Aaron Krowne

This talk will discuss the core development activities of the “Quality Metrics” project at Emory’s Woodruff Library. This project is being conducted under an IMLS grant to research requirements for and build a working prototype digital library search system.

What this project is doing that is new is truly generalizing and integrating explicit and latent quality indicators which allow users to ascertain the fitness of digital library resources. Most search engine components have only one indicator: content-query similarity (“relevance”). Google only has two, adding PageRank to the latter. Our system, QM-search, will have an unlimited number of these, which will be customizable by the digital librarian for the target community and collections, and even customizeable from user to user or search to search.

Some basic examples of quality indicators that digital libraries might be able to exploit would be activations (views online or check-outs in circulation), selection (compilation in “bookmark” lists online or additions to course reserves lists), extent of review (from a peer- reviewed journal, conference, or not?), or citation-based metrics.

The ouput of QM-search will be in a completely generalized XML format, with the search results represented as a structure based on the structure specified in the input “organization spec”. This XML output can be transformed into presentation HTML resembling anything from a “linear” Google-like search results list to an A9-like column display to more exotic groupings and breakdowns.

Requirements for QM-search are being gleaned from focus groups being conducted at Emory (preliminary results will be shared), and development is being conducted as a high-level layer atop the excellent Lucene open source search engine project.

—Aaron Krowne Head of Digital Library Research Emory University General Libraries President and Founder, PlanetMath.org Office: 404-712-2810 Cell: 404-405-5766 akrowne@emory.edu