This session will focus on the importance of measuring how communities of users interact with digital objects. By drawing on user-performance data and metadata generated for secondary repositories, we explore ways to enhance use and access of documents and digital libraries..
Speaker 1 proposes an approach to representing the structure of a document based on the way readers or users interact with it in the context of a deliberative task. This approach contrasts with other ways to model the structure of documents including approaches which map authorial intention and those which rely upon a well-known information model or genre. This presentation will highlight the benefits of understanding the structure of documents based on the rhetorical reading/using strategies of those who interact with them. These structures can be rendered as paths through a given set of information resources, offering insight into the way that objects and relationships that make up a document can mediate, or complicate, activity. Speaker 1 will conclude by showing some examples which make use of user-performance data to create task-appropriate views of complex (multiscale) documents.
Speakers 2 and 3 will examine the role of secondary repositories can play in enhancing access and interaction for students and scholars in the humanities. The most entrenched a priori models for information structuring and delivery online are derived from library and archival cataloguing practices. In line with digital library best practices, digitized sources are typically cataloged to describe their bibliographic information, along with technical, administrative, and rights metadata. While these practices are essential for preserving the digital object and making it available to users, unfortunately they do so in a language and guise often difficult to understand within the context of use. In addition, materials in digital libraries do not literally speak for themselves and impart wisdom; they require interpretation and analysis within a context of use. Access and use of digital objects can no longer be thought of in terms of stand alone files or individual digital objects, but rather must directly impact the ways in which users reuse, repurpose, combine and build complex digital objects. This assumption relies on a more complex meaning for the term access that will be detailed and explained in this paper.
Following the examples in the first paper, speaker 4 will demonstrate an application that can be used to collect user generated metadata. Following the concepts developed in the second paper, speaker 4 will develop the argument in practice that one way we can enhance access to online digital objects is to facilitate the creation of secondary repositories. These repositories will provide discipline/community specific metadata and applications and will allow users to find, use, manipulate and analyze digital objects more easily. To this end, Speaker 4 has developed Media Matrix 1.0 — an online, server-side suite of tools that allows users to locate specific media and streaming media files found in digital repositories and segment, annotate and organize this media online. This application provides users with an environment both to work with and personalize digital media, and also to share and discuss their findings with a community of users. This paper will explore if the creation of secondary repositories of usage statistics and user-generated materials/metadata (to supplement both traditional cataloging records and discipline-specific online indexes) can help scholars and students in the humanities gain better access to online materials.
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Hosted at University of Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
June 15, 2005 - June 18, 2005
139 works by 236 authors indexed
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Conference website: http://web.archive.org/web/20071215042001/http://web.uvic.ca/hrd/achallc2005/