Is Linking Thinking? Addressing Scholarly Hypermedia
michael roy, information technology services, wesleyan university  home

Is Linking Thinking? Addressing Scholarly Hypermedia

Michael Roy & Paul Bergen

The link is perhaps the single most revolutionary device within the web. While it shares certain attributes with the footnote, the endnote, and the citation, it lacks the long evolution that distinguish our print-based traditions of pointing readers to new and related materials. As a result, what it gains in immediacy it loses in its ability to reliably deliver not only the material its author intended to be delivered, but often over time, its ability to deliver anything at all. Through a survey of existing and emerging link architectures, and their expression in commercial browsers, this paper will look at a number of allied questions surrounding linking in particular, and the construction of hypermedia environments in general. How do various hypermedia languages (HTML, HyTime, TEI, and XML ) differ in the richness of their linking syntax? What features of these languages are taken advantage of in commercial browsers? What are strategies for creating more stable and enduring hypermedia environments, and for creating environments that are more easily inter-related? What are the intellectual property issues surrounding the activity of linking? Does the construction of hypermedia environments constitute an intellectual activity? If so, what are the sorts of intellectual decisions that come to bear on the construction of hypermedia environments, and how does one evaluate the quality of thought within hypermedia scholarship?




1. Introduction

This section outlines the basic argument and contextualizes the topic within the context of supporting the development of digital resources on campus.

2. Link architectures: html, hytime, tei, xml

This section describes the various features that the architects of html, xml, tei and hytime thought that the user community would need to produce rich, useful hypermedia.

3. Browser implementations: navigator, explorer, panorama, others

This section describes how the architectures laid out in html, hytime, tei, and xml are implemented and/or extended in a variety of modern browsers.

4. Other initiatives to improve stability and richness of hypermedia environments: purls, doi, metadata, ims

This section examines the relationship of linking technologies to other initiatives to improve the stability and richness of hypermedia environments, including persistent urls, digital object identifiers, the dublin core metadata initiative, and the instructional management system.

5. Intellectual property and assessment issues: neo-luddite reactions against technology, academic apologias for technology and its future, experiments in scholarly hypermedia, survey of evaluation/assessment criteria

This section surveys a sampling of arguments both for and against the pursuit of hypermedia as a platform for academic discourse, examines some of the intellectual property issues surrounding linking, and surveys various attempts by scholarly organizations to evaluate and assess scholarly hypermedia.

intro | not hypermedia scholarship | examplesstandards | conclusions 


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