Log, Fall 2003

1 September
I need to reinstall SciFinderScholar on various machines --the 2004 version is now in my H: drive.

2 Sept
Luciana Bohne's excellent Learning to Be Stupid in the Culture of Cash ought to be more widely known. It's at http://www.marchforjustice.com/8.8.03.learning.php which is part of March Awareness Forum (www.marchforjustice.com) --and see the lengthy feedback from readers.

Some fragments written while hiking:

RE: Information Commons
To be a truly effective and synergetic use of resources, an Information Commons needs to be an integral part of a broad strategy for the evolution of teaching and learning: the IC provides infrastructure and technical support that is both needed and wanted by professors and students alike. The IC needs to be part of a broader strategy to integrate electronic resources into teaching and learning --or else it will be just a collection of rapidly-obsolescing and little-used hardware and software, chosen to fill imagined needs.

We need clear answers to some empirical questions, a well-supported development environment to build the services that don't exist and integrate them with upgraded existig services, and positive encouragement to teachers and learners alike for skills development.

I come painfully to the conclusion that, in the absence of definite commitment by administration, University Computing, librarians, and departments, it would be better to do NOTHING, and to await external definitions of agendas.

3 Sept
Need to create In-House List of SciFinder Scholar journals, which means using ISSNs and years.

4 Sept
I've uploaded Cindy's list of our full text into ChemPort (chem journals only) and checked several to see that they work. Remarkable...

8 Sept
Terrorism: Ours and Theirs by Eqbal Ahmad (9.23.01)

10 Sept
Journal of American Folklore and Civil War History and Geographical Analysis --all Project Muse journals

12 Sept
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER> from cancer.gov

two kinds of statistics. For an overview of cancer trends, try the Fast Stats feature, which furnishes measures such as incidence and mortality for more than 30 cancer types. For instance, although the overall death rate from lung cancer has fallen, it has not declined for women. Completing a patient confidentiality agreement gives researchers access to information on tumor diagnosis and treatment for each of the more than 3 million cancer cases held in the database. SEER plans to add new features to celebrate its 30th anniversary in October, including a set of landmark papers and a bibliography of works that use the program's data.

10 October
Grabbed MrSID Decode, "Command line utility that allows for decompression of MG2 or MG3 .sid files to .tif, GeoTiff, and other formats. Documentation and Sample commands included" from LizardTech.

16 October
Corn for Global Stewardship, following up a conversation with Jeff Barnett

17 October

animated map of migration (New England)

ag chemicals & production technology and international agriculture from USDA's ERS

organic production data and U.S. Organic Farming in 2000-2001: Adoption of Certified Systems By Catherine Greene and Amy Kremen Agriculture Information Bulletin No. (AIB780) 55 pp, April 2003 --from USDA's ERS

27 October
I spent most of the day working out a way to get hyperlinks into the eHRAF map... at H:/hraf/ehraf.mxd ...but not (seemingly) exportable...

28 October
I made another version of the bookmarklets info page, to help with linking Amazon and Annie. At the moment the feature isn't working in Amazon... but nothing in the news that I can see to explain that. I set up a google news alert...

30 October
urls for all the eHRAF cultures

4 November
Hubbert Peak summary from http://www.hubbertpeak.com/campbell/TheHeartOfTheMatter.pdf

Polyphyletic: I'm looking for NON-biological borrowing of the notion, in context of classification systems that link materials belonging to different subject hierarchies, and have a sort of polyvalent identity... maybe this is just a misuse of the term?

taxonomists' view ("Polyphyletic taxa are considered invalid or unnatural groupings, and are not accepted in either the Linnean/Evolutionary or the Cladistics taxonomies. ")
Wikipedia entry
Chinese surnames are polyphyletic in origin
Analysis of surnames for genetic purposes has been suggested and widely used due to their nature of patrilineal transmission in most of the populations. Surnames appeared in China at least 3000 years earlier than in Europe or Japan and there are between three and four thousand surnames used by the Han Chinese. A genetic analysis of a general Han population of 1,500 male individuals born in 28 different Provinces across China has been conducted at 19 Y chromosome single nucleotide polymorphic markers (Y-SNPs). The results of this analysis demonstrate that large isonymous populations tend to have multiple distinct haplotypes, implying a polyphyletic origin. This observation is consistent with the historical records that in general, the larger an isonymous population is, the more origins that surname has. Therefore, it is not necessarily a valid approach to use the number of surnames to estimate the number of founders in a Chinese population (either isolated or panmictic) without a genetic study of Y chromosome markers.

6 November
some measurements of globalization (responding to Kelley Mueller's question)

19 November
State of the Planet summary articles in Science

20 November
A Web of Science search for "depleted uranium" gets 266 hits. Journals include RADIATION PROTECTION DOSIMETRY, HEALTH PHYSICS, JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RADIOACTIVITY (Special Issue in 2003, see ToC via ScienceDirect), Science 2002 New Findings Allay Concerns Over Depleted Uranium (Richard Stone), JOURNAL OF APPLIED TOXICOLOGY, SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT (Elsevier again...), REPRODUCTIVE TOXICOLOGY (Elsevier again...), and some REVIEWs:

Reproductive and developmental toxicity of natural and depleted uranium: a review
Domingo JL

Gulf War Syndrome - a model for the complexity of biological and environmental interaction with human health
Jamal GA

Depleted uranium penetrators - Hazards & safety
Rao SS, Bhat TB

21 November
Sent this to John T., in response to request:

It's clear to all of us that the next decade of library evolution will see much more ACTIVE use of computing by librarians and by library users, many of whom will use library resources OUTSIDE of the physical space of the library. The library's work in collection development, and involvement with the day?to?day business of teaching and learning, will incorporate more and more ??and more varied?? digital forms of information, and will be much more involved with MANAGEMENT of information.

The library needs the wherewithal (and especially the in-house expertise) to EXPLORE new technologies of information management ??to experiment with archive-building packages like DSpace,and to develop "active Web" database applications (using .asp/.psp and ...well... Access to start with, but more robust RDBMS systems before too long) to support our mission as curators and distributors AND TEACHERS in the evolving digital library world. This is both a hardware/software issue and a personnel/expertise question, because none of us has the requisite skills or the time to develop them.

We have nobody to turn to for such exploration, though potentially the ITG might provide such support if THEY had the personnel and resources. Pat Harris is only half time with them, so it's unreasonable to expect that he'd have the necessary time, or that he'd have the perspective of a librarian in thinking about information issues. It's not that we don't take on cutting?edge stuff at W&L: it's important to point out that W&L IS actively exploring such developments, via the Alsos Digital Library...

28 November
google 'semantic web'... need to reopen that frontier

see also The Scholar's Portal (IFLA 2003 workshop)

UC Press ebooks

Landscapes of Global Capital from St. Lawrence: a reminder to myself

13 December
I'm not sure that I've ever expressed it as such before [though I may have done a thousand times...], but it seems to me that Information ought to be the problematic, the focus of teaching, in many subjects. We should make opportunities to interrogate information sources as a central part of what we do in the classroom, to help our students develop the sense for themselves that they have to be in control, that they have to sieze opportunities to be active learners. Making this happen in classroom settings is difficult, unless the Workstation is always open, always accessible. Parmly 302 permits me to have it always accessible to THEM, and to integrate digital I/O into class activities. It works tolerably well, but I don't do it enough, and should resolve to do it MORE in Human Geography in the coming term. There need to be places to PUT what they find as a result of their sallyings forth into cyberinfrastructure, and SnipIt could be the conduit... if only I could get further with its design.

While reading Martha Brogan's Digital Library Aggregation Services, I ran across several threads that connect to things I've been working with and should collect in one place. Among them:

Personal digital libraries: Creating individual spaces for innovation (Christine L. Borgman, University of California,NSF Post Digital Library Futures Workshop June 2003)

Digital Collections Research Project Background Readings

The Digital Library: A Biography (Daniel Greenstein and Suzanne E. Thorin)

How Digital Hobbyists Are Changing Scholarship Historians embrace personal Web projects, but are wary of amateur postings By BROCK READ (Chronicle of Higher Education, September 2003)

As the cost of high-quality scanning equipment dwindles and the Internet's reputation as an academic tool grows, more and more professors in history and other humanities disciplines are undertaking projects like RiverWeb, digitizing research that falls outside of their chief fields of study.

Many of these hobbyist digitizers find that the Internet offers them an unprecedented opportunity to treat personal interests and esoterica with academic rigor. Some say that personal scanning projects could mark the beginning a new trend in the study and teaching of history, an era in which historians shape their fields through small-scale digitization.

"I think there's going to be an intense reorganization of scholastic labor and attention in the next generation," says Gregory R. Crane, a professor of classics at Tufts University who heads the Perseus Project, an online archive of Latin and Greek texts and archaeological finds. "Historians won't be building their work around the assumption that paper-based projects are the be-all and end-all."

The future ain't what it used to be (Jerry Goldman, Northwestern University)

...and the whole array of papers from the workshop is worth exploring

digression, but only just: the broad notion of Commons that is not just a library space (the Lessigist notion) really OUGHT to be the focus of our thinking about whither the library's services are growing. There is a "digital commons" out there, in which we participate more and more, and from which we harvest a lot of the Information we seek. Sometimes it's what we need, and sometimes it misses the mark or is just infotainment, or otherwise doesn't meet the standards of 'scholarly' information, but it's what we DO as people and as information seekers. With effort and education and practise, we get better at it, more responsible at it, more productive and constructive.

Continuing the excavation of Brogan 2003:

Interoperability between information and learning environments --bridging the gaps (McLean and Lynch, 2003)

IMS Global Learning Consortium

The IMS Global Learning Consortium develops and promotes the adoption of open technical specifications for interoperable learning technology. Several IMS specifications have become worldwide de facto standards for delivering learning products and services. IMS specifications and related publications are made available to the public at no charge from www.imsglobal.org. No fee is required to implement the specifications. IMS is a worldwide non-profit organization that includes more than 50 Contributing Members and affiliates. These members come from every sector of the global e-learning community. They include hardware and software vendors, educational institutions, publishers, government agencies, systems integrators, multimedia content providers, and other consortia. The Consortium provides a neutral forum in which members with competing business interests and different decision-making criteria collaborate to satisfy real-world requirements for interoperability and re-use.

Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) UK

When I consider the heaps of stuff in my own Personal Digital Libraries, I'm somewhat appalled at the disorder. One domain I just thought of is the collection of pdfs at http://acadprojwww.wlu.edu/vol4/BlackmerH/public_html/mypdfs/ ... accessible (and even too accessible), but not arrayed in any sort of database or other means to search and retrieve... just a heap of things I've grabbed at one time or another. So I started making it into a table... not sure how useful it will be, though...

14 December
Yesterday I visited OAIster for the first time (http://oaister.umdl.umich.edu/o/oaister/), thanks to its mention in Martha Brogan's DLF paper. I'm beginning to see some ways forward to further explorations of digital library participation, in addition to the obvious step of figuring out how to get the word around to potential W&L users of this and other distributed resources.

At one level, we can provide materials to aggregators; at another, we can build services ourselves (and for that we need to consider initiatives like FEDORA and DSpace). As a sort of ground-level entrypoint, we should consider a digital materials collection development policy: for some of the material we own (like the transcripts of the Lee Letters), as we digitize materials, we should be 'exposing' their metadata for harvest by OAISter and suchlike. Thus, a search for 'Robert E. Lee' in OAIster this morning gets 86 hits... just think how interesting it would be if we treated our institutional digital assets in such a way that they were meant to be more accessible...

What would it TAKE to get that running? Certainly Alsos has the harvesting bit worked out... and Alsos IS harvested by OAIster, to the tune of 622 records.

oooooh.... I think we're onto something here.

15 December
I'd like to straighten out the explanation of Web Services. Here are some possibly-useful resources

Understanding Web Services: XML, WSDL, SOAP, and UDDI by Eric Newcomer (I've added it to my safari bookshelf)

Understanding Web Services and Web Services Developer Center from Microsoft

Understanding Web Services (Arthur Ryman) --IBM's perspective

Patrick Cooney's take ("an archive of old, outdated material, maintained for historical reasons and to avoid linkrot. Contents may have settled during shipping.")

Web services make software functionality available over the Internet so that programs like PHP, ASP, JSP, JavaBeans, the COM object, and all our other favorite widgets can make a request to a program running on another server (a web service) and use that programís response in a website, WAP service, or other application.

XML and Web Services Magazine

Library Hi Tech issue on OAI (21:2 2003) ... and another on Systems Librarians (21:3 2003)

following up on John T's title:

"You couldn't have it if you did want it," the Queen said. "The rule is jam tomorrow and jam yesterday - but never jam today."
"It must come sometimes to jam today," Alice objected.
"No it can't," said the Queen. "It's jam every other day: today isn't any other day, you know."
- Lewis Carroll Through the Looking Glass (19xx: xx)

16 December
a test of a cool display option

19 December
Sony robots is an example of the stuff from today's entry in Jon Udell's blog. Bigtime steps...

22 December
Various experiments with searching, including an addition to the bookmarklets page, to enable me to search home.wlu.edu and acadprojwww, using google.

I'm also looking into various sound stuff, via Sound Forge (just ordered) and assorted other utilities.

...and I've made a page for the many log files

24 December
I collected the text of Pepe Escobar's 13 Silk Road articles in /centasia/

26 December
'cyberinfrastructure' keeps coming up, so I made an addition to /meta/cyberinfra.html