Tech Roundup

Technology Committee members here at Towson University’s Cook Library are always on the hunt for new technology applications to bring into the library or technology-related issues our library should be addressing.  As we scour the internet for important, interesting, or just plain cool examples of technology applications, issues, or news, we post links and  summaries with our take here to the blog.

“Five Visual Dictionaries and Thesauri for Students”

If you enjoyed last week’s post about Snappy Words here at LibTechTalk, you should also take a look at this list from Free Technology for Teachers that includes some additional recommendations for visual thesauri. As librarians continue to help students understand the importance of good search terms and guide them in their development of an expanded search vocabulary, visual dictionaries and thesauri are additional tools for librarians to explore. – Kim

Publons and open peer review

 Publons and similar web startups are changing the game of peer review (even though Publons says that’s not its goal). Peer review is traditionally an anonymous, secretive process privileged only to the select few. New platforms are enabling open peer review – an open, transparent process of the many that happens after a scholarly resource is published. This transition re-positions the scholarly publication as the initiator of scholarly discourse rather than as the end product – much like blog posts and other web publications. While the pre-publication peer review process might not be completely replaced, creating opportunities to engage in conversations around publications immediately after they are published will be important to the longevity and continued relevance of scholarly publications. As organizers and facilitators of information, wouldn’t it be great if libraries were at the forefront of enabling these conversations?- David

Google Search Algorithm Changes

As reported by the New York Times, Google announced just a few weeks ago that they had made major modifications to their search alogorithm. The new algorithm, which Google calls “Hummingbird,” includes more emphasis on semantic searching, attempting to understand what the user’s key words or phrases mean in relationship to other words, in order to retrieve more relevant results. It could be interesting to explore this change during discussions in library instruction sessions, further guiding students to understand how their search terms influence the results they receive during a Google search vs the search of a “traditional” library database. – Kim



What do you think about some of the issues or technologies presented?  Have you found anything interesting online this week? Share in the comments!


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