August 26, 2004

Here and there

A couple of interesting bits:

  • A great academic integrity/plagiarism tutorial from Acadia University here. You can even choose to be a science student when you do the tutorial! This has to be one of the best I've seen. via IL Weblog.
  • From ISI, a report on the effect of journal self-citation on the impact factors reported in the Journal Citation Reports product. Interestingly, it seems that the practice of journal articles citing other articles in the same journal isn't generally prevalent enough to have an effect on the validity of impact factors. Not surprising that ISI would "discover" this. via ISI Newsletter.

August 25, 2004

NSF Materials Digital Library

An article from the most recent JoDI, MatDL: Integrating Digital Libraries into Scientific Practice by Bartolo et al., describes in pretty good detail the NSF's MatDL materials digital library. via The ResourceShelf.

August 24, 2004

IT Professional

The latest IT Professional has a couple of interesting articles:

  • CIOs: The Only Competent University Administrators by S. Reisman has a very interesting and controversial premise. Since the people who end up as university presidents usually have an academic background rather than a professional/managerial background, they usually seriously suck at management. The one exception to that in the university setting is often the head of computing, who probably has a professional or managerial background and thus knows how to run a organization properly. Not sure if I agree with this article (on bad days I do, but the rest of the time I'm not sure), but it sure gets the neurons firing.
  • Java's Future: Challenge and Opportunity by Nan Chen & Kai-Kuang Ma
  • Improving Web Access for Visually Impaired Users by Liu et al.
  • CE2IT: Continuous Ethics Enhancement for IT Professionals by Agresti is quite good. It also includes a bunch of ethics resources from Aristotle to journals and a couple of professional codes of ethics. Only CS people could come up with a concept like "real time ethics."


I realize I've been quiet here lately. That'll likely continue for the next week or two. I've not forgotten my mission, with some commentary bubbling up related to the latest ISTL, C&I and others.

Intellectual Honesty in the Electronic Age

Intellectual Honesty in the Electronic Age is an interesting article by John Iliff and Judy Xiao. Basically, their idea is that there are many reasons that students cheat but that it's still better to try and prevent it than focus on catching and punishing offenders. At he same time, one of the reasons they cite for students plagiarizing is lack of deterrence. This paper is not remarkably original, but it does function as a good overview. via The ResourceShelf.

August 13, 2004

Cites & Insights

Walt Crawford has created an updates blog & rss feed for his zine. Crawford is one of the most reasoned and sensible commentators on library & information issues out there and I make it a point of reading every issue. As such, I would highly recommend putting C&I on everyone's must read list. The most recent issue has some very sensible commentary about the recent report on the deline of fiction reading in the states. Crawford's response: get a grip, lots of people are still reading lots of books on lots of subjects. Also sensible is his follow up on ebooks from the previous issue, in this case including feedback from various people about their experiences with ebooks. I sent in some fairly extensive information about York's experience with Safari, which he is kind enough to include in the section.

ChessBase: The science of chess

According to a recent news article in Nature, what separates grandmasters and other good players from the rest of us is their scientific attitude towards their individual moves. These players try to disprove the accuracy of each move before playing it, rather than the more optimistic attitude of us weaker players. This sounds like Dan Heisman's idea of real chess vs. hope chess. Here's an eprint of the actual paper by Michelle Cowly and Ruth Byrne, "Chess master's hypothesis testing." via ChessBase

August 11, 2004

The Expos

My first (and probably only) baseball posting is this depressing little story about the team-that-might-have-been, the 1994 Montreal Expos. They were the best in baseball before the strike ended the season, cancelled the World Series and signaled the decline of baseball in Montreal.

Open Source and NASA's Mars Rover

And speaking of Open Source, here's an article from one of O'Reilly's sites by Ann Barcomb about Open Source and NASA's Mars Rover. It's not often I get to make a posting combining my various areas of interest!

Previously, in the IEEE

A bunch of recent articles in various IEEE magazines:

10 Thoughts about Innovations

This brief article by Jim Jindrick is from IEEE-USA Today's Engineer. One of my faves is "Innovation is rooted in value." While these 10 ideas are aimed at engineers, they are really applicable to any organization. Aren't we librarians concerned with delivering new and *innovative* services to our users? The themes that run through this article are ones we should pay attention to: value, evolution, creativity, imagination.

August 3, 2004

Web portals of every sort

The Toronto Star's reliable tech reporter Rachel Ross had an article Monday on Google alternatives here. She highlights product-of-the-evil-empire Scirus for us science types.

Remembering September 11th

One of my absolute favourite magazines, The New York Review of Science Fiction, put out a wonderful September 11th commemorative issue. It is now available online here. Kathryn Cramer's post about the issue is here.