No more “20% time” at Google – “Google’s “20% time,” which allows employees to take one day a week to work on side projects, effectively no longer exists. That’s according to former Google employees, one who spoke to Quartz on the condition of anonymity and others who have said it publicly.”
Increasing public access to federally funded research – This is not new, but for researchers and data nerds alike it is worth reading again – and following developments! You can find the official memo here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/ostp_public_access_memo_2013.pdf
A tiny book! – from University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections.
Rosen, Rebecca J. “Revealed: A Book the Size of a Ladybug.” The Atlantic. 7 Aug. 2013. Web. 22 Aug. 2013.
WebKit Has Implemented srcset: Right now there’s no good way to switch the image in an HTML <img> tag for a different browser (for example, giving a smaller image to a mobile browser). The srcset attribute solves most of the issues with this. See also: Mat’s talk on the subject.
Armstrong Library has new, comfy chairs and ottomans, just right for curling up with a well thumbed copy of Newton’s Principia, finishing your next assignment with your feet up, or just sitting back and enjoying the view (tweeting optional).
What’s new in MOOCs? “Coursera is recasting itself as a platform for credit-bearing courses that would be offered to students enrolled at multiple campuses within a public-university system.”
Staff matters. “Another side-effect of the executive belief that ‘life is elsewhere’ is that staff members aren’t utilized in transformational efforts. In the pigeonholing that can take place between HR and executive leaders, staff can be overlooked.”
A Research Data Management Implementation Workshop was held on March 13-14, 2013, with Alison Darrow (SRO) and Wendy Shook (LIS) attending selected webcasts.
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Take away points:
There is a lot of energy behind data management, and many good standards and tools being developed, but the field is in a constant state of flux.
Despite that energy, there is significant frustration. Funding agencies are providing objective outcomes, but not implementation guidance. They are waiting to see what consensus comes from the field, while users and providers are looking for some kind of direction or expectation from funding agencies to get them started. (I’d like to point out that this is a tremendous opportunity for the data management community to contribute to standards and best practices!)
There is emphasis on big data, in part due to volumes produced and dollars consumed, but that emphasis leaves smaller implementations feeling isolated, even though small data are valuable assets that require as much attention as big data do.
A variety of data management models were discussed, each with staunch proponents, but I expect the reality to be custom approaches taking the most useful element of each model.
The Oberlin Group of 17 Digital Library Unconference was held on May 21, 2013, at Mt. Holyoke College. With over 30 participants from 14 of the OG17 schools, there was lively discussion on topics including digital library planning and scope, organization and staffing, platforms and tools, data management and preservation policy, digital scholarship/digital humanities, outreach, and archiving born-digital records.
The format of the meeting eschewed the traditional speaker followed by a few questions in favour of a lightning round describing current projects at representated colleges, then brainstorming topics to be further discussed in a series of “break-out” sessions. The format felt more collaborative and productive than simply presenting information. Discussions were deemed successful enough to warrant follow-up meetings.
Attendees from Middlebury: Wendy Shook, Rebekah Irwin, Bryan Carson.
ACRL Digital Curation Interest Group Webinar: Creation of an In-House DMP Tool at the University of Houston Libraries, April 18, 2013
Michele Reilly and Anita Dryden from the University of Houston discussed their approach to providing data management planning assistance to their research faculty. Data management is not part of their mission; they focus on providing both general and UH resource specific information via their library web pages and by the creation of a data management planning (DMP) Tool. This tool, created using drupal webforms, is similar to the California Digital Library’s DMPTool and the Digital Curation Centre’s DMPOnline. Although offering fewer features, the UH tool pre-dates the online tools mentioned, has been easy to maintain and customize, and has been sufficient to fulfill the needs of their researchers.
Predatory Publishers Strike Back
Predatory publishing is what happens when open access publishing is subverted by manipulation, exploitation, and spammer mentality. Jeffery Beall is a librarian who uses his blog to expose predatory publishers, and they would rather he didn’t. Beall has written a Nature column piece about predatory publishing, and his blog is Scholarly Open Access.