Re: Open Archives Initiative

From: Simon Buckingham Shum <S.Buckingham.Shum_at_OPEN.AC.UK>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 15:58:22 +0000

Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University, UK

PhD Studentship - to start October 2001

               *** Application deadline: May 31 2001 ***

Dear Colleagues,

Applications are invited from candidates interested in pursuing a PhD
on collaborative internet technologies to support scholarly analysis
(including Open Archives):

    * Internet Tools for Scholarly Publishing and Peer Review

Another closely related project may also be of interest:

    * Modelling and Visualizing Research Literatures over the Internet

Please follow the application procedure specified on the Studentship

Applicants are encouraged to contact me informally to discuss their
ideas before submitting a proposal.


Simon Buckingham Shum


Knowledge Media Institute (KMi)

KMi is a highly successful, rapidly expanding interdisciplinary
laboratory founded at The Open University in 1995, and located in
attractive new offices at The Open University's main campus in Milton
Keynes, UK. KMi undertakes high-profile advanced research and
development in Knowledge Media: the convergence of knowledge,
communication and computing technologies. We offer a stimulating and
well-endowed research environment, widely acknowledged to be at the
leading edge of European research and development, particularly in
new technologies for knowledge modelling and management, open
supported learning, and synchronous and asynchronous group working.
Our PhD development programme combines the best of European and US
models, and you will be joining an active PhD community. The style,
impact and content of our work are described in detail in our Web
pages at


PhD Studentships

     Internet Tools for Scholarly Publishing and Peer Review

     Dr Simon Buckingham Shum and Dr Stuart Watt

     The Challenge: Designing and evaluating next generation scholarly peer
     review tools in the age of internet publishing

     The successful candidate for this PhD will join an innovative project
     investigating new forms of scientific/scholarly publishing and peer
     review for the internet.

     Technologies for scholarly interpretational spaces

     A key problem we are working on in KMi is how to extend the Net beyond
     being a vast document library by adding interpretational spaces -
     technology mediated forums for interpreting, making sense, critiquing,
     debating, making new connectionsŠ Meaning arises from perspectives,
     which make new connections. How can technologies like open hypertext,
     annotation, discussion/argumentation systems, ontologies, text
     analysis and visualizations of documents and associated concepts help
     the interpretation of resources in the library.

     In sum, without interpretation, there is no meaning or significance,
     and we are left drowning in the information flood. We want to provide
     computational support for interpretation. KMi is interested in
     implementing interpretational spaces for researchers to analyse

     Background to KMi systems

     JIME: E-journal peer review. The Journal of Interactive Media in
     Education (JIME) is a peer reviewed, electronic journal (ejournal),
     published since 1996, to promote interdisciplinary dialogue through
     the use of a Web-based peer review process. JIME articles are
     published in a purpose-designed Web document-discussion user
     interface, which tightly links the article to an area for review
     comments and discussion. Reviewers can post comments under threads
     based on the journal's review criteria (e.g. Originality of Ideas), or
     they can make section-specific comments. The review process is
     designed to enable authors, reviewers and the wider community engage
     in constructive discussion as opposed to the conventional anonymous
     'issuing of a verdict'. Authors have the right of reply, and reviewers
     (non-anonymous) are accountable for what they say. This intellectual
     history is preserved with the final publication in the form of an
     edited version with the most significant comments and replies, which
     remains an open forum for authors (e.g. to post updates) and readers
     to comment. <>

     D3E web document discussion infrastructure. There are hundreds of
     links in a given article, which are generated by a Web publishing
     toolkit called D3E (Digital Document Discourse Environment). D3E has
     found many applications beyond JIME, is under development on an open
     source basis, and is in use by a variety of groups.

     Open Archives Eprint Servers. A promising platform for delivering
     these services to the widest possible community is the Open Archives
     Initiative (OAI), specifically, their Eprint server software. The Open
     Archives Initiative <> has developed a
     protocol to enable researchers to search for scholarly documents over
     multiple ePrint servers. The Eprints server 'shell' that enables a
     knowledge community to self-archive their documents is now freely
     available <>. The basis for providing
     third-party services on top of the eprint server data is outlined in
     the report of the first prototype implementation


     PhD focus

     The goal of the PhD will be to survey the range of proposed models for
     scholarly publishing and peer review on the internet, and in the light
     of this analysis, to implement and evaluate an environment that could
     support research comunities. OAI and D3E are prime candidates, given
     KMi's experience with them, but the strategy taken will clearly have
     to take into account the rapid technical developments that
     characterise internet and knowledge-based publishing.

     Applicants should be able to demonstrate that they can work with
     relevant web server technologies and standards. OAI servers ar
     implemented in Perl and MySQL on Linux/Unix servers. The D3E toolkit
     generates files for D3E-Phorum a customization of the PHP-based Phorum

     However, the ideal candidate will also have experience, or a strong
     interest, in the social dimensions that ultimately will make or break
     tools to support publishing and discourse in scholarly research.

     Relevant publications:

     Applicants will be expected to have formed ideas based on examining
     JIME and associated papers <>,
     and OAI and Eprint documents.


     This studentship will be jointly supervised by Dr Simon Buckingham
     Shum and Dr Stuart Watt. Dr Buckingham Shum has expertise in fields of
     HCI, design rationale, graphical argumentation and electronic
     journals. Dr Watt has expertise in software agents for online communities,
     knowledge modelling and management, and the teaching of cognitive
     We encourage informal enquiries from prospective students who want to
     discuss ideas.

     Additional Information:

        * KMI Website:
        * KMI's Studentship Website:
        * Simon Buckingham Shum:
          (email:, tel: 01908 655723)
        * Stuart Watt:
          (email:, tel: 01908 654513)


     Modelling and Visualizing Research Literatures over the Internet

     Dr Simon Buckingham Shum and Dr John Domingue

     The Challenge: Providing researchers with next generation tools for
     tracking and analysing research concepts

     The successful candidate for this PhD will join a dynamic team working
     on the Scholarly Ontologies digital library project

     There are several
     possible kinds of research that could be conducted, depending on your
     background and interests. Suitable backgrounds would include Hypertext
     (semantic systems; open hypermedia), HCI (information visualization;
     usability studies), CSCW (collaborative construction of shared
     information spaces; classification theory/boundary objects), AI
     (ontologies; knowledge modelling), Digital Libraries (document
     semantics; DL user interfaces; RDF/metadata) and Computer Science
     (information extraction; Java/web user interfaces; web databases).

     Some example PhDs might focus on:

        * Understanding how researchers conceptualise their fields, and
          research literatures
        * Designing and evaluating visualizations and other advanced
        * Implementing information extraction technologies to identify
          scholarly claims in documents, in order to seed a knowledge base

     Relevant publications:

     Applicants will be expected to have formed ideas based on papers on
     the Scholarly Ontologies Project website


     The above 2 projects will be jointly supervised by Dr Simon Buckingham
     Shum and Dr John Domingue. Dr Buckingham Shum has expertise in fields of
     human-computer interaction, design rationale, graphical argumentation
     and electronic journals. Dr Domingue has expertise in human-computer
     interaction, information visualization, and knowledge engineering,
     specifically collaborative, web-based ontology construction.

     Additional Information:

        * KMI Website:
        * KMI's Studentship Website:
          provides links to * KMI studentship policy * KMI studentship FAQs
          * OU Research Degrees Prospectus * OU Application Form
          * Writing KMi PhD Proposals
        * Simon Buckingham Shum:
          (email:, tel: 01908 655723)
        * John Domingue:
          (email:, tel: 01908 655014)

  Dr Simon Buckingham Shum           
  Knowledge Media Institute   
  The Open University                     Tel: +44 (0)1908-655723
  Milton Keynes                 Fax: +44  (0)1908-653169 [office]
  MK7 6AA, UK                  eFax: +44 (0)870-122-8765 [direct]
  Jnl. Interactive Media in Education:
  "What gets measured is not always important,
     and what is important cannot always be measured" A. Einstein
  "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens"               J. Hendrix
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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