Thursday, January 29, 2009

Eigenfactor: Visualizing Information Flow in Science

This visualization gives an overview of the whole citation network. The colors represent the four main groups of journals, which are further subdivided into fields in the outer ring. The segments of the inner ring represent the individual journals, scaled by Eigenfactor™ Score. In the initial view, the top 1000 citation links are plotted ... We use a subset of the citation data from Thomson Reuters' Journal Citation Reports 1997–2005. The complete data aggregate, at the journal level, approximately 60,000,000 citations from more than 7000 journals over the past decade... [information aesthetics]

Monday, January 19, 2009

The care of the sick unfolds in stories

I can't remember where I heard the anecdote, but author Bill Bryson recommends to play a little game next time you are in a museum and find yourself being numbed by all the objects in front of you: pick out the one object in the museum that you would take home if you could.

I'm playing a similar game to keep myself engaged in my periodical reading and the results can be found in the mother blog under the label maglog.

So far, the most interesting item I've found in the January 19th issue of The New Yorker is an ad on page 11 for Columbia University's Graduate Program in Narrative Medicine.

The care of the sick unfolds in stories. The effective practice of healthcare requires the ability to recognize, absorb, interpret, and act on the stories and plights of others.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Coyle's InFormation: OCLC pushes back policy to fall, 2009

Coyle's InFormation: OCLC pushes back policy to fall, 2009

Those of us who promote open access must use this time wisely. First, we need to get some solid legal advice. It's clear that OCLC can propose any kind of conditions in a contract and hope to get signers; it's less clear that OCLC can impose a contract on members 1) without their explicit agreement 2) that covers data created before the contract becomes valid 3) that binds third parties to the contract. Next, anyone who has bibliographic data should release it "into the wild" as quickly as possible. Once the data is circulating, it will not be possible to withdraw it. One solution is to create database dumps and to upload these to the Internet Archive. They will be there for downloading by others, and some of the data may end up in the Open Library. Assuming that bibliographic records cannot be covered by copyright, all of this data ends up in the public domain to fuel innovation and creativity.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The night bookmobile

If you've read The time traveler's wife, then you know that visual artist and author Audrey Niffenegger has a thing for librarians. In her graphic novel The Night Bookmobile you can find out what happens when this fetish for books and libraries goes a little too far for comfort.