Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 30, is the last day of Early Voting in Texas. The early voting site polls will be open until 6pm today and Wednesday, and will be open 8am-8pm on Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30. A generic sample ballot for Bexar County is available at the Bexar County Elections site. It also has information on where to vote, how to generate your personalized ballot, early voting, and several additional information sites.
And if you can't get to the polls this week, Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. Polls will be open from 7am-7pm. See the the Bexar County Elections site to find your local polling site.
Last fall, nearly 60% of registered voters in Bexar County voted. Predictions are that less than 6% of registered voters will vote this time around. Will you become informed and help change that statistic?
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The Internet is here to stay, so why not start making more efficient use of the technology to share research data? That’s precisely what the Open Access movement is all about!
For years and years, scholars have conducted research, written reports, and submitted them to journals for publication. These journals would choose which articles to print and then publish an actual issue of a journal. To recover their costs for printing, paper, editorial work, etc., these journals would charge a fee to anyone who wanted that issue or a subscription to all issues printed in a given time frame.
Fast-forward to the late 1990s. The Internet has made its debut and everyone is trying to cash in, including journals and publishers of journals. Even today, readers are often asked to pay to access the electronic content of journals and to pay to obtain a print-copy of the journal. Often the print journal is published but the content is not available online for 6-18 months. Libraries who want to serve their users best, buy a print subscription to journals (so the users can read the most recent news), but then later buy the electronic content (because we know you’d rather do your research online). In effect, libraries and users are charged twice for the same information, just in different formats. If the research was conducted using tax payers’ money, then the reader is paying three times for data that he/she funded by paying taxes!
The Open Access movement argues that if tax payers funded the research, the results should be freely available or available for a very moderate fee. The Association of Research Libraries has reported that journal subscription costs have risen four times faster than inflation since the 1980s or roughly 260%, while libraries’ budgets have been decreasing, not just in relation to inflation but literally.
The Internet has brought about a dramatic change in the way business and life is conducted. Why shouldn’t publishing follow suit? Those who support Open Access want to free scholarly research from the shackles of traditional publishing models and provide it for everyone to access and use. The Student Statement on the Right to Research proclaims, “Scholarly knowledge is part of the common wealth of humanity." They further state that Open Access democratizes access to research.
The display in the Blume Library is meant to introduce students, faculty, and staff to the Open Access movement. The international Open Access community has declared this week, October 19-23, 2009, as Open Access Week. Won’t you join the growing community of Open Access supporters?
Check out these organizations for further information.
Open Access Week
JISC [Joint Information Systems Committee]
Public Library of Science
Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition
Students for Free Culture
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The proclamation was the result of a campaign by the National Forum on Information Literacy, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. 1989 was also the year when the American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy issued its report.
The proclamation's goals dovetail with the American Association of School Librarians' Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning and the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.