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ONLINE SEARCHER: Information Discovery, Technology, Strategies


Volume 44, Number 1 - January/February 2020


Page 4
Bias in training sets is often completely unnoticed by those choosing the training sets, who are predominantly white and male.
By Marydee Ojala
The Searcher's Viewpoint
Page 42
Bias is another pervasive concern. Training sets can easily contain misinformation, old information, or incomplete information that skews the results of a search.
By Sue Feldman


Page 5
Industry News
Page 8
Search Engine Update
By Greg R. Notess
Page 44
Conference Corral
Internet Librarians Gather in London and Monterey


Page 10
Searching for Standards
Standards are a unique genre of published information. Even for the most experienced searcher they can be intimidating. There's a raft of organizations that issue standards and those standards are identified by their numbers. This can be baffling. But once you get comfortable with standards searching, you realize that standards are pervasive, revealing details of how things work, explains NISO's Jill O'Neill.
By Jill O'Neill
Page 14
Supporting Libraries, Scholarship, and Publishing in the Global South
Historically, data from scholarly research was unavailable to scholars in the Global South because libraries in the region could not afford the purchase price of the publications (or full-text databases) for their institutions. That is changing, as Barbie Keiser documents, along with the recognition (finally) that genuinely useful research is generated in the Global South.
By Barbie E. Keiser
Page 22
Do algorithms now rule our lives? Sometimes that seems to be the case. Data is being collected at a ferocious rate, often without the knowledge of the individuals whose data is being collected. With the rise of AI, many questions arise about privacy, ransomware, the right to be forgotten, intellectual property, and the role of the information professional.
By Nancy K. Herther
Page 30
Search guru Tara Calishain debunks the notion that RSS feeds have gone the way of the dinosaur. They are still around and still enormously useful in keeping up with topics of interest to you, your clients, and your institution. Following on from 20 years of using RSS technology, Calishain details the many new (and old) sources for RSS feeds that she uses.
By Tara Calishain
Page 35
Dissertations, Theses, and the Scholarly Record
Doctoral and masters level dissertations and theses contain a wealth of information generated from original research. The database most frequently used to uncover these dissertations is ProQuest's Dissertations and Theses Abstracts, a subscription database, but free sources exist as well.
By Georgina Devar


Internet Express
Page 47
New Year, New Tech: How Fitness Technology Transforms More Than Just Our Workouts
Fitness technology not only makes it easier for users to reach their fitness goals, it can intensify the results. Carly Lamphere highlights a few technologies that are transforming how we care for and view our bodies but also sounds a warning to know when healthy goals can turn into unhealthy behaviors.
By Carly Lamphere
InfoLit Land
Page 51
Is it Time for a Universal Academic Search Engine?
Bill Badke wonders if the time has come for all academic search engines to behave in the same way. The question stems from the frustration that information literacy instructors encounter when teaching students about the huge variety and differing functionalities of subscription databases.
By William Badke
The Dollar Sign
Page 54
Data Sets, Game, and Match
If data is the new oil, datasets are the new passion for librarians. Jobs created around data provide opportunities for business librarians. The issues can be complex, from finding relevant datasets to analyzing, evaluating, and massaging them. Ojala concentrates on locating appropriate data in this column.
By Marydee Ojala
Metrics Mashup
Page 57
What’s in a Metric? Data Sources of Key Research Impact Tools
In her inaugural column, Elaine Lasda explains the basics of metrics and why they matter. Many demonstrations of relevance center on research impact metrics, which are known as the element that makes or breaks academic promotion and tenure dossiers. And yet, none of the four major citation tools have the data sources to provide a complete picture of research impact.
By Elaine M. Lasda
Hard Copy
Page 60
Recommended Reading on Information Ethics and the News
By Jennifer A. Bartlett
Online Spotlight
Page 64
When the Peer-to-Peer Economy Meets Copyright
Although there are differences between ownership of digital content and licensed content, this is not always clear to library users, particularly those who lead their lives in the sharing economy. Mary Ellen Bates has some suggestions for how librarians can explain these differentiations to their users.
By Mary Ellen Bates


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