November 17, 2003

When an undergrad asks me how to tell if a scientific article is primary or not, I always ask them, "Can you understand the title?" If they answer "no," then I say, "Bingo!" It's simplistic, probably overly so, but my follow-up explanation goes into how the audience for primary articles is other specialists in the same field, so it uses highly specialized language that the non-PhD will probably not understand yet. This seems to work. In the LIS field, I rarely get that feeling, of seeing such highly specialized terminology that I'm not sure what the darn thing is about. This is one of the closest so far: "Using MPEG-21 DIDL to Represent Complex Digital Objects in the Los Alamos National Laboratory Digital Library" from the lastest D-Lib. Every so often, D-Lib publishes something that probably doesn't belong there, more likely in the ACM/IEEE Conference on DLs -- this is a case in point.

What to do if your mom finds out about your blog? From blogger home page.

November 10, 2003

The Master of EEVL, Roddy MacLeod, has informed me of two new highly EEVL services, OneStep Jobs and OneStep Industry News. Read full details at the press release here. Both are available via RSS feeds, making them as convenient as they are valuable. I certainly plan on subscribing to the Industry News one myself. It's interesting that the name my fingers wanted to type was "OneStop," which, when you think about it, is also a pretty good description of the service.

November 7, 2003

As long time readers of this blog know, I'm quite interested in computer chess. Well, our friend Garry Kasparov is starting a new match with a program called X3D Fritz next week. The site also has a good intro into the subject here and an interview with one of the Fritz guys, Frederic Friedel here. For those interested in the royal game, my handle on GameKnot is john_d.

A couple more on information seeking behavior:

November 6, 2003

Geeks of the world, Unite! You have nothing to lose but your pagers!

From the "OH MY GOD" department: rumours of Google & Microsoft merging. Is this good news or bad news? Would Google turn Microsoft into a kinder, gentler monopoly or would MS turn Google into a meaner, nastier monopoly? Thanks to ResearchBuzz.

Another interesting article, which has been sitting around on my desk so long I can no longer remember where I got the referenfce, is "A brief history of information architecture" by Peter Morville. Morville is a librarian and one of the pioneers of IA. His book with Louis Rosenfeld, Information architecture for the World Wide Web, is one of the all-time classics and belongs in every library. The essay is a concise overview of the development and importance of the field.

Trolling around google, thinking about how scientists communicate, I stumbled across a few interesting sites:

Noted without additional comment, the PP slides I used for a presentation in a Professional Writing class for my colleague Scott McLaren. My topic was basically "how to be a science writer," with my focus being that the most basic requirement for being a science writer is knowing a bit about how science works. What doesn't come through in the slides as much as in my oral presentation was the emphasis on finding and interviewing gatekeepers and other members of the invisible college as a key to good science writing. If any of my readers have any suggestions on improving or correcting some of my ideas, I would be more than happy to hear from you.

Sincere apologies for not posting in a while. October/November, as we all know, tends to be a bit hectic. Also, due to various reasons I'm not going to go into here, my posting may be very infrequent from November 18th until the end of the year.