Library and Information Science Miscellaneous

This weblog in the field of Library and Information Science contains news, comments and everything that its bloggers think could be useful for LIS professionals and students. It is maintianed by a number of students mainly Research students and Iranian. Our email is lismisblog at Yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Basic units in Library and Information science

13 days ago, ASIS & T annual meeting 2004 was finished. During conference period, November 12- 17, about 90 papers were presented in different issues: Disciplinary issues, Digital libraries, Information organization, User behavior, System design and Knowledge management and use. One of the interesting presented papers in this annual meeting was Professor Birger Hjorland’s presentation with the title of: “ Basic units in library and information science”. This paper, to some extent, answers questions that have raised, for years, controversies in Library and information science (LIS).
In this presentation, Birger discusses about the lack of a clear terminology in LIS:

“Often “knowledge organization” (KO), “information retrieval” (IR)
and “information seeking” are considered core areas within Library and
Information Science (LIS)”. This terminology suggests that the “units”
in LIS are knowledge and information. But are they? (And in that case:
Are both or which of them?). What are the theoretical implications of
choosing one or another term as a core term?”

In another place (slide 11 )( he argues for changes that have been made in LIS terminology:

“Some changes in terminology are related to theoretical influences.
Other changes are just related to trends or fashions. …Webber (2003), for
example, suggests that many courses in information science change their
name to information management (but not their content) because “management”
is a more popular term among students selecting courses.”

For this reason, in my opinion, some persons make some mistakes. For examples, I read a message from Maryam in this weblog about LIS courses that are given by other institutes out of LIS departments. It seems that while they have common names such as knowledge management and some things like this, the content is completely different from LIS, as I have experienced it. There fore, it demands rethinking about terminologies that we have in LIS and as mentioned by Birger there is a need for terminology in LIS.

Internet for users of British Library

British library started testing a new service some months ago and now it is finally available. Users can access wireless internet with their laptops in all eleven reading rooms and cafe and resturaunt of the library. In the begining it was free but now users have to pay on the pay-as-you-go basis.

Saturday, November 27, 2004


Last week the Intenational Conference of Web Information System Engineering (WISE 04)was hold in Brisbane. My supervisor was one of the program committee co-chairs and I attended it for 3 days. It was very interesting to see how an international conference is managed easily and simply without any extra audience or costs. The manager of Microsoft Asia Research Center presented a keynote speech about the future of search engines.

MSN is working hard to catch the Google position and they have a big program to cover everything. New issues in Web searching are:

Webpage layout structure
Webpage categorizing
Webpage blocks
Deep Web
Structured web
Community search
Recommanding groups

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Social image of the information professionals

One of the member of IFLA knowledge management mailing list is working on "the social image of the information professionals" in different countries. Today, I got an email from a USA librarian reflecting this issue there. I felt that there are similarities between Iran and Amercia about this topic. Have a look at that email:
What are your thoughts on the way that the information professional isperceived in your country?. Can be it considered a positive perception?
In the US I believe that perceptions of information professionals are beginning to be viewed with more professional status than they were even 10 years ago. I also think that terminology makes a difference...thereseems to be a difference whether you say informational professional orlibrarian. An IP may conjure up a more technical based individual, where librarian still brings to mind the stereotypical librarian image.
- Does it exist some of the clichés about librarians, exposedpreviously, in your country?
Yes, I think so. When people say they are a librarian they immediately think of someone with their hair in a bun...with glasses...with sensible shoes. Sometimes comments will be jokingly made that "youdon't look like a librarian," or will make a joke about the stereotype.But, it does seem to be getting better. I think many people think oflibrarians in terms of a clerk position.
- Do you think that your profession is not sufficiently valued, from administration, companies, cultural organizations, or I+D institutions?
I think for the range of positions we hold that we could probably be valued better, as a whole, although individually I think for the people who use our services, they understand our worth. Institutionally, there is most likely room for improvement. I know that in many of the larger businesses that have typically hired librarians and IP, it is usually one of the first jobs to be cut if they are downsizing. On the otherhand, there are many information-based companies who seek outindividuals with a MLS or MLIS degree because it is very valued.The view of the profession has greatly improved, but still has a long way to go to be regarded in the same esteem as other professionaldegrees and careers, such as engineers, doctors, lawyers, etc.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


One of the supports that CILIP provides for its members is publication of Library and Information Gazette which is a biweekly periodical containing job vacancies information as well as CILIP news and some other useful information. Its job advertisements section is very selective and informative. Unfortunately the LIS job market in Iran is monopolized by the government and national LIS society cannot play a major role in the market because of its very nature. I mention some library job salaries here, then you can get a picture of the status of the librarians in the job market: (salary is per year)
system librarian: 24000-30000£
assistant librarian: 19000-29000£
library service manager: 30000£
cataloguer: 18000-20000£
these are just some examle and the salary can differe accroding to the employer and also employees' qualifications and skills.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Google Scholar: New Service for Scientists and Scholars

Google Scholar enables researchers to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the Web.

Just type an author’s name in the search box often works. If you've authored a number of articles and want to narrow your results, use an "author:" prefix. For example, author:Parsi. To find your articles on a given topic, add relevant keywords to the search. E.g., author:Parsi "Aircraft Detection".
You can combine "author:" command with other commands such as "site:", or "allintitle:". For example:
allintitle:"Semantic Web" site:fr
author:Karimipour site:ir

I found it very interesting. For more information, click here.

Monday, November 15, 2004

for Iranian students

Sometimes I get emails from Iranian undergraduate students of LIS that are interested to continue their studies. They ask about the resources and any other advice to success.

Frankly, because I attended in Masters Entrance Exams about 8-9 years ago (time is going very fast!) I don’t have many things to tell them. However, usually I recommend them to read some books carefully among them Estelahname-ye Ketabdari should be read and understood entry by entry – I think so. This is a good opportunity to put our recommendations and experiences here (in Persian and English); then other Iranian students can read them.

Recently, I have received 2 emails from Iran in them Iranian LIS students have asked how they can study overseas or use scholarship opportunities. I think we must write something here for such questions.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Archival studies

You might have noticed that at least in UK the departments of informaiton studies tend to merge with departments of computer studies. on the other hand now most of the Archival studies departments have found their nest in the faculties or schools of historical studies. I reckon LIS is in a transition era in that it will have a more clear identity and a more stable position in academia in near future.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

PLoS Medicine Vs. the Lancet

I have already written about Open Access movement in scholarly journal publishing in this weblog. The Lancet is probably the most famous journal in the field of medicine and one of most prestigiousThe Lancet . Recently Public Library of Science (PLoS) launched a new open access journal named "Medicine" . it is to be the first open access rival to The Lancet which is published by Elsevier. PLoS Medicine has already absorbed some of the famous experts as its editorial team and some of them in fact are former editors of Lancet. PLoS MedicineI hope this movement in Open access publishing continues because it has a great benefit for developing world.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Recently I read in Information World Review that Mongolia has recently been persuading its citizens to adopt surnames, in order to make possible all manner of modern services for them – identity cards, credit cards etc. It will probably have some effects on their cataloguing system as it affects the way in which names are arranged in entries of catalogues. Serjee, a director of the State Central Library of Mongolia, has written a guide on how to choose a good family name. For example Gurragchaa, the only Mongolian who has gone to space with ex-USSR space rockets chose Cosmos as his surname. So far, too many Mongolians have been taking the easy option of choosing Borjigin –the clan name of Chengiz Khan. Chengiz KhanI remember my father told me that at the time of Reza Shah how officials of registry used to go to villages and choose surname for people according to what they were known for. Some of surnames that don’t look nice today have their roots in that procedures in that simple rural environment. For instance they chose Tas-kolah (bowl-hat) for somebody who used to put a bowl on his head like a hat. Then they didn't care so much about the meaning of the surname because everybody knew everybody in that village anyway, but now Tas-kolah would be having difficult times!!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


If you are studying in a university with advanced library and information services, probably you have seen a sign like this SFX in front of every item in the results of your search when you search some databases. SFX is another technology related to link management which is being applied by libraries to make access to material easier for end users. when for example you search Eric database and you see the results, by clicking on SFX sign either you will be taken to full text of that article if your library has access to or you will be given a chance to do an authomated search of library catalogue in order to find if the print or electronic copy of that item is available in your library.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Open URL Link Resolvers

Nowadays libraries provide access to a range of full-text databases for their users. But not every user of a library has access to all of its databases. e.g. in university librares students have access to some databases according to their disciplines. One of the new technologies for managing links and reducing frustration of the users is Open URL Link Resolver.

The OpenURL framework is built on the principle that the full text of an article can be defined by a set of metadata elements in an Open URL. When the protocol is implemented in a database, the static URL (something like this: pointing to only one version of the full text, is raplaced by an OpenURL containing all of the metadata that was extracted from the citation (something like this: In this Open URL link you can see the the name of the author, ISSN, volume and issue number of the journal and start page of the article. With help of this technology, libraries can control what links do and do not appear to users. Or in other words a user will be presented only with links to resources that his or her institution subscribed to. To get an general idea about this technology read this short article.

Saturday, November 06, 2004


You probably have come across a sign like this Syndicate this site with this phrase below it: "Syndicate this Site".
RSS is an acronym for either RDF Site Summary, or Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication. All of these actually are different names for the same technology. RSS is an XML format for distributing syndicated content such as news. It can be applied in libraries and actually there is a growing literature about application of RSS in the libraries. For a simple and non-technical introduction to RSS you can read this article by Steven M. Cohen on website.