Friday, January 30, 2009
Wikipedia was "initially conceived as a feeder project for Nupedia, an earlier (now defunct) project" founded by Jimmy Wales. Its name,suggested by editor-in-chief Larry Sanger, is a combination of the words wiki (which means "fast" or "swift")2 and encyclopedia. 1 (More information).As of this writing, it has over 12 million free articles online in various languages, with more constantly being added. It has created an online kerfuffle in recent years, with many academics and research librarians waxing adamant on its flaws. They may have a point. The ability for anyone (as of right now) to create and edit entries sometimes translates into mistakes,pranks, and propaganda from Fortune 500 companies and politicians.
So, how do college instructors and librarians really feel about Wikipedia?
Many instructors take the middle road, stressing that Wikipedia is, yes, easy-to-use and a good starting point, but that's all. Others take a harder tack: in 2007, for example, one college history department banned citing Wikipedia at all.3 Professors had found numerous errors in the papers of students who used Wikipedia. Many librarians feel that since Wikipedia is not an academic or scholarly resource, it should be avoided for research. Others see the use of Wikipedia as inevitable and incorporate it as a teaching tool in their classes. Wikipedia itself has a page called "Researching With Wikipedia", which lists its own good and bad points, research suggestions, different aspects of the site, and FAQs.
Your professors (and maybe even some librarians!) may have cautioned you about using scholarly resources instead of Wikipedia for your research. But that doesn't mean they don't use it themselves ...well--not for academic research, of course.
(No particular citation style used)
1"History of Wikipedia." Wikipedia. Accessed on 30 January, 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Wikipedia
2"Wiki." Ulukau: The Electronic Hawaiian Dictionaries. http://ulukau.org/english.php
3"A History Department Bans Citing Wikipedia." Cohen, Noam. The New York Times. February 21, 2007. Accessed on 30 January, 2009.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
For road condition updates on state-maintained roads, try this TxDOT/Texas Department of Transportation Road Conditions web page. You can search by any combination of county, road, and/or condition (such as ice/snow, flooding, or construction). There’s also an interactive map available, where you can pan or zoom in for more detail (see the map instructions).
By the way, when the weather warms up, TxDOT also has a great map of spring wildflower and fall foliage sightings.
If you have weather or road condition web sites you like, please tell us in the comments!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The third Tuesday of the new semester - Wow how time flies! It is time to start that research and hit the books. I wanted to give you this list of Top Ten Study Skills.
Top Ten Tips on Study Skills
- Budget your time.
- Read everything assigned.
- Do all assignments.
- Take good notes.
- Organize and use your notes.
- Find a good place to study. (I recommend the library!)
- Take care of yourself.
- Minimize distractions. (The upper floor of the Library is a quiet study zone.)
- Consider forming a study group or groups. (The library has group study rooms available for use.)
- Ask for help.
The reference desk of the Library is staffed with professional librarians who provide personalized service to assist with learning and research needs. You may get help and ask questions in person at the library, by phone at 254-968-9249, by email, or via the web at http://www.tarleton.edu/~library/askaref.html
Friday, January 23, 2009
Click the Renew items, etc. - (My Account) link
Select: Renew My Materials
Login to your account:
User ID: Leave this box blank
Tarleton UID/UIN Number: Enter your 9-digit TSU ID number
PIN: changeme (Use this PIN if it is the first-time you are accessing your account)
If you have any questions, contact the Circulation Department @ 254-968-9450 or click Forgot Your Pin?
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
ReadWriteWeb had a recent post comparing Wordles of Obama’s inaugural address to those of other presidents. I thought it wasn’t really fair to compare Obama’s to Bush’s 2005, post 9/11 address as ReadWriteWeb did, so I did a Wordle of Bush’s 2001 address instead:
And here’s Obama’s:
While Wordle is a lot of fun, it is also a visual way to view and analyze text. Wordle instantly reveals the central points--or overused words--in a document. Try it with your own writings!
[Thanks to Tracy for the idea for this post!]
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
They say that President Obama is the 1st president from the internet generation - be sure and check the YouTube, twitter, and blog links below!
1. 10 Weirdest Inauguration Day Blunders
2. Top Ten Inauguration Day Moments
3. Inauguration of the President
4. Presidential Inauguration '09 Fun Facts
5. Inaugural - the 56th presidential
6. Top 10 recipes for Inauguration Day
7. obamainaugural on Twitter
8. YouTube -Presidential Inaugural
9. National Park Service 2009 Inauguration Brochure
10. Presidential Inaugural Committee
Friday, January 16, 2009
"Talk about change was more plentiful in 2008 than loose coins in an old couch.
Despite all the lip-flapping, that place where gods and devils dwell -- the details -- was largely unexplored.
The Obama administration will soon offer its ideas for reviving the economy and reshaping America's foreign policy. But politicians aren't the only ones who can remake the world.
Scientists have at least as much power to transform our lives and history. What "game-changing scientific ideas and developments" do they expect to occur during the next few decades?
That's the question John Brockman, editor of the Web site edge.org, posed to about 160 cutting-edge minds in his 11th annual Edge Question. As in years past, they responded with bold, often thrilling, sometimes chilling, answers."
Take a look at what this group has to say--their answers range from engineered body parts to new solar technology to nuclear war to elimination of harmful impulses, even mobile phones---Whew! They are a more optimistic group than I expected.
What do YOU think will change everything? Read all the answers at
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Enter a search term in the box and click “Find”. If you don’t like any of the first 36 photos, click on “more” on the bottom left. If you want to edit (or in any way change) the photo before you reuse it, make sure the “FOR EDITING” box is checked (that’s the default). If you’re going to use the photo for commercial purposes, make sure the “COMMERCIAL” box is checked. Here’s a sample search on the word “library” for photos to edit:
Even better, Peter Shanks of Lithgow, Australia, the developer of flickrCC, has also included features (when you click on the “Edit image: in house” link) that enable you to crop, resize, add text and basic graphics to the image, and then add an attribution mark for the photographer. Here’s an example of a photo from the search above that was cropped from the top, and had descriptive text and the attribution added (The attribution is always put below the photo and becomes part of the image):
Give it a try!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Welcome back! The first Tuesday of 2009. It's back to school time. You guys did great work last semester. I thought I would start off the New Year by giving you a Top Ten list of the most used electronic databases last year.
Top Ten Most Used Research Databases in 2008
- Academic Search Complete - 21,326
- JSTOR - 14,409
- Ebsco databases – Multi-search - 7,168
- Business Source Complete - 7,101
- Psychology Journals - 4,961
- Lexis-Nexis Academic - 4,457
- ERIC - 4,178
- Education Research Complete - 3,887
- Proquest – Multi-search - 3,454
- CINAHL Full Text - 3,429
Our research databases were accessed more 221,605 time by Tarleton students, faculty and staff in 2008. Keep up the hard work!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Welcome back from the holiday! It's Tuesday again. I finally finished having Christmas this past weekend, so it's time to return those gifts. Not really, I love everything I got. However this is the big gift return season. Check out this list from List Universe and see if you can relate.
Top 10 Most Returned Gifts
7. Video Games
4. Spouse-Inappropriate Gifts
2. Age-Inappropriate Toys
1. Something You Just Plain Didn't Want
With School starting back next week I've got some really good Top Ten's to come. I hope you continue to check out the LOL – Library Online Lounge. Good Luck this semester.