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Information Culture

Information Culture

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

What is metadata? A Christmas themed exploration.

When I talk to most scientists and mention the word "metadata" they look at me as if I've grown a second head. Despite the fact that these folks regularly use and create metadata (not to be confused with megadata or "big data" which is a whole other subject), many have not heard of the term.Broadly speaking, metadata is simply a structured description of something else...

December 17, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger

Managing Personal Knowledge, Data and Information

For some reason Christmas time makes me think about personal knowledge/information management. Perhaps it comes from the quest to track down the list of Christmas card addresses (did they move?...

December 10, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger

Interview with Mr. Rob Walsh, Scholastica

This interview is with Mr. Rob Walsh, co-founder of Scholastica and its lead interaction designer. Mr. Walsh holds a BA in International Studies from the Texas A&M and an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago (but like most entrepreneurs, now does something completely different...)...

November 30, 2012 — Hadas Shema

Making implicit knowledge and skills more explicit in science education

One of the reasons I love being a librarian is that I have an opportunity to do many different things as a part of my job. At the recent Geological Society of America conference I had a chance to wear many hats: advisor to an undergraduate giving a talk, librarian looking at possible books to purchase and strategies for teaching students about the scientific literature, editor of a society newsletter, and occasional instructor of an introductory geoscience course.One of the recurring themes of this conference, no matter which hat I was wearing, was the need to make certain skills and concepts that are implicit to one group of folks much more concrete and explicit to another group of folks...

November 29, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger

Interview with Dr. Victor Henning, Mendeley

This time (no, I haven't gone interview-only. One more after this one and we're back to regular posting) I'm interviewing Dr. Victor Henning. Dr Henning has a PhD in Psychology from the Bauhaus-University of Weimar, Germany, and is co-founder and CEO of Mendeley, a program which allows managing and sharing of research articles...

November 23, 2012 — Hadas Shema

Small professional societies and open access

In the past, I have written about what I want as a user of information from tiny scholarly societies. This week, I'm thinking a lot about what I want as a member of a tiny scholarly society, the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS).GSIS is a very small scholarly society made up of librarians who work with geoscientists, mostly at academic institutions.GSIS is responsible for two major publications: the society newsletter and the more scholarly GSIS Proceedings ...

November 6, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger

Pay it forward and paying tribute: talking to undergraduates at my alma mater

Last weekend I had the supreme pleasure of spending the weekend at my alma mater, St. Lawrence University. I returned for the 8th St. Lawrence University Geology Alumni Conference, a gathering of faculty, students and alumni to talk about grad school, careers in geology and drink beer.The primary goal is to "pay it forward" by talking with undergraduates...

October 12, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger

Why are journals so expensive?

This morning, at minute 48 of a 50 minute information literacy session for an introductory biology class, a student asked me one of those seemingly innocuous questions, "Why are journals so expensive?" We had spend the past 45 minutes talking about the scientific literature: what is peer review, what is a primary research article, and what happens after an article is published...

September 26, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger

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