Current Cites

October 2013

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Alison Cody, Nancy Nyland, Roy Tennant

Bailey, Jr. , Charles W. Altmetrics Bibliography  Houston, TX: Digital Scholarship, 14 October 2013.( - Long-time Current Cites contributor and noted digital bibliographer Charles W. Bailey, Jr. adds to his professional corpus this well-researched bibliography on "altmetrics'. Altmetrics is, as he quotes in his introduction, "the study and use of scholarly impact measures based on activity in online tools and environments." He cites sources from 2001 through September 2013, with links to openly available resources when possible. This is clearly an important resource for anyone interested in this topic, and will likely remain so if he releases updates to it as he has for his other biblioraphic works. Highly recommended. - RT

Bowen, William G. "The Potential for Online Learning: Promises and PitfallsEDUCAUSE Review  (September/October 2013)( - By now everyone not residing beneath a rock has heard of "MOOCs" (Massively Open Online Courses) and how they may be transforming higher education. The New York Times even went so far as to declare 2012 "The Year of the MOOC". So consider this piece by the Founding Chairman of Ithaka/JSTOR (among other accomplishments) as offering an antidote to the hype. Here you will find a much more nuanced, complicated, and problematic view of what online educational opportunities may offer higher education and society at large. Bowen points out, for example, that "different pedagogies are right for different disciplines" and "context matters", while cautioning that "we need to distinguish among target populations." But Bowen attempts to neither praise Caesar nor bury him, but to ask us all to consider the impacts of online education in a more complete and contemplative manner than has been the tendency in much of the press surrounding MOOCs. - RT

Klein, Maximilian, and Alex  Kyrios. "VIAFbot and the Integration of Library Data on WikipediaCode4Lib Journal  (22)(14 October 2013)( - The Wikipedians in Residence at OCLC (my employer) and the British Library discuss a project to integrate authority data from the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) with biographical Wikipedia articles. Besides boosting traffic to VIAF, the project resulted in some interesting comparisons of gender coverage for both Wikipedia and VIAF. With records for females coming in at under 15% for both Wikipedia articles and VIAF records, the gender imbalance is striking. The authors suggest other opportunities for integrating library authority data (for example, subject vocabularies) with Wikipedia. - RT

Kroeger, Angela. "The Road to BIBFRAME: The Evolution of the Idea of Bibliographic Transition into a Post-MARC FutureCataloging & Classification Quarterly  (2013): 1-18. ( - I almost didn't include this piece, as the author prominently cites my work. But if you can overlook that, this is the best review I've seen of how librarians have arrived at the point of looking seriously at overhauling our foundational metadata standards. Starting with my "MARC Must Die" piece in Library Journal in 2002, Kroeger touches on Karen Calhoun's seminal report on the nature of the library catalog, the work of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, RDA, and finally BIBFRAME itself. Along the way she notes important work by such metadata experts as Karen Coyle, Diane Hillmann, and Martha Yee. For a piece published in a peer-reviewed professional journal, Kroeger is remarkably up-to-date. And although you might quibble about the impact of one thing or another on where we are today, what is clear is that there has been a decade-long drumbeat of professional activity that seeks to set us marching to a different tune, and down a different road. - RT

Lawrimore, Erin. "Collaboration for a 21st Century Archives: Connecting University Archives with the Library’s Information Technology ProfessionalsCollaborative Librarianship  5(3)(2013): 198-196. ( - In this article, the author outlines the structure of a collaboration between a university archives and the library's IT group. While this may not seem particularly noteworthy in and of itself, the author frames this as a discussion of the different perspectives that an archivist and IT professional take towards a project. The author points out things such as their differing levels of risk tolerance, how quickly they move through a project, and even differences in vocabulary that can cause misunderstandings. The article is a good refresher on the importance of considering - and discussing - different perspectives and contexts when collaborating with someone outside of your own department. - AC

Simonite, Tom. "The Decline of WikipediaMIT Technology Review  116(6)(November/December 2013)( - The title could have been "The Rise And Fall," since the article summarizes the history of Wikipedia's successes and problems, allowing readers who only check in occasionally on Wikipedia's status to catch up quickly. Wikipedia's achievements and omissions ("...its entries on Pokemon and female porn stars are comprehensive...") would not matter so much, except that "[w]hen Google's search engine... or Apple's Siri uses it to answer a question, the information is presented as authoritative." Simonite cogently assesses the effect of having a group of volunteer editors estimated to be 90 percent male, resulting in a "skew toward technical, Western, and male-dominated subject matter...." Wikipedia is fine for users who are aware of its structure and resulting limitations. It is highly likely that the majority of its users are not aware, but this explanation will enlighten anyone interested in understanding more. - NN