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Information Culture

Information Culture

Thoughts and analysis related to science information, data, publication and culture.
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  • Profile

    Bonnie J. M. Swoger is a Science and Technology Librarian at a small public undergraduate institution in upstate New York, SUNY Geneseo. She teaches students about the science literature, helps faculty and students with library research questions and leads library assessment efforts. Bonnie started her professional life as a geologist, but realized that she was much more interested in how scientists communicate their research to one another. As a librarian, she gets to teach others about the topic. She has a BS in Geology from St. Lawrence University, an MS in Geology from Kent State University and an MLS from the University at Buffalo. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, two young daughters and two old cats. She would love to have some free time in which to indulge in hobbies. She also blogs at the Undergraduate Science Librarian and can be found on twitter @bonnieswoger.

    Hadas Shema is an Information Science graduate student at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. She studies the characteristics of online scientific discourse and is a member of the European Union’s Academic Careers Understood through Measurement and Norms (ACUMEN) project. Hadas tweets at @Hadas_Shema. Follow on Twitter @infoculture2.
  • Should we put our money where our citations are?

    A while back I covered a study called “From funding agencies to scientific agency,” by researchers from Indiana University’s Department of Information and Library Science (Bollen, Crandall, Junk, Ding & Börner, 2014) which suggested an alternative for today’s method of allocating research funds using peer review. The study suggested that each researcher would be given [...]

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    Correcting the scientific record: An introduction to retractions


    The modern scholarly publication system serves as the primary means of communicating scientific results, typically through peer-reviewed articles. While the peer-review process attempts to keep incorrect, plagiarized and fraudulent work out of scientific journals, it doesn’t catch everything. As a result, journals very occasionally need to un-publish an article, a process known as retracting the [...]

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    Scholarly articles and other sources about the Ebola outbreak

    The HealthMap of the ebola outbreak

    While there has been some high quality news reporting about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, it is also easy to find vague, misleading or erroneous information about the disease and the outbreak. News related to the outbreak may also prompt more folks to explore the scholarly scientific literature on the subject.  The list below [...]

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    Tools for evaluating scholarly journals

    CC-BY-SA Image courtesy of Flickr user Wade M.

    In an information-rich age, one of my main functions as a librarian isn’t helping people find material, but helping them evaluate the material they find. In the past, I’ve discussed how publishers often make it difficult for readers to learn about the review process for a particular journal, and questions authors can ask about potential [...]

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    12 delightful resources for word nerds everywhere

    Book cover: The Mother Tongue

    My recent post about specialized dictionaries got me thinking about the fun books and sites I have encountered about words and language. I thought I would share a slightly off-topic post about my geeky love for words and language. The most recent bit of geeky word stuff I’ve seen is Weird Al Yankovic’s gift to [...]

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    When was the last time you used a print dictionary?

    Screenshot of a Google search for define: foliation

    I used to keep a small dictionary in my bedside table, another in the end table near the couch, one on my home office desk and another on my desk at work. I’m rather particular about looking up words I don’t know, and I always wanted a dictionary within reach. When I was an undergraduate geology [...]

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    Introduction to open peer review

    Last post we talked about traditional peer review, which is at least single-blinded. This time we will focus on Open Peer Review (OPR). The narrowest way to describe OPR is as a process in which the names of the authors and reviewers are known to one another. Beyond this narrow definition, OPRs can be classified [...]

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    Discussion, criticism and advice-giving: content analysis of health blogs.

    My PhD mostly dealt with research blogs from (RB) an aggregator of blog posts covering peer-reviewed research. In this article, we (Prof. Judit Bar-Ilan, Prof. Mike Thelwall and I) describe studying bloggers’ motivations using a content analysis approach. That is, we read 10% of the RB “Health” category between 2010-2012, overall 391 posts. The [...]

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    Does the scientific journal have a future?

    The current homepage has changed little since it was launched

    This summer, scholars will use the break from teaching to submit manuscripts, review papers and develop new ideas. But even as the major functions of scholarly publishing march on, scholars, publishers and librarians start to ask, “What does the future of the scholarly journal look like?” Perhaps we should be asking a different question. Perhaps [...]

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    Don’t you have the summer off?

    While librarians at many academic institutions are considered faculty, many of them are also 12 month employees: we don’t get the summer off. When folks tilt their head and furrow their eyebrows as they ask me “What do you do all summer? Read?” I attempt to refrain from pulling my hair out. Trust me, I’m [...]

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