Tag Archives: Academia

Twitter Opens Its Enormous Archives to Data-Hungry Academics

“Twitter is sharing its massive trove of data with the academic world — for free. The social networking outfit has long sold access to its enormous collection of tweets — a record of what the people of the world are doing and saying — hooking companies like Google and Yahoo into the “Twitter fire hose.” But now, through a new grant program, it wants to make it easier for social scientists and other academics to explore its tweet archive, which stretches back to 2006. Twitter previously worked with researchers from Johns Hopkins University to predict where flu outbreaks will hit, and the new program aims to open doors for similar projects. The company is now accepting applications from researchers, who have until March 15 to submit a proposal.” (via Wired.com)

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Experts Say Academics Are Timid About Fair Use Laws

“Visual arts professionals, including art historians, let real and perceived fears about copyright law get in the way of their work, finds a new report from the College Art Association. And while the fundamentally visual nature of their discipline raises particular concerns among scholars of art, artists, editors and museum curators, experts say their fears are shared across academe — although some disciplines have worked to develop codes to help scholars navigate the murky waters of fair use. “The visual arts communities of practice share a common problem in their confusion about and misunderstanding of the nature of copyright law and the availability of fair use,” reads the report, called “Copyright, Permissions, and Fair Use Among Visual Artists and the Academic and Museum Visual Arts Communities.” “Their work is constrained and censored, most powerfully by themselves, because of the confusion and the resulting fear and anxiety.” (via Inside Higher Ed)

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Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology

“Online education arguably came of age in the last year, with the explosion of massive open online courses driving the public’s (and politicians’) interest in digitally delivered courses and contributing to the perception that they represent not only higher education’s future, but its present. Faculty members, by and large, still aren’t buying — and they are particularly skeptical about the value of MOOCs, Inside Higher Ed’s new Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology suggests.” (via Inside Higher Ed)

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Study reveals snapshot of researchers’ information behaviour

“Ithaka S+R has conducted its fifth survey of faculty members at four-year colleges and universities in the USA. The latest study looked at a random sample of 5,261 faculty members who replied to questions developed in consultation with an advisory committee of librarians, publishers, and a scholarly society executive. The study examined topics like the importance of libraries to the respondents’ work and their comfort levels with shifting library collections from print to digital. It also looked at the role of e-books, developments in teaching methods, and the factors that shape research topics and projects.” (via Research Information)

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Academic e-books: will they ever take off?

“Are physical textbooks on the way out? That’s what one professor seemed to believe when I participated in a debate last weekend about the future of academic publishing. He claimed that they would only survive as artefacts or in special collections; public libraries would have continuing demand for academic books, but not universities. Another observed that some students were already choosing to buy e-textbooks rather than invest in physical books.” (via Telegraph)

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UCSF joins trend offering published research free

“UCSF has joined the growing ranks of academic institutions that are offering most, if not all, of their research free to the public, by requiring that all published scientific studies be added by their authors to a university repository accessible to everyone. The policy change at UCSF, which was announced last month, is part of a global shift toward “open access” – improving the exchange of scientific information by allowing free and widespread dissemination of research that has long been contained in subscription-only journals.”

via SF Chronicle

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Shorter University sacks its gay librarian

“That long list of Shorter University employees who are no longer employees on the north Georgia campus thanks to the gay witch hunt launched by President Donald Dowless? Add one. Yep, the school sacked its off-campus librarian, 14-year tenured faculty member Michael Wilson. It’s not like he didn’t know it was coming. Last fall, the school \put in place a new Personal Lifestyle Statement that bans gay sex for faculty and staff, among a long list of other behaviors it argues aren’t in agreement with the Bible.”

via Project Q Atlanta.

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Twitter gains as academic source

USATODAY.com – “[t]he Modern Language Association, one of three major style sources for academic writing, released formal guidelines on how to cite tweets.Rosemary Feal, the New York-based groups executive director and herself an active Twitter user, wont take credit for legitimizing tweets as source material. She said her group merely decided the right way to do something students and academics were doing all along.The explosion of interest after MLAs online post with the rule stunned her.”

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M.I.T. Expands Its Free Online Courses

NYT – “While students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pay thousands of dollars for courses, the university will announce a new program on Monday allowing anyone anywhere to take M.I.T. courses online free of charge — and for the first time earn official certificates for demonstrating mastery of the subjects taught. “There are many people who would love to augment their education by having access to M.I.T. content, people who are very capable to earn a certificate from M.I.T.,” said L. Rafael Reif, the provost, in a conference call with reporters Friday.”

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College yearbook collections go digital

USATODAY – “Scanned images are available for free online and let readers browse through a yearbook cover to cover or search by name. The grainy images from the yearbooks are full of period hairdos and clothes. They also show the school’s evolution from a tiny, historically black college into an institution that now offers doctoral programs and enrolls 4,500 students. “It’s fascinating when you look back, not just at the changing hairstyles but also at who was in the classrooms, the activities people were involved in and the new buildings,” said Jennifer Neumyer, the college’s special collections and outreach librarian.”

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