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Information Culture

Information Culture

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

On Authorship, Part I

Most articles today are results of teamwork, whether it's only two authors working together or thousands, (think CERN). As science keeps getting bigger, authorship no longer equals actual writing, but one way or another of contribution to team effort...

September 21, 2012 — Hadas Shema

Easing the burden of multiple citation styles

I love almost everything about my job as a science librarian at a primarily undergraduate college. The one exception is when I am called upon to teach students how to format their citations for the Reference list at the end of their papers.I really dislike formatting citations...

September 14, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger

What I want from tiny publisher websites

Do you belong to a tiny scholarly society? The kind that has just a few hundred members and no paid staff? Do you publish something? A newsletter, conference proceedings or a small journal?Well, listen up, because I have a few suggestions based on some recent frustrating experiences.I understand that as a tiny society, you can't afford professional web development like Elsevier or Springer or ACS...

August 17, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger

The (mostly true) origins of the scientific journal

Thursday 26th July saw the launch of, a new English language science blog network., the brand-new home for Nature Network bloggers, forms part of the SciLogs international collection of blogs which already exist in German, Spanish and Dutch...

July 27, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger

On Self-Citation

Self-citing is often frowned upon, being considered (and sometimes is) vanity, egotism or an attempt in self-advertising. However, everyone self-cite because sooner or later, everyone builds upon previous findings "Given the cumulative nature of the production of new knowledge, self-citations constitute a natural part of the communication process." (Costas et al., 2010).The argument whether citation analysis should include self-citation has been going on since the early days of citation analysis and is still ongoing...

July 24, 2012 — Hadas Shema

How to classify science news stories?

This summer, I taught an introductory geology summer school class, heading back to my academic roots. Throughout the six week class, I asked my students to find a news story or blog post each week related to some aspect of geology from credible sources...

July 12, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger

Understanding the Journal Impact Factor Part Two

Despite its many faults (see part I), the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is considered an influential index to a journal's quality, and publishing in high-impact journals is essential to a researcher's academic career...

June 24, 2012 — Hadas Shema

But peer review isn't perfect

In my last post, I made the argument that peer review makes science better. Every article is reviewed by at least a couple of experts prior to publication, and this helps prevent really bad science from appearing alongside the good stuff...

June 22, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger

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