Volume 42, Number 4 - July/August 2018
Technology is a two-edged sword. For every Jekyll, there's a Hyde.
By Marydee Ojala
The Searcher's Viewpoint
Do librarians need to be worried about artificial intelligence and robots replacing them in the job market? Database research director Amy Affelt examines this issue and comes to the conclusion that research robots will merely help librarians find relevant information more quickly and deliver a better product.
By Amy Affelt
Search Engine Update
By Greg R. Notess
Next-Generation Tools and Strategies
Troubleshooting Fundamentals: A Beginner’s Guide
Regardless of how much you don't want to believe it will happen to you, inevitably something will go wrong at your library and you will have to troubleshoot it. Call it Murphy's Law for Libraries. Sunshine Carter and Stacie Traill give you guidelines for how to approach an e-resource access problem and begin the process of fixing it.
By Sunshine J. Carter, Stacie Traill
Competitive Intelligence Tools for the Win
Tools, tools, and more tools! Barbie Keiser once again turns her attention to the wonderful world of competitive intelligence tools. These are getting ever more powerful and sophisticated, allowing information professionals options to find more and different types of information and to disseminate that information out to their organizations.
By Barbie E. Keiser
Determining website usability takes many forms. Librarian Katherine Bertel likes the "guerilla style"—that's guerilla not gorilla—in place of formal usability testing. It is less expensive, not as complicated, and saves time. She picks one piece of website design to discuss in detail: how to effectively use heatmapping in ascertaining optimum usability for a website.
By Katherine S. Bertel
What is the purpose of a freedom-to-operate (FTO) search? Thomas Wolff, who among other things is a registered patent agent, answers this question in-depth. He outlines the participants in an FTO search, their roles and responsibilities; explores the search target and how these targets are developed; presents a chemical formulation and device/method of use examples; examines the search process itself; provides a review of candidate patent claims; offers up some tips on how to report on an FTO; explains why searches might include lapsed or expired patent documents; and sums it all up by defining how a good FTO search is conducted.
By Thomas E. Wolff
Government Data as Intellectual Property: Is Public Domain the Same as Open Access?
The OA movement has caught the attention of a wide range of people, not just information professionals, but also publishers and scholars. Business librarian Jennifer Boettcher and copyright expert K. Matthew Dames take on the issue of OA as it applies to government documents, examining the relationship between intellectual property law and OA.
By Jennifer C. Boettcher, K. Matthew Dames
TV junkie and reference librarian Carly Lamphere uses an episode from the revamped X-Files as a jumping off point to delve into how artificially intelligent robots are becoming more ubiquitous in our daily lives. She gives examples of these robots in the healthcare realm, where they are interacting with patients on the floor and in the operating room; replacing workers at burger joints; and turning, in the not-so-distance future, into someone's significant other, and wraps it up with a not-so-favorable review of autonomous vehicles.
By Carly Lamphere
The Dimensions Database: A Revolution in Academic Information Tools?
Veteran searcher Bill Badke deems Dimensions, a new database from Digital Science, as "pretty amazing" and more than just a search tool. He reviews the data sources, their linkages, search capabilities, results display, and implications for information literacy.
By William Badke
The Dollar Sign
Get the Goods on Commodities Research
Researching commodities can be tricky. Knowing the difference between spot prices and futures contracts, how reporting occurs on international exchanges, and the varying descriptions of commodities is essential. Researcher Ojala also examines sources for commodities data.
By Marydee Ojala
The Open Road
Developments in the OA movement have been fast and furious, but few are so influential as the commitments of funding agencies. Columnists Hinsdale and Clobridge take particular note of the role of several large, private foundations as funders of scholarly research.
By Eric Hinsdale, Abby Clobridge
Recommended Reading on Big Data, Technology, Internet Use, and Tribes
By Deborah Lynne Wiley
Say What? ‘Deepfakes’ Are Deeply Concerning
When it becomes next to impossible to tell the fake from the real, particularly when technology enables video representations that literally puts words they didn't speak into peoples' mouths, information professionals worry.
By Mary Ellen Bates