Project Catalog meeting

Met with Al Turgeon and Mike Kessler re: academic content in Project Catalog. Here are a few follow-up notes:
One way to approach organizing information online has been:
1) determine which keywords will be used (controlled vocabulary)
2) arrange them hierarchically (taxonomy)
3) describe how they relate to each other (ontology)
Current metadata schemes tend to follow the same rules. Implied in that list is Step 0: determine WHO will be deciding on the list of controlled vocabulary terms. (Of course, many libraries,and discipline-specific groups have well-established standards–I was thinking here more in terms of UVM-specific needs.)
The web offers new possibilities. Think of Amazon’s “customers who bought this also bought…” model. In addition to Amazon categorizing their books they let the reader buying patterns do so. Other recent web applications are tapping into this idea.
Check out the phrase “social bookmarking” and you’ll find one such idea (several public photo sites provide another example). The idea is that a more powerful way to help people find the information they need is not to try and think of every possible metadata term they might use but to let them “organize” the information they use by tagging it with terms that make sense to them.
Here’s an analogy: say you build several new buildings. You could put in walkways between them immediately. Or, you could wait a couple of months and see where people tend to walk, then build the walkways there. With the latter, you are more likely to prevent the usual phenomenon of walkways that aren’t used, surrounded by trampled paths where you are trying to plant grass.
Anyway, I mention the idea in case you want to run that phrase by the potential vendors and see if you get a blank stare. Any system that would allow users to build their own taxonomies to find information in UVMs content would probably be more useful and flexible. Here’s a good article on social bookmarks:
So here are some of the links related to digital libraries, digital repositories, e-texts, etc. (I haven’t included any “shared learning object” links).
Groups to keep an eye on:
– Digital Library Federation:
– dSpace Federation:
– Technology Analysis of Repositories:
Technologies/applications/standards to be aware of:
– Open Archives Initiative:
– Fedora Digital Object Repository System:
– Digital Library Extension Service:
– Text Encoding Initiative (for marking up scholarly texts):
And, links to some UVM digital collections:

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