Libraries

Scientific Search Engines Are Getting More Powerful | WIRED

But most science is still paywalled. More than three quarters of published journal articles—114 million on the World Wide Web alone, by one (lowball) estimate—are only available if you are affiliated with an institution that can afford pricey subscriptions or you can swing $40-per-article fees. In the last several years, though, scientists have made strides to loosen the grip of giant science publishers. They skip over the lengthy peer review process mediated by the big journals and just … post. Review comes after. The paywall isn’t crumbling, but it might be eroding. The open science movement, with its free distribution of articles before their official publication, is a big reason.
From Scientific Search Engines Are Getting More Powerful | WIRED
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Understanding Bias in Peer Review

To conclude, we see that the practice of double-blind reviewing yields a denser landscape of bids, which may result in a better allocation of papers to qualified reviewers. We also see that reviewers who see author and institution information tend to bid more for papers from top institutions, and are more likely to vote to accept papers from top institutions or famous authors than their double-blind counterparts. This offers some evidence to suggest that a particular piece of work might be accepted under single-blind review if the authors are famous or come from top institutions, but rejected otherwise. Of course, the situation remains complex: double-blind review imposes an administrative burden on conference organizers, reduces the opportunity to detect several varieties of conflict of interest, and may in some cases be difficult to implement due to the existence of pre-prints or long-running research agendas that are well-known to experts in the field. Nonetheless, we recommend that journal editors and conference chairs carefully consider the merits of double-blind review.
From Research Blog: Understanding Bias in Peer Review
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Libraries are for the homeless, the drifters and the snorers - people like me

And now (3.45pm), the light outside is failing, the sky a uniform grey. Gosh, how cheery. I have another four hours and 15 minutes in this haven, until I take the long road back to East Finchley. Libraries are for the homeless, the drifters, the people who pass out at their desks. The only difference between me and the vagrant in the municipal library is that I have the TLS open in front of me rather than the Daily Express, and I smell better. (And I am “posh”, but I recently heard of an acquaintance who had spotted a bully from his old posh school begging on the Tube, so a private education is no proof against the more odorous kind of indigence.)
From Libraries are for the homeless, the drifters and the snorers – people like me
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Los Angeles Wants to Filter Out Porn at City Libraries

"Librarians and patrons should not have to tolerate lewd behavior or drug use in public, but limiting what people access online is an anathema to free speech, and antithetical to the free flow of ideas," FSC executive director Eric Paul Leue said via email. "Filtering software sounds like an easy solution, but we know that such software often casts an egregiously wide net, blocking not only sexually explicit content, but also sexual health information, LGBTQ sites and sites like ours, which contains no sexual imagery whatsoever, but discusses issues relevant to the adult industry."
From Los Angeles Wants to Filter Out Porn at City Libraries | L.A. Weekly
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The man who shared his books and multiplied them

But a man in Manila was surprised when he shared his books. His reads didn’t only come back, but they also increased in numbers. Plus, he made new friends who shared the same interests and beliefs as him. He is now planning to take his book sharing idea to other cities. One of his new friends also plans to start a “book boat” and plans to travel to islands, sharing books. Woodpie too shares the same belief as him that stacking books on a rack or locking them in, is injustice to books. They should be set free. Books ought to be shared. They will not only bring in more books, but also more friends. We came across this inspiring story and couldn’t help but share it with you. The man who turned his home into a public library
From The man who shared his books and multiplied them | woodpie blog
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This Dog Sits on Seven Editorial Boards

Ollie’s owner, Mike Daube, is a professor of health policy at Australia’s Curtin University. He initially signed his dog up for the positions as a joke, with credentials such as an affiliation at the Subiaco College of Veterinary Science. But soon, he told Perth Now in a video, he realized it was a chance to show just how predatory some journals can be.
From This Dog Sits on Seven Editorial Boards - Atlas Obscura
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Twenty-six words we don’t want to lose

In September, academics in Britain uncovered 30 words ‘lost’ from the English language: researchers spent three months looking through old dictionaries to find them, in the hope they could bring the words back into modern conversations. For Jones, who blogs and tweets under the name Haggard Hawks, it has been a lifetime of word geekery. “I’ve been obsessed with language ever since I was a kid,” he tells BBC Culture. “I got a big illustrated kids’ dictionary when I was eight or nine – I got it for Christmas off my grandparents – I just sat and read it cover to cover, like you would a normal book. I was absolutely hooked.”
From BBC - Culture - Twenty-six words we don’t want to lose
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Welcome to your local library, which also happens to be a newsroom

Her venue: San Antonio’s majestic Central Library. While several journalism outlets have partnered with local libraries on book fairs, educational programs or occasional talks, NOWCastSA’s studio and staff has been housed in two offices in the library since 2010. Lucas runs a cadre of a half-dozen or so college interns who film everything from mayoral debates to high school graduations, helping San Antonio learn about itself.
From Welcome to your local library, which also happens to be a newsroom | Poynter
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The Culture War Being Fought Over Tomorrow’s Libraries

Today libraries are simultaneously tourist destinations, places to read, places to gather and socialize, places to study, and places to learn. They also remain a mirror of our culture. They reflect not just the way we consume information (and architecture) through our phones today, but also the forces of that inequality. Tomorrow, will libraries exist as the gateway to public enrichment,  or will they all be reduced down to naming rights and Instagram hashtags?
From The Culture War Being Fought Over Tomorrow’s Libraries
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