Christina's LIS Rant

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14 posts · 27,539 views

This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms... I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or graduate school.

Christina Pikas
14 posts

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  • December 27, 2010
  • 11:15 AM

Are the old folks holding us back?

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

We’ve been hearing a lot about how hard it is to get a tenure track job – arguably harder even than it was during other economic recessions. We’ve also been hearing about how the age of NIH PIs is going up. I guess the age at first award is going up as well as the [...]... Read more »

  • December 20, 2010
  • 06:47 PM

Has the online search displaced the friend as the preferred first information source?

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

Review of a JASIST article looking at selection of information sources: co-workers or electronic resources.... Read more »

  • July 25, 2010
  • 02:31 PM

Hey maybe scientists should do more than just wait for their journal to issue a press release on their new fabu article

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

The authors thesis is that the only mandatory communication of results is in peer reviewed journal articles. Scientists aren't required to do other communicating and often leave communication to the public to the media. They ask if is this is adequate given the very low percentage of scientific articles that ever make it into the press, particularly in areas outside of health and medicine, and also given the fact that for everyone out of formal education, the media is their primary source of sci........ Read more »

  • July 17, 2010
  • 01:47 PM

Across disciplines, what motivates or prevents faculty staff archiving?

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

This article is in early view at JASIST. It looks like it comes from the author's dissertation. It isn't terribly earth-shattering, but it's well done, it provides more evidence, and there are definitely some implications for library/IR manager practice. Here's the citation: Kim, J. (2010). Faculty self-archiving: Motivations and barriers Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology DOI: 10.1002/asi.21336 The author went through a complicated process to identify 1,5........ Read more »

Kim, J. (2010) Faculty self-archiving: Motivations and barriers. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1002/asi.21336  

  • June 5, 2010
  • 10:41 PM

Inappropriate citations?

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

Kevin Zelnio of Deep Sea News tweeted the title of this piece and sent my mind going over the various theories of citation, what citations mean, studies showing how people cite without reading (pdf) (or at least propagate obvious citation errors), and also how people use things but don't cite them in certain fields... I was also thinking, I know what inappropriate touching is, but what's inappropriate citing?  So let's take a look at the article: Todd, P., Guest, J., Lu, J., & Chou, L........ Read more »

Todd, P., Guest, J., Lu, J., & Chou, L. (2010) One in four citations in marine biology papers is inappropriate. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 299-303. DOI: 10.3354/meps08587  

  • April 25, 2010
  • 05:46 PM

Review of an article using bibliometric qual methods to study sub-discipline collaboration behavior

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

Mixed methods are always attractive, but many researchers give up because each method typically requires some epistemology which often conflicts with the epistemology of other methods. When mixed methods are done, they are often done in sequence. For example, qualitative work to understand enough about a phenomenon to develop a survey or interviewing survey respondents  to get richer information about their responses. Network methods are neither quantitative* nor qualitative and it's n........ Read more »

  • April 17, 2010
  • 01:31 AM

Using the fact that sometimes scientists look at the pictures first

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

I was happy to see that the authors published this article in PlosOne. I was following their work a while ago, but had lost track (plus, when asked, the last author implied that they had moved on to new projects). So here's the citation and then I'll summarize and comment. Divoli, A., Wooldridge, M., & Hearst, M. (2010). Full Text and Figure Display Improves Bioscience Literature Search PLoS ONE, 5 (4) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009619 The authors created a prototype information system tha........ Read more »

  • March 13, 2010
  • 12:06 PM

The evidence is: status, communication training, and intrinsic rewards are positively associated with scientists communicating with the media

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

Myths abound about how scientists do not talk with the media or communicate with the public and if they do so, it is only because they are required to by funders' "broader impact" requirements. The evidence, however, does not support this view. This article is another in a series of communications based on a multi-national study of how scientists in several fields communicate with the media. (you might have seen [1] or [2]). This article only uses data from US scientists who were re........ Read more »

Dunwoody, S., Brossard, D., . (2009) Socialization or rewards? Predicting U.S. scientist-media interactions. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 86(2), 299-314. info:/

  • March 6, 2010
  • 02:24 PM

Black men in women’s work do not get to ride the glass escalator

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

This post reviews a fairly recent article that examines the experiences of black men in nursing and asks whether they experience the "glass escalator" effect or if the work is racialized as well as gendered.

As requested by some fellow Sciblings, I recently blogged about an older article* that coined the term glass escalator. In my post I was uncertain about how the findings from the study were viewed by experts familiar with that body of work. In the comments, Kris D, who identifies........ Read more »

  • January 9, 2010
  • 01:09 PM

Very quick note on things that are used but not cited

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

In most of the discussions of using usage as a metric of scholarly impact, the example of the clinician is given.  The example goes that medical articles might be heavily used and indeed have a huge impact on practice (saving lives), but be uncited. There are other fields that have practitioners who pull from the literature, but do not contribute to it. So it was with interest that I read this new article by the MacRoberts: MacRoberts, M., & MacRoberts, B. (2009). Problems of citatio........ Read more »

MacRoberts, M., & MacRoberts, B. (2009) Problems of citation analysis: A study of uncited and seldom-cited influences. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 1-12. DOI: 10.1002/asi.21228  

  • August 29, 2009
  • 03:59 PM

Understanding urban, low socioeconomic status, African-American Girls’ attitudes towards science

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

So often we hear of large studies like the GSS being used for attitudes towards science. We also hear the results of science achievement metrics and are disappointed. This article provides a great mix between generalizable quantitative understanding gained through use of a validated instrument and more individualized understanding gained through qualitative research using a critical feminist lens. The authors choose this sequential mixed-methods approach to attend to "questioning how to meet the........ Read more »

  • June 14, 2009
  • 02:39 AM

Is Taylor's "compromised need" pseudoscience?

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

If you've read my blog at all, you probably know I'm a Taylor (1962,

1968) groupie.

In fact, in a recent post

I talked about going from a visceral need to a compromised

need.  This is a central idea in library science. So when I

saw this article in my feeds today, I had to pounce on it:


J. (in press). Compromised need and the label effect: An examination of

claims and evidence Journal

of the American Society for Information Science and Technology,

1-6 DOI: 10........ Read more »

Nicolaisen, J. (2009) Compromised need and the label effect: An examination of claims and evidence. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 1-6. DOI: 10.1002/asi.21129  

  • August 29, 2008
  • 08:16 PM

The meaning of citations

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

What a grand post title, but actually, what I mean is slightly more like: the meaning of citations: what Garfield said he means in a bunch of articles vs. what people say he means and even worse what people do with his work, plus some commentary on a review chapter.Today I read the whole Nicolaisen[*] article which I just browsed earlier (ok, so it's been A LOT longer than I intended). This is not a review of how to *do* citation analysis, that's included in the several ARIST chapters on bibl........ Read more »

Jeppe Nicolaisen. (2007) Citation Analysis. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 609-641.

  • July 11, 2008
  • 03:55 PM

Positivist vs Pragmatic Classification Theory - yes, that's it

by Christina Pikas in Christina's LIS Rant

A long strange trip - reading about citations in Ange. Chem. then tried to find reference, then got only to the TOC page, so then started browsing and ran across...Hjørland's readers digest version of classification theory (thank you! everyone go read the whole thing, it's short and I'll wait):Hjørland, B.(2008). Core classification theory: a reply to Szostak. JDoc 64, 333-342: DOI:10.1108/00220410810867560 findI know next to nothing about classification theory (so M........ Read more »

Birger Hjørland. (2008) Core classification theory: A reply to szostak. Journal of Documentation, 64(3), 333-342. DOI: 10.1108/00220410810867560  

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