Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Very Short History of Data Science

I’m in the process of researching the origin and evolution of data science as a discipline and a profession. Here are the milestones that I have picked up so far, tracking the evolution of the term “data science,” attempts to define it, and some related developments.

[Working Timeline w/Links]

Friday, April 27, 2012

A/V Now Available > Increasing Faculty Usage of Streaming Video Webcast

We estimate that more than 50 percent of academic libraries now offer streaming video services. Departments ranging from anthropology to zoology are now incorporating video content into their classes.

This presentation will show use cases of how streaming video can be used, including:

  • Examples of how video can improve research
  • Examples of how video has been combined to improve learning for specific courses
  • Examples of how to annotate and publish video
Librarians and faculty will learn how to get the most out of their video resources, how video can be promoted in the library, which departments can benefit the most, as well as a technical understanding of what cutting-edge technology now makes possible. Existing users of streaming video will leave with new ideas and those who’ve yet to offer streaming resources will be better able to make a decision on whether it’s worth it.


Stephen Rhind-TuttStephen Rhind-Tutt, President and founder, Alexander Street Press
Pete CiuffettiPete Ciuffetti, Vice president of product development, Alexander Street Press
Kim StantonKim Stanton, Head of the media library, University of North Texas


Cheryl LaGuardiaCheryl LaGuardia, Head of instructional services, Harvard College Library

Source and Link Available At


Note: Access is available to registered users ; Free registration available.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

ProQuest on LibGuides

Browse All Guides > Business > Genealogy > General Research > Government Information > History > Literature > News & Newspapers > Social Sciences > The Arts > Browse By Subject > Browse By Librarian 

Subjects: Congressional Guides / Current Bibliographies / Database Guides / Getting Started  / In the News / Legal Research Guides / Quick Start Guides / Statistical Guides / Webinars



Sunday, April 8, 2012

Think Like A Startup: A White Paper to Inspire Library Entrepreneurialism

Brian Mathews >  Associate Dean  > Learning and Outreach > 
The University Libraries of Virginia Tech

This document is intended to inspire transformative thinking using insight into startup culture and innovation methodologies. It’s a collection of talking points intended to stir the entrepreneurial spirit in library leaders at every level.

Facing the Future > We don’t just need change > we need breakthrough, paradigm-shifting, transformative, disruptive ideas.


  • Startups are organizations dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty.
  • Now is not the time to find new ways of doing the same old thing.
  • Launching a good idea is always better than not launching an awesome one.
  • Don’t just expand services: solve problems.
  • The library is a platform, not a place, website, or person.
  • Libraries need less assessment and more R&D.
  • Focus on relationship building instead of service excellence and satisfaction.
  • Don’t just copy & paste from other libraries: invent!
  • Grow your ideas: Build, Measure, Learn.
  • Iterate & Prototype.
  • Plant many seeds; nurture the ones that grow.
  • Seize the whitespace.
  • Good ideas are usable, feasible, and valuable.
  • Give new ideas a place to incubate.
  • Give new ideas enough time to blossom.
  • Give new ideas a way to get funded.
  • Give new ideas the talent they require.
  • Give new ideas room to fail… and then evolve.
  • Give up on a new idea if it just don’t work.
  • Innovation happens out in the open—not behind closed doors.
  • Innovation is a team sport. Practice it regularly.
  • Innovation is messy.
  • Innovation is disruptive.
  • Real innovators get their hands dirty.
  • Being strategic is about stretching not sustaining.
  • Stake a claim in other parts of the scholarly enterprise.
  • Build a strategic culture, not a strategic plan.
  • Entrepreneurialism is a cultural imperative, not something that should only happen in small pockets of your organization.
  • Strive to change the profession.
  • Aim for epiphanies
Fulltext Available Via


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Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Atlantic > The Problem With Wikidata

Mark Graham is a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute. His work focuses on the geographies of information and the Internet

Apr 6 2012, 3:25 PM ET

Fundamental changes are afoot at Wikipedia. Changes that have worrying connotations for the diversity of knowledge in the world's sixth most popular website.

Wikipedia, with a new initiative called Wikidata, is radically reconfiguring itself to take advantage of the "Semantic Web." Wikidata will create a collaborative database that is both machine readable and human editable and which will underpin a lot of knowledge that is presented in all 284 language versions of Wikipedia.

In other words, the encyclopaedia plans to become part of the movement from a mostly human-readable Web to a Web in which computers and software can better make sense of information.
This system becomes especially useful for facts that are embedded in a variety of pages. If Mitt Romney were to become President of the United States, there would be hundreds or thousands of pages in all of the language versions of Wikipedia that would need to be altered to reflect that fact. Wikidata would allow all of those references to be immediately updated after only one change in the central Wikidata repository.

This is a highly significant and hugely important change to the ways that Wikipedia works. Until now, the Wikipedia community has never attempted any sort of consistency across all languages. [snip].

Research carried out independently by Brent Hecht, myself, and others has found that each language edition of Wikipedia represents encyclopaedic knowledge in highly diverse ways. Not only does each language edition include different sets of topics, but when several editions do cover the same topic, they often put their own, unique spin on the topic. In particular, the ability of each language edition to exist independently has allowed each language community to contextualize knowledge for its audience.

It is important that different communities are able to create and reproduce different truths and worldviews. And while certain truths are universal (Tokyo is described as a capital city in every language version that includes an article about Japan), others are more messy and unclear (e.g. should the population of Israel include occupied and contested territories?).

The reason that Wikidata marks such a significant moment in Wikipedia's history is the fact that it eliminates some of the scope for culturally contingent representations of places, processes, people, and events.