21st Annual National Online Meeting & IOLS 2000 PreConference Sessions
Monday, May 15th (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

Search Engines: Boolean and Beyond
Ev Brenner, Information Consultant, and Sue Feldman, Datasearch
Cost: $295 (includes lunch and coffee services)

This full-day seminar covers search engine technology, its evolution, its current state of the art, and its future. The seminar is designed for professionals who are using, planning, and implementing intranet systems and need to know what goes on behind the query box. It is also intended for information professionals who are tired of throwing their questions at a mysterious black box. It will describe, in non-technical terms, how each kind of technology works. The presenters will describe various products as examples of each kind of search engine, but this will not be a product review. Instead, the presenters intend to take the mystery out of the technology in order for attendees to make informed choices about what tools to choose and why. 

Expert users of information systems need to know how their tools work if they want to get the most out of them. The seminar will explore all kinds of search engines, from early Boolean days to the present and near future. The presenters will trace the development of each kind of search engine—traditional Boolean, Web (or statistical), and advanced natural language processing. What problems was each technology developed to solve? What does each one do, and how does it do it? What are their strengths and limitations? What technologies are just over the horizon?

Subjects Covered:

  • A (personal) overview of information retrieval history: who, what, why, when, where, and how
  • How have the choices of the past influenced our current state of affairs? Why were those choices made by system designers?
  • How does input design (database structure, indexing, thesaurus design) influence the output (how you can take information out of a system —queries, results)
  • Search technologies
  • Boolean search engines
  • Statistical search engines, particularly search engines for the World Wide Web
  • Natural language processing search engines
 …and everything in between.

This section will describe how the technologies behind the search engines work. Then the presenters will review the implications and describe the characteristics of the new sophisticated Boolean search engines such as Verity, PLS, DR-LINK, Conquest, and Clarit. They will contrast them to the large Web search engines and to the traditional Boolean engines found on DIALOG and LEXIS-NEXIS.

  •  Web search engines: the features of each major Web search engine. This section is designed to give an overview in order to improve Web searching for professionals.
  • Developing information technologies: filtering, intelligent agents, automatic indexing and categorization, machine aided indexing, summarization, visualization, and more.
  • Evaluating search engines: features to look for. Pros and cons of different options.
Particular emphasis will be placed on the interface problems between databases and users: what special considerations are necessary for end user searching, and what are the hopes and promises for intuitive information systems in the future? 

Who Should Attend?

  • Intranet and Internet developers of information systems.
  • Searchers who are confused about how to use Web and other non-Boolean systems effectively.
  • Indexers who need to integrate or migrate existing processes to new systems.
  • Entrepreneurs, marketers, and computer system designers who have limited knowledge of some of the basics of information science.
  • Researchers and others who have an interest in an anecdotal, personal approach to information retrieval told by a noted raconteur.

About the Presenters
Ev Brenner is well-known in both the U.S. and Europe as a leading information scientist. He has many years experience as a database producer for the petroleum industry, an information science professor, and a designer of various seminars on indexing and retrieval. Ev is a consultant and has written numerous articles for online industry journals. He is the author of two books: Information Insights: The Road to Knoware, and Beyond Boolean—New Approaches to Information. In addition, he has designed conferences on search engines for the last four years in Bath, England, and in Boston.

Susan Feldman is an information professional who specializes in search technologies and related information technologies. She covers these subjects for online industry publications such as Information Today, Searcher, and Online magazine. She wrote the chapter on search engines for the 1999 volume of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Sue has worked for government, public, and academic libraries. In 1981, she founded Datasearch, an independent information consulting firm that evaluates and writes about new information technologies and products, including search engines, intelligent agents, and interface designs. She is a founding member and past president of the Association of Independent Information Professionals.

Internet Taxonomies and Metadata: Creating Them, Using Them
Marjorie Hlava and Heather Hlava, Access Innovations, Inc.

Cost: $295 (includes lunch and coffee services)

Putting your content on the Internet with a flexible, effective, and easy-to-use interface requires a strong metadata set and accompanying taxonomy or taxonomies. Metadata and taxonomies are the two major components that allow for quick, easy navigation and excellent search results and, when they are linked to well-formed data, create the basis of successful sites. To help us achieve this goal, several standards are in the process of being set and many techniques have evolved for their creation.

Recent developments in the fields of search engine design and taxonomy management have had a significant impact on our ability to effectively find information on the Internet.

Metadata has quickly evolved over the last three years, and many options are now available. Learn about the Dublin Core Metadata, the INDECS data dictionary, the EPICS project, the latest BISAC initiatives, the RDF from W3C, and other metadata projects that can be used in your own Internet or intranet development projects.
Taxonomy management deals with the core concern of content developers and disseminators—how to quickly convey meaning of a record or document so that it can be found precisely and accurately. Ambiguity is the ever-present enemy of clarity. Thesaurus (taxonomy) design and control provide tools and techniques for disambiguation.

As designers and developers of databases for over twenty years, our presenters discuss techniques for building and managing vocabularies and metadata and define the various types of word control including rules for distinguishing among different word control formats. They will also demonstrate an XML RDF solution for text management as an example of how these new standards can work together for an effective outcome.

Who Should Attend? 
Those individuals involved in the creation, design, and implementation of catalogs, databases, directories, and other services on the Internet should learn how to bring order to the Internet chaos and to their own files using taxonomies and metadata. Those who need to learn what these technologies are and how to use them should also attend.

About the Presenters
Marjorie Hlava has broad experience in the field of Internet database design and implementation. She is active in the standards setting and implementation forefronts of the field. She is the designer behind well over 200 commercially available files. She serves (or has served) on the Boards of NFAIS, ASIS, ASIDIC, SLA, NISO, and others. She is an effective speaker and her ability to bridge the gap between theory and application will help attendees make that bridge themselves. Marjorie is president of Access Innovations, Inc., an international database creation services company.

Heather Hlava brings technical expertise of 15 years working with the implementation of catalogs and databases. She recently implemented the AOL Search content files and the Rowe.com resource files. She now is president of Data Harmony, a software company featuring XML solutions and automatic text indexing and cataloging tools.

The Electronic Business Information Landscape: Effective Exploration in the Face of a Constantly Changing Terrain
Anne Mintz, Forbes, Inc. 
Susan Klopper, Arthur Andersen

Cost: $295 (includes lunch and coffee services)

Many information professionals are wandering around the electronic world seeking competitive, global business information in the vast, uncataloged library that is the Internet. This one-day seminar is designed to explore this uneven topography of sources, to identify the best of the best for various types of information across difference industries, devise tactics for keeping up and staying smart, and develop effective evaluation criteria for ensuring that you and your customers are using good information on which to base decisions.

Free and for-fee sources will be considered in tandem with on-going discussion about the strengths and limitations of each option. Woven throughout the day will be thoughts on the newly evolving methodology for conducting business research across a rough and constantly changing terrain.

Topics to be Covered Include:

  • Business meta-sites
  • Market research
  • People finders
  • Company-specific information
  • Country information
  • Demographic, economic & statistical data
Join our experts for lively presentations and discussion of the top electronic resources from business, banking, finance, investment, industry, news, and current events in the business-related arena, and more. The presenters will share their views on key Web sites and Web-based and online databases. Come prepared to learn and share!

Who Should Attend
Information professionals and others who are called upon to perform business research for their clients, for their colleagues, or for themselves.

About the Presenters
Anne Mintz is Director of Knowledge Management at Forbes Inc. She oversees the information center for the company and the indexing and archiving of all Forbes editorial content, and arranges for its electronic distribution to third parties. Susan Klopper is Director of the Andersen Business Research Center of Arthur Andersen. Each frequently presents and writes on business information topics.

Advanced Content Management & Information Portal Strategies
Howard McQueen and Jean DeMatteo, McQueen Consulting

Cost: $295 (includes lunch and coffee services)

This seminar is designed to provide options for selecting and implementing improved content classification systems, designing and building Web-optimized applications, and portal-enabling diverse and heterogeneous content repositories.

Attendee Return on Investment
This seminar sets the framework for understanding and developing a strategy for your organization’s information portal(s). Most organizations have out-of-control intranets devoted to publishing. We will take a look at the fundamental building blocks that need to be in place to control costs and deliver focused and mission-critical content. The seminar leader will demonstrate how portals are destined to provide the content management features necessary to tame out-of-control intranets and rescue users from information overload.

The course is content and information/retrieval-centric and provides case studies on how the instructor, in his role as intranet architect/content integrator, has learned to integrate indexing and delivery of both structured (SQL databases) and unstructured (news, HTML, Office Suite, PDF and other rich-text document types) content. 

Seminar Coverage Will Include, but Is Not Limited to:

  • User community publishing and metadata capture systems
  • Site and enterprise categorization schemes (manual, automated, and hybrid) 
  • Document management and emerging content management systems
  • Search engine support for unstructured and SQL (structured) repositories 
  • The importance of prototyping versus production systems 
  • External information portals and current awareness delivery
  • Application development and vertical portal applications (expertise and employee attribute portals)
  • Consumer management portal functions, rules-based content personalization, and e-mail alerting functions
  • Examples of home-grown and off-the-shelf portal implementations
  • Collaboration and knowledge-sharing functions
  • Developments in surrogate technologies that “suggest” resources through learning
  • Estimates of costs for implementing and maintaining corporate portals 

Who Should Attend?
Content managers, information professionals, business and competitive intelligence personnel, external content and current-awareness personnel, intranet development and portal teams, research center and IRC personnel, and business managers charged with rolling out corporate information portals.

About the Presenters
Howard McQueen is CEO of McQueen Consulting and developed the core strategic and technical materials through his cutting-edge research, consulting, and field-hardened integration work with a variety of Fortune 1000 commercial and government/DOD clients. Jean DeMatteo, Director of Educational Services, worked with Howard to develop the seminar content and created the accompanying workbook (over 200 pages, including many diagrams, resources, and supplemental URLs).

From Librarian to Cybrarian: Taking Charge of Our Future
Jane Dysart and Rebecca Jones, Dysart & Jones Associates

Cost: $295 (includes lunch and coffee services)

Today’s environment of “Inter, Intra, and Extranets,” “knowledge ecologies” and “e-business” presents information professionals with a myriad of challenges and opportunities. Our organizations change daily. Our clients’ or patrons’ needs change daily. Throughout all these changes, it is up to us to ensure that our organizations and clients continue to understand our value, and perceive us as leaders and critical contributors in a highly competitive information world. We must ensure that our organizations and clients know that we are essential to their information and knowledge exploration, to their decision-making, and to their learning.

The virtual library and the virtual organization need the skills of an information professional, a “cybrarian,” who directs the constant change, implements technology, manages access, educates users and opens up this exciting new world to their constituents. These are new roles—Cybrarian, Virtual Knowledge Navigator, Web Manager, Information Architect, CyberConsultant—there are many names. And these new roles, and new demands, require new perspectives. 

This full day workshop examines the new roles, competencies, and career opportunities for us in a changing, challenging, and increasingly online environment. 

Learning Outcomes
At the close of the course, participants will have:

  • defined the new roles, services & opportunities they see for information professionals
  • participated in an interactive & problem-solving environment aimed at guiding their future growth & development
  • drafted strategies for building skills required in new roles
  • created an action plan for their career

Who Should Attend?
Librarians and information professionals at all levels and in any type of library or information service organization who are looking for new roles and opportunities within both traditional and non-traditional environments. The processes, ideas and problem-solving techniques discussed include many of those used by the instructors in their professional consulting work with clients.

About the Presenters
Jane and Rebecca are principles with Dysart & Jones Associates. They have worked with many organizations and information professionals to design highly successful information services, as well as the roles, job descriptions, career paths, and organizational infrastructures needed to support these information functions. They provide professional consulting services to clients in the areas of library and information management, direction planning, focus groups and market positioning, business and change processes, conference planning and customized workshops, writing, and management coaching. They are active in the Special Libraries Association (Jane is a past president) and the knowledge management field, and are the editors of Intranet Professional, a newsletter written for information professionals and content managers (www.infotoday.com/IP).

Finding Market Research on the Web: Off the Shelf or Do It Yourself?
Robert I. Berkman, The Information Advisor

Cost: $295 (includes lunch and coffee services)

These days, the place to go to perform all kinds of market research is, naturally, the Web. But while you’ll find research reports on topics ranging from appliances to x-ray equipment, the problem remains how to zero in on the best sites, locate just the reports you need, and avoid the junk and trivia that abounds on the Net. And should you go to a traditional online service like DIALOG, a market research publisher’s own site, one of the newer “mall” sites, or a general business information aggregator?

This full-day workshop will provide you with a grounding of what’s out there on the Web, identify the sites to get the data, and compare the features, advantages, and disadvantages of the various options. 

A good part of the day will also be spent discussing “do-it-yourself” market research. How do you search for and gather the discrete facts and data you need in order to put together your own market study—digging up data such as market share, industry statistics and trends, company financials, demographics and more—without purchasing an off-the-shelf report or initiating a massive primary research project?
Attendees will be able to ask questions, share research strategies, view sites identified by the instructor, and see the results of sample market research initiatives.

Topics Covered Will Include:

  • Market research basics—what it is, who produces the reports, how they are compiled
  • The best sites for finding off-the-shelf market research reports
  • When to use traditional online services vs. “mall sites” vs. individual market research vendors and aggregators
  • Quality considerations—how to identify a credible report and publisher
  • Limitations of market research reports—what they can’t tell you and why
  • Do-it-yourself market research tips and techniques
  • The promises and perils of using search engines 
  • Using free government information to conduct market research
  • How to conduct primary research via the Web

Who Should Attend?
Information professionals, librarians, market researchers, competitive intelligence professionals, information brokers, or anyone that conducts hands-on business and market research.

About the Presenter
Robert Berkman is the author of Finding Market Research on the Web (Kalorama, 1999) as well as many other popular business research books, including: How to Find Market Research Online (FIND/SVP, 1996); Business Research on the Web (FIND/SVP, 1997); Rethinking the Corporate Information Center (FIND/SVP, 1995); Find it Online (McGraw-Hill, 1994); and Find it Fast: How to Uncover Expert Information on Any Subject (HarperCollins, 5th ed, 2000 forthcoming). He was recently profiled in SuperSearchers do Business, written by Mary Ellen Bates (Information Today, 1999).

Berkman is also the founder and editor of The Information Advisor, an international monthly journal for business researchers, published by FIND/SVP. He also teaches Research Methods for the New School for Social Research (New York, NY).


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