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Future of controlled vocabularies: better content, new career opportunities


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A presentation to the San Andreas chapter of the Special Libraries Association in November 2009. Covers the spectrum of controlled vocabularies, what ontologies and other semantic technologies have to offer, and how it dovetails with the skills of information professionals.

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Future of controlled vocabularies: better content, new career opportunities

  1. 1. The Evolution of Controlled Vocabularies Better content, new career opportunities A Presentation To The SLA San Andreas Chapter At San Jose State University, November 18, 2009 By Christine Connors Among Other Things A Librarian, Information Scientist, Semantic Web Advocate And Founder Of TriviumRLG
  2. 2. If you wish to Tweet whilst here... ✤ I am @cjmconnors ✤ Hashtag is #slasa
  3. 3. Quick Survey ✤ More interested in controlled vocabularies or career opportunities? ✤ Perform ‘traditional’ library duties? (Research, Reference, Circ, ILL…) ✤ How many of you are building ontologies? Rule bases? ✤ Looking for a job? ✤ Have a position to fill or expect to this year? ✤ Business oriented? ✤ Technology focused? ✤ Content & Information Architecture specialist?
  4. 4. ex libris |flickr
  5. 5. blmurch | flickr
  6. 6. yourpaldave | flickr
  7. 7. ragesoss | flickr
  8. 8. The Continuum We are building more complex and powerful data architectures; all types are available for use on the semantic web
  9. 9. Ontology Thesaurus Taxonomy Power Synonym Ring List Folksonomy Complexity The Continuum We are building more complex and powerful data architectures; all types are available for use on the semantic web
  10. 10. Andorra Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany Name: Hungary Address: Ireland City: Italy Precision State/Province: Liechtenstein Country: Monaco Zip/Postal Code: Netherlands Norway Portugal Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom
  11. 11. United Kingdom Synonym: UK Synonym: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  12. 12. United Kingdom Synonym: UK Synonym: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Behind the scenes in search Recall
  13. 13. Europe NT ... United Kingdom NT England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland See
  14. 14. Europe NT Better ... Recall United Kingdom Advanced Search NT England Scotland Better Wales Precision Northern Ireland See
  15. 15. Europe NT ... United Kingdom NT England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
  16. 16. Europe England NT BT ... Britain United Kingdom Great Britain NT United Kingdom England BT Scotland European Union Wales Group of Eight Northern Ireland United Nations Security Council NATO Faceted or Parametric Search; Guided Navigation See or
  17. 17. Europe NT United Kingdom Scope Note Situated in north-west Europe, the island nation was formed January 1, 1801. Use For UK Use For United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland See Also Great Britain See Also Britain See Also British Isles NT England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
  18. 18. Europe NT United Kingdom Scope Note Situated in north-west Europe, the island nation was formed January 1, 1801. Categorization Use For UK Classification Use For United Kingdom of Search Great Britain and Northern Ireland Advanced Search See Also Great Britain Rules-based Coding See Also Britain See Also British Isles *Precision ? Recall ? NT England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
  19. 19. NT England Britain BT NT NT BT BT Wales Great Britain NT NT BT Scotland BT United NT Northern Kingdom BT Ireland
  20. 20. NT England Britain BT God and my right NT NT BT BT Wales motto Great Britain NT NT BT Scotland BT flag United NT Northern God Save the Queen Kingdom BT Ireland anthem official English language capital currency legislature London pound sterling Parliament
  21. 21. OpenCyc Large ontology based on the Cyc Knowledge Base
  22. 22. DBpedia A sizable ontology derived from data in Wikipedia
  23. 23. Umbel Subjects Concept Explorer %2FUnitedKingdomOfGreatBritainAndNorthernIreland
  24. 24. Region 1 Region 2 100 70 75 52.5 50 35 25 17.5 0 0 2007 2008 2009 2010
  25. 25.
  26. 26. Semantic Web Layer Cake Key components; time left to influence - publish your use cases 22
  27. 27. As of March 2008
  28. 28. As of March 2008
  29. 29. As of March 2008
  30. 30. As of March 2008
  31. 31. Circle size indicates the # of triples in the dataset Circle Size Triple Count Very large > 1B Large 1B-10M Medium 10M-500k Small 500k-10k Very small <10k Arrow direction indicates that a given dataset contains concepts from the indicated dataset Arrow thickness indicates the # of shared triples Arrow Thickness Triple Count Thick >100k Medium 100k-1k Thin <1k As of March 2008
  32. 32. As of March 2008
  33. 33. MultimediaN Eculture Project
  34. 34. BBC MusicBeta Data from users of MusicBrainz and Wikipedia, with BBC editorial oversight.
  35. 35. European Digital Library Access to the collection of the 48 libraries of the EU. Http://
  36. 36. Wonderful objects with no metadata A secret garden
  37. 37. Objects with can’t-be- bothered A maze
  38. 38. Lots of unmarked repositories Silos
  39. 39. Benefits ✤ Interoperable ✤ Increase delivery channels for data and services ✤ Consistent ✤ Dynamic ✤ Greater Return on Investment/Effort ✤ Re-purpose data rather than re-create it ✤ Improved discovery ✤ Improved analytics ✤ Shared meaning ✤ Compliance
  40. 40. Communication Clarity
  41. 41. Benefits of Communicating Clearly ✤ Authority ✤ Trust ✤ Provenance ✤ Joint research / build on existing research ✤ Larger audience ✤ User engagement
  42. 42. Winter 2003-2004
  43. 43. The Dream Team 2009 ✤ Information Scientist ✤ Information Architect/User Experience Designer ✤ Cognitive Scientists ✤ Developers ✤ Business Analyst ✤ Leader/Evangelist/Community Manager ✤ Project Manager ✤ Security Expert ✤ Legal Advisor
  44. 44. Where’s the box? ✤ To organise knowledge is to gather together what we know into a comprehensive organised structure, to show its parts and their relationships. This is the work of scholars and encyclopaedists. ✤ Our tasks are to make knowledge (whether organised or unorganised) available to those who seek it, to store it in an accessible way, and to provide tools and procedures that make it easier for people to find what they seek in those stores. ✤ Brian Vickery,
  45. 45. Embedded Librarians ✤ Collaborated on or contribute to your customer group’s electronic communications and/or collaborative workspaces, including email, wikis, blogs and other web-based workspaces. ✤ Shoemaker and Talley, EmbeddedLibrarianshipFinalRptRev.pdf, funded by an SLA Research Grant, 2007, published June, 2009.
  46. 46. Human Search Engines? It was cute once, but is this all we are?
  47. 47. Competencies for Info Pros ✤ From the SLA special report ✤ B.1 ✤ Manages the full life cycle of information from its creation or acquisition through its destruction. This includes organizing, categorizing, cataloguing, classifying, disseminating; creating and managing taxonomies, intranet and extranet content, thesauri etc. ✤ B.2 ✤ Builds a dynamic collection of information resources based on a deep understanding of clients' information needs and their learning, work and/or business processes. ✤ C.3 ✤ Researches, analyzes and synthesizes information into accurate answers or actionable information for clients, and ensures that clients have the tools or capabilities to immediately apply these.
  48. 48. Competencies for Info Pros ✤ D.1 ✤ Assesses, selects and applies current and emerging information tools and creates information access and delivery solutions ✤ D.2 ✤ Applies expertise in databases, indexing, metadata, and information analysis and synthesis to improve information retrieval and use in the organization ✤ D.3 ✤ Protects the information privacy of clients and maintains awareness of, and responses to, new challenges to privacy ✤ D.4 ✤ Maintains current awareness of emerging technologies that may not be currently relevant but may become relevant tools of future information resources, services or applications.
  49. 49. Information Architects & User Experience designers ✤ We need help ✤ Powerful, but UI/UX is not friendly ✤ Organizing elements, pathfinding, labeling, building relationships, consistent experiences ✤ How to design for n-dimensional space in a 2D or 3D environment?
  50. 50. 2001, SuccessFactors has multiple worldwide offices collaborating for strong local support of customers. SENIOR FRONT-END ENGINEER, USER INTERFACE The world of web development is quickly evolving from a thin client model to one with rich and robust browser-based user interface functionality, using the latest developments in front-end technology. At SuccessFactors, we strive to constantly improve the way we build user interfaces and not only employ the latest UI development methodologies, but also *push the envelope* to discover and establish our own, unique approaches to UI development. From that perspective, we are actively seeking candidates who want to flex UI development muscles and be part of a dynamic, growing team of engineers dedicated to defining and creating the next generation in front-end, UI technology here at SuccessFactors, Inc.. Duties and Responsibilities: As a UI Engineer, your responsibilities will include working with a team to develop rich user interfaces for enterprise-level Software as a Service (SaaS) applications; constantly driving for consistent user interaction by not only building cutting-edge UI functionality, but also consolidating common JavaScript and DHTML code to improve our current user interface. In addition, you will be able to clearly communicate your ideas and both openly and honestly provide and receive regular input from your peers. While teamwork is of the utmost in importance, you can also work independently with minimal supervision, and take the initiative to constantly keep yourself engaged. Also, you never settle for second best. You possess a strong focus on quality and attention to detail, and possess the ability to quickly understand and solve unique and even undocumented programming problems. Naturally curious, you have a penchant for and drive to quickly learn and master skills in new technologies. Finally, you have a strong sense of fun and a passion for being part of a movement. As part
  51. 51. of the SuccessFactors family, you have a unique opportunity to join an exciting, dynamic and closely-interactive group of people whose focus is to change the way the world works! Proven experience in the following areas (not necessarily in order of importance) * 6+ years hands-on experience in full development life cycle software development, predominately in User Interface development. * Hand-coded, W3C-compliant and semantic (X)HTML and CSS with an emphasis on CSS-driven page layouts. * High level of proficiency with JavaScript (including object-oriented JS), DHTML, XMLHttpRequest, XML, JSON. * Familiarity with best-practices for usability and accessibility standards. * Writing high-quality, testable, maintainable, and well-documented code. * Proficiency in a server-side scripting language such as JSP, PHP, or ASP. * Solid understanding of working within a Model-View-Controller program architecture paradigm. * Bachelor*s degree in Computer Science, Engineering (any type) or a related field Desired skills * Experience with the integration and use of a third-party JavaScript library such as: Yahoo UI Library, Prototype, jQuery, DOJO, etc. * Experience in creating standalone, JavaScript-based UI widgets. * Java/J2EE server-side development * Experience with Flash, Flex, and SQL are a huge plus, but not required. Please visit us at to learn more about us, to view all current job postings, and to apply.
  52. 52. Job Information d(s) here----- Title: Data Architect IV Location: San Francisco, CA Job Type: Contract Compensation: per Hour Reference Code: 922481-NRC Description: Our client is seeking a Data Architect to analyze data requirements and create logical and physical models and specifications of data. The Senior Content Engineer will work directly with the editors, project managers, system architects and software developers to develop editorial tools and delivery products that utilize data markup. Functions: Analyze complex data and product requirements Lead the development of data models and specifications in a variety of markup language syntaxes (W3C schema, RELAX NG Schema, XML DTDs, and RDF) Perform the change control and update process for maintaining modular data markup specifications Lead the development and maintenance of data transformation scripts Lead the development and maintenance of data conformance validation Develop ontology/vocabulary to be shared across disparate content types Work with editors, project managers, system architects, and software developers to define and develop editorial tools and products that utilize data markup Deliver presentations and/or train users on use of data markup, as required Organize and lead data modeling workshops to develop markup specifications Write documentation for markup specifications and design principles Research industry standards to contribute to recommendations for architectural direction Candidates are preferred to work in either Dayton, OH, Bethesda, MD, Colorado Springs, CO, Albany, NY, New Providence, NJ, Charlottesville, or San Francisco, CA; however, strong candidates from anywhere should apply without consideration to relocation. Occasional travel is required.
  53. 53. Information Scientist ✤ Organizing information ✤ Cataloging and classification ✤ Knowledge sharing ✤ Primary & secondary research ✤ Searching & finding ✤ Presentation of results in user’s preferred format ✤ Metrics
  54. 54. ONTOLOGIST / SR. VOCABULARY SPECIALIST Ontologist / Sr. Vocabulary Specialist Rosslyn, VA gineer 10% Job Description: The Ontologist / Sr. Vocabulary Specialist will work in a team-oriented environment, directly interface with a Department of Defense (DoD) customer and be a member of an Enterprise Vocabulary Team. The Vocabulary specialist will be the primary interface to assigned communities or offices through development of vocabulary artifacts and provide specific support and guidance consistent with approved methodologies. Relationship with DoD community points of contact in support of their data strategy implementation. Development of a Standard Information Structure that includes a glossary, ong- semantic model, and an object model. any Provide glossary development support. Provide thesaurus development support. on by Provide ontology development support. Elicit knowledge from Subject Matter Experts. Support handoff of vocabulary products to XML developers. Support optimization of search engine tuning parameters based on content of vocabulary content. Conduct vocabulary analysis and harmonization activities. Develop documentation and presentations for delivery to clients. Help resolve problems and ensure customer satisfaction. Foster positive client relationships DoD customers on adopted approach to development of vocabularies that are based on business process definition and identifying authoritative data sources.
  55. 55. Jack-Of-All-Trades ✤ Employees who are early adopters frequently have to be able to do a little of this, a little of that ✤ Academia
  56. 56. ver Spring, MD 1 Title: Knowledge Manager LLTIME Skills: self-starter, business systems analysis, databases, Microsoft Office SharePoint lary Server 2007, web part development, site definitions and workflow, information taxonomy and other features, Office 2007 l Time pos705775 Date: 6-2-2009 X143098 ne Description: Job Summary The Knowledge Manager gathers, reviews, analyzes, and evaluates business systems and user needs and writes detailed description of user needs, program functions, and general requirements. This person should have good understanding of relational database concepts and client-server concepts. May lead and direct the work of others, including managing vendors and vendor contracts. Working with limited managerial oversight, the Knowledge Manager is responsible for fielding requests from users, analyzing those requests, producing business and functional requirements, creation of metrics and test plans to prove that functional requirements have been met, documenting, and training both the end-user and the User Support Department on the end product. This individual will determine and demonstrate whether SharePoint can be effectively used "out-of-the-box" to meet requirements or whether custom coding will be required. Mentoring IPM and IT on SharePoint policies and best practices as part of project planning and scoping as needed, including site structure, security and other areas. The Knowledge Manager will apply advanced problem-solving skills including hypothesis generation, testing, successful resolution and communication. Assist project manager with issue and risk identification. The Knowledge Manager will also serve on the IPM SharePoint Governance Board. Job Responsibilities
  57. 57. Position ID: 679636 Date: 5-21-2009 Dice ID: RTL84898 avel Required: none Description: Telecommute: no We're looking for a Senior Manager/Front-End Engineer to serve as Team Lead for our client-side development efforts. Are you the person we're looking for? Maybe, if: You understand how to gracefully degrade styles and JavaScript behaviors, how to structure information and keep it and presentation style separate. You read sites like A List Apart and Ajaxian. You know what our yslow score is and have many suggestions for how to make it better. You have an opinion on the Semantic Web, Microformats, HTML5, jquery vs mootools vs ext, and what doctypes we should be using. You know your way around conditional CSS selectors and the DOM. You used Blueprint when it came out, but now find Fluid 960 a bit more to your taste. You know what "template inheritance" means and how extension differs from composition. Having done this before, you'll find it even more fun to lead a team of other front-end folks, and keep a whole bunch of back-end engineers intrigued with new things to figure out. You are going to look on our sites and despair. And then make them more efficient, functional, and beautiful, and show us how you did it. And you think that sounds like fun. ::About Us:: We're looking for someone with at least 5 years of front-end engineering experience, with a super-strong preference for team lead experience. We want someone who enjoys teaching others how to manage the front-end work, and has built a set of tools for doing so in the past. Our technology stack includes Linux, Postgres, Ruby+Rails, Python+Django, Javascript+Ext, with several ongoing experiments using Pylons, Jinja, jQuery, Dojo and other tools and frameworks. We use Subversion to manage our code, and Mercurial to manage our content. Our applications are designed for, built and run in high-availability environments. So this is not front-end for the sake of front-end, but front-end for the sake of results. Directly. You
  58. 58. Semantic Technology: Knowledge Engineering Associates =========================================== Applications are invited for Research Associate, Graduate Student and PDF positions in the Knowledge Navigation Infrastructure Team (KNIT) lead by the Innovatia Research Chair at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John Researchers will collaboratively develop reusable infrastructures to support custom vertical search across multiple application domains in biomedical, health care, energy and telecom. Researchers will develop solutions for enterprise search using semantic web technologies, service oriented architecture, ontologies and text mining. Successful candidates will have demonstrated software development expertise and familiarity with knowledge engineering lifecycles. Candidates with demonstrated experience with two or more of the following technologies are encouraged to apply: 1) Web based Content Acquisition Strategies 2) Knowledge Representation with OWL / RDF 3) Text Mining / Natural Language Processing 4) Ontology based reasoning over instance / triple stores 5) Terminology Management and Curation 6) Literature and (Meta) Data Integration 7) Provenance Tracking / Tracability 8) Algorithm Design / Graph Matching 9) Human Computer Interaction 10) Semantically Enabled Software Architecture 11) Semantic Desktops and Publishing Enquiries and applications and can be made by sending a full CV and cover letter to:
  59. 59. Thank You! Christine Connors Nick: CJMConnors
  60. 60. Backup
  61. 61. Machine learning, natural language processing, artificial intelligence Predicate Subject Object Ontologies, metadata and linked data
  62. 62. Predicate Subject Object ‘abcdefghijklmnop’ Predicate Literal Subject 53
  63. 63. ✤ <This book> is titled “Organising Knowledge” dc:title ‘Organising Knowledge’ Predicate Object Subject 54
  64. 64. ✤ Since we need to represent a physical object in the subject, we will use the book’s ISBN ✤ Prefix / QName ✤ Shorthand method of referencing a namespace ✤ dc:title = uri:isbn:1843342286 dc:title ‘Organising Knowledge’ Predicate Object Subject 55
  65. 65. ‘Organising Knowledge’ dc:title uri:isbn:1843342286 dc:creator dc:subject ‘Patrick Lambe’ ex:taxonomy rdf:type skos:Concept 56
  66. 66. Ontology People Places Events Time Authority Geographic Events ISO File Thesaurus Taxonomy 8601 57
  67. 67. HTML XML XHTML XTM SKOS RDFa Microformats OWL RDF/RDFS FOAF eRDF Dublin Core 58