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Article citation: Miguel-Angel Sicilia, (2009) "Editorial", Electronic Library, The, Vol. 27 Iss: 5, pp. -
This section contains four papers that are extended versions of articles presented at the Second International Conference on Metadata and Semantics Research (MTSR’07) held in Corfu, Greece, in October 2007. First the original papers were selected by the steering committee of the conference for their quality and relevance. Later, their extended versions were subject to an additional standard peer-review process.
MTSR has now become an established biannual conference in the crossroads of Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Information Science, featuring a truly multi-disciplinary orientation that is well reflected in the composition of the scientific committees. The second edition was indeed organized by the Department of Archival and Library Sciences of the Ionian University.
MTSR aims at cross-fertilizing research with a common emphasis on metadata. Metadata is becoming the glue of applications in the global communication space provided by the internet. Metadata takes different forms, ranging from informal, user-generated tag systems as provided by major Web 2.0 applications to more formal and standardized metadata created by professionals in libraries, archives and documentation centers. Metadata is sometimes closer to natural language, whereas in other cases, it is created on top of formal representations such as the Ontology Web Language (OWL). In this latter case, metadata creation and use is part of the emerging Semantic Web, a new model based on semantic annotations, logics-based metadata records with specific characteristics. Another interesting aspect of metadata as a research field is how metadata schemas and practices are increasingly growing in very disparate communities. For example, agricultural metadata is a dynamic research and study field with an active, highly specialized community behind it. Similar communities can be found in almost every aspect of human activity in which classifying digital resources for the purpose of enhancing search and retrieval is an issue.
The papers that come from MTSR presentations reflect the diversity of perspectives of the conference.
Whitelaw, Collins, Zdrahal, Mulholland, Potter, Scantlebury and Taylor report on a study aimed at gaining insight on how taxonomy-based annotation could facilitate the use of digital library resources within a virtual learning environment. This is an excellent example of field research for the use of established knowledge organization systems and the application of annotation support tools. The paper by Pereira and Baptista represents a significantly different research perspective. It reports on the implementation, design and test of a search system combining RSS feeds with a classification system and a thesaurus, using RDF as a shared representation language. This is an excellent example of the kind of mixed technologies that can be developed by combining the established with the new. Then, Papadakis, Stefanidakis and Tzali deal with enabling existing digital libraries through ontology-enhanced browsing, combining a legacy information system with a new access interface that makes uses of the advances in Semantic Web technology. Finally, Sánchez-Alonso deals with the semantic description of digital resources in the domain of organic agriculture and presents a formal ontology derived from an established thesaurus. His work, part of the activities of the EU funded project Organic.Edunet, analyses two directions for facilitating the use of the knowledge in agricultural repositories of digital resources: the potential use of ontologies for the description of learning resources, and the automatic classification of learning resources through the full use of the classification category in the IEEE LOM metadata standard. As can be appreciated in the preceding short summary of the contents of the papers, the range of approaches in the scope of MTSR is actually very diverse.
The third edition of MTSR, hosted by the Research Centre on Complex Systems and Artificial Intelligence (CSAI) of the University of Milano-Bicocca, will take place in Milan. As organizers of the event, we hope that both participants in past editions and other researchers contribute to expanding a broad, multi-disciplinary view of metadata as a research discipline.
Based at the University of Alcalá, Spain. Miguel-Angel Sicilia has provided this text on behalf of the MTSR’07 Scientific Committee