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Eye to the Telescope: Future-Gazing & Current Projects from OCLC Research. 2006 Amigos Conference 11 May 2006 Dallas, TX Eric Childress OCLC Research. Outline. The Big Picture Pattern Recognition Brand, Data, Technology trends The Library - next phase Selected OCLC Research work.

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eye to the telescope future gazing current projects from oclc research

Eye to the Telescope: Future-Gazing & Current Projects from OCLC Research

2006 Amigos Conference

11 May 2006

Dallas, TX

Eric Childress

OCLC Research

  • The Big Picture
    • Pattern Recognition
    • Brand, Data, Technology trends
  • The Library - next phase
  • Selected OCLC Research work
pattern recognition
Pattern recognition
  • Production anywhere, Global distribution
    • Make products anywhere, ship them everywhere
    • Offshore business processes & research centers
  • Big brands & micro channels
    • Mega-publishers, -media, -retailers, -search engines
    • Niche markets exploited via AdWords & affiliate programs
  • Portable devices, digital content, interactive Net
    • iPods, now with video; Are iPhones next?
    • Ringtones, iTunes, Podcasts, Vlogs/Google Video, online gaming, etc.
  • Self-service, micro-consumption
    • The “convenience” society – 24x7 stores, ATMs, click-n-buy
    • Disaggregation – consume by the news story, song, etc.
  • Intellectual Property issues
    • Big business not-so-secretly wants all transactions billable
    • Open Source & Open Content rising (e.g., Apache, Creative Commons)
voices carry
Voices carry
  • Old media losing to new media
    • Broadcast radio vs Satellite & Internet radio
    • Newspapers vs Google News, Craigslist, etc.
  • Brand & voice through new channels
    • Blogging by top execs & by staff
    • Personal branding – “Webcred” is key to one’s fortunes
  • Individual-driven content rising:
    • Personal web pages
    • Blogs (a new one each second!)
    • Digital images/video (flickr, Picasa, YouTube)
    • Bookmarks, etc. (e.g., del.icio.us, furl, digg, technorati)
  • Infotainment increasingly social & peer-to-peer
    • Community authorship, open content (Wikipedia)
    • Myspace, Facebook, etc. personal presence services
Blog Trends

Source: David Sifry

data rules
Data rules
  • Deep indexing:
    • Amazon’s “Search Inside” and “Statistically Improbable Phrases”
    • Google, Yahoo, Microsoft underwriting library digitization work
    • Library space: NetLibrary, Alexander Street, many others indexing content
    • Custom search feeds: Google Alerts, News topic RSS, etc.
  • Instant verification:
    • Many voices, many fact-checkers widely-distributed – Spin doctors beware!
  • Recommendation systems:
    • Amazon, Apple iTunes, other retailers – “people like you chose…”
    • Novel concepts: Pandora – suggests music based on intrinsic patterns of music you like (the “music genome”)
  • Empowered consumption
    • My iPod, my tags, my playlists
    • Reuse, derive, mix content from many sources (e.g. Mashups)
  • Web 2.0:
    • The Network spans all attached devices (e.g., iPods, phones, etc.)
    • Software resides on the Net, not the workstation
    • “Participative Net” – social environment, shared content reused
  • Everywhere Net
    • Internet, GPS, cellphone, municipal wireless…
  • System refactoring
    • Modularity (micro-services, remixing, multiple sources)
    • Layering (loosely-coupled systems)
    • Interoperability (low-friction, high reuse)
      • Lightweight protocols gaining favor (e.g., SRW/SRU, microformats)
    • Machine-oriented services (web services)
libraries next phase
Libraries - next phase
  • Surfacing seamlessly
    • Point-of-need delivery (e.g., library content in non-library apps such as the Web, course management systems, etc.)
      • Open WorldCat, RedLightGreen, OAIster, etc.
    • Open standards, easy integration of data from many sources
  • Re-thinking, re-engineering
    • Library 2.0 changes systems & services
      • Moving towards “Lego”-like modularity in systems & data
      • User-tasks-oriented designs (e.g., NCSU catalog)
      • Adding means for users to contribute, shape their own experiences
    • Supporting Library 2.0 will mean changing organizations & operations
      • More building space for people-to-people interaction, less for books
      • Process & operational changes
        • Example: Choose-acquire-catalog vs Acquire-choose-catalog
Library Systems

Workplace applications - points of need

Mobilize - to put into action



Specialize - involve specific knowledge in order to serve a particular purpose; to apply or direct to specific end or use.

  • Local service
  • Local added value
  • Local context
  • Local knowledge

Synthesize - to combine often diverse conceptions into a coherent whole.


Atomic Library Services

Atomic ‘non-Library’ Services

Robin Murray [ppt]

selected oclc research work
Selected OCLC Research work
  • Making data work harder
    • Data mining of WorldCat (e.g., FRBR (Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records) clustering of related records)
      • FictionFinder – browse/search all fiction works in WorldCat
      • Audience Level – assigns an audience indicator value based on data in bib records for a work, or – alternatively – by inferring audience from the type and number of libraries holding a work
      • xISBN – send OCLC an ISBN, receive all ISBNs for the same work
    • New views, new uses
      • DeweyBrowser – Dewey-based visualization of WorldCat, more
      • Live Search – An AJAX-based search interface that leverages FRBR, advanced relevance, and rank-by-holdings to provide fast results
      • Terminology Services – Controlled vocabularies searchable in a sidebar
frbr group 1 entities
Is embodied in



exemplified by


FRBR Group 1 Entities


A distinct intellectual or artistic creation

Is realized


The intellectual or artistic realization of a work


The physical embodiment of an expression

A single exemplar of a manifestation

oclc frbr work set algorithm based cluster of related worldcat records
OCLC FRBR work set algorithm-based cluster of related WorldCat records












Works in


Works with

between 2 and 5 manifestations:


Works with > 5 manifestations:



By Holdings

Works with > 5 manifestations:

17% of total holdings

Works with 1 manifestation:


Works with

between 2 and 5


40% of total holdings

Works with 1 manifestation:

43% of total holdings

An OCLC experimental prototype

Supports searching & browsing of fiction materials cataloged in WorldCat

Fiction records — 2.8 million

Unique works — 1.4 million

Total holdings — 130 million

Employs FRBR to:

Build a “work” view & cluster related records

Support the creation of special indexes

OCLC Research team:

Diane Vizine-Goetz (lead)

Roger Thompson

Carol Hickey

Lance Osborne

J.D. Shipengrover

New version:

Available later in 2006

Improved navigation & work-based displays


“I used to talk,

With honest conviction,

Of how I predicted my world.

I'm gonna leave it to stargazers,

Tell me what your telescope says.”

- K.T. Tunstall (“Through the Dark”)

further reading
Further reading
  • OCLC Reports
    • http://www.oclc.org/reports
  • OCLC Research
    • http://www.oclc.org/research
  • OCLC-related blogs:
    • Lorcan Dempsey http://orweblog.oclc.org
    • Thom Hickey http://outgoing.typepad.com/outgoing
    • Stu Weibel http://weibel-lines.typepad.com
    • It’s All Good http://scanblog.blogspot.com