Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Survey by and of Students (Video)

Interesting approach to making their point!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Information R/Evolution

We don't need to jettison all we know about classification and indexing; we just need to reconsider how a particular community thinks about its own content.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What He Said

T. Scott just posted an outstanding entry that in my opinion encapsulates the current state of affairs in the information community:

"Tell them that the publishing landscape is more complex than it has ever been before. Tell them that increasingly there is good quality information that their health professionals need that is available for free, but it is mixed up on the internet with tons of junk. Tell them that most of what they need is still expensive and it is not at all clear how quickly that's going to change. Point out that there has been an explosion of different types of resources -- point of care tools, online textbooks, evidence-based databases -- that we're not just talking about online journals."

It's complex, it's messy and information management skills are critical.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The New York Times Opens The Flood Gates

The Times has announced that, as of midnight this evening, content previously sheltered behind a firewall as part of their for-fee service, Times Select, will be openly accessible via the Web. This applies only to NYTimes content dated 1987 forward. This is a significant shift in the way news will be disseminated.

Staci Kramer notes some additional specifics following her interview with Vivian Schiller, SVP and GM of "Some content from 1923-1986 also will be available for free but the primary use of those years will be for e-commerce, Schiller said.

Also opened for access: personalization tools including online research and storage tools like News Tracker and Times File. Schiller said Times Reader will continue to be a subscription product; the premium crossword service continues as well."

Afternoon Update: See this blog entry containing a link to Jeff Jarvis' commentary that "whether or not content wants to be free, it is free"; it's the distributor's relationship with the customer that adds value

Thanks to Kevin Bouley and Michael Mahoney of Nerac for sending this along.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Give Me Something I Can Understand

What we really need in the information community are people who can make clear to the average layperson what "stuff" is and does. I had no idea what was meant by object-oriented programming until I read Under the Hood of Web 2.0. Even if the supplied definition is overly broad, it's still something to go on. I appreciate that technology providers are busy with business matters, but some primers (or glossaries or graphic illustrations) for the rest of us would be a wonderful form of customer service.

From the September Issue of First Monday

You may or may not be a faithful follower of First Monday, a monthly digital-only publication for scholarship about the Internet. This month features a lengthy article by Terje Hillesund, a Norwegian researcher, on the topic of books and their long-term vulnerability, Reading Books in the Digital Age Subsequent to Amazon, Google and the Long Tail.

The same issue also features a podcast by Siva Vaidhyanathan, now with the University of Virginia.

Current Awareness Tools in Medical Literature

This medical student blog, Science Roll, offers a nice piece with good links on how to make use of saved searches and RSS feeds as a current awareness tool.

Books and University Presses

It's worthwhile noting two strong pieces publishing within the past 24 hours, regarding books in the humanities and the role of the university press:

From The Valve (a collaborative blog for the academic literary community), Verneglorifying, which calls for a Web based resource on the order of Wikipedia to develop better, more accurate translations of works published in other languages. It's an interesting problem.

From today's Inside Higher Ed, a very strong piece about university presses, Ronald Reagan vs. University Presses. A quote gives a taste of the difficult situation:

A number of savvy administrators and press directors have decided to reach for the digital lifeboat, despite the considerable risks involved. MIT Press is perhaps the best-known, but many others, including Michigan, are propounding coherent visions of the digital future. Sadly, even at the prototype stage some of these efforts have been hampered by the host institutions’ continued insistence on the presses’ self-sustenance. After all, a digital book is no more likely to make money than its print analog. Indeed, because of high opportunity costs and the difficulty of establishing the intellectual and professional legitimacy of digital publications, most early-stage efforts will be lucky to break even. The result is an odd paradox: despite the fact that everyone agrees in principle on the promise of digital media, university presses are not on the whole being equipped to move decisively into the digital domain. This was perhaps the main finding of the Ithaka report, and one of the reasons why press directors and university administrators have damned the report with faint praise, by lauding its clear assessment of the problem while, by implication, lamenting its failure to propose a practical solution.

Note that the Ithaka folks are giving an opening keynote at the sixth annual NFAIS Humanities Roundtable. The venue is New York City and the date is Monday, October 22, 2007.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Test Entry

Test entry-test entry-test entry. Thumping the mike to see if it's really on...

The intent behind this blog is to provide links to interesting news items and occasionally offer comment on the information community. It's not a monolithic environment, and I think outsiders (and even insiders) need to be reminded of that.

This blog does not represent the opinions or positions of my employer. Full disclaimer to be posted in the right hand nav bar in the interests of perpetuating that understanding.