Early/Summary Posts from ASIST: Wednesday
Whew. Almost there.
Communication and Interaction Behavior
Journal Performance and Impact
- Socio-Technical Interaction Networks as a Tool for Understanding Digital Libraries
Howard Rosenbaum and KyoungHee Joung
They studied the successful marketing activies of the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress as "enrollment" activities in a socio-technical interaction network. There were three levels. Primary is bringing potential users to DC to the library. Secondary is using net technologies like chat and e-mail to train users. Tertiary is information dissemination about the other two. Rosenbaum said that this is the "social informatics approach." My question, and it may have not been an appropriate one, is how this approach better informs practice than looking at these activities from marketing theory/approaches. Another thing is: why does it matter that this was a digital library? Rosenbaum's answer was that they were in an early stage and they weren't ready to apply the model yet. huh.
- A Case Study of Communication Channels in a Graduate Program
Shen-Cheng Huang, Chao-Hsiu Chen, and Hsin-Liang Chen
This was a very practical and interesting study. They looked at the library school list serv and found several ways to improve communications to the students. CLIS just changed some things about their list servs that addresses these exact issues -- did they have an advanced copy of the paper? One of the suggestions was to use a standard title for anouncements from the school. The PAM list does this, you start your subject with MATH ASTRO PHYS, etc. Anyway, probably a worthwhile read for listserv admins.
- Blogarians - A New Breed of Librarians
Well, she freely admits that she didn't know anything about blogs before she started this. She did content analysis on a lot of librarian blogs. While I don't agree that she achieves all she promises in her abstract, she does make a few nice points. For one thing, she basically says we're obligated to blog because of the 1992 ASIST Professional Guidelines! She ends by saying that there isn't a need for more blogs, but we need to get more people reading the blogs.
The moderator did a sort of disservice to this session. She kept hurrying the presenters along, disallowed questions, then spent 5 minutes giving little anecdotes to introduce the next speaker. argh! Plus, all the slides were portrait instead of landscape so they were really tiny to read. I guess 4 speakers in one session is too much.
Access to Multiple Library Resources
- Rank-Normalized Impact Factor
Alexander Pudovkin and Eugene Garfield
Very interesting. They made the point that comparing impact factors of journals in one field to journals in another is like comparing apples and oranges. Clinical neurologists may do a lot more citing, for example, than say physicists - so their journals will automatically have higher factors. They cited several attempts to normalize the impact factors that were less than totally successful. Their method seems to do a lot better.
- An Integrated Approach for the Analysis of Factors Affecting Journal Citation Impact in Clinical Neurology
Weiping Yue and Concepcion S. Wilson.
Ms. Yue was really rushed through her presentation, but it seemed to describe a lot more comprehensive model for analyzing the journal impact. They are looking specifically at what external factors affect impact. Some of these factors are accessibility (includes language and subscription rates), internationality, perceived quality. Her inputs are all complex constructs instead of simplistic numbers. I don't know if it's the complexity or just her presentation, but I kind of liked this paper and trust the presenter.
- Can Web Citations Be a Measure of Impact?
Liwen Vaughan and Debora Shaw
In direct contrast to the previous speaker, this speaker said something right off the bat that I know to be untrue, so I pretty much discounted her entire talk. It's funny that way in this conference... was I supposed to read the papers first so I didn't misunderstand from the talks?
- Mapping the Chinese Science Citation Database
Loet Leydesdorff and Jin Bihui
I didn't even know there was a Chinese Science Citation Database... instead of spending a lot of time getting information from CiteSeer, et al, they should buy rights to this database and encorporate it into WoS. Like right away because China is surpassing most of the European countries in scientific output and they're mostly publishing in the 6k Chinese journals (I never knew there were so many). Besides the usual connections between journals, the authors found many geographic and institutional connections. The presenter said that the journals have a different place in Chinese institutions. To look for: Jin, B & Wang, B "Chinese Citation Database: Its Construction and Applicaton" Scientometrics v45 n2 (1999): 325-332.
Beyond the Sandbox: Wikis and Blogs That Get Work Done
- Library Portals: The Impact of the Library Information Environment on Information Seeking Success
Brian Detlor and Vivian Lewis
It's actually kind of an interesting story. Detlor had a class of 8 grad students he tasked with evaluating the library's portal -- and they weren't MLS students, either. Lewis is a librarian. They found (again) that librarians use too much jargon and library terms, that library pages are too much about the library and not enough about the patron, and that relying on LCSHes isn't user friendly. I wanted to ask, but forgot, about the NCSU math resource guides that map the professor-speak to LCSH terms. I wonder if they are aware of them?
- Design, Development and Implementation of a Texas Library Directory Database
Irene Lopatovska, Fatih Oguz, and William Moen
A very neat project for a customer of public and academic libraries in Texas can login, get a branded page for their local library, and can have access to all the appropriate databases. I was a bit concerned that it automatically searches across the OPAC and the Ebsco databases because I find that even very sophisticated users don't understand the difference between searching to gain physical access to the information vs. searching the information. This question was taken as an attack on the students, so I quickly shut up and then apologized later. I found out that these students didn't get to participate in the evaluation, so they don't know if this feature was a problem or not.
- Evaluation of a State-wide Collaborative Chat-Based Reference Service
Jeffrey Pomerantz and Chuck McClure
Interesting. He also said that they are trying to develop a database to do state to state comparisons. CLIS had some sort of deal they were trying to iron out with LSSI, but since I haven't heard any more about that I'll assume that fell through.
Cool title, cool presentation.
- Cameron Marlow of Blogdex. He spoke a little more about his paper comparing linking to someone with blogrolling someone. He and Shirky and a couple of others are the ones really looking at blogs in the US.
- Sunir Shah of Meatball Wiki and recently acquired (yes, I get it, and no, k-workers don't want to be known as plug-and-play resources, but as real people, individuals even) by Socialtext. Sunir had some very interesting things to say but a lot of us had trouble hearing in the back. I think one of his main points was that academe went from a long oral tradition over thousands of years to a print-based one in a few decades. Wikis take moves it back toward an interactive flow. He covered the serials crisis - as if we need that - and talked about how wikis can really be an great place for a group to develop a paper, get all the bugs worked out, let it go through peer review in the open prior to submission to a real open access or other journal. The only problem with this is for journals that are reluctant to have their materials published on the net months prior to submission (don't you have to say that your paper hasn't been published anywhere else when you submit?).
This reception was the exception: free food and liquor from a for-profit publisher. Nice conversations with S.S., J.J., W.J., N.M. and others. Look what happens when you get two former Navy women together!