Looking for ideas for the Information Science channel

Jun 02 2009 Published by under academia, information science, librarianship

As you may have noticed, ScienceBlogs is making a concerted effort to engage a broad range of the Information Science community. That community includes librarians, publishing people and scholars who are interested in issues around libraries, information management, scholarly publishing, Open Access, research metrics, human-computer interaction, privacy, intellectual property and a whole host of other topics.

The first step was recruiting a couple of new bloggers from the library community -- Christina Pikas and myself -- to supplement the considerable amount of IS discussion that's already happening among the existing ScienceBlogs community. I imagine that the future will bring more bloggers into the fold that have an Information Science focus of some sort.

The second step is the launch of the new Information Science channel. So far, it is a channel like any other -- it features the most recent blog postings that have been assigned to the category by the bloggers themselves. However, we have plans. And by "we" I mean ScienceBlogs along with the IS blogging contingent. The plans involve adding value and content to the channel beyond just the blog posts.

Some of the stuff I could envision?

  • Highlighting new books in the field, possibly with excerpts
  • Journal tables of contents and/or article highlights from relevant journals
  • Highlighting relevant blog posts from beyond the ScienceBlogs universe
  • Information Science blogroll and link portal

The channel is here and the ScienceBlogs announcement is here.

Which brings me to the real point of this post: What features and content would you like to see as part of the Information Science Channel? Think big, think broad, think beyond libraries and ScienceBlogs.

Leave a comment here or email me at jdupuis at yorku dot ca.

14 responses so far

  • I'll kick it off by asking about coverage of information policy issues such as: intellectual property in science (patenting, copyright),open access (mandates, legislation, impact), and openness/availability of government science information. Is that stuff of interest to y'all?

  • Greg Laden says:

    How can long-lived institutions like universities get involved in Open Access publishing? What is happening in this area now, are there prospects? Successes or failures?

  • r simmon says:

    Information design and data visualization? There's a growing community of people interested in the clear presentation of complex data. Edward Tufte is the most obvious example, as well as Colin Ware, Barbara Tversky, Cynthia Brewer, etc. I think the field is becoming increasingly important as the amount of available data expands and access eases.

  • I second Greg's suggestion on open publishing.

  • bill says:

    John -- I like your four suggestions, except for the journal TOCs, which is too much firehose for me. Maybe your selections from journal TOCs?

    Christina -- yes! (But you knew that.) 🙂

    How about a series of primers on OA for various stakeholders: OA for researchers, OA for administrators, OA for librarians... (I'm thinking of Peter Suber's "what you can do" writings as a model -- http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/do.htm)

  • eddie says:

    Open Access and the future. Let's look forward and map the way ahead to beyond the end of for profit publishing. And certainly beyond the end of publishers who lobby against public access to publicly funded research.
    Who among us, in the academy would consider asking their institution to reconsider their subscriptions?

  • eddie says:

    Consider the parallels, differences between the publishing models of Seed mag and, say, Astrophysical Letters. Match ad revenue on one side with tax revenue on the other. On both sides you have subscribers and per-issue buyers. Consider other stake holders and their contributions.

    Also - Arxiv-blogs. The reform of peer-review.

  • oscar zoalaster says:

    Information search strategies. Guidelines for discerning reliability, completeness, and provenance. Citations, importance of, and the reasons for some of the variation in citation styles that exist. (With special attention to professors who insist on accurate and complete citations from students, but feel no obligation to provide students with accurate or complete citations.) Copyright law (a personal favorite!). Orphan data and data migration.

  • "When to go to your librarian." 🙂

    I think one of the under-covered aspects of open access is how to deal with it as a participant in the publishing process in other ways than authoring. What should you know about the journals you edit and peer-review for? What should you be asking your favorite scholarly society about its journals? If you would like to see a particular journal go OA, how can you facilitate that?

    And if my poor abused institutional repositories could get a shout-out, I'd really appreciate that, personally.

    I think a series on "librarians' ways of knowing" -- MARC, controlled vocabularies, library markup (MODS, EAD, maybe TEI), authority control -- would be both fun and a good bridge between communities.

  • John Dupuis says:

    Thanks, people!

    Frankly, though, you're scaring me with some of the suggestions, most of which hardly fall into my area of expertise (at times like this I begin to wonder if I even have any!).

    We'll do our best, though, and it may take a while. Of course, if any of you out there want to write the definitive post on any of the suggested topics, I would be happy to highlight it here and I'm sure Christina would do the same.

  • Well, I could cannibalize an old (! 2005 or thereabouts) presentation to the Markup Technologies (now Balisage) conference for some "librarian ways of knowing" guest posts.

  • Gerry L says:

    Two ideas:
    1) The difference (tension?) between "formal" information science (cataloging, indexing, etc) and the new world of tagging. (Maybe a related topic would be the "everything's on the internet" argument some of us hear from the people who can't understand why the company/institution needs librarians.)

    2) The reference interview. Could be related to "librarian ways of knowing. I tell people: Librarians don't know all the answers; we know the questions.

  • I second the OA primer idea (#5) and especially the "What librarians know" ideas, including in that 2 more related topics: 1) primers to help folks know how to talk to librarians/ask the right questions (similar to training patients in basic health literacy -- makes it go faster for everyone); 2) training for librarians on how to teach what they know. A ref. librarian friend, Denise Bennett, is not only an excellent librarian but can teach search skills on various levels equally well. A smallish crowd of similarly multi-talents have begun to appear, too, but not enough to serve the needs of a large research university. Many of our librarians are fabulous on individual searches, but struggle with translating what they know appropriately to a class or for a workshop. It seems this would also boost the librarian's presence on campus.

  • David Hollendorfer says:

    Re. Suspension bridge: must be ANCHORED at each end to support the bridge No support no bridge. BUSTED David

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