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Fixing US STEM education is possible, but will take money

(arstechnica.com): The state of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the United States has seen some unflattering appraisals in recent years, and deservedly so. In early February, the House of Representatives heard testimony on undergraduate and graduate education. The message from the panel, which included experts from academia, STEM-based industries, and the National Science Foundation (NSF), was clear: the problems in STEM education are well-known, and it's time to take action.
   
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Information Literacy: A Neglected Core Competency

(educause.edu): Researchers at the Information School at the University of Washington released an important and thought-provoking report in late 2009: "Lessons Learned: How College Students Seek Information in the Digital Age." The study confirms and expands on the results of other reports. Its particular value is the size of the population studied, the diversity of institutions represented, and the use of both a survey and follow-up interviews for data collection. The findings are troubling. College students think of information seeking as a rote process and tend to use the same small set of information resources no matter what question they have.
   
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Google's digital library faces key hurdles

(mercurynews.com): Sometime in the near future, a federal judge will decide whether Google can proceed with its plan to create a digital library and bookstore out of millions of old books scanned from libraries around the world. Google Book Search has already spawned a class-action lawsuit, and now, a surge of opposition from scholars, consumer advocates and business competitors who claim the plan gives Google too much control over a priceless store of information. The legal issues are complex. But the impact and implications of the plan, which would create a copyright framework for old books that would persist into the 22nd century, could be huge, some say.
   
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Real Time Research Papers Readership Stats That Shake up Traditional Scientific Publishing

(sbwire.com): One of the sharpest debates in science right now is centred on the future of academic publishing. Scientists and researchers are predicting the end of traditional models of research publication because they are not aligned with the digital world, in which speed, transparency and social ties are key requirements. UK-based start-up Mendeley is causing a real stir in academia and already has high-profile supporters because it is putting the emphasis on real-time data, collaboration and feedback.
   
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Transparency only works when everyone is transparent

(postbulletin.com): Paul Scott in his monthly column recently suggested that The Mayo Clinic Proceedings is currently used as a platform for drug companies. He challenged some of the policies of the current editor, and berated Merck pharmaceuticals for distributing a PhRMA favorable editorial to health care professionals. The author disagrees with Mr. Scott's analysis and commentary, and would like to suggest that we actually need to encourage and maintain interaction between academic researchers, medical journals, and the pharmaceutical industry for the advancement of medical science. All sponsored medical research should not be confused with marketing. Most physicians would agree that Innovative, relevant pharmaceutical research should be published and debated in peer-reviewed medical journals in the interest of medical science.
   
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