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Subject retrieval issues in the Scottish Common Information Environment Gordon Dunsire Presented at the Electric Connections 2006 seminar, Dundee

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Presentation on theme: "Subject retrieval issues in the Scottish Common Information Environment Gordon Dunsire Presented at the Electric Connections 2006 seminar, Dundee"— Presentation transcript:

1 Subject retrieval issues in the Scottish Common Information Environment Gordon Dunsire Presented at the Electric Connections 2006 seminar, Dundee

2 Scottish Common Information Environment  Common Information Environment …  “… public sector stakeholders working together to deliver information, services, and empowerment across a range of sectors in order to meet the cross-domain real world needs of the citizens …”  … of Scotland  A geographical area with a well-established, well-defined cultural, legal and political identity

3 More about the concept  “The Common Information Environment: a newly emerged concept”  Presented at Archives, Libraries, Museums 9 (AKM9), Porec, Croatia, 2005  Similar to Electric Connections  But 6 years older and taking place over 3 days (in an Istrian holiday resort)  Another small country with big ideas 

4 Real world needs Information wanted  For the widest range of purposes  By the widest range of citizens  And visitors to Scotland …  … especially those who intend to spend  With the widest range of tools, skills and abilities  From the widest range of sources  Archives, libraries, museums, etc.  On the widest range of topics

5 Topics of interest  Everything, really  But it’s probably safe to assume a focus on Scotland and Scottish affairs  Places  People  Citizenship  Current affairs  Scots, Scotch and Scottishness  Everything, really

6 Terminological inexactitudes  Same subject, different word(s)  The Bruce  Robert the Bruce  Robert I, King of Scotland  Mel Gibson?  Same word, different subject  Tarbert  Argyll and Bute, or Harris?

7 Between the terms  Intrinsic relationships  Kirkcaldy < Fife  Burrell < Glasgow Museums  Extrinsic relationships  Robert Burns < Scottish poets and poetry  Maes Howe (Maeshowe!) < Neolithic sites in Scotland

8 Global positioning  Context  Perth  Scotland or Australia?  Language  Other than English  Not forgetting American  Colour or color  Lift or elevator  Localisation  A haggis is:  Like a sausage  Like a pudding  Like a stomach stuffed with offal and oatmeal

9 Local positioning  Language  Local dialect  piece or butty or sandwich  “Scottish” languages  Gaelic, Doric, Lallans, etc.  Immigrant languages  To what extent?  Context  Local geography, history, infrastructure can all influence the focus and presentation of subjects

10 Improvement  Controlled vocabularies  Names of places, persons and organisations  Subject topics  Structured vocabularies  Relationships  Broader, Narrower, See also  Accommodation  Easy to fit in new topics  Outward-facing  See from user variants

11 Coordination required  Multiple controlled, structured vocabularies developing in intra-Scotland contexts  Different regions  Different audiences  Different stages of development  Coordination necessary for the inter- Scotland context  Scottish Common Information Environment

12 Coordination bases  People  Chorus or Cacophony?  Singing from the same sheet, using the same words?  Clamouring for attention, drowning each other out?  Computers  Interoperability  Between vocabulary content  Between subject interfaces and vocabulary structures

13 The Goldilocks question  Is Scotland too big?  Is Scotland too small?  Or is Scotland just the right size to  Use a common vocabulary for the names of its places  Use a common approach for the names of its people  Coordinate effectively on the names of all other things Scottish  Establish “Scotland+” as a global topic

14 Questions, Answers?  More questions than answers?  Tae see oorsels as ithers see us?  Tae describe oorsels as ithers ask us  The answers are out there  In here!  Thank you


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