Presentation on theme: "Plugging the information gap The Second Pillar Roger Mills."— Presentation transcript:
Plugging the information gap The Second Pillar Roger Mills
Managing the digital revolution science fiction becomes science fact (Now what is a fact, exactly?)
So what is the Digital Revolution? What do you understand by it?
New kids on the block Internet World Wide Web E-mail Mobile phones Blackberry Ethernet Broadband Chip and Pin DVD E-journals E-books Satellite broadcasting VPN URLs Open Access Digital divide VoIP Texting GPS GIS Google Amazon e-Bay Metadata Ontologies Taxonomies Self-archiving Institutional repositories Subject repositories 24-hour news Chat rooms Instant messaging Newsgroups Search engines
But also Spam Scams Porn Hacking Viruses Trojans Credit card crime Identity theft Incitement to violence etc
Help! I need somebody Not just anybody I need a librarian!
Does technology make us any different? Better off...? Worse off...? “When 20% of a country owns mobile phones, dictatorships find it impossible to exist” - Bob Geldof
Issues we face Web issues Publishing issues Format issues Storage issues Retrieval issues
Web issues If it’s not on paper it doesn’t exist Here today and gone tomorrow Capture before it’s too late And before you know it’s worth capturing? Developing evaluative skills Quality indicators How should research be published on the web? Should it? –Intellectual property risks, plagiarism
Format issues Competing technologies –the Betamax syndrome Today’s favourite – tomorrow’s has-been Good does not always triumph If Microsoft fell – good news or bad? The ubiquitous pdf –Pretty but pretty hard to edit –Why do we want it? Because it looks like print –the horseless carriage syndrome
Storage issues The changing concept of ownership –I can own a cd-rom and shelve until it disintegrates –But not an electronic journal on the web –So who pays to keep that journal backfile in existence when it dies or changes publisher/content/target audience? –If no current subscribers and no publisher, it may cease to be –We need a foster parent scheme –And public funding??
Retrieval issues It’s that red book on the fourth shelf down How do we cater for that approach on the web? Easy – if someone’s described it that way Standardised metadata and terminology is vital – isn’t it? Given an image, computer could work out fourth shelf, red book Linking collections – easy, if common identifiers But which? Who decides?
Indexing Don’t need it do we? Machine analysis will do it for us Self teaching machines? Can I understand myself? Can I build a machine that understands me? And/or itself? Describing the world around us – is what we do
Costs Equipment Updating equipment Data storage Refreshing data storage Training User education Subscriptions Consortia
Look on my works ye mighty The hapless biographer Nothing beside remains E-mail correspondence not preserved – except by security services? The ‘Reply all’ danger – what is really confidential? Hard disks – to wipe or not to wipe Lost passwords Identity cards – national records Corporate memory Personal data
So then comes…
Information overload Defensive action Can you rely on me knowing I don’t know what I need to know? Who says what I need to know? Does all that old stuff matter? Doesn’t nature decide what we need for survival?
Technophobia Does paper matter? Why? Can we apply traditional conservation techniques / attitudes to electronic media? Media matters more than message? Over-the-top e-conservationists? Talking the same language Funding
So what do we need?
Education Education Education Who teaches? Whom? Who needs to know? Developing critical attitudes Self archiving Universal librarian Knowledge Management
Talking to a stranger Finding partners Setting up groups Distributed working –Data gathering –Data sharing –Data storage –Data management
Getting known Self publishing Peer review Open access Self archiving Legal deposit
The Knowledge Cycle To which we all contribute –Search –Review –Collect –Compile –Create –Publish –Distribute –Store Has not changed – but the methodologies and parameters have
And wisdom? Can we avoid the digital dark ages? How can we make knowledge secure? It’s not my problem - is it?
So what now? What can you do? What can we do? What needs organising? What needs funding? What needs teaching? Who provides leadership? Better together? Or do our own thing?