Volume 41, Number 5 - September/October 2017
Retiring? The force of nature that is bq?
By Marydee Ojala
The Searcher's Viewpoint
While bq's Searcher's Voice has departed these pages, the hope is that others will pick up the baton so the passion and often indignation she expressed about the searching world will live on and continue to challenge info pros. In the debut of Searcher's Viewpoint, Google's Dan Russell calls on all searchers to go beyond what's plausible and instead dig down to uncover the truth.
By Dan Russell
SLA Reinvents Its Conference
SLA member Stephanie Macklin-Hurd reflects on changes SLA made to its annual conference to make it more successful and reviews the Dream Jobs panel and talks on information security.
By Stefanie R. Maclin-Hurd
Search Algorithms: Neutral or Biased?
In a world where people believe search engines are neutral and unbiased, it's alarming to discover that's not always the case. Researcher Paul Cleverley examines whether web search engine algorithms can come up with biased search results. What about enterprise search engines, where both algorithms and outcomes are expected to be different from what is found on the open web? Even here, algorithms can be dangerous.
By Paul H. Cleverley
Disaggregation: A Wise Move for Some Publishers
It's been 15 years since SAGE pulled its content off aggregator services ProQuest and EBSCO to go it alone. Changes have happened since then. Some publishers have followed suit, creating their own platforms, but others are hedging their bets and making their content available both through an aggregator and on their own platform. Barbie Keiser investigates the ramifications for publishers and searchers.
By Barbie E. Keiser
As much as the internet has impacted the world in countless positive ways, for libraries, it has also resulted in serious challenges to providing quality information services. Nancy Herther looks at the role of Google Scholar in libraries today to see whether it adds value or makes librarians seek out more traditional databases.
By Nancy K. Herther
Having just published a book on the topic, Kathleen Hanson and Nora Paul share the struggles to keep all avenues of news history archives, from Colonial-era newspapers to news reels, radio and television programs of yesteryear, and current digital offerings, from vanishing. They explain why what remains is mostly accidental and what is at risk as efforts to establish and maintain news archives continue to wax and wane.
By Kathleen A. Hansen, Nora Paul
International Business Analysis Empowered With Research
Preparing to teach a class on international business research, Grace Liu was appalled at the amount of bad information that was too easily found. She developed an eight-step research program to concentrate researchers' attention on a systematic research process that emphasizes finding useful and reputable information. Her program can be used in corporate settings as well as academic ones.
By Grace Liu
Longtime search expert Tara Calishain is impressed with what the Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the United Nations Office at Geneva Library have done to create the United Nations Digital Library. The new resource offers a variety of U.N.-related materials, including reports, maps, and speeches. Calishain puts the library through its paces, sharing search tips and techniques.
By Tara Calishain
For Old Times’ Sake: Technostalgia’s Greatest Hits
If anyone is in a position to discuss "technostalgia," it's reference librarian Carly Lamphere, who only recently parted ways with a good chunk of her vast VHS collection. Lamphere addresses how the population's devotion to the good old days of entertainment is driving marketing and technology in the here and now.
By Carly Lamphere
The Benefits and Pitfalls of Text-Match Searching
Bill Badke takes a close look at the text-matching capabilities of JSTOR's Text Analyzer, now in beta from JSTOR Labs. You dump a large amount of text into a box, and JSTOR's search algorithm analyzes the text to find articles relevant to the dominant word. He finds some things to like and some things not to like.
By William Badke
The Dollar Sign
Lost and Found in Government Filings
Searching for public company information starts with government filings. In the U.S., that's the SEC, which has new search capabilities that Marydee Ojala thinks are a huge improvement. For nonprofits in the U.S., their income tax forms are public and can be searched through third-party vendors.
By Marydee Ojala
The Open Road
Why should we share knowledge, either internally within an organization or externally through open access/open data? In many cases, articulating the "What's in it for me?" message is a key part of a communications campaign. Consultant Abby Clobridge provides 40 reasons for sharing.
By Abby Clobridge
Web Accessibility: Carrots and Sticks
Website accessibility is an important topic, not just because it's the morally correct thing to do but also because of a flurry of litigation. Surprisingly, accessibility has not gotten better in the past few years; it's actually gotten worse. Jeff Wisniewski has some suggestions to improve your website's accessibility.
By Jeff Wisniewski
Recommended Reading on Library Technology Upgrades, Self-Publishing, Working With Your Enemies, and Library Innovation
By Deborah Lynne Wiley
Become the Information Whisperer
Info pros have skills, insights, and instincts beyond traditional librarianship. Our nuanced understanding of peoples' information-seeking behaviors, our implicit knowledge, and our ability to review information sources from the user perspective makes us Information Whisperers.
By Mary Ellen Bates