Monday, 15 October 2012

Apps for information professionals

In our December issue we will be publishing an article by Scott Brown in which he describes mobile apps that are relevant to information researchers and professionals, both in their own work and in the services and products which they offer to their clients.

It's a great, practical article outlining some of the ways in which apps are being developed and rolled out by vendors and other providers.  Brown explores how new developments such as augmented reality are helping create a new generation of mobile information products.  

Scott's articles are always full of practical advice.  Here's one of his tips ahead of the December publication date:

"Be sure to ask your current information vendors if they are making apps available for their products, and include mobile access as part of your discussions with current and potential vendors as you negotiate access and contracts".

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The coolness of social media produces an analysis of Britain’s ‘coolest’ brands and has just released its latest findings.  Brands may be nominated by members of the public and the coolest are selected by an expert council and members of the public before the top brands are identified.
Coolness, as Coolbrands admits, is subjective.  The judging criteria they use are:
·         Style
·         Innovation
·         Originality
·         Authenticity
·         Desirability
·         Uniqueness
(Usefulness, value or impact do not seem to get a look-in.)
The latest top 10 features Apple, BBC’s iPlayer, Google, Twitter and YouTube.  (Luxury brands such as Aston Martin, Liberty and Bang and Olufsen also appear).   ‘Attractions and the arts’ features as a category (cool brands in this category include the Glastonbury Festival and the Royal Albert Hall). 
Unfortunately libraries do not feature at all, even though there are innovative, stylish and unique libraries out there.   

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Journals price projections for 2013

Every year, EBSCO publishes a report which aims to help information professionals make budgeting decisions and plans.  Based on historical pricing data and publisher surveys, the report sets out trends and predictions for serials publishing for the year ahead.

This year, the survey predicts:

  • Overall price increases of 5-7%
  • Increases in library budgets will not match this rise
  • Libraries will continue to ‘prune’ content purchases 
  • Increasing use and importance of usage analytics to inform purchasing decisions
  • OA movement gaining momentum
  • More exploration of alternative purchasing methods

 More information.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Pharmaceuticals, research and data mining

An agreement has been reached between representatives of pharmaceutical companies and publishers which aims to help pharma companies undertake text and data mining.
The agreement has been made between the Pharma-Documentation-Ring (P-D-R - an association of 21 pharmaceutical companies), the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), and the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers.
You can read more about the agreement on Research Information.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The value of 'National Brand'

Brand Finance journal has published a report exploring the way that ‘nation brand’ contributes to the economic and social wellbeing of countries and has revealed its top 100 nation brands
According to the report, a strong nation brand helps to “cut through the information glut that is inherent in... modern business news [and] supports investor confidence in the value of a country”.
The report goes on to feature country case studies on a number of subject areas (including how nation brand can help countries to:
·         Attract and retain talent
·         Enhance tourism business (including domestic tourism)
·         Attract inward investment
·         Improve the sale of goods and services
The top 10 countries identified in the report are:
·         USA
·         China
·         Germany
·         Japan
·         UK
·         France
·         Canada
·         India
·         Brazil
·         Italy
The report is available to download, free of charge, from Brand Finance.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Social issues in banking

The International Journal of Bank Marketing has released a special issue focusing on corporate social responsibility and social issues in banking.
The special issue is available to read free of charge until 8 September 2012. 
For further information on how to download the free issue see the original press release.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Businesss Information publishers feature on Top 50 list

Business Information publishers feature strongly on the latest list of the world's top 50 digital content companies, as compiled by PaidContent.

Bloomberg appear in 4th place, followed by  Reed Elsevier (5th), Thomson Reuters (8th), Pearson (13th), Dun & Bradstreet (23rd), Wolters Kluwer (29th) and Informa (47th).  Axel Springer appears on the list in 33rd place.

The top 10 in full:
·         Google
·         China Mobile
·         Bloomberg
·         Reed Elsevier
·         Apple
·         Yahoo
·         Thomson Reuters
·         WPP
·         Tencent
·         Microsoft

Friday, 20 July 2012

The importance of demonstrating value

The concluding conference of the DReAM project last week showcased just how much had been achieved in promoting LIS practitioner research and in fostering the take up of new techniques from other disciplines in the last two years. The audience was held spellbound by Ben Goldacre – demonstrating the importance of robust research and lateral thinking beforehand on how to realise the full potential from data.  You can see and hear all the presentations from:

BIR joint editor, Sandra Ward contributed to the One Minute Madness session – see:

Sandra’s message was:  Because you’re worth it – the importance of demonstrating value!

*  As joint editor of Business Information Review, I believe strongly in the value of effective information management to business and other sectors.
*  As a consultant, I am appalled that few information functions have processes in place to calculate and demonstrate value.  As a result, we lose credibility, opportunities –and jobs! 
*  I am convinced that research techniques can be used to design value into services. 
We must apply them to:
·       Identify, with our organisations, where information skills will contribute most value;
·       Focus services on business critical activity;
·       Recognise it’s our customers that reap the value from services;
·       Partner with them to assess the real business benefit
And, where you can – I ask you to share good practice through publication!  Because you’re worth it!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Police blogger gets publishing deal

In March 2012, Business Information Review published an article on the use of blogs by members of the UK police force.  In Venting, Joining and Educating, the authors explored the motivations of serving police officers when joining the 'blogosphere'.

One police blog author has signed a publishing deal with an imprint of Harper Collins.  Confessions of a Police Constable will join the same publishing list as other 'confession' titles.  One of these, Confessions of a GP, has already sold a quarter of a million copies in e-book form.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Information overload and filter failure

What does it take to be a successful information professional, when so much information is available to us, our organisations and to our customers?  In March 2011, we published an article by Steve Dale.  In Surviving and thriving as a 21st century knowledge and information professional, Steve outlined how information professionals could use readily available tools to help manage information flows and become more effective.
I was reminded of his excellent, practical advice when I came across this blog post today.  Writing for the Gartner blog network, Craig Roth discusses whether there is an additional factor to add into Clay Shirkey’s famous statement that ‘there is no information overload, just filter failure’.
Roth suggests that we should consider not just the information bombarding us and demanding attention, but the information that is ‘hidden’ from us and could be of real value.  It’s a really interesting blog post – well worth a read.
In September this year, we will be publishing an article by Scott Brown.  In ‘Coping with information obesity:  A diet for information professionals’ Scott comes up with some practical solutions for information professionals, including the concept of ‘slow information’. 

If we are to be successful in our chosen careers we need to be able to demonstrate that we can locate, manage, filter, organise and share information appropriately and effectively.  If we can’t do it for ourselves, then why should our customers trust us?!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Helpful advice for authors

An article published on provides invaluable advice to non-native English speakers who are trying to publish.  

Some key pointers:
  • Be clear, concise and forthright
  • Look for models of well-written papers - read as many English-language papers in your subject as possible
  • Seek informal reviews from native English speakers
The article, along with more detailed advice, is available to download here.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Sage launches e-bookstore

Sage’s newly launched e-bookstore forms part of the publisher’s online social science platform Sage Knowledge.  The content is discoverable via search engines at title and chapter level.   
Researchers can search and access over 2,500 titles including textbooks, monographs and handbooks.  They can also save searches and create reading lists. 
Sage has made a number of flexible purchasing options available to libraries.

More on this story via The Bookseller

Thursday, 31 May 2012

BYOD - some food for thought

This blog post (by Andrea Di Maio of Gartner Research) looks at the trend of employees bringing their own devices to the workplace and the different BYOD strategies organisations are adopting.  Some organisations are choosing a simple ‘laissez faire’ approach, while others might offer the widest possible choice of devices to the workforce, arguing that this would be cheaper than the potential costs of ‘mismanaged’ personal devices.   Di Maio acknowledges the ‘unstoppable trend’ of BYOD, but points out some potential implications you might not have previously considered, including:
  • a provider revealing to employers that an employee has signed up to use the cloud service (this might be against company policy
  • employers having access to employees' personal data 
We're planning an article on 'the digital workplace' for September's issue of BIR - more details for follow.