Downie presents keynote at Rizal Library International Conference

Posted: November 21, 2017

Professor and Associate Dean for Research J. Stephen Downie was a keynote speaker for the 7th Rizal Library International Conference, which was held from November 16-18 at Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines. The theme of the conference was "CLICK! Connecting Libraries, Information, and Community Knowledge."

Downie gave the presentation, "HathiTrust Research Center: Text mining the very big data of the HathiTrust Digital Library." HathiTrust Digital Library is a partnership of more than 100 university and public libraries, which has amassed a collection of over 15 million volumes and 5.5 billion pages. While researchers are applying data mining and text analysis techniques to reveal new knowledge buried within the collection, roughly 10 million volumes are under copyright restrictions and cannot be shared directly with researchers.

In his talk, Downie, codirector of the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) introduced the set of nonconsumptive research services that HTRC is creating to make closed materials more open. These services allow the computer to analyze text without allowing the user to read or disseminate copyrighted content and include data capsules, extracted features, and the HathiTrust + Bookworm (HT+BW) tool.

Downie leads the HT+BW text analysis project, which is creating tools to visualize the evolution of term usage over time. He also is the principal investigator on the Workset Creation for Scholarly Analysis + Data Capsules project, and he represents the HTRC on the Novel(TM) text mining project as well as the Single Interface for Music Score Searching and Analysis project. All of these projects strive to provide large-scale analytic access to copyright-restricted cultural data.

In addition to his contributions to digital libraries and digital humanities research, Downie is known for helping to establish a vibrant music information retrieval research community. He is founder and first president of the International Society of Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR). He holds a bachelor's degree in music theory and composition, along with master's and doctoral degrees in library and information science, all from the University of Western Ontario.

Filed Under: faculty news, conferences, HTRC