A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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404 File Not Found: Citing Unstable Web Sources   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Researchers, including students, must accommodate to the mutating character of hyperlinks on the World Wide Web. A small study of citations in three volumes of BCQ demonstrates the phenomenon of 'URL rot,' the disappearance of sites cited in the sample articles. Digital technology itself is now being used to create pockets of permanence, but with the understanding that preservation of content is only one ingredient in the mix of media and format migration. Databases like JSTOR offer digitally preserved copies of many scholarly journals. Online journals and search engines may offer their own archives. In general, researchers should cite digital articles in databases where possible and consider avoiding references to online journals with print editions.

Griffin, Frank. Business Communication Quarterly (2003). Articles>Research>Style Guides>Online


The Added Value Features of Online Scholarly Journals   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Online scholarly journals have become an important tool for the generation of knowledge and the distribution and access to research. The purpose of this article is to analyze the features of online scholarly journals and to determine whether they incorporate new Internet-enabled features and functions which help to meet the needs of the members of the scholarly community more effectively. Drawing on Taylor's concept of added value [1], the features of online scholarly journals were classified into the following types: features which enhance ease of use and facilitate access to data, features that provide selected information and thus reduce noise, features which improve quality, features which address specific user needs, and features which contribute to time or cost savings. The analysis revealed that, although some online journals operate in the same way as print journals, there are others which incorporate innovative features which are transforming the journal to make it a more effective tool for scholarly activity.

Luzón, María José. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2007). Articles>Research>Publishing>Online


Beyond Google: How Do Students Conduct Academic Research?

This paper reports findings from an exploratory study about how students majoring in humanities and social sciences use the Internet and library resources for research. Using student discussion groups, content analysis, and a student survey, our results suggest students may not be as reliant on public Internet sites as previous research has reported. Instead, students in our study used a hybrid approach for conducting course-related research. A majority of students leveraged both online and offline sources to overcome challenges with finding, selecting, and evaluating resources and gauging professors' expectations for quality research.

Head, Alison J. First Monday (2007). Articles>Education>Research>Online


Beyond Google: How Do Students Conduct Academic Research?

This paper reports findings from an exploratory study about how students majoring in humanities and social sciences use the Internet and library resources for research. Using student discussion groups, content analysis, and a student survey, our results suggest students may not be as reliant on public Internet sites as previous research has reported. Instead, students in our study used a hybrid approach for conducting course-related research. A majority of students leveraged both online and offline sources to overcome challenges with finding, selecting, and evaluating resources and gauging professors' expectations for quality research.

Head, Alison J. First Monday (2007). Articles>Education>Research>Online


Can Wikipedia Be Trusted?

The intention of this article is to open the readers eyes to the issues with trusting user edited content. Over time, the Wikipedia may balance out. Eventually, or possibly even now, user tests are being performed to see how much content is credible. Also, the academic communities could step up and decide unanimously that the Wikipedia is not a trusted body of information to use for research. Once this happens the Wikipedia will have to change the way information within their pages is handled to maintain existence.

Hall, Lawrence. Content Matters (2006). Articles>Research>Online>Wikis


A Computing Research Repository: Why Not Solve the Problems First?

The Computing Research Repository (CoRR) described by Halpern is potentially a powerful tool for researchers in computing science. In its current form, however, shortcomings exist that restrict its value and that, in the long term, might strongly undermine its usefulness. Important aspects that have insufficiently been taken care of are (1) the quality and consequently the reliability of the material stored, (2) the still restricted submission of material,which implies that other sources have to be consulted by researchers as well, (3) the still unsound financial basis of the project, and (4) the confusion that may easily arise when a preliminary version is stored in the CoRR, while a different final version is published in a journal.

van Loon, A.J. Journal of Computer Documentation (2000). Articles>Knowledge Management>Research>Online


Crossing the Divide   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This essay summarizes the editor's views of publication in the field of human-computer interaction. Digital technologies have begun changing the way journal articles and conference papers are produced, reviewed, published, accessed, and used. This period of profound change presents challenges and opportunities for both new and existing channels of scientific and technical communication.

Grudin, Jonathan. ACM TOCHI (2004). Articles>Research>Publishing>Online


The Deep Niche   (peer-reviewed)

The deep niche--the rolling 'interest tribe' comprised of that day's enthusiastic, new audience--is something that publishers must acknowledge, and accommodate in our business plans, if we are to sustain ourselves. The Web is not merely a threat to publishers--it can also be the means to connect to the people we most want to reach: the interested reader.

Jensen, Michael. Journal of Electronic Publishing (2007). Articles>Publishing>Research>Online


E-Learning in the Library: Developing an Online Library Research Tutorial

The instruction librarian at GustavuAn examination of this draft tutorial serves to illustrate some of the issues concerning 'e-learning' in the context of online library research tutorials.s Adolphus College (GAC) in St. Peter, Minnesota has created a draft online library tutorial: 'Doing Research at the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library – and Beyond,' available at http://www.gustavus.edu/oncampus/academics/library/tutorial.An examination of this draft tutorial serves to illustrate some of the issues concerning 'e-learning' in the context of online library research tutorials.

Hulseberg, Anna. Techniques (2003). Articles>Research>Online


Effect of E-Printing on Citation Rates in Astronomy and Physics

In this report we examine the change in citation behavior since the introduction of the arXiv e-print repository. It has been observed that papers that initially appear as arXiv e-prints get cited more than papers that do not. Using the citation statistics from the NASA-Smithsonian Astrophysics Data System, we confirm the findings from other studies, we examine the average citation rate to e-printed papers in the Astrophysical Journal, and we show that for a number of major astronomy and physics journals the most important papers are submitted to the arXiv e-print repository first.

Henneken, Edwin A., Michael J. Kurtz, Guenther Eichhorn, Alberto Accomazzi, Carolyn Grant, Donna Thompson and Stephen S. Murray. Journal of Electronic Publishing (2006). Articles>Publishing>Research>Online


Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Online journals promise to serve more information to more dispersed audiences and are more efficiently searched and recalled. But because they are used differently than print—scientists and scholars tend to search electronically and follow hyperlinks rather than browse or peruse—electronically available journals may portend an ironic change for science. Using a database of 34 million articles, their citations (1945 to 2005), and online availability (1998 to 2005), I show that as more journal issues came online, the articles referenced tended to be more recent, fewer journals and articles were cited, and more of those citations were to fewer journals and articles. The forced browsing of print archives may have stretched scientists and scholars to anchor findings deeply into past and present scholarship. Searching online is more efficient and following hyperlinks quickly puts researchers in touch with prevailing opinion, but this may accelerate consensus and narrow the range of findings and ideas built upon.

Evans, James A. Science (2008). Articles>Research>Publishing>Online


Ethical and Legal Aspects of Human Subjects Research on the Internet   (PDF)

Many IRBs recognize their unfamiliarity with the nature of Internet research and their lack of technical expertise needed to review related research protocols. To both protect human subjects and promote innovative and scientifically sound research, it is important to consider the ethical, legal, and technical issues associated with this burgeoning area of research.

AAAS (1999). Articles>Research>Ethics>Online


Evaluating Online Sources: A Tutorial by Roger Munger

This tutorial presents a brief overview of the reasons to evaluate information you find on the Internet, offers guidelines to assist you in the process, and helps you assess the information found on sample Web pages. Although the principles presented here apply to all kinds of information found on the Internet, the primary focus is on sites from organizations and companies-sites that you will likely visit while conducting research-rather than on personal Web sites.

Munger, Roger H. Bedford-St. Martin's (2007). Articles>Research>Online>Assessment


Going Online   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This is a truly special issue of Technical Communication. It is the last hybrid issue that will be published in print and online. As of the Febru- ary 2010 issue, Technical Communication will be an online journal with a print-on-demand subscription option. I normally think of our journal in terms of its content—the articles, the book reviews, and the Recent and Relevant entries—but at this moment, I realize that the journal can also be seen as a tangible product, expressed in numbers of printed pages or tons of paper per year.

de Jong, Menno D.T. Technical Communication Online (2009). Articles>Publishing>Research>Online


The Guild Model   (peer-reviewed)

The Guild Publishing Model is a workable and presently working model, taken seriously in computer science, economics, business, and demography among other fields; however, it has not entered the discussion of scholarly electronic communication. Instead, for example, discussion of scholarly communication in high energy physics focuses on arXiv.org, the repository model. We believe that this is a mistake; the GPM is an important and significant model that is worth noting, examining, and extending to other fields. The GPM can provide rapid sharing of information and increased comprehensive research access for those in academic departments or research institutes with small libraries, and it is an economically feasible model for institutions with basic computing support. The GPM is flexible, set up locally, according to interest, need, and available resources.

Kling, Rob, Lisa Spector and Geoff McKim. Journal of Electronic Publishing (2002). Articles>Publishing>Research>Online


The Half-Life of Internet References Cited in Communication Journals   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This exploratory study examines the use of online citations, focusing on five leading journals in journalism and communication. It analyzes 1126 URL reference addresses in citations of articles published between 2000 and 2003. The results show that only 61 percent of the online citations remain accessible in 2004 and 39 percent do not. The content analysis also shows that .org and .gov are the most stable domains. Error messages for 'dead' URL addresses are explored. The instability of online citations raises concerns for researchers, editors and associations.

Dimitrova, Daniela V. and Michael Bugeja. New Media and Society (2007). Articles>Publishing>Research>Online


Institutional Repositories and Scholarly Publishing   (peer-reviewed)

The institutional repository (IR), an open Web-based archive of scholarly material produced by the members of a defined institution, has come to the fore following the launch of DSpace at MIT at the end of 2002. Here we review recent developments in IRs and explore the impact their expansion may have on scholarly publishing.

Ware, Mark. Learned Publishing (2004). Articles>Knowledge Management>Research>Online


Knowledge Organization Trends in Library and Information Studies: A Preliminary Comparison of the Pre- and Post-Web Eras   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Qualitative analyses were used to launch a preliminary exploration of the dominant knowledge organization (KO) trends in the pre- and post-web eras. Data for this study was assembled by searching the Library, Information Science, and Technology Abstracts database for articles that have used the term `knowledge organization' or `information organization' in their titles, abstracts, or descriptors. Taken as a whole, these preliminary results suggest that the content of the KO literature has shifted since the advent of the web. Although classic KO principles remain prominent throughout both eras, the presence of new content areas, such as metadata, denotes a shift in KO trends. In the pre-web era, the literature was related in large part to indexing and abstracting. In contrast, cataloging and classification issues dominate the landscape in the post-web era. The findings from this paper will be of particular use to those interested in learning about upcoming trends in the KO literature.

Saumure, Kristie and Ali Shiri. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Knowledge Management>Research>Online


Making Wikis Work for Scholars

For all the hand-wringing over whether Wikipedia is a legitimate source for completing college assignments, some professors are quietly incorporating it into their classrooms and even their research. Others, noting features of the Web site that contribute to inaccuracies and shortchange the value of expertise, are building variations on the model that are more amenable to academics and to peer review.

Guess, Andy. Inside Higher Ed (2008). Articles>Research>Online>Wikis


Online Experiments: Ethically Fair or Foul?   (peer-reviewed)

Online experiments may be helping researchers gather more data faster than ever before, but those advantages are coming with greater ethical challenges--threats to participant confidentiality, questions over whether the participants really understand what they're getting into and the possibility that less scrupulous researchers could steal your ideas.

Azar, Beth. Monitor on Psychology (2000). Articles>Research>Ethics>Online


Quality Control in Scholarly Publishing on the Web   (peer-reviewed)

As scholars and researchers, we are often called upon to separate the high-quality materials from the bad. What are the methods by which quality control is established and what are the indicators that allow a user to recognize the good materials?

Arms, William Y. Journal of Electronic Publishing (2002). Articles>Publishing>Research>Online


Research Automation as Technomethodological Pixie Dust

Timothy de Waal Malefyt’s recent article in American Anthropologist details how corporations are turning to “multiple ethnographic vendors to compete for projects in bidding wars.” I am more interested in how such technomethodolgies are being touted. They supposedly offer efficiency gains through transformation, compression, or automation of research process. Technologies of automation have always been coupled seductively with cost savings, and this area is no exception; there are plenty of services competing for business by offering quicker, faster (often capitalized: FASTER) results-time is money and less time is cheaper. So what is cut to save money, and what technologies allow for services to compress research strategy and plan, research engagement and analysis, and research reporting?

Churchill, Elizabeth. Interactions (2009). Articles>Research>Online


Research Beyond Google: 119 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources

Google, the largest search database on the planet, currently has around eight billion web pages indexed. That's a lot of information. But it's nothing compared to what else is out there. Google can only index the visible web, or searchable web. But the invisible web, or deep web, is estimated to be 500 times bigger than the searchable web. The invisible web comprises databases and results of specialty search engines that the popular search engines simply are not able to index.

OEDb (2006). Articles>Research>Online


Research Methods 'Beyond Google'

When “Google” has become a synonym for “research,” how should faculty respond? And if the answer doesn’t lie in musty books and stacks of journals, are libraries still part of the answer? The problem is near-universal for professors who discover, upon assigning research projects, that superficial searches on the Internet and facts gleaned from Wikipedia are the extent — or a significant portion — of far too many of their students’ investigations.

Guess, Andy. Inside Higher Ed (2008). Articles>Research>Online


Researching Telemedicine: Capturing Complex Clinical Interactions with a Simple Interface Design   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Telemedicine has been shown to be an effective means of managing follow-up care in chronic diseases such as depression. Exactly why telemedicine calls work, however, remains largely unknown because there are no adequate research tools to describe the complex communicative interactions in these encounters. We report here an ongoing project to investigate the efficacy of telemedicine in depression care, arguing that technical communication specialists have unique contributions to make to this kind of research.

Mirel, Barbara E., Ellen Barton and Mark Ackerman. Technical Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Research>Online>Biomedical



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