December 31, 2007

Test to Assess Concussion

The NewsHour reported on Nov. 26, 2007 about a test that measures cognitive impairment after concussion, and is more accurate than the more common "how do you feel" assessments that are done before sending athletes back onto the field following concussion.

Betty Ann Bowser reports on "ImPACT, which stands for immediate post-concussion assessment and cognitive testing, a sophisticated computer program that measures function in all four lobes of the brain. It is the first diagnostic tool developed that can map out how a concussion has caused impairment." She interviews Mickey Collins, neuropsychologist and assistant director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who says that ImPACT "... looks at one's ability to remember information. It looks at one's reaction time. It looks at one's ability to multitask, to do two things at once. It looks at one's ability to really maintain attention and concentration." He also comments:

You can't manage concussion with a cookbook. The minute I hear a clinician say, "You've had a concussion, sit one week out, and you'll be fine," is the minute I realize the clinician has no idea what they're talking about.
One of my favorite Giants, Antonio Pierce, was diagnosed with concussion following a recent game. He played again the next week, but ... was he really ok to play? Here's more about it, according to the Canadian Press (Nov. 15):

"Antonio Pierce vowed to play for the New York Giants against the Detroit Lions despite nagging 'little headaches' from a concussion suffered last weekend.

" 'If I ain't totally broke and I can play and run, I should be out there, and I think I will be,' Pierce said Thursday after missing his second straight day of practice for Sunday's game in Detroit."
[article no longer available online]
I can't find any mention of it since then, and he's played all games, so I guess he's ok ... but after hearing more about concussion from the NewsHour, and knowing what happens to many retired NFL folks ... I worry.

Wayne Chrebet, terrific (retired) receiver for the Jets retired because of postconcussion syndrome two years ago. The Times reported on Dec. 22 that "Mr. Chrebet, 34, has recently acknowledged he has bouts of depression and memory problems so severe that he cannot make the routine drive from his New Jersey home to his Long Island restaurant without a global-positioning system." They refer to an interview with Chrebet published in the Star Ledger in early September:
"Six documented concussions - in all probability, he suffered twice as many in his career - forced Chrebet, the sure-handed and fearless wide receiver, into retirement after the 2005 season. Today, the migraines and darkness still stalk him, sneaking up from behind like a cheap-shotting cornerback."
I'd like to see more care taken to diagnose concussion on the field and more caution when sending folks back in to play. Moral question: should I stop watching football because it's so potentially dangerous to the players' brains? [sigh]

For More Information

December 18, 2007

Gratitude is Good for You

It turns out that gratitude is good for you. Robert Emmons is one of the fathers of the study of gratitude in psychology, and I've seen his name around the blogosphere a lot lately. I decided to investigate.

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed Research
Emmons & Michael McCullough's 2003 article "Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-being in Daily Life" illustrates some of the effects of gratitude on well-being, exercise, and sleep. The studies suggest that a daily, long-term commitment to thinking about things for which one is grateful result in " ... substantial and consistent improvements in people’s assessments of ... global well-being." (p. 385)

The article describes three studies. The first showed that undergraduates who were randomly assigned to focus on gratitude ("generosity of friends" & "the Rolling Stones") were generally happier, exercised more, and slept more than those who were randomly asked to focus on "hassles" ("messy kitchen" & "stupid people driving"). This 9-week study was the longest of the three and had the most significant health effects with respect to sleep & exercise. However, subjects only kept track of their gratitude or hassle-o-meter only on a weekly basis.

The second study also focused on randomly-assigned undergraduates who kept a daily record of their gratitude or hassles. This study was in effect for 13 days and gratitude subjects "...experienced higher levels of positive affect during the 13-day period" (p. 383) but had no significant difference in any health measures. The third study assessed adults suffering from chronic disease for three weeks rather than two; subjects were randomly asked to keep a record of daily gratitude and their overall well-being or just a daily record of their overall well-being. Subjects' spouses or significant others were also asked to keep a log of the subjects' overall well-being.

The third study showed that folks in the "gratitude manipulation" group showed an increase in positive affect and a reduction in negative affect, and that "gratitude intervention" improved the amount and quality of subjects' sleep. More significantly, the spouses and significant others agreed with the grateful subjects' self-assessment and rated them "... as higher in positive affect." Other than sleep, however, there were no other health effects seen; this is likely because the study lasted only 3 weeks and not 9 as in Study 1.

Emmons and McCullough caution that the long-lasting and long-term effects of "gratitude manipulation" and "gratitude intervention" are unclear. And of course, there are lots of suggestions for future research. But hey, what can it hurt to practice gratitude manipulation?

For More Information

December 17, 2007

New in Health Communication

Saw a few interesting tidbits on health communication recently & thought they might be interesting:

Anti-drinking Campaign Ads May Be 'Catastrophically Misconceived': ScienceDaily reports on a British study that shows "Some anti-drinking advertising campaigns may be 'catastrophically misconceived' because they play on the entertaining 'drinking stories' that young people use to mark their social identity, say researchers who have just completed a three year study of the subject."

Instead of turning young adults off of drinking by portraying "...drunken incidents, such as being thrown out of a nightclub, being carried home or passing out in a doorway ... young people [see them] as being a typical story of a 'fun' night out, rather than as a cautionary tale."
(thanks to Bora for the link)

and

Roma Harris & Nadine Wathen interviewed 40 women living in a "highly agricultural rural county in southwestern Ontario" about how they locate health information and published the results in the October 2007 issue of Reference & User Services Quarterly.

Excerpts from the article abstract:

" ... Most of the women in the study undertake considerable health-related information gate-keeping for themselves and on behalf of family members and others in their personal networks. They seek and assess information from a wide variety of sources, some of which they locate via the Internet, and they balance what they learn against their experiences with the formal health system. The women's accounts focused repeatedly on the quality of their relationship with those to whom they turn for assistance, although the actual roles of helpers, whether physicians, friends, librarians, or staff in health food stores, often appeared to be incidental. Instead, helpers' perceived effectiveness seemed to depend largely on how well they express care when information is exchanged. Several women also reported that they had diagnosed and even treated themselves, sometimes on the basis of information gathered from the Internet. ..."

The library was occasionally cited as a resource, but mostly for the Internet access; however there were some serious concerns about the rural library:
  1. Some women felt that the library wouldn't have current health books
  2. Some women felt that the library wasn't worth going to because the books would have to be returned
  3. Some women would not ask a library staffer for help due to concerns about confidentiality, since they live in such a small community. Presumably they don't want the librarian knowing their business.
So. Two very different and mildly disturbing reports about communicating health information. (See also my October post Seniors & Medical Information, summarizing a JASIS&T article on the topic)

For More Information
  • Anti-drinking Campaign Ads May Be 'Catastrophically Misconceived'. ScienceDaily (Dec. 14, 2007).
  • Harris, Roma and Nadine Wathen. "If My Mother Was Alive I'd Probably Have Called Her." Reference & User Services Quarterly, Fall2007, Vol. 47 Issue 1, p67-79. May be available from RUSQ web site; definitely available from EBSCO's "Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts" or @ your library.

December 14, 2007

Using Social Software in Libraries

Just heard a great talk by Meredith Farkas called Building Academic Library 2.0. Meredith did a terrific job of talking about technology in a way that tech librarians would appreciate and that non-techies would understand. The talk was presented to academic librarians, but her tech explanations are also useful to anyone interested in social software like blogs, wikis, flickr, and podcasts to interact with patrons or students.

Two non-tech recommendations that I especially liked:
  • Let go of "the culture of perfect" -- if we wait for our web site, chat software, OPAC to be the elusive perfect, it'll never happen and we'll get left behind. (the "culture of perfect" is Meredith's idea, the "we’ll be left behind" is mine).
  • Nurture talent. Meredith mentions a Library Journal Mover & Shaker who recently left academia; Meredith exhorted the audience to support innovators, and find ways of keeping people who do cool stuff. I agree with that, and I raise her one: we librarians who are dong cool stuff should active support each other. I think we do that already, but I want to keep it more of a priority for myself to support my friends and colleagues who are fighting the good fight.

(Meredith's talk starts around minute 13)

If you want to know more about using social software in libraries, in the classroom, or anywhere else, this is a good talk, and Meredith also has a book on the topic. Yay!

For More Information

December 12, 2007

OCLC's Jay Jordan @ UConn

Yesterday, the University of Connecticut Libraries Forum Team sponsored a conversation with Jay Jordan, president and CEO of OCLC. He was dynamic, engaging, smart, and thoughtful.

Some data from Jordan on OCLC itself:
Over 60,000 libraries in 112 countries are using various OCLC services. 91 million records, 1.4 billion holdings, 72 million books and "a lot" of article-level metadata. They are adding Japanese e-book content and millions of non-US "files", from Sweden, Bavaria, and New Zealand, among others.

Some of the OCLC materials and programs discussed:
  • Many interesting (and free!) OCLC Reports available, including 2007's Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World and 2005's Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources
  • WorldCat.org -- search WorldCat holdings online for free. See some of the libraries that own items (primarily books) by typing in your zip code.
    • Right now, you can only see holdings of libraries that pay to have their holdings displayed in "free" WorldCat; this financial arrangement is understandable from OCLC's perspective, but it is a shame that ALL library holdings don't display in WorldCat.org. I raised this point and was heartened to hear that Jordan understands it.
    • They've recently added the option to create your own lists in WorldCat.org. See one of the lists I've created for newly-added books at UConn in Communication Sciences
    • Jordan reported some interesting data on referrals from Google and other "partner sites" to WorldCat.org:
      • 130 million referrals from "partner sites" to Open WorldCat
      • 7.6 million click-throughs from OpenWorldCat to library services (i.e., individual libraries whose holdings are in "free" WorldCat)
  • WorldCat Delivery Pilot: "OCLC is testing a new service that will facilitate requests for library materials across disparate library system platforms and will interact with different circulation systems. The service will also test the optional delivery of requested library items directly to users at their homes or offices."
    • They are testing this with 12 libraries in Montana, and I love this quote from one of its users: "like netflix but for books."

  • WorldCat Local Pilot: This is a way of using WorldCat as an individual library's OPAC. See it in action at the University of Washington. UW's holdings display first, then their consoritial library's holdings, then WorldCat / ILL holdings.

December 11, 2007

Neuroplasticity on PBS

A recent Mind Hacks post alerted me to the upcoming PBS series Brain Fitness Program, to be shown as part of the December 2007 pledge drive. From the PBS Press Release: "Dr. [Michael] Merzenich, of the University of California San Francisco, has been leading the effort to design the scientifically based set of brain exercises that are demonstrated in this program."

Alvaro, at the blog Sharp Brains, reports on this as well, and suggests that there will be a video available as part of the pledge drive, available for a $120 donation to PBS. I'm a member of PBS; I'm hoping the show will be available as a podcast as well.


(see the trailer from YouTube)

The PBS press release describes Merzenich's work:

"Dr. Michael Merzenich and his colleagues worked together to create a system for strengthening the brain and making it perform with more agility, speed and comprehension. The Brain Fitness Program is based on neuro-plasticity — the ability of the brain to change, adapt and even rewire itself. The brain remains highly malleable or 'plastic' throughout life, and by presenting the brain with the proper stimuli, scientists can drive beneficial physical and functional change. In the past two years, this global team of scientists has developed computer-based stimulus sets (or 'exercises') that drive beneficial changes in the brain. This methodology is being expanded to address auditory and visual processing and memory, dealing with complexity and the neurological basis for difficulties in hand movement, posture, balance and mobility."

For those in my tv viewing area, this will be shown on the afternoon of December 15, or you can check your local listings.

For More Information

December 09, 2007

Football & Math

It's unusual, but not impossible, that two of my favorite things come together. And technically, math isn't one of my favorite things, but football is, and when one of "my" players wants to be a high school math teacher when he's done playing for the Giants, well, that's close enough to cognitive science for me.

All this to introduce a cute story in Saturday's New York Times about backup linebacker Chase Blackburn, who is trying to figure out "whether the team’s assistant athletic trainer, John Johnson, had used enough athletic tape in his 50-year career with the Giants to circle the earth." He knows
"... the circumference of the earth [and] how long Johnson had been wrapping body parts. [He and his teammates] could guess how many players he wrapped each day and each season.

"They did not know how many feet of tape each roll contained."
Bummer. But Blackburn is "finishing a math degree from the University of Akron, where he played football, by taking courses at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. He hopes to complete a master’s degree, too, and he says he would like to teach high school math when his football career ends."

I love football, and I love science, and I love when football players like, er, math. Go Giants!

For More Info
Branch, John. Giants' Blackburn May Get Chance to Solve the Eagles. New York Times, Dec. 8, 2007.

December 05, 2007

Images Online

I saw two great lists of free online images, both published in November. Thought I'd blog them here so I don't forget them ...
Check out both the text of the blog posts as well as the comments.

My three favorite sites for images for PowerPoint presentations are ...
  • Google images
  • Flickr (there are some great shots here which nicely illustrate various points about reference that I like to make; see all images tagged library)
  • stock.xchng "free stock photography." What I like about these is that you can enter a term like "change" and find relevant results. Ain't tagging grand?!

December 04, 2007

Feline Diabetes & Diet

please also read my May 2008 post More About Feline Diabetes & Diet


ScienceDaily reports on a new study from Robert Backus, a University of Missouri-Columbia veterinarian which "...suggests that weight gain, not the type of diet, is more important when trying to prevent diabetes in cats."

When my cat Boomer was diagnosed with diabetes, my vet suggested putting him on a low-carb / low-kibble diet because kibbles are full of carbs which convert to sugar (insulin) more easily than the relatively higher protein content in canned food. Backus' research "... compared a colony of cats in California raised on dry food with a colony of cats in New Zealand raised on canned food. After comparing glucose-tolerance tests, which measures blood samples and indicates how fast glucose is being cleared from the blood after eating, researchers found no significant difference between a dry food diet and a wet food diet."

Instead, Backus' research "... suggests that weight gain, not the type of diet, is more important when trying to prevent diabetes in cats."

The findings were presented at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Conference in April. I'm curious to see the paper, too.

For More Information

December 02, 2007

Library & Information Science Blog Posts

So I got an iPod Touch a few weeks ago, and it's swell. I love having the Internet anywhere in the house or at work, and this makes it much easier to keep up with blogs. Yay! Google Reader has a terrific mobile interface, which makes the blog posts easy to read. Say what you will about Google taking over the world, but they sure know what works for people. I wish libraries were more like Google in that respect. But I digress.

Anyway, I've had more time to browse / read blogs, both cognitive science and library science. Yay! I've seen things I want to blog. I star the items I want to blog and go back to them later, investigate, and write a blog post. I've also seen items I want to share with my LIS students. But that's not what this blog is for, and I can't take on another blog.

Google to the rescue! I can also "share" items:




Nifty! And because Google owns Blogger / Blogspot, I can easily embed the recently starred posts on the right navigation bar of this blog. If you have a Google Reader account, you can subscribe to my shared items and easily see the new posts.

November 28, 2007

If You Search, Read This Book


I'm preparing for another semester of teaching Digital Information Services & Providers, or as I like to call it, "Advanced Reference." At the start of the semester, we review some favorite resources from reference like Academic Search Premier and LexisNexis, and we study new sources like Web of Science and Dialog. We also talk about free search engines like Ask, Exalead, and Yahoo!

There's a great new book that explains these and other search engines, and also covers directory sites like Yahoo!'s directory and the Open Directory. Ran Hock's book The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook : A Guide for the Serious Searcher. (2nd ed. CyberAge Books, 2007) clearly explains these topics and more.

Hock starts out with a chapter on "Basics for the Serious Searcher," which provides a brief chronology of the Internet, explains general Web directories and search engines, and offers sensible strategies for formulating a search. Hock talks about older content as well, describing the Wayback Machine, a treasure trove of archived Internet material. This chapter also provides 4 pages on evaluating what you find on the Web and briefly discusses copyright.

Hock's next chapter describes basic directories like Yahoo!'s directory and the Open Directory in more detail than in the first chapter, and he describes one of my favorite directories, the Librarians' Internet Index, which includes tens of thousands of Web sites carefully chosen and annotated by librarians. Chapter 3 describes more directories, broken into categories like law, education, and the US government; Hock describes a few subject-specific directories in each category.

Chapters 4 and 5 cover the basics and specifics of search engines, and both are full of interesting tidbits for Web searchers. It includes a link to Search Engine Shortcuts, a handy page that Hock maintains showing how to do specific searches in Ask,Google, and Yahoo!. These include currency conversion, airport information / delays, and UPC code lookups.

Later chapters cover newsgroups; finding images, audio, and video; as well as blogs, podcasts, and creating your own Web sites. The book concludes with a handy 9-page glossary, which defines Boolean concepts, podcasts, relevance & recall, and technical terms like Ajax, FTP, and HTML.

The topics in the book are useful, but what's best about it is Hock's clear and descriptive language. He knows this material like a librarian, but he talks about it like a normal person. Finally, Hock maintains a page with all the links mentioned in each chapter. If you can't read the book, you might want to glance through these links, focusing on the topics that most interest you. (And if you have the opportunity to see him speak at a conference, take it; he's a great and generous speaker)

Everyone is pretty good at Web searching -- but we could all use a boost from time to time. Ran Hock's book is filled with great boosting techniques and will be required for my class. I encourage you to buy it or check it out @ your library.

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November 26, 2007

How to be a Referee

no ... not a football referee, but a referee for peer-reviewed journals, and in this case, journals in the field of library & information science.

My e-buddy Phil Edwards has written a nice piece in the November 2007 issue of College & Research Libraries News offering tips on how to be a good reviewer. In Developing as a writer: Refereeing manuscripts for peer-reviewed LIS journals, Phil suggests ways to become a referee, and includes his two handy criteria for accepting requests to be a peer-reviewer:
  • I already know something about the topic of the article or the method of investigation.
  • I read the journal regularly and have a feel for what a typical article looks like in that publication.
And while the title implies that reviewing is good for writers, I think that Phil's suggestions are handy for those of us who are grading as well. For instance, one of his ideas is to be specific in your comments, and he offers a good example:
"...[A] comment such as 'The introduction is unclear' might be less helpful for authorial revisions than a comment like 'In the introduction, the author mentions the relationship between issues X and Y. Throughout the article, X appears often, while Y does not appear until the conclusion. The author should either consider reinforcing this proposed relationship throughout the narrative or focus the discussion on issue X exclusively.' "
His other suggestions are useful as well, and he lists some handy resources for further consultation on the topic.

For More Information

November 20, 2007

Politics & the Brain

Some interesting news / articles lately about the political brain. Here are some tidbits, in the order in which I heard them:
  • This week's All in the Mind covered the political brain: "As Australians stand in front of the cardboard voting booth next week what's going on in our minds? In choosing the future direction of the nation -- do we weigh up policies and promises with a rational mind, or are we emoting with our pencils? And new research has sent the left and right of the scientific community on a political bender with the idea that we're neurologically wired to support our team. All in the Mind probes your political brain." All in the Mind also provides a nice set of citations to articles by scientists featured in the show, including Drew Weston's recent book: The Political Brain: the Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.
  • This week's Science Friday also covered the political brain: "What happens in your brain when you think about politics? We'll talk with a researcher using brain imaging techniques to map out voters' innermost feelings about the current crop of candidates. The researchers used fMRI imaging to examine brain activity in 20 'likely voters' as they looked at pictures of the candidates and watched clips from speeches. But can maps of activity in the amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, or insula really translate into action in the polling booth?"
  • The Science Friday article was influenced by a New York Times op-ed piece last week entitled This Is Your Brain on Politics in which Marco Iacoboni, Joshua Freedman, Jonas Kaplan, and others report on their fMRI work on political decision making by swing voters.
All of the studies reported here have their supporters & their critics.
For More Info

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November 19, 2007

Finding CogSci Podcasts

In case you're wondering ... here are some ways to find nifty cognitive science & other podcasts.

Here's a Google search trick I use to find podcasts of interviews with folks whom I'd like to hear: inurl:podcast + "name of person" (in quotes). The command inurl:podcast means that the word "podcast" has to be in the URL, which gives you a good chance that the link will actually lead to a podcast. This does result in some false positives, but it's a pretty reliable search.

A search for this: inurl:podcast "david sloan wilson" yields 6 results, including an interview with Wilson on the site of publisher's of his recent book.

A search for this inurl:podcast "positive psychology" brings up over 200 results, many of which are interviews with scholars working with positive psychology.

Lists of psychology & cogsci podcasts:
  • The British Psychological Society has a Research Digest Blog with some nifty posts. One feature of this blog is a section called "Elsewhere (for when you've had enough of journal articles" (heh) which lists some mainstream (frequently the Manchester Guardian) coverage of psychology & cognitive science, including podcasts.
  • The BPS also has a blog post called Psychology Podcasts: a Clickable List which is a nice list of podcasts about psychology. Christian Jarrett maintains the list and is happy to post new links to the site.
  • This Week in Science features some cognitive science / cognitive psychology; see their list of posts in cognitive science.
  • University of California San Diego faculty member Rafael Nunez has posted entire 80-minute lectures for his Introduction to Cognitive Sci class.
Regular readers of the CogSci Librarian will know that these are among my favorites:
  • Ginger Campbell at the Brain Science Podcast covers lots of interesting cognitive science topics, including consciousness, memory, body maps, and more.
  • Natasha Mitchell's All in the Mind podcast covers all kinds of topics, such as intuition, music, and vision, as well as interviews with Daniel Dennett & Steven Pinker.
  • The New York Times "Science Times" podcast often features psych / neuroscience stuff. See New York Times & scroll down to Science Times, or subscribe in iTunes.

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November 15, 2007

two interesting blog posts

Two great posts yesterday:

Dutch librarian Wouter Gerritsma posted about a Swedish usability research project comparing students' search behaviour for information with Google Scholar and Metalib on his blog (http://wowter.net/2007/11/14/students-expectation-of-databases/). The 156-page report is available at http://www.diva-portal.org/diva/getDocument?urn_nbn_se_su_diva-1264-2__fulltext.pdf and covers some interesting aspects of MetaLib usability, as well as comparisons to functionality to Google Scholar. They did 4 sets of studies: 2 each for MetaLib &Google Scholar, and for each database interface, they had a group of students who had had no prior training and a group who had had a 45-minute introduction to the interface.

I don't know what their MetaLib interface looks like, so it's not clear that their results translate to other MetaLib instances, but it's very interesting to see the problems / successes Swedish students had with both interfaces.

and

John Dupuis lists a few interesting articles from the most recent issue of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication on Social Network Sites on his Confessions of a Science Librarian blog. Articles include:
Happily, all these articles are availalbe online in full-text for free. Yay, JCMC!

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Word Games for Free Rice

Interesting story on Future Tense this week about a web site called Free Rice.com which asks you to define a bunch of words -- and for every time you click on a definition, the site will donate 10 grains of rice to the hungry. Jon Gordon says that "The United Nations World Food Program says the Web game FreeRice has generated enough rice to feed 50,000 hungry people around the world for one day."

It's kind of fun: you get a word and have to select the definition from 4 options. I started with "toupee" and other words include "fecundity" and "wend." So far, I've donated 110 grains of rice. I lost on defining "ruth" and "fusillade," so I got some easier words. If you have a bit of time, like word games, and want to donate rice to help end world hunger, this is for you!

For More Info:

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November 12, 2007

Next Gen Libraries & RefShare (e.g)

Been thinking about what I saw & heard at the Next Generation Library Catalogs session at UMass last week. What struck me most was David Lindahl (Director of Digital Library Initiatives at the University of Rochester) said in his prefatory remarks before talking about Rochester's eXtensible Catalog (see his PowerPoint slides).

He said he wasn't going to talk about "next generation catalogs" per se, or such innovative catalogs as Oklahoma State University's AquaBrowser catalog or the University of Washington's WorldCat Local -- both of which are very interesting -- in large part because they are not "next generation" catalogs but rather CURRENT GENERATION catalogs. Meaning, of course, that more traditional catalogs, such as Voyager and ALEPH are, well, your mother's library catalog.

David went on to talk about the next generation of library catalogs ... and then the next generation of libraries which, he argued, should be where PATRONS are rather than where we are or want them to be. This is a perennial debate in library-land, but I think he has a good point.

So ... I've been thinking about David's "next gen libraries," and then I went to training on RefWorks, the web-based citation management system, and had an ah-ha! moment. RefWorks (and its web-based citation-managing cousins) would be a place where our patrons would go ... and where we in the library could meet them.

I've showed RefWorks to many graduate and undergraduate students, and it is a big hit. RefWorks lets you export citations from most online databases, such as PsycINFO and WorldCat, so you can manage tens, hundreds, or thousands of citations for your research. But wait! There's more: it also formats your collected articles, books, conference proceedings, etc. in hundreds of citation styles, from APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian ... you name it.

But wait! There's more! RefWorks has some interesting collaborative options. I was able to create a folder of my publications that I can share with the world. Within RefWorks' folder-sharing ability, I have some intriguing options, which might be useful for librarians and/or scholars:
  1. I can allow comments. I could share my references with you, and enable you to comment on them. We could start a conversation about a particular article or you could refute a point I make about teaching as an adjunct.
  2. I can allow RSS feeds, so you could subscribe to the feed and find out my latest publications ... or new items I added to this collection.
  3. This list can be public, if I post it on a blog, Web site, del.icio.us, etc. OR it could be private if I don't post the URL on the Web, so it could be used for a variety of confidential tasks.
The list I'm sharing here is mildly interesting, but there are a number of possibilities:
  1. Libraries / academic departments could post a list of the publications of their staff, faculty, graduate students, alumni, etc. See the list of publications authored by Staff and employees of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation as an example.
  2. I'm the new communications coordinator for the American Society for Information Science and Technology's Special Interest Group Information Needs, Seeking and Use (SIG USE). They'd like to create a bibliography of publications by members ... and voila! I've created one (it's not ready for prime time yet, but I'll be sure to promote it here when it is).
  3. Libraries, working groups, collaborating scholars, and anyone working together can create a shared RefWorks folder to manage any citations, articles, books, works of art, music, newspapers ... that may be relevant & useful to their work. Public or private, enabling comments or not -- there are many ways of making these collections interactive and useful and collaborative for folks.
  4. I might use this to generate my reading list for class next semester. My only problem is that I can't sort it the way I want with any one of five user-defined fields. I have lots of sorting options, but I need to see if I can expand those options further. See a few articles in my Fall 2008 Reference folder.
  5. The University of Texas at Arlington has a nifty database of Tests and Measures in a RefShare account. They list information about the test or measure (in social sciences) and then provide the URL to the catalog entry explaining where the test or measure is at UTA.
RefWorks has already enabled us to put the University of Connecticut's OpenURL resolver in our account, so UConn community members (or those at one of our campuses) can easily find the full-text of any articles in a UConn RefWorks folder.

Back to David's point about the next generation library being where the users are ... where else are our users? Facebook! Library databases (hopefully). Google /Google Scholar. Course management systems like Moodle, Blackboard, etc.

All of these applications already incorporate some interesting library tools. This is yet another great opportunity for us to think outside the library book box.

November 09, 2007

Somewhere over the Brainbow ...

Heard an interesting podcast on Science Friday about a "brainbow:" a way of coloring neurons in a living brain to see the connections between them. Astonishing!!

Here's the Science Friday blurb:
"Building a Brainbow"
"Researchers have developed a technique that takes brain mapping to a new level, allowing them to label individual neurons in the brain in different colors. The technique, dubbed 'brainbow' by the researchers involved, could help scientists gain a better understanding of brain function than previous staining techniques allow.

" 'There are few tools neuroscientists can use to tease out the wiring diagram of the nervous system; Brainbow should help us much better map out the brain and nervous system's complex tangle of neurons,' said Jeff Lichtman, one of the authors of a report on the technique published in the journal Nature. (Full disclosure: Lichtman is also the father of Science Friday digital media producer Flora Lichtman.) In this segment, Ira talks with Lichtman about the technique and its potential applications to neuroscience."

There is more coverage on this story, including the Nature article:
* Livet, Jean, Tamily A. Weissman, Hyuno Kang, Ryan W. Draft, Ju Lu, Robyn A. Bennis, Joshua R. Sanes & Jeff W. Lichtman. Transgenic strategies for combinatorial expression of fluorescent proteins in the nervous system. Nature 450, 56-62 (1 November 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06293. (abstract only; full-text may be available @ your library).
* BBC News: Cell stains create a 'brainbow', Nov. 1, 2007.
* Science Friday: Building a Brainbow, November 2, 2007.
* Wired: Neurons or Pollock? Scientists Create Technicolor 'Brainbow', Oct. 31, 2007. -- with awesome graphics.

November 06, 2007

November 03, 2007

More Library Instruction or Better Database Interfaces?

My librarian friend Emily Alling recently posted a question on Facebook asking if you were the head of a reference department: which should / would get more priority, more instruction on how to use library resources, or better interfaces for those resources? The question sparked a lively discussion within Facebook, and I decided to ask my GSLIS class of future reference librarians to answer it as well.

In both groups, responses were mixed with strong feelings on both sides, although "better interfaces" won both times. My own bias: better interfaces. My students raised some good issues, which I'd like to highlight / comment upon. (I'm using this blog post both for the world at large and for my class -- oooh, multi-purposing!)

To start with, I think we'd all agree with Ben's comment: "Searching a database well requires skill" -- this is true for librarians and non-librarians, heavy library users, and occasional library users. (Not to mention folks who don't use the library at all, but should ... but that's for another post).

For More Instruction
Jess and Kristina argued that instruction is necessary for their individual patrons -- librarians in a given community (school, academic, public) know their patrons and their patrons' needs and are in the best position to "translate" between specific databases and the patrons' queries, and even to identify the best database for a given question. Without instruction, this theory goes, all patrons might search Academic Search Premier even in situations when PsycINFO or Medline would be more appropriate.

Tracey reminded us of the " '...if you teach a man to fish, he'll eat for life' idea- if we teach patrons how to use complicated interfaces, they will become sufficient, independent library users." Definitely we should be teaching our patrons, in as many ways as we can: at the reference desk, in the classroom, on the street, in Facebook ... We should take all opportunities to teach them!!

Better Interfaces
Amber provides a nice bridge between instruction & interfaces: "Instruction is still very important, but I think that these patrons are in more of a rush to get what they need and get out -- not sit around trying to learn how to search online." And sadly, what Kristen says is true: "Plenty of people aren't even aware that they need instruction and would never seek it out." Becky assesses users' expectations with respect to library databases:

Patrons expect library electronic resources to function at least as well as the non-library resources that they are used to using. I don't think that instruction can bridge the large gap between what patrons expect and what they actually get when they are introduced to electronic library resources.

Andrea's point hammered this home for me:
I also think about this from a 'business' perspective. Does Amazon.com offer classes on how to use their website to make purchases? They wouldn’t last if they did. ... "We're harder to use but we're better," may not be a great add campaign in this Google world.

For me, "better interfaces" wins. I struggle on the reference desk to explain our web site, our library catalog, and our various databases -- and I see from people's faces that the range of resources, and the quirks and peculiarities of each is overwhelming. Nicole, who self-identifies as being "a product of a Google-fied generation" confesses, "I still have to fight the temptation to do searching in this user-friendly interface when other interfaces are available that could help with more refined results." And she's committed -- as are all of my students -- to teaching non-librarians to use our resources. Imagine the public's temptation to search Google to answer their health questions, find articles for papers, and answer whatever other questions arise. It's hard for librarians to argue that our resources are better; "we're harder to use but we're better" is a very tough sell.

Questions for Further Study
Reading my students' and colleagues' responses raised a few questions for me:
  1. What are the odds achieving "better interfaces" or "more instruction"?
    This underlying question may be what led some of my colleagues to vote for "more instruction," because it seems an impossible task for us to improve database interfaces.
  2. Whose responsibility is the interface for our electronic products? Is it the libraries'? Definitely for our web sites. Probably / possibly for our online catalogs and institutional repositories and digital archives. Definitely not for commercial databases vendors like EBSCO, WilsonWeb, ProQuest, etc. And yet, aren't we all in this together? If an interface is hard to use, it won't get used. It's in the vendors' best interest to create, with us, usable interfaces in which the vast, robust, impressive content is "findable."

Note that in the real world, this isn't a choice we can realistically make. We must continue to do instruction -- by asking this question, I didn't mean to imply that instruction would go away. But I strongly feel that our library databases must be easier to use in an "unmediated" fashion, without library instruction. Then when we do teach patrons, we can show them the really cool stuff, like subject searching, age limits in PsycINFO, "era" limits in America: History & Life, etc.

I'll close with Amber's quote: "Of course, the databases would have to be marketed well to really get full use out of them."


For More Information
My blog buddy John Dupuis, who writes Confessions of a Science Librarian, pointed me to two recent "Academic Librarian" blog posts by Wayne Bivens-Tatum at which talk about the same thing:
* Reference is the Best Instruction; post originally appeared in LOEX News, Volume 28:1 (Spring 2001), 4, 8.
* Alternatives to Instruction. Oct. 10, 2007.

November 02, 2007

Sleep Now

["... Now" is a short post of cog sci topics in the news]

Last week, the New York Times had several articles on sleep. You can see the list at Bora Zivkovic's A Blog Around the Clock blog: Sleeping with the New York Times. David Corcoran of the New York Times also talked about sleep in last week's podcast (scroll down to Science Times, or subscribe in iTunes).

And on Friday, Oct. 26, WHYY's Radio Times did an hour-long show on sleep. Can't bookmark the broadcast notes, so they are here:
"10/26/2007 ... Hour 2
The mystery of sleep. We spend one-third of our lives sleeping yet we still don't know why we sleep? Fortunately sleep researchers are working day and night to gain insight into what sleep does for us. Today we'll hear the latest on what we know about sleep with AMITA SEGHAL, Professor of Neuro-science at the University of Pennsylvania, and JEFFREY ELLENBOGEN, Director of the Sleep Medicine Program at Harvard's Massachusetts General Hospital. MP3 (available for a limited time)"

Finally, back in May, WNYC's Radio Lab covered sleep: "Every creature does it - from giant hump back whales all the way down to fruit flies - and yet science still can't answer the basic questions: Why do we sleep? What is it for? We'll eavesdrop on the uneasy dreams of rats in search of answers." AND, learn how dolphins can sleep and breathe at the same time. See show notes & links to the audio.

Great listening in the car this week! Sure makes me sleepy ...

Brain Bag

What all the cognitive scientistas are carrying:



Cool Hunting: Brain Bag has a description and another photo.


Emily found this on Boing Boing.

October 31, 2007

Rama @ TEDTalks

Vilayanur Ramachandran was recently featured on TEDTalks.

He talked about creativity & the brain, using these three concepts to illustrate his points:
1. Face perception
2. Phantom limbs
3. Synesthesia
Fascinating, as always.



eta: the embedded video no longer works. This link will take you to his talk at TED.

October 30, 2007

What is binocular vision for, anyway?

Great talk coming up at UConn, and I've marked this one in my calendar. Maybe see you there?

Speaker: Mark Changizi, Department of Cognitive Science, RPI

Title
: What is binocular vision for, anyway?

Abstract: The study of binocular vision typically amounts to the study of the perception of depth it gives us (stereopsis). However, people who have lost an eye tend to have notoriously good vision, and attempts to empirically document real-life performance deficits have led to mixed results. I'll describe a function of the binocular region that has not been appreciated in the literature, the ability to "see through" stuff. If you're an animal in a habitat with lots of clutter, then you can see more of your world by having forward-facing eyes, for although you become blind to what's behind you, the extra amount you can see in front makes up for it. If, however, you're an animal in a non-cluttered habitat, then you can see the most by having your eyes face sideways, having panoramic vision of what's around you and only a tiny binocular region. Evidence across mammals supports this, suggesting that it is the x-ray power of the binocular region, not stereopsis, that is crucial for understanding why our binocular regions are so large.

If You Go
Date: Friday November 30
Time: 4 pm
Location: BOUS 160 [see interactive map of UConn & select BOUS as building name]

October 28, 2007

PowerPoint & CogSci

Interesting book called Clear and to the Point: 8 Psychological Principles for Compelling PowerPoint Presentations by Stephen Kosslyn, chair of the psychology department at Harvard. Kosslyn is a cognitive neuroscientist who has written quite a bit about both cognitive psychology and Graph Design for the Eye and Mind (Oxford, c2006). This book talks about PowerPoint design in general with a focus on graph / chart design.

Kosslyn takes issue with Edward Tufte's essay The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint in which he says Tufte "claims that the PowerPoint program is inherently flawed. He has found the problems with this tool so pervasive and destructive that he challenges the very idea of using it to communicate." Instead, Kosslyn says, after he began "... keeping a lot of the problems in PowerPoint presentations ... [he] ... realized that virtually all of them occur because the presentations failed to respect fundamental characteristics of how we humans perceive, remember, and comprehend information." (both quotes p. 2)

His goals, therefore are simple:
  1. Connect with your audience
  2. Direct and hold attention
  3. Promote understanding and memory
And the book gives some concrete suggestions for how to do this with PowerPoint. One of my favorite cog sci tricks, the Stroop Effect, is mentioned several times -- in suggestions of what NOT to do (unless you're teaching about perception). Kosslyn reviews the problems with many charts, graphs, and other visual designs, including a discussion about "pointers" on this FEMA chart created after Hurricane Katrina.

In the Cog Sci realm, Kosslyn lists a few "capacity limitations" which affect how people process PowerPoint presentations. Most interesting to me are the memory limitations such as "privileges of the first & last," where you more easily remember the first 1-2 things in a list and the last 2-3, but not the middle several; and "multiple memories" where "retention is vastly improved if people ... store information in more than one type of memory." For this, Kosslyn urges presenters to "show ... a picture of an object and name that picture" to enhance memory.

If you're new to teaching or creating PowerPoint presentations, this is a good book. I found it a bit basic, but I have been working on my PowerPoint designs from a cognitive / teaching perspective (as a lay person) for some time. I was heartened to see that many of my techniques are cognitively sound, and I was inspired to change a few things here & there.


For More Information

October 25, 2007

A Bit of Unscientific (Library) Research

I'm taking a very informal, unscientific poll for the Simmons Continuing Ed. class I'm teaching next week:

Is your library making "open access" journals available to your patrons? These are things like articles in the Directory of Open Access Journals, Public Library of Sciencee journals, and other "miscellaneous free e-journals" (tm SFX)? If so, how?

Email me, comment, or otherwise let me know what you're doing in your library.

kthxbye!

Signs of Consciousness

Jerome Groopman has an article in the Oct. 15 issue of the New Yorker. Medical Dispatch: Silent Minds: Reporting & Essays is about consciousness, particularly among those in various degrees of coma. Groopman reports on some fascinating work by the British neuroscientist Adrian Owen, who's used fMRI to demonstrate that some vegetative patients respond to language, some of whom show the "the same response to the sentences as scans of healthy volunteers." Once he and and his colleagues determined that one patient could distinguish language from noise sounds, they conducted tests to see if she would respond to mental imagery: when asked to imagine herself playing tennis, again her fMRI " 'activation [was] indistinguishable from those in the group of normal volunteers' "who had also been asked to imagine themselves playing tennis.

Groopman goes on to report on work that Lionel Naccache, a neurologist at the Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris, is doing to develop a medical definition of consciousness, which includes these three elements:
  1. Ability to report the content of a representation ("I see my cat")
  2. Ability to sustain this representation over time ("I still see my cat")
  3. The ability to "broadcast" this information to other areas of the brain. (I think this would mean things like ... "I pet my cat" or "I must feed my cat"). Groopman describes some interesting work Naccache has done to show the importance of broadcasting.
Groopman also talks about work that Joseph Giacino, a neuropsychologist at New Jersey's J.F.K. Johnson Rehabilitation Institute is doing with "deep-pressure stimulation": Giacino would squeeze "patient's muscles with force and precision," after which a patient seemingly in a vegetative state began to talk and answer simple questions. Further work at the Institute uses brain-scan technology to help with diagnosis of patients who might respond to such therapy.

The article is packed with interesting case studies and some fascinating scientific, ethical, and philosophical questions. A related article in the May 2007 issue of Scientific American by Steven Laureys is interesting because Laureys has done similar work himself. The Sci Am article also points to an interesting book about the medical, ethical, and legal dilemmas raised by these breakthroughs.

For More Information

October 23, 2007

Science Blogging: Translating 'Scientese' into English

Great session today on science blogging: Opening Science to All: Implications of Blogs and Wikis for Social and Scholarly Scientific Communication

Bora Zivkovic talked about the types of science blogging, which include ...
  • Translating science into English;
  • Combating pseudoscience (so that refutations of “pseudoscience“ show up in Google searches);
  • Affecting policy - see The Scientific Activist;
  • Fusing science & art; the history, philosophy, ethics of science (including, I would add, Hampshire College science & religion professor Salman Hameed‘s Science & Religion News);
  • Blogging from the "field" - see Bonobo Handshake;
    Popular & serious science magazine blogs (Scientific American, Nature) ... and my favorite for last:
  • Jokes - see interspecies communication via yoga !!
Jean-Claude Bradley, organic chemistry professor at Drexel, talked about "Open Notebook Science," which he compares to traditional "closed" lab notebooks and published articles where scientific data is not shared; instead Open Notebook Science is "full transparency" where all data, notes, etc. - everything that's been done -- is recorded. His Useful Chem Blog serves as integrative tool pulling together several of his blogs, including one for molecules and another for experiments. Bradley has been able to use his blog & wiki data to collaborate with other scientists to evaluate / contribute to various aspects of research, and he uses his wiki to work with his organic chemistry students.

Janet Stemwedel, professor in the department of philosophy at San Jose State University spoke about the "Social & Scientific Implications of Science Blogging." Stemwedel begins by arguing that scientific communication is essential to scientific practice - to gain resources, share information with the public, and as part of science education. Information has been shared through traditional channels such as peer-reviewed literature and conference presentations. These channels usually prevent communication between scientists and their lay audience. Some other limitations of traditional communication include biases among the small number of folks who are reading / commenting on the literature, as well as the delay between when the science was written and reported to when it is published. However, good science communication is useful both combat / screen out biases, and to cover research in many disciplines (cognitive science, anyone?)

Blogs have several promising features, like shorter time-frames between communication; and those with different disciplinary and geographic foci can participate, and there is a record of the "conversation" -- and blogging conference meetings can help make them less ephemeral (!). For current and prospective students of science, blogs can also be a window into the process of "scientific knowledge building" and what life is like as a practicing scientist (See Jane Compute is my favorite example).

Stemwedel concludes with some interesting questions and statements: do blogs help or hurt the scientists' professional reputation? Can blogs shift the culture? Increased communication between scientists and non-scientists could be a good thing.

The panelists were asked what they think are important research questions for the future of science blogging ...
  • How do scientists learn what it means to be a good scientist?
  • How does science actually get done (see examples via the Useful Chem blog / wiki)
  • What is the life of the scientific article after publication? (post-publication peer-review)
For More Information

October 22, 2007

what is “public”? Teens & myspace

Saw a great presentation by danah boyd, Raquel Recuero, and others about Research Directions in Social Network Websites at ASIS&T today.

danah talked about her doctoral work evaluating teens’ use of myspace, asking a few questions like what is “public”? and talking about the fluidity of communication between Facebook, IM, phone, f2f, etc. Sadly, ASIS&T presentations aren’t being podcast, but you can see / hear a similar presentation that danah did as part of her June 2007 presentation at MediaBerkman (Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society) on MyFriends, MySpace. I heard it a while back, and it was terrific.

And check out danah’s blog, apophenia.

October 21, 2007

Animal Bioacoustics & Speech Processing

I‘m in Milwaukee for a conference (about which probably more later), and was happy to have the local newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, delivered to my hotel room rather than a bland national paper.

Even better, there is a fascinating animal & cognitive science story on the front page. Decoding Calls of Wild is about Marquette engineering professor Michael Johnson and The Dr. Dolittle Project. The Project's goal is to "...develop a broadly useable framework for pattern analysis and classification of animal vocalizations, by integrating successful models and ideas from the field of speech processing and recognition into bioacoustics."

The Journal-Sentinel describes Johnson's work, saying that the Dolittle project "... has broad applications, from keeping animals happy in captivity to developing a precise census of endangered species from recordings in the wild." Johnson has worked with folks at the National Undersea Research Center of the University of Connecticut; the Journal-Sentinel says that the project "enabled scientists at University of Connecticut to show that beluga whales engage in a human response to noise known as the Lombard effect. Like friends trying to talk over the din at a party, whales raise their voices to be heard over the drone of ships in the St. Lawrence River estuary."

Read more about the project and see a chart explaining how the vocalizations are extracted and classified. Listen to some of the sounds (whales, prairie dogs, and elephants among them) and see audio spectrograms of the sounds at the Journal-Sentinel.

October 19, 2007

Another Reason I Blog

This blog was originally intended to provide a spot to put articles, links, etc. I found that would interest "my" faculty & staff at Hampshire College's School of Cognitive Science. I became more and more interested in the interdisciplinary topic of cognitive science as time went on, especially psychology, but also computer science, education, and animal science. And philosophy. Well, ok, just about all aspects of cog sci interest me. As part of my own education, I would browsed through journals in the field so I'd know what "my" faculty were thinking about. As part of my job, I purchased books in the various fields, and I used the blog to highlight new books & databases. The focus of the blog was intended to be exclusively cognitive science.

Then I left Hampshire, and that was very sad because the faculty there is great fun. I have kept up my interest in cognitive science and I have taken to listening to podcasts during my 2.5 hours in the car each day. The combination of the two has led to many blog posts, as I try to synthesize what I've learned and share it with the world. Posting about what I've heard helps me remember what I've learned within the cognitive science realm.

On the other hand, I am a working librarian and a teacher of library science at Simmons Simmons Graduate School of Library & Information Science (at their Mount Holyoke College campus). There is some overlap between cognitive science and information science (think usability) and everyone likes to or needs to search, so some posts appeal to both the cogsci audience and the LIS audience. Also, I suspect that many of my regular readers are educators of one kind or another, so the periodic posts about teaching appeal to the cog sci audience.

Some topics, however, are weighted heavily to LIS and probably appeal more to my LIS colleagues, friends, and even former students. My occasional rants about marketing are a good example, as are the rarer posts about reference, or anything labeled "library science."

Why the mix of topics and audiences? I want to naturally, personally, show scientists & psychologists what we librarians do and how we think. It's partly my nature to be inclusive, but it's partly a mechanism through which I can demonstrate the "marketing" of library science without being dreadfully obvious about it. I read somewhere -- and I can't go back to the source, because I read this a few weeks, months, years ago (you all know how memory works, right?!) -- that it's a good idea for academic librarians to publish in the non-library literature to highlight what they do in a venue where their faculty colleagues congregate. I definitely can't get published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences or Trends in Cognitive Sciences, which some of you might read, but ... I can publish here and reach a few faculty / graduate students in cognitive science and psychology and philosophy.

It's a big Internet, but the nice thing is we can get to know each other in ways we can't quite in real life. So ... that's another reason I blog.

Welcome to readers of these science-y blogs ...
* BPS Research Digest (from the British Psychological Society)
* the Brain Science Podcast
* Channel N
* Combat Philosopher

and all you Googlers!

October 16, 2007

Christof Koch Now

["... Now" is a short post of cog sci topics in the news]

Ginger Campbell over at the Brain Science Podcast recently interviewed Christof Koch. It’s a fascinating discussion -- almost a lecture by Koch -- on the nature of consciousness. Koch kept things (relatively) simple and it was pretty easy to follow for the non-philosopher, non-neuroscientist, non-physicist. He was delightfully gracious, even as he knocked philosophers here & there.

Koch and Susan Greenfield had an interesting point/ counterpoint about where the neural correlates of consciousness are in the October 2007 Scientific American: very short version; full version your library. :-)

Another podcast ... (tho' I haven't listened to these yet)
* 'Consciousness, Free Will, and God': "The nature of consciousness in humans and animals and its effect on how we view religion, science and philosophy will be tackled during three lectures at Vanderbilt University by prominent researcher Christof Koch." This page offers links to the three lectures in mp3; you can also get them via iTunes.

October 15, 2007

Events I Will Be Leading

I thought some of you might be interested in this Continuing Ed class I'm co-teaching with Terry Plum in November about open access journals: "Open Access and Free Scholarly Resources: What Are They and How Can You Find Them?"

Terry will answer these questions & more: What is Open Access? What does it mean for libraries, with respect to journals, databases, and other scholarly resources? What do publishers think of this model, and who pays for it? We will provide a brief overview of the Open Access movement and discuss future possibilities. We will also address related issues such as the Google Book Project, the Open Content Alliance, and journal embargoes.

I will talk about how we can find these Open Access journals. These are usually free, so it's a nice way of adding content for your users at no cost. Terry and I will review harvesting standards and protocols such as OpenURL. I will demonstrate some academic resources such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) as well as some free scholarly search engines such as the science search engine Scirus and Google Scholar. Finally, we will discuss how you can promote use of these resources to your patrons.

Date: Nov. 4, from 10-1:30.
Location: GSLIS West Office, across from the campus of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. Easy access for western Mass. & Connecticut residents, and lots of free parking.
Cost: $160 -- current GSLIS students & faculty can register for half price!