Christina's LIS Rant
Saturday, April 28, 2007
  Do scientists understand the relationships between societies and their for-profit publishers?
The recent kerfuffle over the posting of some images from a paper on a blog has shown beyond a doubt that the answer is no and this could be problematic for the societies and for the publishers. Finally, days later, someone from Nature (it was an unidentified Wiley employee) points out that the society <> Wiley. Wiley wasn't complaining, it was the society.

Professional societies have journals as a service to/by their members. ASIS&T has JASIST, AAAS has Science, ACS has a million journals... Some societies do their own publishing (like AAAS and IEEE) while most pay a commercial publisher that may be for-profit or may be a university press (which act like they're for profit sometimes). Some societies wash their hands of the dirty little details like what the authors will have to sign away and how licensing will work while others, like AAS, absolutely insist that their members still have rights and that the pricing has to remain fair (that's why I think AAS is moving to a new publisher next year, IMHO). Some of the companies that do society publishing are: Blackwell (recently bought by...?), Wiley, MetaPress (different category?), Ingenta, Taylor and Francis (maybe now Informa), AIP, IOP...

So, anyway... the reputations of both the publisher and the society run together -- especially for non-members. If you're a society person and your publisher institutes an evil new policy, that reflects on you... and what with contracts and inertia and all, it's hard to move. Likewise (and I hadn't considered this until now), Wiley's getting beaten up and threatened with boycotts for something a society person did, as far as I can tell.

For a long time I've been arguing with fellow librarians not to confuse database producer with the interface vendor (like IET for Ebscohost). I think societies and commercial publishers should start a campaign to make their responsibilities and roles clear. I think the for-profit publishers are in tight competition now for the society business -- some of this should be made more explicit and societies should consider moving if they aren't happy with their service. (BTW- I was amazed the first time I heard an ad for Blackwell on NPR -- the ad was clearly targeted at societies looking for new publishers)

Update: I fixed a mistake and a typo. Iris asks in the comments, who are the societies, and who are the publishers? The societies are professional membership societies -- like American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) who publishes their own journal Science. Compare that to American Astronomical Society (AAS) who has their journals published by University of Chicago Press (as of right now). There are directories of the societies -- the Gale Directory of Associations (ask at any public library or academic library and most special libraries). You might also look in at a meta-society, the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (their list of members is available: http://www.alpsp.org/ngen_public/default.asp?ID=243). Take another example from their page, the London Society of Zoology -- if you click on them, and on their publications link, it shows that their journal is published by Blackwell. As for what the rules are, I don't know what money changes hands or what the contracts state -- the publisher does a lot of work for the society and they do it better than a small society could. Some non-profits are BioMed Central, PLOS, AIP, IOP (they are all very different from each other, though). If you're in the position to select one, you might talk with peer societies through ALPSP or some other meta-organization. Hope that helps.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007
  Sage Journals Citation Maps

Pretty cool. I'm not 100% sure it's all that helpful (because it's only one way) but still pretty cool.

UPDATE: OOPs! Well that was shoddy work (by me). If you look at something that has actually been cited, you'll see that it does go both ways (duh)... further... it is apparently not all journals. Right now I see it in Communication Research but not Qualitative Research... So actually potentially helpful. (I went to WoS with no luck, then searched for Communication Research as a source title in Scopus, then limited to Communication research 2005-2006, and scanned the times cited to get one that was cited 5 times -- well Sage doesn't know about those 5 citations, so then I clicked on journal home and most cited articles). Along the right hand side, you get a listing of what authors and journals did the citing and you can download the whole list to your citation manager if you like. You can copy and paste the map, but if you use it in the page, the citations are all linked. This image is JOSEPH B. WALTHER (1996) Computer-Mediated Communication: Impersonal, Interpersonal, and Hyperpersonal Interaction. Communication Research 23, 3 - 43. http://crx.sagepub.com/cgi/citemap?id=spcrx;23/1/3

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
  CIL2007: Notes from our session Innovative Libraries
Thanks to everyone who came - the room was actually pretty full and we really appreciate your support. Jill has the slides posted on her page and she mentioned trying to post her notes on her blog.

In this post I'll talk a little more about my motivations for the study, some comments on what we found, some responses to questions we received during and after, and our intentions for future work.

First, I've attended a few Computers in Libraries and similar conferences and heard some amazing young librarians describe all of the wonderful technologies they've implemented. I wondered a bit at the time how their parent organizations were able to support this what with all of the policy, social, financial and other barriers to innovation. I've also heard many library managers say things like: I wish I had person x at my library so we could do that or there's no way we could implement x because {my boss OR my customers OR my budget OR my policies OR my staff} presents insurmountable barriers. So, on one hand, you have lots of libraries doing all of these amazing things -- presumably with management support -- and you have a bunch of managers who want -- presumably -- to innovate, but see these barriers insurmountable. My hope was that we could talk to some of the managers of "innovative libraries" to see how they overcome these barriers and create the environment that fosters innovation.

This was actually borne out because people during and afterward asked (paraphrased): what about x type libraries and their particular barriers? My manager does x, did your participants provide any advice that might help me? -- Whether or not we were able to help is a question for the audience members :) Note, too, that the actual innovations are not important in and of themselves. That was another question but here's a partial list:
checkout processes
DVD management processes
teen programming
catalog updates

Some comments on the findings:
I think the audience expressed some of the surprise that I felt: the constraints on the school libraries are extreme. The financial situations in special, school, public, and academic libraries are so unique that it's hard to understand how anything can be gained by talking to managers across all of these. The customers of special libraries and public libraries are so different. What we found, though, is that some of the strategies are transferable between settings -- or more precisely, with no leading from us, the participants reported similar strategies. Nobody's got the money they need, if they do have enough money, then they've realized long ago that money wasn't the (or their) answer, etc.

From here:
We'd like to make this into a journal article. This should include a few more interviews, maybe, including some of the types of libraries we didn't get a chance to fully explore. Also, we'll need to continue analyzing some more. I think the writing up part will be key, because we need to make the case about what our work actually was and try to get it published where it might help the most people.

At the same time, this is not in my research areas for my doctoral work, so will have to be deprioritized until my schoolwork and ASIST papers are done.

I may add more here if I think of more that needs saying... right now, it's time to move on to my other projects ... If you are a library manager who has problems seeing ways to deal with barriers, consider cold-calling the manger of a library you admire (now don't everybody pick on the famous libraries -- pick someone in your region) and ask if you can talk to them for a little bit and pick their brains...

UPDATE: Jill's notes are posted. It was a pleasure to work with her, too! And she got my name right :) (although Laurel is *not* Baltimore, lol)


  Jill and I at CIL2007

Christina & Jill
Originally uploaded by cpikas.
I was hoping to have some pictures while we were speaking or maybe even drawings from the artist who's taking notes in drawings, but what I have right now is this fabulous picture. Next post: my notes and follow-up stuff.
  CIL2007: Mashups and Why Would I Want One?
Darlene Fichter

(before we started we watched: I bought it on ebay video, standup economist video, monster mash)

We’re at the beginning of this so don’t think – is that all there is – because we’re still on the playground and figuring out what we’re doing

Like how programmers don’t write everything from scratch but call routines to draw windows, etc., Programmers pull information from Technorati, Google Maps, EVDB..
Mashup ecosystem (read/write/program)
- open data
- open set of services
- small pieces loosely joined
- you

Instead of going to IT – “can you do this for me?” – do it yourself with 5 minute customization of applications. Frees up IT people for big problems, big needs, big gains…

News mashup (that’s a University of Maryland HCIL treemap thingy, I don’t think it’s a mashup, but maybe)

Pittsburgh University Library
using yahoo pipes
scopus and WoS feeds, publications by their faculty
output one feed

Easy things to try:
Google Maps, myMaps (but can’t republish on your own web page)
Get started
1) Think of something you want to do
2) sign up for a developer token
3) read the fine print about use

Community Walk

Learn from other libraries or other sites – see what they’ve done.
marker lat=" lng=""
Get lat and long from google maps – click where you want and read it out of the url
Marshall Breeding’s listing of catalogs (?)
Uses a service to convert address in database to lat and long, then uses Google api and lat long markers.

-In infancy
-Need a better way of finding APIs
-Scale and dependencies (will these be around in a few years and can they support all of the traffic, will API change and require re-do)
-How much to invest
-Right to remix? Rights to reuse data?
-Client side scripts – can’t guarantee what users see


  CIL: Open Access and the Federal Gov’t
R. James King
Ruth Hooker Library, Naval Research Lab

Background – more and more competition for scarce R&D dollars, research labs like his measure productivity not by widgets built, but by publications.

Open Access Movement-
“movement” because almost religious fever
Goal: free access to all scholarly lit to enhance research
Gold vs. Green

He’s proposing a “blue” model
- funding focus – “capturing all published literature created by a funding agency”
- (this would affect my place of work*)
- less problem with copyright bcs maintain traditional publishing routes, but use this for capturing final product not pre-print(?)
- using agency repositories
- available to the gov’t but only partially available to the public where possible – ok this causes a big problem with all of the non-governmental research organizations (universities, non-profits, for-profits) who will have an unfair disadvantage when competing with the gov’t research labs who will have free access to all gov’t funded lit (proposing – just suggesting – should be that if you’re funded to do gov’t work, that you have the same access to these resources)

Gov’t and copyright
See overview at cendi.dtic.mil/publications/04-8copyright.html

Their library –
Give the customer the illusion that they have everything they need on their lab bench laptop

They locally load content. 7.6M+ articles
- light archive undergoing testing and migration, not a dark archive

Capturing corporate knowledge
NRL Publications/Products Database
- from print bibliographies
- now use affiliation/address search in WoS
- 1920s-1980s bound reprints (we used to have these, too, but no more) – final version so unlike with pre-prints, you don’t need version control. Also can go back in time
- no author participation required – don’t have to force them to give you a pre-print before they get the kudos from the publishing (requires a lot of trust)
- expertise locator
- “km is an IT person’s attempt at being a librarian” (funny, a lot of KM people *are* librarians!)

CENDI effort to better mark Gov’t employee work that can’t be copyrighted

UPDATE: * inserted above -- my place of work means MY place of work (as in Christina's), not NRL but somewhere else that you might be able to figure out if you're a human and looking at my blog (or perhaps our slides from our session :) ) --- in general I set off my commentary with () or [] -- I guess when I do stream of consciousness, I should better separate what's coming from my mind from what's coming from the speaker... sorry!

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  CIL2007: Andy Carvin's Keynote
CIL2007: Keynote, Andy Carvin (www.andycarvin.com)
Came into keynote at about 9:20.

Current statistics, unlike a few years ago, show increasing participation from demographic minorities so the hope is that if this trend continues, the 2.0 web will look like we do.

War between “old media” and “new media” – today: the war is over – concerted attempts at finding understanding btwn media and blogosphere. “networked journalism” (Jeff Jarvis)

Media outlets are embracing web 2.0 – not only tapping creativity but also profitable

Open piloting – focus group of the whole web 2.0 @ NPR through sharing rough drafts of shows
- Rough Cuts
- Bryant Park

Radio Open Source (PRI not NPR)- Topics/content developed collaboratively on the blog
Trying a similar idea with Talk of the Nation.

Other Examples
BBC World Have Your Say – editorial meetings are broadcast on the internet in the morning.
CNN iReport (http://www.cnn.com/exchange) – citizens submit photos videos, best clips on air, others in gallery (BBC did this for the London train bombings but didn’t have the system automated to the same extent)
OhmyNews (Korean – but now has [some] Japanese and English content) – 20% from citizen journalists, ones who submit consistently get paid
Global Voices (Harvard, Zukerman?, globalvoicesonline.org?) – volunteer bloggers from various places around the world who write summaries of what’s happening in their neck of the woods – bridges. Reuters has now formed a partnership with them.
VoteGuide – students covered California’s 11th congressional district election. Video, photos, attendance at gatherings/rallies/pancake breakfasts. Can this be expanded to all political races?


Monday, April 16, 2007
  CIL2007: Social Bookmarking and Folksonomies
Change from the program, Ellyssa Kroski is substituting for Jason Fleming.. she'll be talking about the Hive Mind and Libraries. Then we'll have Robert Cagna from Penn Tags.

Kroski's was very nicely done, but really very basic.

Rob Cagna

Looking for partners and to make their code open source. Contact info in the proceedings.

-Allows users to bookmark and tag catalog entries. Available on the open web so anyone can view, but you have to be a member of the Penn community to tag.
-Bookmarklets to add tags
-make “projects” to group tags (?)

Bailed and went to Regency e/f for the NLM guy talking about AllPlus metasearch (arrived 4:50)
Showing some aquabrowser-like display with images on right, faceted search, visualization on left
(I must be in the wrong one, whoever is next door has the audience laughing uproariously)


  CIL2007: Engines for multimedia search
Came in about 15 minutes late (tried another session but it was packed)
Ran Hock
He’s talking now about image search and how the available fields are important in this. Some features are common across.

Flickr has some unique fields
Interestingness (possibly, he says, using implicit relevance feedback)
Camera (he doesn’t see the utility – but for photographers who are comparing models, could be useful)
There is an advanced search, but it’s tricky to find

Same characters, plus AOL (surprisingly enough), Internet Archive
Other considerations – cached copy at the search engine?
Yahoo – limit to podcasts or other audio, expand to get more options like format, duration.
Exalead – regular search and then you limit it – on the right hand side you get facets to narrow on
AOL – includes search formerly known as singing fish.
Internet Archive – 133,000 (compare to 50M in Yahoo) including live concert recordings (Grateful Dead as a category :) )

Audio – Podcast
Sometimes a lot better metadata – up to full transcripts available to search (either machine or human produced), enclosures in XML so there’s a lot of associated text
Podscope – automatic speech recognition (ASR) – last time when Greg showed this it came up with some funny results.
R.H. doesn’t find the search in iTunes helpful.

Audio – Music
Yahoo music has comparison shopping when you find songs you want to buy
He doesn’t mention Pandora (which has the way coolness factor in my mind)

(seems to me very different from last year with the explosion of YouTube)
He showed us a really, really cool Panama Canal video – he points out how much more info they give on the right hand side – facets to pivot on and do new searches on.
“legitimate” clips to purchase

Video – TV
TVeyes (fee based – has this changed?), transcripts, $500+/mo, good for companies who need to monitor news
Shadow TV
Blinkx (not as current, big database lots of sources, advanced search)


  CIL2007: Information Design for the New Web
Ellyssa Kroski
(specifically, most of her content is at: http://infotangle.blogsome.com/2007/04/02/information-design-for-the-new-web/)

(I'm in the overflow room, but in a squishy chair with a desk so I'm staying here... oh and there's also wifi here)

Simple - Social - Alternate forms of navigation

- the applications and their design
- overload of choice from the Paradox of Choice

- Centered design
- rounded corners
- lower case fonts, sans serif
- simple persistent navigation
- bold logos, colors
- subtle 3d - mirrored surfaces, dropped shadows, gradients, reflections
- (genuine and informal) simple icons
- adding white space by increasing line heights
- star bursts

User interface design trends
- ajax > large tabs, toggling between tabs, drag and drop, autocomplete
- wysiwyg editors for web pages
- previews (like for links "snap")

- Commenting
- sharing
- subscribe
- save for later using whichever social bookmarking software
- what are other people saying (related blog posts, digg)
- share data (mashups)
- social networking

Alternate Navigation
- visual representations
- by user pictures
- by tag cloud
- what's hot, what's popular, what's new, featured } quick digests combined as a zeitgeist
- heat maps (summize -- weird)
- relationship maps
- time (digg swarm, etsy time machine)
- map (etsy)

evolve and be nimble


Sunday, April 15, 2007
  Article First in Open Worldcat?

Hm. Now it's not there at all... like the whole WorldCat is not answering and there's a system alert for FirstSearch.

Maybe I was just in the right place at the right time?

Update: Lorcan points to this announcement (dated 4/19, I guess?)
Friday, April 13, 2007
  CIL2007: Innovative Libraries


Friday, April 06, 2007
  Gathering some literature on (systematic) reviews
Systematic reviews are all the rage right now and they come up frequently in the lit searches I do for some of my customers. There's also evidence-based librarianship which is now looking at how to do this for LIS. {btw- I am not planning to make anything of this as of right now, but too many things appeared at once for me not to note it}

These two by Blake and Pratt are about the process of creating the review:

Blake, C., & Pratt, W. (2006). Collaborative information synthesis I: A model of information behaviors of scientists in medicine and public health. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, vol.57, no.13, pp.1740-1749, 57(13), 1740-1749.

Blake, C., & Pratt, W. (2006). Collaborative information synthesis II: Recommendations for information systems to support synthesis activities. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, vol.57, no.14, pp.1888-1895, 57(14), 1888-1895.

This article is how to find them:
Wong, S. S. -., Wilczynski, N. L., & Haynes, R. B. (2006). Comparison of top-performing search strategies for detecting clinically sound treatment studies and systematic reviews in MEDLINE and EMBASE. Journal of the Medical Library Association ( JMLA ), 94(4), http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1629423

And then today I saw on Journalology this editorial on systematic reviews:
The PLoS Medicine Editors (2007) Many Reviews Are Systematic but Some Are More Transparent and Completely Reported than Others. PLoS Med 4(3): e147 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040147

and this article:
Moher D, Tetzlaff J, Tricco AC, Sampson M, Altman DG (2007) Epidemiology and Reporting Characteristics of Systematic Reviews. PLoS Med 4(3): e78 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040078

Don't forget retrieval of systematic reviews
Lin, J., & Demner-Fushman, D. (2006). The role of knowledge in conceptual retrieval: A study in the domain of clinical medicine. SIGIR '06: Proceedings of the 29th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval, Seattle, Washington, USA. 99-106. Retrieved April 13, 2007 from http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1148170.1148191

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Sunday, April 01, 2007
My paper on personal information management was accepted. Woo-hoo!

The only thing is that it needs a *ton* of work. The reviewers must have spent a really long time with it because they gave me fabulous detailed critiques. I have until May 27th, but two massive projects (plus Computers in Libraries) due before then...

I'm excited that it got accepted, extremely confused that it got accepted (with such low ratings - no one recommended it for acceptance), and stressed that it got accepted (which means I have a lot of work to do!).

Gosh. Maybe it was a mistake and it didn't get accepted, and they sent the wrong e-mail (right reviews, obviously)? I'll update this if it wasn't accepted after all.



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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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