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Open Access or Open for Business? | Peer to Peer Review

(libraryjournal.com): The problems higher education faces aren't due to stodgy tradition, they largely come from applying market economics to something that should be a public good, not a commodity. Faculty feel they have to produce more and more research because productivity, not profundity, defines their worth. Students are coveted tributaries to the tuition revenue stream that grows more important as public funding is withdrawn. The courses those students take are being assigned as piecework to an increasingly contingent faculty who have neither offices in which to hold office hours nor living wages-all in the name of greater efficiency.
   
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Global warming, Web 2.0 and the future of science

(examiner.com): The practice of science does not seem to be delivering much of what society needs and expects from science these days. We are getting mountains of scientific papers and patent applications, but more restrictions slapped on the use of intellectual property, not enough women in science, fragmented disciplines that don't communicate with each other, and cases such as found in climatology where paleoclimatologists with no training in statistics try and do brand new statistical methods for analysing data, and others with no software development training writing key software applications and still others who have never run a data warehouse try to shoehorn that in to their already full schedules. Journals still work on a century-old timeline, self-appointed saints and scoundrels take it upon themselves to communicate 'what it all means' to a puzzled public, and the process appears tainted by the grubby hunt for funding.
   
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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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