ICT_literacy


The 2013 Digital Humanities awards came out relatively recently, offering an array of amazing projects to peruse — some public, some academic, all worth a gander.  It is worth highlighting that the best InfoGraphic award covered statistics on why “Humanities Matter” [PDF]  — making the infographic a meta-DH project of sorts.

As a follow-up to the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities’ “Quantifying Digital Humanities” infographic from 2012 (PDF), The Humanities Matter! starts a more expansive effort by the Center and 4Humanities to gather statistics and create infographics about the humanities. The Humanities Matter! is part of the 4Humanities Humanities Infographics initiative, including Infographics Friday online posts.

Another DH-for-fun award went to Serendip-o-matic — which acts as a federated-serendipitous-search engine:  insert a block of text, and the applet finds related images culled from the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and Europeana digital Libraries.

If you are curious about Digital Humanities at St. John’s, the next CTL Interdisciplinary Roundtable discussion will focus on Digital Humanities, on Monday April 7th; where Jen Travis will facilitate discussions about “projects and pedagogies of this emerging field.”  If you are interested in learning more about creating infographics, or using them as an alternative research project, the University Libraries are hosting an edutech workshop on infographics on Wed. April 2nd.  Does unearthing the treasures of the DPLA sound appealing?  Does making your own a mash-up of the DPLA resource-data sound sound intriguing ?  If so, join us Wednesday, April 9th, for a workshop on DPLA and engage with new treasure trove of primary resources and the meta-data that makes it tick!

If you are using RefWorks for the first time with a new computer (either using your new laptop, or using a lab or home computer for the first time to connect to an existing RefWorks account) you may encounter an “untrusted connection” certificate error.

In general it is a good idea to heed the certificate warnings, but as long as you are accessing RefWorks (or any database) from the Databases A-Z LibGuide or from a Resources by Subject LibGuide,  it is a trusted connection.

Note: If you click on Firefox alert screenshot (above & right), in the larger picture you will see the URL has the database name refworks and the library server name jerome.stjohns.edu in the URL, in this case the library is providing the assurance that Refworks is a trusted site, rather than an “impersonating” site.

If you need help getting around the certificate error, this video tutorial will provide more information.

info graphic on change of Congressional position by ProPublica.org

As a follow-up to the earlier entry,  SOPA and PIPA were pulled from congressional vote in their current form. The sponsors of the bills acknowledged that a more nuanced discussion is required prior to putting more legislation forward.   To get an idea of what the critics of the old legislation would like to see addressed in new talks and legislation, a  CNN-Panel discussion addressed the lack of understanding that proponents of the old bill had, and questioned the feasibility and efficacy of the proposed solutions in the old legislation.

“Activists talked about the potential consequences if the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) are approved by Congress. Both pieces of legislation are similar and target Web sites that commit or facilitate online piracy.”

Although the panel convened before the vote was pulled, their discussion points offer an overview of what major concerns would need to be addressed in any future legislation.

Speakers:
Markham Erickson, Partner, Holch & Erickson LLP, and Executive Director, NetCoalition
Michael Petricone, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Consumer Electronics
Association
Mike Masnick, Founder and President, TechDirt
Casey Rae-Hunter, Deputy Director, Future of Music Coalition
Christian Dawson, Chief Operating Officer, ServInt

If you are wondering why some sites are blacked-out today, or why some sites have blocked out their logos/name, it is in protest regarding bills in congress which are aimed at stamping out piracy / protecting intellectual property (a good goal) but proposing to do it by way of censorship and/or surveillance (a questionable means). There are a number of petitions going around, but for a little more info on why there is such an outcry, here are a couple of quick, reliable resources:

The google graphic shows the variety of people and organizations who oppose the bills and why; and offers the opportunity to add your name to their petition. The American Library Association has put together a quick reference guide to explain the PIPA, SOPA and OPEN Acts (pdf).   It indicates who initiated the bill and where the bill would impact free speech and/or free enterprise.

…the ALA deplores any legislation that would incentivize and likely increase surveillance of online activity promoted by these bills.  These bills, if passed, would likely blanket Internet activity with an immediate chilling effect – on first amendment free speech rights, intellectual freedom and privacy rights, among others.

 

The plagiarism stories that get the most coverage in the news revolve around authors [e.g.: Markham, Viswanathan],  journalists [e.g.: Blair,  Marr] , politicians [e.g.: Senator BidenMinister Guttenberg ],  or academics [students to Harvard Professors]  — these cases seem especially newsworthy as they are folks who “should know better.”   Thus, it is more than a little disconcerting when the Chronicle features an article that essentially says we should give up on being “obsessed” with citation in academia.

While we may be familiar with publishing companies pulling novels after discovering plagiarized plot-lines and passages, or universities pulling degrees from plagiarized theses,  it is worth noting that it is often not the editors nor professors, but the reading public, who are “discovering” the plagiarism.  Of course plagiarism is not limited to the written word, but also to paintings, photos, music-sampling, methodologies, etc.  Web Search engines and software like Turnitin make it easy enough to discover these cases,  and the social web allows for quick dissemination of these accusations — whether list-servs, discussion boards, blogs, Facebook or twitter.  It seems that although we shouldn’t be obsessed with citation mechanics, the functions of proper citation are appreciated by the public at large…so let’s not give up on our StJ students quite yet.

The Libraries and the LEAD program have worked together on a plagiarism workshop in the “Academic track” of the LEAD program. Many student-leaders might struggle with their own academic writing, but they also co-ordinate their organization’s correspondence, write newsletters, update news on Facebook/twitter pages etc.  LEAD and the libraries try to help these students avoid the pitfalls of poor research, poor citation, and copyright infringement in a social-web world and to  “understand the impact that technology could have on organizational [and academic] communications, not only in terms of both the commission and the discovery of plagiarism, but in the quick dissemination of ill-researched information or mis-information. We also thought they also needed to be aware that the “re-mix/mashup” mentality among students could have ethical and legal ramifications for organizational leaders who have official publication venues” (Maio & Shaughnessy, 2012).

The LEAD plagiarism workshops are scheduled twice each semester, but if you would like to request a workshop for your department or club, we stand ready to help out anytime, with this topic, or to help you tailor a workshop session for your class/group.

For more information on the LEAD certificate program, visit their site.

For more information on the Libraries’ resources about plagiarism and citation consult our LibGuides on Plagiarism, Proper citation (why we cite) , RefWorks (how to cite), Turnitin (how unitinentional plagairism can be identified) the relationship between copyright and plagiarism, creative commons, and why plagiarism still makes news!

(Forthcoming 2011).   Maio, N and K.G. Shaughnessy. “Promoting Collaborative Leaders In The St. John’s University Community”  Libraries and student affairs in collaboration.  Hinchliffe, Lisa Janicke and Melissa Wong, eds.  Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries.

Leaf used as a bookmark, CC image courtesy of emrank

"bookmark" CC image courtesy of emrank

In case you haven’t heard the news, this week, two big e-resource-sharing platforms announced changes that may impact (and hopefully improve) your ability to find and share information within the next few months.

About a week ago, Kindle announced that it is finally working with libraries to offer the ability to share/lend books — this is great news, as Kindle was one of the last “holdouts.”  At this point it is working primarily with Overdrive — the main vendor for e-books in public libraries — but we will keep an eye on the efforts to share with academic and special libraries as well.   Using  Kindle would make bookmarking, note-taking and highlighting in a borrowed book easier.

Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced

In other “bookmarking” news, Delicious has been saved from the chopping block!  On Wednesday, AVOS announced that they acquired Delicious from Yahoo.  In order to have your account continue to work after June, you need to “opt in” to the transfer of your bookmarks… loads of details on the delicious transition page.

Image courtesy Vatican Radio Website

Social Communication has been squarely in the spotlight this week, starting with the Pope’s message on World Social Communications Day.  You can read his message Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age” on the Vatican website, or you can listen to an interview with Archbishop Claudio Celli (who heads the Pontifical council for Social Communications) on the importance of the message on Vatican Radio. (1)

This emphasis on Social Communications  is a wonderful correlation with our call to “Be Vincentian” this week.  How is it that we reflect our Vincentian mission in our real-life and extended virtual worlds?  How can our studies, and the direction of our research, reflect a commitment to the most vulnerable, both in our local communities and around the world?  How do we use the Social Communications tools at our disposal to promote quality research and access to the information necessary to be active participants in our communities and world?

A couple of related stories bring these social communications & social justice issues to light.  Catholic Relief Service’s Fair Trade branch has posted a crowd-sourced “Request For Proposals” (via blog, Twitter and Facebook) calling on all “Solutionaries” to suggest proposals on how CRS should invest  up to $50,000 each “in action-oriented research and/or pilot initiatives to tackle the persistent questions” in development work.

Global Voices Online (a community blogging site funded by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Reuters and the MacArthur foundation among others) is reporting on the roles of, and blockages of, Facebook, and subsequently twitter during planning of “Day of Anger” protests in Egypt .  ***Update 1/28 *** Subsequently, CNET, (among several news sources) indicated that the Egyptian government shut down the mostly-state run internet service providers, and instructed all other ISP and mobile connectivity providers to suspend activity, prompting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to “urge the Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protests and to reverse the unprecedented steps it has taken to cut off communications.”

Image of precipitous drop in internet activity, as depicted by Arbor Networks -- click image to see graphic in original context

It also prompted Leslie Harris, president of the DC-based Center for Democracy and Technology to state: “This action is inconsistent with all international human rights norms, and is unprecedented in Internet history. ****

In an effort to answer this call to “Be Vincentian,” to be “solutionaries,” and to be “social communicators” in a positive way, the University Libraries & Friends of the Libraries are proud to sponsor the 2nd Annual Undergraduate Applied Social Justice Essay Competition, which seeks entries from among undergraduate researchers whose essays incorporate and/or inform a social justice dimension within the essayist’s chosen discipline.  In addition to encouraging these students to explicitly examine the social justice dimension of their research, with a faculty member as a mentor, the libraries are promoting the use of  a variety of scholarly resources (in both traditional and Social-media venues) which contribute to the creation and distribution of the student’s university-level research. Winning essayists receive a cash prize (1st = $500, 2nd=$300), and  the winning essays then become available as a social-web-scholarly resource to other researchers and the public through open-access publishing via this library blog. (2)

The first deadline for this year’s contest is fast approaching, this Monday Jan 31 Tuesday, February 22. If you are an undergraduate student, please consider writing or revising a paper, in conjunction with your mentor; if you are a faculty member, please notify those students you think would be interested in this contest. For application details, see the Competition posting.

(1) To discover how some other Vatican & Catholic news agencies make positive use of Social Web tools, you may want to visit this GDSJ Blog entry, or to learn more about Social Web tools in this LibGuide.

(2) We are pleased to report that the winning essays from last year garnered over 1300 blog views, and elicited many positive comments from readers outside the University community.

UPDATED:  deadline for application is 2/22, final submission due 3/15.

While we have covered facebook privacy issues before, a network’s platform privacy settings are only one part of your battle to protect privacy.

Most folks know to not send financial information over unsecured wireless networks, but accessing your social network using that free wi-fi in a park or coffee-shop may leave you more vulnerable than ever, thanks to a new browser plug-in “Firesheep” that lets others “eavesdrop” and even take-over your account via your cookies.  The unsettling development allows even the least-sophisticated user a potential hacker.  The folks at techcrunch have an article that goes over some of the details, and lists a number of popular sites that the plug-in can  hack:

Apparently many social network sites are not secured, beyond the big two [Facebook and Twitter], Foursquare, Gowalla are also vulnerable. Moreover, to give you a sense of Firesheep’s scope, the extension is built to identify cookies from Amazon.com, Basecamp, bit.ly, Cisco, CNET, Dropbox, Enom, Evernote, Facebook, Flickr, Github, Google, HackerNews, Harvest, Windows Live, NY Times, Pivotal Tracker, Slicehost, tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, Yahoo, Yelp. And that’s just the default setting— anyone can write their own plugins, according to the post.

Note: at the time of this posting, over 5,000 people had either tweeted the story or “liked” the story on Facebook!

UPDATE: As of  11/02, Microsoft has added Firesheep to its “malware” list:  Look here for more information from Microsoft on how to protect yourself.  (thanks to Frank Corrigan of Liberation Technology list-serv for this update information)

We noted in a prior blog entry that COPE Open Access Scholarship in the Humanities and Social sciences are gaining ground and are explicitly recognizing that access to scholarship shouldn’t be limited to those Universities which can pay increasingly prohibitive costs for access through publishers and vendors. We also have noted Good Cop/ Bad Cop issues with Harvard whose Business publisher is are “trying to charge Universities even more to deep-link to articles for which most University Libraries have already paid both high prices to the publisher and the vendor for access” And of course, we have been following the Google-Books courts cases with an eager eye.

If you are interested seeing how it all comes together, you might check out this week’s Publishers Weekly article:

While the high-profile Google settlement has captured the attention of the publishing industry at large, a contentious copyright infringement lawsuit filed in Atlanta in 2008 by academic publishers against four individuals at Georgia State University has quietly progressed. And while a New York court now considers whether to approve the sweeping Google deal, a court in Atlanta could yet deliver something that publishers expressly chose to avoid in their settlement with Google: a fair use ruling.

  • “A Failure to Communicate” Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly (June 14, 2010) by features editor: http://bit.ly/95SpB4

You might also find the following articles of interest for more background on the Georgia case from an academic library perspective.

  • “Implication of the Georgia State e-reserves case.” Barbara Fister, Library Journal, (April 1, 2010) http://bit.ly/cfxoLL

For more on how university libraries (including our own) have been dealing with the escalating costs of current scholarly publishing-and-distribution platforms — which basically require an academic library to pay for access to the same articles anywhere from two-to four separate times — check out our LIbLog “open movement” entries which work towards convincing Academic Communities that Open Access publishing is a wiser way to go.

One of the most frequent misunderstandings I encounter when I talk to students about plagiarism is that they think “plagiarism is the same as copyright infringement.”  Same as in “it is a legal issue” rather than an “ethical issue” or a “scholarly communication issue. ”  Same as in  “if it doesn’t have a copyright logo on it, like NBC or Elsiver — or if it isn’t on TV or in print,” it isn’t really “published.” So, they think, freely borrowing the material isn’t a problem…whatever comes from the web or from a friend’s paper isn’t citation-worthy.   Although we do talk about citation-trails in scholarly communication and talk a little about how/when something is copyrighted  (i.e. once a paper/poem/ assignment is in material or computer-readable format, it is automatically copyrighted) , trying to get across the overlaps and distinctions between plagiarism and copyright infringement can be a little tricky.  I am a fan of Venn diagrams, so I use the diagram below, and ask students to come up with examples for each part, and then ask them where a few “case studies” would fall.  For example: One can plagiarize a friend’s idea or a methodological approach without commiting copyright infringement.   One can give the full citation for a copyrighted piece of music, but, lacking permissions, can still be guilty of infringement.

* While there maybe some cases where using the copyrighted materials of others doesn’t infringe –  say, in  a comedy sketch or for  a classroom demo — sometimes publishing a class project on a blog or slideshare can blur the line.  (**Note to hybrid and distance learning faculty:  A student  and the “responsible faculty member” can be guilty of “contributory infringement” by allowing a course page to host a re/posting of  a YouTube clip that one has reason to believe was not uploaded by the original artist)

Best bets in class:  for images:   use “creative commons” materials in ;  for music be sure to get permissions or use “podsafe music” and abide by artists requests. Sources of podsafe music include:  http://podsafemusicnetwork.com/ and http://www.podsafeaudio.com/,  For Videos: look at the “more” section in a video platform to learn about the poster and gain an idea whether the poster has original rights ,  and above all – cite sources ethically.

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