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Conference Report


D-Lib Magazine
January 2003

Volume 9 Number 1

ISSN 1082-9873

Report on the Fifth International Conference on Asian Digital Libraries (ICADL 2002)

11-14 December 2002, Singapore


Sally Jo Cunningham
University of Waikato
Hamilton, New Zealand

Red Line


For five years, the Asian Digital Libraries conference series has provided a forum for 'local' digital libraries researchers to network, exchange ideas, and present research results. The 2002 conference continued the previous emphasis on problems specific to digital library development in the Asia-Pacific area, while at the same time attracting a broad international audience. This year's conference was held in conjunction with the Web Information Systems Engineering (WISE) conference, which focuses on Web-related database technology. The two conferences shared joint keynote addresses from Serge Abiteboul (INRIA, speaking on 'Web Services and Web Integration') and Srikant Ramakrishnan (IBM Almaden Research Lab, speaking on 'Data Mining Technologies for Digital Libraries and Web Information Systems').

The ICADL programme included an additional keynote address by Jane Prey (NSF, describing NSF activities related to educational digital libraries), 4 tutorials, 6 invited talks, 34 'long' paper presentations, 20 'short' paper talks, and 16 poster papers. Four tutorials were offered: Evaluating Digital Libraries for Usability (Christine Borgman, UCLA); Knowledge Management Systems: A Text Mining Perspective (Hsinchun Chen, Univ. of Arizona); Digital Libraries: Theory and practice (Edward Fox, Virginia Tech); and Dublin Core (Stuart Weibel, OCLC).

Topics for the ICADL invited talks included: From Digital Library to Digital Government: A Case Study in Crime Data Mapping and Mining (Hsinchun Chen, Univ. of Arizona); Challenges in Building the Digital Library for the 21st Century (Christine Borgman, UCLA); Dublin Core: Process and Principle (Shigeo Sugimoto (ULIS, Japan), Stuart Weibel (OCLC), and Tomas Baker (GMD, Germany)); Building Digital Libraries Made Easy: Toward Open Digital Libraries (Edward Fox, Virginia Tech); Examples of Practical Digital Libraries: Collections Built Internationally Using Greenstone (Ian Witten, University of Waikato, New Zealand); and Introduction of the China Digital Library Project (Zhang Xiaoxing, National Library of China).

The conference had received a record number of submissions—a combined total of 170 long and short papers—and so the acceptance rate was a highly competitive 30%. There were over 400 registrants to the conference, from 30 countries, attesting to a keen interest in digital libraries in the Asia-Pacific region and indicating that ICADL is attracting attention throughout the digital libraries research world.

A number of conference papers focussed on problems of particular concern to the Asia-Pacific region: difficulties in handling collections including multiple languages and/or multiple scripts, processing Chinese texts, problems involved with the digital divide, and developing resources under adverse economic circumstances. With these latter issues, it was noted that while countries in the developing world struggle to provide access to expensive electronic information resources, wealthier countries that make these resources widely available must struggle to get their citizens to use them!

Conference sessions were held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel just off Orchard Road, the famous Singapore boulevard of shops and restaurants. In December this street was bright with Christmas lights, the shopping malls were imaginatively decorated for the holiday season, and shoppers packed the area. Fortunately the shops were open until 11pm or even later, allowing busy ICADL attendees to partake of Singapore's favorite 'sport' (bargain hunting) after the jam-packed sessions ended! Conference meals were fabulous, showcasing the justly famous (and diverse) Singaporean cuisine. The conference dinner was held at the Alkaff Mansion, a beautifully restored 19th century family home built in the British Colonial style. The conference organizers thoughtfully arranged a city tour en route to the dinner.

It was announced that the 2003 ICADL conference will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The ICADL conference proceedings are published by Springer:

Ee-Peng Lim, Schubert Foo; Chris Khoo, Hsinchun Chen, Edward Fox, Shalini Urs and Thanos Constantino (eds.) Digital Libraries: People, Knowledge, and Technology. Springer, 2002.


Copyright © Sally Jo Cunningham

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DOI: 10.1045/january2003-cunningham