end, neither are what I was particularly envisioning. They really area far cry from what I thought I was aiming for; which leaves me quite ambivalent about it.

I most certainly did not give “just a school assignment” to Dr. Krummel as one simply does not do such things. But in some ways it does seem as if I am far closer to that end of the spectrum than what I wanted to be.

Thus, I don’t know if or when I will post any of it. I have a hard time imagining anyone would actually be very interested in any of it. This is not to say that I think no one should be interested in the topic, whether or not they care what I might have to say about it, but that I just don’t think that many are. If you truly do care I will happily email you the 2 small Word docs. By the way, at 1097 words the essay is far shorter than many of my blog posts. The bibliography has 34 entries in the final count, I believe; there could have been so many more. It is a tad over 13 pages and is 4115 words. Both are definitely much shorter than my natural bent.

But. It is done. So it is time to move forward now.

Today [Sunday, 3 Feb] is the 3rd day of Birthday Month. This year’s Birthday Month—which I intend to attempt to celebrate to the max—is off to a good start. It was welcomed in with a decent snow storm on the 31st-1st; I am a Midwestern, mid-Winter baby so one must have a decent winter storm once during Birthday Month.

There has been a couple decent movies this weekend after finishing the bibliography stuff. I watched Balls of Fury which is pretty good as a ping pong cum-kung fu movie. I also watched Once but I am really ambivalent about the movie. I am better disposed to it after watching all of the extras, but extras should not determine what we think of a movie and perhaps only deepen our understanding and/or appreciation of it.

One that I will highly recommend, though, is the French movie, Blame it on Fidel! This was an very good movie and the kids who star in this movie are simply incredible. Watch the extras and this feeling can only deepen. There is a pretty good description at IMDB but I think it also contains a spoiler about the end of the movie. Perhaps it is not a major spoiler but I certainly am glad I hadn’t read it before watching the movie. Highly recommended.

Some things read this week, 25 November – 1 December 2007

NOTE: CommentPress version of LC Working Group Draft Final Report needed

Please see last entry. We really need a CommentPress install of the LC Working Group’s Draft Final Report. Can anyone do this service quickly?

Sunday – Tuesday, 25 – 27 Nov

Winograd, Terry and Fernando Flores. Understanding Computers and Cognition: A New Foundation for Design. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 1987.

  • Ch. 5: Language, listening, and commitment
  • Ch. 6: Towards a new orientation
  • Ch. 7: Computers and representation
  • Ch. 8: Computation and intelligence (Mon)
  • Ch. 9: Understanding language (Mon)
  • Ch. 10: Current directions in artificial intelligence (Tue)
  • Ch. 11: Management and conversation (Tue)
  • Ch. 12: Using computers: A direction for design

A very interesting book that is frequently recommended by Hjørland in his writings.

This is at least the 24th book I have read so far this year. I have also re-read 3 of these 24 for a 2nd time this year, too, i.e., read 3 of them 2x this year. I have (at least) 5 more that are in various states of being finished. This is a lot more books than last year, which I am happy about, but it also means that I have read fewer articles. Trade-offs are plentiful in life.

Sunday – Wednesday, 25 – 28 Nov

Borgmann, Albert. Crossing the Postmodern Divide. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

  • Ch. 4: Hypermodernism (Sun)
  • Ch. 5: Postmodern Realism (Wed)

This book has done a lot to change my views on postmodernism. I still do not like the word at all, but this book contains some good ideas on how to overcome the postmodern condition, how to move forward positively as a society as we recover from the failures of the modern project.

Sunday, 25 Nov

Hjørland, Birger. Read half a dozen or so book reviews, encyclopedia articles and letters to the editor.

Tuesday, 27 Nov

Harel, David. Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can’t Do. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. [for LIS452]

  • Ch. 2: Sometimes we can’t do it

Hjørland, Birger. “Documents, Memory Institutions and Information Science.” Journal of Documentation 56.1 (2000): 27-41. 14 September 2007.

Stewart, Todd. “Topical Epistemologies.” Metaphilosophy 38(1), January 2007: 23-43.

This was mentioned in the list of faculty publications in the ISU Philosophy Dept. Alumni Newsletter Fall 2007 that I received today. I thought perhaps it might have something to add to the epistemological work that Hjørland recommends so highly for our field; which I agree with. I’m not sure though. Todd is focusing on something different than most of the epistemological work we need to do as librarians; although, it might well apply to the work we need to do within our own field.

…when we engage in the study of a topical epistemology what is called for is the application of our best analyses of epistemic concepts to specific subjects or, alternatively, the development of a substantive rather than a conceptual account of whether and why it is that beliefs about a specific topic are justified or unjustified. What is called for is an explanation of whether and why it is that beliefs about a particular topic are actually or possibly justified or unjustified (24-25).

An interesting issue, which I cannot address here, is that the development of a topical epistemology may be rather fruitless prior to some sort of an agreement about the correct semantic or ontological analysis of concepts or objects as they apply to a topic… (26). [Amen!!]

If you believe in the epistemological project of librarianship as much as Hjørland, myself and, hopefully, others you may find this an interesting read. Again, I see it as more applicable applied to the topics within our own field where we are allowed to, and should, pass judgement on the epistemological status of our beliefs.

Metaphilosophy was available online via the UIUC ORR. While perusing the 2007 issues of Metaphilosophy online I also found a few more interesting looking articles, including one on “intelligent collegiate depression” (ICD) that I will definitely be reading and reporting on.

Wednesday, 28 Nov

Harris, Roy. “The Semiology of Textualization.” In Harris, Roy, and George Wolf, eds. Integrational Linguistics: A First Reader. 1st ed, Kidlington, Oxford, UK: Pergamon, 1998: 227-240.

(Re-)Read another article for the 3rd time. Walrod one from MDRT.

Thursday, 29 Nov

Double, Richard. “Value and Intelligent Collegiate Depression.” Metaphilosophy 38(1), January 2007: 111-121.

American universities can be unhappy, alienating places for many students who are brighter, more sensitive, or less conformist than most of their peers (opening sentence, 111).

This one is pretty good, although I was hoping for a bit more somehow. I do think the author has a pretty good grasp of the depressive mind. I think his reply to “The Immensity of the Cosmos Objection” is pretty faulty, though. Luckily I don’t use that one myself.

If you are interested in what might well be termed “rational” responses to depression—or more generally—then please do check out this article. Do not let the journal title put you off at all; it is actually quite accessible.

Bibliographic Ontology Specification – found via this post on CSL at darcusblog. Hmmm. Interesting. I was looking at some of this stuff back in Spring 2006. I really need to learn more about RDF and be more serious about this kind of thing.

Friday – Saturday, 30 Nov – 1 Dec

LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control Draft Final Report.

Since I was moving so slowly (and late) Friday morning I was able to go by GSLIS and print this nicely and double-sided automatically. Started reading it at my late lunch. Read the Letter from the Working Group on the bus ride in around noon.

Read more tonight.

I have a few comments and questions, but I am liking much of what I’m reading. About halfway through it.

What we really need is a CommentPress installation of this. I really wish I could do this now, but no way possible.

I’m thinking the report must be in the public domain. LC produced. No markings on report page or report itself. If my assumption is correct then it should be allowable to do so.

I see from a comment on the Installation page by Ben Vershbow that one still needs to have a WP 2.2 install, not 2.3 yet. A comment by on paragraph 2 on 6 Nov says so.

It would so rock if someone could get the report (rapidly) into a CommentPress install. Comments are due on/before 15 December. Two weeks. Not much time.

But think of the value and it could be—should be—archived.

Anyone willing? And can. I’m willing but cannot possibly in the time before comments are due. 🙁

I really need to work with Blake (cause he rocks) and get myself a CommentPress install, but as a 2nd “blog.” There’s a couple of things that can (and should) be done. I may not be the proper one but someone must get things started. That’s for the future, though, whenever that arrives.

Some things read this week, 28 October – 3 November 2007

Sunday, 28 Oct

Davis, Hayley, and Talbot J. Taylor, eds. Redefining Linguistics. London: Routledge, 1990.

  • Ch. 4: Talbot J. Taylor. Normativity and Linguistic Form. (Sat-Sun)
  • Ch.5: Paul Hopper. The Emergence of the Category ‘Proper Name’ in Discourse. (Sun)

The Taylor chapter was particularly excellent.

Zwicky, Arnold M. and Ann D. Zwicky. “Register as a Dimension of Linguistic Variation.” In Kittredge and Lehrberger, Eds. Sublanguage: Studies of Language in Restricted Semantic Domains. Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1982: 213-218.

Harris, Roy. The Language-makers. London: Duckworth, 1980. [Re-reading]

  • Ch. 1.
  • Ch. 2

Harris, Roy, and George Wolf, eds. Integrational Linguistics: A First Reader. 1st ed, Kidlington, Oxford, UK: Pergamon, 1998.

  • Ch. 5: Toolan, Michael. A Few Words on Telementation.

Monday, 29 Oct

Hampsher-Monk, Iain, Karin Tilmans, and Frank van Vree, Eds. History of Concepts: Comparative Perspectives. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1998.

  • Intro: Iain Hampsher Monk. Karin Tilmans and Frank van Vree. “A Comparative Perspective on Conceptual History – An Introduction.”
  • Ch. 1: Pim den Boer. “The Historiography of German Begriffsgeschichte and the Dutch Project of Conceptual History.”
  • Ch. 2: Reinhart Koselleck. “Social History and Begriffsgeschichte.

Downey, et. al. How to Think Like a Computer Scientist, 2nd ed. [For LIS452]

  • Ch. 17: Linked lists
  • Ch. 18: Stacks
  • Ch. 19: Queues
  • Ch. 20: Trees

Harris and Wolf, Eds. See above.

  • Ch. 6: Harris, Roy. The Dialect Myth.
  • Ch. 7: Love, Nigel. Integrating Languages.

The Love was highly similar to his other article I read last week, The Locus of Languages in a Redefined Linguistics. In fact, whole paragraphs were the same as was the gist of the argument. If I were to recommend one over the other it would be one I just read. It is shorter and perhaps even clearer.

Tuesday, 30 Oct

History of Concepts: Comparative Perspectives. See above.

  • Ch. 3: Iain Hampsher-Monk. Speech Acts, Languages or Conceptual History?

Harris and Wolf, Eds. See above.

  • Ch. 11: Farrow, Steve. Irony and Theories of Meaning.
  • Ch. 12: Taylor, Talbot J. Conversational Utterances and Sentences

Wednesday, 31 Oct

History of Concepts: Comparative Perspectives. See above.

  • Ch. 4: Hans Erich Bödeker. Concept — Meaning — Discourse. Begriffsgeschichte Reconsidered.

I’ve read 4 chapters of this book now and I’m still not really any closer to understanding what Begriffsgeschichte is. Perhaps reading one of the chapters that are supposedly examples will help. I’m not sure why I’m not getting it. Much of the writing is not very clear but then most has been translated into English also.

I only have the book for a few more days. I’ll have another look at the intro and see what I perhaps ought to read next that might help. Then I think I’ll copy 2 or 3 of the chapters I’ve already read for re-reading in the future. It seems as if something is important here but I’m not getting it right now. I’m also feeling ill again, so maybe it’s just my stupid brain not dealing with it as it should.

Harris and Wolf, Eds. See above.

  • Ch. 13: Taylor, Talbot J. Do You Understand? Criteria of Understanding in Verbal Interaction.

Thursday, Nov 1

History of Concepts: Comparative Perspectives. See above.

  • Ch. 6: Terence Ball. Conceptual History and the History of Political Thought.

López-Huertas, María J. Challenges in Knowledge Representation and Organization for the 21st Century. Integration of Knowledge across Boundaries. Proceedings of the Seventh International ISKO Conference, 10-13 July 2002, Granada, Spain. Advances in Knowledge Organization, 8 (2002).

  • Poli, Roberto. “Framing Information.” pp. 225-231.
  • Smith, Terence R., Marcia Lei Zeng and ADEPT Knowledge Organization Team. “Structured Models of Scientific Concepts for Organizing, Accessing, and Using Learning Materials.” pp. 232-239.
  • Carlyle, Allyson and Lisa M. Fusco. “Equivalence in Tillett’s Bibliographic Relationships Taxonomy: A Revision.” pp. 258-263.
  • Mai, Jens-Erik. “Is Classification Theory Possible? Rethinking Classification Reserach.” pp. 472-478.

Poli – hard to say from such a short overview but I don’t think I’m agreeing with some of his ontological thinking and/or his relationships.

Smith, et. al. – sounds very interesting but would like to see more examples.

Carlyle and Fusco – “He laughed, he cheered, he cried.” I wanted to like this paper. They point out an issue with Tillett’s original methodology, which is there to be recognized if one only reads her dissertation. And while this is an issue of method, I do not know that it really impinges much on her results. Validity of the results would be strengthened if she had done it as pointed out, but would they be different?

The aim of the revision [which is a small part of a larger revisiting of Tillett’s relationships by the authors and David M. Levy] is to suggest “that equivalence be determined syntagmatically; that is, that it be defined relative to the use of documents” (260).

They spend a fair amount of space showing that the substitutability of one document for another is context dependent; that is, based on the user’s context. I fully agree that this is the case. Sometimes edition is irrelevant to the user. It is possible that one book by an author is as good as any other by the same author for the user. These are just a few possible examples. But then they just forget about the importance of context dependency.

Equivalence relationships hold among document representations in which one or more document properties described in the representations are shared (262).

First off, that should be “ER potentially hold ….” Even then it is still too broad. And did you notice that they are talking about the equivalence of document representations and not of documents. I’ll let you read the article and figure that bit out for yourself.

While we ought to have a concept of the equivalence relationships between document representations—is that simple DC record equivalent to that full MARC record and is it equivalent to that full VRA Core record for that Corinthian amphora?—this paper is talking about the documents (broadly construed) that users want to retrieve and use based on their interactions with library catalogs and other knowledge organization tools.

And while information professional are users too, and while document surrogates are also used, this is not the type of use being primarily discussed in this article. Thus, who cares whether there are equivalence relationships between “document representations?”

Thus, their proposal to subsume Tillett’s shared characteristics relationship under the equivalence relationship is both hasty and ill-advised. It is the case that only sometimes—that is in some contexts—can documents with shared characteristics be said to be equivalent.

And I doubt that there is ever a real user’s case that would include “the movie Scrooged, based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and the children’s picture book produced by Disney, Mickey’s Christmas Carol” (262) as equivalent documents! And even in the rare case that there was they could only be said to be so in that specific user’s context.

Considering that some of the potential shared characteristics that Tillett lists include color and size of binding, date of publication, country of publication, language, format or media (*, 27) how often are these going to truly be equivalence relationships in an actual context of use? Sure, I can dream up a context for each of them. That is not the point. The point is that items are only equivalent in the context of a user’s need and desires in that situation.

“Please Mr. Librarian, may I please have a blue book?” [I am well acquainted with patrons asking for a book by its color. But in every instance that I have ever heard of it is a specific book they are looking for and not just any book of that color.]

The overhasty subsumption of Tillett’s shared characteristics relationship under the relationship of equivalence is not a good move.

Seeing as this article is a couple of years old now I’ll have to see if I can track down anymore on their larger project of revising Tillett’s bibliographic relationships. In my spare time, of course. 🙁

* See Tillett, B. B., “Bibliographic Relationships.” In Bean & Green, Eds. Relationships in the Organization of Knowledge, 2001.

Mai – poorly edited, some bad paragraph transitions, thus hard to follow the argument at times. Perhaps a result of the format of these short articles which are, in effect, synopses of presentations and not entire “paper.” In the end, I’m pretty sure that I concur with the conclusions, which are coherently presented.

Florén, Celia. “The language of the mind: the mental discourse of the characters in Middlemarch.” In Inchaurralde, Carlos (Ed.) Perspectives on Semantics and Specialised Languages. Universidad de Zaragoza, Departamento de Filología Inglesa y Alemana, 1994: 185-195.

Friday, 2 Nov

History of Concepts: Comparative Perspectives. See above.

  • Ch. 7: Bernhard F. Scholz. Conceptual History in Context: Reconstructing the Terminology of an Academic Discipline. [Fri.-Sat.]

ISKO 7 / AKO 8

  • Fernández-Molina, J. Carlos and J. August0 C. Guimarães. “Ethical Aspects of Knowledge Organization and Representation in the Digital Environment: Their Articulation in Professional Codes of Ethics.” pp. 487-492.
  • Anderson, Jack. “Ascribing Cognitive Authority to Scholarly Documents. On the (Possible) Role of Knowledge Organizations in Scholarly Communication.” pp. 28-37.

Saturday, 3 Nov

ISKO 7 / AKO 8

  • Priss, Uta. “Alternatives to the “Semantic Web”: Multi-Strategy Knowledge Representation.” pp. 305-310.
  • García Gutiérrez, Antonio. “Knowledge Organization from a “Culture of the Border”: Towards a Transcultural Ethics of Mediation.” pp. 516-522.
  • Nair Yumiko Kobashi, Johanna W. Smit and M. de Fátima G. M. Tálamo. “Constitution of the Scientific Domain of Information Science.” pp. 80-85.

Priss reviews the successes and failures of AI and NLP as an attempt to determine what the Semantic Web might actually be able to do. Suggests that failures to date are due to the fact that these methods have failed to combine associative and formal structures. Seeing as Semantic Web structures are entirely formal (as of 2002 anyway), what are the prospects?

García Gutiérrez – much of this article is hard for me to understand. I don’t know what register or style or whatever it is mostly written in, but whatever it is is pretty much unintelligible to me. Still, I think he is saying something important. It could just be said much more simply and perhaps even shorter. The last third is fairly clear, though, and I mostly agree. It is a good reminder to us to consider other ways of viewing, categorizing, and organizing the world in mind and to construct more inclusive systems.

Luzón Marco, José. “Creative aspects of lexis in scientific discourse.” In Inchaurralde, Carlos (Ed.) Perspectives on Semantics and Specialised Languages. Universidad de Zaragoza, Departamento de Filología Inglesa y Alemana, 1994: 261-273.

Shows that the “meaning of words is negotiated and liable to constant change” even in scientific discourse (261). My only gripe with this article is that there are several references missing from the reference list. This is something I am noticing more and more. It seems especially prevalent in conference papers.

Harris, Roy. The Language-makers. London: Duckworth, 1980. [Re-reading]

  • Ch. 3.
  • Ch. 4.
  • Ch. 5.

NASKO 2007 – an historical moment, or perhaps only a moment in time

Last Wednesday morning I headed out for Toronto, Canada with my advisor, Kathryn La Barre, for the North American Symposium on Knowledge Organization, June 14-15, 2007.

The conference was Thursday afternoon and all day Friday with approximately 40 people in attendance. Big names, little names, old names, young names, academics (mostly), corporate folks, those in various middles.

At the end of the 1st day we had a business meeting at which the North American chapter of the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO-NA) was born. I do not mean to be pretentious, but this was an historic moment. I am a bit too fresh to this field to know all of the history but this moment has been a long time in coming and is long overdue.

ISKO’s Mission

Founded in 1989, ISKO is the leading international society for organization of knowledge. ISKO has a broad and interdisciplinary scope. ISKO’s mission is to advance conceptual work in knowledge organization in all kinds of forms, and for all kinds of purposes, such as databases, libraries, dictionaries and the Internet.

As an interdisciplinary society, ISKO brings together professionals from many different fields. ISKO counts more than 500 members all over the world, from fields such as information science, philosophy, linguistics, computer science, as well as special domains such as medical informatics.

In order to achieve its mission and goals, ISKO works to

    • promote research, development and applications of knowledge organization systems that advance the philosophical, psychological and semantic approaches for ordering knowledge
    • provide the means of communication and networking on knowledge organization for its members
    • function as a connecting link between all institutions and national societies, working with problems related to the conceptual organization and processing of knowledge

We were welcomed by Brian Cantwell Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto. He told us that despite a hiring freeze across the university FIS was being allowed to double both the number of faculty and students.

Richard Smiraglia, Long Island University, and Chair of NASKO 2007 was the next to welcome us.

[Conference papers available at dLIST.]

Next up was Clare Beghtol as the moderator for Contributed Papers Session 1. Papers presented in this session were:

Exploring Classification as Conversation. David M. Pimentel, Syracuse University. [my pre-conference comments here.]

I think that David is on to something here. I had a nice (but short) chat with him on Day 2. He seems to have narrowed his ideas a bit from what is in the paper, which is fair. I’d like to see this progress and then would be real interested in how we conceptualize and then build systems that can implement such ideas.

Ontology and the Semantic Web. Jane Zhang, Harvard University.

Coffee break

Jens-Erik Mai as moderator of Contributed Papers Session 2:

Everything Old is New Again: Finding a Home for Knowledge Structures in a Satisficing World. D. Grant Campbell, et. al., University of Western Ontario.

This paper is about “moving” vertical files to the Semantic Web. They are working within the area of Alzheimer’s Disease and providing a question and answer system that is designed for patients, family members, care givers and doctors. On the way home I realized that this is not really very Semantic Web-like at all. I guess one could say it is minimal-level SW. I guess I’d concede that, but only with a “barely.” This is not to suggest that it is not a useful project. I do believe that it shows promise. It just isn’t all that semantic.

Beyond Retrieval: A Proposal to Expand the Design Space of Classification. Melanie Feinberg, University of Washington.

Knowledge Strategy and its Influence on Knowledge Organization. Joseph Kasten, Dowling College.

Business Meeting: Rebecca Green was elected to chair the meeting and Clare Beghtol was elected as recorder.

A short discussion ensued as to establishing a North American chapter of ISKO. This was unanimously supported.

Richard Smiraglia, Joe Tennis and Kathryn La Barre were elected to draft our by-laws, submit a formal application to ISKO and to begin the process for our next meeting in 2009.

I am seriously looking forward to being involved with this organization and I hope that it will be a long-lived one. Kathryn has my name (formally) and will help me get involved with the planning for the next conference.

Day 2 will be covered in another post. But before I forget:

I really enjoyed myself at NASKO 2007! Thank you to our hosts, the planners, the student volunteers, the presenters and all in attendance for such a wonderful time.