Volume 21, Number 5/6
Table of Contents
Corporation for National Research Initiatives
The crossword fans among you will recognize the title of this column as a favorite of crossword creators. The second meaning of olio, according to my unabridged American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition, is 'A mixture or medley: a hodgepodge' and that meaning is the one that came to mind as I was conducting the final review of the current issue. In this case the hodgepodge is a good thing, with a set of seven articles, each highly relevant to the digital library field, each in its own way.
We lead off with an overview of personal digital archiving and advice on developing a workshop on the topic by Nathan Brown. This is an area in which libraries can offer help and knowledge to their communities as we all accumulate an increasingly large digital footprint. It is an interesting change in perspective from libraries offering information services to their patrons to teaching their patrons how to manage their own information. This is followed by an assessment of institutional repositories in the Arab world. Scott Carlson tests the assertion that these countries are in the 'infancy stage' when it comes to repositories and concludes that they are but that the situation is evolving rapidly.
We then move from U.S. authors to Lei Wu and Xiaoguang Wang, both at Wuhan University in China, to learn about their work on description and annotation of digital images. Their focus is on the semantics of images as opposed to external properties and the semantic description framework they develop is applied to digital images of the Dunhuang frescoes. From China we move to the international collaboration of the Preservation Working Group (PWG) of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC). Goethals et al. describe the goals and activities of this collaboration, making the point that web archiving is an international problem not likely to be solved by any single institution. Our fifth article is by Papadakis, Kyprianos, and Stefanidakis of Ionian University, Corfu, Greece. They give 'the story so far' of linked data in libraries, looking at it as a way to expose the authority data in traditional library OPACs in a standard fashion. They further survey the linked data activities of some of the major national libraries, concluding that building the next generation of library systems linked data principles would benefit both library users and the larger general web audience.
Our last two articles, the first by Geipel, Böhme, and Hannemann of the German National Library and the second by Geipel alone, can be thought of as a pair, although each can be read on its own. The first describes Metamorph, which is an open source software language designed for transforming semi-structured data, such as most digital library metadata. A key aspect of the language, and one of special interest to the D-Lib readership, is its usability by domain experts and not just developers. It is in production use at the German National Library. Our final article describes a statistical approach, using in part the Metamorph language described in the previous article, to translate hierarchical classification systems from one to another, using Dewey Decimal and Regensburger Verbundklassifikation as the test corpuses. The ability to automate such translations would greatly improve discovery across collections using different classifications.
We hope you enjoy and find profit in some or all of our hodgepodge.
About the Editor
Laurence Lannom is Director of Information Services and Vice President at the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), where he works with organizations in both the public and private sectors to develop experimental and pilot applications of advanced networking and information management technologies.