Herbert Van de Sompel Receives Kilgour Award for Research in
Library and IT
Apr 24, 2003 14:35 PDT
For Immediate Release, April 2003
For more information Contact:
Mary Taylor, 312-280-4267
2003 LITA Frederick G. Kilgour Award winner announced
Dr. Herbert Van de Sompel of the Los Alamos National Laboratories is
the winner of the Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and
Information Technology for 2003. OCLC Online Computer Library Center,
Inc., and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a
division of the American Library Association, sponsor the award.
The award was established to honor the achievements of Frederick G.
Kilgour, the founder of OCLC and a seminal figure in library automation.
The award is given to a person who has amassed a significant body of
"real world" research in the field of library and information technology
that has had an impact in the way in which information is published,
stored, retrieved, disseminated or managed. It consists of $2,000, an
expense-paid trip to the ALA Annual Conference, and a citation of
"The Kilgour Award Committee was delighted to acknowledge the
significant work of Dr. Van de Sompel, whose research has contributed
significantly to not one, but two major current developments in our
field: linking technologies and metadata harvesting." said Larry Woods,
chair of the award committee.
Based on the research for his PhD, Herbert and his colleague Patrick
Hochstenbach created SFX, a system that uses information passed from one
information system to create locally appropriate related web links to
other systems. The SFX system now is in use in hundreds of libraries
worldwide. Parallel products have been or are now being developed by
various companies, universities, and other players in the library
information technology environment, all based on the insights and
architecture developed for SFX.
A key element of the SFX linking architecture is the OpenURL, a method
for passing bibliographic information from one information system to
another encoded in a URL. The OpenURL is now being standardized by NISO
(an effort in which Herbert is heavily involved), and shows promise of
becoming a key tool in the interoperation of distributed digital library
systems. As a matter of fact, it has the potential to change the nature
of links on the Web in general.
With Carl Lagoze, Herbert led an international effort to devise a
protocol by which systems holding descriptive metadata could make that
metadata available for "harvesting" and re-use by other information
systems. Originally developed to support the building of union catalogs
of metadata derived from distributed e-print archives, the protocol has
been generalized through work in the larger digital library world as the
Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting.
Dr. Van de Sompel received a Masters degree in Mathematics in 1979, and
a Masters degree in Computer Science in 1981 and a Ph.D. in
Communication Science in 2000 all from Ghent University, Belgium. He is
now employed at the Research Library of the Los Alamos National
Laboratories in New Mexico as Team Leader, Digital Library Research and
The award will be presented at the LITA President's Program on Monday,
June 23, 2003 at the ALA Annual Conference in Toronto.