Interacting With Information: Lessons from the Stanford Digital Library Project

Andreas Paepcke, Stanford Computer Science, Digital Library Project

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University October 23, 1998


At this four year mark of our Stanford Digital Library project, we step back and review our work. In this talk we will select several aspects of our project, and discuss the tradeoffs we made. First, we will explain how we approached the challenge of providing a uniform, easy-to-use interface for a diverse digital library. We will discuss our solutions to the user tasks of submitting searches, interacting with document processing services, and analyzing search results. Second, we explain how metadata plays an important role in digital library interoperability, and why existing metadata representations fell short when we tried to use them for digital libraries. Finally, we will explain how user traditions and expectations have impacted our designs at a deeply technical level.

Dr. Andreas Paepcke is a senior research scientist and project director of the Digital Library project at Stanford University. For several years he has been using object-oriented technology to address interoperability problems. He was the first to demonstrate how metaobject protocols could be used to couple an object-oriented language to multiple, heterogeneous databases. He has designed and prototyped post-market object-oriented interfaces to commercial information providers. Most recently, he has been using distributed object technology to address the problem of interoperability in the context of distributed digital library services. Dr. Paepcke received BS and MS degrees in applied mathematics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. Previously, he worked as a researcher at Hewlett-Packard Laboratory, and as a research consultant at Xerox PARC.


Titles and abstracts for all years are available by year and by speaker.

For more information about HCI at Stanford see

Overview Degrees Courses Research Faculty FAQ