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Center for Content and Knowledge Engineering (CCKE)

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J. van den Berg
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  Chair Electronic Document Technology
  Chair Cognition and Communication
 

The area of Electronic Document Technology and Information Systems

Electronic Document Technology. (a.k.a. "Content Engineering"), this (partime) chair is currently held by Prof. Dr. J. Van den Berg.

Research area and mission

We define our research area as follows: CONTENT ENGINEERING is the development of information systems that support the entire value chain of content production or parts thereof: creation, digitisation, storage, search, manipulation, management, distribution and delivery, in an effective, efficient and user-friendly way. We consider a value chain to be a sequence of process steps linked together, in which each process step adds a certain value to the content and is executed by a certain actor. Digital Content is digital single medium or multimedia information and structure, reference(s) and metadata. This means that we consider content to be rather complex by nature, it is usually not only multimedia but in addition it is enriched (has structure and metadata) and is also part of a linkage structure (is referenced). Content is in many cases strongly related to "knowledge", it can even directly represent (codified) knowledge (thesauri, ontologies etcetera) or by reading or studying content lead to knowledge with humans. Content Management in organisations is many times referred to as Knowledge Management, since much of the organisational knowledge is in its produced content. If Knowledge Management is concerned with delivering 'the right information, at the right time, to the right person, in the right way (for him or her)' then Content Engineering is making it possible!

The chairs' research area finds its raison d'ętre in the ever increasing importance and volume of digital content, and we are committed to scientific research in analysing and innovating content value chains or parts thereof, by focussing on architecture for design of digital content, through the integration of fundamental and applied knowledge from Information and Computing Sciences.
The interaction of the possibilities of choice that designers (i.e. constructors) are faced with when they need to integrate content, functionality and form into a single design for a digital publication – all this while keeping in mind the whole range of technical possibilities, re-use of information and cognitive constraints for effective use – generates a complexity that needs to be researched in its entirety. This entails structuring the gathering of information as well as choosing the surrounding technical facilities that support the input, management, retrieval and the publishing itself; in addition, such facilities need to be tailored to one another. The field of Content Engineering has a wide scope and we confine our efforts only to several aspects of the whole value chain. Our programme has as focal point the ARCHITECTURE FOR DESIGN AND PUBLISHING. The research program aims at generic models and solutions for content engineering problems collectively rooted in the complicated structuring of complex content, at different levels: the physical, the semantic, and the presentation level. The problems referred to become apparent in information processing operations, particularly in content retrieval, authoring and publishing. Evaluation of solutions is an integral part of the research program. The program is carried out in the Center of Content and Knowledge Engineering. Our research theme addresses content from the perspective of the designers (i.e. constructors). The broad range of options that writers and designers are faced with when they need to integrate content, functionality and form into a single design for a digital publication. This, in combination with the technical possibilities and cognitive constraints for effective usage, generates a complexity that needs to be researched in its entirety. It carries on the research questions from the retrieval-theme to a next stage, entailing information gathering as well as structuring, and the choice of supporting technical infrastructure.

This theme comprises the following categories of research problems:
A. Structured content authoring, which has its emphasis on modeling, e.g. incrementally updating of XML schemas for content that can not be completely defined from the beginning (in collaboration with Thieme-Meulenhoff)
B. Editorial support: designing strategies and tools for reorganizing content for reuse on different platforms, in different publication contexts and for different user groups (reusability).
C. Integral multimedia presentations, which goes beyond scientific data visualization and emphasizes the multimedia presentation of the internal (semantic) connections in complex content (publishing).