Friday, December 17, 2010

Data visualization tools

Brief round-up of data visualization tools mentioned on the web lately:

O'Reilly Radar started a new series this month tagged: Strata Gems
Example: using Twitter for graphs:
Social graph
Taken from post.
Google Books and Google Labs released: Book Ngram Viewer, here is more about this new product.

Finally, this post details 10 Best Data Visualization Projects:
Example: Where the Tourist Really Flock (using Flickr)
Tourist PIctures in San Francisco

New ways to measure impact

This Inside Higher Ed. article: New Measures of Scholarly Impact describes attempts at integrating new metrics in citation analysis and research impact.
Eigenfactor is currently looking into how to incorporate real-time usage data, as well as “citation-like references” from scholars on social networking sites. Shout-outs on scholarly blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, along with digital dog-earing on social bookmarking sites such as CiteULike and Connotea, might also be used as proxies for influence

The article also references research from the MESUR (MEtrics from Scholarly Usage of Resources) project.
image from the MESUR website.

Tenure expiration date?

Tenure: Mend It, Don't End It  Arthur Levine describes some the advantages and - in no uncertain terms - gives his views on the weaknesses of the tenure system.

More often tenure provides a lifetime of job security not to professors whose work requires protection, but to a significant minority of "deadwood" — individuals who are unproductive, out of date, or poor in their research, teaching or institutional commitment.

His suggestion is to have a 30 year contract to limit the length of tenure and thus insure an institution's ability to maintain 'intellectual vitality'.