Catalan research 2000-2013: the report

By sule | Fri, 11/20/2015 - 13:18


This week it’s been published a very interesting research report entitled Informe de la recerca en Informació, Documentació i Arxivística a Catalunya (2000-2013). Throughout its 49 pages, the report describes and analyses the evolution of this research (developed mainly in academic circles) from three points of view:

  • The Catalan institutions investigating this field.
  • Human and financial resources available for research.
  • The scientific results deriving from the activities executed.

In relation this last point, the report highlights, on an overall basis, that the production is scarce, although justified in part by the late incorporation of these disciplines at Catalan universities (since the eighties of the last century). It also highlights the concentration of production in a small group of active researchers.

Disaggregated by document types, the report shows the following results:

  • Thesis: 52.
  • Articles in scientific journals indexed in Web of Science (WoS): 186.
  • Papers: 237.

About journal articles (the most representative in research), the report exposes some very interesting considerations:

  • Two-thirds of all articles (67.2%) has been published in El profesional de la información (EPI).
  • 78% of the articles are written in Spanish, while only 22% is in English.
  • Chronological distribution of articles is closely related to the entry in 2006 of the magazine EPI, because it is from this date that the presence of article in WoS increases. It isn’t until 2103 that the percentage of articles published in other international titles grows.

In view of these results, the report recommends, among other things, the Catalan research must increase its internationalization. Currently, Catalan researchers participates in only five European projects and only 22% of journal articles indexed in WoS are written in English.

The report is currently in a period of public debate. That is, if you want to make any comment or contribution you can send a message to

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

Startup Grind Barcelona, entrepreneurship is always welcome!

By sule | Fri, 11/13/2015 - 15:26

Startup Grind BarcelonaHello,

Initiatives to promote entrepreneurship are always welcome, and more if they come from projects such as fresh and exciting as the Startup Grind Barcelona. The Startup Grind Barcelona is part of a global community of start-ups (Startup Grind) with local offices in over 80 countries worldwide.

Startup Grind Barcelona objectives are to promote, inspire and connect start-ups entrepreneurs. To do so, every month they organize a meeting with a person reference in the field of new technologies and innovation. The meeting avoids the classic scheme of speakers and attendees, and opts for a more informal format divided into three parts:

1. Community hour: 10-minute keynote about interesting topics and an open mic where everybody is invited to ask on stage what he needs for his project during 60 seconds.

2. Fireside chat: speaker is interviewed during 40 minutes, followed by a 20-minutes questions & answers section.

3. Networking: catering & beverages, networking with attendees and the speaker.

The next guest (November 30, 2015 / 6:30 PM, at the Mobile World Centre) is Simon Lee, the company Incubio, a start-up incubator in Barcelonafocused on early stage projects that use Big Data technologies.

Admission to the event is open to all and the ticketincludes normally extra stuff, such as catering, beverages and other swag.

Enjoy it!

Andrew Sulé

University of Barcelona

Big Data Congress (Barcelona, 3-4 November 2015)

By sule | Fri, 11/06/2015 - 16:31

Big Data CongressThis week has taken place in Barcelona the 1st edition of Big Data Congress, organized by the Center of Excellence in Big Data. From 3 to 4 November, more than 1000 Big Data professionals, providers and companies that are developing or want to develop Big Data and Data Analytics projects have been able to share their expertise and knowledge, and to generate a networking environment between them.

During the first day, trends, challenges and success real stories were presented in order to show how to extract value from data to manage more effectively and efficiently the needs of citizens and clients.

The second day, trends and technological use cases in data analytics were presented, along with Big Data infrastructures and information visualization tools.

Additionally, in the conference was set a space to show examples of start-ups that based their business in data.

The conference shows Big Data is in good health, a sector that some experts calculate will create 900000 workplaces in Europe in 6 years!!

If you could not attend to the conference do not worry, organizers say all presentations and videos will be available on the Big Data Congress web in few days.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

ESWC 2016, the Semantic Web returns to the international chessboard

By sule | Fri, 10/16/2015 - 08:15

ESWC 2016Hello,

Next year, one of the most important international conferences about Semantic Web, the ESWC 2016, will take place in Anissaras, Crete, Greece, from May 29th to June 2nd, 2016.

ESWC (Extended Semantic Web Conference), formerly known as the European Semantic Web Conference, is a yearly international academic conference on the topic of the Semantic Web. This conference series started its life as the European Semantic Web Symposium (ESWS), which was held in Heraklion, Greece in May of 2004.

The goal of the event is "to bring together researchers and practitioners dealing with different aspects of semantics on the Web". To achieve this goal, organizers always put particular emphasis on inter-disciplinary of topics and research, including but not limited to: Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Database and Information Systems, Information Retrieval, Machine Learning Multimedia, Distributed Systems, Social Networks, Web Engineering, and Web Science.

As a reflection of this inter-disciplinarity, ESWC 2016 includes twelve Main Research Tracksof a great subject range:

  • Vocabularies, Schemas, Ontologies
  • Reasoning
  • Linked Data
  • Social Web and Web Science
  • Semantic Data Management, Big data, Scalability
  • Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval
  • Machine Learning
  • Mobile Web, Sensors and Semantic Streams
  • Services, APIs, Processes and Cloud Computing
  • In-use & Industrial Track
  • Trust and Privacy
  • Smart Cities, Urban and Geospatial Data

Special mention to the PhD Symposium Call, a forum where PhD students can present its work on Semantic Web, share them with peers and experienced researchers, and obtain feedback and learn from each other’s experiences. An excellent initiative to promote the PhD students’ research.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

LodView, an RDF graphical viewer

By sule | Fri, 10/09/2015 - 17:20


This week we have known the National Library of the Netherlandshas adopted LodViewfor publishing its data as Linked Data.

LodView is an open source Java application that, in conjunction with a SPARQL endpoint, allows you to publish RDFdata according to all defined standards for Linked Open Data. LodView offers different data representations, one of which is a very interesting graphical view managed with the data viewer LodLive.

You can see several samples at For example, if you choose  as a “Esempi”, you can see the representation of “London” resource provided by LodView. If you click on the “view resource on lodlive” (right hand on the top page) you see the same information in a graphical way.

LodView "London"

In fact, the LodView project was elected as one of the five finalists of the 2015 LODLAM Challenge, held in Sydney, Australia, 29-30 June.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

Gloria Pérez-Salmerón and libraries for democracy

By sule | Fri, 10/02/2015 - 16:47

Gloria Pérez-SalmerónHello,

Yesterday, 1th November 2015, Gloria Pérez-Salmerón, the new president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), visited our School to inaugurate the Master in Management and Direction of Libraries and Information Services.

Yesterday, 1th November 2015, Gloria Pérez-Salmerón, the new president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), visited our School to inaugurate the Master in Management and Direction of Libraries and Information Services. Gloria Pérez-Salmerón’s conference was entitled "IFLA: the value of a global voice" and, after to claim the IFLA’s leadership on the realm of libraries, she warned about the required change of the professional mentality to afford the future challenges in libraries: news attitudes and news perceptions.

In relation the public libraries, her opinion was that these are key resources to guarantee a democratic access to information yet. In fact, the main goal of the IFLA’s Agenda 2030 will be to preserve the public access to information and to protect fundamental freedoms.

Once again, Gloria Pérez-Salmerón showed us that the struggle for the democracy, the freedom and the equal opportunities to access to information is not a won battle, but a continuously fight where each professional has to participate according its possibilities.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

Implementing Linked Data in Low-Resource Conditions

By sule | Thu, 09/17/2015 - 11:06


Last week I participated in the free webminar Implementing Linked Data in Low-Resource Conditions organized by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI). Presented by Johannes Keizer and Caterina Caracciolo (both membership of FAO), the webminar explained how small and medium-size institutions can publish their data on the Web. Following the example of Agri SA, a web-based resource linking agricultural datasets resulting from the collaboration of small institutions, Johannes and Caterina provided recommendations on how to proceed for making data publicly available. Special mention to their reference to Drupal as a tool to publish data as linked data. Very interesting and useful!

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

Universitat de Barcelona

Automatic Entity Linking methods

By sule | Tue, 07/21/2015 - 13:41

Automatic entity linking methodsHello,

As a part of our research about the application of Semantic Web technologies in digital collections of libraries, archives and museums in Spain, we are working on methods to link automatically entities to knowledge bases (VIAF, DBpedia, etc.).

Tim Berners-Lee established at 2006 four rules to build the Semantic Web. The fourth rule is “Include links to other URIs so that they can discover more things”.  When we talk about digital collections of libraries, archives and museums, this fourth rule is one of the most difficult to implement (the other three rules can be managed automatically from bibliographic records markup in Dublin Core, MARC21,etc.).

Unlike unstructured text, the entity linking applied to bibliographic records has the advantage that entities are semantically well defined by properties (ex. dc: creator, dc:subject, etc.). This means that the first step of identifying, disambiguating and categorizing named entities is solved. Thus, the main issue is how to search and match in VIAF, DBpedia, etc. the persons, organizations, subjects, locations, etc. included in bibliographic records. And this is a problem because a) sometimes the entity surface form in the bibliographic record is not the same that the knowledge base surface form, and b) some surface forms in the bibliographic record has more than one match in the knowledge base (ambiguity).

Nowadays, we are experimenting with OpenRefine to trying to solve these problems. We are defining several algorithms that would have to allow to obtain the exact match between bibliographic entities and knowledge base entities.

We will keep you update of our progresses…

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

The Apple Watch's UX

By sule | Tue, 07/07/2015 - 18:49


Raluca Budiu makes an excellent analysis of Apple Watch’s UI in her article The Apple Watch: User-Experience Appraisal (Norman Nielsen Group). She is very critical with its results, and her opinion can be summarized in the sentence “a watch is not a smaller phone”.

Racula describes how Aple Watch’s apps fail in its design. For example, she says icons are so small that “Launching an app is an adventure”. She also negatively assesses the handoff functionality (refers to allowing users to continue the task started on the watch on their phone) because it “not all apps allow users to continue their tasks on the phone, and, more importantly, the interaction cost of resuming the task is fairly high”. In relation to the content, Racula analyzes how the content of many apps is not an standalone content, this means the content is truncated and cannot be read by itself.

In front these mistakes, Racula makes these four guidelines:

  • Distill the essential content that people are interested in and present it in a compressed form that would fit the tiny watch screen.
  • Avoid buttons and complex navigation as much as possible, and if you do include buttons make them few and big.
  • Use handoff to phone to enable users to get more details and solve problems that require more complicated interactions.
  • Create standalone bits of text that can easily be read and comprehended and truly convey the gist of your content.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé
University of Barcelona an enhanced display of search engine results and much more

By sule | Mon, 06/29/2015 - 18:24, la millora de la visualització dels resultats en els cercadors i molt mésHello,

Excuse my self-promotion, but today I would like to communicate the publication of my last article, la millora de la visualització dels resultats en els cercadors i molt més (currently it is only in Catalan, but in few weeks it will be published in Spanish and English also).

The main goal of the paper is to explain to LIS students and professionals who have not heard about it yet. The article describes the main characteristics of, the vocabulary developed in 2011 by Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Yandex to mark up webpage content and thus make data recognizable and understandable to search engines. In this way, it can be improved the information about a webpage that is displayed in a search engine’s results.

The paper also explains the main principles of the structure of (classes, properties, values, etc.) and the coding formats that it accepts. In addition, it explains how to mark up webpage content with, and describe who uses, maintains and develops this vocabulary today.

Finally, the article briefly assesses the advantages of using, as well as the potential applications of this vocabulary in the improvement of searches and search engine results (greater accuracy, more functionalities, etc.); the development of web semantics; and the area of website ranking (search engine optimization, SEO).

I hope you enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona