“In partnership with Wikimedia Australia (WMAu), the State Library of Queensland has made the fourth-largest ever donation of images to Wikimedia Commons: 50,000 digitised copyright-free photographs and accompanying metadata that document some of the history of the state from the mid-19th century until 1955. The 50,000 images from the State Library of Queensland are from its John Oxley Library, and are part of an ambitious scheme to digitise many of its two million images. These images are stored on paper and in the form of negatives, slides, and other photographic technologies. Since it opened in 1934, the John Oxley Library has been collecting, managing, and providing access to images that document Queensland’s history, development, and cultural life; these images have in turn been donated by individuals and organisations, and in some cases purchased by the Library“
What a fantastic gesture, and also what great way to ensure that the images are available to the maximum number of users worldwide, and throughout Queensland.
Read the full story:
An interesting article in the New York Times on web based alternatives to the traditional peer review process that are currently being tested in a couple of journals. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/24/arts/24peer.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=technology
Is the slow but usually reliable peer review process in need of renovation or should it be torn down and replaced? How would academia respond? How would the gargoyles cope?
(The contributor of this photo is Callum Black)
It’s no great surprise that a lot of students use Wikipedia as part of the research process and also not surprising that teachers generally discourage its use. It’s easy, has very broad subject coverage and ranks VERY highly in Google searches…but how do students actually use it when researching for an assignment?
Stephen Abram has a post linking to a new paper that is based on research on a group of US college students. The conclusions:
1. Students’ driving need for background context makes Wikipedia one of the predictable workarounds that many students use, especially during the first stages of their research process.
2. Course–related research may begin with Wikipedia, but it rarely ends there. In our study, students employed a complex information problem strategy in their research processes, reliant on a mix of information resources that were from scholarly sources and public Internet sites.
3. In our study, we found the combination of coverage, currency, comprehensibility, and convenience drives Wikipedia use, in a world where credibility is less of a given — or an expectation from students — with each passing day.
4. Overall, college students use Wikipedia. But, they do so knowing its limitation. They use Wikipedia just as most of us do — because it is a quick way to get started and it has some, but not deep, credibility.
There’s also some discussion about what the opportunities are here for librarians and educators. The full article:
There’s a humourous little news story on the ABC website about an Irish uni student who posted a fake quote to Wikipedia, attributed to a French composer. This quote was picked up by a multitude of newspapers, websites and blogs etc. There are comments about the incident and, more interestingly, the reliability of Wikipedia on the ABC blog.
This ITworld article is pretty interesting.
Google has launched Knol, its user-generated online encyclopedia, which it announced in December but had kept under wraps in private testing.
They will be encourage authors/editors names to be public, (like Citizendium).
Is this the real beginning of the free-encyclopedia wars?