October 2009 Archives

GSA meeting presentation slides

You may have seen me working in the reading room during my Tuesday office hours. I've been completing a citation analysis of all the geology dissertations from the last 100 years of the departments degree program to analyze the changing information-seeking behavior over time. Last week I presented my preliminary results at the GSA meeting in Portland at the GSIS session "Navigating the Geoscience Information Landscape: Pathways to Success."

Here are the How Deep are Geoscientists Willing to Dig.pdf and I'd be happy to discuss this research with anyone interested.

JOHNSTON, Lisa, Science and Engineering Library, University of Minnesota, 108 Walter Library, 117 Pleasant St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, ljohnsto@umn.edu

To better understand the information-seeking behavior of geoscientists due to ever-changing research habits, an exhaustive citation analysis was performed on a local population of geology dissertations from a large academic research university spanning the years1888-2008 . Past studies have shown that literature-use in the geosciences declines more slowly than in other scientific disciplines, therefore geology dissertations present an interesting litmus test on how changing information-seeking behavior can affect the obsolescence of scientific literature over time. This diasynchronous review analyzes citation patterns of dissertations by comparing the average citation age for each year and normalizing this data with the earliest citation year (potential) to establish an "average citation depth" for the last 120 years of the university's geoscience PhD graduates. The results indicate that citations have become increasingly younger suggesting that information-seeking behavior has shifted in the last 10 years. These shifts are discussed in terms of potentially disruptive events including the physical location change of the geosciences library, the increased reliance on electronic bibliographic databases, and the role of individual dissertation advisors as affecting the average citation depth of dissertations.

Information Literacy Teaching Tips

Source: http://library.otterbein.edu/Information_literacy/images/infolit.jpg

The University Libraries group for Information Literacy address the ways in which students learn how to find, access, synthesis, and ethically use information to become life-long learners. As part of their work, they have released 10 Tips on how to incorporate Info Literacy into your class assignments. More information on their work can be found at :https://wiki.lib.umn.edu/AP/InformationLiteracy

Ten Info Lit Teaching Tips:

1. Less is More. Avoid too much content. Remember the brain can only remember 5 to 7 bits of information--after teaching content include a short activity to help refresh student's brains and allow them to take in more information. Include additional details in a handout or CourseLib page for students to refer to.

2. Write 3-5 learning objectives as you prepare materials for an instructional session. They will help focus your teaching in the limited time you have available. Also ask faculty and instructors for their syllabi or assignment description so you can tailor the objectives.

3. Add a 5-minute "Think-Pair-Share" to help students process. For example, 1.) Ask a question (What are your biggest challenges with doing research? Let's say you are working on a project on health care reform-what is the best place to start? How can you avoid plagiarism? ) and 2.) have student think for a minute then talk to a fellow student for 2 minutes and 3.) then have a couple students share with the group.

4. Make content available after the instructional session such as with a CourseLib/PageScribe page, department blog, handout, PPT, etc. Ask the instructor to forward an email with the material to the students or post it in the course site.

5. Refresh your use of PowerPoint. Look for examples of good PowerPoint usage or presentation tips:
* Presentation Zen: http://www.presentationzen.com/
* How NOT to use Powerpoint: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cagxPlVqrtM (Warning: Humorous)
*Doing a 15 Minute Presentation in 10 easy steps: http://otherlibrarian.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/doing-a-15-minute-presentation-in-10-easy-steps/

6. Start with an open-ended question ( "What are your questions about the library and research?" "Where do you start your research?" "Do you think research is easier or harder than it used to be?") to get the students engaged in the material.

7. Try a small-scale experiment with technology such as the clickers (https://wiki.lib.umn.edu/SEDP/EquipReservations). Instead of trying to redo your whole presentation just add three questions at the beginning or at the end.

8. Students learn by doing--build short hands-on activities to help students practices what you are teaching.

9. Analogies and stories are powerful teaching tools. Write down a couple or ask colleagues about analogies or stories they use in instruction.

10. Here are a few more readings and resources:
* Eric's Top Ten Teaching Tips: http://www.lib.umich.edu/instructor-college/teaching-tips
* Adventures in Library Instruction Podcast: http://adlibinstruction.blogspot.com/
* 10/20/30 Rule of Powerpoint: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2005/12/the_102030_rule.html#axzz0QjSrFeG9
* Less is More: Making Your Presentations Zen-tastic: http://mscofino.edublogs.org/2009/03/01/less-is-more-making-your-presentations-zen-tastic/

Open Access is an idea, a movement, and an approach to distributing information and research. Open Access publications make their contents freely available online to all.

The University of Minnesota Libraries are marking Open Access Week with a public awareness campaign. Celebrate with us!

  • Open Access Week website Watch Open Access 101 and "Voices of Open Access" videos; learn some myths about open access; read "Piled Higher and Deeper" comics, and more. Please share the link liberally! http://www.lib.umn.edu/scholcom/openaccessweek.phtml

  • Public poster campaign
    You will soon see orangey-yellow Open Access posters all over campus. They are aimed at students, researchers, creators, soon-to-be graduates, and everyone else, and are intended to get people thinking about how open access might affect them personally.
    If you spot one of these posters out in the wild, let us know - or better yet, snap a quick picture! - we'll be collecting them to share with others celebrating Open Access Week around the world.

  • Poster your own libraries and departments!
    You can print your own copies of the public posters, or additional posters detailing the NIH Open Access policy, the top 5 Open Access myths, and Open Access publications produced here at the University. Post them in your departments, in staff areas at your libraries, or out in public view!
    All OA Week posters - thumbnails.pdf

Update: Nov 1st there will again be outages of library services do the OIT upgrade:

Notes are being posted in all systems affected by this work and the
System Status page at http://systemstatus.umn.edu . Thank you for your
support while OIT makes improvements to their infrastructure.

As many of you are probably aware, there is a scheduled downtime for many Library and Campus Systems on October 24 and 25, 2009.

A significant downtime period affecting many library systems (ie. MNCAT, UThink) and nearly all enterprise and university-wide applications (ie. Email, UMcal) supported by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) is scheduled to start at 2:00 am on Saturday, October 24, 2009 and conclude at 12:00 pm on Sunday, October 25, 2009. This outage is being scheduled so that OIT can increase the amount of utility and emergency power to the University's primary data center, which is located in the West Bank Office Building (WBOB). This will provide for a much-needed increase in the reliability, availability, and capacity of this data center.

A complete listing of library systems and their expected availability status can be accessed at: https://wiki.lib.umn.edu/IT/Downtime . In order to maintain availability of key library systems - such as MNCAT (search only) and Find It (SFX) - one to two hour downtimes are scheduled to begin in the late afternoon of Friday, October 23, 2009. These details will be provided on the wiki page referenced above. We ask that you plan accordingly and ask for any clarification and additional information as needed.

Our Digital Library Development Lab has created a mobile version of the University Libraries web site: http://www.lib.umn.edu/mobile/ . Expertly coded by John Barneson, this beta release features a compact version of our web site including MNCAT Plus search, our most popular database offerings, access to ejournals, library hours, and more.

Before we release this to a wider audience please take a moment to try it out (especially on your mobile phone!) and provide us with feedback.

The libraries offer a great workshop on the various citation managers that are available and recently we've posted this workshop online as a concise comparison chart.

So whether you manage you literature references as a personal library or through a collaborative group, you can choose the right tool. And new with RefWorks, university alumni may take their account with them when they leave the university.