Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web in Research from a Historical Perspective PDF Logo

Pre-publication – The designs of Paul Otlet (1868-1944) for telecommunication and machine readable documentation to organize research and society – “At the end of the nineteenth and in the first decades of the twentieth century various European scholars, like Patrick Geddes, Paul Otlet, Otto Neurath, Wilhelm Ostwald explored the organisation, enrichment and dissemination of knowledge on a global level to come to a peaceful, universal society. We focus on Paul Otlet (1868-1944) who developed a knowledge infrastructure to update information mechanically and manually in collaboratories of scholars. First the Understanding Infrastructure (2007) report, that Paul N. Edwards et al. wrote on behalf of NSF, will be used to position Otlet’s knowledge organization in their sketched development from information systems to information internetworks or webs. Secondly, the relevance of Otlet’s knowledge infrastructure will be assessed for Web 2.0 and Semantic Web applications for research. The hypothesis will be put forward that the instruments and protocols envisioned by Otlet to enhance collaborative knowledge production, can still be relevant for current conceptualizations of ‘scientific authority’ in data sharing and annotation in Web 2.0 applications and the modeling of the Semantic Web.” (Charles van den Heuvel in: Knowledge Organization, 36 (4) 214-226)

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