Iantha Haight writes that her library recently hosted a guest speaker, David Wingate, a professor in BYU’s computer science department who does research on large language models, for a faculty lunch and learn. The entire presentation was fascinating, but the most intriguing part for me and many of the law faculty in attendance was the idea that generative AI systems will become so good they will be able to replace human subjects in answering research surveys. How? Generative neural networks trained on huge amounts of data—terabytes and even petabytes—ingest enough information about people that they can answer survey questions as if they were members of the survey population.
Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: Amazon Workers Can Now Keep Cell Phones at Work; Best Reverse Image Search Tool: Google, Bing, Pixsy, Tineye; Google adds more ways to remove yourself from Search results; and Shut Stalkers Out of Your Tech.
Ed Summers, librarian, metadata expert, teacher, and computational expert, delivers an insighful lesson on the Persistent Uniform Resource Locator. PURLs were developed to make URLs more resilient and persistent over time. You could put a PURL into a catalog record and if the URL it pointed to needed to change you changed the redirect on the PURL server, and all the places that pointed to the PURL didn’t need to change. It was a beautifully simple idea, and has influenced other approaches like DOI and Handle. But this simplicity depends on a commitment to keeping the PURL up to date.
Librarians, researchers, journalists, teachers and students are continually confronted with what can be described as a kind of information miasma when using online sites, databases, resources, images and social media. No sector or discipline is immune to misinformation, disinformation, hoaxes, lack of data quality, and biased research. This guide by Marcus Zillman highlights actionable resources to evaluate and identify online malfeasance, as well as sources to verify information and data quality that is critical to our professions. These two efforts often intersect, and require vigilance and continuing education respective to effectively confronting the challenges they present.
This guide by Marcus Zillman identifies a wide range of free and fee based resources from which to choose to conduct people searches as well as brand and company reputation research, for business or personal reasons. It is important to note that the largest and most prominent data aggregators resell their content to other sites. In addition, data on free and some fee based sites may not be cleansed and can include inaccuracies that range from minor to critical. Also, many sites offer free search but charge a fee to review the results. It is therefore advisable to use multiple sources in your research and compare and contrast results before pursuing the use of these data.
Justia’s mission is to make the law and legal resources free for all. In keeping with this mission, the Justia Portal offers free access to statutes from all 50 states, cases from federal courts and the highest state courts, legal guides, and more! While these resources make the law more accessible to the general public, they also help aspiring lawyers just beginning their journeys into the profession and ease the early stages of legal research for practicing attorneys looking for quick access to relevant laws. Additionally, Justia Law Schools helps prospective law students (and those already studying to become lawyers) gather information on U.S. law schools and the law school admissions process. In this post, Justia’s team shares some data about some of the most frequently viewed law schools nationwide, as well as some information about the most viewed provisions of the law and cases on their site.
Marcus P. Zillman’s guide comprises an extensive listing of resources and sites for students, researchers, teachers, infopros and parents, on multiple study areas. Sourced from academic, public, private, association and corporate sectors, the subject matters include: distance learning; MOOCs, lecture guides and study notes, study skill resources, online tutoring and homework help, free e-learning videos, scholarship resources and PhD, Dissertation, thesis, and academic writing resources.
Investing in Libraries is the Right Thing for Administrators To Do, Even if There Are Fewer Resources Overall
Todd A. Carpenter advocates for libraries at this critical juncture when remote learning is now pervasive for academic institutions around the country. Although digitized resources delivered via IP-based authentication were the norm before the pandemic, users of library resources were only vaguely aware that the services they regularly use are provided by the library because of IP-based authentication. Carpenter argues that the need for budget cuts must be weighed against the expanded and critical need for students and faculty to have uninterrupted access to digital resources provided by their libraries.
Nicole L. Black’s review highlights this book’s breadth of coverage and its format, information about a variety of free online tools, including public records databases, newsletters, and encyclopedias, and case law and statutes, fee-based legal research tools, as well as traditional case law and statutory research tools, and cutting edge AI-based legal research and data analytics software.
This timely and extensive guide by Marcus Zillman includes resources for students, teachers and parents who together begin this school year with most, or in many cases, all of their courses conducted via online distance learning. The guide includes a wide range of links to augment and expand your current toolkit, including: open textbooks and learning resources for all subjects; free online courses; tutorial resources; educational search engines; video lectures and talks; tools to capture and organize ideas; comparing prices on new an used textbooks; and strategies for organizing notes for comprehensive exams.