D-Lib Magazine
September 1997

ISSN 1082-9873

Clips and Pointers

IJCAI-97 Workshop on AI in Digital Libraries
Moving from Chaos to (more) Order, August 24 1997, Nagoya, Japan

Innes A. Ferguson
Zuno Ltd.
Agents Systems Group
4th Floor, International House,
Ealing Broadway Centre, London W5 5DB, UK

The IJCAI-97 Workshop on AI and Digital Libraries was held in Nagoya, Japan, on Sunday, August 24 1997, as part of the Workshop Program of the Fifteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI). The purpose of the workshop, as outlined in the original Call for Papers, was to identify and highlight ways in which AI techniques could contribute to solving some of the challenges of building real world digital libraries, and was intended to build upon the successes of earlier IJCAI and AAAI (American Association for Artificial Intelligence) workshops on information access and navigation. Following on from the many useful AI techniques and approaches presented at these venues, the main aim of the workshop was to focus on how such techniques might be applied in the context of digital libraries.

For the purposes of the workshop, and borrowing from the CNI White Paper on Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval, a digital library was defined to be an electronic information access system offering users a coherent view of a selected, organized, and managed body of information. As interest increases in heterogeneous, information-rich repositories - arguably, proto-digital libraries - such as the Internet and intranets, a number of technical challenges will need to be met to satisfy individual users' demands. Key among these are information discovery and retrieval, user interface design, classification and indexing, content delivery and presentation, storage management and administration, scalability, and interoperability. Faced with such challenges, a number of international agencies (most noticeably NSF, NASA, and DARPA in the United States, and JIPDEC [Japanese Information Processing Development Center] in Japan) have recently made available substantial funding for digital library research. AI researchers are among those participating in such large-scale digital library initiatives.

Particular questions that the workshop participants were asked to address included: How easily do AI techniques for general information repositories, such as the WWW, migrate to the more structured domains of digital libraries? What other AI techniques (eg. knowledge representation, machine learning) can assist in improving access to and management of digital information? and What new challenges and opportunities do real world digital libraries bring to bear on AI research? Specific topics of interest that were listed in the Call for Papers included:

Nine reviewed papers plus one invited talk were accepted for presentation at the workshop. The invited talk was titled Next Generation Digital Library Program in Japan and was presented by Hiroshi Mukaiyama, a senior researcher at JIPDEC, the Japanese Information Processing Development Center. In his talk, Hiroshi described the organization and scope of the 5-year national digital library initiative in Japan. Details on this project can be found here. The following papers (Postscript versions of which can be downloaded) were presented:

All in all, the workshop was very productive and informative. There was a lot of interesting discussion concerning the various pieces of presented work, as well as a reasonable level of information and knowledge sharing among the people present. At this time, there are no concrete plans to follow up with a second workshop on AI in Digital Libraries (participants will be polled to establish the level of interest in this idea); however, arrangements have commenced to publish expanded versions of a selection of the workshop papers in Springer Verlag's International Journal on Digital Libraries (JODL). This special issue on AI in Digital Libraries will be guest edited by Innes Ferguson and Ed Durfee and will likely appear in early 1998. A Call for Papers for this issue will be published in the near future.

NSF-Funded Workshop on "Advances in Organizational and Social Informatics", November 9-11, 1997, Bloomington, Indiana

Rob Kling
Center for Social Informatics
School of Library and Information Science 10th and Jordan
Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-1801

Rob Kling and Howard Rosenbaum of Indiana University are organizing a Workshop on "Advances in Organizational and Social Informatics" with National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsorship. The workshop, with 25 invited active researchers, will be held in Bloomington, Indiana (at Indiana University) on November 9-11, 1997. The main purposes of this workshop are to (1) identify the state of knowledge about Organizational and Social Informatics; (2) identify productive directions for new studies; and (3) help forge a research community.

Social Informatics is a relatively new term to refer to the bodies of knowledge about information technologies and social change that are variously found under labels such as "social impacts of computing," "social design," and "implementation studies" (see http://www.slis.indiana.edu/SI). The movement has emerged from a series of lively conversations that began in early 1996among scholars with an interest in advancing research about the social aspects of computerization. They were concerned that the diversity of labels for social studies of information technologies impeded disciplinary and cross-disciplinary communication about important research results and theories. Like the name "Human Computer Interaction", the name "Social Informatics" serves as a banner to organize people who conduct research in the field and as a pointer to a body of research that could help information professionals, such as those who are interested in having digital libraries (DLs) effectively support particular communities.

Organizational Informatics is a sub-area of Social Informatics. Findings and theories belong to Organizational Informatics when they can be characterized primarily in terms of the participants of specific organizations. Using this criterion, our understandings of the adoption, use, and impacts of groupware fall well within Organizational Informatics. In contrast, the Internet is used by millions of people outside of their work lives, and the character and consequences of the public's use of the Internet is a topic outside of Organizational Informatics, but within Social Informatics. Studies of the social scale use and social roles of digital libraries also fit within, or can be informed by, Social Informatics.

Some of the key Organizational and Social Informatics research areas include:

There is a notable body of systematic research about each of these topics. But it is scattered across the journals and conferences of several disciplines including computer science, information science, information systems, and various social sciences.

For additional information about Social Informatics, see the Social Informatics home page, at: http://www.slis.indiana.edu/SI For additional information about the Workshop on "Advances in Organizational and Social Informatics" contact Professor Rob Kling:

Center for Social Informatics
School of Library and Information Science
10th and Jordan
Indiana University Bloomington, IN 47405-1801
812-855-9763 Fax: 812-855-6166

The Art Museum Image Consortium: Licensing Museum Digital Documentation for Educational Use

J. Trant and D. Bearman, Archives & Museum Informatics[1]

On September 22, more than twenty of the largest art museums in the USA and Canada, including the two national galleries, will form the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO). An initiative of the Association of Art Museum Directors, AMICO will enable educational access to cultural heritage information by creating and licensing a collective digital library of images and documentation of works in museum collections. Its foundation reflects the commitment of museums to an emerging new educational opportunity.[2]

The founding of AMICO follows discussions earlier this year, that defined mechanisms for the creation of a multimedia digital library documenting and interpreting museum collections. The agreements that frame the operation of AMICO (see http://www.amn.org/AMICO) are articulated at the level of values and objectives and define the operation of the Consortium and the licenses it will offer.

Access to the documentation held in museum collections has long been a problem, but what was an irritation in traditional scholarship has become a bottleneck in the networked educational environment.[3] The digitized text, images, audio tours and multimedia being created in museums provide a rich source of content for on-line curriculum. Interest in the use of non-traditional sources is growing as technologies finally enable their reproduction and integration.[4] But the cultural heritage community has lacked the economic and distribution systems to support this use. Intellectual property frameworks have been in flux,[5] and Fair Use does not enable many desired educational applications. Museums have been without precedent or policy regarding new digital educational uses, and some have been reluctant to grant rights at all.[6]

A not-for profit Consortium that licenses the content of museums collectively is the most effective means of distributing digital information to the educational community. Membership enables museums to do a number of things they cannot do on their own, including:

Collaborating in AMICO reduces risks for individual museums through collective decision-making, common standards and guidelines and shared expertise. Income supports services which enable members to contribute to the shared Library. These may include:

1) Technology Information: "best practice" guidelines, "frequently asked questions", standards for data capture, advice on hardware and software, application guidelines, training, research and liaison with standards developers.

2) Data Enhancement: data value standardization, unique identifiers, watermarking of images, subject indexing, metadata augmentation, thesaural explosion of terms in controlled vocabularies, markup of text to SGML, and mapping institutional data to export standards.

3) Catalog Management: creating an integrated, publicly accessible directory with many access points, so educators can identify works they have licensed and may use through AMICO, and the public can seek further rights (including commercial use) from individual museum members.

4) Rights Management: defining rights management data requirements, creating searchable rights systems, negotiating with individual rights holders and their collectives, writing model licensing agreements, developing terms of licenses for schools, school districts and public libraries, and drafting and disseminating user training materials.

5) Customer Services: monitoring and analyzing uses and users, identifying users needs, and promoting innovative educational uses of museum digital content.

6) Collaborative Partnering: developing liaisons with technology firms, funding sources, standards organizations, telecommunication providers, and others.

As a museum-owned collective, AMICO will be well positioned to collaborate with government sponsored agencies in Europe and elsewhere, following the example of sectors such as music.

Rather than fearing the simulacra of digital reproduction, museums are exploring the potential of digital technologies for developing increased familiarity with, and knowledge of the world's material culture.[7] In an era of shrinking budgets and challenges to the very existence of some national arts institutions, museums can make cultural resources relevant and accessible to educators and students. AMICO is the first step towards the creative use of these resources to illustrate and explore the Humanities. Its members are banking on the development of a visually and culturally literate public that feels an ownership of museum collections, as a consequence of having access to digital documentation in the course of their education.


[1]Archives & Museum Informatics has been retained by the AAMD to facilitate the planning and organisation of AMICO.

[2]Participants also recognized that by creating this educational resource they might gain higher visibility for digital content that individual museums could themselves license for single-item commercial uses.

[3]At a meeting sponsored by the Getty Art History Information Program in March 1994, leaders in the educational community identified three major barriers to the integration of visual information into cultural heritage networks, all of which are still present: a critical mass of digital content available for educational use, effective intellectual property rights clearance mechanisms, and adequate standards. See Getty AHIP, Initiative on Electronic Imaging & Information Standards, Imaging Initiative Meeting Report (March 3-4, 1994).

[4]Clifford Lynch, "The uncertain Future for Digital Visual Collections in the University", Archives and Museum Informatics, a cultural heritage informatics quarterly, Vol. 11, no 1, 1997, 5-13.

[5]The issues in moving from experiment to reality are explored by David Bearman in "New Models for Administering Cultural Intellectual Property", The Wired Museum, Washington, DC: American Association of Museums, 1997, 231-266.

[6] These issues are explored in detail in David Bearman and Jennifer Trant ÒMuseums and Intellectual Property: Rethinking Rights Management for a Digital WorldÓ, in Visual Resources, Vol. XII, no. 3-4, pp. 269-280. Licensing images, and the inter-related and layered rights questions, are outlined in J. Trant, "Exploring New Models for Administering Intellectual Property: The Museum Educational Site Licensing Project", Digital Imaging Access and Retrieval, Papers presented at the 1996 Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing, March 24-26, 1997, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagn, ed. by P. Bryan Heidorn and Beth Sandore, University of Illinois, 1997.

[7]Maxwell L. Anderson, "Introduction", The Wired Museum, 1997, pp. 11-34.

In Print


Goings On

Pointers in This Column:

1996 Electronic Records Conference Report
University of Michigan, School of Information and
The Bentley Historical Library
1997 Survey Results
Network Wizards
Adding Intelligence to Digital Libraries
Floriana Esposito et al.
American Medical Informatics Association
(AMIA) Fall 1997 Symposium
October 25-29, 1997
Nashville, Tennessee
Art Museum Image Consortium
Association of Information and Dissemination Centers (ASIDIC)
Fall 1997 Meeting October 21-23, 1997
Seattle, Washington
Automated Query-relevant Summarization and Diversity-based Reranking
Jaime Carbonell
Beyond Print: Scholarly Publishing and Communication in the Electronic Environment
September 26-27, 1997
University of Toronto at Scarborough, Canada
Canadian Initiative on Digital Libraries http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/cidl/
Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)
White Paper on Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval
Copyright Law in the Digital World: Fair Use, Education and Libraries after CONFU (The Conference on Fair Use)
"Town Meeting"
Reed College, Portland, Oregon
September 27, 1997
E-Serials (Serials Librarian) http://web.mit.edu/waynej/www/onlineserials.htm
Identifying and Tracking Changing Interests
Barry Crabtree and Stuart Soltysiak
Information Seeking in Context: An International Conference on Information Needs, Seeking and Use in Different Contexts
August 13-15, 1998
Sheffield, UK
International Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Call for Papers
International Journal on Digital Libraries
Japanese Information Processing Development Center
Metadata Summit: Meeting Report
Research Libraries Group
Natural Language Processing for Session-based Information Retrieval Interface on the Web
Geunbae Lee et al.
Preferential Models of Refinement Paths in Query by Navigation
Peter Bruza and B. van Linder
Regional Alliance for Preservation http://www-cpa.stanford.edu/cpa/misc/rap/
Robustness and Scalability in Digital Libraries: A Case for Agent-based Market Systems
Innes Ferguson et al.
Service Classification in a Proto-organic Society of Agents
Peter Weinstein and William Birmingham
Smart Documents, Mobile Queries: Information Provision and Retrieval using a Multi-agent System
Steve Marsh
Social Informatics Home Page http://www.slis.indiana.edu/SI
Text Encoding Initiative: Tenth Anniversary User Conference
November 14-16, 1997
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
Toward the Mediation of Semantic Gaps between Users and Digital Libraries
Masanori Sugimoto et al.
USA Digital Libraries Initiative

Copyright © 1997 Corporation for National Research Initiatives

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