Saturday, March 31, 2007

AIW: Academic Invisible Web

Dirk Lewandowski from the Department of Information Science, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf and Philipp Mayrthe at the Institute of Library and Information Science, Humboldt-University, Berlin, discussed about the Academic Invisible Web (AIW). They define AIW as "... all databases and collections relevant to academia but not searchable by the general-purpose internet search engines." For more deatiles look attheir paper at this address.

Monday, March 26, 2007

h-index, m-index and g-index

In 2005 Hirsch suggested a new measure to assess researchers' productivity and their academic impact. The h-index is defined as "a scientist has index h if h of his/her Np papers have at least h citations each, and the other (Np-h) papers have no more than h citations each". Harzing (2007) cites Glänzel, (2006) and reports "… the advantage of the h-index is that it combines an assessment of both quantity (number of papers) and quality (impact, or citations to these papers)". Since 2005 some researchers have measured h-index in different field. For example: Oppenheim, C. (2007). "Using the h-index to rank influential British researchers in information science and librarianship." JSIST, 58(2), 297-301.
However, h-index is not enough to measure the impact of someone's works in a field. In other words, though h-index is more appropriate than other methods including the total number of citations, the total number of papers and citations per paper, it has its own deficiencies. For example, junior researchers will inevitably have small h-index but it does not necessarily mean they are less productive. To improve these problems new supplementary measures have been proposed which are (1) m-index (accounting for varying lengths of academic careers), (2) g-index(accounting for highly-cited papers), (3) contemporary h-index (accounting for active versus inactive researchers), (4) individual h-index (accounting for differences in co-authorship patterns). To find out about these issues please have a look at the paper entitled "Reflections on the h-index" by Dr. Anne-Wil Harzing.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Call for Contribution

I would like to explore some of the questions that I have had in my mind since I began reading weblogs and developing my own blog. There are many unanswered questions about the influence of weblogs on different groups of society including LIS people (e.g. academics, practitioners, students and librarians) that need to be answered. In this study I am using a simple method. I use my own weblog to call for contribution and collect the data. In fact, the blogger collects data in blogsphere, among blogger community and about blogging. I have ten questions as follows. If you like to contribute in this study please briefly answer the following questions and email your answers to me: y.mansourian at by the end of May 2007.
If you wish to take part in this study your name will not appear in any report resulting from this study and all information you provide is completely confidential. On completion of my research, I will be pleased to send you a summary report detailing the results. Moreover, you have the right to withdraw at any time, and your data will be destroyed immediately. If you do not want to answer all questions, you can answer as many questions as you wish.

Q1: For what purposes you read weblogs?
Q2: If you have your own weblog, for what purposes you develop it?
Q3: What kinds of weblogs are the most favourite ones for you?
Q4: How would you define a useful weblog?
Q5: How useful the existing weblogs in your area of study are found by you?
Q6: Can a weblog be considered as a source of information and a means of communication for the member of your community?
Q7: In your opinion which element/elements of weblogs are found the most attractive for weblog readers which encourage them to revisit a weblog?
Q8: Which elements of blogging do help bloggers to keep updating their weblogs? What are the sources of encouragement that keep them enthusiastic to maintain their weblog up-to-date?
Q9: What are the reasons that stop bloggers of continuing to maintain their weblog up-to-date? What are the sources of frustration for bloggers which lead them to give up blogging?
Q10: How does the reading behaviour of weblog readers and writing habit/style of bloggers change over time?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

ESSIR 2007

European Summer School in Information Retrieval (ESSIR 2007) organised by University of Glasgow in cooperation with BCS-IRSG will be held 27-31 August 2007 in Glasgow. "... this 6th edition of the summer school will give participants a grounding in the core subjects of Information Retrieval (IR), such as Architecture, IR models and Evaluation as well as various important applications, such as Web search, Interactive IR, XML Retrieval, Question Answering and Multimedia Retrieval. Moreover, ESSIR 2007 has a strong focus on large-scale IR and covers some recent and trendy topics and applications in IR, such as Distributed and Peer-to-Peer IR, Web Usage and Mining, Intranet/Enterprise search, Blog search and Information Retrieval in Context ..."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy Nowrouz

Tomorrow is 21st of March which is the beginning day of Iranian New Year and the time of our national festival called Nowrouz. Happy New Year and Happy Nowrouz to you. I hope you have a successful year, full of happiness and enjoyment.


Evidence Based Library and Information Practice published its latest issue (Vol 2, No 1).

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Designing Usable Interfaces

The New England Chapter of the ASIS&T is going to explore the issue of Designing Usable Interfaces on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 in Cambridge, MA. They will integrate three key approaches to user-focused design including "... (1) understand the contexts in which users actually live, work, and search to design online environments that are meaningful and help users meet their goals, (2) focus on how to reduce the intellectual labor required of users in order to improve their satisfaction with web experiences and (3) leverage the psychological effects of color, pattern and other visual cues to guide user behavior ..."

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Designing for Uncertainty

This special issue of IPM about "Designing for Uncertainty in Information Seeking" is going to "… discuss the challenges of designing for uncertainty – that is creating information systems that facilitate working with uncertainty rather than simply assuming that we should eliminate it. This call for a different approach to design is based on the premise that (in certain situations) uncertainty can be a powerful mediating strategy for people. Most current systems appear based on an underlying assumption that uncertainty needs to be reduced or avoided altogether. New systems are needed that place uncertainty in a more positive light than is possible at present..." For more information look at the journal homepage.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I have learned about a new journal which is the International Journal of Internet Research Ethics (IJIRE) as the first peer-reviewed online journal, dedicated specifically to cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural research on Internet Research Ethics.
According to their website "All disciplinary perspectives, from those in the arts and humanities, to the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences, are reflected in the journal ... the IJIRE is published at the Center for Information Policy Research, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Thesauri in the Electronic Environment

The Islamic Documentation and Information Center (IDIC) with the co-operation of the Iranian Library and Information Science Association (ILISA) is going to hold a national conference entitled "Thesauri and their Applications in the Electronic Environment", in November 2007 in Qom. I am one of the members of the scientific committee. I will write more details about the conference in the near future.

Desalination of Information

Recently, I made up a new phrase which I would like to call it ‘Desalination of Information’. This is a metaphoric view about the way that people can purify the material that they get from the web. In fact, if we assume the web as ‘an ocean of information’ then end users who are thirsty for drinkable water require desalinated water from that ocean which can be achieved through ‘Desalination of Information’. Therefore this is a process which happens through three stages:
1. Desalination of Information by producers of information who upload information on the web. Of course it does not mean putting control on free publication or censorship. It just means enhancing the information literacy skills of producers to publish better materials.
2. Desalination of Information by search tools which enable people to access less salty information. Search tool designers should enhance the customizing facilities to help in the desalination process of information.
3. Most importantly, Desalination of Information by end users who use the information Now the question is how to desalinate information? The answer is all sorts of literacies.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

ILISA Election

The annual meeting of the Iranian Library and Information Science Association (ILISA) was held in the National Library of Iran from 6th to 7th March 2007. I was member of the scientific committee to review the submitted papers. This year's conference theme was "Modern Approaches in Information Organization".
It was a successful event and considerable number of librarians, LIS lecturers, and LIS students from different parts of the country attended the conference. The quality of presented papers was quite high and the participants actively took part in the sessions. Regarding the main theme of the conference, presented paper was mainly about new approaches in cataloguing, classification, thesauri, and etc.
Besides, it was the time for election to form the new Board of Directors. The new Board of Directors which is consists of seven members should serve the association for three years. I was one of the candidates who were elected.
P.S. ILISA was re-established six years ago. When the association called for new membership, I was one of the first people who filled out the forms to join the association and now my membership number in LISA is one! I am going to do my best to serve ILISA hopefully as an active member of the Board of Directors.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Paper in Informology

One of my new papers was published in Informology. This is a bilingual journal (Persian and English) in LIS and my paper is in English.

Mansourian, Y. (2007). " How Do Researchers Explore End Users’ Web Search Patterns?". Informology, Vol. 3, No. 3-4, pp. 245-253.

My Recent Workshops

I have done two workshops recently. The first one was about cataloguing of internet resources which was held in Astan Quds Research Centre in Mashhad (27 and 28 January) and the second was about the effect of the invisible web on the accessibility of information on the web (28 February). It was held in the Islamic Sciences and Culture Academy.