November 20, 2007


Although not the most exciting issue to many, copyright is an important topic in the library and archives world. However, I know that I, at least, can get quickly bogged down in the multitudes of guidelines and rules, which makes it difficult to figure out when something is available for use. This updated chart by a librarian at Cornell is really helpful in clarifying a lot of these issues.

November 19, 2007

Plagiarism Detection Tool

Plagiarism - how to avoid it, and how to detect it - is currently a hot topic in many academic circles. For beginning researchers, it can be difficult to decide what is plagiarism and what isn't. The University of Minnesota Libraries provide a brief tutorial to help students and researchers learn how to avoid plagiarism.

But what about the detection of obviously intentional plagiarism? With the advent of Internet research, it's become all too easy to find and "borrow" information already written on almost any topic. The U of M Twin Cities campus is providing access to Turnitin, a web-based plagiarism detection tool. Instructors can submit an essay to the website, which then checks for plagiarism. Information is available here.

November 16, 2007

Facebook and CBI

CBI now has a Facebook presence. We've formed a Charles Babbage Institute group, and it's open to all who are interested, for discussions about what we're doing at CBI or about the history of computing in general.

Here's a link to the group, or you can search for "Charles Babbage Institute" in Groups.

November 5, 2007

STS Wiki

I just stumbled across what looks like a potentially great resource for faculty and grad students in science and technology studies. The STS Wiki is, as stated on its home page, an experiment in the public production of free, open-source knowledge concerning STS. It contains resources for teaching, research, employment, and a lot more. Since it depends upon user input, information is a bit spotty, but, like other items I've been posting, it has great potential.

October 25, 2007


A blog hosted by SHOT, the Society for the History of Technology, contains news items and information for the benefit of historians and others interested in the history of technology. Recent posts include job listings, conference announcements, information about events, and announcements of academic fellowships and stipends.

October 18, 2007

Crossing Borders

From the H-Sci-Med-Tech listserv - the International Committee for the History of Technology put out a call for papers for its 2008 symposium, entitled "Crossing Borders in the History of Technology." It looks like graduate students are encouraged to submit papers, as well as experienced historians.

Speaking of listservs, if you're interested in history (not just the history of computing), you should investigate H-Net. You can join any number of listservs on just about any historical topic imaginable. I'm personally on the listservs for H-Sci-Med-Tech (the history of science, medicine, and technology, obviously), H-Grad (for graduate students in all historical disciplines), and H-Info (the history of libraries and information). If you go to and click on "Discussion Networks" at the top, you can view the entire list of possible networks to join.

October 16, 2007

Chat Issues

It seems as though we might be having some technical difficulties with the chat software. Either Arvid or I should be on as CBI Archivist all day, but sometimes it seems to take a minute after you get on the site for it to register that we're online. Be patient for a couple seconds and the message should switch to "CBI Archivist is online," and you should be able to IM us. Sorry! Let me know if you've tried unsuccessfully to get in touch through chat and what the problem was.

October 10, 2007

Extended Hours

To accommodate researchers who may not be able to get here during normal working hours or who need a little extra time in the archives, Andersen Library's reading room will now be open until 8:00 pm on Thursdays. CBI may not individually remain open unless we have advance notice that someone will want to use our collections, though. So, if you'd like to come in to do some research on a Thursday evening, let us know and we'll be here.

October 9, 2007

Course Instruction Sessions

If you are teaching a course here at the U, Arvid and I are available to lead instruction sessions for your students. We can cover many different topics either generally related to information literacy (e.g., how to use primary sources) or more specifically on how to use our archives. We can teach the courses here in Andersen Library or we can come to your classroom. Just let us know - we'd be happy to help you out!