May 31, 2006

More here & there

  • Teaching, Research, Service ... & Patents by Scott Jaschik is about Texas A&M's plan to put patents and the general commercialization of research on the same level as the holy trinity of teaching, research & service for tenure decision for some faculty members. A stimulating article on the pros & cons of this approach. Of course, they emphasize that this would only apply to faculty members in fields when patents are appropriate, say engineering or chemisty. In general, I'm ok with this but I do worry about steering researchers away from basic research towards more and more minutely applied areas. It's the basic research with no immediate benefit that in the end truly brings about revolution, not endless tinkering with a device/process/etc. to make sure it is patentable. Also, it probably would encourage profs to try too many risky business ventures with uncertain return rather than concentrating on other research, teaching and service. 'Cause we all know which of the three suffers the most in a crunch.

  • The Most-Cited Institutions in Computer Science, 1995-2005. ISI data, of course, but still interesting with all the caveats we apply to citation information from ISI. Any guesses on the top 2? AT&T and IBM. University of California, Berkeley, MIT and Stanford round out the top 5 and hold up the flag for non-corporate institutions. The first non-US in ETH Zurich and no Canuck institutions in the top 20.

  • More blogs sucked into the gaping maw of ScienceBlogs. In a good way, of course.

  • Talking to Publishers over at Computational Complexity has some interesting CS publishing/librarian tidbits cleaned from a recent conference:
    • Elsevier has an arrangement with Microsoft's Academic Search but negotiations with Google Scholar are going slowly because of Google's "secretive" policies.
    • Elsevier plans to give contributors (editors, referees, authors) access to their Scopus system. Elsevier also has their own free academic search site Scirus.
    • The free access experiment of Information and Computation continues.
    • Elsevier is exploring starting their own version of Springer's Lecture Notes in Computer Science series and also a Review journal.

  • Does Philosophy Have a Role in Computer Science?. A very lively discussion at SlashDot, coming at ya from all angles. The answer, though, does seem to be a qualified yes.

  • The Central Problem of Library 2.0: Privacy by Rory Litwin. Not much to add. We must always respect that some of our patrons don't want to be connected and to find a way to gear our services to respect that diversity.

  • Research 2.0:
    I suggest a research 2.0 concept to include: [1] Open access to information created by public authorities (Universities and the like), [2] Open Peer Review, [3] Collective Intelligence in research environments, [4] The Web as platform (paper journals is not of much use in the Web 2.0 era, only e-information can be true objects to collective intelligence).

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