Keynote Address

Becoming Different: Information Behaviours During Times of Personal Change

In this presentation I shall discuss our information behaviour during times of personal change. Using a new theory of information behaviour, I shall discuss how we provide, seek, assess, share, use, deny, avoid, and create information - during times of personal change and explain the role of these behaviours in reconstructing ourselves following a life event. This presentation will demonstrate how useful and appropriate information services can facilitate our progress during times of change and why poorly designed information services can act as barriers to successful change. I shall also discuss some of the factors that lead to information sources being seen as trustworthy and credible and why the information we see as trustworthy may change over time.

Invited Talks

Citizen Experiences in Cultural Heritage Archives: a Data Journey

Digital archives of memory institutions are typically concerned with the cataloguing of artefacts of artistic, historical, and cultural value. Recently, new forms of citizen participation in cultural heritage have emerged, producing a wealth of material spanning from visitors’ experiential feedback on exhibitions and cultural artefacts to digitally mediated interactions like the ones happening on social media platforms. In this talk, I will touch upon the problems of integrating citizen experiences in cultural heritage archives. I argue for good reasons for institutions to archive people’s responses to cultural objects, and then look at the impact that this has on the data infrastructures. I argue that a knowledge organisation system for “data journeys” can help in disentangling problems that include issues of distribution, authoritativeness, interdependence, privacy, and rights management.

Understanding and Navigating Biases in Information Behaviour to Facilitate (better) Online Choices

Every day, individuals make numerous decisions online, ranging from selecting their meals, entertainment, or purchases to managing their finances or responding to healthcare scenarios. These decisions may be made instinctively or after careful deliberation, and can occasionally necessitate the balancing of multiple personal objectives. In this talk, I will discuss how the process of decision-making for various types of choices share similar underlying mechanisms. Drawing on my own research on search and recommendation systems, I will illustrate that these different types of choices are vulnerable to diverse biases, which can vary across situations and users. The central idea of the talk is that understanding the biases involved and their effects can aid in designing information systems that avoid or leverage these biases to encourage user behaviours that align with their objectives.

Knowledge Engineering in the Language Model Era

In this talk, I contend that the emergence of large language models (LLMs) (e.g. GPT3, T5) as both a source of knowledge and an an effective tool for extracting knowledge provides new opportunities for knowledge engineering. First, by helping to address the cost knowledge acquisition, LLMs let us focus on other aspects of knowledge engineering - understanding the user, ensuring that the knowledge production lifecycle is reliable, dealing with curation. Second, the accessibility of LLMs means that more people could benefit from knowledge engineering practices. This raises the question of how to disseminate those practices. Here, I take the example of prompt engineering.

Improving Search Quality by Enhancing Access to Metadata

Has something been lost in the move towards federated searching and relevance ranking in academic library search interfaces? The richness of metadata and other KOSs such as classification schemes and controlled vocabularies is often not featured in LMS procurement. The ISKO STAC has set up a working group to develop a set of guidelines for academic libraries that are planning to procure a library management system. The purpose of the guidelines is to enable users to benefit from the intellectual effort that has been invested in assigning metadata to electronic resources. This paper reports on progress of the working group in its review of the literature and the plans for consultations with stakeholders.

‘Seeking Serendipity’ through Knowledge Organisation: Creating a Knowledge Infrastructure for Surprising, Meaningful Discoveries through Browsing

In the field of Human Information Interaction, research on search has often overshadowed that of browsing. This is despite the importance of browsing for supporting people when they don’t necessarily know what they’re looking for and its potential for facilitating surprising, meaningful discoveries as a result. New search paradigms, such as AI-facilitated dialogues and automated information synthesis approaches also threaten to steal the limelight from browsing as an important ‘serendipity engine.’ We should not let this happen; the Knowledge Organisation community has a vital role to play in supporting all forms of knowledge discovery, including browsing. In this session, I will first propose that the community already has the necessary ‘building blocks’ of knowledge organisation to better support the making of surprising, meaningful discoveries through browsing. We will then explore, through an interactive discussion and co-creation exercise, what might make connections surprising and meaningful and how to facilitate making them through better knowledge organisation.

Information Quality and its Impact on Enterprise Search Satisfaction

Research undertaken by Cleverley and Burnett in 2018 indicated that issues around technology, content and training play an equal role in achieving enterprise search satisfaction. There are currently around 90 companies offering enterprise search solutions, most of them suggesting that their technology can solve all the issues experienced by users of enterprise search. In this presentation the impact of eight information quality factors on enterprise search satisfaction will be considered in the light of the availability of generational applications such as ChatGPT promising the optimal answer to any searching question. The presentation will conclude with a consideration of the potential role of large language models in enterprise content applications

Is an Upper Ontology Useful?

Ontologies play a fundamental role in information integration using semantic technologies. Whilst most ontologies are specific to a single domain, other ontologies provide a level of integration for these domain-specific ontologies and should be the starting point of any domain ontology work. They are referred to as 'upper ontologies'. This presentation will consider the benefits of using an upper level ontology and illustrate how they might be deployed in everyday use.

Visual Representations of Knowledge Structures for Information Discovery

Visual representations reflecting the order and structure of knowledge have been used for hundreds of years. In the current digital age, many modern computerized approaches have allowed for innovative visual deliveries of information and knowledge in addition to the long-standing, inherent fundamental structures and theories of knowledge representation. This presentation focuses on the hierarchical structures of knowledge organization, aiming to connect theories and practices for certain structures, norms, and best practices, explores their variances in applications with or without quantitative measurements, and discusses the functions of visual representation methods and layouts that enable consequential information discovery and ultimate user experience in the data-driven age.

Selected Talks

KOS-based Enrichment of Archaeological Fieldwork Reports

Semantic enrichment techniques and tools based on knowledge organization systems (KOS) have an important role to play in supporting information discovery. This paper reports on initial work investigating and developing KOS-based automatic indexing recommendation tools (for final intellectual judgment) in the archaeology domain. Within the UK, the OASIS online index of fieldwork events and their unpublished reports has been a major initiative to make archaeological fieldwork available to a wider public. OASIS is hosted by the Archaeology Data Service and is supported by Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland. OASIS reports are contributed by a wide variety of organisations and subject indexing is inconsistent and sometimes sparse, although use of standard KOS from the Forum on Information Standards in Heritage is encouraged.

Initial results from a pilot case study for an automatic (KOS-based) subject indexing recommendation system are reported. Findings include the need for some pre-processing of the KOS vocabularies for NLP purposes and the need for post-processing filters to prioritise subject indexing significant for the document in question. The paper goes on to reflect on evaluation issues for such systems and to make some general comparisons with automatic indexing for Name Authorities and Named Entity Recognition.

Knowledge Organisation in Two-dimensional Space: Exploring Visualisation within Classification Schemes

Classification schemes are a critical part of helping users to discover knowledge. Despite text being the base of most traditional bibliographic classification schemes, there are also visualised elements in operation too, which are often subliminal and are rarely discussed. So, this paper analyses the visual and graphical elements of classification schemes. The paper starts with a discussion about what “users” and “user experience” means in relation to classification schemes, considering the direct users of classification schemes (such as librarians) , as well as the indirect users (often the library users). Then, there will be an analysis of the mechanics of visualisation, such as how classification schemes use the horizontal plane to represent the vertical idea of hierarchy. This will also explore how visualisation fits into ideas about the aesthetics of KOSs. The paper then considers the transmutation of printed schemes to digital systems, and the impact this has had on graphical representation of classification schemes. This also asks pertinent questions about versions versus visualisations. Finally, the impact of visualising classification schemes on their critique and evaluation will be contemplated, asking whether these often subliminal visual aspects have an impact on the schemes’ usage. Ultimately, exploring this hitherto unexplored aspect of classification schemes, will ask important questions about users, aesthetics, and much more, helping us to build a richer understanding of the classification scheme, and potentially, other KOSs.

A Maritime Heritage Thesaurus based on a Greek project documentation case

This paper is related to the creation of a thesaurus in the Maritime Heritage (MH) field. The suggested controlled vocabulary could improve methods for archiving oral sources, written accounts, imagery, 3D archeology, and other multimedia objects related to people and periods from ancient times to recent history. It has been created to cover the indexing needs for resources from Greek Maritime GLAM institutions hosted in a MH platform of the research infrastructure EN.I.R.I.S.S.T. It is comprised of terms ‘derived from’ the collections which include objects/heirlooms, personal items, scrimshaws, archaeological items, shipping companies archives, correspondence, periodicals, photographs from coaling stations and lighthouses.

Although the construction of this vocabulary took into consideration specific data and their documentation, the purpose is to go beyond EN.I.R.I.S.S.T., and to aid other MH documentation projects or professionals/researchers in organizing and archiving MH data. The goal is to have an imprint on the longevity and communication of MH data in general, and to contribute to establishing MH as a separate Cultural Heritage (CH) branch.

The methodological approach was sensitive to the history of the artefacts, the shipping history and terminology, CH and general vocabularies, as well as the pre-existing practices. Terms and subject headings already existing in the vocabularies of reference were leveraged. The rules and standards of thematic indexing, creation of monolingual and multilingual thesauri, and terminology standards were followed. Currently, the population of the thesaurus with terms automatically extracted from maritime legal documents is being attempted. 

Comparing Feature Engineering Techniques for Time Period Categorization of Novels

It is possible to improve item accessibility in online catalogues by categorizing literary works by time periods, i.e., a story based on when it is playing out, such as in the Middle Ages or World War I. Unfortunately, very few literary works are categorized by time period, resulting in limited accessibility. In addition, it is time - consuming for catalogers to create time periods manually. Thus, there is a need to investigate machine learning techniques for categorizing time periods. Consequently, this paper aims to investigate and evaluate the accuracy of three machine learning algorithms (Latent Dirichlet Allocation, TF-IDF, and Word embedding using SBERT) for categorizing literary works by historical period. The data consists of 35 works of historical fiction from Litteraturbanken written in Swedish. These techniques were analyzed using quasi-experiments, and their accuracy was evaluated using F1-score. The results of the evaluations demonstrate that TF-IDF outperforms both Latent Dirichlet Allocation and Word embedding.

Claudio Gnoli
Douglas Tudhope
Patrícia de Almeida
Romana Barbui
Ceri Binding
Véronique Blot

Simpler Search in a Complex World: Browsing Ethnographic Videos by Freely Faceted Classmarks

We describe a web-based demonstrator by which users can select topics from a set of 5 facets and launch a search in a sample index of YouTube videos of traditional feasts in Western Europe. These are indexed by faceted compounds from the Integrative Levels Classification (ILC). English equivalents of ILC classmarks are displayed dynamically. The demonstrator shows a possible compromise between simplicity of use and intrinsic complexity of indexed contents.

Navigating an online bookstore: User experience insights from eye-tracking and think-aloud

Browsing online bookstores and library catalogues with the purpose of finding and selecting books for leisure reading can be difficult, especially when people want to engage in a more exploratory and serendipitous search. Using a combination of screen recordings with eye-tracking and concurrent think aloud, our study examines how users navigate and select a novel in an online bookstore and how user interface elements and information organisation in an online bookstore influence the user experience. Using qualitative analysis, we created path visualisations and mapped the emotions and perceptions expressed by users to different elements and features of the online bookstore tested. Our results show that most negative emotions during the search and selection process were due to insufficient metadata and resulting usability issues, which most affected the user experience and evoked feelings of distrust and frustration, especially in light of previous experiences with more sophisticated systems. This highlights the importance of the quality and consistency of book metadata in meeting user expectations, helping them navigate and select novels, and ensuring that they will use the online bookstore again in the future.

Participatory, Generative Design Methods: How to Involve End-users as Active Participants in the Design of Information Architecture

Participatory design (PD) and the related generative methods is a design approach involving stakeholders as active partners in the design process. PD is used in many settings and in all stages of the design process. Within the design of information architecture (IA), there are only a few examples where IA is developed from a participatory mindset. This study aimed to extend our knowledge about participatory design methods investigating how three different generative tools provided insights to use in IA design. The study was exploratory and analyzed in a case study how the generative tools allowed users to interactively develop and evaluate IA design ideas. The tools provided insights into user expectations for instance, to subject terms, customization, filtering, and federated search. Concerning user involvement, two of the tools proved well suited to get the participants involved in the discussion about IA, while the third tool provided fewer user insights. Important considerations in the use of PD were related to the design of the tools and time available for the participatory activity. The study further showed that the characteristics of participants may influence the results, specifically their IT competences. 

Theoretical and Methodological Considerations for Understanding the Influence of Tacit Knowledge on Category Development and Classificatory Structure

This paper examines the ontological structure underlying Jewish dietary laws (kashruth) and U.S. legal categories, focusing specifically on the ways tacit knowledge has impacted the development and continued use of these organizational systems. In presenting examples of religious legal classifications alongside those formed through secular institutions, I emphasize the academic and professional importance of viewing them as interdependent phenomena. Although religious/secular divisions are frequently introduced in a well-intended attempt to preserve the autonomy of one or both, I argue that such a framing obscures how tacitly acquired social values, preferences, and beliefs operate in disregard of this artificial separation. Building from canonical scholarship on heuristic reasoning (Kahneman and Tversky 1979) and perceptual categories (Rosch 1975), this paper uses an extensive kashruth case study to propose a scaffolded qualitative methodology for identifying the presence of tacit knowledge within KO systems and analyzing its influence on category structure.

Why and How We Built a Domain-based Subject Gateway: Ortho Search

OrthoSearch is a domain-based aggregated collection of content relating to orthopaedics. Produced and curated by one small independent publisher, it aims to provide a comprehensive coverage of domain content by indexing the content from all the journals in the sector. An innovative interface combines free-text and semantic searching, and the use of a custom ontology created for this site, together with an extensive set of filters, makes content discovery more powerful and manageable than using a more general search engine. Users are able to discover content via symptoms, drugs, or conditions. The content included comprises not only academic articles but conference papers, discussion pieces, case studies, videos, and other content types. Launched in 2021, OrthoSearch has become the default starting point for academics and medical professionals seeking to keep up to date in the domain of orthopaedic surgery.


Knowledge Organization Systems in the Law Domain: Benefits and Challenges

The legal domain is a complex and dynamic area of knowledge, where the interpretation of legal texts requires a high level of precision and accuracy. Legal information, such as statutes, regulations, case law, and contracts, are typically written in a formal language that is difficult to understand for non-experts. Moreover, legal concepts and terms often have multiple meanings and can vary depending on the context and jurisdiction. Therefore, legal researchers, practitioners, policymakers and even citizens need efficient ways to access, organize, and analyse legal information. Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS) provide a structured way to represent legal concepts, relationships, and rules, which can facilitate access to legal information and improve legal reasoning. Of special interest is the development of specific ontologies conceived to represent fundamental legal concepts which offer a classification of legal provision types (i.e. Obligation, Permission, Right, Duty) and related properties (i.e. PermissionAddressee, PermissionAction), including logical relations between legal concepts. The aim of this approach is to improve the quality of legal texts and ensure the maintenance of legal information by monitoring the impacts of new regulations on the legal system. 

Guiding the Unknown Traveller in a Land not Fully Known - Helping Users Navigate New and Old Knowledge Organisation Systems

In trying to give broad access to heterogeneous resources, cultural heritage institutions face a mediation challenge due to their KOSs not always being suited to meet expectations on digital services. This study presents mediation strategies used by Swedish heritage institutions to bridge the gap between perceived contemporary information seeking behaviours on the one hand and the constraints of information services based on KOSs with deep historical roots on the other hand.

Qing Dynasty Official Documents as a Genre for Developing Ontologies for Digital Humanities Research

The poster presents a study centering around a research project on the archives of secret societies during the Qing Dynasty in China, with a focus on investigating the design for knowledge organization in digital humanities research. The process of knowledge organization is crucial throughout the entire research endeavor and requires extensive collaboration among research teams specializing in history, library and information studies, and information engineering. In this study, the Qing Dynasty official documents are treated as a distinct genre. The primary objective is to dissect the key characteristics of this genre, encompassing its form, content, and function, to facilitate the development of metadata, ontologies, and machine learning applications, such as Named Entity Recognition (NER).

Doctoral Research Showcase

Exploring Scholarly Perceptions of Knowledge Organisation Across Disciplines

My study investigates the mental models that researchers at the University of Glasgow and the University of Oxford have of the structure and organisation of knowledge in their own disciplines, and to explore the implications this might have upon scholars’ approaches to searching for literature. This study focuses on four disciplines--Chemistry, History, Law, and Medicine--and draws upon library UX and ethnographic techniques to explore perceptions of scholarly information across the Academy. It is hoped that the results of the study will help improve the information-seeking experiences of researchers by ensuring that library search systems take into account the expectations and assumptions (mental models) of users across disciplines.

Slavery and Race in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1768-1860): A Text Mining Approach'

In her research, Ash seeks to identify and analyse diachronic changes in the representation of discussions on slavery through the first eight editions of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ash is using a combined approach of digital methods to interrogate this dataset, including frequency counts of keywords to guide close readings of Encyclopaedia Britannica entries, and the contexts that these keywords appear in to determine meaning and gain a wider view of these topics and the connections between them. The research also explores the links between articles relating to slavery through network analysis, to determine where explicit links are made between articles – and crucially, where these links are not made. In doing so, she will determine the representations of slavery throughout the early Encyclopaedia Britannica, conveyed through how these knowledge networks are constructed, and the extent of change in these networks across these editions. In mapping these connections, this research identifies important methodological questions as to how we begin to develop best practice approaches for recognizing and analysing the legacies within our information environment.

A Toolkit for Better Understanding of User Engagements with Online Content

The user comments to online content provide a rich source of information on how and why users are engaging with the material and their experiences with the material, the platform, and the institution. This toolkit uses thematic discourse analysis to provide a rigorous and repeatable framework to help determine what users are responding to, their motivations for responding, as well as how involved with the material users are. The toolkit also reveals if discussions are taking place amongst users as well as what feedback users are providing and the effects of institution responses on users.

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