Well I guess I can't actually recommend them since I haven't read them yet, but the latest issue of portal: Libraries and the Academy just came out and here are the articles I plan to read (almost the whole issue!):
Google Scholar Search Performance: Comparative Recall and Precision
William H. Walters
- Libraries and the Internet -- United States.
- User interfaces (Computer systems) -- United States -- Use studies.
This paper presents a comparative evaluation of Google Scholar and 11 other bibliographic databases (Academic Search Elite, AgeLine, ArticleFirst, EconLit, GEOBASE, MEDLINE, PAIS International, POPLINE, Social Sciences Abstracts, Social Sciences Citation Index, and SocINDEX), focusing on search performance within the multidisciplinary field of later-life migration. The results of simple keyword searches are evaluated with reference to a set of 155 relevant articles identified in advance. In terms of both recall and precision, Google Scholar performs better than most of the subscription databases. This finding, based on a rigorous evaluation procedure, is contrary to the impressions of many early reviewers. The paper concludes with a discussion of a new approach to document relevance in educational settings—an approach that accounts for the instructors' goals as well as the students' assessments of relevance.
Academic Libraries, Facebook and MySpace, and Student Outreach: A Survey of Student Opinion
Ruth Sara Connell
- College students -- Indiana -- Valparaiso -- Attitudes.
- Electronic reference services (Libraries) -- Indiana -- Valparaiso.
This study surveyed 366 Valparaiso University freshmen to discover their feelings about librarians using Facebook and MySpace as outreach tools. The vast majority of respondents had online social network profiles. Most indicated that they would be accepting of library contact through those Web sites, but a sizable minority reacted negatively to the concept. Because of the potential to infringe on students' sense of personal privacy, it is recommended that librarians proceed with caution when implementing online social network profiles.
The Future of Information Literacy in Academic Libraries: A Delphi Study
- Electronic information resource literacy -- Study and teaching.
- Academic librarians -- United States.
- Academic libraries -- United States -- Use studies.
Information literacy is a central tenet of academic librarianship. However, technological advancements coupled with drastic changes in users' information needs and expectations are having a great impact on this service, leading practitioners to wonder how programs may evolve. Based on a Delphi study, this article surveyed 13 information literacy experts about proposed futures that explore the possible evolution of information literacy over the next decade. Although generally optimistic in their assessment of the continued importance of information literacy and the role librarians will play in its future, these experts acknowledged a number of obstacles academic librarians will face in fully realizing these possibilities.
- Information behavior -- United States.
- Computer network resources -- United States -- Use studies.
- Academic writing -- Study and teaching -- United States.
This study investigates the types of sources that English composition students use in their research essays. Unlike previous studies, this project pairs an examination of source citations with deeper analysis of source use, and both are discussed in relation to responses gathered in focus groups with participating students and teachers. The researchers examine how students negotiate locating and using source material, particularly online sources, in terms of timeliness, authority, and bias. The researchers report on how teachers struggle to introduce these concepts and how students fail to perceive authority and bias in their sources.
- Electronic reference services (Libraries) -- Economic aspects -- United States.
- Academic libraries -- Reference services -- Economic aspects -- United States.
Libraries nationwide are in yet another phase of belt tightening. Without an understanding of the economic factors that influence library operations, however, controlling costs and performing cost-benefit analyses on services is difficult. This paper describes a project to develop a cost model for collaborative virtual reference services. This cost model is a systematic description of all expenses incurred by a library in providing virtual reference service as part of a collaborative.