Spelling Bee Superstars

November 1, 2013  
Posted in News, reference, Standards

I have a confession to make. Your content writer is a spelling bee geek. When I was a child, my father would hold spelling bees with my sister and I, and well, I always won. Not to brag, but really to show the benefits of phonetics. My older sister did not go to kindergarten (I have no memory of why), but kindergarten is where phonetics were taught in the 1960s. I was taught to sound the words out and that there, my friends, was my secret weapon.

I still remember 4th grade and Mrs. Stephens. I didn’t like her before the spelling bee and I liked her less afterwards. I don’t think she liked me much either. I spelled the word correctly and she called it incorrect. I tried to be polite and insist that I did indeed say exactly what her favorite student said next and she declared correct, but it fell on deaf ears. Yes, I am still bitter.

When I found this story on the state spelling bee in Hawaii, I had to share. “Bust Out the Dictionary — It’s Spelling Bee Time,” shares the process and how the ultimate state winner will go to the 87th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. Good luck to all the participants and may there be no Mrs. Stephens in the judges.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

UDC Seminar Scheduled for This Month

October 11, 2013  
Posted in News, reference

The next International Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) Seminar, “Classification & Visualization: Interfaces to Knowledge,” will take place on October 24-25, 2013 in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek at The Hague. This is the fourth in a series of International UDC Seminars devoted to advances in documentary classification research and their application in a networked environment.

This conference will focus on cutting edge advances and techniques in the visualization of knowledge across various fields of application, and their potential impact on developments in the more mainstream bibliographic and documentary classifications.

These biennial conferences are devoted to advances in documentary/bibliographic classification research and their application in a networked environment. The keynote at this year’s conference is W. Boyd Rayward, Professor Emeritus, from the University of Illinois. Professor Rayward’s address is titled, “From the index card to the World City: knowledge organization and visualization in the work and ideas of Paul Otlet.”

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.

Educational Opportunities Available in October

September 23, 2013  
Posted in News, reference

Concept Searching released their webinar schedule for October 2013. The schedule includes a variety of topics such as SharePoint, Office 365, solving business challenges, and IT trends, as well as a ‘How To’ technology series. The webinars feature experts in their respective fields. Digital Journal brought this news to us in their article, “Concept Searching Announces October Webinar Schedule.”

The first webinar is scheduled for October 1st and covers risk mitigation and information management. The information provided will certainly be of interest to information specialists in the legal field, as well as to compliance officers.

To register for this or any of the webinars, check out the Concept Searching website. All webinars are recorded and available for download. It is always nice to find educational opportunities where you can learn from those in the field who have hands-on experience.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

Rewriting History

August 15, 2013  
Posted in News, reference

With the future word inclusion policies of the Oxford English Dictionary unclear, various professionals were invited to attend a one-day international symposium. Stefan Dollinger, a lexicographer at the University of British Columbia, was one of the invited. Dollinger, one of two Canadians on the list, believes it is time the historic dictionary considers including English words that have been created or evolved over the years in countries that use the language as a predominant form of communication. He believes English now has the potential to become the working language of the world.

This is the first such meeting since the dictionary was first conceived about 155 years ago. This very interesting information was found on CTV News in their article, “Oxford English Dictionary to mull what gets in with rare symposium.”

Currently, the Oxford English Dictionary includes mostly British English, along with bits of American and Canadian English. To achieve Dollinger’s suggestion, the Oxford English Dictionary would not only have to include words from countries such as Canada and the U.S., or even former British colonies such as India or Pakistan, but nations such as China, Russia and other European countries as well.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.

New Aggregate Digital Public Library

April 24, 2013  
Posted in News, reference

The Digital Public Library of America, an independent nonprofit with the goal of pulling together vast resources for the public, launched a new website last week. A new platform will aggregate digital resources from libraries and museums across the United States. This library platform will not host any resources, but will provide open access to metadata about them. This information was found on Government Technology in their article, “Digital Public Library of America Opens Access to Resources.”

Already, over 40 state and regional digital libraries aggregate resources from local historical societies,  museums and libraries. However, few people know about their existence.

With the seven organizations participating in the pilot, a network of content aggregators will be created. The seven library systems include the following:

  • the Mountain West Digital Library (Utah, Nevada and Arizona);
  • the Digital Commonwealth (Massachusetts);
  • the Digital Library of Georgia;
  • the Kentucky Digital Library;
  • the Minnesota Digital Library;
  • the South Carolina Digital Library; and
  • the Oregon Digital Library.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.

Finding Treasures

April 19, 2013  
Posted in News, reference

You have no idea how excited I am to share this latest find with you. Ironically, it came on the same day that I found a vintage pocket handbook of synonyms and antonyms at my favorite local thrift store. It was the best $1.99 I have spent in a long time. My shopping companion found it humorous that I was so excited to find something that “the Internet could provide.” Tsk, tsk, tsk, my naïve little friend. Google will never give me the pleasure of turning yellowed pages full of antiquated words like a vintage book.

Sorry, I regressed. PRWeb brought me this interesting find in their article, “Phrase Finder For Journalists, Copywriters and Authors.” An online phrase thesaurus with over 50,000 idioms, proverbs, short quotes, catchphrases, slogans, clichés, similes, rhyming slang and jargon launched recently. It has taken 10 years to collect the phrases together, and more than 1,000 new phrases are still being added every month.

So with PhraseHQ.com and my vintage book, I can have my cake and eat it, too.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

March 11, 2013  
Posted in News, reference

I like to lift up interesting and sometimes humorous things I find in the world of language, vocabulary, taxonomy, etc. Today is different. Today’s find makes me sad.

This sobering news was found on NewsFix in their article, “‘thx’ now in Oxford Dictionary.” In a world where news cannot be transmitted fast enough for a high consumption society, texting has taken over our main form of communication. Sadly, that means our language is being molested to fit into the smallest number of characters possible to maintain the speed of communication desired, not the accuracy.

Don’t get me wrong. I too use texting and social media and find myself abbreviating words and sentences, as well as using the familiar LOL and CU, but I don’t expect to see them in the dictionary, especially the most-revered Oxford Dictionary.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Challenges of the Dictionary

October 18, 2012  
Posted in News, reference

American Heritage Dictionary recently published their fifth edition of what is known as the conservative dictionary. What is considered a conservative dictionary, you ask? It isn’t because of its politics, it is due to the conservative usages it includes.

The Weekly Standard brought this fun and interesting news to our attention in their article, “Wars of Words.” This article outlines the process and challenges the dictionary has faced and continues to thwart. Linguists consider the usages very important to their work and the integrity of words in general, so it is no surprise that they are campaigning for support in this arena.

Of course, in 1965 when it broke new ground by publishing the “f” word in their dictionary, few would consider it conservative.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.

Research Advances in Digital World

July 4, 2012  
Posted in News, reference

Emory University sociologist Roberto Franzosi has collected more than 1,200 newspaper clips about lynchings in Georgia from 1875 to 1930. He is applying a research methodology and software program he developed to catalog and analyze the narrative data. Franzosi’s Georgia Lynching Project is one of the first four projects of the new Digital Scholarship Commons (DiSC), which helps faculty and graduate students harness digital tools and resources.

This interesting piece of information was found on Emory’s site in their article, “Taking scholarship digital.” This dark and somber topic is being brought to life for education in new and different ways under this digital application. Featuring new technology and a collaborative environment, the DiSC library seems destined to be a point of creation for many research projects.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

Thoughts on ORCID

A new and powerful tool is headed our way. I believe it has the potential to change the way we interact with researchers, contributors, and authors in general.

I have already reported on the Contributor ID meeting in Boston in mid-May. One of the main reasons for the timing of that meeting was the ORCID Outreach meeting held at the Microsoft office next to MIT in Cambridge. The aim of ORCID is to “solve the name ambiguity problem in scholarly communications by creating a registry of persistent unique identifiers for individual researchers and an open and transparent linking mechanism between ORCID, other ID schemes, and research objects such as publications, grants, and patents.”

The early thought, as I understood it, was to have a system of Identifiers to capture the author and affiliations that could be resolved, so that poeple could look for a unified record and find the name in its preferred format for an author. When CrossRef was first being developed, I was fortunate to be part of a small group (six people) who came up with a compromise so that publishers would contribute articles with a  contributed (minimum) data set to the DOI (Digital Object Identifier). This would enable resolution of the article so it could be pointed to from many systems without destroying the business of secondary publishers who were adding significant value to bibliographic record collections in topical domains. CrossRef seems a perfect home for ORCID as well.

With the discussions of the day before well in mind, many of the people headed over to the ORCID meeting the next morning. The meeting was a veritable Who’s Who of the publishing industry and underscored how important it is to get the common IDs going and get it right. There were many reports on the progress of the organization’s activities, which have been building since early 2010 and earlier as a discussion topic. There are a few big players who “own” the process, and a board is establishing directions. As of that meeting there is now an executive director, Laurel L. Haak, PhD, who started April 9 and so was effectively in her first week on the job. Since the,n ORCID has also announced the appointment of Laura Paglione as its new full-time technical director, starting June 4. This means that the interim people on loan from CrossRef can move back to their regular jobs. Geoff Builder has been the lead technical person, but only part time, as he still had duties at CrossRef.

There was quite a bit of underlying annoyance in the audience. I think it fell into these main areas: 1. The system of ORCIDs will not be released until the fall, a year later than was originally thought. Those who have ponied up time and money, but are not in control, are getting impatient.* 2. The ORCID solution currently proposed does not seem to solve the problems of the contributor workshop from the day before. Perhaps that is in future plans not yet outlined and before the group, but buried in subcommittee files somewhere. 3. The Board presentations emphasized that “the main” customer of ORCID is universities, especially their libraries. But the room was full of publishers with needs for a unified ID. Those publishers (including university publishers) are the people who will use and deposit and link to ORCID. I think I must be missing something really basic. Could it be a switching program for the many IDs that people could use? Apparently there are plans for a number in the file and that number is extensible.

* I went back and checked the website again today.  There is a very good paper about the structure of the ORCID. Under “Create a record” I found ”An ORCID identifier will have the following structure: http://orcid.org/0137-1963-7688-2319. Individuals may create and manage an ORCID record for free. Name and email address are required fields. Additional fields include other names, other email addresses, organization affiliation(s), degree, other identifiers, and research objects such as publication, patents, and awarded grants. Individuals may control privacy settings at the data element level. Individuals may create a permanent ORCID record when the service is launched later this year. The ORCID number is already being defined and available to those wanting to be early implementers. There is certainly a developer sandbox and a set of APIs for people to link to, as well as much discussion on the technical site.

The ORCID site itself  is a bit tough to navigate around, but I found that supplementing my queries with Google made for refreshing discoveries. Papers by Michael Taylor of Elsiever on the technical side of the ORCID are always enlightening and fun to read. ORCID, or some version of a contributor ID, is definitely coming to a workstation near you, but it is taking a little longer to get here than I thought it would. There are other systems already  up and running – like VIVO.  The next few years will be interesting.

Marjorie M.K. Hlava
President, Access Innovations

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