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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Mar 3 / Christine Illichmann

Professor Hook Participates in International Conference in Malta

Professor Peter Hook recently returned from Malta where he gave a talk entitled Visualizing Knowledge Organization Systems: Context, Frameworks, Steps, and Exemplars, at an international workshop of information professionals in Valletta, Malta.

The three-day workshop, Observatory for Knowledge Organisation Systems, had the express purpose of exploring the necessary components of assembling a research tool that would facilitate comparisons and contextualization of different knowledge organization systems (classification and categorization schemes, taxonomies, ontologies, controlled vocabularies, etc.).

Professor Hook’s contribution was to speak as to the potential of information visualization to assist in this endeavor.  His main thesis was that linked data is not enough.  There needs to be another associative hook that rigorously distributes topics in space such as the co-assignment of subject headings to specific works.

There was a diverse network of scholars participating in the workshop—three from the United States, and the rest from Europe.  All participants were fully paid for their expenses out of a generous grant from the European Union—COST, European Cooperation in Science and Technology.  This was just one of a series of related workshops. The host city for the workshop is generally in a developing region of the European Union such as Malta or Bulgaria. Non-European participation is limited to just once during the overall grant.

Professor Hook relished making new contacts with like-minded academics and scholars and he anticipates that the workshop will lead to additional collaborations and overseas conference opportunities.  Professor Hook found Malta exceptionally beautiful.  The sun-drenched and warm Mediterranean port-city offered a pleasant respite to the cloudy and cold, Michigan winter.

For more information on the workshop visit: http://knowescape.org/event/observatory-knowledge-organisation-systems/