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Information Culture

Information Culture

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

May the odds be ever in your favor: academic tenure

“ Excuse me; the whole tenure system is ridiculous. A guaranteed job for life only encourages the faculty to become complacent. If we really want science to advance, people should have chips implanted in their skulls that explode when they say something stupid.” Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory Between the recent ACUMEN (academic careers understood through measurement and norms) workshop and my searches for a post-doc, it seemed like an excellent time to look at one of the most important land marks in an academic’s career: the tenure...

April 11, 2013 — Hadas Shema

Mobile Apps for Searching the Scientific Literature

I recently taught a fun workshop called "Mobile Apps for Research and Education." We talked about some apps to access library databases, then shared some favorite apps for getting work done.The mobile apps for accessing library resources are always a bit weird...

March 26, 2013 — Bonnie Swoger

On Girl Scouts, glaciers, and great women

When most folks think about Girl Scouts, they think about cookies. I love the cookies (peanut butter patties are my favorite) but thinking about Girl Scouts brings to my mind calculus, the glacial border region of Western New York, and the friendships I shared with a remarkable group of women who have all gone on to have successful careers in science and engineering fields.I was a Girl Scout for twelve years...

March 21, 2013 — Bonnie Swoger

Good news about sharing scientific research

Last week, the Obama administration issued a directive declaring that scientists have to share the results of their taxpayer funded research. I was happy to hear this, as I have always been a big advocate of sharing (well, my little sister might disagree with the "always" part, but you know what i mean)...

February 28, 2013 — Bonnie Swoger

Providing context for the metrics used to evaluate the scientific literature

As the sole science librarian at a small liberal arts college, I work with faculty and students in a variety of disciplines. This means that I need to understand the literature of those disciplines, and understanding the literature means knowing at least a little bit about the metrics that are used to measure it: impact factors, h-indexes and altmetrics can all be interesting and useful, but establishing context can be difficult.For example, is an h-index of 9 good, bad or indifferent?...

February 13, 2013 — Bonnie Swoger

On Identifiers: DOI, ISBN, CASRN, SSN, ISSN, etc.

Over the course of my life I have gone by many names: Ba Ba (early childhood nickname given to me by a younger sister learning to talk), Beege (my grandma calls me this, I'm never quite sure how to spell it), Bonnie, Red (a camp nickname), BONNIE JEAN MULLER (when my parents were angry at me), Bonnie Muller, Bonnie Swoger, etc...

February 7, 2013 — Bonnie Swoger

When journal articles are hard to find

This post is a re-worked and updated version of a post that appeared on my blog, the Undergraduate Science Librarian, in October 2011. One of the most fun sciencey things I've seen lately is the #overlyhonestmethods meme on twitter...

January 16, 2013 — Bonnie Swoger

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