Monday, June 06, 2005

CS RT

A few kinda random notes on the CS roundtable held earlier today.
* Well attended ~ 30 or so!
* John Dupuis was a lively moderator, good choice/good volunteer. Personally I wish more folks had talked, but we had some good discussions on several of John's agenda points.
* Many refuted John's allegation that CS depts. are shrinking; instead, many universities (majority in attendance were academics) have *growing* computer science depts. and/or curricula. In fact, some consensus that interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary programs w/ a cs angle are rapidly proliferating. Some places, e.g. Penn State, Dartmouth, are establishing new interdisciplinary centers w/ a CS angle. Some consensus that CS graduate/masters' students are the biggest CS group and/or library users at many campuses (CS and EE grad. students are the biggest Sci & Eng library users).
* Spinoff discussion on growing "informatics," "bioinformatics," etc. programs at universities.
* Another spinoff discussion on interdisciplinarity is changing acquistions budgets and selecting. Some competition betwixt selectors. Some consensus that collaboration is ultimate goal, and it is starting to work at many places.
* Vendors in attendance included of course sponsor ACM, as well as IEEE, Computing Reviews, and others. Sorry I did not get them all. All reps. were interactive and pleasantly low key but participatory.
* A bit of a discussion on institutional repositories sparked by ACM rep. asking if he should "lose sleep" over IRs. Consensus seemed no, that indexing/making available local grey lit (tech repts etc) was first job of burgeoning IRs. I was surprised more institutions did not/do not have IRs. (USC has an IR Task Force which I'm on, we decided to ASK faculty FIRST before simplying building it and hoping theyd come). Queen's here in Toronto has a new one called Q-Space, presumably a D-Space implementation?
* IEEE, Karen Wilkonson (sp?) announced that Xplore interface has been newly revisied - new Guest Login includes one free search; All PDFs are now fully fulltexted indexed, so keyword searching is more powerful. "Soon" they will have conference alerts, which many wanted. (i.e. can sign up to get an alert when a new conf. proceedings added.)
* John reported that Springer has now compiled a spreadsheet of all their lecture notes series that are available in Online versions; one can ask them for this. I hesitate to post the Springer rep's email here; those interested could ask John, or me, or others from PAM. Springer plans to update this spreadsheet quarterly. Still not as good as an alert, etc.
* Penn State has a CS librarian/selector who is now spending lots of time on his wireless laptop in the (CS? Eng? sounded like a specific dept.) info commons, and is coming to be the go-to library guy for CS questions, pretty cool.
* Google Scholar: ACM and IEEE are allowing total spider crawling; ACM bought results placement as part of the deal, other publishers are, too. A way to make "vetted" content more quickly available on the nondeep Web.
Well, there are folks waiting for this workstation, so all for now!
Sara T.

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