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Article

Stephen J. Bensman

To analyze the historical significance of Donald J. Urquhart, who established the National Lending Library for Science and Technology (NLL) which later was merged into the…

Abstract

Purpose

To analyze the historical significance of Donald J. Urquhart, who established the National Lending Library for Science and Technology (NLL) which later was merged into the British Library Lending Division (BLLD), now called the British Library Document Supply Centre (BLDSC). His significance will be considered from the perspective of the development of science as a whole as well as library and information science in particular.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a short history of the probabilistic revolution, particularly as it developed in Britain in the form of biometric statistics due to Darwin's theory of evolution. It focuses on the overthrow of the normal paradigm, according to which frequency distributions in nature and society conform to the normal law of error. The paper discusses the importance of the Poisson distribution and its utilization in the construction of stochastic models that better describe reality. Here the focus is on the compound Poisson distribution in the form of the negative binomial distribution (NBD). The paper then shows how Urquhart extended the probabilistic revolution to librarianship by using the Poisson as the probabilistic model in his analyses of the 1956 external loans made by the Science Museum Library (SML) as well as in his management of the scientific and technical (sci/tech) journal collection of the NLL. Due to this, Urquhart can be considered as playing a pivotal role in the creation of bibliometrics or the statistical bases of modern library and information science. The paper relates how Urquhart's son and daughter‐in‐law, John A. and Norma C. Urquhart, completed Urquhart's probabilistic breakthrough by advancing for the first time the NBD as the model for library use in a study done at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, connecting bibliometrics with biometrics. It concludes with a discussion of Urquhart's Law and its probabilistic implications for the use of sci/tech journals in a library system.

Findings

By being the first librarian to apply probability to the analysis of sci/tech journal use, Urquhart was instrumental in the creation of modern library and information science. His findings force a probabilistic re‐conceptualization of sci/tech journal use in a library system that has great implications for the transition of sci/tech journals from locally held paper copies to shared electronic databases.

Originality/value

This is the second part of an article describing the seminal contribution of Donald Urquhart to the development of document supply in the UK and internationally.

Details

Interlending & Document Supply, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-1615

Keywords

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Article

Stephen J. Bensman

The purpose of this article is to analyze the historical significance of Donald J. Urquhart, who established the National Lending Library for Science and Technology (NLL…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to analyze the historical significance of Donald J. Urquhart, who established the National Lending Library for Science and Technology (NLL) that later was merged into the British Library Lending Division (BLLD), now called the British Library Document Supply Centre (BLDSC).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a short history of the probabilistic revolution, particularly as it developed in the UK in the form of biometric statistics due to Darwin's theory of evolution. It focuses on the overthrow of the normal paradigm, according to which frequency distributions in nature and society conform to the normal law of error. The paper discusses the importance of the Poisson distribution and its utilization in the construction of stochastic models that better describe reality. Here the focus is on the compound Poisson distribution in the form of the negative binomial distribution (NBD). The paper then shows how Urquhart extended the probabilistic revolution to librarianship by using the Poisson as the probabilistic model in his analyses of the 1956 external loans made by the Science Museum Library (SML) as well as in his management of the scientific and technical (sci/tech) journal collection of the NLL. Thanks to this, Urquhart can be considered as playing a pivotal role in the creation of bibliometrics or the statistical bases of modern library and information science. The paper relates how Urquhart's son and daughter‐in‐law, John A. and Norma C. Urquhart, completed Urquhart's probabilistic breakthrough by advancing for the first time the NBD as the model for library use in a study executed at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, connecting bibliometrics with biometrics. It concludes with a discussion of Urquhart's Law and its probabilistic implications for the use of sci/tech journals in a library system.

Findings

By being the first librarian to apply probability to the analysis of sci/tech journal use, Urquhart was instrumental in the creation of modern library and information science. His findings force a probabilistic re‐conceptualization of sci/tech journal use in a library system that has great implications for the transition of sci/tech journals from locally held paper copies to shared electronic databases.

Originality/value

Urquhart's significance is considered from the perspective of the development of science as a whole as well as library and information science in particular.

Details

Interlending & Document Supply, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-1615

Keywords

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Article

Larry Hardesty and Jamie Hastreiter

More than any other area of academic library collection, periodicals demonstrate the immense gap between the infinite nature of human inquiry and the finite quality of the…

Abstract

More than any other area of academic library collection, periodicals demonstrate the immense gap between the infinite nature of human inquiry and the finite quality of the resources available for the acquisition, organization, and maintenance of this inquiry. The number of periodicals currently available is far beyond the capabilities of most academic libraries to acquire and maintain. For example, Katz and Katz wrote in their introduction to the most recent edition of Magazines for Libraries that they included some 6,500 periodicals from over 65,000 possibilities. Fewer than a half a dozen major research libraries subscribe to 65,000 or more periodicals, and only a similar number of liberal arts college libraries subscribe to even 3,000 titles.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Article

Lois Olsrud and Anne Moore

Many libraries have been affected by the proliferation and price inflation of serial publications in recent years. Academic libraries have been especially hard‐hit since…

Abstract

Many libraries have been affected by the proliferation and price inflation of serial publications in recent years. Academic libraries have been especially hard‐hit since they are trying to cope with increasing subscription prices while facing budget reductions or very small increases. Although requesting additional funds and freezing new subscriptions help as short‐term measures, some libraries have undertaken serials evaluation and cancellation programs as a more permanent solution. Our university library conducted a comprehensive serials review, which is described here. This article explains the justification for the review and describes the methodology used and the problems encountered in canceling serials subscriptions.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 10 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Book part

David Norman Smith

The aim of this chapter is to argue that charisma is a collective representation, and that charismatic authority is a social status that derives more from the…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this chapter is to argue that charisma is a collective representation, and that charismatic authority is a social status that derives more from the “recognition” of the followers than from the “magnetism” of the leaders. I contend further that a close reading of Max Weber shows that he, too, saw charisma in this light.

Approach

I develop my argument by a close reading of many of the most relevant texts on the subject. This includes not only the renowned texts on this subject by Max Weber, but also many books and articles that interpret or criticize Weber’s views.

Findings

I pay exceptionally close attention to key arguments and texts, several of which have been overlooked in the past.

Implications

Writers for whom charisma is personal magnetism tend to assume that charismatic rule is natural and that the full realization of democratic norms is unlikely. Authority, in this view, emanates from rulers unbound by popular constraint. I argue that, in fact, authority draws both its mandate and its energy from the public, and that rulers depend on the loyalty of their subjects, which is never assured. So charismatic claimants are dependent on popular choice, not vice versa.

Originality

I advocate a “culturalist” interpretation of Weber, which runs counter to the dominant “personalist” account. Conventional interpreters, under the sway of theology or mass psychology, misread Weber as a romantic, for whom charisma is primal and undemocratic rule is destiny. This essay offers a counter-reading.

Details

Social Theories of History and Histories of Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-219-6

Keywords

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Article

Barrie O. Pettman and Richard Dobbins

This issue is a selected bibliography covering the subject of leadership.

Abstract

This issue is a selected bibliography covering the subject of leadership.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 21 no. 4/5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

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Article

Nancy K. Herther

Citation and ranking information are becoming key aspects of knowledge management in academic and research institutions. By examining changing user needs and products…

Abstract

Purpose

Citation and ranking information are becoming key aspects of knowledge management in academic and research institutions. By examining changing user needs and products, this paper aims to encourage information professionals to better understand and manage these resources and better respond to user needs.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature reviews, work with faculty clients and initial product testing are used to present coherent information on the current climate and practice of competitive analysis of researchers and their institutions.

Findings

As more sources for citation information have become available – even many scholarly databases today offering cited reference data – the need to identify, access and manage these resources is becoming acute. Information professionals need to become more proactive in their strategies to support these applications and users.

Originality/value

This article builds on previous analyses of the roles and nature of citation analysis in research institutions and examines potential new roles and contributions that information professionals can take on to better serve their users.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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Article

Stephen Paling

The purpose of this paper is to describe a conceptualization and two‐stage pilot study that explores ways in which fuzzy sets can be used to measure the indexability of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a conceptualization and two‐stage pilot study that explores ways in which fuzzy sets can be used to measure the indexability of literary texts.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants provided a subject description for each in a series of literary and nonliterary texts. Each participant was also randomly assigned to one of three tasks: using a visual analog scale to rate the clarity of each text, using a visual analog scale to rate the confidence each participant felt in describing the subject of each text, or sorting the texts from most to least clear without the use of a visual analog scale. Nonparametric statistics and qualitative analysis were used to analyze the data.

Findings

Participants and coders used the visual analog scales successfully. The participants perceived literary texts as less clear than nonliterary texts, and expressed less confidence in their subject description of literary texts than in their descriptions of literary texts. The study found preliminary support for the idea that fuzzy sets can provide a useful theoretical basis for examining the indexability of texts.

Originality/value

A measure of the indexability of literary texts could help provide sound theoretical guidance for construction of tools to organize those texts. A structured comparison of literary and nonliterary texts could help to build a theoretical base from which to make practical decisions about whether and how to perform subject analysis on each type of text.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 67 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article

Mike McGrath

The purpose of this article is to provide a review of the most recent literature concerning document supply and related matters.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to provide a review of the most recent literature concerning document supply and related matters.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is based on the reading of over 150 journals as well as monographs, reports and websites.

Findings

That the fundamental debate on the direction of scholarly publishing continues intensely. Electronic books remain a minority market but screen readability has improved significantly. The mass digitisation of books continues apace. Open access continues to grow but with widely differing views on its impact – the publishers start to fight back.

Originality/value

The paper is a useful source of information for librarians and others interested in document supply and related matters.

Details

Interlending & Document Supply, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-1615

Keywords

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