Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Big problems with ISI data reported by science editors

Got this in an email from one of my lists:


This presumably will be drawing some attention shortly. It is a very disturbing report by editors from the Journal of Cell Biology and the Journal of Experimental Medicine who have joined with the Executive Director of the Rockefeller University Press in reporting their inability to verify published impact factors using data provided provided by ISI itself. Their fruitless efforts to replicate published impact factors for their own and other journals revealed numerous and serious errors in several data sets provided by ISI and call into question the validity of both ISI's dataset and their published impact factors. If the problems they encountered are widespread, then the host of evaluative decisions that rely at least in part on published impact factors are suspect. Published impact factors affect authors' decisions about manuscript submission, funding awards, and promotion and tenure. While critiques of the use of impact factors are quite common, this is the first serious question raised about the underlying validity of the data used to calculate impact factors and therefore the accurracy of the metrics that are published.

The editorial by Mike Rossner, Heather Van Epps, and Emma Hill was published in the Journal of Cell Biology and is available at

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Looking over Cornell's newest VIVO interface (take a look:, I noticed a headline under the news section:

"After long road to Cornell Ph.D., Kelvin Grant gives back with library scholarship"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

MSL Meeting - 12/11/2007

1. Announcements
-The MSL holiday party is this Friday at 6pm
-Pat has bought popcorn for the custodial staff. See her to contribute $$

2. MSL Services
-The electronic version of Science shows up very far down in the hit list in the catalog because it is titled "Science Magazine" not "Science". Paula sent a request to have this changed. Tara will follow up to make sure there is resolution to this problem.
-Chrissy is going to the communications committee meeting this afternoon. Email her any items you would like her to bring up.
-Tara reported that the 2nd floor will be getting the old carpet back; the 5th floor will be recarpeted sometime during Spring semester with new carpet.
-Carrie asked if there would be a new reference desk schedule for Spring. Are we single staffing? We took a vote and over half the staff wanted to change their current base schedule so we will need to redo the schedule for Spring.
-Laurie asked everyone to weed out documents from their serve folder because systems is switching to new servers.
-Everyone should bring in their stuffed animals for the annual holiday display case.
-Beth reported there are 40 titles that need decisions (withdraw/keep) to determine if they should be barcoded. She will be sending the information around to selectors.
-Val is going on three IFAS center trips this Spring. She will be helping two center libraries revamp their libraries. One is undergoing a reclass project and the other is looking to change how they use the library space.
-Carrie asked if we wanted extra Princeton files from the Education library. She will ask Alex to bring one over so Christine can evaluate.
-Sara announced the Annunciator is working again. The staff voted to change the layout to full screen with a crawl.

3. Library Newsletter
-Joe B. is on the newsletter committee. Submit any ideas for Science stories to him. Two ideas submitted in the meeting were "Laptops @ MSL" and a "New Librarian" story.

4. Committee reports
-Val reported on the Web 2.0 group. They broke into several groups to explore various technologies and have now submitted a report.
-Facebook group: Will create a UF Libraries account
-Internal blogs: Tom M. is creating a template; the rest of the group is creating policies
-E-learning: This group hasn't gotten very far with it's charge to "Integrate library resources into WebCT & Moodle".
-Library games: The Bioactive game has finished testing and team members will begin incorporating results from the beta testing into the game; The guitar hero day was a sucess and the library will continue to explore similar events.
-Project management: Denise's committee will test Basecamp as a project management tool.
-Toolbar group: They created a library toolbar. No one was aware of how it will be incorporated into the library.
-Vivo: The student assistant is fantastic and has already inputted the 28 test departments. Next she will begin inputting publications.

5. Computer services
-Laptop 101: Everyone played with the laptops; we reviewed the patron policies; if you see patron having problems using the laptops send them to Chrissy, Laurie & Michael. Chrissy is creating a troubleshooting guide for staff.

6. Cataloging
-Steve F. is retiring and his party is this afternoon.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Our Professional Image

A former colleague of mine wrote this editorial for Library Philosophy and Practice on librarianship and our obsession with our own image. Thought it was worth sharing: