Transforming Search: What the Information Community Can and Should Build

Virtual Conference

Linked data. Aerial photography. Voice recognition and automated transcription. While none of these alone have transformed the user’s search experience, each plays a part in how users currently think about information retrieval and about the research process. In the coming years, artificial intelligence will have an increasingly important role as well in satisfying the user’s information need. This event will address how search technologies have progressed as well as emerging issues associated with discovery and relevant retrieval.

Confirmed speakers include: Joyce Valenza, Associate Professor, Rutgers University; Johnny Boursiquot, Chief Technology Officer, Skilltype; Sebastian Kohlmeier, Senior Manager, Semantic Scholar & Response to COVID-19 Pandemic, Allen Institute of AI; Markus Kaindl, Senior Manager for Semantic Data, Springer Nature; Keri Mattaliano and Ray Gilmartin, Copyright Clearance Center; and Jim Hahn, Head of Metadata Research, University of Pennsylvania.

Event Sessions

12:00 Noon - 12:15pm Welcome


12:15pm - 12:45pm Things I want my students to know about search and things I want search systems to know about students


Drawing from her experience with high school and graduate students and her IMLS-funded research, Joyce will explore issues students face when they meet search engines and databases and suggest a wishlist for future versions

Referenced during this presentation:

Considering and teaching privacy with help from Library Freedom Institute

Protecting Privacy on Library Websites: Critical Technologies and Implementation Trends,” by Marshall Breeding

12:45pm - 1:15pm Managing Information Overload


Given the most recent explosive growth in COVID-19 research, scientific publishers have been working intensively on cutting-edge solutions and industry-wide collaborations to tame the coronavirus literature. While the world is fighting an epidemic, we’re also struggling with an infodemic. At the same time, the rise of language models in natural language processing and generation offer promising technology solutions to both fuel and remedy this situation.

This talk will elaborate how new approaches to discovering relevant content and the application of augmented intelligence on machine generated summarization can address this in the 21st century. Furthermore, we’ll explore how search enhancements and innovative partnerships can help scientists and policy makers to tackle humanities other monumental challenges as described in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

1:15pm - 1:45pm Wikidata as a hub to library linked data re-use


Jim Hahn

Head of Metadata Research
University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Libraries are experimenting with semantic search by making wise re-use of existing metadata. This re-use depends on linked open data from the web to begin to bring traditional bibliographic descriptions in line with entity-based retrieval. Linking to entities on the web is a fundamental component to ensuring semantic search success. Libraries are now well placed to contribute entities to the web of linked open data by way of Wikidata. While no canonical data source exists to serve as a central node for library linked data, this presentation will advance the notion that libraries can and should make use of Wikidata for enriching and distributing linked data on the web. Wikidata as a persistent data source ultimately provides increased visibility and access to library collections. A pilot project of selected Penn faculty will serve to underscore library linked data re-use and detail opportunities ahead for linked open data and library search.

1:45pm - 2:00pm Break

2:00pm - 2:30pm 7 Things Modern Researchers Want in a Search Tool


Internet search engines have shaped the expectations and preferences of Millennials and Gen Zers, the generations that comprise most of today’s workforce.  These modern researchers who grew up in the era of Googling approach their work differently than previous generations, and expect smart discovery tools that help them get to the essence of information faster. In this session, we will look at what modern researchers seek out in a search tool, and we will go inside one organization that set off to develop a best-in-class solution to facilitate knowledge discovery and insights.

Referenced during this presentation:

MEDLINE®: Number of Citations to English Language Articles; Number of Citations Containing Abstracts1 (as of January 2020)*

RightFind® Navigate

RightFind® Insight

2:30pm - 3:00pm Innovations in Academic Search & Discovery - A Case Study From the Allen Institute for AI


Sebastian Kohlmeier

Sr. Manager of Program Management and Business Operations
Allen Institute for AI (AI2)

Given the continued growth in research publication volume it's critical to leverage new innovative approaches to improve academic search and discovery. This talk we describe how we are leveraging AI within Semantic Scholar to develop search and discovery solutions that empower researchers to identify relevant research. We will also provide an overview of the CORD-19 dataset that we developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss how the dataset is being used to identify answers for some of today's questions while building infrastructure to improve tomorrow's search systems.

3:00pm - 3:30pm Privacy and The Effective Search Experience


As Information professionals, our desire to provide value to our users brings with it the need to understand how they interact with the tools we build to create effective search experiences. This understanding often comes with the capture and analysis of interaction data — a practice that has been under increasing scrutiny with regards to privacy concerns, and rightly so. In this talk, we explore some practical and infrastructure-level considerations we can bring to bear as technology builders to treat user privacy responsibly while delivering on the promise of value to our users.

3:30 - 4:00pm Roundtable Discussion

Moderated by Todd Carpenter

Additional Information

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