June 18, 2008

Wiki, wiki, everywhere

A proliferation of wikis has exploded on the web in recent years. These community-edited encyclopedias/databases/knowledge forums have moved beyond general information into specialized applications. While the looming influence of Wikipedia may still be treated with suspicion in academia (see this Inside Higher Ed article), companies like Encyclopaedia Britannica (see this article from The Chronicle of Higher Education's Wired Campus) have been goaded into the conclusion that this is a new model for the sharing of knowledge. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

INFOMINE catalogers can't keep up with all the wikis on the web, but a good number of academic and library wikis have been entered into our database. For an overview of wikis in general, start with the Wikipedia article on wiki. We'll offer some examples of wikis that have been entered into the INFOMINE database. These all have their own authorship requirements; some are written by experts in their fields, some by informed laypersons. Explore them individually to see policies. Wikis generally provide very good reference lists and bibliographies, even if you do not find exactly what you're looking for within the content of a given article.

New to INFOMINE this week: Open Access Directory
Wiki by and for the OA community offers articles on open access publishing, software, guidelines, research, institutions, repositories and more.

Sciences, computing
Chemical Information Sources Wiki
Covers starting points, general sources, internet resources and specialized searches for chemistry research. Also features sections on teaching and studying chemistry, newsgroups and blogs, careers, and cheminformatics.

Encyclopedia of Life
The Encyclopedia of Life is a collaborative project to document every living species on Earth. An initial 30,000 species pages were launched in February 2008, with basic template pages for one million more species. Entries include classification, description, images, ecology, distribution maps, literature references and more.

Encyclopedia of Earth
A wiki-style encyclopedia about "the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society." Consists of "articles written by scholars, professionals, educators, and experts who collaborate and review each other's work." Articles may be searched or browsed by author or topic.

Game Programming Wiki
The Game Programming Wiki features tutorials, programming techniques, game industry information, design, project management guidelines, software tools, and a bibliography of reference books.

Humanities, libraries, recreation
Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki
A wiki for sharing ideas in library innovation. Categories include management, leadership, collection development, reference services, information literacy, marketing, professional development, and technology implementation and access.

Collaboratively-created law encyclopedia and dictionary from the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School.

The Digital Classicist
Resource guide and wiki for researchers and students of classical civilization, with a focus on computing and technology applications.

English Medieval Legal Documents Wiki
"The goal of this project is to create a collaborative database on the published sources of English medieval legal documents, and to provide links to the growing number of online sources currently being developed." Categories include case law, statutory law, administrative law, private legal documents, writs and pleadings, early legal treatises, links to online resources, research guides and bibliographies.

A wiki of worldwide travel information, including places to go, how to get there, things to see, where to stay, travel phrasebooks, and more.

This quotations wiki, part of the Wikipedia group of websites, offers quotations from people, literature, film and television. Entries link to relevant sources, Wikipedia articles, and related websites.

Government information wikis
State Agency Databases Across the 50 States
A wiki from ALA's Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) with information on online state government databases, listed by state.

Wiki about Congress, with topics on Congress members, legislation, rules, caucuses, votes, Congress members under investigation, news, and more.

SourceWatch is a wiki on public policy influence, lobbyists, special interest groups, and media outlets. "It catalogues descriptions and details of PR firms, activist groups and government agencies as well as the criticisms that are made of these groups from different perspectives."

Tools for creating and using wikis
A comparison tool which examines various Wiki creation and editing software. Select Wiki programs based on the features available or compare the represented engines in side by side charts.

WikiMindMap is a graphical clustering search engine for Wikipedia articles.

June 10, 2008

Libraries and open source

There are many content management systems, open source ILS packages and other free and open library management resources. INFOMINE, for example, uses the iVia virtual library software developed by the iVia Research and Development Group of the library of the University of California, Riverside. This software package is open source with a GNU General Public License. Open source projects for library management and patrons continue to become an increasing influence on the world of libraries and information. Some good examples of software and research resources from the INFOMINE database include:

oss4lib: Open Source Systems for Libraries
This is a blog and database of open source software for libraries, including library systems, applications, metadata and standards.

Open Source Alternative
Directory of open source software alternatives to commercial software. Categories include business, communications, databases, graphics, multimedia, system utilities, and more. Many listings include ratings and reviews.

Public Knowledge Project
Begun in 1998, PKP has developed Open Journal Systems and Open Conference Systems, free software for the management, publishing, and indexing of journals and conferences, as well as Open Archives Harvester and Lemon8-XML to facilitate the indexing of research and scholarship.

Information Technology and Libraries
"Information Technology and Libraries publishes material related to all aspects of libraries and information technology, including digital libraries, metadata, authorization and authentication, electronic journals and electronic publishing, telecommunications, distributed systems and networks, computer security and intellectual property rights, technical standards, geographic information systems, desktop applications, online catalogs and bibliographic systems, optical information systems, software engineering, universal access to technology, futuristic forecasting, library consortia, vendor relations, and technology and the arts." Complete tables of contents and some fulltext articles and columns provided online.

D-Lib Magazine
"D-Lib Magazine is a monthly electronic publication with a primary focus on digital library research and development, including but not limited to new technologies, applications, and contextual social and economic issues."

SourceForge.net: iVia
SourceForge page for the iVia content management system, metadata harvesting and virtual library software.

iVia Project
The iVia homepage provides the iVia Virtual Library Software, DataFountains, the Nalanda iVia Focused Crawler, various utilities and project documentation.

April 23, 2008

Web collections by real people

There are many sites like INFOMINE with human-selected web resources. It's valuable to use these resources in your research; many have library subject specialists adding regular targeted content or highlight new resources that may not always show up near the top of a Google search. Experiment and see which interfaces and content will encourage you to return for another search. We maintain a Feedback form for INFOMINE and welcome comments and suggestions. INFOMINE links to many of these human-selected internet resource databases, below are several examples.

Description from Intute: "Intute is a free online service providing you with access to the very best Web resources for education and research. The service is created by a network of UK universities and partners. Subject specialists select and evaluate the websites in our database and write high quality descriptions of the resources." Nice site layout, plenty of browse and search options, and tutorials such as the Virtual Training Suite.

Librarians' Internet Index (LII)
Formerly the Librarians' Index to the Internet, this librarian-created database provides annotated links to both academic and general interest sites.

Internet Public Library : IPL
Website directory for general reference in many topics. Also offers pathfinders for several research topics, with internet and print sources.

DMOZ Open Directory Project
Nearly five million websites offered in this human-edited web directory, on the web since 1998. Sites here run the gamut from commercial websites to educational resources to chat forums. Worth a look, if maybe too glutted for targeted searches.

April 11, 2008

Employment info online

Don't limit yourself to Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com in your job search. There is a wealth of resources online for career research, employment listings, vocational training and occupational outlooks. Many of these resources are cataloged in INFOMINE, from professional societies' specialized job databases to the expansive database of available federal government jobs. Some noteworthy examples:

The Riley Guide : Employment Opportunities and Job Resources on the Internet
Huge metasite of employment information; everything from preparing a resume to networking to salary guides.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
For each of more than 250 occupations, information is given on the nature of the work done, working conditions, employment outlook, required training, and earnings. Current edition is 2008-2009.

Career Guide to Industries
Companion to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, with information on the job market in each state, job prospects, working conditions, training, advancement and earnings.

Career Voyages
Career guide designed for students and their parents.

USA Jobs
Search for notices of job openings throughout the U.S. federal government. Includes information on how to apply for federal jobs, information on federal government salaries and benefits, application forms, and a section dedicated to veterans' employment resources.

Some specialized job resources:
New Scientist Jobs
Database of science jobs.

Library Job Postings on the Internet
Guide to finding library job postings, libraries, archives and other jobs for information professionals online. See also LISjobs.com.

Health Occupations : MedlinePlus
Guide to careers in the health professions.

Browse the Jobs resource type in INFOMINE to find other websites containing employment information. Or search with your field of interest and jobs as keywords. We've even got resources for game development and animation jobs cataloged in INFOMINE.

March 20, 2008

Library blogs and more

Blogs present particular challenges in a resource catalog like INFOMINE. They are dynamic, generally jumping from one topic to the next and unified only by an institutional attribution or an author's voice. They are also very widely used by many libraries, for many different functions. Some detail the activities and events of the library or organization and serve to keep patrons informed, some comment on librarianship and information sciences, and others simply highlight notable resources.

Some interesting examples:

Library of Congress Blog
Check out the category index for a sample of the many topics explored in this blog.

WorldCat Blog
A multi-author blog from OCLC's WorldCat. WorldCat has recently introduced a new interface at WorldCat.org with many new user-centered features. Make book lists, similar to LibraryThing, build bibliographies, or download browser toolbars. All this in addition to the existing ability to find out what materials are in libraries near you. This is a very nice site redesign.

Sites and Soundbytes
This is a good example of a public library blog aimed at providing library patrons with interesting online resources.

There aren't a great deal of individual blogs cataloged in INFOMINE, but there are some, such as:
Everyday Sociology.
This multi-author blog explores issues in sociology by using real life examples, and is provided by W.W. Norton publishers.

To find other blogs in INFOMINE, try using the keywords blog or blogs combined with the topic of your interest. There are many blog search engines indexed in INFOMINE, many government blogs, and sources for library and information science blogs.

March 7, 2008

Nature and field guides

With spring fast approaching, it's time for a look at some of the guides to nature that can be found in INFOMINE.

eNature : Field Guides
Field guide to more than 5,500 animals and plants. Birds section includes audio.

What Tree is That? Tree Identification Guide
Guides for tree identification in the Eastern and Western United States. Each module includes a step-by-step guide, illustrations and descriptions in a list of trees for each region, and a glossary. Also featured is an animated tree identification tutorial.

All About Birds
Cornell University's Ornithology Lab presents information on locating, identifying, and appreciating bird species. Features include birding basics, online bird identification guide and multimedia.

Audubon's Birds of America at the University of Pittsburgh
Complete digital edition of Audubon's Birds of America includes 435 high-resolution color plates and accompanying text. Search, browse plate names or browse image thumbnails.

Questions and answers, growing information, videos, crop variety trials data, and gardening guides for flowers, fruits, house plants, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and ground cover.

U.S. National Park Service : Visit Your National Parks
Find visitor information for individual U.S. national parks. Select parks by: name, location (state, distance from zip code), topic, interests and activities using the "Find a Park" search tool.

See our post on Bugs!! for resources on creepy crawlies.

February 25, 2008

Library using INFOMINE

The UCR Libraries have launched a new Online Reference Shelf that offers useful internet resources in 10 categories: almanacs, biographies, calculators, citing, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, maps, quotations and weather.

The resources offered were all pulled from the INFOMINE database, or added to INFOMINE to accomodate the project's needs. This is one example of how INFOMINE content can be used in the creation of custom collections.