Call for Participation


Virtual Documents: Hypertext Functionality in Digital Libraries


at the Digital Libraries 2000, DL00, conference


San Antonio, June 3, 2000.


Workshop Theme


Virtual documents are documents for which the content, nodes or links, or all three, are created as needed. There already exist several kinds of documents for which the content is determined dynamically.  A template can be used for which node contents are substituted at runtime. Second, applications can be employed to dynamically construct virtual documents from underlying data in data or knowledge bases for one time use. Third, CGI scripts and search engines can be used to compose virtual documents from fragments of other documents for the user on demand. Fourth, metadata can be generated for summarization for users, where the extraction and summarization is done on the fly for the user.

Now we need to answer questions about how to handle these documents within the context of Digital Libraries. How are virtual documents defined and managed? The management of this class of documents requires new understandings of bookmarking, versioning, authentication, structure, ownership, navigation, collaboration, and reuse of components.  Issues of security, data protection, verification, and access control may also need to be addressed. Finally we need to answer the questions about how to determine if these structures are actually improving service to the users.

By "hypertext functionality", we mean much more than browsing by clicking on "goto" links from one node to another. The focus of the HTF series has been on the identification of characteristics that define and describe the "hypertextuality" of system. For instance, it aims at describing new ways to view a system's knowledge and processes from a conceptual point

of view, to let users access and navigate and select from items of interest, to enhance knowledge through comments and relationships, and to customize information and display to the individual users and their tasks.

As the concept of Digital Library continues to expand from static, passive repository to active information resource, the potential for virtual documents in that context increases. The convergence in the work in hypertext functionality and virtual documents has grown significantly in volume and scope in recent years. The goal of this workshop is to expand the scope of the earlier series, reaching out to a broader audience in the Digital Library community in order to influence and be influenced by the convergent and divergent needs of this audience.





Workshop Series


            This will be the second workshop on virtual documents (and eighth on hypertext functionality) following discussions started at the WWW7 conference in Australia by members of the Reuse of Web Information/ Flexible Hypertext and Hypertext Functionality workshops.

There have been eight previous Hypertext Functionality (HTF) workshops, which began in conjunction with the ACM Hypertext Conferences. The first three HTF workshops concentrated on the identification and organization of hypertext functionalities that could form the core of hypertext systems in a wide variety of application areas.  HTF4 examined issues related to the incorporation of advanced hypertext functionality to web-based applications. HTF5, held in conjunction with the ICSE conference in Kyoto, May 1998, examined the impact of HTF on software engineering. There have also been several workshops on the use of adaptive and dynamic hypertext techniques.  Some related events which have been held in the past include: the combined workshop on Reuse of Web-based Information and Flexible Hypertext held in conjunction with WWW7 in Brisbane, the Flexible Hypertext Workshop held at Hypertext'97, the workshop on Adaptive Systems and User Modeling on the world wide web held in conjunction with the Sixth International Conference on User Modeling (UM'97).





In this workshop we look forward to fostering the fertile area of overlap not only with members of the Digital Library, Hypertext, and Virtual Document communities but with the WWW, the MIS, and the Open Hypermedia Systems (OHS) communities as well.


This workshop intends to examine the role of virtual documents in Digital Libraries. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:





            Submissions are requested in the form of short papers, 5-10 pages, on a related topic or a position paper, 2-3 pages, indicating interest in the topic. Papers should be prepared and submitted as html documents to both of the conference chair by the submission date given below. All papers will be reviewed by 3 referees and authors will be notified as quickly as possible. The papers will be collected in a workshop proceeding as well as part of the HTF website collection.


Important Dates


Submissions due: May 15, 2000


Authors notified: as received


Final versions due: May 21, 2000


Workshop date: June 3, 2000



Workshop format


The first session will provide time for short participant presentations and discussions. In the second session, working groups will focus on themes identified in the first sessions, followed by group presentations and discussions on these themes.  The results of the working groups and ensuing discussion will be a written report on the state of virtual documents in Digital Libraries and a broader and grander vision for future research. We expect participants to be prepared to write as well as talk, and to contribute to the delivery of such a final report.


            The final report plus longer versions of selected papers may be included in a proposed monograph series by Addison-Wesley on the HTF workshops.




            The organizers have been involved in the HTF and VD workshop series from their inception. Michael Bieber has research interests in hypertext and networked communities and is currently working with ACM SIGWEB in developing a digital library (HyNIC) for that community. His interest in this project is in adding support for hypermedia, communications, and conceptual mapping to the digital library architecture. Carolyn Watters has long research interests in information retrieval and hypertext access and is a member of the HyNIC architecture task force.




Contact Information

Carolyn Watters
Faculty of Computer Science,
Dalhousie University
Phone: 902-494-2093            

Michael Bieber
CIS Department
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Phone: 973-596-2681