Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy



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STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY

Progress and Prospects

http://plato.stanford.edu
Colin Allen

Associate Editor / Principal Programming Consultant

(Philosophy, Texas A&M University)

colin@plato.stanford.edu


Edward N. Zalta, Principal Editor

Uri Nodelman, Assistant Editor
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STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY


Outline

¥ project overview

¥ current status

¥ future issues


A Ôbottom-upÕ perspective on DL issues
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STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY


Project Overview
¥ Dynamic Reference Work (4 yr cycle)

¥ Academically authoritative, high quality

¥ Quarterly archives for scholarly use

¥ Small staff (~1.5 FTE)

¥ Volunteer authors & subject editors

- from 30+ countries / 5 continents

¥ Low cost = long-term sustainability
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STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY


Statistics as of June 18, 2002
Editorial Board 71

Authors 632

Commissioned Entries 724

Projected Entries +1500

Entries Online 307

Entries Updated 112

Average Words Per Entry 9405

ÔPagesÕ (@ 600 words/page) 4812


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STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY


Publication Rate­

Date Phase Published Total

9/1995-8/1998 Prior to Public Funding 78 78

9/1998-8/2000 NEH Grant #PA-23167-98 53 131

9/2000-5/2001 NSF Grant, Prior to Tracking System 38 169

5/2001-6/2002 NSF Grant, with Tracking System Online 138 307
Projected: 450 entries by 8/2002 (end of NSF IIS-9981549)
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STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY

Measuring Impact
¥ Readership

- volume: > 100,000 hits / week

- composition (survey): students (52%), teachers (14%),

researchers (9%) & general public (25%)

- locations: > 160 countries
¥ Web Visibility and Authoritativeness

- syllabus links (400-500) and peer site links (edu etc.)

- Google rankings
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STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY

Google Rankings (March 17, 2002)

Searched topics of first 100 published entries

e.g.:

Alfred North Whitehead 1996 1



Ancient Skepticism 1997 1

Animal Consciousness 1995 1

Aristotle's Political Theory 1998 1

Arthur Prior 1996 1

Artifact 1999 16

Bertrand Russell 1995 4

Category Theory 1996 3

Causal Processes 1996 1

Cognitive Science 1996 28

etc.
76% returned 1st ; 94% returned in top 10


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STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY

Google PageRank Explained

excerpted from http://www.google.com/technology/index.html


PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important."

Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines all aspects of the page's content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it's a good match for your query.


DLI2 ALL PROJECTS MEETING, Edinburgh 2002

STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY

What the Future Holds (??)
MEDIUM TERM GOALS

¥ 450 entries by 8/2002 (5 yrs public funding)

¥ 2 yrs additional public funding==>750 entries ("maturity")

¥ Continued free access - essential for continued web visibility


LONG TERM NEEDS

¥ 1.5-2.5 FTE staff + server costs (US $150K-250K/year)


STRATEGIES FOR LONG-TERM SUSTAINABILITY

¥ Endowment building (US $3-5 million)

¥ Subscriptions to archives (locus of scholarly value)
DLI2 ALL PROJECTS MEETING, Edinburgh 2002

STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY

Constraints and Needs
¥ Author and Subject Editor "Good Will"
¥ Authors maintain own documents

- Simple, Understandable Format

- HTML (XML has 40% penalty for authors; J.Bosak Nature)
¥ Continuing software development for

- automation of routine tasks

- support of common author and editor tasks

- automated integration with OAI, Dublin core, etc.???


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