October 2008 Archives

Wikipedia and Truth

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Garfinkel, Simson L. Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth: Why the online encyclopedia's epistemology should worry those who care about traditional notions of accuracy. Technology Review. November/December 2008.

--"On Wikipedia, objective truth isn't all that important, actually. What makes a fact or statement fit for inclusion is that it appeared in some other publication--ideally, one that is in English and is available free online. "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth," states Wikipedia's official policy on the subject."

--"Consider the verifiability policy. Wikipedia considers the "most reliable sources" to be "peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses," followed by "university-level textbooks," then magazines, journals, "books published by respected publishing houses," and finally "mainstream newspapers" (but not the opinion pages of newspapers)."

--"So what is Truth? According to Wikipedia's entry on the subject, "the term has no single definition about which the majority of professional philosophers and scholars agree." But in practice, Wikipedia's standard for inclusion has become its de facto standard for truth, and since Wikipedia is the most widely read online reference on the planet, it's the standard of truth that most people are implicitly using when they type a search term into Google or Yahoo. On Wikipedia, truth is received truth: the consensus view of a subject."

Do your students use Wikipedia? Do your students have the skills to be able to use this "verifying" sources to evaluate an articles truthiness?

No more print

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"After a century of continuous publication, The Christian Science Monitor will abandon its weekday print edition and appear online only, its publisher announced Tuesday. The cost-cutting measure makes The Monitor the first national newspaper to essentially give up on print."

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/29/business/media/29paper.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Do we even need print anymore?

Happy Open Access Day!

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openaccessday.jpg October 14 is Open Access Day

Open Access is a growing international movement that encourages the unrestricted sharing of research results with everyone, everywhere, for the advancement and enjoyment of science and society. Open-access journals and archives make research freely accessible online, without the traditional expensive subscription barriers that limit the reach of research.

The goal of Open Access Day is to broaden awareness and understanding of Open Access within the international higher education community and the general public.

Learn more: http://www.lib.umn.edu/scholcom/openaccessday.phtml

Yet another question...what flavor of cupcake goes best with Open Access?

askmn.jpgPlease let your students know that we are now offering 24/7 chat service through the University Libraries. Simply click on "chat" in the upper left hand corner of the Library homepage.

Or go to AskMn.

Read more from the Daily: http://mndaily.com/2008/10/06/u-libraries%E2%80%99-online-chat-goes-247

What do you think?

Still time to use Unravel the Library 2 Online

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For first year writing instructors who are interested in having their students take the Unravel the Library 2: Research Process online--there is still time to get a your section set up. Just send me an email (katep@umn.edu) with your section number and I will set it up. Once that is complete you will get an enrollment key and a URL to send to your students. As your students complete the modules and take the 10 question quiz you can log-in and view the quiz results for your class.

To view the modules go to: http://www.lib.umn.edu/research/instruction/modules/

If you would like students to enroll in the face-to-face class, view the workshop schedule at: http://www.lib.umn.edu/registration/

More information on Unravel Series: http://lib.umn.edu/site/aboutunravel.phtml

Let me know if you have questions!