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New Business and Science Tools for Info Pros
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Posted On February 16, 2016
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Users can search the directory by sector within the biomass supply chain (e.g., Agriculture, Forestry, or Waste), biomass combustion (e.g., Cookstoves, Pellet stoves, or Boilers), biomass gasifiers, biomass to pellets, biomass to liquid biofuels, biomass to biogas, gas cleaning, safety and monitoring, consultancy, and more. With 23 companies represented in the directory, the WBA team hopes that the exposure they received during the conference will encourage manufacturers to complete the template to be listed in the directory (and that users will suggest products that ought to be included).

OPEN EARTH

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network hosted a panel discussion featuring editors from five regional “GeoJournalism” websites whose works are highlighted in its new venture, Open Earth.

Open Earth brings together the work of journalists who have developed websites focused on isolated environmental issues that use geodata visualizations as an essential component of their reporting. In 2006, the Earth Journalism Network began working to establish “networks of environmental journalists in countries where they don’t exist” and building “their capacity where they do, through training workshops and development of training materials, support for production and distribution, and dispersing small grants.”

Environmental journalists around the world have been using Geojournalism.org tutorials to create data-driven environmental stories. The resulting websites highlight regions facing environmental issues, such as rainforests in the Congo Basin; the region that comprises the Himalaya-Hindu Kush mountain range and the Tibetan Plateau (“The Third Pole”), which contains the largest reserve of fresh water outside of the North and South Poles; the forests of South America; and the savannahs of southern Africa. Open Earth “brings the content of these sites together for the purpose of understanding how deeply interconnected environmental issues manifest internationally.” These include climate change, biodiversity, water, environment health, and oceans and coastal resources.

New OA Offering

CORA

CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments) is an OA resource for faculty and library staff that is “intended to be a collaborative space for adapting and experimenting with research and information literacy assignments. The assignments and resources will be enhanced by user feedback and become a rich corpus of ‘best practices.’” Developed at Loyola Marymount University with grant funding from the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC), CORA provides an easy mechanism for sharing learning and teaching materials with others who, in turn, will enhance their curriculum. “As educational resources are used, reused and repurposed, potentially throughout the world, new opportunities arise to apply your work to a wider context,” its website states. All assignments contributed to CORA are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States

Assignments can be searched by information literacy concept, (e.g., Defines Information Need or Information Creation as Process), discipline (e.g., accounting or women’s studies), ability level (high school, undergraduate, or graduate), individual or group, or keyword. In addition to the contributed assignments, the site features links to useful resources for creating rubrics, mapping the curriculum, measuring outcomes, engaging students, and designing assignment worksheets. Users are encouraged to suggest teaching resources, OA textbooks for information literacy, and other assignments the site should link.

According to Lindsey McLean, instructional design librarian at Loyola Marymount University, CORA has 30 information literacy assignments, and she’s encouraged by the fact that more than 120 individuals have registered to become contributors since the official launch. Contributors are primarily librarians working at higher education academic institutions, but the team is looking at ways to reach English and first-year writing scholars by making these potential contributors aware of the repository and encouraging them to post their assignments there. Given that resources on the site support ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, McLean is surprised by the interest of K–12 librarians. She now envisions the possibility of building a sister repository of information literacy assignments for K–12 teachers to tap into in the future.

New Medical Offering

CANCER STATISTICS CENTER

The American Cancer Society (ACS) launched the Cancer Statistics Center, a new website that provides detailed statistics about the disease. It is a “comprehensive interactive resource for learning about the cancer burden in the United States.” Powering the site are data from ACS’s annual reports, “Cancer Facts & Figures,” which have been published annually since 1951, along with information from ACS’s annual “Cancer Statistics,” which is published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Users can view statistics by state or cancer type; metrics include current-year estimates for new cases and deaths, incidence rates and trends, mortality rates and trends, survival rates and trends, cancer screenings (e.g., mammograms and Pap tests), and risk factors (e.g., cigarette excise taxes, tobacco use, and overweight prevalence). Statistics for cancer among children and adolescents provide additional insights.


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Barbie E. Keiser is an information resources management consultant located in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area.

Email Barbie E. Keiser

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