Research Publications Newsletters Above the Fold Above the Fold - 16 January 2015


What Are MOOCs Good For?

MIT Technology Review • 15 December 2014

Justin Pope does a nice job outlining the current state of play on the MOOC landscape. He captures the way MOOCs have influenced campus teaching, the impact they will have on high school education and the way they can actually add to the on-campus experience. I think he's right to observe "if established institutions make judicious use of learning technology where it demonstrably helps students, they gain credibility to insist that most of what else they offer on campus is a qualitatively different experience—one that technology can't replace." (Michalko)



How Trustworthy Is Published Science?

Pacific Standard • 26 December 2014

This article says there is some evidence of a reproducibility problem which would threaten the foundation of much current published science. But they also argue that the more recent emphasis on exact replication of experiments may be misguided. They draw attention to the Reproducibility Initiative whose aim is to identify and reward high quality reproducible research via independent validation of key experimental results. Think Underwriters Laboratory where the manufacturer pays for verification of compliance with standards and good practice. Similar idea and brought to us by a partnership of Science Exchange, PLOS, figshare and Mendeley.

And then, of course, there's plagiarism to worry about. Check out this Map Of Scientific Plagiarism Around The World. (Michalko)



Top Three Results From a 115-Year-Old Citizen Science Project? • 19 December 2014

This is an article about what's been learned from the Audubon Christmas Bird Count which is touted as the world's longest running citizen science project. One of the things they've learned is how to set parameters for using citizen science data across disciplines. This makes citizen science more reliable and a genuine contribution vehicle to the broader scientific enterprise. If you want to see how far we've come from the Bird Count and the SETI@Home project, look at this list maintained by Scientific American magazine. (Michalko)



The Top 10 Factors For On-The-Job Employee Happiness • 15 December 2014

You work in a library. You should be happy. This is a quick summary of a number of recent studies and surveys investigating employee engagement and happiness. It concludes by summarizing a very recent Boston Consulting Group global survey of more than 200,000 people in which an attractive fixed salary barely broke the top ten drivers of employee happiness on the job.

So librarians often complain about their compensation (mostly with justification) and library managers point at salaries as one of the obstacles to recruiting new talent. This suggests that we are rich in all the other factors. Shouldn't we be able to capitalize on that? The BCG survey itself is worth a scan. Click on the US workers link. (Michalko)



15 Challenges, The Strange Library, Scary Tech

Book Review: The State of the Future 2013-14
h+ Magazine • 13 November 2014

The Elusive Qualities of Dreams: On Haruki Murakami's The Strange Library
The Millions • 28 November 2014

"The Devil had possessed his netbook"—and other tales of IT terror
Ars Technica • 31 October 2014

The first because it's a good RILR. And the reviewer makes a case that it should be mandatory reading for institutions of higher ed.

The second because it's a review that makes me want to read the book, novella, short story, whatever it is. Because it's Murakami. Because the illustrations look marvelous.

The third because I'll bet some of you have had similar experiences. (I'd had this in the queue back near Halloween but it's amusing all year round.) My favorite one under the Hazardous Duty heading is the IT visit to the mental hospital. You never want to be identified as an "AWOL risk." (Michalko)



Above the Fold Quiz

According to an item in this week's News and Views section, OCLC is transforming the data assets of WorldCat to better enable bibliographic exploration by using what principles and tools?

Get the answer.