Current Cites

December 2018

Edited by Roy Tennant

http://currentcites.org/2018/cc18.29.12.html

Contributors: Peter Hirtle, Leo Robert Klein, Nancy Nyland, Roy Tennant


Kiszl, Péter, and Janos  Fodor. "The 'Collage Effect' – Against Filter Bubbles: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Combating the Pitfalls of Information TechnologyThe Journal of Academic Librarianship  44(2018): 753-761. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0099133318302374). - Librarians are in the front line of combating fake news through the use of reliable sources in library collections. To get users out of their information filter bubbles and into our reliable sources, we have to show them why “[w]e are the experts on storing knowledge, making it retrievable, and providing it.” One method is to present that library content in a way that satisfies the enduring human “need for coherent stories.” As mediators of information, librarians can curate digital collages, a selection of connected items arranged together. Beyond that, librarians can also add deeper levels of relevant information which are available through research at the library. The goal is to create a digital collage that “catches the eye and encourages further research,” causing the user to break out of the filter bubbles created by social media. Librarians are painfully aware that “[d]igital document collections, repositories, and databases remain unnoticed if librarians do not show how to share them and use them for research.” This interdisciplinary approach to that task is used here in both business models and in the digital humanities. - NN

Knight, Sam. "Do Proteins Hold the Key to the Past?New Yorker  (26 November 2018)(https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/11/26/do-proteins-hold-the-key-to-the-past). - Can proteomics, "the study of the interaction of proteins in living things," be used as a research tool with rare books and manuscripts? This readable profile of two scientists attempting to recover proteins from the margins and gutters of historical documents suggest that it can. If the initial experiments described in the article on Milanese plague documents and collections of papers from the 17th century astronomer Johannes Kepler and the modernist playwright and novelist Mikhail Bulgakov prove useful, proteomic analysis may become "a way for libraries and museums to reimagine their collections—and to animate the past." I have my doubts whether proteomics will eventually prove to be a practical research tool in libraries, in part due to the conservatism of some librarians who have banned its use, asserting "No one is ripping molecules out of the books in my library!" Nevertheless, it is fun to imagine our collections being viewed not just for their textual content but as repositories of historical proteins. - PH

Kwon, Diana. "Plan S: The Ambitious Initiative to End the Reign of PaywallsTheScientist  (19 December 2019)(https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/plan-s--the-ambitious-initiative-to-end-the-reign-of-paywalls-65231). - Of all the recent attempts to remake academic publishing, Plan S, a European funders initiative to make "full and immediate Open Access a reality," is one of the most exciting - and also the most controversial. While many scientists believe, as Plan S does, that publicly funded research should be a global public good that can be utilized by anyone, others worry that funder mandates may unduly limit their publishing opportunities (and potentially harm traditional publishers). Kwan's article is a good introduction to an initiative that, if it succeeds, could radically reshape publishing and library acquisitions. - PH

Ullah, Irfan, Shah  Khusro, and Asim  Ullah, et. al."An Overview Of The Current State Of Linked And Open Data In CatalogingITAL: Information Technology and Libraries  37(4)(December 2018): 47-80. (https://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/ital/article/view/10432). - The authors assert, and are probably correct, that heretofore there has not been a comprehensive review article looking at the landscape of linked open data and its potential role in library cataloging. This article is thus the result of such an effort. Given the extensive bibliography that supports 214 footnotes, it appears that they accomplished their goal. Indeed, the sheer scope of the ground covered in this review is rather daunting, proving that there is both a lot going on in this area at the moment, and that the landscape is complicated. Kudos to the authors for pulling together an astonishing collection of literature that describe a wide variety of projects, issues, problems, and potentials for linked open data in libraries. (Disclosure: some of my work is cited) - RT

Van Kampen-Breit, Doris, and Renée H.  Gould. "Lessons Learned From a Failed Research Project: An Informal Examination of LibGuide Design and Use Became a Professional Growth OpportunityThe Journal of Academic Librarianship  44(6)(November 2018): 747-752. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0099133318302428). - 'Failure' may be too strong a term for this research project whose purpose, at least initially, was to evaluate two different Libguides from a similar college class. With their feet in the water, so to speak, the authors eventually decided that more interviews with faculty and students plus better website statistics would be necessary. In other words, rather than results, the project became a ‘learning opportunity’. - LRK