Christina's LIS Rant
Monday, July 26, 2004
  OCLC in Yahoo and Google: A proposal
Reading Rita Vine's discussion of the different treatment of OCLC records in Yahoo and Google pointed out by Randy Reichardt on STLQ makes me think. Why can't all of us librarian bloggers link to the OCLC record instead of the Amazon record for the books we discuss? Wouldn't it be more useful to point people to finding the book in their local public libraries? I already did this on a hobby forum. My proposal: let's all try to link to the OCLC "Find in a Library" record for a while and see if that changes anything. Encourage OCLC... help library circulation....

Recently I've been talking about Fabric of the Cosmos.
Friday, July 23, 2004
  JoDI: A Personal Information and Knowledge Infrastructure Integrator
K. Andrew Edmonds, James Blustein, and Don Turnbull. "A Personal Information and Knowledge Infrastructure Integrator."Journal of Digital Information, v.5 no.1 article no. 243 (2004-05-12).
This thoughtful article gathers ideas about the power of blogging together. Much of what they suggest is already available, but most blogging software doesn't support the many levels of permissions required to allow people to feel comfortable blogging about personal issues. The other articles from this issue talk about writing the web. To me this is less likely to catch on than blogging because people often watch their computers like they are t.v. Wikis have great promise, too, but maybe we can get people started on blogs?
Monday, July 12, 2004
  E-LIS - Eprints for LIS
Pointed out by Peter Scott.
E-LIS is a database of library and information science e-prints sponsored by RCLIS (pronounced "reckless"). It's small (only about 1000 articles) but complies with the basic standards and has some nice search features. Most of the articles are not in English.
See also: DoIS, a bibliographic database of articles, etc., in LIS.
Thursday, July 08, 2004
  JMLA: The use of personal digital assistants in the health sciences: results of a survey
Sandra L. DeGroote and Marceline Doranski. J Med Libr Assoc. 2004 July; 92 (3): 341-349. Pointed out on Resource Shelf.
More than what's listed in the title, the article mentions library support for customers' PDA use. I wonder about potential use of CRC handbooks or Knovel offerings by engineers? Of course in secure environments there won't be any wireless access. I'll have to investigate the references.
  AskOxford: New Words in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary
Here's the whole list of the new words in the concise OED of 2004. An article listing some of the words was pointed out on LISNews. Va-va-voom.
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
  ResearchBuzz: A Search Engine for Detecting Sites Using Your Content
7/6/2004 by Tara Calishain
TC points out this interesting tool that uses the Google API to search for similarities in websites. I picked the LLRX version of my article and was surprised at how a few people quoted big chunks of it without using my name. Ah, well, more vanity searching on my part, perhaps, but this is useful for teachers, I'm sure.
Friday, July 02, 2004
  Blog Searching: Waypath Weblog: Advanced Search Options
Turns out that, contrary to what I stated in my Trends article, Waypath does have advanced search. This page provides the syntax for advanced searching: http://www.waypath.com/help/kws_syntax/. Steve provides brief details:
  • single terms (e.g. movabletype wordpress)
  • phrases in quotes (e.g. "radio weblogs")
  • Boolean operators (e.g. movabletype OR wordpress)
  • grouping (e.g. (RSS OR ATOM) AND valid)
  • wildcard operators (e.g. post*)
  • weighting terms (e.g. blogging event^3)
  • fuzzy searches (e.g. movabletype~)
  • proximity searches (e.g. "bush election"~6)
  Brief Review: Free Culture
I'm late in noticing that this got posted. It's my very brief review of the DC SLA's book discussion and the actual book.
  Eye to Eye: Ingenta Partners with Google
Pointed out by C.B. via e-mail.
"Ingenta is pleased to announce the successful implementation of full text indexing on Google, the popular and widely used Internet search-engine... As of March 2004, Ingenta has enabled full text access for the crawler, meaning all words in the article, not just the abstracts and keywords, are indexed and searchable on Google... Ingenta has currently switched on full text crawling as a trial for 70 publishers, including CABI Publishing, Professional Engineering Publishing, FD Communications Inc., and American Ceramic Society, and will be adding more in the weeks to come."
I guess this really isn't any worse than researchers hitting the Ingenta site first and mistaking it for a real database (like BIOSIS or INSPEC). It will require librarians to be even more aggressive in training users on databases and their merits.
  Co-citation Analysis Controversy
From previous posts, it's clear that I'm skeptical about many recent applications of citation analysis, bibliometrics, etc. No doubt this comes from my academic training. Author cocitation analysis (sometimes ACA) uses the statistical relationships of citations to articles to map the collaborativeness or interconnectedness of members of a community. For example, if a, b, and c write papers, and both d and e each cite these same papers, it can be inferred that d and e work in related research topics. When the numbers of authors and papers increase, or if the links are 2nd or 3rd hand (in other words, f cites d who cites a, b, and c), more complicated statistical methods are required to show the strength of the connection and the reliability of the measurement. Some of these methods are used in the various clustering tools.

In the new issue of JASIST (v55 n10, Aug 2004) there are more letters to the editor about author cocitation analysis and the use of Pearson's r as a measure of similarity (DOI: 10.1002/asi.20028, 10.1002/asi.20029). Pearson's r, aka the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, measures how well a linear equation describes a relationship between two variables. White and Griffith first came up with this use around 1980 and it's been argued about ever since. Specifically, the value of knowing that the relationship between the variables is linear and positive/negative and using that as a measure of similarity is in debate. The proponents say that r is easy to calculate and provides a good overview. The detractors say that there are a couple of examples where it breaks down. Both agree that qualitative information is required to provide real meaning (duh).

Some hot applications:

Thursday, July 01, 2004
  Library Lookup Bookmarklet: Geac? or Z39.50?
After Amy reminded me about this cool thing Jon Udell worked out, I gave it a try for my organization's OPAC. It works as designed. There are problems, but it's still really, really cool.
Now, what do you do for Geac catalogs? Anyone, anyone? Can you do this by the backdoor route using Z39.50?

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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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