Saturday, June 23, 2007

JCDL 2007 - days 3 & 4

The conference opened on Thursday with a keynote from John Willinsky (Univ. of British Columbia). Amazingly enough, John gave an entertaining talk without the aid of PowerPoint. John focused primarily on issues surrounding the open access (OA) movement, exhorting the digital library community to take the lead. At one point in the talk, John gave a shout-out to Marko's poster, using the metaphor of "fingerprints" that define a variety of ways scientists leave their marks on the scientific world.

I attended several sessions, but one of the more interesting presentations I attended was on a paper called Measuring Conference Quality by Mining Program Committee Characteristics by a group from Penn State. The authors basically divided a large list of conferences into reputable and non-reputable by examining the quality of the conference's PC members. To verify that some of the conferences that were judged non-reputable were indeed non-reputable, they created 3 bogus papers using the SCIgen software which was used in the MIT prank. The 3 papers were submitted to 2 conferences, and 2 of the 3 papers were accepted! There were obviously no reviews returned for the papers.

I also enjoyed Cathy Marshall's presentation on The Gray Lady Gets a New Dress: A Field Study of the Times News Reader. Cathy's presentations are always filled with interesting photos and stories.

On Friday I gave the first talk in the User Studies and User Interfaces session on my paper Agreeing to Disagree: Search Engines and Their Public Interfaces. I got some really positive feedback, and was turned onto some related work by Jamie Teevan.

Right after my talk I caught Marko's, but I had to skip out on a few afternoon talks in order to complete my slides for tomorrow. I did attend the closing ceremony- looks like JCDL is going to be in Pittsburgh next year, and the conference dinner is going to be held on a boat! Should be another great conference.