K is for Knowledge. In efforts to spread it.
Cornell is digitally, of course, at the head of it.
Database arXiv represents the ideal of it.
Cornell faculty get credit for much of it.
You may know that scientists are putting more and more research articles
on the Web instead of submitting them to traditional journals. You may
know that the major database for this, arXiv, which is free and is minimally
moderated, contains over 380,000 articles in physics, math, and CS and
gets 50,000 new submissions each year. But do you know Cornell’s
role in these ventures?
ArXiv is maintained by the Cornell Library. It is the brainchild of
Cornell Physics-CIS prof Paul Ginsparg. He originally developed it while
at the Los Alamos National Lab and still does research on it —he
got a Macarthur fellowship for it. CoRR, the CS part of arXiv, is due
to CS prof Joe Halpern, who pushed the ACM into supporting it and worked
with Ginsparg and CS researcher Carl Lagoze to incorporate it into arXiv.
Many of the behind-the-scenes software ideas in today’s digital
libraries are due to Cornell people like CS researchers Dean Krafft,
Jim Davis, and Lagoze. In the 1990’s, they worked with others including
CS prof Bill Arms —then at CMU— on a DARPA project to put
tech reports on the web. Lagoze and colleagues built the Dienst architecture,
which led to the Fedora project and the widely used metadata harvesting
protocol OAI-PMH. Today, this technology underlies the NSF’s National
Science Digital Library, the state of the art for web-based digital libraries,
which has its technical leadership here at Cornell.
Synergistic things happen over the years when quality researchers in
different areas talk to each other.