Next Generation Discovery Tools: New Tools, Aging Standards

NISO on the Road

About the Forum

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) will host the two-day forum, "Next Generation Discovery: New Tools, Aging Standards," to be held March 27-28, 2008 in Chapel Hill, NC. Discovering scholarly information and data is essential for research and use of the content that the information community is producing and making available. The development of knowledge bases, web systems, repositories, and other sources for this information brings the need for effective discovery -- search-driven discovery and network (or browse) driven discovery -- tools to the forefront. With new tools and systems emerging, however, are standards keeping pace with the next generation of tools? What's coming up and where might standards fit to assist in this arena? The forum will include both a look at the current state of discovery tools and at new visions of what these tools might look like in the next several years.

Event Sessions

(Day One) Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. (Atrium Center)

Welcome & Introductions


9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. (Redbud A/B)

Opening Keynote: Building SkyNet for Science: Discovering New Frontiers Using Embedded Knowledge


9:05 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.:

Discovery in the digital environment is primarily mediated by machines. Unfortunately, the machines don't speak our language. Therefore, we must find standard ways of representing and communicating our requests, and standards for embedding and exchanging knowledge about digital objects. With the rise of the machines, we need to consider what information encodings will allow them to most efficiently process and analyze the vast range of information that is available. We need to find ways to communicate human recommendations and preferences, and to enable people to successfully explore the new digital frontier.

Deep Indexing and Discovery of Tables and Figures


Robert J. Sandusky

Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology and Clinical Associate Professor
Richard J. Daley Library, University of Illinois at Chicago

10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.:

Deep indexing refers to the capability of discovering information objects at new, finer levels of granularity. Traditional abstracting and indexing systems provide access to article-level surrogates and let users evaluate results sets based upon descriptors, text abstracts, journal and article titles, and author names and affiliations. Systems are now available that extract, index, and support search of article subcomponents such as figures, tables, maps, graphs, and photographs. Three contemporary systems that provide direct access to disaggregated components of scholarly articles are compared and their potential and limitations are discussed. Research into user needs and uses for direct access to journal article components is reviewed, along with presentation of several remaining issues and opportunities for research and development.


11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.



Identities, xISBN, and xISSN


11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.



12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. (Trillium Room)

Search Web Service


1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.:

The Search Web Service group was formed to propose new search standards based on the experience gained with Z39.50, SRU and OpenSearch. That group has developed the concept of an abstract retrieval protocol, is developing bindings from concrete protocols to the abstract protocol and is developing a non-prescriptive standard based on a description language that allows content providers a way to describe how to interact with their systems with a high level of interoperability.

2collab: A Collaboration Tool for Researchers and Scientists


2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.:

In a context where scholarly research is increasingly e-centric, with online tools that make access to scientific information faster and more dynamic than ever, researchers need new tools to process and filter the information, to organize and share resources, to connect and collaborate online.

2collab is an online collaboration tool for researchers and scientists, enabling them to store and organize their favorite Internet resources such as blogs, websites, reference materials, citation lists, research articles, and more. It provides researchers with an open and accessible space to connect with peers, to exchange information, enhancing the way they work together.


2:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.


Improving Discovery Systems Through Post Processing of Harvested Data


3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.:

This presentation will discuss the harvesting process for a discovery system that covers several geographically distributed repositories. It is assumed that the repositories contain not just OPAC based metadata, but metadata related to a variety of digital objects. Issues related to consistency, aggregation, cross-walking, faceting, knowledge bases and drill down capabilities will be discussed. A Discovery Tool Using Federated Search


4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.: began as a partnership among 15 (now grown to 20) scientific and technical societies. It enables end-users to focus a search on content that is society generated, and mainly peer-reviewed, including journal articles, conference proceedings, and standards, as well as related content such as patents and government documents. The search eliminates the noise found in search results from the open web, but also creates some technical challenges for the participating societies, especially given the disparate content types searched.

(Day Two) Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. (Atrium Center)

Discovery Tools and the OPAC


9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.:

A great deal of the discussion surrounding new discovery tools in libraries involve the evolution of the end-user interface to library catalogs. Comparative information seeking services on the general web offer tools such as permalinking, tagging, and content enhancement through comments and reviews. Beginning with a taxonomy of techniques to enhance/supplement/replace the OPAC along with examples of commercial and open source solutions that demonstrate the various tools for user-contributed content.

A Model of the User's Psychological State as a Framework for Understanding the Nexus of What's Desirable and What's Possible in the Future of Online Reference


10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.:

John will give an overview of one model of a user's approach to reference information that Credo finds useful in examining the potential benefits of future developments in online reference. He will then apply this model to a list of things Credo would love to build but doesn't yet know how to. In doing so he will draw out of some of the ways in which standards around discovery of people, places, events, works, and institutions could assist in the building of some of these future tools, as well as some characteristics that, in his opinion, any such standards should have.


10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.


Changing Patron Expectations and the Discovery Landscape


11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.:

The world and the Web have changed and library patrons, naturally, have as well. What is the current discovery landscape and how does it impact what patrons expect from the tools they use to interact with libraries and other information providers? What skills do these users bring with them which can be leveraged to make anyone more successful searchers? What user interface patterns and metadata can interact to provide the basis for this improvement in usability? How can we extend beyond our current descriptors to create new pathways to connect information needs with the resources that meet them? How can libraries reconnect to the life of the web (and the daily lives of patrons)? Where are we now, what's new, and where are we headed next? What are the four clusters of technology trends which will be impacting libraries next? This session will answer these questions and provide a sneak preview of new library discovery tools currently in development along with a report from SXSW Interactive, one of the most popular and influential web technology conferences.


12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. (Atrium, Second Floor)

PennTags: Social Discovery & Organization


Michael Winkler

Director, Information Technologies & Digital Development, University Libraries
University of Pennsylvania

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.:

PennTags is a social tagging application developed at the University of Pennsylvania to support research, teaching, and learning in an academic environment. It is currently being used by students, faculty, and staff to generate bibliographies, resource lists, and guides to subject disciplines. Like other social tagging applications, PennTags provides a simple and fast method for capturing a webpage through the use of a "bookmarklet" that captures the title and network location of a webpage. It further allows users to provide organizing tags or keywords and discursive annotations describing the context, significance, or use of a site. PennTags can be used to tag items from library catalogs, openurl link resolvers, image catalogs, and the open Web.

PennTags and other social software systems could provide an alternative to traditional search-based discovery tool by leveraging social networks to foster communities of practice that organize useful resources. Michael Winkler discusses the development of PennTags and other social software at Penn and partner institutions to assist in resource discovery... and re-discovery.

ILS and Discovery Systems: A DLF Update


2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.:

In 2007, the Digital Library Federation convened a task force to create a technical recommendation for integrating a wide range of of discovery applications with integrated library systems. This task force has surveyed library professionals, met with developers, and negotiated with representatives of ILS and application vendors, and will soon release an official recommendation that identifies particular functions and technologies for interoperability at various levels of sophistication. In this talk, the chair of the task force will discuss the essentials of the recommendation, the process of developing it, and the ways in which the recommendation can be realized in working implementations, standards, and collaborations.


3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. A Peer Review Research Discovery System


Dave Munger

Freelance Writer and Co-Founder

Eric Schnell

Associate Professor and Assistant Director for Technology and Digital Initiatives, Prior Health Sciences Library
The Ohio State University

3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.: began simply as a way for academic bloggers to identify serious and public posts in what can also be a frivolous and private environment. Then, once these items are identified -- many of them written by experts in a field -- effective indexing, archiving, and discovery becomes a realistic possibility. To date, hundreds of bloggers have signed up for the service, and hundreds of thousands of readers have viewed their posts.

But bloggers remain a notoriously difficult group to rein in. They use a variety of different platforms and most are unaware of metadata, standards and other means for cataloging their work. In this talk, Dave Munger and Eric Schnell discuss how they are attempting to identify and apply standards to the best blogging about peer-reviewed research without handcuffing the cavalier spirit that attracts so many to the medium of blogging. They then show how this project exemplifies many of the current challenges in information system design.

Closing Remarks


4:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Additional Information

  • Early bird rates are offered until March 19, 2008.
  • Registration closes March 21, 2008. After that date call the NISO office to arrange on-site registration. A processing fee of $50 will be added to each on-site registration.
  • Cancellations made by March 17, 2008 will receive a full refund less a $50 processing fee. After that date, there are no refunds.