Home | News & Events | Events | 2015 Events | NISO Virtual Conferences | December 2: The Semantic Web: What's New and Cool

NISO/NFAIS Virtual Conference: Semantic Web: What's New and Cool

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
11:00 - 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

System Requirements:

  • NISO has developed a quick tutorial, How to Participate in a NISO Web Event. Please view the recording, which is an overview of the web conferencing system and will help to answer the most commonly asked questions regarding participating in an online Webex event.
  • You will need a computer for the presentation and Q&A.
  • Audio is available through the computer (broadcast) and by telephone. We recommend you have a set-up for telephone audio as back-up even if you plan to use the broadcast audio as the voice over Internet isn't always 100% reliable.
  • Please check your system in advance to make sure it meets the Cisco WebEx requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your system is properly set up before each webinar begins. 

About the Virtual Conference

Everything about information resources and tools seems to be in a transitional state. We are building a new kind of digital information environment, dubbed the Semantic Web. This event looks at a spectrum of approaches adopted in developing semantically-enhanced information resources and provides attendees with a better sense of the rate of speed at which this community is moving to achieve the Semantic Web.  

Presenters will talk about the semantic web landscape, the role linked open data plays in this environment, and current projects underway that demonstrate how the semantic web impacts the library and information community, and what experts in the wider communities are doing to achieve those goals.


11:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. – Introduction
Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO
Marcie Granahan, Executive Director, NFAIS

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11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Keynote Address: Revolution Across the Information Industries 
Matt Turner, Chief Technical Officer, Media and Entertainment, MarkLogic Corporation

Change is the only constant across the publishing and information industries and organizations and organizations of all types are using data, adding context and innovating. Matt Turner, CTO of Media and Entertainment at MarkLogic will look at these trends and how information providers are adopting to continuous unpredictable change.

Matt Turner is the CTO, Media and Entertainment at MarkLogic where he develops strategy and solutions for the Media, Publishing, Entertainment and Information Provider markets and works with customers and prospects to create leading edge information and digital content applications with MarkLogic’s Enterprise NoSQL database. Matt has worked closely with MarkLogic customers NBC, Warner Bros., LexisNexis, McGraw-Hill Finance, Dow Jones and more. Before joining MarkLogic, Matt was at Sony Music and PC World developing innovative publishing and asset delivery applications.

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12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. – International Cultural Informatics Collaborations: Crossing Borders Without Crossing Swords
J. Stephen Downie, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The speaker, J. Stephen Downie, has been engaged in several international cultural informatics collaborations over the past 15 years. Using lessons learned from two ongoing projects, “Digital Dunhuang” and the “HathiTrust Research Center,” this talk briefly summarizes some of the challenges and issues that have arisen as these projects engage with their international partners. Suggestions on how best to maximize the potentials of international cultural informatics collaborations while minimizing the problems will be presented.

J. Stephen Downie is the Associate Dean for Research and a Professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Downie is the Illinois Co-Director of the HathiTrust Research Center. He is also Director of the International Music Information Retrieval Systems Evaluation Laboratory (IMIRSEL) and founder and ongoing director of the Music Information Retrieval Evaluation eXchange (MIREX). Professor Downie holds a BA (Music Theory and Composition) along with a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science, all earned at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.

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12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Semantic Web, Linked Data: the Europeana case(s)
Antoine Isaac, R&D Manager, Europeana

The Linked Data vision and Semantic Web technologies opens big opportunities and challenges for Europeana and its cultural domain partners. This talk will present our efforts to address these with respect to metadata modeling, ingestion, and publishing to address these. This includes a new data model, a data ingestion service that can harvest third-party Linked Data used by Europeana data providers (thesauri, gazetteers…) and semantic enrichment–linking objects to external sources. We will present some of the benefits Europeana is already reaping from these developments, notably for its search services. And show that applying pieces of semantic web technology, without implementing the full stack at once, already brings benefits.

Antoine Isaac is R&D Manager at Europeana. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from University Paris-Sorbonne, where he started to work on applying Semantic Web and Linked Data techniques for cultural heritage (then at the French National Audiovisual Institute, INA). He has contributed to various national and European research projects, and has been involved in a number of W3C groups, notably for SKOS and Library Linked Data. He is co-author of the French book “Le Web sémantique en bibliothèque”. He is also a guest researcher at the Web & Media group in the Free University Amsterdam.

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1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Lunch Break

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1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. – Looking Inside the Library Knowledge Vault
Jeff Mixter, Software Engineer, OCLC; Bruce Washburn, Software Engineer, OCLC

How do we ascertain truth on the web? That’s a question being pursued by researchers at Google who have articulated a flow of data that generates discrete statements of fact from countless web sources, relates those statements to previously assembled stores of knowledge, and fuses these mathematically to identify which statements may be more “truthful” than others. They describe this assembly of scored statements as a “Knowledge Vault.”

As OCLC works with data from library, archive and museum sources, we grapple with the same question and similarly varying data. Though the number of statements made is smaller and there may be fewer conflicts, we see benefits in testing how the Google Knowledge Vault research may apply to an aggregation of factual statements gleaned from these sources.

Jeff Mixter and Bruce Washburn will discuss how we’re evaluating this research, including:

  • extracting simple statements about entities and their relationships from bibliographic and authority records, 
  • establishing a relevant score for similar statements provided by different sources, 
  • viewing the Library Knowledge Vault data using a prototype application,
  • and testing how statements contributed by users of that prototype can find their way back to the Vault.

Jeffrey K. Mixter is a recent graduate of Kent State University, having earned an M.L.I.S. (Masters of Library and Information Science) and an M.S. degree in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management. He is now working as a Software Engineer at OCLC with collaborators from Montana State University on the IMLS-funded project ‘Measuring Up: Assessing Accuracy of Reported Use and Impact of Digital Repositories.’ Kenning Arlitsch, Dean of Libraries at Montana State, is the principal investigator. Jeff’s role in the project is to serve as a data modeling expert, taking the lead in the development of an ontology for modeling items found in institutional repositories and digital collections in a form that can be discovered and indexed by Google and other major search engines. 

Bruce Washburn is a Consulting Software Engineer in OCLC Research where he provides software development support for OCLC Research initiatives and for other OCLC products and services.  He is the lead software architect for the ArchiveGrid discovery system and the WorldCat Search API, and is currently concentrating on prototype application development in the field of Linked Data.

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2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. – Getty Vocabularies and the Semantic Web
Joan Cobb, Principal IT Project Manager, Information Technology Services, J. Paul Getty Trust

This presentation will offer a brief history of the project to publish Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT), the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN), and The Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) as Linked Open Data (LOD). It will begin with a brief description of some of the steps taken to educate ourselves about LOD and the world of the Semantic Web and go on to an overview of how these vocabularies can help cultural heritage resources connect to each other.

Joan Cobb is currently leading the Getty vocabularies as Linked Open Data project. Since joining the Getty in 1990, Joan has played a primary role in the design and development of the custom software necessary to support the growth and usage of the Getty Vocabularies and AATA Online. Joan came to the Getty with a background in an array of programming and design experiences, ranging from academic and medical research to energy management and hazardous chemical tracking. She began her career in computing after more than a decade as a teacher and master teacher with the public school system and government/industry sponsored programs.

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2:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Implementing a BIBFRAME Catalog (click to view slides)
Jeremy Nelson, Metadata and Systems Librarian, Colorado College
Mike Stabile, Consultant

BIBFRAME, the Library of Congress’s RDF vocabulary and library linked-data replacement for MARC21, is in the process of major change to version 2.0. In 2014, the Library of Congress contracted with Jeremy Nelson and Aaron Schmidt to design and implement a BIBFRAME-based search and display system that became BIBCAT an open-source BIBFRAME Catalog with a pilot available at http://bibcat.org/.  For a second contract with the Library of Congress, Mike Stabile was brought in for BIBCAT user-interface improvements, reporting and visualization using Elasticsearch and Kibana, and better system administration using Docker images. We’ll discuss lessons learned from the previous iterations of BIBCAT  that are informing the design and implementation of an optimized RDF triplestore for BIBFRAME using Blazegraph and Fedora 4.  Finally we’ll talk about the current research plans to support lossless interoperability with BIBFRAME 2.0 and how BIBCAT and its underlying semantic server technology is being used at Colorado College to actively support libraries as linked-data producers and consumers in the semantic web.

Jeremy Nelson is the Metadata and Systems Librarian at Colorado College, a four-year private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs. In addition to working 8 hours a week on the library's research help desk, providing information literacy instruction to undergraduates, and supervising the library's systems and cataloging departments, Nelson is actively researching and developing various components and open-source tools in the Catalog Pull Platform for use by Colorado College, the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries Consortium, and the Library of Congress.

Nelson's previous library experience includes jobs at Western State Colorado University and the University of Utah. Prior to becoming a librarian, Nelson worked as programmer and project manager at various software companies and financial services institutions. His undergraduate degree is from Knox College and his Master of Science in Library and Information Science is from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Mike Stabile has been working with Jeremy Nelson for the past 6 months on the BIBCAT implementation of the BIBFRAME RDF vocabulary. His work experiences include knowledge management and database solutions in a variety of fields from the US Navy to training and exercise programs with the Department of Homeland Security. He has BS from the US Naval Academy in Physics and a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Cleveland Chiropractic College.

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3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Afternoon Break

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3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. –  Building Smarter Books in Browsers with RDFa, Schema.org, and Linked Data: Leveraging Standards & Tools in the Creation of Semantically-Enhanced Reading Systems
Jason A. Clark, Associate Professor and Head of Library Informatics and Computing, Montana State University Libraries

The library as place and service continues to be shaped by the legacy of the book. The book itself has evolved in recent years, with various technologies vying to become the next dominant book form. In this session, we'll discuss the design and development of prototype reading software from Montana State University (MSU) Library for presenting books inside of web browsers. The session will look at the contextual background and technological potential for publishing traditional book content through the web using open standards. The prototype demonstrates the application of HTML5, structured data with RDFa and Schema.org markup, linked data components using JSON-LD, and an API-driven data model to create a reading systems that are "of the web". We’ll examine how this open web model impacts discovery, reading analytics, eBook production, and machine-readability for libraries considering how to unite software development and publishing. How do we build a better book, and what is the role of semantic approaches in doing so?

Jason A. Clark is currently an Associate Professor and Head of Library Informatics and Computing at Montana State University Libraries, where he builds digital library applications and sets digital content strategies. He writes and presents on a broad range of topics including Semantic Web development, metadata and data modeling, Web services and APIs, search engine optimization, and interface design. He holds an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin and an MA in English from the University of Vermont. You can find him online at http://jasonclark.info/ or on Twitter @jaclark.

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4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. – Pushing from Behind: Expectations and the Semantic Web
Dr. Jaqui Hodgkinson, Vice President of Product Development, Elsevier

Publishers as content providers are increasingly involved in finding innovative approaches to surfacing as much useful information as possible for research consumers. Increasingly, the ask is that we not only provide content, but we add a greater diversity of meta data to allow increased context for analysis. For example, semantically indexing it with multiple ontological resources simplifies retrieval.  And most recently,  the ask is to have “quality” metrics around that content: researchers want to know “what can you tell me from other sources that makes me believe this experimental finding?” In this talk, Jaqui Hodgkinson VP of Product Development from Elsevier will talk about the emergent challenges in trying to help researchers navigate the ocean of data effectively.

Dr. Jaqui Hodgkinson, MBA, is currently Vice President of Product Development at Elsevier.  She studied for a BSc in molecular biology at the University of Durham, England. On graduating in 1992, she moved to the Biochemistry department, University of Oxford, England for her PhD work on chromatin structure. Seeking a broader challenge, she moved to the Pharmaceutical industry for a 3 year stint, and then moved to Elsevier where she has had diverse roles spanning the organisation.

Her passion is for enabling researchers to find out what has gone before them and increasing research effectriveness. She was instrumental in launching Elsevier’s “Smart Content” program several years ago (which underpins Elsevier’s new Clinical platform, Clinical Key) and drove the charge within the company for centralised ontology management and content enhancement with semantic technologies. Three years ago Jaqui turned her attention to an area closer to her original research background, and she now manages the product development for several of our drug discovery software products.

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4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Roundtable Discussion 
Moderated by: Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

Event Slides



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Registration closes on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm Eastern.

Registration Costs

  • NISO Member
    • $185.00 (US and Canada)
    • $225.00 (International)
  • Non-Member
    • $245.00 (US and Canada)
    • $285.00 (International)
  • Student
    • $80.00

Additional Information

  • Cancellations made by Wednesday, November 25, 2015 will receive a refund, less a $35 cancellation. After that date, there are no refunds.
  • Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing the virtual conference via e-mail the Friday prior to the event. (Anyone registering between Monday and the close of registration will receive the message shortly after the registration is received, within normal business hours.) Due to the widespread use of spam blockers, filters, out of office messages, etc., it is your responsibility to contact the NISO office if you do not receive login instructions before the start of the webinar.
  • If you have not received your Login Instruction email by 10AM (ET) on the Tuesday before the webinar, please contact the NISO office at nisohq@niso.org for immediate assistance.
  • Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the conference. You may have as many people as you like from the registrant's organization view the conference from that one connection. If you need additional connections, you will need to enter a separate registration for each connection needed.
  • If you are registering someone else from your organization, either use that person's e-mail address when registering or contact nisohq@niso.org to provide alternate contact information.
  • Conference presentation slides and Q&A will be posted to this event webpage following the live conference.
  • Registrants will receive an e-mail message containing access information to the archived conference recording within 48 hours after the event. This recording access is only to be used by the registrant's organization.