Information Science

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #227

The tag line for this week's episode: "Information As Weapon"

We've got a bit of an essay talking about that in connection with an awful case in Ohio. Information might want to be free, but couldn't it also be used as a weapon?

There's no miscellany this week as we thought that that would be enough to consider within the realm of preserving the knowledge ecology.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net.

There is an opportunity available to purchase material goods to replace some of the hardware that has died at Erie Looking Productions over the past three weeks.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

Dec. 10, 1944: Web Visionary Passes Into Obscurity

Wired's This Day in Tech Blog remembers Paul Otlet and his dream of organizing the world's information. Sound familiar?

"Some historians see in Otlet’s work a prototype of the World Wide Web and the hyperlink. Although unsuccessful, it was one of the first known attempts to provide a framework for connecting all recorded culture by creating flexible links that could rapidly lead researchers from one document to another — and perhaps make audible the previously unheard echoes between them."

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #223

This week's program has not one but two features from the United States Department of Agriculture that may prove useful to reference librarians and selectors. In the essay we talk about the World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012 and how it may bode ill for the Internet not to mention that NPR reports about such as well.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Stephen's Silly Summation of Christmas Wishes can be found here via Amazon, as always.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #216

This week's episode mysteriously dispenses with Profile America so that attention can be paid to the matter of Diplomats Dancing in Dubai in December...which is to say, we talk about some ramifications of the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Support and subsistence items for the production team can be purchased and sent from here via Amazon, as always.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

Library World Records is back online

The website for Library World Records, the Guinness Book of World Records for libraries and books is now back online.

Library World Records is fascinating book first published in 2004 after research work began on the book in 2002. The book was further extensively updated in a second edition in December 2009. Library World Records provides hundreds of intriguing and comprehensive facts about ancient and modern books, manuscripts and libraries around the world.

A much bigger brand new 3rd edition of the book is being researched at the moment and further details of this brand new edition will be revealed on this website around winter 2012.

Link:
http://www.lwrw.org.uk/Page1.htm

Godfrey
BSc, MSc.
London, Britain.

On the Media - Data

The radio program "On the Media" did an entire episode on "Data" You can download the podcast here.

Bringing "Style" to Academic Writing: Chronicle article

Peer-reviewed library and information science journals are certainly no exception to the scourge of "academese" - a dialect known for its floridness, pedantry, and obfuscatory properties. Rachel Toor, an associate professor of creative writing at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education about what she "hears" from those writing for an "academic" audience:

Am I making a convincing case? Have I mentioned everything everyone else has said about this topic and pointed out the ways that they are (sort of) wrong? Do you see how much I've read? Have I dropped enough important names? Does my specialized language prove I deserve to be a member of your club? Am I right? At the end, I hear hope disguised as an attitude that asks: Am I smart?

She further illustrates her point when reflecting on her career, "In my work for a publisher, I had perpetrated on the world a whole lot of garbled ideas expressed in jargon and in meaningless, incomprehensible, and never-ending sentences."

Toor goes on to discuss internal calls for more persuasive writing in various academic disciplines, including history. She also reviews a new book "Stylish Writing" by Helen Sword, summarizing some of the tips from the book about making academic writing more accessible and, frankly, interesting. -- Read More

Proposed New York State Ban On Anonymous Posts

CNET's Greg Sandoval brings word of a bill in the New York State legislature prohibiting anonymous communications online. This proposal follows on from another New York State proposal discussed by David Kravetz at Wired.

It is unclear from either news account but the proposed bills might impact LISNews.

Troves of Personal Data, Forbidden to Researchers

When scientists publish their research, they also make the underlying data available so the results can be verified by other scientists.

At least that is how the system is supposed to work. But lately social scientists have come up against an exception that is, true to its name, huge.

It is “big data,” the vast sets of information gathered by researchers at companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft from patterns of cellphone calls, text messages and Internet clicks by millions of users around the world. Companies often refuse to make such information public, sometimes for competitive reasons and sometimes to protect customers’ privacy. But to many scientists, the practice is an invitation to bad science, secrecy and even potential fraud.

The issue came to a boil last month at a scientific conference in Lyon, France, when three scientists from Google and the University of Cambridge declined to release data they had compiled for a paper on the popularity of YouTube videos in different countries.

Full article

How is Google different from traditional Library OPACs & databases?

How is Google different from traditional Library OPACs & databases?
In short, the further away your library search is from these characteristics , the more difficult your users will find the search to use due to different expectations. Trained by Google, their searches are created based on the expectations such features are built-in , lacking any one of them will result in difficulties and poor quality results.

Of course implementing these features means losing control and predictability of searches, librarians don't want to be surprised and for sure they don't want to see a result they can't explain. Being able to do a precise controlled search would enable a searcher to be *sure* he has done a exhaustive search that he wants.

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