TimBL @ Hofreitschule in Vienna

Right now, 19:30, Tim Berners-Lee is giving a key note on the future of the internet at the Hofreitschule in Vienna, a marvellous, historic venue in the very city.

His talk is a plaidoyer for an open internet, that works independent from central control  and political implications, on top of open standards AND net neutrality. This is especially relevant when it comes to open data, where the social machinery of the web will help to improve many flaws democracy is facing today.

So, what are the implications: Study Web Science! And trigger gentle, non-violent change!

It was a pleasure to listen!



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Pascal Hitzler

Semantic Web and Emerging Trends in Scholarly Publishing

In my capacity as one of the Editors-in-chief of the Semantic Web journal (the other one is Krzysztof Janowicz; the journal is published by IOS Press), I was recently invited to talk about the journal at Allen Press’ Seminar Emerging Trends in Scholarly Publishing.  This seminar is an annual event which draws decision makers from the scholarly publishing industry to hear about and discuss recent developments and hot topics related to their profession. This year’s event had a session on “Semantic Enrichment”, and one on “Rethinking the Structure of Peer Review.” All presentations, including videos, are available from the Allen Press website.

The invited speaker of the “Semantic Enrichment” session was Pam Harley, Vice President, Product & Market Development of Semedica, a division of Silverchair.  Pam gave a high-level account of the possibilities and added value which comes with Semantic Enrichment, in a way suitable for the non-technical audience. I personally benefited particularly from the large variety of reasons for adopting Semantic Technologies in publishing which she presented and discussed in her talk (see also her slides).

My presentation (see also the slides) about the Semantic Web journal was part of the “Rethinking the Structure of Peer Review” session, and was focused on the open and transparent review process which we have adopted for the journal. After the presentation, throughout the event, I received ample feedback and remarks which in particular commended us for setting up a realistic improvement of the review process while avoiding radical changes which are likely to meet too much resistance from researchers. I certainly agree with this assessment. The presentation also contains a bit of information on how the journal is doing (in short: it’s doing great).

The seminar was a very enjoyable experience. In particular, it was enlightening to learn about publisher’s perspectives on scientific publishing, reviewing processes, and emerging revenue models. It was also nice to see that Semantic Web as a technology has a natural place in these discussions and is seeing more and more adoption in practice.

If you’re curious to learn more, have a look at the videos of the presentations.

[Author: Pascal Hitzler]

Pascal Hitzler

New Textbook: Foundations of Semantic Web Technologies

Foundaqtions of Semantic Web TechnologiesHolding the printed version of our new book in hand – that’s quite a sense of achievement: Pascal Hitzler, Markus Krötzsch, Sebastian Rudolph, Foundations of Semantic Web Technologies, Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2009. And I think we made a difference with this book, since it not only provides intuitive introductions to RDF(S), OWL 1+2, RIF, SPARQL, but also an in-depth treatment of the formal semantics (including tableau algorithms) – plus applications, tools, a bit on ontology engineering, OWL+Rules, conjunctive queries, and exercises+solutions. Ready-to-use for self-study or teaching. We will also collect slides on the book webpage.

Since our German book has become a widely used textbook for university courses in the German speaking countries, we expect no less from the new book: The didactic rationale is basically unchanged, but we cover much more material, and have obviously brought the contents up to date.

And we’ve already found a first typo: The heading to Section 1.4 reads: “Semanic Web Technologies.” Is that a Freudian Slip?

Pascal Hitzler