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ONLINE SEARCHER: Information Discovery, Technology, Strategies


Volume 45, Number 4 - July/August 2021


Page 4
It's frustrating to realize that, with the advent of new technologies such as text and data mining and newly digitized resources, difficult questions from the past are now child's play, no ninja skills required.
By Marydee Ojala


Page 6
Industry News
Page 8
Search Engine Update
By Greg R. Notess
Page 30
When the pandemic forced conferences to move to virtual platforms, it had the unexpected benefit of opening up attendance to a wider group of people. "Going to a conference" no longer entailed actually going anywhere at all. No need to travel or book a hotel room; conferences came to the attendees rather than the traditional conference-as-destination scenario. Having mastered Zoom and Teams, librarians are now adept at navigating among online conference platforms, each of which is subtly different. Not only does this make conferences more accessible, it often lowers the cost.
By Marydee Ojala


Page 10
Robots for Research
At Boston Consulting Group (BCG), librarians Janet Hartmann and Craig Wingrove had a lot to consider when they decided to incorporate a help bot in their research center. From naming it to picking a platform and choosing what it would look like, they built a useful robot addition to their research team. Plus, they learned a few lessons and new vocabulary terms along the way.
By Janet Hartmann, Craig Wingrove
Page 16
Researching Health, Wellness, and the Healthcare System in Minority Communitie
The statistics regarding healthcare and wellness among minority communities in the U.S. are rather dismal. Disparities in the healthcare system became even more apparent during the pandemic. In addition to sharing some of these statistics, Barbie Keiser explores government resources on health data, along with research organizations and minority health journals.
By Barbie E. Keiser
Page 22
The possibilities for non-fungible tokens (NFT) in the world of libraries and publishers seem a bit far afield from all the hype surrounding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Yet these digital assets, as Cal LaFountain explains, could appear in libraries as decentralized library cards or new ways to present collections. Publishers could benefit from programmable royalty arrangements.
By Cal LaFountain
Page 27
Consolidation Ahead: Clarivate to Acquire ProQuest
Mergers and acquisitions occur in every industry, including the information companies from which libraries buy products and services. Some, however, have more impact than others. The announced purchase of ProQuest by Clarivate is one that is likely to resonate deeply, as it affects both research content and library software.
By Marydee Ojala


Internet Express
Page 33
How Technology Keeps Us Connected, Productive, and Fulfilled During a Global Pandemic
Did you experience "pandemic fatigue" when COVID had most of the country shut down? Carly Lamphere shows the many ways technology helped us fight feelings of stress and burnout, from Zooming both for work and social gatherings to finding online ways to volunteer and stay healthy.
By Carly Lamphere
InfoLit Land
Page 36
Doing Research Backward: Moving From Conclusion to Information That Supports It
The tendency to start from what you want to believe is true, then find evidence to back up your belief is what Bill Badke calls "doing research backward." He decries this not only as bad scholarship, but also as a tenet of conspiracy theories.
By William Badke
The Dollar Sign
Page 39
Getting Real About Real Estate Research
The real estate industry intersects with many other industries and has public policy implications. Veteran researcher Marydee Ojala illuminates the various shapes of the real estate industry and gives an overview of useful resources.
By Marydee Ojala
Metrics Mashup
Page 42
The growing importance of OA materials has been a boon to researchers, but columnist Elaine Lasda wonders about what a "culture of open" does to the impact of research outputs. A rethinking of impact factors is in order.
By Elaine M. Lasda
Hard Copy
Page 45
Recommended Reading on LGBTQ+ Librarianship, Information Studies, Information Literacy and Mapping, and Supporting Graduate Students
By Jennifer A. Bartlett
Online Spotlight
Page 48
Search guru Mary Ellen Bates no longer ignores presentation recordings relevant to her research topics now that she's discovered the wonders of AI-driven voice-to-text transcription.
By Mary Ellen Bates


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