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Information Science and Technology

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The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge

Given the abundance of open education initiatives that aim to make educational assets freely available online, the time seems ripe to explore the potential of open education to transform the economics and ecology of education.

The development of the Semantic Web, with machine-readable content, has the potential to revolutionize the World Wide Web and its uses. A Semantic Web Primer provides an introduction and guide to this still emerging field, describing its key ideas, languages, and technologies.

Computers, Change, and Continuity in Science

The use of information and communication technology in scientific research has been hailed as the means to a new larger-scale, more efficient, and cost-effective science. But although scientists increasingly use computers in their work and institutions have made massive investments in technology, we still have little idea how computing affects the way scientists work and the kind of knowledge they produce.

Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet

Scholars in all fields now have access to an unprecedented wealth of online information, tools, and services. The Internet lies at the core of an information infrastructure for distributed, data-intensive, and collaborative research. Although much attention has been paid to the new technologies making this possible, from digitized books to sensor networks, it is the underlying social and policy changes that will have the most lasting effect on the scholarly enterprise.

A Critical Discourse

In Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage, experts offer a critical and theoretical appraisal of the uses of digital media by cultural heritage institutions. Previous discussions of cultural heritage and digital technology have left the subject largely unmapped in terms of critical theory; the essays in this volume offer this long-missing perspective on the challenges of using digital media in the research, preservation, management, interpretation, and representation of cultural heritage.

A Component-Based Perspective

Distributed business component computing—the assembling of business components into electronic business processes, which interact via the Internet—caters to a new breed of enterprise systems that are flexible, relatively easy to maintain and upgrade to accommodate new business processes, and relatively simple to integrate with other enterprise systems. Companies with unwieldy, large, and heterogeneous inherited information systems—known as legacy systems—find it extremely difficult to align their old systems with novel business processes.

From Theory to Practice

Knowledge in digital form offers unprecedented access to information through the Internet but at the same time is subject to ever-greater restrictions through intellectual property legislation, overpatenting, licensing, overpricing, and lack of preservation. Looking at knowledge as a commons—as a shared resource—allows us to understand both its limitless possibilities and what threatens it.

All organizations today confront data quality problems, both systemic and structural. Neither ad hoc approaches nor fixes at the systems level—installing the latest software or developing an expensive data warehouse—solve the basic problem of bad data quality practices. Journey to Data Quality offers a roadmap that can be used by practitioners, executives, and students for planning and implementing a viable data and information quality management program.

Why the Information Economy Collapsed and How It Will Rise Again

While we were waiting for the Internet to make us rich—back when we thought all we had to do was to buy lottery tickets called dotcom shares—we missed the real story of the information economy. That story, says Bruce Abramson in Digital Phoenix, took place at the intersection of technology, law, and economics. It unfolded through Microsoft's manipulation of software markets, through open source projects like Linux, and through the file-sharing adventures that Napster enabled.

The Geographic Associations of Information

Georeferencing—relating information to geographic location—has been incorporated into today's information systems in various ways. We use online services to map our route from one place to another; science, business, and government increasingly use geographic information systems (GIS) to hold and analyze data. Most georeferenced information searches using today's information systems are done by text query. But text searches for placenames fall short—when, for example, a place is known by several names (or by none).

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