Profile of Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of NISO

The Society for Scholarly Publishing has published a profile of Todd Carpenter, who is the Managing Director of the National Information Standards Organization.

Here's an excerpt:

[SSP] Where do you see scholarly communications heading, and what new directions interest you most?

[Carpenter] I see the following as critical areas that are in most desperate need of attention in our community: discovery, license and ownership questions, and preservation. On the questions of discovery, thanks to Google, we seem to have forgotten all of the advances in organization that libraries have developed over decades in finding information and have turned to rely solely on keyword searching. This works well enough 80% of the time. The problem is that people have become satisfied with the 80% results that Google returns in fractions of a second, not understanding that there may be something critical in that remaining 20%. Incorporating into search classification structures, ontologies, and improved semantics—all common under different guises in the print world—is a critical component to ensuring that ALL relevant content is visible to users. . . .

The directions that interest me most include ebooks and display technology, identification of items, people and content, and copyright. The next transformation of our industry will likely be in how people access digital content—moving away from the desktop to something that more resembles the experience of using a book. Much of this will depend on developments with display technology, digital ink, and battery power. How people interact with content is going to come down to better solutions for identification of people and content. Control of access to content will be driven by advances in identity management. This likely won't come out of the publishing world (more likely banking or government), but will have incredible ramifications on how scholarship and all content is distributed. Finally, sharing and reuse of content is not likely to be contained by the current rules for copyright. Restructuring those rules to acknowledge and allow what most people want to do with content will be a key question worth watching if copyright is to continue to have any respect by end-users of content.


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