Archive for the 'social media' category

Friday Fun: You Are Not a Social Media Jedi, Ninja, Sherpa, or Guru

Aug 17 2012 Published by under friday fun, social media

Personally, I aspire to being a Social Media Smurf.

Check out this amusing yet pointed post by Eric Stoller: You Are Not a Social Media Jedi, Ninja, Sherpa, or Guru.

A little taste:

They are everywhere. On Twitter profiles, blog bios, and Facebook pages across the social media sphere, inflated social media titles are rampant. People claiming to be experts with social media as they bask in the warm glow of 7 Twitter followers. Seriously, they are found in countless numbers on the web. Some people are even promoting themselves as Pinterest experts. That's almost as funny as the consultants who are sure that Google Plus is going to be "the next big thing." It's an epidemic of throwing stars, mountain climbing gear, and lightsabers.


Social Media Sherpa - According to, a Sherpa is "a member of a people of Tibetan stock living in the Nepalese Himalayas, who often serve as porters on mountain-climbing expeditions." Do you match those criteria? No…then you are most-definitely not a social media sherpa.

Social Media Jedi - It has to be said: Star Wars is science fiction…and no one has any midi-chlorians. Move along.

Social Media Champion - I wonder if people ever called themselves "fax machine champions?" While there are definitely people who champion social media at your campus, it's hard to take anyone serious who calls themselves a social media champion.

And the comments and links on the original post are terrific too!

And here's a few of my past social media mockery Friday Fun posts:

Mocking social media seems to have become an unhealthy obsession. Maybe I should stop tweeting and blogging before someone notices the irony?

No responses yet

Friday Fun: 10 Best Books on the Future of Higher Ed

This one is a little less on the strictly amusing side and a little more on the useful and thoughtful side for a Friday Fun post, but sometimes it's worth mixing things up a bit.

I've mostly not read these books myself but I am in the middle of the Christensen/Eyring book right now. And they all look very useful and interesting, if only as a springboard for disagreement and debate. A little bit of end-of-summer reading is always a good thing!

Without further ado, from, the 10 Best Books on the Future of Higher Ed.

  1. Higher Education?: How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids---and What We Can Do About It by Claudia Dreifus and Andrew Hacker
  2. The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out by Clayton M. Christensen and Henry J. Eyring
  3. Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa
  4. Rebooting for the New Talent Economy by Andrew S. Rosen
  5. DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education by Anya Kamenetz
  6. The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters by Benjamin Ginsberg
  7. Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education by David L. Kirp
  8. The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities Are Reshaping the World by Ben Wildavsky
  9. The Great American University: Its Rise to Preeminence, Its Indispensable National Role, Why It Must Be Protected by Jonathan R. Cole
  10. Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (New Edition) by Derek Bok

Each book has a little blurb accompanying it on the site which will help you figure out if it's interesting.

One response so far

Welcome to Information Culture, the latest blog at Scientific Amerincan

I'd like to extend a huge science librarian blogosphere welcome to Information Culture, the newest blog over at Scientific American Blogs!

This past Sunday evening I got a cryptic DM from a certain Bora Zivkovic letting me know that I should watch the SciAm blog site first thing Monday morning. I was busy that morning but as soon as I got our of my meeting I rushed to Twitter and the Internet and lo! and behold!

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

I'm always happy to see librarians invading faculty and researcher blogs networks and this is no exception.

What's even happier is that one of the bloggers at the new site is Bonnie Swoger, long-time blogger at Undergraduate Science Librarian. Bonnie is a super blogger and a terrific colleague who I'm always glad to see at Science Online. I'm sort of wondering what's taken so long for a blogging network to snap her up and I guess it's not surprising that Bora's the one to finally get it done.

Joining Bonnie is an equally wonderful but new-to-me blogger, Hadas Shema. Hadas is an Info Sci grad student at Bar-Ilan University in Israel and formerly blogged at Science blogging in theory and practice.

Here's what Bora has to say in his Introductory post: Welcome Information Culture - the newest blog at #SciAmBlogs

How to do an efficient search? How can a librarian help you find obscure references? What is this "Open Access" thing all about? Why is there a gender gap among Wikipedia editors? How do science bloggers link to each other? Can tweeting a link to a paper predict its future citations? How to track down an un-linked paper mentioned in a media article? What is going on with eTextbooks?

And from the new blog itself, a taste of the first three posts:

Introduction post - Hadas Shema

Two questions I get asked now and then are A. "What do you study?" And B. "What is it good for? (as in "Why should my tax money fund you?"). Now that I have an excellent platform like this SciAm blog, I might as well take advantage of it to answer at least the first question (I'll let you decide if it's worth the taxpayer's money).

I study Information or Library Science, and my sub-field is what used to be called Bibliometrics, "the application of mathematical and statistical methods to books and other media of communication," (Pritchard, 1969). The term was invented back in 69′, when official scientific communication involved dead trees. The Russian version, "Scientometrics" was coined around that time as well. Today we have a variety of other terms, perhaps more appropriate for the net age: Cybermetrics, Informetrics, Webometrics and even Altmetrics. But for now, let's stick with Bibliometrics.

Bibliometricians measure, analyze and record scientific discourse. We want to learn what impact scientific articles, journals, and even individual scientists have on the world. Until recently "the world" meant "other articles, journals and individual scientists" because it was next to impossible to research the way scientific discourse affect the rest of the world, or even how scientists affect it when they're not in "official" capacity (publishing a paper or speaking at a conference). Now Bibliometricians not only need a new name, but new indices. That's what I (and plenty of other people) work on. We ask what scientists are doing on the Web, how and why they're doing it and the most important thing - can we use it to evaluate the impact of their work.

You have to share (by Bonnie Swoger)

Understanding how scientists share their results is my job. I am a science librarian.

I work with scientists at my college to make sure that they have access to the information they need to do their work. I teach undergraduates - novice scientists - how the scientific literature works: What kinds of information are available? Where can you find what you need? How can you use the different types of information? I work with researchers to help them understand new developments in scholarly communication: What is a DOI and how can it make your research just a bit easier? Are you allowed to post a copy of your recent article on your website and what are the advantages if you do?

And as I work with students and faculty at my institution, this blog will be a place for me to share some of these concepts with you. I'll share tips to help you find information faster, explain basic concepts related to the publication of scientific results and try to figure out how recent scholarly comunication news


It's hard to stand on the shoulders of giants if the giants are hiding under the bed.

Understanding the Journal Impact Factor - Part One (by Hadas Shema)

The journals in which scientists publish can make or break their career. A scientist must publish in "leading" journals, with high Journal Impact Factor (JIF), (you can see it presented proudly on high-impact journals' websites). The JIF has gone popular partly because it gives an "objective" measure of a journal's quality and partly because it's a neat little number which is relatively easy to understand. It's widely used by academic librarians, authors, readers and promotion committees.

Raw citation counts emerged at the 20′s of the previous century and were used mainly by science librarians who wanted to save money and shelf space by discovering which journals make the best investment in each field. This method had a modest success, but it didn't gain much momentum until the sixties. That could be because said librarians had to count citations by hand.

Run on over and say Hi to Bonnie and Hadas!

3 responses so far

Friday Fun: How much of a Klouchebag are you?

Apr 27 2012 Published by under friday fun, social media

Klout is kind of evil. Basically, it's the impact factor for the Web, where this random company uses a mysterious algorithm to quantify and rank people's standing on social media -- Twitter, Facebook, etc.

There's been some interesting commentary about it on teh interwebs these lasts few days, such as It's terrifying how important your Klout score has become, Klout Is Important Even If You Aren't Using It and What Your Klout Score Really Means. Lots of interesting and mostly measured and rational commentary and analysis.

And along comes into the fray and blows it all up.

From the home page:

What is this?
This is Klouchebag -- the standard for measuring asshattery online!

No, seriously, what's this?
I got annoyed with the fuss around Klout, the horrible social-game that assigns you a score based on how "influential" you are online. This is the result.

Who made it?
Hello. I'm Tom Scott. I live at, and you can email me or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

It called me names!
Sorry. Don't take it personally. This is about as scientific as Klout's own measurements -- which is to say, it's pretty much a crapshoot. You're probably a lovely person. Although you might want to cut down on the swearing a bit.

What do the ratings mean?
Klouchebag uses the ARSE rating system. Anger: profanity and rage. Retweets: "please RT"s, no or constant retweeting, and old-style. Social Apps: every useless checkin on foursquare or its horrible brethren. And English Usage: if you use EXCLAMATION MARKS OMG!!! or no capitals at all, this'll be quite high.

Isn't "douchebag" a sexist insult?
Opinion is divided. I chose it because it's the only insult that you can put "kl" in the front of and still have it mostly make sense....

Why no achievements? Ooh, or perks?
I don't want people to actually start competing! (And I'm a bit lazy.)

But... but my Klout score is important!
No it's not. It's like search engine optimisation, only for yourself. Ignore it. Concentrate on making amazing things, caring about the people around you, and not being a douchebag. If you do that, then you'll soon realise that it doesn't matter one jot what an algorithm thinks of you.

And to further emphasize the most important point of all:

Concentrate on making amazing things, caring about the people around you, and not being a douchebag. If you do that, then you'll soon realise that it doesn't matter one jot what an algorithm thinks of you.

If you're on Twitter, give it a try. I'm a 39 and a bit of a pratt. Guilty as charged, I guess, though I was a 43 and a bit noisy earlier today.

And of course, there's a bit of delicious irony involved here as well. I tweeted about Klouchebag earlier this morning which inspired a flurry of tweets and retweets with a wide variety of other people. Which is going to end up giving my Klout score a bit of a boost. I'm a 46 and a networker.

So what's your score?

No responses yet

Reading Diary: Marketing for Scientists by Marc J. Kuchner

It's probably best to start with what Marc J. Kuchner's new book -- Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine in Tough Times -- isn't.

It isn't a social media jackass recipe book for "Success through Twitter." It isn't a detailed treatise on marketing theory. It doesn't come with a guarantee of grants, publications and prizes if you follow it's instructions. In fact, it's hardly about Twitter or blogs or Facebook or Pinterest or any of that stuff at all.

Instead, it's a primer on why getting your message out is a good idea.

Marketing for humans, in other words, where humans = scientists.

Kuchner's approach is quite straightforward and logical, meant to appeal to logical and rational science-types. He starts with a few chapters on the general principles of marketing -- why it's a good idea, how to approach it, what the main elements are of a good marketing plan.

And to make the medicine go down, the spoonful of sugar is some lively examples and experiences from his parallel career as a country music songwriter in Nashville.

First of all, he gives an introduction to general marketing principles like building relationships, selling, branding and the marketing archetypes that apply to science. These sections are quite well done as they bring some marketing concepts directly to bear on how a scientist can make her work better known.

He then applies those general principles to some specific areas where scientists would find it useful to have themselves and their work better known and better regarded: job offers, funding decisions, proposal writing, getting papers read and recognized, maximizing the conference experience, spreading the work about your work online, outreach to the public and government and finally, advancing the public understanding of science.

Yeah, I guess the common preconception about a book like this is, "Hey, I'm a scientist, what do I need to know marketing for? I exist in a world of pure thought and devoid of human emotion."

Not so much.

Kuchner emphasizes those areas of science that are the most human -- establishing and creating a rewarding career path, getting your ideas known and appropriately recognized. These are problems of human relationships and human systems.

If I can quibble a bit about the book, I do have a few small complaints. Island Press is obviously not a huge publisher. The book could have used a stronger editorial hand. It's a bit diffuse and repetitive at times, especially at the beginning when Kuchner is setting the stage. Sections that are supposed to be "theoretical" end up mostly practical, for example. Still, small quibbles in a generally very good book.

Another small quibble would be his approach to specific marketing tools and strategies. I appreciated that he didn't make this book solely about social media strategies but I felt he short-changed his audience a little by taking a bit of the other extreme. I really think he could have made a case that online tools are probably the best way to spread the word.

Who would I recommend it too? First of all, virtually any working academic scientist would find value here, except perhaps for the most wired and plugged in. Certainly any library that supports a community of academic researchers would find value. It's aimed at scientists but most of the lessons are generalizable.

Kuchner, Marc J. Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine in Tough Times. Washington: Island Press, 2011. 248pp. ISBN-13: 978-1597269940

(Book provided by publisher.)

No responses yet

Penguin ebooks & The Research Works Act: Publishers gain, communities lose

I was really angry riding home on the bus last Friday night. Not angry because the transit system here in Toronto is royally fudged in general or that transit to York University is fudged in particular.

No, it wasn't that particular aspect of the public sphere that had me upset.

It was the growing tendency of publishers of all sorts to try and take their works out of the public cultural commons and place them exclusively behind pay walls. It's their desire to monetize every reading transaction that had me hot under the collar.

Here's what I tweeted standing on the bus, altered a bit for readability:

Penguin withdrawing ebooks from libraries & The Research Works Act are the same things.

Publishers want to monetize all reading and sharing transactions. Are publishers basically saying that they are opposed to the core values that libraries represent?

Both Penguin and the RWA are cases of legacy industries protecting rapidly crumbling business models in the face of rapid technological change.

At a certain level, the challenge is not just how to stop them but also to build a fairer system that can include diverse players.

Scholarly publishers have never been libraries' friends, but it's sad to see it happening on the trade publishing side too, though I guess just as inevitable. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

It was on the bus, standing there, crushed, hot and stuck in traffic, that the link between the two big controversies in the library work in the last few months are so explicitly linked.

On the one hand, Penguin largely withdrawing from the main library ebook distributor and on the other the recent proposed US legislation, The Research Works Act.

Both are driven by publishers wanting to block what they produce from partaking in the open cultural commons in a fair and equitable way. To be able to impose their view of reality, their "reality distortion field." That the value they add outweighs their obligation to their broader stakeholders.

I like the way Peter Brantley puts it:

But from Penguin, and large publishers generally, there has been a striking paucity of engagement with librarians about their larger obligations to our communities. Libraries are not auto parts dealers, and Penguin is not an automobile manufacturer, unhappy that a distributor is making non-OEM parts available to consumers. Not permitting libraries to lend ebooks means that some people have less opportunity in their lives than others. That requires a better explanation than being scared about the revenue impact of letting people read for free without having any data to back it up. (Emphasis mine -jd)

I like that idea: scholarly and cultural producers have an obligation to the larger communities from which they draw their revenue.

For scholarly publishers this obligation means working with the researcher, librarian and funder communities to come up with a set of business models that allow publishers to be properly compensated for the value they add while at the same time allowing open access to the public, who, after all, funded most of the research.

Trade publishers such as Penguin (and HarperCollins, we're not forgetting you!) are terrified that the frictionless lending of ebooks will damage their audience's desire and need to actually purchase books. And that is understandable.

But this larger obligation to communities means working with public libraries primarily to find a way to allow lending of ebooks without directly causing too adverse an effect on their sales revenues. What we think of as First Sale rights for purchased materials must translate into the digital world in some way.

That historic obligation allow communities to pool their resources to acquire a range of materials and share them among the entire membership of that community. Not everyone needs to buy everything they consume and certainly the idea of community means that those that can afford to contribute via their taxes support those in their community who can't.

So, ebooks in public libraries, open access to publicly funded scholarship, quality, properly funded public transit. It's all the same.

Private interests are attacking the public good. Let's stop them.

(And it's here that I'll also state my support for the Elsevier boycott. I've signed -- in fact I've already refused an opportunity to publish in an Elsevier trade publication.)

9 responses so far

SOPA: Why it's a bad idea

The Stop Online Piracy Act is a piece of legislation in the US whose aims are:

The originally proposed bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as copyright holders, to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. Depending on who makes the request, the court order could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators from doing business with the allegedly infringing website, barring search engines from linking to such sites, and requiring Internet service providers to block access to such sites. The bill would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a crime, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison for ten such infringements within six months. The bill also gives immunity to Internet services that voluntarily take action against websites dedicated to infringement, while making liable for damages any copyright holder who knowingly misrepresents that a website is dedicated to infringement.

Proponents of the bill say it protects the intellectual property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue, and is necessary to bolster enforcement of copyright laws, especially against foreign websites. They cite examples such as Google's $500 million settlement with the Department of Justice for its role in a scheme to target U.S. consumers with ads to illegally import prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies.

Opponents say that it violates the First Amendment, is Internet censorship, will cripple the Internet, and will threaten whistle-blowing and other free speech actions. Opponents have initiated a number of protest actions, including petition drives, boycotts of companies that support the legislation, and planned service blackouts by English Wikipedia and major Internet companies scheduled to coincide with the next Congressional hearing on the matter.

The protest movement against this bill is international in scope but, of course, centred on the US. Many websites have decided to go black today, January 18, in protest. These include sites such as BoingBoing and even Wikipedia, so you may not be able to verify what I've quoted both above and in the following paragraphs.

I'm firmly on the side of the opponents. This bill sends the wrong message about the future of the Internet -- that it should be closed and restrictive rather than open and free. And not free in the sense that nothing should cost anything or that Internet content companies should not be able to survive. Free as in a platform for sharing and creativity of all stripes.

Pretending that the last twenty years of fruitlessly fighting piracy in the courts was in any way effective is not useful for anyone. In fact it is counterproductive. Content organizations should instead be looking for ways to innovate and survive in the challenging new environment. That, of course, is easier said than done. It's not fair that these industries have been so thoroughly disrupted.

But, as Cory Doctorow said: The Information Revolution is not bloodless.

The disruption changes things in ways we love but it also changes things in ways we may hate.

I like what Barry Graubart says, Innovate don't legislate.

It's an oft-repeated tale. An industry gets disrupted by upstarts with new technologies and business models. The incumbents act quickly - turning to their legal team for advice. Litigate and legislate and the typical responses that come back.

The approach to SOPA and PIPA is hardly new. We've seen this play out many times in many industries, most notably in the music recording industry. But in each case, the approach ultimately fails. Sure, it may slow the erosion of your business, but in the end a broken business model is still broken. And all of those efforts to solve the problem through legislative and legal efforts simply distract companies from focusing on what they really need to do, and often alienate your customers.


Now, let's look at what media companies have failed to do, while they've been fighting the legislation & litigation battles:

  • They've failed to identify ways to leverage the changes in technology and media consumption to create new products for their core customers.
  • They've failed (for the most part) to introduce compelling new mobile or tablet-based applications.
  • They've largely failed to experiment with new business models, instead focusing on keeping the status quo.
  • They've largely failed to embrace the technologies, tools and approaches (cloud, agile development) which the upstarts have used to displace them.

All in all, they've failed to create significant value-add that will give their customers no reason to ever consider the lesser, free alternatives and to reinforce the overall value of their brand.

Perhaps Graubart goes a bit too far and indulges in a bit of guru over statement, but overall he's on the right track.

It's not the job of the government to protect the profit margins of media companies as their businesses change and evolve. Businesses and business models have always changed and evolved. It's the job of the media companies to figure out how to make money in the new environment.

Now, why do I care? I'm a Canadian after all and this proposed legislation doesn't directly affect me.

Here's what Michael Geist has to say: Why Canadians Should Participate in the SOPA/PIPA Protest.

First, the SOPA provisions are designed to have an extra-territorial effect that manifests itself particularly strongly in Canada...

Second, Canadian businesses and websites could easily find themselves targeted by SOPA...

Third, millions of Canadians rely on the legitimate sites that are affected by the legislation...

Fourth, the U.S. intellectual property strategy has long been premised on exporting its rules to other countries, including Canada....

SOPA virtually guarantees that this will continue. Not only is it likely that the U.S. will begin to incorporate SOPA-like provisions into its IP demands, but SOPA makes it a matter of U.S. law to ensure that intellectual property protection is a significant component of U.S. foreign policy and grants more resources to U.S. embassies around the world to increase their involvement in foreign legal reform.

8 responses so far

Science Online 2012: Library and librarian sessions

With the final countdown underway and the conference less than a week away, this post follows my post on library people in attendance at Science Online 2012 from a few weeks ago.

And I'd like to start off with another best-tweet-ever, this time Marieclaire Shanahan retweeting Colin Schutze:

+ they'll be fascinating! RT @_ColinS_: #Scio12 Newbie Tips: You will meet more librarians in one day than you thought existed in the world.

And that's long been one of my goals, to promote the integration of librarians into faculty and researcher conferences and social networks. And Science Online has always been a great example of how librarians and other library people could successfully integrate themselves into our patron community. My reflections on the success of last year's libraryish sessions lead me to propose some ideas for this year and ultimately to issue a kind of manifesto.

Related to that, I have an idle thought. Or question, rather.

Is there any other non-librarian conference out there with as much librarian presence and involvement as Science Online? I suspect it might be something in the Digital Humanities, but would love to hear about people's experiences.

Anyways, here's a list of all the librar* sessions at Science Online 2010:

Thursday, 4:00-5:00pm
D1S4c: Room 4. Undergraduate Education: Collaborating to Create the Next Generation of Open Scientists (discussion) - John Dupuis and Tanya Noel

Science faculty and librarians can collaborate on many aspects of undergraduate education - two ideas are the focus of this discussion. First: How can we best help undergrads understand and explore the scholarly information landscape? In addition to formal sources like journal articles, informal sources (e.g., blogs) are of increasing importance/relevance, which raises a question: How do we get students to think about what formal and informal really mean? How do we - faculty, librarians and others - work together to teach students to navigate the disciplinary landscape and become productive and critical consumers of - and contributors to - the disciplinary conversation? Second: How do we introduce students to the great big wide world of open science? How do the various players in higher education communicate to the next generation the incredible depth and complexity of what going on out there? How do we raise (inspire? support?) the next generation of Cameron Neylons, Steve Koches and Jean-Claude Bradleys (not to mention the next generation of Dorothea Salos and Christina Pikases)?

Friday, 10:45-11:45am
D2S2b: Room 3. Teaching Core Competencies in Science: Solving Algebraic and Word Problems (discussion) - Kiyomi Deards and Khadijah M. Britton

Math skills are necessary to the successful pursuit of science. Unfortunately, many students have not been given the tools to understand crucial core math concepts, or how they fit into the scientific process, by the time they enter a biology, physics, chemistry, or other science class. Co-moderated by a numeric dyslexic and a librarian, this session will be an adventure in communicating what we really mean by words like "logarithms," "meta-analysis," "distribution" or even "zero." We'll work through some word problems and analyze some graphs as a group, and try our hand at finding the shortest distance between a concept and a eureka. Bring your expertise, questions and creativity, and come out with new ways to communicate math simply, clearly and effectively.

Friday, 10:45-11:45am
D2S2d: Room 5. The Semantic Web (discussion) - Kristi Holmes and Antony Williams

Semantic Web-based projects are becoming increasingly more popular across a wide variety of disciplines. The session will provide a basic introduction to the topic and highlight different perspectives from people working in this space. We'll show *why* this technology is being used in so many areas - and demonstrate the benefits of linked data (especially in areas related to data reuse for visualizations, research discovery, and more). Open PHACTS, VIVO, and a number of the open government initiatives are good examples and there are many others. This session can serve as an introduction to the concept and highlight interesting and different ways that this technology is being used successfully.

Saturday, 9:30-10:30am
D3S1d: Room 5. Digital Preservation and Science Online (discussion) - Trevor Owens and Bonnie Swoger

Preserving Science Online? What should we be keeping for posterity? Science is now a largely digital affair. A lot of resources are being invested in ensuring that scientific datasets and digital incarnations of traditional scholarly journals will be around for the future. However, little effort has been spent on the preservation of new modes of science communication; like blogging and podcasting, or on things like citizen science projects. After a brief introduction to digital preservation, this session will serve to brainstorm and identify critical at-risk digital content and articulate why that content is important. Time permitting, we will kick around ideas for how we might go about putting partnerships together to collect and preserve this content. Come prepared to discuss what science is happening online that you think is important and why? How should we go about selecting what to preserve? Lastly, who should go about ensuring long term access to this content?

Saturday, 1:00-2:00pm
D3S3e: Room 6. Genomic Medicine: From Bench to Bedside (discussion) - Kristi Holmes and Sandra Porter

This session will serve as an introduction to the topic of personalized medicine from the perspective of major stakeholders including: scientists, physicians, patients and their advocates, community groups and media professionals. We'll begin with an introduction to the basic concepts and efforts in this area, followed by a discussion of information resources to serve stakeholder groups including relevant clinical, consumer health, and advocacy and policy resources. Various initiatives by government agencies, the commercial sector and academia will be discussed, including: Genetics Home Reference, 23andMe, PatientsLikeMe, and more

The Friday Blitz Talks & Demos also have some mini-sessions by library people or which are of interest from library perspective.

2:15-2:30pm - Writing for Robots: Getting your research noticed in the algorithmic era - William Gunn, Mendeley
With the volume of research output always rising, it's very hard to stay on top of what you need to read. Practically no one finds research articles anymore by going to the journal first and reading the table of contents. We all depend to some degree on algorithms to help us find what we should know. I'd like to talk a little about how some of the major algorithms work, how knowledge of the algorithms can make you a better writer, and how search and recommendation work together to bring you just the right paper at the right time. I'll present some specific examples of situations where these principles can be applied in three phases of research - starting a project, actively doing research, and writing up your results.

3:00-3:15pm - Research Discovery: Finding Networking Nirvana on the Semantic Web - Kristi Holmes
VIVO is an open source, open ontology research discovery platform for hosting information about scientists and their interests, activities, and accomplishments. The rich data in VIVO can be repurposed and shared to highlight expertise and facilitate discovery at many levels. Across implementations, VIVO provides a uniform semantic structure to enable a new class of tools which can use the rich data to advance science. There are currently over 50 VIVO implementations in the United States and over 20 international VIVO projects. This presentation will provide a brief description of VIVO and will demonstrate how diverse groups are not only using VIVO, but are also developing apps to consume the semantically-rich data for visualizations, enhanced multi-site search, discovery, and more. Learn more at

3:45-4:00pm - PaperCritic - Jason Priem (on behalf of Martin Bachwerk)
In a world where our lives are broadcast by Facebook and Twitter, our news consumption is dominated by blogs and our knowledge is defined by Wikipedia articles, science somehow remains 20 years behind in terms of communicating about its advances. PaperCritic aims to improve the situation by offering researchers a way of monitoring all types of feedback about their scientific work, as well as allowing everyone to easily review the work of others, in a fully open and transparent environment. The demo will give an overview of the site's main functions as well as discuss some plans for the future. Feel welcome to visit in the meantime to check it out for yourself.

No responses yet

Best Social Media Books 2011: Frogloop

Another list for your reading, gift-giving and collection development pleasure.

Every year for the last bunch of years I've been linking to and posting about all the "year's best sciencey books" lists that appear in various media outlets and shining a bit of light on the best of the year.

All the previous 2011 lists are here.

This post includes the following: Five Social Media Books you Should Read.

Yeah, I know this really isn't science -- and I'm not even labelling it as such -- but this is an pretty good list of books from a marketing blog for non-profits so I do see it as being for libraries to at least highlight. Plus I want to keep track of this list for my own use and this is as good a strategy for that as any.

I'm always looking for recommendations and notifications of book lists as they appear in various media outlets. If you see one that I haven't covered, please let me know at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or in the comments.

I am picking up a lot of lists from Largehearted Boy.

The summary post for 2010 books is here and all the posts for 2010 can be found here. For 2009, it's here and here.

For my purposes, I define science books pretty broadly to include science, engineering, computing, history & philosophy of science & technology, environment, social aspects of science and even business books about technology trends or technology innovation. Deciding what is and isn't a science book is squishy at best, especially at the margins, but in the end I pick books that seem broadly about science and technology rather than something else completely. Lists of business, history or nature books are among the tricky ones.

And if you wish to support my humble list-making efforts, run on over to Amazon, take a look at Steve Jobs and consider picking that one up or something else from the lists.

No responses yet

Around the Web: Resources on academic blogging and social media use

Dec 06 2011 Published by under blogging, faculty liaison, social media, yorku

I'm doing a short presentation tomorrow on blogging for researchers as part of a day-long communications workshop for faculty here at York. And since a few months back I created a reading list for a social media presentation for grad students, I thought I'd expand that list in this post and add some more specifically blogging-related resources.


Feel free to add any suggestions in the comments.

One response so far

« Newer posts Older posts »