Volume 52, no. 1, 2014



 

Beyond Libraries:
Subject Metadata in the Digital Environment
and Semantic Web


Maja Žumer
University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Sandra K. Roe
Illinois State University

Edward T. O'Neill
OCLC Research

Guest Editors



Introduction, Maja Žumer, Sandra K. Roe & Edward T. O'Neill


Original Articles

Using Authorities to Improve Subject Searches
Edward T. O'Neill, Rick Bennett & Kerre Kammerer

ABSTRACT: Authority files have played an important role in improving the quality of indexing and subject cataloging. Although authorities can significantly improve searching by increasing the number of access points, they are rarely an integral part of the information retrieval process, particularly end-users' searches. A retrieval prototype, searchFAST, was developed to test the feasibility of using an authority file as an index to bibliographic records. searchFAST uses Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST) as an index to OCLC's WorldCat.org bibliographic database. The searchFAST prototype complements, rather than replaces, existing WorldCat.org access. The bibliographic file is searched indirectly; first the authority file is searched to identify appropriate subject headings, then the headings are used to retrieve the matching bibliographic records. The prototype demonstrates the effectiveness and practicality of using an authority file as an index. Searching the authority file leverages authority control work by increasing the number of access points while supporting a simple interface designed for end-users.

KEYWORDS: SearchFAST, FAST subject headings, indexing, authority files, information retrieval, OCLC, WorldCat


Subject Metadata Development for Digital Resources in Latvia
Aiva Stūrmane Elita Eglīte & Mārīte Jankevica-Balode

ABSTRACT: The National Library of Latvia (NLL) made a decision to use the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) in 2000. At present the NLL Subject Headings Database in Latvian holds approximately 34,000 subject headings and is used for subject cataloging of textual resources, including articles from serials. For digital objects NLL uses a system like Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST). We succesfully use it in the project "In Search of Lost Latvia," one of the milestones in the development of the subject cataloging of digital resources in Latvia.

KEYWORDS: National Library of Latvia, National Library of Latvia Subject Headings, digital resources, subject access, digital collections


Using the Estonian Subject Thesaurus in the Digital Environment
Sirje Nilbe & Tiiu Tarkpea

ABSTRACT: This article reviews the possible uses of the Estonian Subject Thesaurus (EMS) as the major subject indexing tool in the digital databases of Estonian libraries. The article examines traditional resources like online catalogs and bibliographic databases but also more recent resources such as digital archives and institutional repositories. The availability of a universal thesaurus facilitates a wide reuse of records and is economical in terms of intellectual work. One further development trend of the EMS should be conformity to the contemporary Semantic Web standards like Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) and Open Linked Data.

KEYWORDS: Estonian Subject Thesaurus, controlled vocabularies, digital environment, online catalogs, bibliographic databases, digital archives


Librarian Cornered by Images, or How to Index Visual Resources
Wanda Klenczon & Paweł Rygiel

ABSTRACT: Presenting museum, library, and archive collections online has become a common practice in recent years. Among the data accessible via the Internet are visual resources such as paintings, drawings, engravings, and photographs, which constitute a rich and vital source of information. Image indexing is an extremely difficult task. The crucial question is: how to transform the visual code of an image into written code. This article presents standards of still images description, guidelines, and indexing tools, the advantages and disadvantages of their use, and their potential to provide authoritative and comprehensive access points to digitized resources and to support sophisticated search. In order to provide efficient access to the digitalized images presented at the National Digital Library Polona and to promote their re-use, we are looking for a model for applying subject indexing to images.

KEYWORDS: image indexing, subject access, controlled vocabulary, subject headings, visual information


Subject Headings for Fiction in Sweden: A Cooperative Development
Harriet Aagaard & Elisabet Viktorsson

ABSTRACT: The Swedish Library Association's Fiction Indexing Committee was founded in 2005. The subject headings consist of two separate lists, subject headings of fiction for children and subject headings of fiction for adults. The Committee consists of librarians working at different types of libraries and at BTJ, a bibliographic agency. This enables the development of a standard for indexing fiction that is useful to different libraries and institutions. Cooperation means that the lists will be deployed in a consistent way. The participation of a bibliographic agency ensures a wide implementation in the catalogs of public libraries and school libraries.

KEYWORDS: subject cataloging, fiction, genre/form terms, controlled vocabularies, Sweden, cooperation


Harnessing the Geospatial Semantic Web: Toward Place-Based Information Organization and Access
Marcy Bidney & Kevin Clair

ABSTRACT: The geospatial Semantic Web's primary use to date has been the creation of map mashups, collaborative mapping projects, and other research functions. The power of the geospatial Semantic Web can also be harnessed for the development of place-based access points to further the use of information collections—digital and print. Creating a geographic search interface for information collections allows users to search by location. The basic principles of linked data, describing entities using unique identifiers and providing links between related objects, tie into the desire for libraries to link their own digital resources with related materials held by other cultural institutions that publish content on the Web. This article will provide an overview of linked data principles, discuss the benefits and challenges of providing geographic information in metadata records, and provide examples of how location-based searches are valuable to users, and offer opportunities for future research.

KEYWORDS: linked data, geospatial Semantic Web, libraries, access, location-based searching


Complementarity in Subject Metadata in Large-Scale Digital Libraries: A Comparative Analysis
Oksana L. Zavalina

ABSTRACT: Provision of high-quality subject metadata is crucial for organizing adequate subject access to rich content aggregated by digital libraries. A number of large-scale digital libraries worldwide are now generating subject metadata to describe not only individual objects but entire digital collections as an integral whole. However, little research to date has been conducted to empirically evaluate the quality of this collection-level subject metadata. The study presented in this article compares free-text and controlled-vocabulary collection-level subject metadata in three large-scale cultural heritage digital libraries in the United States and the European Union. As revealed by this study, the emerging best practices for creating rich collection-level subject metadata includes describing a collection's subject matter with mutually complementary data values in controlled-vocabulary and free-text subject metadata elements. Three kinds of complementarity were observed in this study: one-way complementarity, two-way complementarity, and multiple complementarity.

KEYWORDS: digital libraries, metadata quality, collection-level metadata, subject metadata


Modeling Classification Systems in Multicultural and Multilingual Contexts
Joan S. Mitchell, Marcia Lei Zeng & Maja Žumer

ABSTRACT: This article reports on the second part of an initiative of the authors on researching classification systems with the conceptual model defined by the Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD) final report. In an earlier study, the authors explored whether the FRSAD conceptual model could be extended beyond subject authority data to model classification data. The focus of the current study is to determine if classification data modeled using FRSAD can be used to solve real-world discovery problems in multicultural and multilingual contexts. The article discusses the relationships between entities (same type or different types) in the context of classification systems that involve multiple translations and/or multicultural implementations. Results of two case studies are presented in detail: (a) two instances of the Dewey Decimal Classification [DDC] (DDC 22 in English, and the Swedish-English mixed translation of DDC 22), and (b) Chinese Library Classification. The use cases of conceptual models in practice are also discussed.

KEYWORDS: Chinese Library Classification (CLC), conceptual models, Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD)


Can Indexing Be Automated? The Example of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
Ulrike Junger

ABSTRACT: The German Integrated Authority File (Gemeinsame Normdatei, GND), provides a broad controlled vocabulary for indexing documents on all subjects. Traditionally used for intellectual subject cataloging primarily for books, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB, German National Library) has been working on developing and implementing procedures for automated assignment of subject headings for online publications. This project, its results, and problems are outlined in this article.

KEYWORDS: automated indexing, digital publications, subject cataloging


The Choice Is Yours! Researchers Assign Subject Metadata to Their Own Materials in Institutional Repositories
Maira Bundža

ABSTRACT: The Digital Commons platform for institutional repositories provides a three-tiered taxonomy of academic disciplines for each item submitted to the repository. Since faculty and departmental administrators across campuses are encouraged to submit materials to the institutional repository themselves, they must also assign disciplines or subject categories for their own work. The expandable drop-down menu of about 1,000 categories is easy to use, and facilitates the growth of the institutional repository and access to the materials through the Internet.

KEYWORDS: institutional repositories, academic disciplines, Digital Commons


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Additional Material

IFLA Satellite Post-Conference Programme

Beyond libraries—subject metadata in the digital
environment and semantic web

17-18 August 2012, Tallinn

Organised by the IFLA Classification and Indexing Section and the National
Library of Estonia, with the support of the Estonian Librarians' Association

Programme 1

Session 1: User needs and subject access design in the digital environment
Chair: Jo-Anne Bélair

Using authorities to improve subject searches
Edward T. O'Neill, Rick Bennett, Kerre Kammerer

Subject metadata development for digital resources in Latvia
Aiva Stūrmane, Elita Eglīte, Mārīte Jankevica-Balode

Using Estonian Subject Thesaurus in digital environment
Sirje Nilbe, Tiiu Tarkpea

Session 2: Library metadata beyond libraries and text-based material
Chair: Yvonne Jahns

Librarian cornered by images or How to index visual resources
Wanda Klenczon, Paweł Rygiel

Multilingual indexing of cultural heritage materials: building the Tse-Tsung Chow Collection of Chinese Scrolls and Fan Paintings
Krystyna K. Matusiak, Ling Meng, Ewa Barczyk, Chia-Jung Shih

Subject headings for fiction in Sweden - a cooperative development
Harriet Aagaard, Elisabet Viktorsson

Session 3: New and traditional methods of providing subject access
Chair: John DeSantis

Harnessing the geospatial semantic web: toward place-based information organization and access
Marcy Bidney, Kevin Clair

Exploring mutual complementarity of free-text and controlled-vocabulary collection-level subject metadata in large-scale digital libraries: a comparative analysis
Oksana L. Zavalina

Modeling classification systems in multicultural and multilingual contexts
Joan S. Mitchell, Marcia Lei Zeng, Maja Žumer

Can indexing be automated? - the example of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
Ulrike Junger

Presentation of Guidelines for Subject Access in National Bibliographies
Yvonne Jahns

Session 4: Users as creators of subject metadata
Chair: Sandra Roe

Folksonomies as subject access - a survey of implementing tagging in library online catalogs and discovery layers
Yan Yi Lee, Sharon Q. Yang

The choice is yours! Researchers assign subject metadata to their own materials in institutional repositories
Maira Bundža

Round Table: The role of controlled vocabularies in the semantic web
Chairs: Edward O'Neill and Maja Žumer

Notes
1. http://www.nlib.ee/index.php?id=17763


Guidelines for Subject Access in National
Bibliographies

Yvonne Jahns
Department of Subject Indexing, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek/German National Library,
Leipzig, Germany

The Working Group on Guidelines for Subject Access by National Bibliographic Agencies was established by IFLA's Classification and Indexing Section in 2004. The main objectives were to

  • Consider the national indexing policies of national libraries and national bibliographic agencies to evaluate what kind of access should be provided for the different groups of users (stakeholders) of national bibliographies,
  • Give recommendations on the selection of documents dedicated to subject access and propose various levels of subject indexing, and
  • Establish Guidelines (minimal requirements) in addition to or completing the Guidelines for National Bibliographies in the Electronic Age (2009) ensuring that appropriate subject access is given by national bibliographic agencies to meet user needs.

Now that many countries have begun to publish their national bibliographies online, the question is how to use subject access to navigate into the national publishing output, how to integrate the multitude of online resources, and how to catalogue them.

Ideally, complete and detailed subject access is applied to all catalogued documents. This means users can find disciplines or subject domains related to current publications, useful controlled terms for searching topics, but also additional content information such as abstracts or hyperlinks to tables of contents or even digital content. Realistically this is impossible for most libraries. Therefore guidelines are necessary to provide assistance in the selection of documents to be indexed.

The Guidelines for Subject Access in National Bibliographies 1 was published in 2012. It provides twenty graded recommendations concerning subject indexing policies for national bibliographic agencies, and illustrates various policies by providing examples of best practices. The intended audience are those in charge of the implementation of new national bibliographies, as well as managers and staff of established agencies who are challenged by large amounts of publications and new media, and all other colleagues interested in subject access strategies.

Notes
1. Yvonne Jahns, ed., Guidelines for Subject Access in National Bibliographies (Berlin/Munich: De Gruyter Saur, 2012).


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Biographical Notes

Included are those who contributed to the satellite meeting as presenters, panelists, or session chairs.

Harriet Aagaard (harriet.aagaard@kb.se) is Editor, The Swedish Dewey Editorial Office at the National Library of Sweden in the LIBRIS Department, and Chair of The Swedish Library Association's Fiction Indexing Committee. She is a member of the Swedish Library Association's Classification Committee.

Marie Balíková (Marie.Balikova@nkp.cz) is Head of National Subject Authorities, Indexing and Classification Department of the National Library of the Czech Republic and responsible for the national subject authority files and the implementation of the subject analysis international standards, as well as the Conspectus Categorization Scheme in Czechia. She chairs the Working Group on Subject Access and is a member of the National Cataloguing Policy Committee in Czechia, a member of the Standing Committee of the IFLA Classification and Indexing Section, and a member of the Executive Committee of UDC Consortium and UDC Editorial Team. She also works on several projects covering the subject analysis area: M-CAST Multilingual Content Aggregation System based on TRUST Search Engine), MSAC (Multilingual Subject Access to Catalogues and Databases of National Libraries), UDC Summary, UIG (Uniform Information Gateway), MUS (Musica Subject Gateway), KIV Subject Gateway (Subject Gateway for Library and Information Science), and INTERMI (Interoperability in memory institutions in Czechia).

Ewa Barczyk (ewa@uwm.edu) has been the director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Libraries since 2006. During her tenure as library director, she has been a strong supporter of digitization projects and expanding access to unique cultural heritage materials. Ewa was instrumental in negotiating and obtaining the collection donated by Professor Tse-Tsung Chow and his wife, Nancy Wu Chow, now known as the Tse-Tsung Chow Collection of Chinese Scrolls and Fan Paintings . She was a co-presenter of this collection at the IFLA Classification and Indexing Section satellite meeting in Tallinn in August 2012.

Jo-Anne Bélair (Jo-Anne.Belair@bibl.ulaval.ca) has been Head of Répertoire de vedettes-matière (RVM) since 2001 after being a member of the team for 17 years. She has been active in the IFLA Classification & Indexing Section since 2003, as a standing committee member, information coordinator and has now completed her second term as Chair of the committee. She has devoted her career to controlled vocabulary.

Rick Bennett (Rick_Bennett@oclc.org) is a Consulting Software Engineer in OCLC Research, where he works on processing and manipulating bibliographic and authority data. Currently he is been focusing on developing, maintaining, and displaying authority data for the FAST project. Rick was an undergraduate at Pennsylvania State University and a graduate student at Georgia Institute of Technology, where he completed a program in Computer Engineering.

Marcy Bidney (bidney@uwm.edu) is Curator at the American Geographical Society Library and Assistant Director of Libraries at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. Her research interests involve mapping technology, digital and spatial humanities, geographic education, and alternative means of access to map collections using a variety of new and developing technologies. She has served nationally as the Chair of the American Library Association's Map and Geospatial Information Roundtable in 2010, as a member of the Cartographic Users Advisory Council since 2008 and on the Government Information and Official Publications Committee of IFLA from 2007- 2011.

Pino Buizza (gbuizza@comune.brescia.it) is Head of Cataloging, Classification and Indexing in Biblioteca Queriniana, Brescia, Italy. He has been a member of Italian cataloging and indexing committees (Italian Library Association, Italian cataloging rules revision) and, since 2009, of the Standing Committee of the Classification and Indexing Section of IFLA. His research interests and teaching activities cover both descriptive cataloging and subject indexing (lately Theory of subject indexing in a Master's course in Florence University).

Maira Bundza (maira.bundza@wmich.edu) has a BA in Psychology from Cornell University and an MLS from Western Michigan University (WMU). For 15 years, as the Latvian Studies Center Librarian, she gathered the largest collection of Latvian materials in the United States. After Latvia regained its independence, she found good homes for the collection and began working as a reference librarian. In 2011 she was given responsibility for developing a scholarly institutional repository, ScholarWorks at WMU, and is currently ScholarWorks Librarian at WMU, Waldo Library, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Kevin Clair (kevin.clair@du.edu) is the Archives Processing and Digital Content Metadata Librarian at the University of Denver. His research interests include linked open data in the cultural heritage sector, the costs of metadata creation for cultural institutions, and the applications of digital humanities to public history practice. He is a member of the American Library Association's ALCTS-LITA Metadata Standards Committee, and has presented nationally and internationally on metadata services to digital humanities and data curation initiatives in research libraries.

John DeSantis (John.DeSantis@dartmouth.edu) has been Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. since 1995. Previously he held positions at Amherst College and the University of Toronto, from which he holds a Master of Library Science degree. He is a member of the IFLA Standing Committee on Classification and Indexing, an elected delegate to OCLC's Global Council, and for many years has been active in the American Library Association on ALA Council, the ALCTS Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (2011-2013), and the ALCTS Subject Analysis Committee, among others.

Elita Eglīte (elita.eglite@lnb.lv) is the National Thesaurus Expert in the Data and Knowledge Organization Department at the National Library of Latvia, Riga, Latvia.

Yvonne Jahns (y.jahns@dnb.de) is a senior research librarian working in the Department of Subject Indexing in the German National Library. Her responsibilities include indexing and classification of law publications. In recent years, she has been involved in subject authority work, mapping projects between special subject thesauri, and also in the implementation of the Dewey Decimal Classification at the National Library. She was a member of the Standing Committee of IFLA's Indexing and Classification Section from 2005-2013, chair of the Guidelines for Subject Access by National Bibliographic Agencies Working Group, and editor of Guidelines for Subject Access in National Bibliographies .

Mārīte Jankevica-Balode (marite.jankevica@lnb.lv) works as Metadata Expert in the Data and Knowledge Organization Department at the National Library of Latvia in Riga, Latvia.

Ulrike Junger (u.junger@dnb.de) is Head of the Department of Subject Cataloguing at the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.

Kerre Kammerer (kammerer@oclc.org) is a Consulting Software Engineer at OCLC Research. Kerre's research interests include database quality control and authority data. Her current research activities involve the creation and maintenance of FAST authority records and the conversion of LC subject headings to FAST headings in bibliographic records. Kerre holds a BA in Economics from DePauw University.

Wanda Klenczon (w.klenczon@bn.org.pl) is an art historian and librarian at the National Library of Poland (since 1987), Head of Bibliographic Institute (2007- 2012), and Chair of the Technical Committee, Information and Documentation of the Polish Committee for Standardization. She is responsible for the development of bibliographic standards used in the Polish National Bibliography, authority control and subject indexing (National Library of Poland Subject Headings, UDC).

Yan Yi Lee (ylee@wagner.edu) works as Systems/Cataloging Librarian in Wagner College Library, New York, USA. She is the supervisor of the Technical Services Department. She received her MLS from the Pratt Institute in New York and her MS in Computer Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She also served as the chair of the WALDO Technical Services Committee between 2010 and 2012. Her research interests include library automation, open source, the Semantic Web, and linked data.

Krystyna K. Matusiak (krystyna.matusiak@du.edu) currently works as an assistant professor in the Library & Information Science Program at the University of Denver. Prior to accepting the position at the University of Denver, she worked as the Digital Collections Librarian at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee where she managed the Digitization Unit and was involved in building over 20 distinct digital collections. For Tse-Tsung Chow Collection of Chinese Scrolls and Fan Paintings , Krystyna was responsible for conducting research, designing the bilingual collection, and customizing the metadata template.

Ling Meng (lingmeng@uwm.edu) works as a Digital Collection Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. A native of Taiwan, Ling holds a Masters degree in Library and Information Sciences (MLIS) from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee and a BA in Chinese literature from National Taiwan University. He played a key role in building the bilingual collection of Tse-Tsung Chow Collection of Chinese Scrolls and Fan Paintings , and was involved in all stages of the project, including digitization, developing the metadata template, research, translation, and creating digital records.

Joan S. Mitchell (joansmitchell@gmail.com) was editor in chief of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system at OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., from 1993 until her retirement in 2013. Prior to joining OCLC in 1993, she was director of educational technology at Carnegie Mellon University and an adjunct professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include localization and interoperability in classification systems, and the application of general conceptual models to classification systems. In 2005, the American Library Association awarded her the Melvil Dewey Medal, which recognizes distinguished service to the profession of librarianship.

Sirje Nilbe (Sirje.Nilbe@elnet.ee) has academic degrees in Estonian language and information science. She worked from 1986 to 1997 at the University of Tartu Library and from 1998 to August 2013 at the National Library of Estonia as Head of the Authority Control Department. Her professional fields are authority control, classification and indexing, and development of thesauri. She has been Manager of the Estonian Subject Thesaurus (EMS) since 2009.

Edward T. O'Neill (oneill@oclc.org) is a Senior Research Scientist at OCLC Research and project manager for the FAST. Ed did his undergraduate work at Albion College and his doctorial work at Purdue University in Operations Research. His research interests include authority control, subject analysis, database quality, collection management, and bibliographic relationships. He is active in IFLA and has served on IFLA's Classification and Indexing Section, the FRBR Review Group, the FRSAR Working Group, the FRBR Working Group on Aggregates, and the FRBR Working Group on the Expression Entity.

Pat Riva (patricia.riva@banq.qc.ca) is Coordinator of the Monographs Section in the Cataloguing Directorate for Heritage Collections (Direction du traitement documentaire des collections patrimoniales) at Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec in Montreal, Canada. Pat served on the IFLA Cataloguing Section Standing Committee and chaired the FRBR Review Group; as of 2013 she is a member of the Bibliography Section Standing Committee.

Sandra K. Roe (skroe@ilstu.edu) is Editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Cataloging & Classification Quarterly , and Head of the Cataloging and Metadata Services Unit for Milner Library at Illinois State University in the United States. She has been a member of the Standing Committee of IFLA's Classification and Indexing Section since 2009, and Secretary of the Standing Committee since 2012.

Pawel Rygiel (p.rygiel@bn.org.pl) is an archaeologist and librarian at the National Library of Poland (since 2008), and Secretary of the Technical Committee, Information and Documentation of the Polish Committee for Standardization (since 2013). Pawel is responsible for authority control and subject indexing (NUKAT Center, National Library of Poland), and interested in the theory and practice of cataloging (image indexing and retrieval, in particular), metadata standards, and Linked Open Data.

Chia-Jung Shih (cshih@uwm.edu) works as a Digitization Assistant at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee Libraries. Shih came from Taiwan and is a native Chinese speaker. Her responsibilities in Tse-Tsung Chow Collection of Chinese Scrolls and Fan Paintings included conducting research on artists' backgrounds and translating artists' biographies, seals, and text in scrolls. She also assisted with scanning and building bilingual records. Chia-Jung Shih is a PhD student in the Architecture program at University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee.

Aiva Stūrmane (aiva.sturmane@lnb.lv) is Head of the Data and Knowledge Organization Department at the National Library of Latvia in Riga, Latvia.

Tiiu Tarkpea (tiiu.tarkpea@ut.ee) is a physicist and academic librarian in University of Tartu Library (since 1983), has practiced as a subject librarian, subject indexer and editor of the Estonian Subject Thesaurus (EMS), and is Head of the Department of Subject Analysis (since 2004) and Chief of the Classification and Indexing Working Group of the ELNET Consortium.

Elisabet Viktorsson (elisabet.viktorsson@svalov.se) has been Kulturchef (Director of Cultural Affairs), Svalövs kommun, Svalöv, Sweden since September 1, 2013. Formerly, she was in Business Development, Bibliographic Information at BTJ. Elisabet was a member of the Swedish Library Association's Fiction IndexingCommittee (2005-2013), Editor of the Swedish Classification System (SAB) (2002-2013), Standing Secretary of the Swedish Library Association's Classification Committee (2002-2013), and Chair of the Swedish Library Association's Classification Committee (2013).

Sharon Q. Yang (yangs@rider.edu) works as Associate Professor and Systems Librarian in Rider University Moore Library, New Jersey, USA. She received her MS in 1988, Certificate for Advanced Librarianship in 1989, and DLS in 1997, all from Columbia University in New York City. Her research interests include next generation catalogs, the Semantic Web, library systems, and assessment of information literacy skills.

Oksana L. Zavalina (oksana.zavalina@unt.edu) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Sciences, College of Information, at the University of North Texas in the United States. She was born, raised, and received undergraduate library and information science (LIS) training in Kiev, Ukraine. Dr. Zavalina's two graduate degrees in LIS come from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC): MLIS in 2002 and Ph.D. in 2010. Her previous positions include being a bibliographer at the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine, a solo librarian at the Kiev School of Economics, an intern at Yale University Sterling Memorial Library, an original cataloger at the UIUC Library (the included work with the Google Digitization Project), and a research assistant with the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship in Illinois. Dr. Zavalina has been teaching graduate-level courses in library cataloging and classification since 2007, in metadata and in information organization since 2011. Her research focuses on subject metadata and its role in subject access in digital libraries.

Marcia Lei Zeng (mzeng@kent.edu) is a Professor at Kent State University. She has been involved in the development and research of knowledge organization systems for over 20 years and has been contributing to related standards including NISO Z39.19 and ISO 25964 for controlled vocabularies. She was also the chair of IFLA Working Group that developed the model of Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD), an Invited Expert on the W3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group and a member of the Executive Board of the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO). She is Director-at-Large of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T).

Maja Žumer (Maja.Zumer@ff.uni-lj.si) is Professor of Information Science at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). Her research interests include design and evaluation of information retrieval systems, end-user interfaces, and conceptual modeling. She has been involved in several IFLA working groups, NISO committees, and several EU projects. She has received international and national research grants. She is chair of IFLA Classification and Indexing Standing Committee and was a member of the IFLA FRBR Review Group and co-chair of IFLA Working Group on the Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records (FRSAR).


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Introduction

Beyond Libraries:
Subject Metadata in the Digital Environment
and Semantic Web

Maja Žumer, Sandra K. Roe & Edward T. O'Neill

Following the great success of the satellite conference organized by the IFLA Classification and Indexing Section and held in Florence on August 20-21, 2009,1 the Classification and Indexing Standing Committee decided to organize a post-conference in conjunction with the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Helsinki in 2012. The National Library of Estonia kindly offered to organize the event and Sirje Nilbe served as the Organising Committee chair. The conference, Beyond Libraries—Subject Metadata in the Digital Environment and Semantic Web, was held on August 17 and 18 in Tallinn at the Meriton Grand Conference & Spa Hotel.2 There were 105 meeting participants from 23 countries. Thanks to the Organising Committee, participants also enjoyed guided a walking tour of Tallinn's Old Town and an evening reception in the Tallinn Town Hall, an impressive Gothic style town hall that was completed in its current shape in 1404. Afterwards participants had a brief tour of the National Library of Estonia which at the time was under renovation.

The Programme Committee members were Magdalena Svanberg (Chair), Sirje Nilbe, John C. DeSantis, Gordon Dunsire, and Maja Žumer, and their aim was to create a program that would explore the role of different kinds of subject metadata in the digital environment and the Semantic Web, both in libraries and beyond libraries. Libraries need to take advantage of the opportunities of the digital environment and the Semantic Web in order to handle these challenges. The call for papers suggested these topics:

  • Use of library subject metadata by other communities
  • Cooperation of libraries with other partners (museums, archives, publishers, etc.) in the creation and reuse of subject metadata and knowledge organization systems (KOSs)
  • Traditional and new methods of providing subject access: competition or co-existence
  • Users, their needs, and subject access behaviour in the digital environment
  • Users as creators of subject metadata

The result was twelve presentations, organized by topic into the following sessions:

  1. User needs and subject access design in the digital environment
  2. Library metadata beyond libraries and text-based material
  3. New and traditional methods of providing subject access
  4. Users as creators of subject metadata

Jo-Anne Bélair, the Chair of the Classification and Indexing Standing Committee, chaired the first session, User needs and subject access design in the digital environment, which included three presentations. Edward T. O'Neill led off with "Using Authorities to Improve Subject Searches" co-authored with Bennett and Kammerer. O'Neill described a project of OCLC Research called searchFAST that was developed to test the feasibility, effectiveness, and practicality of using the Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST) authority file as an index to OCLC WorldCat.org. Although still a prototype, the authors conclude that searchFAST leverages authority work to benefit searchers, most importantly by providing access points that would not otherwise be available to them. O'Neill was followed by Elita Eglīte's presentation of "Subject Metadata Development for Digital Resources in Latvia." Her co-authors included Aiva Stūrmane and Mārīte Jankevica-Balode. Beginning with the history of the decision by the National Library of Latvia in 2000 to use Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), the authors described the translation and adaption of LCSH that is done in parallel with cataloging. The outcome of this work is the National Library of Latvia Subject Headings (NLLSH) and its applications—first to physical collections, and beginning in 2006 to the new Latvian National Digital Library, "Letonika," but with the precoordinated strings divided and entered as separate facets. The third speaker in this session was Tiiu Tarkpea. Her presentation, co-authored by Sirje Nilbe, "Using the Estonian Subject Thesaurus in the Digital Environment," described features of the Estonian Subject Thesaurus (in Estonian Eesti märksõnastik or EMS), the ways it is used now across libraries in Estonia, potential uses for it in digital databases, and as a language resource for translators of specialized texts. The EMS is available both as a Web database (with an interface in Estonian and English) and as subject term data that can be exported in the MARC 21 format for authority data.

New and traditional methods of providing subject access was the topic that began day 2, session 3. This session was chaired by John DeSantis. Marcy Bidney and Kevin Clair presented "Harnessing the Geospatial Semantic Web: Toward Place-Based Information Organization and Access." These speakers provided an overview of linked data principles, discussed the benefits and the challenges of providing geographic information in metadata records, and the development of standards for interface design. They encouraged us to consider the value of location-based searching with examples like DBpedia Mobile, MapRank, and the Finnish Culture Sampo, and concluded by saying, "we need to change the way we think about, create, and work with metadata." Oksana L. Zavalina followed with "Exploring Mutual Complementarity of Free-Text and Controlled-Vocabulary Collection-Level Subject Metadata in Large-Scale Digital Libraries: A Comparative Analysis."3 In her presentation, she evaluated the quality of collection-level subject metadata in three large-scale cultural heritage digital libraries in the United States and the European Union: American Memory, Opening History, and The European Library. She concluded with emerging best practices. Joan S. Mitchell presented "Modeling Classification Systems in Multicultural and Multilingual Contexts" (co-authored by Marcia Lei Zeng and Maja Žumer). In it they reported on their study to determine if classification data modeled using Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD) can be used to solve real-world discovery problems. After a review of FRSAD, two case studies were discussed. The first, a Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) translation study, involved two instances of the DDC—DDC 22 in English, and the Swedish-English mixed translation of DDC 22; and the second a Chinese Library Classification. The final paper in this session was "Can Indexing Be Automated?—The Example of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek," presented by Ulrike Junger. In it she described the ongoing work of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB, German National Library) to develop and implement procedures for automated assignment of subject headings for online publications using the Averbis Concept Mapper and the Dictionary Configurator, and then to create benchmarks that will help them evaluate the results. Yvonne Jahns concluded the session with a brief presentation on the recently published Guidelines for Subject Access in National Bibliographies.

Session 4 was chaired by Sandra Roe with the theme of users as creators of subject metadata. It included two presentations. The first, by Yan Yi Lee and Sharon Q. Yang, reported on a survey of system vendors and libraries to discover how many permitted user tagging. "Folksonomies as Subject Access—A Survey of Implementing Tagging in Library Online Catalogs and Discovery Layers" introduced folksonomies and then Lee and Yang presented their findings for 37 library automation systems and 15 discovery systems, further evaluated by library type and features such as tag clouds. The final paper of the day, "The Choice Is Yours! Researchers Assign Subject Metadata to Their Own Materials in Institutional Repositories," was presented by Maira Bundła. In it she explored the subject metadata available to users of Digital Commons, a platform for institutional repositories provided by Berkeley Electronic Press (or bepress), and compared it with controlled vocabularies for subject metadata in other repository software. The round table was organized by Edward T. O'Neill and Maja Žumer on the role of controlled vocabularies in the Semantic Web and was scheduled for the end of the conference. Each of the panelists-Marie Balíková, Jo-Anne Bélair, Pino Buizza, Ulrike Junger, Joan Mitchell, and Pat Riva-began with an opening statement. Those statements and the discussion that followed were captured and are included in this issue.

Following the satellite meeting the three editors distributed the responsibility of reviewing so that every paper was reviewed twice. We sent our combined comments to the authors, who submitted revisions and updates in response. That process resulted in the ten papers collected here.4 In addition to the papers and roundtable notes, the meeting program and brief biographies of the speakers, their co-authors, roundtable panelists, and session chairs is also appended.

We would like to thank again all the members of the Classification and Indexing Standing Committee who helped with the organization in different roles and particularly Sirje Nilbe and her team for a wonderfully organized event.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Sandra K. Roe would like to thank Marie Bosché for reviewing a draft of this Introduction.

Notes

1. For the proceedings of that meeting, see Patrice Landry, Leda Bultrini, Edward T. O'Neill and Sandra K. Roe, eds., Subject Access: Preparing for the Future. IFLA Series on Bibliographic Control 42 (Berlin/München: De Gruyter Saur, 2011).

2. "IFLA Satellite Post-Conference, Beyond Libraries - Subject Metadata in the Digital Environment and Semantic Web, 17-18 August 2012, Tallinn," http://www.nlib.ee/index.php?id=17469 (accessed October 29, 2013).

3. Zavalina's article in this issue that corresponds to her presentation is titled "Complementarity in Subject Metadata in Large-Scale Digital Libraries: A Comparative Analysis."

4. The papers by Matusiak et al. and Lee are published elsewhere. See Krystyna K. Matusiak, Ling Meng, Ewa Barczyk, and Chia-Jung Shih, "Multilingual Metadata for Cultural Heritage Materials: The Case of the Tse-Tsung Chow Collection of Chinese Scrolls and Fan Painting," The Electronic Library (forthcoming) and Sharon Q. Yang, "Tagging for Subject Access," Computers in Libraries 32, no. 9(2012): 19-23.


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