Monday, December 27, 2010

A Quick Look at 2010

This is probably the last post that I am writing in 2010. Perhaps, it would be a good time to take a quick look at what I have done during this year in my academic life. Thankfully, it was a fairly successful year for me and I managed to achieve some of my academic and research goals, though I still have a very long list of unfinished works! I think like many others I suffer from some sorts of academic procrastination and need to enhance my time management skills! But, luckily, the overall result is not too bad. As in addition to my usual works at the university including my teaching duties as a lecturer, and my administration jobs as the head of our small department, I completed some other tasks too. For example, I eventually completed my book entitled “Basics of Academic Writing” which was in my ‘to do list’ for more than two years. Moreover, I wrote a number of Persian and English papers including research articles, viewpoints, book reviews and brief notes. I also had several workshops on various subjects mainly on Academic Writing, Thesis Writing, Qualitative Research, Information Literacy, and Decision Making Skills in Research. Furthermore, I was member of some scientific committees in a number of national and international conferences and delivered a few speeches in some other academic and professional meetings. Reviewing journal papers is another task that I usually do, and I spent quite a long time in 2010 to review papers and research reports. Besides, I was the supervisor for three master dissertations and external examiner for a number of other thesis and dissertations. In the summer 2010 I visited the Department of Information Studies and Interactive Media at Tampere University, which was a very fruitful visit. Last but not least, I uploaded 140 posts on this weblog during year 2010. It means in average I updated my weblog twice a week, which is hopefully good enough! See you in 2011!

Library Hi Tech

Library Hi Tech published a special issue on "Best Young Professionals 2", and the following papers appeared in this issue.

Artificially intelligent conversational agents in libraries,

Alleviating physical space constraints using virtual space?: A study from an urban academic library,

Utilizing geographic information systems (GIS) in library research,

Information literacy barriers: language use and social structure,

Making web content accessible for the deaf via sign language,

Overcoming the information gap: Measuring the accessibility of library databases to adaptive technology users,

Preserving authenticity in the digital age,

Making the case for the leadership role of school librarians in technology integration,

A Six Sigma-based method to renovate information services: Focusing on information acquisition process,

OCLC's WorldCat Local versus III's WebPAC: Which interface is better at supporting common user tasks?

Evaluating and comparing discovery tools: how close are we towards next generation catalogue?

Archiving in the networked world: LOCKSS and national hosting.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The International Information & Library Review

The following papers were appeared in the latest issue of The International Information & Library Review:

International scholarly collaboration in science, technology and medicine and social science of Turkish scientists,

Gender differences in information seeking behaviour in three universities in West Bengal, India,

Mapping mixed methods research in library and information science journals in Sub-Saharan Africa 2004–2008,

Surveying scholars’ perceptions of electronic environments: A case study of university libraries in Kerala (India),

Scholarly journal use and reading behaviour of social scientists in Taiwan.

Decision Making Skills

Yesterday I had a workshop at the National Library about "Decision Making Skills in the Research Process". If you would like to see the workshop’s PowerPoint file, please email me.

Journal of Informetrics

The first issue of the Journal of Informetrics in 2011 was published. These are some of the research papers in this issue:

PrestigeRank: A new evaluation method for papers and journals,

Approaches to understanding and measuring interdisciplinary scientific research(IDR): A review of the literature,

On the definition of forward and backward citation generations,

Towards a new crown indicator: Some theoretical considerations,

The measurement of low- and high-impact in citation distributions,

Structured evaluation of the scientific output of academic research groups by recent h-based indicators,

Bibliometric rankings of journals based on Impact Factors: An axiomatic approach,

Indicators of the interdisciplinarity of journals: Diversity, centrality, and citations,

The effects and their stability of field normalization baseline on relative performance with respect to citation impact: A case study of 20 natural science departments,

How and where the TeraGrid supercomputing infrastructure benefits science,

High- and low-impact citation measures: Empirical applications,

An approach for detecting, quantifying, and visualizing the evolution of a research field: A practical application to the Fuzzy Sets Theory field,

Gender differences in peer reviews of grant applications: A substantive-methodological synergy in support of the null hypothesis model,

A proposal for a First-Citation-Speed-Index,

Scientific collaboration and endorsement: Network analysis of co-authorship and citation networks,

Are researchers that collaborate more at the international level top performers? An investigation on the Italian university system.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Reading and Writing Practice

This week I had two workshops for two different groups of students about academic writing. At the end of these workshops I asked them to do the following practices to enhance their writing skills.

1. Bibliographic Practice: Make a list of 10 well known textbooks in your subject, with their full bibliographic information. Please make sure to include the latest versions of these books in your list. Then have a look at their table of contents and compare their contents and structures.

2. Paraphrasing: Read a recent well cited or hot paper in your subject and write a few paragraphs, or preferably 2 or 3 pages, about it in your own language. Please use simple words and write simple and short sentences.

3. Browsing: Go to the library and browse the recent issues of the main journals in your area of study. Read the paper titles and have a quick look at abstracts. Alternatively, you can browse their websites. In this stage you do not need to read the thoroughly.

4. Free Writing: Select a topic and write about it in 10 to 15 minutes. It can be about anything that you may like. Do not worry about spelling and grammar while you are writing. Just keep writing for 10 to 15 minutes without any uncertainty and hesitation. Then leave it for a day and come back to it later on. Then edit and expand it several times. You will be amazed how much you will have to say.

5. Purposeful Reading: Select a recent paper written by a successful author in your area of study. Then read it while trying to inspire by the style of writing in that paper.

6. Evaluation Practice: Select a few recent papers and evaluate and compare them in terms of their structure. You can use the criteria that I mentioned in the workshop.

7. Abstract Evaluation: Read a number of abstracts and try to sort them based on their usefulness in providing you with enough information about the main documents.

8. Subject Map: Select a topic in your discipline and draw a subject map regarding the broader, narrower and related terms. You can use a thesaurus to find preferred terms and make a better map. Also you can use the 5Ws techniques (What, Why, Where, When, Who and How).

9. Literature Review: Select a topic in your area of study and search for it in an academic database to retrieve a number of relevant papers. Then read the papers to find out how each one covers a specific aspect of that topic. Can you find a missing aspect?

10. Comparison: Compare five papers to find out how clear, concise, comprehensive, and coherent they are. You as the reader should judge them. So, do not worry and trust your feeling. Now, if you want to write a paper on the same topic, what would you do to avoid the possible weaknesses in those papers?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

ELPUB 2011

15th International Conference on Electronic Publishing: Digital Publishing and Mobile Technologies will be held in June 2011, in Istanbul. The main themes of the conference include: Digital Publishing and Mobile Applications, Digital Publishing and Libraries, Archives and Museums, Scholarly Communication and Mobile Information Services, Social Networks and Mobile Technologies, Mobile Learning and Digital Cultural Heritage, and Mobile Information Organization and Retrieval.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

COLLNET 2011

Seventh International Conference on Webometrics, Informetrics and Scientometrics (WIS) & Twelfth COLLNET Meeting will take place 20-23 September, 2011, at Istanbul Bilgi University. According to the conference call for paper: the broad focus of the conference is on collaboration and communication in science and technology; science policy; quantitative aspects of science of science; and combination and integration of qualitative and quantitative approaches in study of scientific practices. Theoretical, methodological and applied aspects of the conference can be listed as follows:

Emerging issues in scientometrics / informetrics /webometrics and history of science,

Impact and role of open access and digital libraries on patterns of collaborations and sciences,

Science policy and collaboration,

Collaboration studies for science & society,

Collaboration, knowledge management & industrial partnership,

Collaborative bridge between academic research and industry,

Methods for collaboration studies,

Visualization techniques in collaboration studies,

Quantitative analysis of S&T innovations,

Informetrics laws and distributions, mathematical models of communication or collaboration,

Nature and growth of science and of collaboration in science and its relation with technological output,

Collaboration in science and in technology from both quantitative and qualitative points of view,

Evaluation indicators for scientific productivity and other science related practices.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

LIS Research in Australia

Library & Information Science Research Journal has published a special issue about LIS Research in Australia. These are some of the papers in this issue:

Informed learning: A pedagogical construct attending simultaneously to information use and learning,

Beliefs, attitudes and perceptions about research and practice in a professional field,

Fifty years of LIS education in Australia: Academization of LIS educators in higher education institutions,

Australian PhDs by LIS educators, researchers and practitioners: Depicting diversity and demise,

The contemporary librarian: Skills, knowledge and attributes required in a world of emerging technologies,

The play's the thing: Theater professionals make sense of Shakespeare,

Developing and sustaining a sense of place: The role of social information.

New Library World Current Issue

New Library World journal has published the 11/12th issue of its 111 Volume. The following papers appeared in this issue.

Public libraries as impartial spaces in a consumer society: possible, plausible, desirable?

Social networking in academic libraries: the possibilities and the concerns,

Library design, learning spaces and academic literacy,

Implementation of the Finnish University Libraries National Information Literacy

Recommendation into academic studies at the Kumpula Science Library, University of Helsinki,

Customizing an open-source tool to enhance information literacy,

Reference tools in Second Life: implications for real life libraries,

Project management in the library.

The Electronic Library

The Electronic Library Journal has published the 6th issue of its 28th Volume. Some of the papers in this issue are:

Assessment of taxonomy building tools,

Web site accessibility evaluation methods in action: A comparative approach for ministerial web sites in Iran,

Dissemination motives and effects of internet book reviews,

Scientific information transfer: a conceptual model for scientific communication in IranDoc,

Using data mining to improve digital library services,

Recommendation sources on the intention to use e-books in academic digital libraries,

Integrated systems applications in Kuwait academic libraries,

An innovative approach for developing and employing electronic libraries to support context-aware ubiquitous learning.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Online Information Review

Theses papers have been published in the latest issue of Online Information Review:

Why do members contribute knowledge to online communities?

User evaluation of textual results clustering for web search,

Understanding the consistent use of internet health information,

Three-dimensional context-aware tailoring of information,

How to improve trust toward electronic banking,

Antecedents and consequences of trust in online product recommendations: An empirical study in social shopping,

Genre analysis of bookmarked webpages,

Pragmatic issues in calculating and comparing the quantity and quality of research through rating and ranking of researchers based on peer reviews and bibliometric indicators from Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar.

Journal of Documentation: Vol. 66, No. 6

Journal of Documentation has published the 6th Issue of it 66th Volume. Titles of some papers in this issue are:

Documentary tools in everyday life: the wedding planner,

Opening and closing rituals of the virtual reference service of the Internet Public Library,

The individual and social dynamics of knowledge sharing: an exploratory study,

Managing documents at home for serious leisure: a case study of the hobby of gourmet cooking,

A multilevel model of HIV/AIDS information/help network development,

How poor informationally are the information poor?: Evidence from an empirical study of daily and regular information practices of individuals,

Carbon footprint of the knowledge sector: what's the future?

Findings of the last paper is very interesting: "... The current practices for production and distribution of printed knowledge products generate an enormous amount of CO2. It is estimated that the book industry in the UK and USA alone produces about 1.8 million tonnes and about 11.27 million tonnes of CO2 respectively. CO2 emission for the worldwide journal publishing industry is estimated to be about 12 million tonnes. It is shown that the production and distribution costs of digital knowledge products are negligible compared to the environmental costs of production and distribution of printed knowledge products."

What Links Research to Practice

Today morning I was one of the speakers in the Research Week Seminar at our university. The title of my speech was: Evidence-based Library and Information Practice: A Link between Research, Planning and Decision Making. If you would like to have the slides, please email me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stable and Transient Nature of the Internet

In a brief note in IBNA, I explained how the Internet resources are, at the same time, so ephemeral and so stable. I also described some of the reasons that contribute to making such a dynamic and paradoxical context.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

JASIS&T Latest Issue

Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) is one of the most prestigious and influential peer reviewed journals in LIS and has been published continuously since 1950. Recently, JASIS&T has published the 12th issue of its 61 volume (December 2010). Titles of some papers appeared in this issue are:

Last but not least: Additional positional effects on citation and readership in arXiv,

Co-citation analysis, bibliographic coupling, and direct citation: Which citation approach represents the research front most accurately?

A comparison of two techniques for bibliometric mapping: Multidimensional scaling and VOS,

Power law distributions in information science: Making the case for logarithmic binning,

The effect of folder structure on personal file navigation,

Requirements and use of in-service information in an engineering redesign task: Case studies from the aerospace industry,

The effect of spelling and retrieval system familiarity on search behavior in online public access catalogs: A mixed methods study,

Member activities and quality of tags in a collection of historical photographs in Flickr,

Influences of users' familiarity with visual search topics on interactive video digital libraries,

Using structural information to improve search in Web collections,

A new context-dependent term weight computed by boost and discount using relevance information,

Adapting semantic natural language processing technology to address information overload in influenza epidemic management,

Sentiment in short strength detection informal text.

Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries

The International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (TPDL) 2011 continues the tradition of the European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries (ECDL). The conference is going to bring together researchers, developers, content providers and users in the field of digital libraries. TPDL 2011 is organized by the Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin (Berlin School of Library and Information Science, the Computer and Media Services and the Department of Computer Science). More details are available here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Social Theory in Information Systems Research

The 17th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), will take place in Detroit, Michigan, August 4-7, 2011. In one of the panels, researchers in this area will focus on research that makes use of social theory to investigate the dynamics of online and virtual communities. According to their call for contributions: “… they seek to attract research papers, research-in-progress papers, and panels from all IS researchers who are using the work of social theorists, organizational theorists, socio-technical theorists, and cultural anthropologists in their online and virtual communities research. They are particularly interested in research that makes use of social theory to address issues of virtual collaborations. They will address issues such as:

How and under what conditions do these communities form, self-organize, maintain and manage themselves and dissolve?

What are the roles that information and communication technologies play n the dynamics of online and virtual communities?

Information Research

The latest issue of Information Research (Volume 15 No 3 September, 2010) was published. To read the papers please follow this link.

Taming the Information Tsunami

The 53rd NFAIS Annual Conference will discuss Taming the Information Tsunami: The New World of Discovery. Main issues to explore in this meeting are:

How can content providers efficiently navigate the information tsunami to provide scholars and researchers with the reliable, relevant information that deserves their time and attention - no matter what the source or format?

How does that information get filtered, made consumable, and incorporated into workflows?

What roles can semantic search, image search and the social graph play in finding the specific information that users want?

Who is improving the overall search experience with touch technologies, predictive tools and personalized search?

How can large volumes of information across all media be acquired, processed and transmitted to an increasingly mobile and collaborative global research community?

Where is that content stored - on the desk, shelves, servers or in the Cloud?

And what new business practices are emerging that are in sync with the delivery of data "chunks" and expectations for reuse of content?

Excellent Library Science Blogs

My weblog has been noted as one of 50 excellent library science blogs worth reading. In this list my weblog is 48th. Also in another list of “100 Best Blogs for Library Science Students” my blog is the 15th in the technology section.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Peter Drucker

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.”

“Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.”

“The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.”

“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.”

“Meetings are a symptom of bad organization. The fewer meetings the better.”

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision”

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”

“Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.”

“Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right.”

“One cannot buy, rent or hire more time. The supply of time is totally inelastic. No matter how high the demand, the supply will not go up. There is no price for it. Time is totally perishable and cannot be stored. Yesterday's time is gone forever, and will never come back. Time is always in short supply. There is no substitute for time. Everything requires time. All work takes place in, and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable and necessary resource.”

Friday, December 10, 2010

Qualitative Research in Web 2.0

The international conference on Qualitative Research in Web 2.0 will be held on the 22 & 23 February 2011 in Macau, China. The conference will explore critical issues and opportunities of implementing online qualitative research. The themes are:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of conducting qualitative research online?

Integrating Web 2.0 into traditional qualitative research

Understanding when to use online methods over traditional methods

How to design, execute and report online qualitative research studies?

Developing participant recruitment strategies

Keeping stakeholders engaged: how to keep clients involved in your online research

Discussing challenges while carrying out qualitative analyses in social media

Developing engaging market research online communities for qualitative research

Exploring the use online research community for understanding cultural assumptions

Evaluating different types of approaches with the online research community

Discussing the use of multiple online communities for one large research study

Identifying the pros and cons of MROCs over online panel and focus groups

Utilising a mobile platforms to capture the 'moment': capturing text, pictures and videos in real-time

Utilising cutting-edge online qualitative research techniques for evaluating government web applications

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Two Seminars in One Day

Yesterday I had a busy day, as I delivered two presentations in two different seminars. In the morning I was one of the speakers in a seminar in Tehran called “Public Libraries, Life Long Learning and Popularization of Science”. The title of my paper was: “The Role of Public Libraries in Enhancement of Science Acceptance in the Society”.
In the afternoon, I attended ILISA monthly seminar at the National Library to make a speech about my experience of visiting the Department of Information Studies and Interactive Media at Tampere University in August. The seminar was organized for LIS scholars and students to share their experience and thoughts about the usefulness of sabbatical and study leaves. Reports about these two events are available here and here.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Digital Enabled Social Networks

The next special issue of Information Systems Journal (ISJ) will focus on “Interpreting Digital Enabled Social Networks”. According to the journal’s call for paper: “The aim of this special issue is to advance the state of social network research within the IS field by discussing and disseminating empirical results gained through interpretative studies ... topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

New qualitative approaches to study digital enabled social networks

Assessing the nature and quality of information exchange and knowledge creation in digital enabled social networks

IS case studies that describe how digital enabled social networks can be harnessed in organisational settings

Open innovation/co-creation through digital enabled social networks

Interpretative studies investigating entrepreneurship and the rise of occupational communities through digital enabled social networks

Interpretative insights of leadership and governance in digital enabled social networks

Qualitative approaches to examine the interplay between online and offline social networks

Social networks and IT adoption

Interpretative studies to ascertain the role of ICT in the diffusion of information, trends, behaviours, and innovations in social networks

Combining social network analysis and qualitative approaches in IS research
Methodological issues in IS social network research

Critical reviews of the digital enabled social network literature."

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Internet and Teacher Education

The latest issue of “Internet and Higher Education” was published. This is a Special Issue on “The Internet and Teacher Education: An Asian Experience”. Titles of some papers in this issue are:

The Internet and teacher education: Traversing between the digitized world and schools,

Exploring freshmen pre-service teachers' situated knowledge in reflective reports during case-based activities,

Using wikis to develop student teachers' learning, teaching, and assessment,

The integration of synchronous communication technology into service learning for pre-service teachers' online tutoring of middle school students,

Virtual environments and the ongoing work of becoming a Singapore teacher,

Promoting awareness of Internet safety in Taiwan in-service teacher education: A ten-year experience,

The correlates of Taiwan teachers' epistemological beliefs concerning Internet environments, online search strategies, and search outcomes.

Reading Quotes

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” Victor Hugo

“A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.” Abraham Lincoln

“When you sell a man a book you don't sell him just 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life.” Christopher Morley

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” Confucius

“Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” Edmund Burke

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few are to be chewed and digested.” Francis Bacon

“Every reader finds himself. The writer's work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.” Marcel Proust

“Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book”. Author Unknown

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read.” Mark Twain

“A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” Mark Twain

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.” Samuel Johnson

Reading Octagon

Recently I suggested a simple and tentative conceptual framework about the effectiveness of reading process. I called this framework the “Reading Octagon”, as it has eight components including:

Independent and Continuous Reading

Appropriate and Balanced Reading

Diverse and Recreational Reading

Authentic and Complementary Reading

Parallel and Symmetrical Reading

Coherent and Consistent Reading

Critical and Meticulous Reading

Efficient and Productive Reading


I think a successful reader who is a lifelong learner usually passes these stages in her/his reading process. I know some of these phrases might seem a bit ambiguous or even odd, but I have specific definition for each element. To make them clear, hopefully, I’ll explain each one in the near future. However, I had an interview with LISNA and illustrate each element in more details. To read the interview, please take a look at this link.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Value of Reading

While browsing a number of websites about “Reading”, I came across wonderful statements about the value and importance of reading, and I only mention a few of them here. The first one comes from the “New Zealand Book Council” and the second one from “The Reading Agency”:

"Like no other human activity reading opens up our imagination. It enables us to understand those around us. It allows us to project the future and reach back into the past. Reading can entertain, challenge and educate. We believe that reading can transform people's lives."

"We believe that reading can transform people's lives. The more you read the more you know. The more you read, the more you imagine. The more you read, the better you understand, and the better you can connect to people. Our mission is to inspire more people to read more."

These statements seem really simple and obvious, but if you take a closer look at them, then you will find out how profoundly they have been written and how easily we may forget about the value of reading.