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CS/INFO 431/631: Web Information Systems

Section and Reading Schedule

Topics covered in section will generally match or compliment the lecture material.  The table below will list specific section reading assignments as the semester progresses.  Readings for the week will be posted no later than Monday evening preceding the section.

Date Topic and Readings Notes
1/25 From libraries to the Web: points on a spectrum

Web Architecture and Information Organization


Information Entities and Identification

  • Berners-Lee, T. "Universal Resource Identifiers." World Wide Web Consortium, 1996.
  • Grreen, Brian, and Mark Bide. "Unique Identifiers: A Brief Introduction." Book Industry Communication / EDItEUR, 1999.
  • Bennet, Rick, Brian F. Lavole, and Edward T. O'Neill. "The Concept of a Work in Worldcat: An Application of Frbr." Library Colections, Aquisitions, and Technical Services 27, no. 1 (2003): 45-59. (Must access from Cornell Domain)

Organizing Knowledge

  • Jacob, E. K. (2004). "Classification and Categorization: A Difference that Makes a Difference." Library Trends 52(3). (Must access from Cornell Domain)
  • Marlow, C., M. Naaman, et al. (2006). "HT06, Tagging Paper, Taxonomy, Flickr, Academic Article,To Read". Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia. Odense, Denmark, ACM: 31-40.
  • Kwasnik, B. H. (1999). "The role of classification in knowledge representation and discovery." Library Trends 48(1): 22-47.


  • Marlow, C., Naaman, M., boyd, d., and Davis, M. HT06, tagging paper, taxonomy, Flickr, academic article, to read. In Proc. Hypertext 2006, ACM Press (2006), 31-40.
  • Sen, S., Lam, S. K., Rashid, A. M., Cosley, D., Frankowski, D., Osterhouse, J., et al. (2006). Tagging, communities, vocabulary, evolution. CSCW '06: Proceedings of the 2006 20th Anniversary Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Banff, Alberta, Canada. 181-190.
  • Farrell, S., Lau, T., Nusser, S., Wilcox, E., and Muller, M. Socially Augmenting Employee Profiles with People-tagging. In Proc. UIST 2007, ACM Press (2007), 91-100.

Social Networks

  • Granovetter, M. (1973). "The strength of weak ties." American Journal of Sociology 78: 1360-80.
  • Boyd, D. M. and N. B. Ellison (2007). "Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship." Journal of Computer-mediated Communication 13(1): 210-230.
  • Mika, P. (2005). "Flink: Semantic web technology or the extraction and analysis of social networks." Web Semantics: Science, Services, and Agents on the World Wide Web 13(2-3): 211-223

Web 2.0

  • O'Reilly, T. (2005) What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software. O'Reilly Network
  • Millard, D. E. and M. Ross (2006). Web 2.0: Hypertext by Any Other Name. Hypertext 2006. Odense, Denmark, ACM.
  • Anderson, C. (2004). The Long Tail. Wired. 12.

Semantic Web Applications

  • D. Karger and D. Quan, “What Would It Mean to Blog on the Semantic Web?,” Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 3298, no. October, 2004, pp. 214-228.
  • Ankolekar, A., Krotzsch, M., Tran, T. and Vrandecic, D. The Two Cultures: Mashing up Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web WWW 2007, Banff, 2007.
  • Bojars, U., Breslin, J.G., Finn, A. and Decker, S. Using the Semantic Web for linking and reusing data across Web 2.0 communities Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web, Karlsruhe, 2008.

Open Source/Open Standards

The Benkler book is one of my favoriites in this area!



Trust and Provenance

  • Gyongyi, Z. and Garcia-Molina, H., Web Spam Taxonomy. in First International Workshop on Adversarial Information Retrieval on the Web, (Chiba, Japan, 2005).
  • Lynch, C. A. (2001). "When Documents Deceive: Trust and Provenance as New Factors in Information Retrieval in a Tangled Web." Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology 52(1): 12-17,
  • Hirtle, P. B. (2000). Archival Authenticity in a Digital Age. Authenticity in a Digital Environment, Washington, D.C., Council on Library and Information Resources.,


  • Kittur, A., Chi, E., Pendleton, B.A., Suh, B. and Mytkowicz, T. Power of the Few vs. Wisdom of the Crowd: Wikipedia and the Rise of the Bourgeoisie 25th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2007), San Jose, CA, 2007.
  • Auer, S., Bizer, C., Lehman, J., Kobilarov, G., Cyganiak, R. and Ives, Z. DBpedia: A Nucleus for a Web of Open Data 6th International Semantic Web Conference and 2nd Asian Semantic Web Conference (ISWC/ASWC2007),, Busa, South Korea, 2007, 715-728.
  • Stvilia, B., Twidale, M.B., Gasser, L. and Smith, L. Information quality in a community-based encyclopedia Knowledge Management: Nurturing Culture, Innovation, and Technology - 2005 International Conference on Knowledge Management, 2005, 101-113

Scholarly Communication

  • Lynch, C.A. 2007, The Shape of the Scientific Article in The Developing Cyberinfrastructure, CTWatch Quarterly, vol. 3, no. 3
  • Ginsparg, P. 2007, Next-Generation Implications of Open Access, CTWatch Quarterly, vol. 3, no. 3.
  • Friedlander, A. 2008, The Triple Helix: Cyberinfrastructure, Scholarly Communication, and Trust, Journal of Electronic Publishing, vol. 11, no. 1

Intellectual Property

  • Lessig L. Free culture : How big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity. New York: Penguin Press. (2004). Available as PDF online. Read through page 30.
  • Lessig, L. (2003). The Creative Commons. Florida Law Review, 55(3). Use the Cornell Library Gateway.
  • Aoiki K., Boyle J., Jenkins J. Bound by law?.Center for the Study of the Public Domain. (2006). Available in PDF online at

Reading Guidelines

Readings assigned for sections come from three types of sources:

Students are expected to approach each week's readings critically. Are the ideas sound? What are the alternatives and trade-offs? How well do the ideas fit into the larger information context? What are the barriers to success: technical, social, legal, and economic? How is the content of the readings related to the topics presented in the recent lectures? Weekly sections are meant to be a forum for discussing these critical reactions, driven by student participation and NOT by instructor or teaching assistant presentations. The amount of section participation and the degree to which it represents critical evaluation of the readings is an important criteria of grading.

On-line Discussion

The success of section depends on how prepared students are to critically evaluate the assigned readings. To encourage preparation, a blog has been set up for on-line discussion of the weekly readings. The blog is located at You login id is your netid - all passwords have been set to a string that will be announced in class. Please go to the site as soon as possible and access your profile to change your password. Since you will be held responsible for posts associated with your netid, we recommend you make your password change immediately.

The guidelines for the use of this blog are as follows:

Reaction Papers

There are two reaction papers due during the semester.  The tentative reaction paper due dates are March 7 and April 21 at 11:59PM. 

For each reaction paper you should choose a topic covered in the course thus far.  The notion of a "topic" is reasonably fuzzy but broadly it is something that you can use as a vehicle for framing a discussion about three papers.  Examples of topics are "Libraries in the digital age", "Information Interoperability", "Semantic Web", etc.  You should then choose one of the assigned readings from the course thus far that are related to your topic of choice.  Then choose two related papers that you discover via another method such as references in the papers you have read, searching on Google, Google Scholar, via the library gateway, or from other information source. Think of finding this paper as a mini resource discovery exercise. Make sure to include proper citations to the three papers you have chosen. 

You should then write approximately 5 pages (approximately 2500 words) in which you address the following points:

A few additional guidelines on the papers are:

The reaction papers will be graded on a 20 point scale, with points allocated in the following categories:

Papers will be submitted via CMS, and should be in word (doc) or pdf format.