Linking Research

TPDL: Malta and the knights of the digital libraries

Posted by dgarijov on October 21, 2013

Apparently September was the month of library conferences. First, the DC-Ipres conference took place during the first week of the month, while the Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (TPDL) was celebrated from the 22 to the 26th in Malta. I have recently realized that I forgot to add the summary of TPDL, so my highlights can be found below.

In this occasion my main reason to attend the conference was a tutorial related to the Research Object Models and a workshop about scholarly communication. The tutorial was given as a joint collaboration with the people from the Timbus project, who are doing a great job regarding the preservation of workflows as runnable software components. Have a look at our slides and video for more information.

In general, the impression that I got is that despite its name, TPDL is a very technology-oriented event. Linked Data was a hot topic, but also user interfaces, mining algorithms, classification, preservation and visualizations approaches were discussed for the library domain. Another curious fact is that many of the talks and papers were related to Europeana project data or models. I had no idea of the size of the project, which is leading to many contributions from a huge amount of institutions all over Europe.

Since there were many parallel sessions, my highlights won’t cover everything. If you want more information you can see the whole program here.

My highlights:

  • The Digital libraries for experimental data presentation, where a system for capturing the scripts used within a series of experiments were presented (similar to Reprozip), also using the Open Provenance Model for tracking the provenance of data in the platform.
  • The COST actions for Digital Libraries, which serve to create networks of researchers all over the world.
  • An Interesting map based visualizations using hierarchies and Eruopeana data with a layer approach  (see more here)
  • The project presented in the session “Using Requirements in Audio Visual Research, a quantitative approach”, which will link together fragments of videos (from a repository of more than 800k hours) and annotate them. I asked the responsible whether the data was supposed to be made available or not, but for the moment it doesn’t look like it. Very cool ideas though, and very useful for journalists and regular users.
  • The semantic hierarchical structuring of cultural heritage objects done with Eruopeana data to put together resources that refer to the same “thing”, using metadata (for example, to detect duplicates and several different views (pictures) of the same object). Very useful to curate the data, but it lacked a comparison with other clustering methods, which should be done in the future.
  • The keynote by Sören Auer, where he presented several of the Linked Data aware applications that he and his group had been developing and how they could help librarians in different ways. Ontowiki was the most complete one, a semantic wiki for creating portals and annotating them according to the Linked Data principles (including content negotiation for each of its pages).
  • The “resurrecting myRevolution paper”, regarding the tweets and links that go missing in the web and how to archive and preserve them properly. This presentation in particular focused on tweets that referenced images that don’t exist anymore (e.g., those taken during the green revolution in Iran).
  • A nice motivational presentation by Sarah Callaghan on data citation, why we need it and why we should have it. More details here.
  •  The Investigation Research Objects being created in the SCAPE project, based on the foundations settled by wf4Ever and combining them with persistent identifiers like DOIs.

Finally I wouldn’t like to finish without mentioning that the organizers were given the title of Knights of the Digital Libraries, which was very well received by everyone in the conference. Below you can see some of the ceremony, along with one of the Malta’s National library.

The ceremony of the Knights

The ceremony of the Knights

The Medina, at Malta

The Medina, at Malta

Malta's main Library

Malta’s main Library


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