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.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Life after PhD

These are some tips I learned from Dr. Susan Scott from the dapartment of Informaiton System in a seminar in LSE about life of a PhD students after graduation specially in UK academic environment.
There are a few options for a PhD after graduation including:
1. Lectureship, This is mainly teaching with some research and administrative responsibilities. Research is important because it is the main factor that helps the academic person get promoted.
2. Research assistant or research officer, this is mainly research with a little teaching. In this case usually other people are responsible for research agenda and getting grants. So the researcher will be working on other people’s research agenda. It is better to have a little of teaching.
3. Research fellow (or postdoc). This is also mainly just research. But its difference with the second is that this is self-directed. Research fellow will have his/her own agenda and work on his/her own research.

Publication is very important in academic environment. It is recommended that a graduated PhD has at least one article published or in process in a A-level journal (such as JDoc, JASIST) in the field and two articles published in B-level journals (such as Aslib proceedings). Book chapters and seminar and conference papers are not very important for getting promotion or when applying for job. Because they are not usually peer reviewed. Even books are not very effective in the CV unless they have a great and well-respected effect on the field.

Friday, June 24, 2005

lecturers' ranking in UK

just some general informaiton about promotion of staff in academia. In UK, the hierarchy of university lecturers is as follows:
  1. temporary lecturer
  2. Tenure track lecturer
  3. junior lecturer
  4. senior lecturer
  5. reader
  6. professor
temporary lecturer is someone who has a short contract for example for one year, tenure track is a longer contract say for example for 4-5 years. but when it comes to permanent lecturship, it is devided to junior and senior, then they are promoted to reader and finally professor. professors might get some extra honorary titles like School professor, or Professor in Law and so on. the reason why they use the title "reader" is not because they read the material to students, its story goes back to around 11th centure when Oxford university and generally universities were established in the Britain. There were not so many books at the time and lecturers apparently didn't have access to books, but readers had (or something like this stroy, i don't remember exactly).

In the USA, the system is different, they have:
  1. instructor or teacher
  2. assistant professor
  3. associate professor
  4. (full) professor
there are some other kinds of professors such as professor emeritus (a retired professor) and visitor professor (its meaning is self-evident).

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Scirus is the most comprehensive free science-specific search engine on the Internet. It searches over 200 million science-specific Web pages. If you haven't tried it yet, try it here. You will find it useful both in terms of coverage and functionality.

Research Councils in the UK

I believe one of the reasons behind the high profile of UK in terms of research activities (both quality and quantity) is a clear policy and the existence of some public organisations which lead the research at a national level. There are eight research councils in Britain that are active in different fields. Research Councils are the main public investors in fundamental research in the UK.

  1. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  2. The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  3. The Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC)
  4. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  5. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  6. The Medical Research Council (MRC)
  7. The Natural Environment Research Council(NERC)
  8. The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)

for more information about these you can check Research Councils UK (RCUK) website.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Oxford Internet Surveys

this is a link to the results of a large-scale survey about use of internet in UK and its effects on different aspects of the society.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005 is a free, publicly available Internet web portal allowing access to numerous scientific journals and public science databases. A single query will search thousands of high quality journals and databases, effectively millions of documents, in real-time'

Covers major publishers: Elsevier, Highwire, IEEE, Nature, Taylor & Francis, etc and free journal sources like DOAJ. Full text access to commercial journals requires a subscription or payment. A bit like Google Scholar, but better?!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography

The new version (Version 58) of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography is now available. This selective bibliography presents over 2,420 articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishingefforts on the Internet.
check it out in HTML format or PDF format.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Google has become the biggest media company by stock value. it's value is $80 billion. read more here on BBC.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Emerald's journals in new size

You might have notices that Emerald that publishes more than 15 journals in LIS including JDoc, Aslib Proceedings has reduced the size of all of its LIS journals. the new size is not suitable for chart and diagrams and some of the journals editors don't like it.

What's better than...

Following text is part of Jimenez's speech for college students in 2003. I found it very interesting. I hope it changes -even a bit- our way of thinking. This is the first part of his speech. I will post other sections in next posts.

What's better than .....By Butch Jimenez
As college students, you're just about to set sail into the real world.As you prepare for the battle ground of life, you'll hear many speeches,read tons of books and get miles of advise telling you to work hard, dream big, go out and do something for yourself, and have a vision.

Not bad advise, really. In fact, following these nuggets of truth may just bring you to the top. But as I've lived my life over the years, I have come to realise that it is great to dream big, have a vision, make a name, and work hard. But guess what : There's something better than that -
So my message today simply asks the question,what's better than ...?
What's better than being negative ?

Let's start off with something really simple.What's better than a long speech ? No doubt, a short one. So, you guysare in luck because I intend to keep this short.

Now, let me take you through a very simple math exam. I'll rattle off a couple of equations, and you tell me what you observe about them. Be mindful of the instruction. You are to tell me what you observe about the equations.
Here it goes : 3+4=7, 9+2=11, 8+4=13 and 6+6=12.Tell me, what do you observe ?
Every time I conduct the test, more than 90 percent of the participants immediately say, 8+4 is NOT 13, it's 12. That's true and they are correct. But they could have also observed that the three other equations were right. That 3+4 is 7, that 9+2 is 11, andthat 6+6 is 12.
What's my point ? Many people immediately focus on the negative instead of the positive. Most of us focus on what's wrong with other people more than what's right about them. Examine those four equations. Three were right an only one was wrong. But what is the knee-jerk observation ?The wrong equation.

If 10 people you didn't know were to walk through that door, most of you would describe those people by what's negative about them. He's fat.He's balding. Oh, the short one. Oh, the skinny girl. etc.

Get the point ? It's always the negative we focus on and not the positive.You'll definitely experience this in the Corporate World. You do a hundred good things and one mistake-guess what? Chances are, your attention will be called on that one mistake..
So what's better than focusing on the negative ?
Believe me, it focusing on the positive. And if this world could learn to focus on the positive more than the negative, it would be a much nicer place to live in.