Prof. R. David Lankes receives the 2009 Emerald Outstanding Paper Award

Emerald Group Publishing of the United Kingdom has selected Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) Associate Professor R. David Lankes’ paper, “Credibility on the Internet: Shifting from Authority to Reliability,” as a 2009 Outstanding Paper Award Winner.

Emerald is the world’s leading scholarly publisher in business and management, publishing more than 190 journals as well as serials and books, and had more than 20 million articles downloaded in 2008 alone. Emerald invites each of its journal’s editorial teams to nominate what they believe to be the most outstanding paper and three highly commended papers each year.

The editorial team of the Journal of Documentation, which published Lankes’ paper, selected his article for the award, dubbing it “one of the most impressive pieces of work the team has seen throughout 2008,” according to the announcement.

Emerald bases its decision on a list of criteria, including the contribution of new knowledge, structure and quality of the writing, rigor of analysis or argument, relevance, and timeliness or connected to the latest developments in the field.

His paper addresses how Internet users determine the credibility of information on web sites from a conceptual level and how that affects new online tools and services. He describes how and why people are dependent on the Internet for information, and also describes the progression of users shifting from analyzing the credibility of an online source to determining the reliability of sources.

Lankes will be recognized at the 2009 Literati Network Awards for Excellence ceremony.

Lankes is director of the Information Institute of Syracuse and a fellow of the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy. Lankes’ research focuses on education information and digital reference services. He has authored, co-authored or edited eight books, and written numerous book chapters and journal articles on the Internet and digital reference. He holds a bachelor of fine arts in multimedia design, a M.S. in telecommunications and network management, and a Ph.D. in information transfer from Syracuse University.

Reference Extract in under 4 minutes

If the long explanation of Reference Extract is, well, too long, here is some help. The first is a 3 minute video on the basic concept of the project:


Reference Extract: Concept from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

The second is a fast overview of the project’s proposed architecture:


Reference Extract in 4 Minutes from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

Please remember, we still need your letters of support.

And you wondered why it had been so long since I posted…just wait until next week.

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Reference Extract Seeking Support

As we proceed to seek funding for the building of Reference Extract, we are seeking your support. Below is a video overview of Reference Extract (available in high definition too) and the concept of a credibility engine. Below that is a generic template for a letter of support.


Reference Extract: Call for Support from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

[February 22, 2009]

R. David Lankes
Information Institute of Syracuse
Syracuse University
213 Hinds Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244

Dear David:

[Organization or Individual] is pleased to support your proposal for Reference Extract that will enable the library community to build a credibility engine and enhance how people search for information on the web. Finding credible information on the Internet is essential in this digital age, and project like Reference Extract demonstrate the considerable positive effect libraries and librarians can make.

[Information on you or your organization and efforts in credibility and/or librarianship]

[We/I] support the effort and look forward to helping to shape the project. Some ways my organization might support the project include [sharing reference archives, serving on a board of advisors for the project, providing an environment to test Reference Extract,].

Sincerely,

[your name]
[your title]

Dave Screencast How To

Here is a screencast on how I do “talking head” screencasts on my Mac. I am just amazed how increasingly easy it is for a person and a computer to make pretty polished productions these days.

by the way,someone asked me if I came up with the term (hence my comment in the opening of the presentation), and the answer is definitely no. See Wikipedia.

OCLC, Syracuse University and University of Washington to help develop a new Web search experience based on expertise from librarians

DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 7 November 2008—Researchers and developers from OCLC, the world’s largest library cooperative, and the information schools of Syracuse University and the University of Washington today announced their participation in a new international effort to explore the creation of a more credible Web search experience based on input from librarians around the globe. Called the “Reference Extract,” the planning phase of this project is funded through a $100,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

“Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the most powerful,” said Dr. Mike Eisenberg, Dean Emeritus and Professor at the Information School of the University of Washington and a lead on the project. “The best search engines are great for basic search, but sometimes the Web site results lack credibility in terms of trust, accuracy and reliability. So, who can help? Librarians. If a librarian recommends a Web site, you can be pretty sure that it’s credible. RefEx will take hundreds of thousands of librarian recommendations and use them in a full-scale search engine.”

Reference Extract is envisioned as a Web search experience similar to those provided by the world’s most popular search engines. However, unlike other search engines, Reference Extract will be built for maximum credibility of search results by relying on the expertise of librarians. Users will enter a search term and receive results weighted toward sites most often used by librarians at institutions such as the Library of Congress, the University of Washington, the State Library of Maryland, and over 2,000 other libraries worldwide.

As part of the planning process, participants are reaching out to partners in libraries, technology organizations and research institutions. “The only way this will work is by making a project of an entire community,” said Dr. R. David Lankes, Director of the Information Institute of Syracuse and Associate Professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies. “Web searchers get to tap into the incredible skill and knowledge of the library community, while librarians will be able to serve users on a whole new scale. This work follows on previous credibility work supported by the MacArthur Foundation, most notably the Credibility Commons (http://credibilitycommons.org/).”

“We look forward to working with Syracuse University and the University of Washington in developing this credibility focused search capability, which holds the promise of providing powerful new access to information based on professionally delivered library reference services,” said Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO. “We are grateful for support from the MacArthur Foundation in this planning phase, and we are hopeful that this effort will lay the necessary groundwork for implementing a large-scale, general user service.”

The Reference Extract project will hold a series of meetings and consultations over the coming months. The team is eager to build a business plan and technology architecture to benefit users and the library community alike. Those interested in providing input on the project and learning more can visit the project Web site at http://digref.org.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. More information is available at www.macfound.org.

The School of Information Studies at Syracuse University
The School of Information Studies is The Original Information School in the nation. It is a leading center for innovative programs in information policy, information behavior, information management, information systems, information technology and information services. The nationally ranked school (U.S. News and World Report) has professional degree programs at the undergraduate and master’s levels and a research degree at the doctoral level. The school offers its master’s programs in campus and distance learning formats. For more information, visit www.ischool.syr.edu/about/.

The University of Washington Information School
Each year, the world creates more than 161 exabytes of new information—enough to fill 2 billion 80GB iPods. So much information can be overwhelming. Rigorous study of the users and uses of information conducted at the UW Information School helps answer important questions. By tackling key social and technical problems in the information field, the UW iSchool has become an important link between users of information and designers of information systems, connecting society with the information it needs. For more information, visit www.ischool.washington.edu/.

About OCLC
Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC is a nonprofit library service and research organization that has provided computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing, eContent, preservation, library management and Web services to 60,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories. OCLC and its member libraries worldwide have created and maintain WorldCat, the world’s richest online resource for finding library materials. For more information, visit www.oclc.org

NSF Awards Syracuse Team Grant on CI Facilitators

Jeffrey M Stanton, Elizabeth D Liddy, Derrick Cogburn, Megan Oakleaf, and R. David Lankes are co-PI’s on a new NSF grants entitled: CI-Facilitators: Information Architects across the STEM Disciplines. Paul Gandel, SU’s CIO also deserves a large portion of the credit for the grant.

What does this have to do with participatory librarianship? Well, read the description:

Cyber-Infrastructure – broadly defined to include the web, wireless grids, parallel processors, lap-tops, cell phones, mainframes, telecommunication networks, etc – has become the informational substrate of most dynamic enterprises. Databases, statistical datasets, data ware-houses, sample libraries, and image collections are just a few of the myriad examples of massive scale information collections that e-researchers dependent on information must create, maintain, and share In addition, some of the most innovative information use is now in the form of collaboration technology that facilitates the development of geographically distributed sites and networked communities within and across traditional divides.

Yet in e-research scholars have three serious problems facing them. First, researchers spend their careers mastering the skills, knowledge, and tools that comprise the core of their respective disciplines. Few among them have the capacity to simultaneously become experts in information management, networking, virtual or distributed collaboration, search and retrieval, archiving, user interface development, and all of the other skills of the information professions. Second, advances and convergences in Cyber-Infrastructure that have occurred over recent decades have themselves fueled a vast proliferation of information – more findings, more datasets, more papers, more conferences, more journals, more books and so on. Even the brightest and most motivated struggle to keep up with the rapid pace of knowledge creation in their field. Finally, information infrastructure itself is in the process of an accelerating evolution. Gains in computing power, storage, transmission bandwidth and other fundamental building blocks of Cyber-Infrastructure create frequent discontinuities in the economics of information technologies, while open source software tools sprawl daily into innovative new application territories. The rapid pace of development of information infrastructure implies that only individuals who dedicate their professional lives to it can truly keep up.

One solution to these issues is the preparation of “cyber-infrastructure facilitators.” These are information professionals able to partner with e-research teams to identify extant data and tools, as well as build new tools in the pursuit of research topics.

Sounds like a good participatory librarian working in the digital world to me.

Draft Report from LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control

Today someone asked me about how the new LC report (http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/news/draft-report.html) meshed with participatory library concepts. Much of this is very compatible: user create materials, wider cooperation, distribution of tasks, etc.

However, a central tenant of participatory is the focus on conversation and how artifacts only make sense in the context of someone’ use. Perhaps it is the nature of the beast, but this approach to bibliographic control is in making descriptions of artifacts more standard and more efficient. So it is participatory in process, but not result. What would help is a recognition (perhaps as part of the cohesive philosophy of bibliographic control discussed) that any artifact, and thus it’s description, gains meaning and utility in the context of communities and conversations. Further that these conversations and context often exist BETWEEN records and items.

My question for the committee would be how could bibliographic control incorporate contexts between items or be applied to conversations and non-document like objects? What are your thoughts?

Paperback Writer

So things on the blog have been a bit slow because I have been pushing out a raft of articles related to participatory librarianship. Within the next few months the following articles should start changing from “forthcoming” to actual dates and issue numbers:

“Virtual Reference to Participatory Librarianship: Expanding the Conversation” Lankes, R. David (forthcoming). ASIS&T Bulletin

“Collecting Conversations in a Massive Scale World” Lankes, R. David (forthcoming). Library Resources & Technical Services

“The Ethics of Participatory Librarianship” Lankes, R. David (forthcoming). Journal of Library Administration

“Participatory Networks: The Library as Conversation” Lankes, R. David, Silverstein, J. L., Nicholson, S., Marshall, T. (forthcoming). Information Research

“Credibility on the Internet: Shifting From Authority to Reliability” Lankes, R. David (forthcoming). Journal of Documentation.

“Participatory Networks: The Library as Conversation.” Lankes, R. David, Silverstein, J. L., Nicholson, S. (forthcoming). Information Technology and Libraries.

Also, the last VRD book should hit the presses very soon.

Not bad for two months into a sabbatical.

Participatory Version of Tech Brief

So, it has been a long summer. Sorry fort he delay in news. I’m just starting my sabbatical, so I had to get a lot of stuff out of the way first. Much more news should now be coming, starting with:

We’ve now put up a new participatory version of the technology draft “Participatory Networks: The Library as Conversation.” As you may recall we had a home grown version up before based on the if:book project. Now they have released their software open source, so we are using that for the participatory version. Please play around with it.

Conversations

Yesterday (a day late…sue me I got a new iPhone and had to play) we changed the Participatory Networks tech brief page to a participatory librarianship test bed site. It’s not very interactive…yet. Take a look and get involved. Below is the video introduction for the site posted on YouTube.