Friday, December 17, 2010

Data visualization tools

Brief round-up of data visualization tools mentioned on the web lately:

O'Reilly Radar started a new series this month tagged: Strata Gems
Example: using Twitter for graphs:
Social graph
Taken from post.
Google Books and Google Labs released: Book Ngram Viewer, here is more about this new product.

Finally, this post details 10 Best Data Visualization Projects:
Example: Where the Tourist Really Flock (using Flickr)
Tourist PIctures in San Francisco

New ways to measure impact

This Inside Higher Ed. article: New Measures of Scholarly Impact describes attempts at integrating new metrics in citation analysis and research impact.
Eigenfactor is currently looking into how to incorporate real-time usage data, as well as “citation-like references” from scholars on social networking sites. Shout-outs on scholarly blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, along with digital dog-earing on social bookmarking sites such as CiteULike and Connotea, might also be used as proxies for influence

The article also references research from the MESUR (MEtrics from Scholarly Usage of Resources) project.
image from the MESUR website.

Tenure expiration date?

Tenure: Mend It, Don't End It  Arthur Levine describes some the advantages and - in no uncertain terms - gives his views on the weaknesses of the tenure system.

More often tenure provides a lifetime of job security not to professors whose work requires protection, but to a significant minority of "deadwood" — individuals who are unproductive, out of date, or poor in their research, teaching or institutional commitment.

His suggestion is to have a 30 year contract to limit the length of tenure and thus insure an institution's ability to maintain 'intellectual vitality'.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Questionable Science Behind Academic Rankings

New York Times article questioning the reliability of university rankings after the release of the Times Higher Education ranking where Alexandria University in Egypt had placed 147th.

Paul Wouters - director of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies and professor of Scientometrics at Leiden University  - wrote on his blog about this issue: 
[...] the reason for this high position is the performance of exactly one (1) academic: Mohamed El Naschie, who published 323 articles in the Elsevier journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals of which he is the founding editor.
His article mentions the fact that THE has "outsourced citation analysis to Thomson Reuters" 

THE World University Rankings 2010-2011, powered by Thomson Reuters

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tenure-track Job Satisfaction Survey

Harvard's COACHE (Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education) released the survey The Experience of Tenure Track Faculty at Research Universities in the Summer 2010.

This month they released the names of the participating institutions with the highest level of pre-tenure faculty job satisfaction: Nov 15, 2010 press release

Monday, November 8, 2010

The battleground that is business research

FT article
[...]in business research, [...] an exceedingly interesting battle rages. Only HBS, Darden and Ivey believe in case-based research and create a meaningful number of cases each year. The remaining schools focus primarily, if not exclusively, on what might be called contemporary social sciences research.

Yale's School of Management gets $10m to build new library

FT article: Business school news - Wilbur Ross gives Yale $10m to build new library

Article from Yale's School of Management site: Investor Wilbur Ross Makes Major Gift to Support New Yale SOM Campus
An illustration of a proposed design for library space in the new Yale SOM campus.
Picture from Yale's website."An illustration of a proposed design for library space in the new Yale SOM campus."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Book citations to appear in Web of last!

Thomson Reuters announces the 'Book Citation Index' for Q2 2011.

Excerpt from an interview with VP for editorial development and publisher relations, James Testa"

How large will the index be at the time of the launch?
At launch, there will be about 25,000 volumes in the database. Book Citation Index will include publications from major publishers, university presses, and other major book sources. [...]
Right now, we are accepting books in the sciences published from 2005 to the present. In the social sciences and humanities, [we accept] anything with a copyright date of 2003 to the present.
Read the full interview here.

The lack of book indexation in WoS has often been cited as leading to an underestimation of an author's impact in his/her field. Google scholar - freely available on the web - has always included citation from books.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Academics Discuss Mass Migration From Second Life

Article from the Chronicle of HIgher Ed. Blog: Wired Campus.
Following an announcement to terminate the educational discount for educatinal institutions to settle a campus on 2nd life.some schools consider alternatives.

Academics Discuss Mass Migration From Second Life 
Linden Lab has said it will allow current education customers to extend their discounted price if they pay their virtual rent in advance.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ruling in Georgia State U. Lawsuit vs 3 publishers over E-course packs.

In April 2008, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Sage Publications sued Georgia State University officials for “systematic, widespread and unauthorized copying and distribution of a vast amount of copyrighted works” . NYT article reporting on lawsuit.

On September 30, 2010, the judge issued a ruling in favor of Georgia State on 2 of the three counts. See this summary from Duke's Scholarly Communications blog
The Judge has granted the defense motion for summary judgment on two of the three claims — direct and vicarious infringement — and denied it in regard to the third claim, which is contributory infringement. The plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment has been denied in its entirety. The net result is that the case will go forward on the single issue of contributory infringement.


A Library Without Walls

New York Review of Books article by Robert Darnton, Harvard Libraries Director on creating a worldwide and digital equivalent of the Library of Congress.

Follow up interview from the Chronicle with Mr. Darnton: One Step Closer to a National Digital Library

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Consumer attitude towards e-books

BISG (Book Industry Study Group) launched a study on Consumer attitude towards e-books The reports are not free but results have been reported in a variety of places.

Here are some key findings:
  • Right now Kindle holds the top spot for devices @ 40% – just passed the PC/laptop in the last survey @39%
  • Nearly half (49%) of ereading devices continue to be acquired as a gift from someone else
  • Cost of entry is still the top reason people who read ebooks have not switched to a device.
  • Among ebook buyer, print is definitely losing ground – nearly 50% of ebook readers now say they are buying exclusively or almost exclusively ebooks/ 49% indicate they either MOSTLY or Exclusively purchase ebooks
  • 38% of those indicating first ebook purchase say they started within the last 6 months.
  • Half of all ebooks being acquired today are ‘free’ e-books”
  • Places where ebooks are downloaded: Amazon still holds the top spot @ 61% – B&N has 20%; Library 7%; Sony 5%; 10% etc.

UC libraries assess E-book project with Springer

University of California Libraries entered into an agreement with Springer in September 2009 to run a 2 year pilot project by purchasing "nearly every Springer ebook published in English and German from 2005 to 2009, including Landolt-Bornstein. The collection includes nearly 20,000 ebooks in the sciences and social sciences. "

Each book chapter is available as a PDF file without digital rights management (DRM). These files can be downloaded, printed, and even transferred to a PDA or Kindle. Eventually, these ebooks will be linked from our campus catalogs as well as from Melvyl, UC-eLinks, and Google Scholar.
UC is running a survey on the project and results will be posted on this page.

Elsevier: Article-Based Publishing to Increase Publication Speed

Elsevier announces 'Article-Based Publishing' service.
Final and citable articles are published without needing to wait until a journal issue is complete; speeding the publication process by an average of 7 weeks
Published faster = cited faster!                                                        

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Kindle DX project

In August 2009, 7 schools started a project to experiment using the Kindle as a platform for course reading.

Princeton final survey results. (41p. PDF)

Darden survey results:

  • Would you recommend the Kindle DX to an incoming Darden MBA student? A total of 75 to 80 percent answered “no” 
  • Would you recommend the Kindle DX to an incoming MBA student as a personal reading device? A total of 90 to 95 percent said “yes” 

Participating schools

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mobile Teaching - Mobile Learning

From Educause Quarterly 2010 , Number 3

See also, earlier this year, Rutgers initiative Mini-MBA™: Digital Marketing certificate for Executive, provides participants with free iPad containing course material.

ORCID: Open Researcher and Contributor ID

An offshoot of Research ID, ORCID follows this lofty goal:
ORCID, Inc. aims to solve the author/contributor name ambiguity problem in scholarly communications by creating a central registry of unique identifiers for individual researchers and an open and transparent linking mechanism between ORCID and other current author ID schemes.
Who are these people?
Several organizations have agreed to contribute data sources and technologies to aid the initial development of the ORCID prototype, including: Researcher ID profile system from Thomson Reuters, author profiles from REPEC, Scholars Universe, Scopus, and bibliographic data from the CrossRef metadata database.
 List of participating universities, publishers, organizations.

Reference Manager Overview

Compiled by Martin Fenner, blog entry: Reference Manager Overview

Zotero Everywhere

Zotero Everywhere

Zotero Everywhere will have two main components: a standalone desktop version of Zotero with full integration into a variety of web browsers and a radically expanded application programming interface (API) to provide web and mobile access to Zotero libraries. Zotero is a production of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

2010 Rankings: Doctoral Programs in America - Home - The Chronicle of Higher Education

2010 Rankings: Doctoral Programs in America - Home - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Trial page offered by the Chronicle. For source data check the National Research Council page:
The National Research Council released the Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs on September 28, 2010. The report consists of a descriptive volume, and a comprehensive data table in Excel containing data on characteristics and ranges of rankings for over 5000 programs in 62 fields at 212 institutions.