B  U L  L E  T I  N

of the American Society for Information Science and Technology       Vol. 29, No. 2      December/January  2003

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From the Editor's Desktop

This issue is one of two that will be devoted primarily to metadata and closely related topics, such as the Semantic Web. The second installment will appear in April/May 2003.  I am very grateful to Stuart Sutton for editing the special section in this issue: Mining the Metadata Quarries.

I am struck by how sparsely even eight or ten articles cover this field now compared to five years ago when we published our first metadata issue (October/November 1997). Both the scope of the field and the number of projects have increased enormously, but some things don't change. We are still waiting to see any visible impact on the major Internet search sites from the hard labor in the metadata quarries. Jane Greenberg addresses one aspect of this problem when she looks at how metadata can be generated more efficiently and effectively and, in particular, at efforts to improve automatic metadata generation.

Another important thread in the current metadata world is XML. If you missed Jay ven Eman's excellent introduction to XML in our last issue you may want to backtrack.

These two themes, XML and metadata generation, come together in the article by Rebecca Guenther and Sally McCallum of the Library of Congress. Their article discusses MODS (Metadata Object and Description Schema), a development that provides a MARC-based XML schema that is less elaborate than the MARC 21 bibliographic format but more descriptive than the Dublin Core.

Another major theme in the metadata world is interoperability, which has many aspects. Stuart Sutton selected two of them for this special issue: value mapping and interoperability through schemas. Guenther and McCallum address this latter aspect in the second part of their article when they consider the METS proposal (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard), which provides a framework for attaching expanded types of metadata to digital resources, including administrative and structural information. Turning to research in value mapping, Joe Tennis tests the potential role of card sorting, using "audience" terms from seven different education vocabularies in his experiment.

Finally, Wang Jun explores ways to exploit library traditional tools, in this case the Chinese Classification and Thesaurus, in a networked environment. This article also concerns an XML experimental system.

Both Tennis and Wang are doctoral students, a category of potential author that we probably do not tap often enough. In addition, Wang is both the third place winner in the 2002 SIG/III International Paper Competition and a winner of one of the ASIST International Travel Grants for the Annual Meeting so generously provided this year by the Eugene Garfield Foundation. I hope that when you read this issue many of you will have had an opportunity to meet him and the other outstanding recipients in Philadelphia. As one of the judges I want to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude, and I'm sure I speak for ASIST generally, to Sue O'Neill Johnson for chairing the Travel Grant Jury and easily doing enough work for four dedicated volunteers.

Which brings us to other matters international. In keeping with the efforts spearheaded so ably by SIG/III to increase our international presence, the Board has created an International Liaison position, whose first occupant is Julian Warner of Queen's College, Belfast. Julian and ASIST 2002 President Trudi Bellardo Hahn each provide details in this issue about his formidable assignment.

Nearer home, we are pleased to publish another insightful article from Lee Strickland, this one on the problem of balancing Fourth Amendment rights and homeland security. Lee focuses on the recent critical report by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to the United States Senate on the implementation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the USA Patriot Act.

Finally, Andy Dillon has some choice words to say about user-centered design in his IA column (I guarantee you won't want to miss this one!).

I'm glad to have seen so many of you at the ASIST Annual Meeting in Philadelphia and for those who could not attend, please look forward to full coverage of the meeting in the February/March issue of the Bulletin.

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