Search   |   Back Issues   |   Author Index   |   Title Index   |   Contents

Conference Report


D-Lib Magazine
October 2004

Volume 10 Number 10

ISSN 1082-9873

ECDL 2004 Workshop Report: Networked Organization Systems/Services (NKOS)

User-centred approaches to Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Services


Marianne Lykke Nielsen
Royal School of Library and Information Science

Red Line


The 3rd European Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Services (NKOS) Workshop, organised by Marianne Lykke Nielsen with assistance from co-organizers Anna Gjerluf Eslau (H. Lundbeck) and Doug Tudhope (University of Glamorgan), took place on September 16, 2004, in Bath, UK, as part of ECDL 2004. Forty-eight people attended the full-day workshop.

The objective of the workshop was to facilitate exchange of experiences and ideas about topics and problems related to the user-centred design of Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS), such as considerations concerning the role of KOS, determination of conceptual content, and methodological and technical issues, including standardisation initiatives. The workshop programme was divided into three sessions: Session 1 - User-centred approaches to KOS design, Session 2 - Standardisation initiatives, and Session 3 - KOS applications and methods.

The session about user-centred approaches started with an overview by Marianne Lykke Nielsen of methodological approaches to user-centred KOS design. Next Tamara Sumner and Faisal Ahmad reported on the experiences, architecture and protocol of the NSDL Strand Map Service, a learning tool and knowledge organisation system based on learning goals articulated in the US Benchmarks and Atlas of Science Literacy. Also presented was the user-centred design process in which users have been involved throughout the design process by needs analysis and usability tests. Caterina Caracciolo presented a domain-specific ontology, particularly how the display and functionality had been developed according to findings from a user study. Dorothee Blocks discussed a model of information searching behaviour, based on findings from two in-depth user behaviour studies. The model reflects interactions between end-users and the KOS and may facilitate and support user-centred design of KOS by providing information on end-users' searching behaviour. The last speaker in Session 1 was Mathew Weaver, who presented the knowledge structures for a domain-specific digital library for USDA Forest Service resource managers. He discussed the domain- and user-centred design process and the specific conceptual and semantic problems that the design should meet to support end-users' information retrieval. The presentation of Hella Møller Rasmussen was omitted, as the presenter was unable to attend the workshop. However, Rasmussen's presentation is available at the workshop website.

Doug Tudhope introduced the session on standardization initiatives. Stella Dextre Clarke reported on the ongoing work of the UK BSI Thesaurus Standards Group on revisions to the existing standard. Alistair Miles discussed the SKOS-Core and mapping schemas resulting from the W3C SWAD-E Thesaurus Activity, together with the SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization Systems) web service API. They aim to provide a framework for using KOS such as thesauri, terminology, taxonomies, glossaries, and classification systems in the Semantic Web. Edmund Lee reported on the English Heritage project currently developing a discovery tool registering KOS resources and terminology standards within the UK heritage sector. David Martul provided an update on topic maps and presented a linguistic framework for topic maps, with use cases from legal applications.

In session 3 the work of Piotr Gawrysiak on how to use semantic text analysis for vocabulary development was presented by Stefka Kaloyanova. Martin Doerr presented a statistical method for estimating the precision, completeness and inconsistency of place names matching with digital gazetteers, such as the Alexandria Digital Library Gazetteer.

The presentations resulted in a wide range of comments and discussion throughout the workshop, an important goal of the workshop. Participants identified various open issues and themes for continuing work and collaboration:

  • Need for empirical studies and usability testing of end-user interaction with KOS
  • Problems related to visualization, including meaningful presentation of discourses and semantic perspectives
  • Issues and problems related to vocabulary mapping, including mapping between core and special vocabularies
  • Multi-lingual aspects
  • Evaluation and validation of KOS
  • Statistical development methods and techniques
  • Types and standard definitions of relationships between concepts and terms
  • Extension of current thesaurus standards as regards definition and inclusion of KOS types
  • Networked access to KOS in DL and Semantic Web applications

Further information on the workshop and links to the presentations can be found on the workshop website at <>. NKOS is a community of researchers, developers and practitioners seeking to enable KOS, as networked interactive information services via the Internet. This was the third European NKOS Workshop. For details of the previous European workshops as well as the seven US NKOS Workshops, see the NKOS website at <>.

Submissions are being sought for a special issue of the Journal New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia planned for 2005/6, which will build on the themes of the workshop. The Call for Papers will shortly be posted on the journal's website ( or contact the Editor ( for more information.


Copyright © 2004 Marianne Lykke Nielsen

Top | Contents
Search | Author Index | Title Index | Back Issues
Previous Report | In Brief
Home | E-mail the Editor


D-Lib Magazine Access Terms and Conditions