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Reinventing the wheel: can librarians help?

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to encourage librarians to become involved in the development of emerging technology standards. Design/methodology/approach - Large amounts of data are accumulating, both in corporations and on the web. New methods of structured information retrieval are under development to help manage and access this information. Librarians, preoccupied with changes internal to the institution of the library, have not been active participants in this process, although they have much needed expertise in this area. Several important standards bodies are profiled. Findings - While the web continues to be a public information space, its guardians will need to concern themselves with some of the same issues with which libraries and librarians always have been concerned. If librarians want to have a say in how the web develops, they will need to learn to speak the same language as those who currently determine the policy and direction of the web. Originality/value - It will be useful for understanding current trends in structured information. Several pointers to continued research are indicated.
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Keywords: Extensible Markup Language; Librarians; Resource Description Languages; Semantics; Topic Maps; Worldwide Web

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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