Early Posts from ASIST: Monday
updated 11/18 to correct some typos
Web Searching Behavior (papers)
Plenary Session: Sir Tim Berners-Lee
- Compared student perceptions of searching the OPAC with searching the web (Karl V. Fast, D Grant Campbell) -- they did recognize that the OPAC was a closed set with strict indexing that provided access to authoritative documents (but usually not the answer) and the web is more friendly, takes more time to judge appropriateness of resources, and may provide the actual answer. Touched briefly on
socializing googlizing the OPAC (which doesn't really work since in most cases the structure doesn't support searching that way.
- Keeping and re-finding information on the web (Jones). This was really just more about what we learned about in the CE course.
- Information Task Switching and Multitasking Web Search. (Amanda Spink, Minsoo Park, Bernard J. Jansen) This is very interesting and needs to be compared/contrasted with berrypicking and also Foster's non-linear. She first compared dual tasking (doing two things at the same time) with multi-tasking (switching back and forth between tasks). She gave examples of someone starting out searching for gardening information and then moved to searching for information on prozac prescription for children. So unlike berrypicking where it's one search that's redirected upon happening on information -- this is an entirely new search that is conducted almost at the same time.
To look at: Spink, A. "Multitasking information behavior and information task switching: An exploratory study." Journal of Documentation, 60(4)(2004): 336-51. DOI: 10.1108/00220410410548126.
, although anyone reading this probably knows who he is.
Berners-Lee is a visionary who dreams up things that would make our life easier/better, then works to make them happen. As such, I'm not sure there's anything of immediate impact to take from his talk, but I do have some observations. First, he talks about automatically recognizing common fields and recognizing them across programs and tools. For example, your digital camera automatically marks the time the picture was taken, why can't those pictures be integrated into your calendar (Gary Marchionini
later says that GPS will be integrated into the metadata tags digital cameras add so that you can find your pictures by location). Second, he says that all types of items should eventually have URIs (indicators, not locations) -- books, chemicals, people, etc. To me, this doesn't really make sense. I get where he's going, but obviously Chem Abstracts has a much better handle on all the chemicals than any start-up organization would have now (although not perfect). Likewise, we have several different identifying numbers for books: ISBN, ASIN, LOC catalog number, OCLC number, etc. Each of them stands for one incarnation. Adding a new URI doesn't make sense. For people -- some of this was tried with SSNs, and we all know what happened with that. How I see this working is more like for DOIs. There's a resolver/thesaurus/crosswalk thingy that takes you to what you want when you enter any of the names for the item. It exists for chemicals. He said more, but for right now... I did mention that the standard in the blogosphere was to identify books by their Amazon URL -- he seemed to agree, but once again, this happened because 1) it's easy 2) the record that's returned is rich 3) the record points to other versions of the same book (editions, audio tapes, etc). OCLC, the ISBN people, LOC don't have anything near this cool -- why doesn't the find in a library URL have the ISBN OR OCLC number obviously in it? Why can you reconstruct the "find in a library" URL if you know the book's OCLCN or ISBN like you can with some scientific publishers who use the ISSN in the URL (is that Open URL? I'm not sure).
Why Can't Johnny File?
Discusses end user efforts to organize their personal information. Can indexing, IR, classification, LIS, etc., help them?
This was a real who's who panel: Kulthau, Bates, Jones (mentioned above), Marchionini, Mai
More on this later.
- Meng Yang - Exploring Users' Video Relevance Criteria. She's still just starting with this, but it promises to be an interesting dissertation. Talked about video surrogates (trailers, tables of contents on DVDs, bibliographic indexing, story boards) and how users determine if videos are relevant. She broke it down into three categories which I've already forgotten. The first was just what you'd find for books, the second was for visual stuff, the third was ? Look for interesting things from her.
- Xiaoli Huang - Relevance Judges' Understanding of Topical Relevance Types... Very interesting talk really breaking town topical relevance. This was just the results of the exploratory study, so more will be coming. Most people think of topic relevance as binary: it is or isn't directly "on topic." She discussed many other ways it could be topically relevant.
- Bin Bai - this talk had some real big issues. I'll leave it at that.
I'm off now to the Alumni Reception! Let's Go Maryland!