Thursday, July 25, 2013

2013-07-22: JCDL 2013 Doctoral Consortium

The JCDL 2013 Doctoral Consortium is a workshop for Ph.D. students from all over the world who are in the early phases of their dissertation work.  Students present their thesis and research plan and a panel of prominent professors and experienced practitioners in the field of Digital Libraries provides feedback in a constructive atmosphere.  Yasmin AlNaomony and Scott Ainsworth had the privilege of presenting papers at this year's Doctoral Consortium.

Scott Ainsworth, Michael Nelson, & Yasmin AlNoamany

User Interaction

The first session focused on user interaction and was chaired by George Buchanan.  The session began with Erik Choi presenting his work on understanding the motivations behind the questions users ask in Internet Q&A forums.  Prior work in this area has focused on the use an content of Q&A forums; Erik's work focuses on why users ask questions with motivation, expectations, and the relationship between the them.

Yasmin AlNaomony presented her work on using web archive to enhance the permanence of web story telling.  Existing sites such as Storify allows users to create stories, but the web is inherently ephemeral and the stories degrade as web content is lost or moved.  Yasmin's work uses Memento and web archives to add stability to story telling content.  Yasmin's slides are below.

Most existing user-profiling techniques produce a monolithic view of the user.  Users, on the other hand, use the web for many tasks—in essence changing the profile as they switch from task to task.  Chao Xu's work focuses on detecting these task changes in order to respond the user's current needs.

Network Analysis

The network analysis session was chaired by Xiao Hu and included two presentations.  The Topical and Weighted Factor Graph (TWFG) was proposed by Lili Lin as a way to determine topic expertise within scholarly communities.  TWFG combines topic relevance and expert authority (determined using page rank) into a single score to enable expert finding (Google search).

Given the high volume of scholarly articles available electronically, it seems natural for digital libraries to assist in the process of discovering relevant work.  Zhuoren Jiang proposed a system that will incorporate topical changes in publications over time to enhance the computer-aided discovery process.

Data and Archiving

Richard Furuta chaired the session on data and archiving.  First up was Xin Shuai. who is studying the effects social networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) have on the dissemination and impact of scholarly information on society.

Su Inn Park proposes the PerCon digital library system.  This digital library system will allow management and analysis of diverse but related datasets.  Ultimately, PerCon will use an agent-based, mixed initiative user interaction model.

The third presentation was by Scott Ainsworth, who is studying the temporal coherence of existing data in web archives (e.g., the Internet Archive).  The goal of this work is to characterize existing web archive content and to produce browsing and recomposition heuristics that implement user priorities (e.g., speed, accuracy).  The slides for this presentation are below.

Social Factors

The final session addressed social factors and was chaired by Ingeborg Sølvbert.  Social Digital Libraries, digital libraries that include significant social features, were addressed by Adam Worrall.  Adam's particular focus is the role digital libraries play in collaboration, communities, and other social contexts.

Nathan Hall presented his exploratory study on faculty attitudes and socio-technical factors that affect scholarly communication and data sharing practices.  The study used a phenomenological approach to examine faculty attitudes toward institutional respositories.

The final presentation was by Jose Antonio Olvera.  Jose is applying computational intelligence to self-preserving digital objects.  Powered by a social network, this approach will enable a "preservation is to share" paradigm.
After the presentations, Sally Jo Cunningham summarized the panels comments:
  • Focus: pick 1 problem and stick to it.
  • Communication: develop your elevator pitch; this will help you communicate with other and help you stay focused.
  • Audience: who is going to use your work and what are they going to do with it.
  • Evaluation: how will you know when you are done? How will you know if you made things better?
  • Play your work and work your plan.
We would like to thank the Doctoral Consortium co-chairs, Sally Jo Cunningham and Edie Rasmussen, and the many reviewers and panel members for their time and valuable feedback.

—Scott G. Ainsworth

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