Rowland Institute Library Blog

Friday, August 08, 2003

Open Access to Scientific Research The New York Times extends its support to the Public Library of Science initiative. (source: SPARC Open Access News)

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Google News Alerts(Source: Virtual Chase) A good idea from Google Labs. Read the FAQ. Once you create a search, you can't edit it but need to start over again.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

New Search Engine for Weblogs Genie Tyburski's outstanding newsletter, The Virtual Chase, has several interesting entries today, especially this one about a new weblog search engine, Waypath. You can search keywords or a URL. Besides hits, you can "Waypath" your results, which seems to show you blogs that link to similar content. Genie also provides links to other engines indexing blogs. It's not just stopping for a pop anymore.

The Private Sector: Copyright 101A one-page article addresses several misunderstandings about copyright.(Source: The Virtual Chase

AOL to Drop Netscape An Information Today article laments AOL's less than vigorous efforts to develop the Netscape browser. Meanwhile, most users will go to Safari, or Mozilla or Opera or something completely different. (Source: The Virtual Chase, August 6, 2003)

Initial employment report: physics PhD recipients, 2000 and 2001. AIP, 2003. This report includes data on recent PhDs such as sector of employment, discipline, salary and job satisfaction. (Source: NSF Sci-Tech Library Newsletter, August 4, 2003)

Gender Differences in the Careers of Academic Scientists and Engineers: A Literature Review A report from NSF examines previous studies comparing male and female scientists in academic rank, salary, productivity and other criteria. (Source: NSF Sci-Tech Library Newsletter, August 4, 2003)

2003 Annual Meeting Symposium--The New Biology: Celebrating the Past; Imagining the FutureThe NSF has loaded the audio files from this April 2003 meeting on their website. Topics included progress since the discovery of the DNA structure, prospects for future research and implicatons for society and government. (Source: NSF Sci-Tech Library Newsletter, August 4, 2003))

Monday, August 04, 2003

In DSpace, Ideas Are Forever An article on MIT's DSpace repository (Source; LIBLICENSE-L, courtesy of Gerry McKiernan)

The Science Coalition A group of scientific societies, companies, foundatons, universities and individuals have formed a coalition geared toward influencing federal government support for scientific research. A list of coalition members (with links where available) is posted on the website. Check out the News and Publications section, which features links to recent news from member organizations. (Source: j's scratchpad)

Revolution or evolution? An article in the latest EMBO Reports explores the question of who will pay for scientific research in an open access environment.

Two recent Boston Globe articles - one by Gareth Cook in the paper's Sunday Ideas section, the other by Hiawatha Bray in today's business section - argue that recent controversy over the Terrorism Futures and Total Information Projects was the result of hysteria and obscured not only the value of these research projects (based on "solid science" according to Bray) but the range of programs DARPA supports that may be overlooked by funding agencies with more conventional interests (Cook).

Neither writer, however, aside from Cook's discussion of brain-machine interface research, and a passing nod to the Internet, really illuminates us on the range of DARPA-supported programs. Surely DARPA funds quite useful research; the Bacterial Motility lab at Rowland is working on a project to harness the energy generated by bacterial motors, with DARPA backing.

One reason why people may have reacted so viscerally to the Terrorism Futures idea, aside from its being rather in bad taste, was that the furor over the Total Information Awareness research project had not yet subsided; it was like a double whammy. Both projects appeared ill-thought out, with little oversight, and having Poindexter associated with both of them perhaps only compounded negative images. And they were probably oversold,making extraordinary claims not yet justified by the projects' actual work, and their connection with terrorism and surveillance made them lightning rods. If things had been kept within the scope of the science to which Bray alludes, maybe they might not have drawn such furor.