Features and Columns — July, 2014

ChatterBots Resources on the Internet

Marcus P. Zillman's guide is a comprehensive listing of resources on increasingly popular computer projects and programs used to simulate human conversation using "intelligent" agents and text based applications, called chatterbots. — Published July 6, 2012

June, 2012

Clemency Clinics: A Blueprint for Justice

Ken Strutin's article presents a significant collection of expertly selected resources on clemency and other established post-conviction projects. It also includes general resources that can be used in the process of starting up a clemency clinic or a project in a law school, bar association, law firm, university, college or any entity interested in undertaking a role in arena of work. Ken documents how innocence projects and law clinics are good models for clemency projects because they pursue claims frequently raised in pardons. He also identifies how schools of journalism, paralegal and legal assistant programs, and private law firms, defense providers, individual attorneys and not-for-profits spearheaded by those directly affected, have embraced a mission to address injustice in their particular ways. — Published June 17, 2012

May, 2012

Academic and Scholar Search Engines and Sources - An Annotated Link Compilation

This new guide by research guru Marcus P. Zillman focuses on the latest and most significant academic and scholar search engines and sources. With the addition of new and pertinent information continually released online from every sector, it is very easy to experience information overload. A real asset in responding to the challenges of so much data is to apply techniques to identify and locate significant, reliable academic and scholarly information that resides in both the visible and invisible web. The following selected academic and scholar search engines and sources offer a wide range of actionable information retrieval and extraction sources to help you accomplish your research goals. — Published May 30, 2012

FOIA Facts: Things Requesters Should Know

FOIA expert Scott A. Hodes shares his professional experience working with FOIA Analysts, and their perspective on how they make the FOIA process smoother in regard to their relationships with requesters. This however is a double edged coin – FOIA requesters can also take specific steps and make efforts to assist with the satisfactory and timely completion of a request when communicating with government FOIA personnel. — Published May 19, 2012

Pet Overpopulation Infographic

Spencer Belkofer's Infographic documents the critical importance of spaying and neutering cats and dogs to saves lives, promote health and to facilitate adoption. For all the readers who are involved in "rescue", and those who are considering this option, Spencer brings us key facts to help support our decision to become involved in making a difference in the lives of companion animals. — Published May 6, 2012

April, 2012

Opening Government: On the Limits of FOIA and the Metaphor of Transparency

Professor Annmarie Bridy discusses the use of “transparency” as a metaphor for openness in government, the use of FOIA as a mechanism for ensuring such openness, and the ways in which proponents of greater public involvement in policy-making may disserve the cause by focusing too single-mindedly on access to information and the right to know, both of which are operationalized through FOIA. — Published April 29, 2012

A Technical Examination of SOPA and PIPA

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) are the subject of this Infographic, by Spencer Belkofer, Lumin Consulting. See also his related Infographic on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). — Published April 29, 2012

Veterans in the Criminal Justice System: Defending Conditions of the Mind

Ken Strutin's guide includes key recent and notable cases, surveys, studies, guides, web resources and directories for legal research specific to veterans' deployed to war who subsequently developed mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD). — Published April 20, 2012

SOPA’s Evil Twin Sister – CISPA

Well known graphic artists Jake O'Neil and Spencer Belkofer created this infographic out of a sense of urgency to visualize the salient information with as many communities as possible. This bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011, has not garnered the media coverage of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), but its high impact implications target key legal issues involving privacy and intellectual property. — Published April 14, 2012

March, 2012

Fiction is harder than fact, but the Web helps

Nicholas Pengelley's wide ranging global career spans law librarian, lawyer, law professor and analyst for a major international NGO. Now as the author of a new political thriller he explains why writing fiction is much harder to write than fact, based on comparison to work accomplished to publish academic articles in his fields of expertise, and opinion pieces on political issues. He attributes the success of aspects of this project to effective and expansive Web research for sources and information to facilitate fact checking and information gathering, as well as to the use of a manuscript editing software, AutoCrit. — Published March 24, 2012

New Economy Resources

Marcus P. Zillman's guide is focused on current web sites, blogs and database sources targeted to researchers whose goal is the discovery and effective use of specific, reliable resources to track the New Economy. These sources assume added importance with the expansion in U.S. government transparency, the rise in prominence of "big data" and the public release by agencies, NGOs, public interest groups and media, of diverse databases of analytics, reports, statistical releases, and customized charts. — Published March 9, 2012

FOIA Facts: FOIA as Golf

Recent reports of both the Department of Justice and others about the administrations FOIA overall program have led FOIA expert Scott A. Hodes to imagine FOIA as golf. President Obama is currently on the fairway of the ninth hole. Voters will let him know in November if he gets to play the back nine. — Published March 9, 2012

February, 2012

Animal Rights in the Human Legal System

The struggle for human rights has gone on for ages, but the story of animal rights has only begun to be told. Ken Strutin's guide is a compilation of new and notable legal resources on animal rights and welfare. Its jurisprudence takes into account the various roles that society has assigned to animals, e.g., companion, servant or object, as well the implications of their participation or use in different sectors of modern life. Some of the key legal areas of confluence include: (1) animal rescue; (2) protective legislation; (3) law enforcement and forensics; (4) elder care and end of life issues; (5) abuse registries; (6) environmental hazards; (7) witness assistants; and (8) development of advanced degrees and specialization in animal law. — Published February 20, 2012

Help with SharePoint is on the way in The Adventures of SharePoint Reading Bee© Animated Series

Microsoft SharePoint expert Lorette S.J. Weldon asks us to imagine walking into the library without worrying about file compatibilities and adjustments of applications to do what you want when you want. All you would see is a library with your workstation. When SharePoint is properly implemented, it could blend into the background. You would never know that it was there. Lorette created an animated series to assist librarians to leverage this application, and has included a very short survey to offer suggestions for future episodes. — Published February 20, 2012

January, 2012

SharePoint Blogging with Permission

Lorette S.J. Weldon continues to share her guides on how librarians in various sectors can effectively leverage SharePoint within the enterprise, in groups, and with individuals outside the organization. She refers to her 2010 survey, "How is SharePoint used in Libraries?" that found 16 out of 54 participants used SharePoint's site features, such as the blog. Lorette provides insights and associated documentation on this application's limitations, features, and operational structure. — Published January 22, 2012

"Stolen" LinkedIn Profiles and the Misappropriation of Ideas

Within the context of the decline of the law tort of "hot news" misappropriation, Professor Annemarie Bridy discusses a recent Pennsylvania case in which the parties are fighting over ownership of a LinkedIn account containing the plaintiff’s profile and her professional connections. The defendant, the former employer, asserted a state law counterclaim for misappropriation of ideas. — Published January 22, 2012

Forensic Bibliometrics: Information Quality Assurance in Scientific Literature

Everyone is familiar with the "corrections" columns in newspapers and the errata pages in the backs of books. But those corrigenda are a far cry from identifying the problems created when authors deliberately offer for publication fraudulent results. Research misconduct and the publication of fraudulent results in scholarly publications and news media has become a growing concern in many disciplines. Ken Strutin has researched, annotated and compiled core documents that address the causes of misconduct, spotting faked data, and repairing the damage to the information stream. — Published January 16, 2012

Knowledge Discovery Resources 2012 - An Internet MiniGuide Annotated Link Compilation

This guide by Marcus P. Zillman is focused on the latest and most competent resources for knowledge discovery available through the Internet from a wide range of open source authors and sponsors. These sites are sustained by academics, publishers, professional organizations, corporations, governments and NGOs. With the constant addition of new and pertinent information to the Web, a critical key is to find and leverage the relevant and reliable knowledge discovery resources and sites both in the visible and invisible World Wide Web. The selected knowledge discovery resources and sites compiled by Marcus provide a wealth of knowledge and information discovery sources to facilitate your research goals. — Published January 16, 2012

Deep Web Research 2012

Marcus P. Zillman's extensive research over the years into the "invisible" or "deep" web indicates that it covers somewhere in the vicinity of 1 trillion plus pages of information located throughout the Internet in various files and formats that current search engines either cannot locate, or have difficulty accessing. The current search engines find hundreds of billions of pages at the time of this publication. His guide provides extensive and targeted resources to facilitate both a better understanding of the history of deep web research as well to effectively and productively search for and locate these often undiscovered but critical documents. — Published January 16, 2012

National Digital Library System - Early Childhood Education and Family Literacy

David H. Rothman's latest commentary on the DPLA states his position clearly: Priority One of a national digital library system should be early childhood education, bolstered by family literacy. Other areas also count, but early childhood education is dearest to him and among those especially likely to give the taxpayers the most for their investment. We could use tablet computers and good old-fashioned tutoring and mentoring from librarians, educators, and volunteers to help the disadvantaged--parents as well as children. — Published January 15, 2012

December, 2011

Using tablet computers, e-libraries, and family literacy initiatives to encourage young children to read

David H. Rothman continues to articulate and comprehensively document the case that a public national digital library system should serve people of all income levels and all ages, centenarians included. In this article he focuses on how books for young, disadvantaged children are one area where it could make a special difference, and how better-off families would benefit along the way. — Published December 23, 2011

Overview of all FOI Law Around the World - 2011 update

Forensic intelligence analyst, legal adviser, lecturer, FOIA and Web expert, and Publisher of the Fringe journals (Dutch), Roger Vleugels has published his Summary of 2011 Update indicating that 88 countries now have a FOIA in power. This reflects 7 more than in last year's update: El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guinea-Conakry, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia. — Published December 3, 2011

Information Quality Resources on the Internet

This comprehensive, selective, focused, updated guide by web research guru Marcus P. Zillman comprises resources and sources that will help you to discover many reliable pathways available through the Internet to find the latest information quality resources and sites. — Published December 2, 2011

November, 2011

Taxonomies and Thesauri

Gail Rayburn, Taxonomist, Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, shares her recent presentation comprising a comprehensive, well documented analysis and guide addressing core components including: what is a taxonomy, taxonomy structure, scope notes, hierarchical relationships, synonyms, acronyms, qualifiers, sample taxonomy entries, and taxonomy development. — Published November 26, 2011

Learning to Live Without a Statistical Abstract: Thinking about Future Access to Government Information

The U.S. Census Bureau anticipates that budget cuts will likely dismantle the entire Statistical Compendia division. James T. Shaw's presentation focuses on why there is no truly good alternative to the Statistical Abstract in terms of providing both convenience and breadth, either from other government or commercial sources. He provides descriptions of and links to other statistical sources and methods to mine available data moving forward. — Published November 20, 2011

ShoppingBots and Online Shopping Resources 2012

Marcus P. Zillman's guide, great for holiday and year round shopping, comprises a comprehensive listing of shoppingbot and online shopping resources and sites on the Internet. Comparison shopping for books, electronics, gadgets, clothing, green products, hotels? Looking for coupons, discounts, vouchers or last minute deals? Do you want to support local, regional or national products and services? Marcus' wide ranging listing highlights reliable, efficient sites and services to compare and contrast your shopping choices, and to make the experience more cost effective and satisfying, now and year round. — Published November 10, 2011

October, 2011

The Digital Death of Copyright's First Sale Doctrine

An important copyright case won't be argued in the Supreme Court, which on October 3, 2011 declined to review Vernor v. Autodesk, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision involving the applicability of copyright's first sale doctrine to transactions involving software and other digital information goods. Law professor Annmarie Bridy discusses the wide reaching impact of the first sale doctrine, without which there would be no free market for used books, CDs, or DVDs, because the copyright owner's right of distribution would reach beyond the first sale, all the way down the stream of commerce. — Published October 31, 2011

For Future SAKE

NPR's Senior Librarian Laura Soto-Barra highlights specific "Future Ready" skills that comprise e-leadership competencies: Skills, Attitude, Knowledge and Experience. — Published October 30, 2011

FOIA Facts: DOJ FOIA Regulations

Scott A. Hodes addresses the responses from various groups about the proposed new Department of Justice ("DOJ") FOIA regulations which call for DOJ components to "respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist. This response should not differ in wording from any other response given by the component" when applying an exclusion to the FOIA. — Published October 28, 2011

Law Periodical Publishing Practices and Trends

Law librarian, criminal defense attorney and prolific author Ken Strutin brings into focus how electronic access to scholarly information is impacting library collection policies as well as professional publication formats, and as a result, how a new legal research environment is developing. Ken's article provides a selected collection of resources about the law review publishing process, emerging trends in the information cycle, and practical guides for developing an article and getting it to press. — Published October 26, 2011