Sunday, October 31, 2010

Louis Pasteur

Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.

Whether our efforts are, or not, favoured by life, let us be able to say, when we come near the great goal: I have done what I could.

Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence.

There are no such things as applied sciences, only applications of science.

I am utterly convinced that Science and Peace will triumph over Ignorance and War, that nations will eventually unite not to destroy but to edify, and that the future will belong to those who have done the most for the sake of suffering humanity.

In the fields of observation chance favours only the prepared mind. (Louis Pasteur)

Victor Hugo

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

People do not lack strength; they lack will.

Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time.

To be perfectly happy it does not suffice to possess happiness, it is necessary to have deserved it.

If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away. (Victor Hugo)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Professor Saracevic’s 80th Birthday

The colleagues of Professor Tefko Saracevic have organized a one-day conference on November 8 at Rutgers University to celebrate his 80th birthday. Professor Saracevic is one of the most prominent scholars in Information Science, and has published many influential works in this field for more than four decades. In particular, his seminal papers on the concept of Relevance and the definition of Information Science made a great impact in our field. I always enjoyed reading his wonderful papers, and once had the chance of meeting him during SIGIR conference in 2004. The details of this birthday party is available here.

50 Topics in Scientometrics Research

Recently, I published a paper entitled “50 Research Topics in Scientometrics Studies”. The full text of this paper is available here.

External Examiner in Isfahan

This Tuesday (26 October) I was an external examiner for an MSc dissertation at the University of Isfahan. The title of this dissertation was “Designing a Model for Context-Aware Recommender Systems in Digital Libraries”. The researcher used Grounded Theory to investigate contextual factors influential in the process of the selection and decision making in recommender systems in digital libraries. The central concept developed in this research named Scientific Research Ground (SRG). SRG has contexts which situate individuals in a range of conditions when interacting with computerized systems. Users’ attributes such as purposes, activities, information literacy and skills, mental status, supposition, assumption, occupational condition, social status are some of such contexts. In general, it was a profound study with a good contribution to the area.

Overall Evaluation of Libraries’ Goodness

In an interview with IBNA, I talked about the main criteria that we need to evaluate the success and goodness of a library in general. The full text of this interview is available here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Exploring Peoples and Places

Canadian Association for Information Science is going to hold its 39th Annual Conference at the University of New Brunswick/St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick in June 2 – 4th, 2011. The conference theme is “Coasts and Continents: Exploring Interactions of People, Places and Information”. In parallel with this theme, CAIS 2011 will focus the physical, virtual, social, intellectual, organizational, and documentary spaces and places in which informing is enacted and documents are created and used. Also, the people who inhabit these places and spaces and the work they do.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Information Fluency Conference

The 2011 Information Fluency Conference will take place March 9 –11 in Orlando. Possible topics for presentations include: What critical thinking skills are necessary to use the information technologies wisely?; Effectively developing IF skills in students; IF across the disciplines; Intellectual property & plagiarism in the digital age; Defining Information Fluency in a digital age; Assessment of IF initiatives & Retention of IF Skills; Academic Discernment on the Internet; Legal Issues in the Digital Age; Writing and Research Assignments in Large Classes; Librarian as Teacher; What Makes a Graduate Information Fluent?; Assessing Student Learning Outcomes and IF Instruction; Evidence Based Practice and Information Fluency; Using Interactive Technology in IF; Engaging the Undergraduate Audience in IF and Engaging the Graduate Student in IF.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blogging across Borders and Cultures

International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST) is going to publish a Special Issue on Blogging across Borders and Cultures. In the journal’s call for paper it has been mentioned that: " ... since the late 1990s, Internet users have utilized blogs as one of the most ubiquitous communication tools to connect with audiences worldwide. Today blogging is firmly entrenched into the fabric of contemporary society. Versatile blogging systems provide unlimited access to web-publishing platforms that are free, preprogrammed, and easy to use. An example of social interactive technologies application used for generating and distributing content, blogging offers people of diverse backgrounds and organizations from both public and private realms ample opportunities for communication, interaction, sharing, and collaboration." In the Objective of the Special Issue the journal announced that: “IJICST focuses on a broad spectrum of second-generation web-based interactive technologies, their applications, functions, and services. This special issue aims to provide a broad audience of academics, researchers and practitioners with a cross-disciplinary examination of blogging issues, contexts, concepts, and trends in diverse contexts and at various levels of communication. Topics in this special issue include the following:
• Diffusion of blogging across geographical regions and cultures
• Impact and applications of blogging systems and technologies
• Issues, viewpoints, and perspectives on blogging in diverse contexts
and at various levels of communication
• Theories, philosophies, visions, principles, and functionalities of
blogging

Thursday, October 07, 2010

How to Write a Research Proposal

Yesterday I had a workshop on "Research Proposal Writing" at the School of Economic Science in Tehran. In this workshop, which was held for a number of MA students from various Economic Science fields, I talked about the main features of a good research proposal, that they need to develop before the beginning of their dissertation. In general, I believe a good research proposal should firstly illustrate the originality, importance, necessity, and aims of the study. Moreover, it should include research questions, hypotheses, anticipated results, a brief review of the literature and research limits and limitations.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Best Library in the World

I have written a note in Atf magazine entitled "Where is the Best Library in the World?". It was published today and now you can read it here.

Friday, October 01, 2010

EBLIP New Issue

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice has just published its latest issue. Some of the papers in this issue are: The Impact of the Acquisition of Electronic Medical Texts on the Usage of Equivalent Print Books in an Academic Medical Library; and Learning in Simulations: Examining the Effectiveness of Information Literacy Instruction Using Middle School Students’ Portfolio Products.

Weblog Changes the Web

While looking in my old files, I came across a piece of writing that I have written it in 2005 and as far as I remember, I never published it somewhere. I even can not remember why I wrote it five years ago! Anyway, I would like to upload it here now to share it with you.

Weblog Changes the Web: a Personal View

Since the early years of 1990s the Web has changed the world and now Weblog is changing the web. While writing this paper, the Microsoft Word programme puts a red line under the word “Weblog” indicating this is a wrong spelling and should be changed. However, weblog is one of our today’s buzzwords and probably will be consider in the next version of this software. It shows weblog has come to our daily conversation recently. Nevertheless, its growth and popularity has been extraordinary.

Weblog is a convenient tool for publishing various kinds of information. It is a multidimensional phenomenon in the web environment. It represents diverse meanings and applications for different people. It can be just a new form of diary for a teenager, a learning journal for a research student, a subject gateway for a scholar or a tribune for a politician in exile.

An astonishing growth of the number and diversity of the weblogs is notable. If somebody claims the growth rate of blogging has been much faster than any other web-based activities it seems acceptable and it would not be an exaggeration. Here, there are two main questions in relation to weblog. What does make a weblog different with a website? and what is the mystique of the weblog’s popularity?

The answer of both questions can be found through mulling over the distinctive features of a weblog. A weblog not only would contain all features and advantages of an ordinary website such as containing text, picture, audio-visual attractions and links but also it possesses something more. A weblog’s contents are constantly changed and updated usually based on a chronological order. It is like a periodical that continues through the time while a website’s hardly enjoys this characteristic. On the other hand, establishing a weblog is so easy, much easier than the other e-publishing facilities. In the last but not at the least, the interactive feature of weblog makes it more fascinating for both weblog poster and the reader.

Weblog is not just a place for putting information; it is a reliable and effective device to getting and gathering information too. It is not just for speaking, it is an opportunity for listening as well. Therefore, the weblog is an arena for dialog, the things that now human kind needs it more crucially than ever. Making a weblog is a sort of thinking with loud voice and an escape door from loneliness and isolation. Therefore interactivity is one of the major mystiques of weblog’s popularity.

Its other attractive property is the archiving facility that preserves the previous materials over the time and the poster of the weblog can mange and categorize them according posting date or based on the topic. Usually, in definition of weblog, it is compared with diary. Although this comparison is not wrong, it is not all-inclusive. An ordinary diary is production of just one individual and is read just by the writer or occasionally by his/her relatives, except it would be published someday.

Diary publication is usually limited to the famous people and more often than not after their death! So there is no chance to develop it regarding the reader’s views or for sharing the ideas. However, the condition of the weblog is entirely different. A diary is a device to archive somebody’s thoughts and memories, while a weblog is a live position for dialog and communication.

Although Weblog starts off by its reader’s willing, it continues with cooperation of its readers as well. Naturally, the readers’ comments affect on the next contents and also a weblog always includes the writer and readers view together. Weblog world is the real web; it is a web of thoughts, news and views. People write their ideas and feelings and the others empathize, sympathize, criticize or admire them. Particularly the opportunity of anonymity of the writer and reader make an atmosphere of liberty and frankness. Generally, the benefits of this free atmosphere are more than its disadvantages.

As a summary, what differentiate the Weblog from the other facilities of the web are its fantastic features in service of human communication. Weblog is so significant because it is easy to use, interactive and chronological. It continues through the time. These characteristics bring back the readers again and again. Each weblog can act as a daily personal newspaper which is usually managed by one (in single-poster weblogs) or few persons (in multi-poster weblogs) and is read by many.

Finally, for information science professionals weblog is a new area of research. There are many research potential to carry our new studies about this remarkable phenomenon. Content analysis of different groups of weblogs, investigating the weblog posting and weblog reading on people’s life and prospective roles of weblog to enhance information accessibility are just a few examples.

Intensive Editing and Proofreading

Over the last 24 hours I have been proofreading the first fourth chapters of a book that I have been writing over the last two years, of course, not constantly. Now the book is in its final stages and I am doing its final works. I need a few more days to finish the proofreading. Now, this is the early hours of October, and hopefully, the book will come out before the end of this month.