Data, Metadata, and Ted

Article English OPEN
Borgman, Christine L. (2014)
  • Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
  • Subject: Social and Behavioral Sciences

Ted Nelson coined the term “hypertext” and developed Xanadu in a universe parallel to the one in which librarians, archivists, and documentalists were creating metadata to establish cross-connections among the myriad topics of this world. When these universes collided, comets exploded as ontologies proliferated. Black holes were formed as data disappeared through lack of description. Today these universes coexist, each informing the other, if not always happily: the formal rules of metadata, the chaos of crowdsourcing, the complex paths of linked open data, and copious efforts to establish best practices for the citation of complex objects such as research data. Ted’s influence on information organization is presented as a journey through the stars, planets, and exoplanets of the multiverses of knowledge.
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