Open Source Open Services – Emerging Technology Interest Group

Joe Ford convened the Emerging Technology Interest group managed discussion on “Open Source, Open Services”

Darrell Gunter began by discussing Collexis research projects and applications for libraries. Fascinating work is being undertaken on computationally derived ontology, what Collexis refers to as Fingerprinting. [Bibliographic ontology (like FRBR or FRAD not getting any play in the semantic portion of the presentation). ] Screenshots of tools (presentation slides to be posted to the LITA wiki) included the Knowledge Dashboard, which is being used for Hypothesis Generation by scientists. Biomedexperts.com discussed as a Collexis partner with tools for researchers including expert visualization, social network graphs of who is publishing with whom. Asklepios Group discussed as a user of collexis tools which utilizes mobile technology for patient-side consultation and comparison of relevant treatments.

I would characterize Collexis methodology as relying on computationally derived indexing for data visualization (btw-the intellectual foundations of LIS exist (partly) in the aforementioned FRBR ontology). To some extent one has to question the use of the term semantics here, in that behind their derived “meaning” are sets of algorithms, which don’t actually answer the question “what exists” but rather “what exists in the databases we compute from” – in my opinion. I think of Karl Jaspers and his idea on the limitations of certain kinds of empiricism.

Neeru Khosla of CK12 introduced the Flexbook, a collaboratively authored and produced textbook. Neeru modeled the assembler interface which allows the user to select chapters for their desired book. Flexbook is pitched as a low cost way to create textbooks. CK12 is looking for librarians to provide indices, meta information, keywords to this interface to help organize the chapter content. I would characterize this work as sort of a Textbook2.0 in that the user can easily piece together the book they want and suit it to their exact student needs and not pay an exceedingly high cost. Regarding quality: Neeru informs us that chapters can come from wikis such as Wikipedia and from donated textbook content. If you are interested in learning more contact neeru@ck12.org

If you are interested in semantic type stuff see the w3c.org page.