27 februari 2007
Do we need the evidence for library2.0?
My point is, I see two important movements at this moment in librarianship. Library 2.0 is the one container of ideas and EBL is the other. To my knowledge I have not come across many, or any, discussions about both these issues in the same article or blogpost.
There were two occasions that prompted me to think about these two subjects and their possible relation. When I gave a presentation about library 2.0 some weeks ago, a colleague of mine jumped on the brakes. "It is all very nice, what you presented, but is it working ?" is what he asked me. "Well, we should try things out and see what happens", was my feeble response.
There is possible some evidence, scattered in blogs and wikis. But no one has systematically reviewed, the scanty evidence yet. Weblogzonderhaast presented some data for search actions from their library toolbar. Some time ago I presented some data on the personalization functionalities of our libray services. There is possibly more data to be found, but you have to look very hard. Crawford commented on some figures for uptake of IM reference which was about 1-2% (Crawford, 2006).
On the other hand I was introduced to the concept of Evidence based librarianship in a very interesting presentation by Andrew Booth during the 6th performance measurement conference in Durham in 2005. His approach made sense to me. As a researcher, I liked the outlined approach. As an avid reader, I practiced already to look for applications that worked for others, and see if we can apply this in our practice.
It was a post on a Dutch library discussion list, which asked for examples from the Dutch library world that were based on EBL, that actually triggered me to think about the question for more data supporting to invest in library 2.0 technologies more heavily. The discussion list did not give any clues, so I have to look a bit harder for the data myself.
The trade off, is of course, when we all wait for the data first to appear, nobody will start with innovations. So we need our follow our instincts, gut feeling and nerve to charge ahead, but not without gathering data to support our decisions. Even if it was only with hindsight that we can draw some conclusions.
Booth, A. (2005). Counting what counts: the link between Performance Measurement and Evidence Based Information Practice. 6th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services, Durham. http://northumbria.ac.uk/static/powerpoint/Booth.ppt
Crawford, W. (2006). Finding a balance: Libraries and Librarians. Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 6(9): 2-19. http://citesandinsights.info/civ6i9.pdf
24 februari 2007
Important OA proponent becomes minister of education in the Netherlands
Policy makers at Dutch Universities are thrilled with his appointment. Since he was quite a popular columnist a lot of his opinions are well known. So far, his ideas on OA, and his active participation, and his open rebellion against copyrights of the big publishers, have not been highlighted yet. It is about time to do a review about this subject. It will be really interesting to see how he deals with the OA issue on the political agenda.
Sometimes lists can drive you crazy
Well, in theory no sweat.
When you try to work out one or two articles you can run already into some little annoyances, when you one to look-up thousands of journals ISI can drive you mad.
Once you have established that researcher x has published an article in the American Heart Journal and found y citations. The next step is that you look up this journal in ESI. You have to establish in which field the journal is categorized according to ESI. In ESI you have to look this up using the journal abbreviations, quite simple the abbreviation of this journal is AMER Heart J. Slightly odd since this journal is abbreviated in the Journal Citation Report as the AM Heart J. But a another article in the American Journal of Critical Care should be abbreviated as AMER j crit care in ESI. Similar happens with Advances in Advances in Atmospheric Science and Advances in Ecological research. In the first instance you should abbreviate Advances as Adv and in the second instance as Advan. These are mere two examples, doing this manually you run in hundreds of examples.
Ok, be smart don't do it manually. Let's automate. At In-Cites there is a list with all journal categories available. Really nice of Thomson to list a really handy help tool outside the product itself (Yes there is a help file with journal abbreviations available in ESI, but you can't search that list directly, you have to browse, and heck they miss the journal categories in that help file altogether)
Working with the list at In-Cites isn’t a real joy either. Have for instance a look at Abacus, that journal is listed twice at the In-Cites list. Not too much of a problem you might think. But when you want to use a database to make lookups of journal categories and baseline data a bit less labour intensive the best way is to use ISSN to couple the various tables.
Sounds simple. Use the table with all journal categories from In-Cites and match that on the full title against the Journal Masterlist of ISI where they have the ISSN listed as well. Soon you find out that the AUTRALIAN JOURNAL OF GRAPE AND WINE RESEARCH from In cites doesn't match with the AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF GRAPE AND WINE RESEARCH from the Masterlist because a stupid spelling error. Or the A N Z JOURNAL OF SURGERY doesn't match with the ANZ JOURNAL OF SURGERY. From the 12485 journals listed at In-cites I was only able to match 8346 journals on journal name. That leaves me some 4000 to match manually, or find out what went wrong.
What I really wonder is, how is it possible that all these little name variations, journal abbreviations differences and other mismatches are possible for a suit of products from a company that breathes databases. A company that has only data in its veins, that sweats information. A company that claims knowledge.
We all rely heavily on their products.
23 februari 2007
The most interesting post related to this subject appeared today on the Feedburner blog "Burning Questions" itself. They give a fairly comprehensive overview of the most popular webbased feedreaders. myYahoo as measured by clickthroughs seems to be the most popular (but they only syndicate headlines). This is followed by Google, Bloglines and Netvibes. When measured by views Google Reader, Bloglines, NewsGator and Netvibes, in taht order, account for 98% of all views. Google by far and large the most popular.
The numbers reported here are a bit in contrast with a fairly recent post by Hitwise. Hitwise measure something altogether different, they measure web traffic. For webbased readers however, you'd expect some correlation. But on january 18th Bloglines was by and far the most popular webbased reader in the USA, according to Hitwise. LeeAnn Prescott writes "Google Reader has grown lately, but as of the week ending 1/13/07, it had only 1/13 of the market share of visits of Bloglines."
I can't believe Google Reader makes up this much in such a short time period. I myself was wondering about geographical influences. I notice on my feed that Netvibes has become the most popular reader. On some other Dutch blogs Netvibes is quite popular too, but not as popular as on mine. Still all substantially higher than in the USA. Might this be caused by the fact that it is a French company?
Just a question.
I have tried Netvibes for some time as well, but I think PageFlakes is actually more impressive since it allows you to share your resources more easily.
Interesting to note that Pandia just did a qualitative review of RSS readers. The sentence I liked most was their criticism on Google Reader: "I also often see the Google Labs test tube logo, which is displayed when Google Reader needs some seconds to work on a request." It really drives me mad so now and then. Where they can search billions of webpages in a fraction of seconds, and indicated my personalized results. The same Google can't resolve a few feeds (some 300) in less than seconds..... Otherwise the choice of Rojo and FeedShow seem a bit far off.
CleverClogs has also an interesting post on this subject.
Update: The RRW write-up includes Pheedo stats for comaprison
"Om Nederlands te leren ging ik naar de bibliotheek en vroeg om een ‘echt goed boek’.
Van de bibliothecaresse kreeg ik een boekje van Jip en Janneke.” Zo Schrijft Kader Abdollah in zijn brief. Hij was niet de enige. Onlangs werd het persoonlijk exemplaar van “Jip en Janneke” van Lornah Kiplagat bijgezet in het museum Holland Sport. Ook zij had het Nederlands geleerd aan de hand Annie M.G. Schmidt door het lezen van Jip en Janneke.
Abdollah schrijft prachtig over het belang van de bibliotheek. Ik kan alleen maar aanhalen, hij schrijft beter dan ik.
"In de bibliotheek ben je nooit alleen. Meer dan vijf miljoen mensen maken gebruik van de Openbare Bibliotheek. Ze zijn op zoek naar kennis en informatie, ze komen er voor educatie en ontwikkeling, voor lezen en literatuur maar ook voor kunst en cultuur en ontmoeting en debat. De bibliotheek is een veelarmige wegwijzer in onze kennismaatschappij. Hoe verschillend de behoeften van de bezoekers ook zijn, ze zullen altijd vinden wat ze zoeken. Of ze nu komen voor een verhalenbundel, een debat tussen lijsttrekkers, een inburgeringscursus, boeken speciaal voor mensen met leesachterstanden of een tentoonstelling".
"Voor mij en vele anderen is de bibliotheek een plaats waar je makkelijk binnenloopt, als het huis van een vriend die je al jaren kent. In het proces van bibliotheekvernieuwing heeft de provincie de regie gekregen. U hebt een unieke kans om het bibliotheekwerk te verbinden met begrippen als sociale cohesie, inburgering, educatie en jongerenbeleid. Samen met andere en toekomstige bezoekers hoop ik van harte op uw voortgezette inzet en daadkracht. Zodat de bibliotheek ook voor toekomstige generaties behouden kan blijven".
“Ze zijn op zoek naar kennis en informatie, ze komen er voor educatie en ontwikkeling, voor lezen en literatuur maar ook voor kunst en cultuur en ontmoeting en debat” Laat zo’n zin even tot je doordringen. Geen dooddoeners of platitudes als ze komen om boeken of muziek te lenen. Kennis en informatie, educatie en ontwikkeling, lezen en literatuur, kunst en cultuur. Een prachtige omschrijving van bibliotheek 2.0 in Jip en Janneke taal.
Labels: Bibliotheek 2.0
21 februari 2007
Marjolein blogged yesterday that the tool has become available to the general public as well. So I decided to give it a go. Answers.com is one of the better collection of instant reference works on the Web. Aggregating explanations from various dictionaries and encyclopedia's.
I doesn't work for Dutch words though.
20 februari 2007
Recommended reading! Compulsory, I'd say
Labels: Social Software
Hattip: Dutch cowboys
19 februari 2007
18 februari 2007
Vogin cursus nu met 19% korting?
Maar wat het allermooiste is aan dit geheel, is dat de overheid de BTW kosten voor zich neemt. In feite komt dit neer op een korting van bijna 20%. Deze laatste, prettige mededeling, heb ik van Bibniews geplukt.
Plukt U daar weer de vruchten van?
Finally, Google and Feedburner talk with each other
As an avid watcher of (my) blog statistics I always thought it was a good idea when Google cooperated with Feedburner on their statistics program. This weekend it finally became reality. my subscriber number soared through the 500, registering an absolute maximum of 530 last Friday.
I known it is all relative.
I am probably the most frequently subscribed reader, with a Bloglines account, Netvibes, Google reader and a Google personal account. But studying the previous Information Professional, I know that Eric S. is using Feedburner and Bloglines to follow this blog. So there will be, and should be some inflation in these figures. My inquisitive colleagues are experimenting, testing with all kind of means to read and try RSS readers for their patrons.
But it is interesting to watch this jump in reader base anyway.
On the other hand, as a distant Internet business watcher, it is interesting to see Google approaching a small (but interesting) player in the Web statistics business. Will there be another successful takeover in the make?
15 februari 2007
Hoewel het een Blogger blog is, ook mooi een URL van de Bibliohteek zelf. Nu nog een team van bloggers formeren, en motiveren.
De blog en de genoemde drie diensten vormen het fundament. De komende weken eens kijken hoe we de blog verder kunnen promoten. Wil je de nieuwe blog ook volgen dit is de feed
14 februari 2007
The Directory of Open Access Journals has launched a membership program. Peter Suber strongly supports their membership program. Given the primordial stage they are still in, our library is going to support this request anyway. We are not yet on the list of member libraries, but sooner or later we will be. At least for this year, perhaps the next. Personally I am a bit weary of this initiative.
Consider for a moment seriously what the essence of DOAJ entails. It is a directory of open access journals. None of these journals is hosted at DOAJ. Not at all. In its essence it is a collection of, authoritative, high quality, links to peer reviewed, scholarly open access journals. A collection of some 2500+ links. And oh yes, they have build a search engine for some of the contents of these journals. Yes only partly. Around their website there is some information on OA and the OA movement, but that is about it.
What would it cost to maintain this all?
There are other initiatives in this arena as well. Perhaps not as well known but they are around. I have pointed out some of these before already. The most interesting I find Livre, Open J-gate, and Regensburg. These for the directories. On top of that you have many search engines that spider these collections. Scirus is probably the best of the rest (that is after Google, which does it very badly) And Google Scholar, we don't really know.
However, as a library we will support the DOAJ membership initiative.
What will we get in return? DOAJ Membership Benefits
- Acknowledgement as a DOAJ Member on the DOAJ Membership Pages, including link to your/your institutions/your company's homepage.
- Access to the list of recently added titles
- Subscription to e-mail list for DOAJ members
- Access to list of removed titles
- The right to use the DOAJ membership in marketing activities.
A backlink from DOAJ is nice since they have a substantial pagerank (8/10). Yet another mail list, is not what I am waiting for. Lists of newly added or removed titles sounds interesting, but in essence we are relying on the SFX knowledgebase. It is not only relying, we subscribe to it, and expect Ex Libris to maintain this knowledgebase properly (which they have done very well to date) -besides are they a member already, and what would their membership cost?-. The use of DOAJ in marketing activities is not really what we are waiting for.
What do we really want?
Give us some feedback on usage statistics. Please!
Most of the listed journals at DOAJ don't have the capacity to provide all various users or user groups with feedback on their personal or group usage. Libraries are more and more confronted with figures and data to back up their decisions and expenditures. We need to justify what we do each and every day. If DOAJ could provide us with usage reports for our institute we would be much more interested in their membership program. As far I understand they are not in the position to provide official Counter compliant reports, since they don't host. But they should be able to provide us some meaningful data. It is not only to justify they cost benefit relations from our point of view. It should provide us with data to justify the cause of OA as well. Show our users how much they are actually using these 'free' journal articles in comparison to the established publishers.
I think a membership program is in its place when we get some more solid data in return.
12 februari 2007
Dat is er weer een om niet uit het oog te verliezen.
Dymphie succes ermee!
08 februari 2007
Avoiding personalized Google results
Is there really no escape from Google personal results? So you can at least compare how Google optimizes your personal search engine results page (SERP)? I think there is a small loophole. Cleaning your cookies should help, but Google is storing some of your search and click behaviour on their sites as well. The other trick is to use a specific data center. When I use Google at http://126.96.36.199/ I do get a slightly different ranking of the SERP than using my standard http://wwww.google.com/ig or a Google toolbar search for the same keyword.
What I haven't checked yet, is whether Google is storing my IP and search actions there as well, and using that "against" me. They probably do. Well there are many clusters of IP addresses of Google data centers, and it seems improbable to me that Google is exchanging IP and search information between all data centers.
07 februari 2007
Ik moet zeggen, de aarde was zeer vruchtbaar. We hebben ruim 3 uur van gedachten gewisseld over hoe nu verder. Wat kunnen we nu opppakken? Wat gaan we in tweede instantie doen? De verbouwingsblog uit Rotterdam zou wel eens navolging kunnen gaan krijgen in Wageningen.
02 februari 2007
WoW!ter op een 39e plaats. Hoger dan ooit tevoren!
Danniëlle was er als de kippen bij om mij er op te attenderen. De zoenen krijg ik nog wel (eens, hoop ik) .
Als tip voor Marco: Netters zou niet misstaan op jullie lijst.
Technorati tags: shameless self promotion; vanity; MarCom top 100
01 februari 2007
Managers love these. That applies to the managers of our university as well. They really like the ESI rankings (albeit we're loosing some prestige) or those from Newsweek and THES. A new type of ranking is based on webometrics. Link analysis of websites that is. A group of researchers from Spain has been quite active in this field. They posted a preprint of their analysis from the European academic Web on E-Lis. Interesting reading.
In Europe, the UK and Germany are the two most inter-linked academic Web communities. The Netherlands sits somewhat closer to the UK. The UvA and VU are two of the better linked universities in the Netherlands. Wageningen UR is a midget somewhat distant from the center where the real action takes place. This is perhaps partly due to the older web address the researchers have used in their investigation. But looking closer at their Website Webometrics which is part of their ongoing research, reveals some real problems for the Web-identity of our university.
As main university website they have still listed our old domain, but next to that there is Larenstein (perhaps rightfully so). And they have listed a portal Bioinformatics at Wageningen University and the Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences as separate identities as well. Our position as a combined university and research institute is even more diluted by the fact that some of the research institutes are treated as separate distinct identities as well. To mention a few: Alterra-ILRI, CIDC (listed at two Web adresses) CRC, RIKILT also listed under two addresses, Wageningen Feed Processing Centre, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences (should actually be listed as a school). Wageningen NMR center, Wageningen UR and ISRIC also with two addresses.
There is plenty of room for criticism on the Spanish website and their selection of websites of Institutes. They also list redirected pages. Our university website(s) don't make matters any easier for these foreign investigators. There is for instance no sitemap available (would improve spidering of the website by search engines as well). Furthermore there are still too many seemingly independent websites that bear hardly any relation (in their domain) with Wageningen UR. Take for instance WIAS, VLAG or Plantenwetenschappen. They are one hunderd percent related to the University, but nothing in the web address (or layout) that shows for this relationship. There are whole legions of exotic websites such as Syscope, de Natuurkalender or IBL etc.…These websites should be used to improve the web presence of our University by making them integral part of the WUR domain.
What does it matter?
Well those Webometricians do their research. Fair enough, but that is not only academic inquisitiveness. Those are not mere theoretical exercises. Popular search engines work on exactly the same principles. Our web presence is in dire need for improvement. Look for instance at the traffic of three of our major domains. Wau.nl generates more traffic than Wageningenuniversiteit.nl. And we had a very expensive operation to move everything to a single web domain, with a brand new layout, and it was declared a success. Only when you look at the traffic at the previous link over a somewhat longer period you get some interesting graphs. Since the change in December 2005, total traffic plummeted, and the Wageningenuniversiteit.nl site never attracted really more traffic than the old wau.nl site. It is now more than a year after the whole operation and all kind of redirect pages are still afloat and attract a lot of traffic. Improving visibility and performance of a single wur domain seems badly needed.
But what really pleases me though, our library website generates 39% of the all WUR traffic. The library in the heart of the organization that is. WoW!
This is of course a laughing farmer with a very serious toothache.
Ortega, J. L., I. Aguillo, et al. (2007) Maps of the academic web in the European Higher Education Area - an exploration of visual web indicators. E-LIS http://eprints.rclis.org/archive/00005038/
How embarrassing, for such a developed country, the statistics on natural disasters that were published by the UNISDR. Netherlands ranked 4th on the lists natural disasters by number of deaths.
Apparently we can't keep our elderly and weak people protected from the heat. But even more amazing I found the fact reported in a Dutch newspaper that the data collectors had great difficulty collecting reliable information from the Netherlands.
It has never been so busy on WoW!ter
January was a really busy month on this blog. Google Analytics registered some 4,500 visitors that looked at around 6,800 pages. 3,500 unique visitors! The busiest day was Wednesday the 17th when I announced my plans for a new review of the Dutch biblioblogosphere. A message posted on the Nedbib-L, the most important discussion list for Dutch Librarians, resulted in a true spike of direct visitors.
21% of the visitors came from other countries than Netherlands or Belgium. Visitors came from 59 different countries. In the beginning of January I noted an unusual peak of visitors from Taiwan. Over the last couple of days I see all Italian universities dropping by on a single post of this blog, they all come directly to the blog. Strangely enough they did not visit this post, which is on the same subject. Apparently some e-mail traffic going around there, since a few are referred from e-mail hosting services.
Netvibes has finally overtaken Bloglines as the most popular feedreader for subscribers to the Feed. In the beginning of the month there were 156 Bloglines subscribers (using the Feedburner feed) and 123 Netvibes subscribers, the figures are now 168 vs 161. The success of Netvibes over Bloglines also confirmed by the referrals as measured by Google Analytics 147 vs 145. There is actually no real need for either system to click through to the blog since the posts are syndicated as a whole.