Christina's LIS Rant
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
  Ulrichs now lists feeds!?
From an e-mail I just got:

Ulrichsweb.com – Identify Serials that are available via RSS Feed!

The new “RSS Available” Advanced Search limiter makes it possible for users to identify the growing number of periodicals that are providing headlines, recent issues or other content via RSS (Really Simple Syndication). An RSS feed provides content via XML files that are then read by an RSS reader or web browser. CSA is adding RSS availability data to thousands of individual Ulrich’s records so that users can learn about the various frequencies, formats, and providers of these content-delivery feeds. Ulrich’s records also display the URL of the RSS feed(s) for the periodical. Users may create their own lists of RSS feed URLs in Ulrichsweb.com, click on the URL to link to the RSS feed, or cut and paste the URL into their preferred RSS reader.

I have yet to try this, but if it works, very, very cool.
Friday, November 24, 2006
  Coming to ACRL in Baltimore?
If so, you may find it helpful to consult the Quoth the Raven... Baltimore blog the Maryland Chapter of SLA prepared for our Annual Conference in June. There is lots of helpful advice on getting around Baltimore and things to do and see in Baltimore.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
  Radio Documentary: "Sounds of Democracy"
Salt Institute for Documentary Studies
Producer(s) Elizabeth Chur
Produced May, 2005

I just heard this piece on one of our local public radio stations that has a radio documentaries slot on Sunday at 6pm. The title doesn't really reveal the content. The Portland Maine public library has a piano that any visitor is free to come in and use and many do. It is very important to many people in the community.

It's funny though. They had a clip I think from a member of library staff who seemed almost apologetic when she said something about how in the 70s it was believed that libraries build community. I say in 2006 that we know absolutely that libraries build community (and communities). (SC agrees)

A nice piece and worth 6 minutes of your life for a listen.
Monday, November 13, 2006
  ASIST2006: Cronin's Acceptance Speech Online
Dr. Blaise Cronin was the Award of Merit winner at ASIS&T this year. Although I certainly don't share his opinions on a lot of things, I really enjoyed his speech. I respect people who have strong opinions and defend their positions strongly.


(via e-mail from Dick Hill)


Sunday, November 12, 2006
  Unexpected overlaps: Qual research and SNA
I'm doing things backwards in my doctoral program. You're *supposed* to start with quantitative methodology classes and then take the other things later... Here I am 2/3 through my coursework and I won't be taking my first quantitative methodology class until next Fall. Anyway, both of my classes this semester have spent a good deal of time differentiating themselves from quantitative methodology. SNA (social network analysis) by virtue of the fact that the analysis is on relationships, not on attributes. Qualitative methods -- well they're just completely different :)

So, imagine my surprise when doing the reading this week when the Qual book cites Borgatti and they both discuss the same methods!

In my intro to qualitative research class, I'm reading chp 7 of the book linked above, which is "Data Management and Analysis Methods" by Ryan and Bernard. In my SNA class, I just finished reading chp 8 of Wasserman and Faust which is on affiliations and subgroup overlaps.

The standard SNA methods work on square matrices in which the rows and columns are the same actors. Affiliation or membership matrices are not square and have actors as the rows and events/clubs, etc., as the columns. Most easily, you can decompose the affiliation matrix into square matrices and look only at co-memberships between the actors (X^N=AA') or overlap of events (X^M=A'A). You lose a lot of information this way, but we know well how to deal with matrices like this.

So, in the qual book, I read about structural analysis and semantic networks looking at study by Nolan and Ryan in which they looked at terms participants used to describe horror films and then decomposed this to a person by person similarity matrix to look at co-occurrence of terms. I guess this is really actually the same thing as the SNA, it's just that they're talking about how the data is gathered and coded -- we start with data in hand in the other class.

Both books also talk about multidimensional scaling and correspondence analysis, too, but I think I need a bit more help to see how this makes things clearer -- to me it looks more muddy in both worlds.

Anyway, just a random thought on a rainy, cold Sunday.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
  ASIST2006: Access to Scientific Data 2
Access to Scientific Data: The Social and Technical Challenges & Strategies (STI)
Panel 2 of 2
3:30 Wednesday model

Dr. Eastman from NASA GSFC
National Space Science Data Center
Distributed Data Environment
Exploding data sets, declining budgets, interoperability challenges
New to them:
- traditionally one spacecraft that was “a mission”
- multiple spacecraft (up to 1000 in the “constellation”) for simultaneous measurements, and sensor webs that are dynamic adaptive nets of sensors that do not have single point failure modes.
- Need to be able to datamine and re-use data, datafusion, knowledge discovery in databases
- Example use: early warning system for astronauts of solar events that might impact health safety of them, their craft, their instruments

Goal is more or to enable data-driven discovery- new model that’s not theory driven or theory bound (hm… makes me think of some of the arguments on visualization)

{left to go to Dr. Palmer’s presentation}

{came back in the middle of…}

Metadata architecture for use of scientific data
John D’Ignazio (probably)

Great quote: “most of the time we consider it to be part of our competitive edge to know where to find things that other people don’t know how to find or don’t even know they exist”

Update: typo in the title was really bugging me...


  ASIST2006: Philosophical Papers
3:30 Wednesday
{came in from another session at the same time}

Weak Information Work and "Doable Problems" in Interdisciplinary Science
Carole Palmer

IP&M article forthcoming (based on http://sci.lis.uiuc.edu project, funding from NSF)

Discovery Conditions (defined in Gerson 2002)
Affiliated with Arrowsmith proj?

What information conditions are associated with advancements and problems during the course of research?
What role can literature-based discovery play in daily scientific practice?

Case Study approach
- qualitative interviewing, project and critical incidents
- information diary
- field observation
- document analysis

Do conditional of weak and strong approaches in scientific problem solving extend to information work (Simon, Langley, and Bradshaw 1981)
Weak – novices, unrefined, ill-structured problem space, low domain knowledge, data driven, seek and search
Strong – opposite. Theory driven, recognize and calculate vice seek and search

Research is more fundamental if there is a clarity of vision in its planning (paraphrase of her quote of Simon et al), also messy science in revolutions (Kuhn)

How do you call information work weak or strong?
Strong – known item
Weaker -- browsing
Weak – literature based discovery
(EWWWW – I do not like this one bit!)

IK&M paper lays out the weak vs. strong

Within case – “highly interdisciplinary projects experts engaged in arduous and speculative information activities”

Concentrations WIW in preparation stages of work, low in experiment and dissemination states.

Simon Weak Work only really covers data analysis and all others are meta-activities

To account for information work, look at other models
Fujimura – doable problems, 3 levels of research work: experiment, laboratory, social world work; doability depends on alignment of these three levels
- social world – family of research problems, laboratories, colleagues
- laboratory – teams, experiments, tasks
- experiment – tasks

(hm… reading Knorr-Cetina book Epistemic Cultures now and seeing her construction of laboratory and experiment here and what they mean in two difference disciplines … Knorr-Cetina’s might better explain this than Fujimura’s?)

Fujimura’s model helps to capture additional scope and complexity as well as social dynamics

Macmullin and Taylor’s Problem Dimensions

Strengthening weak work
Supporting weak work that should remain weak

(I really hate “weak” for information work – but I can’t pretend to understand Simon’s work -- it just seems very, very wrong to think only novices can/should do this searching in information systems -- in fact, the visual presentation of information to gain insight would pretty much be in this category of weak.... eek!)

Update: typo in the title was really bugging me...


  ASIST2006: Access to Scientific Data (1)
Access to Scientific Data: The Social and Technical Challenges & Strategies (session 1) (STI)
Panel 1 of 2 large view

Economic Considerations for Access to Scientific Data
Yale Braunstein

Why do we need to protect intellectual property?
- difficulty in excluding non-payers, presence of economies of scale but that’s not the whole story
- restrict or prevent duplication and distribution of content, products… and reward producers of new content
(aside: do we need incentive when attention economy?)
(aside2: yes, he is from the dark side)

Incentive effect
- to encourage
- grants to creators and property rights are the two ways

Optimal duration
- balancing like in US Constitution Art1 Sect8 Clause8
- the number of years, to balance has to be < number of useful years of work
- Sonny Bono Act – there is no economic justification for 20 year extension, no incentive for existing works, present value of final 20 years probably not significant for new works (see slides on the wiki for the slides for evidence)

Database Production
- Coase Theorem – market failures arise from inadequate assignment of property rights
- Protection of databases in EU – for databases with non-original content (so not covered by copyright)
- Assumptions of pricing rules: databases sold to profit and not-for-profit orgs, willingness and ability to pay vary.

{left and came back}

Data Access. The Human Element.
Mark Parsons
National Snow and Ice Data Center
http://www.nsidc.org/ (very, very cool web site)
Parsons and Duerr (2005) Designing user communities…Data Science Journal
OAIS definition includes “designated community” – what does that mean?
- experiment designers/science team
- related applications community
- broader scientific community
- non-expert community
- “General Public”
(broad but appropriate use will open to many many more people/uses)
Example from his world: remote sensing data obtained by military-designed sensors for operational weather prediction is now used for studies of caribou calving, global warming, polar bears.

“We must not … start from any and every accepted opinion, but only from those we have defined – those accepted by our judges or by those whose authority they recognize.” – Aristotle

Uncertainty is inherent in scientific data – compare and contrast documents, special page for the press, separate educational page, different products for different communities, scientists are involved to understand and represent data as is necessary for different communities. Data managers out in the field with scientists reduces data uncertainty by 15-20% (this needs further explanation, Parsons et al Hydrological Processes 2004 – he and other data managers processed the data in the field and were able to clarify and correct omissions, handwriting problems, etc. – I checked with Parsons and it is: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hyp.5801 ?)

Design for durability
- format needs to be transparent, interoperable, extensible, compact, systems need to be simple, robust, and flexible

Case Study: International Polar Year 2007-2008, http://www.ipy.org/
Themes this year include human/social aspects and impacts
50,000 participants from 60+ countries
Data policy considerations
- difference between data and databases
- free and open access international consensus
- see policy on their web page
- special cases: human subjects, intellectual property (local and traditional knowledge), where data release may cause harm
- applies to data generated by IPY

Fair and multilevel access/use
Local control of LTK but broad sharing
In Ca there may be constitutional requirements for protection of LTK


  ASIST2006 Closing Plenary: Susan Dumais
ASIST2006 Closing Plenary: Susan Dumais
(came in at about 10:37 and she was already in full swing)
Views of IR from empty box, results set to empty box, black box, results set

We need to work on user context. Right now we look at results as independent things and don’t look at the interrelationships

User contexts – individual people (in social identities or in groups, implict/explict short/long term box), domain variables (structure of the domain, usage patterns, inter/intra document contexts), user/task context (information goal—information, navigational, transactional, browse, monitoring, doing, research, learning; physical setting)

What are the key influence points (where do you get a chance to do things differently for different contexts
- query specification
- system (match/ranking algorithms)
- results presentation

Examples of context in IR – sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, some parts of amazon like add to my wish list other books you might like, context sensitive ads

Framework for Analyzing Contexts
Research in individual differences and learning
- assay (which characteristics predict differences in performance and how big effects are? Example: reading ability)
- isolate source of variation

Aptitude by Treatment Interaction (Character 1 people works really well, Character 2 works really poorly; benefit/cost ability to diagnose people with characteristic 1/2)

Is it worth dealing with context?
Depends on
- ease of identifying context (for a smaller group like a school you might be able to get this more easily than for a general web population)
- accommodation
- what are benefits

Domain contexts:
- what are you searching? Web, images, video? Is domain selected or automatically inferred?
- Influence on ranking? – is time important? Link topology? Usage patterns?
- See, for example, different information exposed in Google Scholar, Google Maps, Google Local

Search Macros
(like Rollyo, Macros (MSN, http://search.live.com/macros), Custom search engines(google))

Desktop Search (example of domain characteristic)
- known: something you’ve seen before, regardless or source
- time is really important – people don’t, in the longterm, remember absolute dates, but they remember them with respect to certain events or occurrences (example: after/during earthquake)
- richer metadata important for desktop search – we don’t want “best” email we know a lot about what we’re looking for and so we need a lot richer metadata (yes, ah-ha! ammunition for fighting the IT culture of "no" just-take-what-G-gives-us point of view)
- fast scrolling vice next-next-next
- quick search like one word, then check boxes or pick off relevant metadata points

Query Context
- informational, navigational, transactional?
- Length, frequency, category
- Where do they go next
- Time of the year, external events

If you’re running an operational system, look at the logs, see what queries get 0 results.

Personalized Web Results
- lots of information from history and information stored
- tabs – she really doesn’t like, people don’t look at different tabs and you can compare them
- various UI issues

IR in context
- tremendous opportunities and challenges

Audience questions:
1) privacy - in web search, contextual ads are more acceptable, but in e-mail sometimes they can be intrusive like ads to buy free research papers.
2) my favorite question: different personalities online. He talked about buying a jazz cd and a biography of a sociology (Amazon has a "why is this recommended" button, hm, who knew?) Algorithmically, can look at time evening searches on sports, maybe. Transparency -- why did it return that? Turn personalization on and off (see I don't want it off for knitting, I just want it not to co-mingle knitting with lidar or signal processing)


  ASIST2006: Personal Digital Collections
Personal Digital Collections
8:30am Wednesday

Personal Digital Libraries and Scientific Data
Christine Borgman
(Scholarship In The Digital Age – new book forthcoming from MIT Press)
CENS Data Management Team (Center for Embedded Networked Sensing)
Sensing, terrestrial, contaminant transport, aquatic
“programmable, distributed, multi-modal, multi-scale, multiuse observatories to address compelling science and engineering issues” – data to be repurposed, fused, compared over time.

Incentives not to share vs. open science
Documentation problems
- heterogeneous data types and precisions/accuracies
- data in different states (from raw sensor data to processed, processed in various proprietary analysis tools)

Personal digital libraries can help
- build in access controls
- automatic metadata
- tools that simplify documentation process

The idea that if they can help individual scientists and teams manage data, then that will enable better sharing.

Personal Information for a World as We Want it to Be
William Jones
People don’t collect – information collects; people dream and hope but how do we make dreams and plans real.
Making a plan more “real” in an external representation
- visible intentional spaces allow us to see inconsistency and do better planning
- allow for serendipity (Seifert & Patalano, 2001)
- better memory for better finding if we file more deeply (?)

People don’t want to be librarians and collect and manage data -- if we can help people reify these dreams it will help

Personal Digital Collection: A Long-Term Perspective
Catherine Marshall
Microsoft/Texas A&M
We *are* our digital stuff
Why can’t we rely on benign neglect? Like photographs in a cardboard box in the basement.
(OT: I’m migrating to a new system at work and am trying to make sure the Adobe Suite can transfer the license, all of my firefox plugins get transferred, my favorites get transferred… argh Not trivial to re-install and set up Crossfire Commander, etc)

(My problem with this part of the talk is that I totally appreciate the problem, I’m ready for a solution to be proposed)
PIM strategies
- keep everything (but forgetting is important)
- central and unify
- personal info mgmt tools
- desktop search (have to know that it exists and maybe about the context)

(but none of these are adequate)

Personal Ontologies
Luz Quiroga

Assumption: that we feel the need to organize our digital collections, that desktop searching isn’t enough because people want to browse sometimes, and that learning how to organize personal information is part of information literacy research (huh.)

Organizing personal collections also enable sharing like for sharing bookmarks and collaborative filtering.

Ontology is a “community mediated and accepted description of the kind of entities that are in a domain of discourse and how they are related”. Can personal ontologies be dynamic because organization is context-related.

Deborah Barreau

Premise: people do create collections from their digital stuff. The creative process of selection and grouping helps recall.
“Personal digital portfolio” – group of digital artifacts selected, placed in context, within a tool (sounds like some of my argument for personal knowledge management blogging)

Problems that these personal portfolios overlook are how to extract info from personal space which can be chaotic, or can contain “invisible” content. How can these tools support how people think.

Experiment to enhance recall and support reflection in a local flora class - MyLifeBits software from MS.
- too much data – particularly camera data
- interface incompatible with how people relate to their files
- the tool for building collections and adding annotations were most useful
- multiple views to analyze and make assessments
- fraction of personal workspace which ignores the complexity of real life use with multiple personalities and tasks
- while people don’t like to organize stuff, they *do* organize as they need to

Comments from audience:
We're stuck in the metaphors to physical space like rooms, folders, desktops, etc.
WJ - label this vs. filing into folders, physical organization metaphor like in second life
CM - ability to re-encounter, relies on a sense of space, spatial hypertext is one way to think about it. How else can we localize things on a computer so that we may re-encounter
Nick Belkin (from the audience) - lack of physicality which reinforces our memories if we have a sense of place, we haven't investigated whether we can simulate physicality in virtual environments


Tuesday, November 07, 2006
  ASIST2006: Research Collaboration
Research Collaboration
Tuesday 1:45

Patterns of research collaboration in a large digital library
Nisa Bakkalbasi

Nisa and her co author extracted co-authorship data with a co-authored paper creating an edge and authors as the nodes. They calculated various measures of centrality and productivity. They then did statistical analyses on the network and productivity measures.

The Special Case of Scientific Data Sharing with Education
Jillian Wallis
Although specifically about making the embedded network sensor data available for 8-12th grade students, this presentation had some interesting comments on data sharing, in general.

Christine Borgman responded to a question from the audience. Collaborators on the project are from the department of education – one of the problems is that students generally do work with known datasets, that have been cleaned up, and have well-known answers. In reality, science is messy and data is messy. This research deals in part with how, pedagogically, students can interact and learn from more realistic situations.

Information Communication in Collaboratories
Airong Luo

Collaboratories are wide-spread, but their impact on scientific work is still unclear.

Informal communication
- “communication occurring before formal publication in journal, books, and formal presentations”
- helps scientists identify suitable topics, receive more timely feedback, share research methodologies, clarify relevance of terms and obtain social and emotional support

In what ways do collaboratories support
What are the social and tech barriers
Do collaboratories offer more opportunities for peripheral scientists to participate

Framework to understand informal communication
Communication zone (social bonds > concentration of suitable partners, mechanisms to bring people together, attention > physical proximity, group identity, invisible colleges) & information exchange (common ground)

Qual, 23 interviews in the scientists lab, participant observation in meetings, analysis of public documents

Found participants through Science of Collaboratories database,
Convenience sample, with snowball sample.

Biomed, molecular bio, high energy physics collaboratories

- virtually concentrate suitable partners – get to know people from whom they can seek help
- provide forums for scientists to interact both online and in person
- enhance group identity

Yes, collaboratories help connect peripheral scientists
- help keep peripheral scientists informed
- connect to other people
- in formal communication, you only learn what was successful – in a collaboratory you learn about what experiments and methods were tried and were unsuccessful

Social – Technical barriers
- infrequent collegial communication – IM, forums, not frequently used
- out of sight out of mind for peripheral scientists – face to face meetings like during lunch and breaks are still very important for trust and establishing communications
- missing information – due to communication infrastructure problems and time zone problems they miss important conferences and information – they can get the slides later online but it’s not enough because they miss the questions and richness as well as hallway conversations
- participation by peripheral scientists is limited – also had to be introduced to collaboratory by non-peripheral scientist

- motivate participants to record their research activities and research methods
- motivate participants to use technologies to communicate (forums, etc)
- apply technologies to capture information communication in meetings and conferences (she suggests blogs but also real time backchannel im comms, perhaps)
- funding for peripheral scientists to travel
- low bandwidth technologies

Question from the audience
- could social practices, perhaps instead of or with current/new technologies, to encourage informal communication
- motivation and how to motivate scientists
- did the existence of informal communication impact team formation and new work?
- Is there any reciprocity? Is it only peripheral scientists learning from American big science or does it go both ways? (resource dependency relationship, in some samples and data were from peripheral country labs) Some peripheral members were introduced by their academic advisors in western countries.

(aside: this is incredibly interesting to me as I did an extensive literature review on informal scholarly communication in the Spring and found some similar things)


  ASIST2006: Being User-Oriented
Being User-Oriented: Convergences, Divergences & Potentials for Systematic Dialog Between Disciplines Researchers, Designers and Providers
Tuesday, 10:30am

{Digitally recorded}

3-field dialog project
IMLS & School of Communication, Ohio State

“tidy but naive idea” – interview experts in LIS, HCI/IT, COMM on how they see each other and users, 12 interviews… 12 interviews yielded chaotic mess.

Dialog exploded
- search for data recursively
- current literature review on collapsing user categories by any other name, audiences, patients, viewers, patrons
- secondary literature review on the “systematic attacks on the social sciences” by politicians and scientists see Information Research (online journal)

Round 1-
83 telephone interviews, 45min each, experts in 3 fields
Supplemented by interviews with academic and public librarians.

Round 2-
Impressionistic essays, 48 recruited by the panel members here today.

Round 3-
Comprehensive thematic analysis and a philosophic essay on the problematics of dialog

Round 4-
Symposia and workshops
Today and then at the International Communication Association
ASIST 2007 full day workshop
CHI panel

http://imlsosuoclcproject.jcomm.ohio-state.edu/ (I think)

Today – fill out boxes on the back of the handout as a focus group. Later - apply to see data and promise to write an essay.

Most want syntheses but can’t understand them when they’re written in alien tongue
Want a new theory – but oh, no! Not another theory!
Case – assigned reading of transcripts and thematic analysis to masters and PhD students and came back with 6 general themes
Dillon - What do you get when you cross a mafiaoso with a semiotician? Someone who makes you an offer you can’t understand
Tension between disciplines. Thought from all, we did it first, we do it better, etc.
Cognitive architecture of users doesn’t change, really, as the technology does.
We don’t do big enough studies (need n=1000 or 10,000 or 100,000)
We need to watch people over time (instead of 5 minutes, 5 years)
Research must bear on real design (What does this change? What does this improve?) Improve fault line between research and practice.
Big questions need big answers, no one discipline can do this.
Why should the physical space of brick and mortar buildings restrict the intellectual space between the disciplines?
Karen Fisher – Raising a Little Hell – Ponderings from the UW iSchoolers.
Communication life cycle isn’t
Looking for understanding vs. explanation, research objects don’t sit still (like herding cats)
Concern about research methods – inappropriate to the problem
No follow through of the answers
Can’t keep up with the literature in all of the different fields, evaluating research from different paradigms, competing for money
Normore- IT/HCI practitioner perspective
Tenopir- essay team of master’s team from LIS perspective. Distance class over the summer. Necessary to sense-make about sense-making. Diverse group of students.
Convergences – personalization, longitudinal, generational, socioeconomic, context important, info overload (but different solutions)


  ASIST2006: Knowledge Sharing in Online Communities: Digital Trends in Practice
Knowledge Sharing in Online Communities: Digital Trends in Practice
Tuesday, 8:30am

Online Communities of Practice Typology Revisited
Noriko Hara, Pnina Shachaf, Sharon Stoerger
SLIS Indiana, Bloomington

Generally literature of CoPs tends to mainly consist of case studies. There is a need for research on interorganizational CoPs and a typology of CoPs. Dube et al 2003 did a typology of online CoPs. They studied

Learning on a Jet Plane: Distributed Problem Solving and Knowledge Sharing in a Virtual Community of Frequent Fliers

Thomas Haigh
U Wisc – Milwaukee

FlyerTalk. Culture and practice of mileage runs. Large community that is pretty popular online. Demographic information is limited as is the information on lurkers. Profile contains status information based on miles flown per year.

Mileage run – “series of flights taken in a very short amount of time, solely for the purpose of accumulating frequent flyer miles, with a blatant disregard for the destination” (!) (never leave the airport at the destination??)

Mattress run (for hotel stays)

Issues in broader project – interaction of technology and communities, elite status hierarchy, relationships with hotel and airline companies, social codes and rituals in the community

Relevant concepts – virtual communities, distributed problem solving, social capital, social networking…

Exploring authorship and collaboration in student-centered course blogs

Thomas Mackey
SUNY Albany

How do students understand their experience with course blogs? Relevance of blogging to student learning and critical thinking skills.

He reviewed Technorati and Pew statistics and reports, discussing demographics and the public/private combination that blogs are.

Survey on WebCT at the end of the semester (n=90). Setting up a blog was easy, knew about blogs, did not have blogs before, did “provide opportunity to reflect”, more like writing in a diary than writing a research paper, helped them understand the process of blogging, audience professor and classmates.

Hm, for his RQ, I would have liked to see qualitative research instead of quantitative. I would like more information on how they thought of their audience that would be gained from qualitative research.

Knowledge Creation and Sharing in Software Problem Management

Rob Sandusky
U Tenn, Knox
{this was actually really interesting and really well presented. He did a very good job explaining how this all worked and I feel that I inadequately captured it – assume, therefore, that the misconceptions, inaccuracies, and unclear sections below are purely mine}

How can we understand process by which a distributed CoP transforms a phenomenon – a bug - into a manageable representation, leading to a code change that fixes the bug?

Coordination mechanism to support sense making… Mozilla sw dev community. OSS community. Software problem management (SWPM) – to achieve/maintain quality, same in open/closed source projects. Bug ID to close lifecycle. Large-scale information problem, 200-300 reports per day, with 33% duplicates (or rather marked as duplicates by the community, he says).

He looked at “certificate manager crashes mozilla” – 30 month total lifecycle.

Weick version of sense making – community structures the unknown, creation of knowledge when working the bug.
From initial state of uncertainty -- there is a mismatch with what the program is doing and what is supposed to happen, a bug – to repair.

Distributed sense making relies on shared tools and processes, we have the bugzilla tracking database. Coordination mechanism supports learning. – affordances in bug report help create consistent reports easily.

Appended text messages in bug reporting allow for explicit feedback on how to submit bug reports, discourse of the community.


Monday, November 06, 2006
  ASIST2006: Designing for Uncertainty
Designing for Uncertainty
1:30 Monday

Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson
University of Technology Sydney

Nature of scholarly research
- expert informants
- Complex research tasks
- uncertainty and work – uncharted territory
- uncertainty and innovation – creativity (when the information system supports convergence it can confound innovators who are trying to diverge and come up with new things)

Risk and uncertainty

Strategic uncertainty
- can be an enabler for creativity
- working through uncertainty can be a mediating strategy

4 detectable levels of uncertainty
- engaging with information requirements
- Immediate search process
- IR activities associated with search
- Overall outcome of wider task

Relationship between uncertainty and understanding – give and take between them

Not necessarily end uncertainty but support discussion and communication of uncertainties, allow

Uncertainty in Work-based Settings
Jennifer Berryman
University of Technology Sydney

Government workplace. Environment can be uncertain because of political happenings. Tasks can be uncertain. Goals can be uncertain.
In information seeking never moved out of the uncertainty stage because the goal was uncertain but they had to finish the work on deadline.
They felt that this was typical.

Individual differences in the experience of uncertainty
Jannica Heinstrom

For some uncertainty might present a challenge and for others anxiety
Group: school children in diverse schools in New Jersey
Low motivation vs. high motivation students. High motivation students deal better with the temporary uncertainty as part of the ISP perhaps because in a more general sense, they have less uncertainty in other parts of their lives

Fast surfing – hasty and superficial information seeking, common among persons with low conscientiousness and high sensitivity

Broad scanning- explorative and spontaneous information seeking common among outgoing, competitive and open people

Designing for uncertainty can encourage creativity. People who enjoy information seeking and who are open and curious will be most receptive to these changes.

Uncertainty and Information Literacy Activities
Sanda Erdelez
University of Missouri-Columbia

Information encountering

Information behavior > information acquisition (a more generic term for seeking etc) > Opportunistic acquisition of information (vice purposeful) > information encountering

Super encounterers who feel guilty about coming across information in perhaps a more natural way but who aren’t using the programmatic, step-wise information seeking process “required” or taught.

Stripling and Pitts’ Research Process (ew, looks like information literacy….)

More research required on how we can teach students to manage and make use of information encountering, does maturity of the student make a difference, can this be used in the classroom environment where there are specific learning outcomes.

Ah-ha! These models all discuss solving one particular problem, but real life may be working multiple problems.

Supporting uncertainty in Information Seeking and Retrieval
Marcia Bates
(reaction to the previous speakers)

So information encountering is a very valuable and perhaps the only task if you’re in a very rich information environment – such as at a conference

Information systems and search interfaces still have a way to go to legitimate uncertainty and support uncertainty. Follow tangents and come back, not know where they’re going as they go along – if you can state precisely what you want to know, you already know it.


T.D.A. - Uncertainty with the scholars more about the content not about the IR system or the documents themselves

S.A. – Scaffolding in learning, by design, is to eliminate uncertainty, perhaps we should teach instead that uncertainty will always be there.

Kuhlthau – of all of the models like Stripling and Pitts – were the reason she did her research that lead to her ISP. The other models aren’t research-based and they’re teaching the children something that we don’t do ourselves. When you leave out the exploration stage – you’re not realistic so you’re forcing children to pretend that they’re following some artificial model – teaching them to fib. She did studies on this in 1981 yet they’re still teaching these other ways of going about things. (my paraphrase, forgive if inexact, but worth trying to capture).


  ASIST2006: Virtual Communities and Social Networks: The Impact of Blogs and Online Community of Social Engagements
Virtual Communities and Social Networks: The Impact of Blogs and Online Community of Social Engagements
Monday 10am

Will Health Practitioners Blog?
Dr. Deborah Swain

Web Log and Community of Practice
- Pilot study to see if used
- If they share explicit and tacit knowledge
- If blogs fit ina public health informatics framework
- If leads to medical error collection and process improvements

23 student nurses, 1 month, hospital learning environment, blog on reserved space server with security

Self organizing
- Support, please (students working and have families)
- Challenging patients
- Job searching
- Medications
- Patient rights

Qualitative Data Analysis
Weekly analysis, classification.
Comments providing support
Posts about getting comfortable with the blogging tool

- repeated pattern of information flow towards knowledge sharing
- temporary CoP

- promote error reporting
- apply lessons learned
- protect privacy (v. v. important for trust and knowledge sharing)
- ensure integrity

The Political Blogosphere in 2004
Scott Robertson
Drexel University

Cross-Cultural Issues in Blogging
Quiping Zhang

Work and personal environments
One of the biggest challenges of teams is cross-cultural communications, yet HCI research has a real western bias.

2 Studies are there any cultural differences on
- trust in blogs by revealing personal information
- corporate blogs: contents and management styles

Study 1
- national culture effect vs. virtual community effect
- what is trust? They defined it as willingness to reveal self-reported personal information
- Hypothesis: bloggers in the US will reveal more personal information than bloggers from Korea and China.
- Held constant the blog site because some sites have their own culture
- Cultural characteristics of the site interface, available fields in user profile, and sample of user profiles (mapping of Hofsted’s matrix)

Study 2
- why do people blog in corporations
- do people from different countries but in the same corporation blog differently?
- Cohen (2005) reasons to blog in corporate environment (establish expertise, create alternative media, extend corporate communications, build community)
- Looked at google us and google china blogs

- big cultural differences in personal blogs, little cultural differences in corporate blogs

Social Networks & Virtual Communities
Suliman Hawamdeh
University of Oklahoma


  ASIST2006: Search Result Visualization
Search Result Visualization
Monday 8 am.

3D Information Visualization: an Introduction and Practical Applications
Brad Eden
(he said to google for his slides, this link goes to his LITA slides which appear to be very similar: http://www.ala.org/ala/lita/litaevents/litanationalforum2005sanjoseca/30_Eden.ppt

“the use of computer-supported, interactive, visual representations of abstract data to amplify cognition” (quote from standard text which he appropriately cited but I didn’t catch)

Students and future university students are doing 3d visualization right now and every day in gaming. Scientists are using 3d viz in biomedicine, etc.

Discussed dimensions and ways of doing visualization linked to http://otal.umd.edu/Olive/.

Demoed 2-d topic map and AquaBrowser (the Lexington Library implementation), mentioned Stanford’s grokker implementation.

Live plasma http://www.liveplasma.com/ – music 2d search

CubicEye – 3d, 5sided web browser

See his ALA tech report(s) https://publications.techsource.ala.org/search/index.pl?q=Brad%20Eden&queryType=pdfAuthor&results=10

Also recent report on visualization in the humanities

Information Visualization in Large Scale Digital Repositories
Linn Marks Collins

Context national lab with national security mission and security concerns. Special library setting. She is working IAW the NSF Cyberinfrastucture vision for the 21st Discovery (7/20/06, v.7.1)

They locally load WoS and other research databases so that usage information isn’t tracked by the vendor.

Users are applied scientists and engineers. Problem solvers and higher-order thinkers. (finally a presenter who understands scientists and engineers and their sophisticated interaction with data – a woman after my own heart!)

Interactive scatterplot, papers by citations, color indicates subject. Can see outliers, and apply log transformation and see the papers that were cited 3 or fewer times. Their library produces this information quarterly to lab management (publish information impt to the field not just their career). Click on a point and get metadata. They map the articles to another taxonomy bcs the isi subj cats don’t represent their work.

She’s got a group in her library that is trying to improve on citation analysis by weighing (?) a general metric using some indication of reading of the paper.
(read-only version, newer version with read-write ability to add data points, edit metadata, etc.)

(for more, see their paper in the International Journal on Digital Libraries last year, special issue on infoviz)

Ah-ha – for their search, they’ve found that their scientists don’t like the “easy search” they want very detailed, precise search . But why should their users have to search at all when the library knows about the projects?
Hyperbolic tree model using RSS feeds of locally loaded tables of contents. (urchin from Nature publishing group) Aggregate and filter feeds.

Multiple viewing options
- channel editors (reference librarians who figure what users need – extended and repeated reference interviews to find information profile of a project group)
- save items to view later (bcs know that researchers only look for info at certain times in their projects)
- visual overview or list
- hyperbolic treemap – can zoom to get info
? no author identification in this interaction – is that a problem?

Channel editors can highlight items that are particularly important, save important things for later.

Now just bibliographic records but will be working on datasets the same way.

See also her paper from IEEE International Conf on e-science and Grid computing, Melbourne 2005. (http://www.gridbus.org/escience/escience2005/index.html)

- escience data deluge
- need people who understand digital libraries and metadata who also understand the science and the natures of the datasets
- grid, projects like sky survey and sensor arrays

Collective Intelligence & Holistic Sense making
Chaomei Chen
Collective intelligence, sum of the parts is greater than the whole, an emergent property of a group of people (society, invisible college, etc)

Questions you might ask
1. hot topics?
2. how are hot topics related?
3. how do these topics evolve over time, space?
4. how do we access the emergent insights?

Example, terrorism-
Looking for turning points and insights using visual science, color, and structure.
Looks at connections between two thematic clusters.

Geospatial patterns of terrorist events using google earth, or geospatial patterns of relevant research (does proximity matter for co-citation?)

Glea S et al (2002) How do the citations to this paper spread geographically? (yeah, but, doesn’t it seem like affiliation data would be more useful—like if they all attended the same meeting? Or belong to the same professional society or discussion list? In 2006 geography is only important when travel budgets are limited so perhaps for well-funded research programs will cite the papers first because they will attend more meetings… maybe that’s an interesting research question)

Amazon customer reviews The Da Vinci Code
Took reviews, looked at positive and negative (I believe by computer analysis), then pulled out word frequency. In context “really good book” could actually be referring to other books mentioned in review (IOW, “this book was awful, if you want to read a really good book, read…”).

Decision tree method to determine in terrorism-related abstracts from WoS when something is new and emerging as a theme.

Retrieval vs. Visual Analytics
Retrieval – recall, discrete search, part, formal
Visual – recognition, continuous foraging, whole, intuitive, overview and then zoom



Sunday, November 05, 2006
  ASIST2006: How Chemists are Really Finding and Using Information in Our Digital Environment
How Chemists are Really Finding and Using Information in Our Digital Environment

Using Citation Analysis to Inform Library Collection Development in Support of Scientific Faculty Research
E. Ashley Brown

Looking at local citation information based on ISI’s LJUR. Also, looking at what years the scientists are citing – in this case the universities are citing older articles so should probably subscribe to the backfile.

(the Lancaster book, I can’t seem to link to, actually recommends (and my prof Kaske seems to concur) the use of a composite metric where various measures are weighted so global and local, times in house used, downloads, etc)

(also the standard for download information is COUNTER)
****To be fair, ACS IS counter compliant http://pubs.acs.org/4librarians/usage/index.html ****

Does Electronic Availability Enhance Use of Chemistry Information
Cecelia Brown

Looked at how chemists interact with web information as evidenced by their articles published in the literature. Selected key ACS journals from various subfields of chemistry (but not medicine) – ACS bcs online from v1 n1.

Looked at the full text articles and the citations to find web pages. Yes, biochem, chemical reviews, especially. ACS supporting materials web site. They are referring to Genbank, BLAST, URLs. 23% of URLs were in the experimental section.

Are online accesses to articles correlated with citation rate?
Does purpose or content relate to citation and/or access levels?
-many of most heavily cited/accessed are methods based

See image of conclusions slide.

Information Use Surrounding the Discovery Processes of Chemists and Chemical Engineers
Catherine Blake
Discovery in the sense of a new idea (not just retrieving literature).
Model the day to day processes of scientists
Key questions
What is their definition of discovery
How do they arrive at their research question
How do they transition ideas to publication

Semi-structured interviews
Critical incident technique

Card sorting for workflow – transcribed descriptions as it was done, frequencies of occurences
Taped and transcribed 25/27 interviews
Analyzed with Nvivo, bottom up theme identification.

What is discovery?
1) New/novel
2) Builds on other work
3) Has practical application (more from the engineers)
4) Balance experimentation and theory
5) Simplicity

Arriving at a research question
1) Discussion
2) Previous research projects
3) Combining expertise
4) Reading the literature

26 process diagrams
Literature-related cards – they read, download, and deal heavily with literature

System design implications from discovery-
One is to describe and justify new discoveries (would it help to use the structured abstracts?)

Implications from research question-
Integrate collaborative and communication tools as well as access to previous literature

Invitation to participate in future work in LIS about coming up with research questions


  ASIST2006 Opening Plenary: Barabasi
Open Plenary: Albert-László Barabási

Professor at Notre Dame

Erdos-Renyi Model (1960)
Looking at degree and degree centrality and Poisson distribution for a random network where everyone has the same degree.

They looked at the web and then looked at degree and found instead of a Poisson distribution, found a power law. Likewise, the highway system is Poisson and the air line paths are scale free/power law (published in Nature, 1999).

But highways, etc., are man-made. Does this apply in nature? Then looking at Metabolic Network and Protein Interactions networks we see that they are also scale-free.

Origins of scale-free networks
- what’s interesting is what the ties actually are
- Barabasi & Albert Science 286 (1999)

Growth and preferential attachment
Networks continuously expand by adding new nodes
New nodes prefer to connect to more connected pages (preferential attachment)
First mover advantage
Fitness k(t) – t^(ηa), a modifier like for a web page might include attributes like content

Robustness and Fragility
Albert, Jeong, Barabasi, Nature 406 (2000)
If you remove some nodes you end up with many components and lots of isolates… With a large scale free network, you can remove 90% of the nodes and the network is still functioning – unless you specifically attack the hubs.

(if it can be clustered or if there are groups/subnetworks that can be defined)
He argues that a network can be both modular and scale free. He constructed a model to propose how it could happen. Mathematically, looking at the clustering coefficient C(k) ~ k^-1 where C(k) = #links/k(k-1)

Finding Overlapping communities inNetworks
Palla, ALB, Vicsek (nature) – a same node can be in multiple clusters.

How do communities change over time
Grow, contract, merge, split, birth, death
Small communities tend to be stable if members do not change over time. OTOH, large communities will only last if there is high turnover.

Viral Marketing
How can we use this network information for marketing?
If the information is given to hubs vs. if given to a random member of the network. (ok, so this is fairly new to network methods, but of course information diffusion and “opinion leaders” in marketing have been around for a while.

Visualizing clicks on a web site – Poisson process? No it’s bursty so it’s a scale free network and there’s a long tail

Looked at e-mail, library loan, cell-phone views – all scale free networks. Why? Probably because of prioritization of tasks instead of random execution of tasks. How do we see if this is a feature of our technology world, or something about us as humans? Look at Einstein and Darwin who were both avid letter writers. (Oliveria, ALB, Nature 2005). # of letters is power law, but more importantly, how long the letters sat on the desk also follows the power law.


Update: added tag


Thursday, November 02, 2006
  My ASIST2006 Tentative Schedule
11:55AM Arrive Austin. I'll probably take a cab to get to the conference
1PM Plenary: Barabasi
3:30PM How Chemists Are Realing Finding and Using Information in Our Digital Environment (although I highly recommend watching Soojung Kim's presentation and will run across to it if possible)
Foraging for din-din catching up with roomie making sure I'm checked in if not so far
6:30PM SIG Rush, etc.

8AM Search Result Visualization (try to see posters, too)
10AM Virtual Communities & Social Networks (although, I have read a few papers by Leah Lievrouw so would like to hear hers, too, especially as it might deal with PIM)
1:30PM Designing for Uncertainty (although I might look in to the one on information scatter)
3:30PM Open, but will probably try to catch Information Searching Tactics of Web Searchers

Various Assorted Receptions

8AM Knowledge Sharing in Online Communities, but I'll hop out and run over to Planning Personal Projects and Organizing Personal Information if I get a chance
10AM Being User-Oriented or Everyday Classification
1:45PM Research Collaboration Patterns of Research Collaboration in a Large Digital Library and/or Information Organization Personal E-mail Management (probably the second)
5PM Users Behavior Communication and Information Seeking OR Collection Analysis: Trailblazing...

8:30AM Measuring Science
10:30AM Plenary, Dumais
1:30PM Access to Scientific Data
3:30 - every single session looks good! I'll probably bounce between them.

Flight leaves at 705PM

My meals are basically open. I'm also open to drinks, etc., so please catch me if you see me and invite me along.



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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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