Having access to national studies helps academic librarians stay informed about their community members. Finding the time to read and analyze them—and make sense of possibly conflicting information—is a new “keeping up” challenge. Four studies in particular are most worthy of our ongoing analysis and reflection.
The pending federal budget sequestration could cut the appropriations budget of the Government Printing Office by 5.3%, or approximately $6.7 million. In addition, the GPO is expecting that the sequester will force other federal agencies to cut back on ordering printing and information services from the GPO, which would also lower the agency’s revenue.
The University of Pittsburgh recently wrapped up a pilot test with Plum Analytics, one of several new companies in the emerging field of altmetrics. By examining how often a paper is downloaded, mentioned in the news, or linked to on social media sites, altmetrics providers offer researchers, funding agencies, and librarians a more immediate, quantifiable view of the impact an article is having on its field.
Research collaboration startup Mendeley this week announced the launch of a new “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” (WYSIWYG) citation style editor that will enable users to format citation styles and then contribute them to an open repository where they can be reused by other academics. Produced in collaboration with Columbia University Libraries with the support of a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the new editor was developed in response to frequent requests on Mendeley’s user feedback board.
An open source program created as part of an effort to make the U.S. redistricting process more transparent was awarded one of five inaugural Strata Data Innovation Awards at last month’s O’Reilly Strata Conference, a gathering of leading minds in the emerging field of “big data.” The web-based program, DistrictBuilder, was developed by the Public Mapping Project, an effort to engage the public in the redistricting process.
The Brown University Library this month opened its new Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, a facility that offers students access to software used by a variety of disciplines in a state-of-the-art viewing and listening environment. The centerpiece of the lab is a video visualization wall made from twelve 55-inch LED screens, which can be used together to show a single seven foot by 16 foot image or video at 24 megapixel resolution, or linked to individual touch-screen monitors for groups or classes working on collaborative projects.
Frank Menchaca, executive vice president of publishing for Gale Cengage Learning, discusses digitization projects and the company’s new college courses for public libraries as part of a series of Q&As leading up to “The Digital Shift: Libraries, Ebooks and Beyond,” LJ’s third annual ebook summit on Wednesday, October 17.