"On March 3, the White House Office of Science and Technology policy (OSTP) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) co-hosted a thought-provoking conference about the state of the art in big-data analytics and privacy technologies. Counselor to the President John Podesta and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker gave keynote addresses at the event. The conference attracted some of the top technologists working on leading-edge big data projects in a range of important areas, including healthcare, genomics, education, and transportation, as well as privacy-enhancing technologies. In case you missed it, you can find the MIT webcast here."
"2014 Keynote/ Plenary
Opening Keynote Speaker
Freeing Knowledge: A Values Proposition, by Barbara Fister, Gustavus Adolphus College
Knowledge is open-ended and networked by its very nature. Libraries have traditionally been local nodes in that network, places where people can join the network, where learning is inquiring, not just acquiring. Yet the fluid, connected nature of knowledge runs counter to the current economic framework in which knowledge is given to publishers to be transformed into property, then returned to the network through a complex system of metered payments. Libraries have worked hard to keep knowledge free at the local level through negotiating licenses, implementing software to manage all the locks and combinations, and designing user interfaces that make the locks as invisible as possible. If we joined our knowhow and our fundamental values, we could collectively play a leadership role in developing a new and open network that is, like knowledge itself, open to change."
"Hello and welcome to OAWAL – Open Access Workflows for Academic Librarians. These pages are currently in their formative stage. The intention is to make OAWAL an openly accessible wiki/blog site for librarians working on the management of open access workflow within their given institutions.
OAWAL is currently constructed to be a base that librarians can build on to create context sensitive workflows that would apply to open access management at their given institution. To this end, OAWAL describes and discusses multiple business plan models for open access publishing and is not intended to promote any one given model or business plan.
The 6 draft sections below are the beginning building blocks that we would like to build on with you help – through in-person comments via this blog, Twitter, Facebook, at conferences and also via online crowdsourcing. We would greatly appreciate your constructive criticism and suggestions on how to improve this site and it’s sections for librarians and to this end, we’ve enabled the comments within each section. You can also email us directly at Graham Stone or Jill Emery. In addition, as we develop OAWAL we would like to start adding your workflows and examples of best practice to the appropriate sections, so please get in touch :)"
"If University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s fake classes fiasco were a mob case, we’d say a key witness has turned state’s evidence. Since it’s a National Collegiate Athletic Association academic-fraud scandal, let’s go with: Another sneaker has dropped—about a size 16, triple-E.
Recall from our current cover story, “No Class,” that UNC-Chapel Hill, home of the legendary Tar Heels basketball team, has become ground zero in the debate about how the $16 billion college sports industry operates. Carolina earned that dubious distinction by, among other misdeeds, offering more than 200 fake classes that never met but were disproportionately preferred by its varsity athletes."
"This report is the first part of a sustained effort through 2014 by the Pew Research Center to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Lee wrote a paper on March 12, 1989 proposing an "information management" system that became the conceptual and architectural structure for the Web. He eventually released the code for his system-for free-to the world on Christmas Day in 1990. It became a milestone in easing the way for ordinary people to access documents and interact over a network of computers called the internet-a system that linked computers and that had been around for years. The Web became especially appealing after Web browsers were perfected in the early 1990s to facilitate graphical displays of pages on those linked computers.
It thus became a major layer of the internet. Indeed, for many, it became synonymous with the internet, even though that is not technically the case. The internet is rules (protocols) that enable computer networks to communicate with each other. The Web is a service that uses the network to allow computers to access files and pages that are hosted on other computers. Other applications that are different from the Web also exploit the internet's architecture to facilitate such things as email, some kinds of instant messaging, and peer-to-peer activities like internet phone calling through services like Skype or file sharing through torrent services."
"In research projects, data collection and dissemination are considered as two discrete and independent activities. The focus is on the research question, and not on how to best collect, present and subsequently share data. Although most US funding agencies now require that researchers data share, the tools available to operationalize this requirement are lacking. We propose show how the open source MediaWiki system can provides a lightweight, collaborative, and inexpensive tool to support new data sharing practices. This note serves to illustrate how interactive data collection and dissemination supported by a Wiki server can be used by scientists both during the project and for subsequent dissemination."
"Sixty undergraduate students were paired up and participated in a usability study of the Library Explorer software on a Microsoft PixelSense Tabletop. Specific investigation into the impact of diversity attributes on collaboration style, collaboration quality, task performance, and participants' perception revealed interesting patterns. Problem solving ideas were coded as suggestions. Gender composition and task performance were found to be significantly associated with the frequency of suggestions' non-acceptance. Results show that during participants' collaborative discovery on interactive tabletops, gender and racial diversities, while directly influenced their collaboration styles and processes, did not impact their team performance. Diversity attributes that significantly correlated with team effectiveness included native language diversity, differences in tabletop use experiences, usability ratings, and the frequency of suggestions not being accepted. Findings of the study not only enrich the understanding of the connection between team compositional diversity and collaboration styles, but also provide insights on how team members' suggestion behaviors may help capture the dynamics of collaboration on interactive tabletops."
"Social tagging systems enable their users to access useful or interesting information resources in various ways. The purposes of this study are to identify the information seeking modes adopted by users in this context and to determine the popularity as well as effectiveness of these modes. A transaction log file obtained from Douban, the most influential Chinese-language social tagging system, was examined based on an original clickstream data analysis framework. The results show that encountering, browsing by resource/tag/user/group, searching, and monitoring by user/group are the major modes ever adopted. While browsing by resource is the most popular mode, browsing by tag is the most effective one. The research findings enrich our understanding of social tagging systems as vibrant information seeking environments and provide useful implications for their interface design."
"After more than a decade of working in scholarly publishing from within a research library (at the University of Michigan), in the fall of 2013 I began teaching in the Graduate School of Information and Library Science at the University of Illinois. I arrived in my new faculty position, anxious to share my years of work experience.
As early immersion, I joined the team teaching a class required of all new graduate students in the program, Information Organization and Access. The course introduces students to many of the core principles of librarianship and encourages thinking about possible career paths. The instructors frequently shared job advertisements from throughout the library profession with students.
Owing to my own experience and inclinations and to trends in the academic library, I frequently posted positions for scholarly communication and publishing librarians. This excited me: “Look! Jobs in my area of specialization!” and made me anxious: “Are we teaching the kids what they need to know? Are we educating and training a new generation of professionals that can participate in the creation, as well as the curation, of the scholarly record? What do those professionals need to know?” "
"An Australian record label has agreed that a Harvard University law professor’s use of a popular song in a lecture that was posted online constituted fair use of the material, as part of a settlement that ends a legal dispute between the two parties.
Liberation Music had threatened to sue the professor, Lawrence Lessig, over his use of the song. But Mr. Lessig, who is a prominent scholar of Internet law and a supporter of reduced copyright restrictions, responded by suing the company for what he said was its abuse of copyright laws."
"Whether a library renovation is a bane or a blessing depends on its responsiveness to patron needs, its recasting of the library image, and its improvement of the built environment. This chapter will address the essential components of the users' role in commissioning an inviting set of library spaces that accommodate the cosmic effects of virtual collections on library design."
" This Editorial has been published simultaneously in PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine and is authored by editors from both journals. The Data Policy applies to all PLOS journals.
Data are any and all of the digital materials that are collected and analyzed in the pursuit of scientific advances. In line with its stance on providing Open Access to research articles themselves, PLOS strongly believes that, to best foster scientific progress, the underlying data should be made freely available for researchers to use, wherever this is legal and ethical. Data availability allows validation, replication, reanalysis, new analysis, reinterpretation, or inclusion into meta-analyses, and facilitates reproducibility of research . Making data available for all these uses provides a better “bang for the buck” out of scientific research, much of which is funded from public or nonprofit sources. Ultimately, our viewpoint is quite simple: Ensuring access to the underlying data should be an intrinsic part of the scientific publishing process."
"However, Crews contends that when it comes to research and copyright, there are two basic concepts that are of importance: “respecting copyright…and the process of creating and sharing research,” and, “advance planning and strategic choices.” Upholding the integrity of research and using a bit of planning to avoid pitfalls are two integral components of copyright.
So, read up on copyright law, understand fair use, and avoid headaches by registering things properly — got it. It seems pretty clear cut — until it gets murky. For instance, if an American graduate student has been doing research, and writing a dissertation in China and Japan for two years, and wants to publish the work in the United States, exactly which copyright laws should he/she follow?"
"Evidence-based practice (EBP), like information literacy, is concerned with an individual’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes relating to using information. EBP is now a professional competency in fields as diverse as social work, nursing and allied health fields, and public policy. A comparison of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education with the commonly accepted EBP model shows congruence, but the two models diverge in their use of authority of the producer as a marker of information quality and in their relative emphasis on formulation of the research question and application of information. "
"Librarians and archivists are intimately involved in scholarly communication systems, both as information providers and instructors. However, very little is known regarding their activities as scholars. This study seeks to examine the scholarly communication practices of librarians and archivists, the role that tenure plays in scholarly communication practices, and the degree to which institutional support is provided in librarians’ efforts to consume and disseminate research and reports of best practices. A questionnaire was sent to professional librarians and archivists at 91 ARL institutions. The responses demonstrate that ARL librarians and archivists are avid consumers and creators of scholarship, and they use emerging technologies to stay up-to-date on the profession’s latest research. "
"Since it is the state that is ultimately tasked to bring out the violent enforcers who effectuate the discriminating intents of public accommodations providers, the state literally cannot get out of the way. It will either grant to public accommodations the right to direct the state’s violence against people solely because they are gay or it will not. In constructing when and under what circumstances it will permit people to be expelled from restaurants, the state is making a decision about when and how it is willing to mobilize itself as a violent enforcer.
There is nothing in the concept of liberty that requires the state to become the enforcing agent of a discriminatory restaurateur. On the contrary, mobilizing its violence to carry out discriminatory whims against a party of people violates both the negative and positive liberty of that party. As Vladimir Lenin once retorted, the question is not whether you support freedom or not; rather, the question is freedom “for whom? to do what?” When a state declares that it will not enforce the discriminatory whims of hotels and restaurants, it is declaring that it respects freedom for LGBT to travel and dine like the rest of us."
"Instead of going through a laborious revenue-sharing negotiation with researchers who believe they have a valuable idea, an institute at Cornell Tech is going to let a set of postdocs keep exclusive license to their IP and take a fixed dollar amount of equity if the researchers create a spinoff company.
Officials believe this simple deal will cut through red tape that discourages both inventors and investors from working with academic software developers. The institution's experiment comes at a time of much debate about how universities take new technologies from collegiate laboratories to the commercial marketplace.
The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute -- a joint nonprofit created by Cornell and Technion, an Israeli-based technology institute, and temporarily housed in Google’s Manhattan office -- is modeling its role after that of angel investors, which typically invest up to $200,000 in companies just getting off the ground."
"Mathematicians were shown "ugly" and "beautiful" equations while in a brain scanner at University College London.
The same emotional brain centres used to appreciate art were being activated by "beautiful" maths.
The researchers suggest there may be a neurobiological basis to beauty.
The likes of Euler's identity or the Pythagorean identity are rarely mentioned in the same breath as the best of Mozart, Shakespeare and Van Gogh.
The study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience gave 15 mathematicians 60 formula to rate.
One of the researchers, Prof Semir Zeki, told the BBC: "A large number of areas of the brain are involved when viewing equations, but when one looks at a formula rated as beautiful it activates the emotional brain - the medial orbito-frontal cortex - like looking at a great painting or listening to a piece of music."
The more beautiful they rated the formula, the greater the surge in activity detected during the fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scans. "
"Welcome to the inaugural Fair Use Week hosted by the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication! This entire week we will be celebrating Fair Use through expert posts, videos, “Fair Use Stories,” and a live panel on Friday, February 28th.
For our first entry this week, I am pleased to introduce Krista L. Cox. Krista is the Director of Public Policy Initiatives for the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), in Washington D.C. "