Bar Orphans

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How to ask a proper research question in order to elicit an accurate answer from your researcher. This article was written by in and published in Freepint as a response to many Freepinters, whose questions were ignored because they were so ambiguous that the researcher couldn\'t respond without asking 20 more questions.

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Bar Orphans

  1. 1. u 2nd February 2006 No.199 Contents Editorial When I studied for my information science degree Editorial 1 at Aberystwyth University here in the UK, I By William Hann remember we had a module on the 'reference My Favourite Tipples 2 interview'. It was in the 'information consultant' By Lee McLean module and taught how to ask an information enquirer questions to qualify exactly what they are Jinfo :: Jobs in information 4 looking for. I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to FreePint Bar 5 be an 'infomediary', able to tease out (through a process of gentle interrogation) the real underlying information need. Little did I know that the Web was about to be launched and, just a few years Tips Article 7 hence, that most information searching would be reduced to just one- or "Learning languages online" two-word searches in a handful of centralised information-seeking launch By Emma Thompson pads. Review 11 With a background in the mechanics of information storage, retrieval "Knowledge-based working: intelligent and dissemination, I marvel at the speed and quality of the search operating for the knowledge age" algorithms of the major search engines. However, there is still a big Reviewed by Jela Webb problem with finding very specific information. For that, you need to be able to formulate search questions precisely -- not only Feature Article 13 technologically (through advanced search syntax) but by articulating "Bar Orphans: Getting your questions exactly what you need (with alternative keywords) and why you need it. answered at the FreePint Bar" By Jane Macoustra The lack of such skills is nowhere more evident than at the FreePint Bar, which has become a focus for tricky research questions that require human intervention. Information requests at the Bar are often made Events and Gold 16 without any of the necessary contextual information, and therefore a 'virtual reference interview' needs to take place to find out exactly what is Contact Information 17 required and what has been tried already. Jane Macoustra examines this behaviour in today's newsletter, where HTML Version she explains how to get the most out of the information questions that <http://www.freepint.com/issues/020206.htm> are being posted at the Bar. There have been almost 30,000 questions and answers since the Bar's launch in 1999, but it's still the less- Fully Formatted Acrobat Version definable, non-technical queries which are the hardest to help with. <http://www.freepint.com/issues/020206.pdf> As we approach the bicentennial edition of the FreePint Newsletter later this month, do remember that there is a fully searchable archive About FreePint of newsletters and Bar postings on the FreePint Web site <http://www.freepint.com/search/>, plus the last call for your comments in FreePint (ISSN 1460-7239) is an online network of our member survey <http://www.freepint.com/go/b36367>. information workers. Members receive this free newsletter twice a month, packed with tips on Although I do believe that a professional qualification in 'information' can finding and managing quality and reliable work- stand you in good stead for an interesting and rewarding career, basic related information. information-literacy training is vitally important now for anyone using the Web for work-related purposes. Thanks to professionals like Jane Joining is free at <http://www.freepint.com/> and Macoustra, this basic information training is becoming freely available, provides access to a substantial archive of articles, which helps to plug the hole of purely technologically-based information- reviews and events, with answers to research seeking solutions. questions and networking at the FreePint Bar. William Hann To read the fully-formatted version visit Managing Editor and Founder, FreePint <http://www.freepint.com/issues/>. To receive a fully-formatted version as an attachment or a E: william.hann@freepint.com brief notification when it's online, visit T: 0870 141 7474 <http://www.freepint.com/subs/>. Please I: +44 870 141 7474 circulate this newsletter, which is best read when FreePint is a Registered Trademark of Free Pint Limited (R) printed out. 2nd February 2006 - Page 1
  2. 2. My Favourite Tipples My Favourite Tipples Silobreaker by Lee McLean <http://www.silobreaker.com> • After receiving strategically useful feedback from library users in our 2004 LibQUAL survey 12000+ sources, biographies, visualization, <http://www.libqual.org> we are repeating view360, search, split, drill, save. Find new insights the process in 2006. The site also has an excellent across information and industry silos. Just what collection of related publications. you have been waiting for. All this and more for a flat fee of 199 USD per year and 2 weeks of free • Content creators are watching the BBC mp3 trial. downloading and podcasting trial with interest. Try it out now yourself <http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/downloadtrial/>. Lee McLean is Business and • Whether organising an office party or client event, Thomson's flagship product Multimedia Librarian or just planning your next meal out, London at London Business Eating's customer reviews will tell you what a reviewed in VIP School and a Masters restaurant is REALLY like <http://www.london- The January 2006 issue of VIP reviews Thomson student via distance eating.co.uk>. Business Intelligence, Thomson's new flagship learning with Victoria product, that provides access to news, market University, New • <http://www.dvdrr.com/> - I'm a 'DVDs by post' research and broker research, via a single interface. Zealand. convert. Compare options, sign up and never be stressed out by an overdue rented film again. <http://www.vivaVIP.com/> Submit your top five • From the 'How To Library' to its Quick References, I favourite Web sites. use Webmonkey a lot. The HTML cheat sheet in See the guidelines at particular is very helpful <http://www.freepint <http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/index.ht .com/author.htm>. ml>. What's your search missing? The average Web searches will leave you sifting though mountains of useless information. Factiva delivers the most relevant information from the top business publications in virtually every region and every industry. Sign up for a free trial of Factiva.com and start finding what you need faster <http://www.factiva.com/ad/2006/freepint/feb2> 2nd February 2006 - Page 2 www.freepint.com/issues/020206.htm
  3. 3. TRY IT FOR FREE View 360 Search Your trial Voucher Code is: 14day Split To access the service and begin your 14 day free trial, you will need to set up a user account by completing the following steps: Draw Save 1. Go to Silobreaker’s homepage at www.silobreaker.com 2 . Click on “New User?” in the login area or “New Users” under Click the Subscription drop-down menu. 3. Select “I have a Pre-Paid Voucher” Drill 4. Register and create your own personal username/password 5. Confirm registration and your agreement to the Terms of Use 6. At Payment Options, select “By Pre-Paid Voucher Code” Map and type in the Voucher Code that has been provided to you. Click “Next” Silobreak in 7. You’re done! Click the Login button and go straight to the service. From now on during the trial period, you can login straight from Silobreaker’s homepage by using 12000 sources your username/password. Biographies Profiles www.silobreaker.com
  4. 4. Jinfo Jobs Jinfo :: Jobs in information www.jinfo.com Business Process Analyst The Jinfo service enables you to search and Assess business needs & develop procedures to advertise information-related job vacancies. support business processes, using your requirements gathering & report writing skills. The Jinfo Newsletter is published free every two Recruiter: Sue Hill Recruitment weeks, and contains a list of the latest vacancies <http://www.jinfo.com/go/j4825> along with job-seeking advice. The latest article is entitled "The Emotional Side of Career Legal Information Officer Transitions". Read it online and subscribe free at <http://www.jinfo.com/newsletter/>. Take responsibility for the provision of library NB: There are 42 other jobs in the current edition and information services deputising for the LIS of the Jinfo Newsletter manager in her absence. <http://www.jinfo.com/newsletter/> and over Recruiter: City Professionals 100 in the Jinfo database <http://www.jinfo.com/go/j4851> <http://www.jinfo.com/>. Senior Information Manager - Jinfo -- the best place for information-related job vacancies. One year Contract • JOB SEARCHING? -- Free search and sign up to Top information professional in central London the Jinfo Newsletter. to implement major library relocation and provide strategic advice on changes. • RECRUITING? -- Complete the form and Recruiter: Glen Recruitment advertise a vacancy for just GBP195 <http://www.jinfo.com/go/j4856> <http://www.jinfo.com/recruit/>. 50% discount for registered charities. Graduate Research Assistant 10% discount for agencies. The successful candidate will have a mix of assignments within the Digital Library Find out more today at http://www.jinfo.com/ Applications team. Recruiter: Los Alamos National Laboratory <http://www.jinfo.com/go/j4868> 2nd February 2006 - Page 4 www.freepint.com/issues/020206.htm
  5. 5. Bar FreePint Bar In Association with Factiva a Dow Jones & Reuters Company There's a lot to get your teeth into this week: with such a wide range of postings, there should be NEW from Bureau van Dijk something for everyone. Electronic Publishing Let's start off with an unusual question: Do you know where to find posters featuring airlines, aircraft and ORIANA airports, and holiday destinations that strongly imply airliners? <http://www.freepint.com/go/b36773>. Public and private financial company information Or have you ever set up a 'learning zone' within a for the Asia-Pacific region Penny Hann, corporate information environment? To register for a FREE trial click on FreePint <http://www.freepint.com/go/b36936> <penny.hann@free <http://www.bvdep.com/ORIANA.html> pint.com> This FreePinter is looking for an 'estimated population of information professionals by sector' The FreePint Bar is <http://www.freepint.com/go/b36935>. Perhaps where you can get you know of a list of all trade associations and free help with your industry bodies tricky research <http://www.freepint.com/go/b36875> or a list of Researcha :: Immediate pay-as- questions construction companies that provide international <http://www.freepi aid (for example, by building schools and hospitals in you-go company data nt.com/bar> deprived areas)? <http://www.freepint.com/go/b36776>. Access hard-to-find data on UK company directors, Subscribe to the original company filing images and company data twice-weekly email The latest issue of VIP Eye has just been published; it for Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, digests at includes news on the Google and Motorola Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and <http://www.freepi partnership, and the potential for mobile search Switzerland. nt.com/subs/> <http://www.vivavip.com/go/l245>. Researcha is free to search and view basic details, A number of VIP subscribers have requested a with convenient report delivery. Try it now during comparative review of market research products. Is its final testing phase. Your feedback will directly this something that interests you? If so, please let shape this new service. Pam Foster (VIP's Editor) know which products you'd like her to include <http://www.Researcha.com/> <http://www.vivavip.com/go/l255>. These postings are computer-related queries: Whenever an email is sent from a Hotmail address to Compare pay-as-you-go services an Ntlworld address it bounces back. Any ideas why? <http://www.freepint.com/go/b36858> in VIP The St John Ambulance in Berkshire has a website but it is not showing up on search engines. Is there a The December issue of VIP compared pay-as-you- cheap/free way of fixing this? go services from four major providers - Alacra, <http://www.freepint.com/go/b36796>. Dialog, Factiva and LexisNexis. And finally, these dissertation-related postings at the VIP compared coverage, search options, results, FreePint Student Bar should get you thinking ... usability and more: The first is on the effectiveness of corporate <http://www.vivavip.com/> governance in publicly owned enterprises <http://www.freepint.com/go/s4882> and the second is looking at how Google is used by university students for their assignments <http://www.freepint.com/go/s4887>. Do you know where to find material to help with these projects? Penny Hann Production Editor, FreePint <penny.hann@freepint.com> 2nd February 2006 - Page 5 www.freepint.com/issues/020206.htm
  6. 6. {the ugly truth} NOT ALL SEARCH RESULTS ARE CREATED EQUAL. Only Factiva turns a simple search into powerful results. Web search results that don’t surface relevant business { information can’t help you gain the competitive advantage you need. Only Factiva, a Dow Jones and Reuters company, provides the top business publications for virtually every industry and every region. You will uncover more valuable opportunities with Factiva because your search surfaces pertinent, timely and credible results. Sign up for a free trial and find out what your search is missing. © Copyright 2006 Dow Jones Reuters Business Interactive LLC (trading as Factiva). All rights reserved. S-001
  7. 7. Tips Article “Learning languages online” By Emma Thompson Introduction Survey :: Understanding According to the Subject Centre for Languages, FreePint as an Online Linguistics and Area Studies <http://www.llas.ac.uk/> there are 700 reasons to Community learn languages. There are also, however, plenty of reasons why learning a language can be difficult, We're trying to build a better understanding of the despite good intentions. Common reasons are lack composition and needs of the FreePint of time, or unavailability of classes, or even bad community. memories of how you were taught at school. Please take two minutes to complete our survey: The Internet can offer you instant access to authentic <http://www.freepint.com/go/b36367> written, spoken languages and even whole language Emma Thompson is a courses, depending on your available time and Hispanic Studies interest. Whether you are a complete beginner with graduate and You may need the basics quickly; for example, "learn Spanish" on your list of goals, or someone who Information Specialist. greetings and introductions for a conference or a learnt French at school and has become rusty, the She manages the quick break abroad. You can also download key Internet offers you possibilities to learn and improve Business and phrases from the BBC Languages site in 37 your language skills. Languages Information languages - these can be printed out or Service (BLIS) at the downloaded as an MP3 so you can take them with Much has changed since my last FreePint article on University of Plymouth, you on your MP3 player and hear the this subject in 1999 a multimedia library pronunciation spoken by a native. <http://www.freepint.com/issues/270599.htm#tips> within the Plymouth - the increased adoption of broadband has made Business School. Emma For languages not covered by the BBC, try I Love online audio and video manageable, MP3 players has worked in free and Languages <http://www.ilovelanguages.com/>, have entered the mainstream and now podcasting fee-based business which is a huge eclectic collection of language opens up huge possibilities. It seems a good time to information in the resources, linking to many online courses revisit some sites to see what they now offer, and to public and private including lesser used languages. showcase some of the new sites that can help a sector, and most language learner. Obviously, I cannot cover all recently in higher Online courses languages and all levels, but I hope to inspire (or education. Contact kick-start) those who want to explore the Emma via A portal such as I Love Languages will point to possibilities for brushing up old skills or learning an http://www.plymouth. sites that have courses in specific languages - entirely new language. ac.uk/staff/ethompson some charge a fee, but many are free. A couple of The basics good ones are: German for Travellers <http://www.germanfortravellers.com/>; The Are you a complete beginner, or did you study a Cervantes Institute Aula de Lengua for Spanish language a long time ago? Perhaps you are not sure <http://cvc.cervantes.es/aula/>. The how good your language skills are now. You can aforementioned BBC site has a wide variety of gauge your current level online. BBC Languages is an courses including videos that complement their excellent first stop programmes shown on the BBC Learning Zone <http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages>. It has a quick slot. They can be used independently of the TV test to gauge your level in French, German, Spanish series, such as German Steps and Italian. Depending on your results, you will be <http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/german/lj/>. directed to appropriate resources for your level and For beginners, it is useful to reinforce basic phrases language. and master pronunciation by listening to key phrases spoken by a native speaker; these online For other languages, try Dialang offerings include audio and video that help the <http://www.dialang.org/english>. Dialang is a learner do exactly that. European Union project, free to use, which tests and assesses your language level in 14 European languages. 2nd February 2006 - Page 7 www.freepint.com/issues/020206.htm
  8. 8. Tips Article Related FreePint links Media sites - podcasts and television Glen Recruitment is a leading independent We all learn to speak our native language through Employment Consultancy dealing in the “Training - listening, so it makes sense to use the many recruitment of Information Specialists, Knowledge Industrial/Vocational” possibilities on the Internet for audio language Professionals, Business Analysts, Researchers and articles in the FreePint Librarians. We provide both permanent and learning. Radio stations have been available online Portal for some time now, and if you have a broadband temporary staff at all levels from senior managers <http://www.freepint.co m/go/p182> connection you can listen, at your leisure, to to recent graduates. Please visit our recently stations from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. Find the upgraded web-site for a wide range of current station to suit you at <http://www.radio- vacancies. For more details call 020 7745 7245 Post a message to the locator.com/>. The disadvantage is that unless you email <info@glenrecruitment.co.uk> author, Emma are quite an advanced learner, dipping into a Thompson or suggest random broadcast can be more frustrating than further resources at the enjoyable. It can be tricky to pause or rewind, and from radio stations and amateurs - why not free up FreePint Bar it is easy to lose track of the speaker. You may miss some space on your MP3 player to learn a new <http://www.freepint.co some vocabulary or struggle to keep up with a language or improve rusty skills? With the podcast m/bar> presenter who has a strong accent or speaks fast. software, the programmes are automatically The other disadvantage is that you are limited to updated and can be copied to an MP3 player to listening on your computer. listen anywhere - in the car, on the train, out Read this article online, jogging or in the gym - these can all be with activated hyperlinks For the language learner, Podcasts overcome opportunities for improving your language skills. <http://www.freepint.co many of the difficulties associated with radio m/issues/020206.htm#ti online. Podcast was the word of 2005, according to Newspapers and magazines have been available ps> the New Oxford American dictionary. Podcasting online for some years. More recently, many have has certainly jumped from obscurity into the begun to restrict much of their content to mainstream in the past year subscribers or pay-per-view customers. However, Access the entire archive <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4504256. newspaper sites can still be a useful resource for of FreePint content stm>. Many radio stations and individuals are now <http://www.freepint.co language learners. Use making podcasts available to download, and all of <http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/> to find m/portal/content/> these resources are in many languages other than newspapers by country. English. Podcasts are a tremendous resource for intermediate to advanced language learners. To By using TV station websites from other countries, find a list of many podcasts available go to you can watch and listen to news and current podcast.net <http://www.podcast.net/>. You will affairs from abroad then need to download software to organise your <http://www.tv5.org/TV5Site/lf/langue_francaise. downloads - for example iTunes php/>. The French Television station TV5 has <http://www.apple.com/itunes/> from Apple, or pages that are made specifically for learners, ipodder including language games and quizzes. Also for <http://www.ipodder.org/directory/4/ipodderSoft French, the Swiss TV channel TSR ware>. <http://www.tsr.ch/> streams much of its news content to view on-demand - with excellent With podcasts you can listen when it suits you, as quality pictures and audio. For Italian, the RAI site many times as you wish, pause to look up a word, allows you to watch streamed news broadcasts or repeat a small section until you understand it. <http://www.rai.it/>. Personally, podcasting allows me to indulge my love of Spanish cooking by signing up to the fortnightly podcast of Guisando.org <http://www.guisando.org/> and improve my Spanish at the same time. For beginners, there are also podcasts specifically designed for learners, offering regular advice on grammar and pronunciation, for example: Let's Speak German <http://learninggerman.mschubertberlin.de/podbl og/>. Every day there are more podcasts available 2nd February 2006 - Page 8 www.freepint.com/issues/020206.htm
  9. 9. Tips Article - Fothcoming Email and online shopping We all use email daily, and online shopping is very well established. Both can be used to the Do you use DigBig to shorten advantage of language learners. For help with long Web addresses? writing, why not find an email pen friend in your target language? The Tandem server Then please supply a brief testimonial: <http://www.slf.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/> is based in <http://www.digbig.com/testimonial.html> Germany, but enables partnerships between language learners speaking dozens of languages. "A great idea! Used regularly and even more You can link up with a native speaker for an e- regularly passed on to others - many thanks" tandem partnership using email, or even sign up Business Information Co-ordinator, London for phone tandem if you want to practice your (January 2006) speaking skills. Tandem language learning can be face-to-face, email or on the phone - the idea is that you help someone learn your native language in return for helping you with their native language. It is an excellent way of (virtually) meeting a native speaker and getting personalised FreePint Forthcoming Articles help, for free. You make an agreement with your [Provisional] tandem partner; for example, you may agree to email once a week, half in your own language and • Market research sources on the web half in the language of your partner - and then in • Blind web accessibility your replies you correct each other's mistakes. • Project management • Open Source Software Aficionados of international cinema can also use • Delivering user education to a dispersed films for language learning. When buying DVDs population online, look carefully at the available subtitle • Managing change options - depending on where you buy the DVD • Digital repositories the options can change. For example, if you buy • KM and blogging region 2 DVDs from abroad, for example, from Amazon Germany <http://www.amazon.de/>, you • Diabetes may find you have many more subtitle options • Implementing new library management systems than those you buy in the UK. The price difference, even with the additional postage costs, is not If you have a suggestion for an article topic, or prohibitive. You can then view in the original would like to write for FreePint, then please language with subtitles in the same language - contact <penny.hann@freepint.com> or read enabling you to follow the narrative without the notes for authors at depending on English. <http://www.freepint.com/author.htm>. Of course, it is not just DVDs that you can order from abroad; you can also order books and music, which in the past were difficult to get hold of unless you had access to a specialist bookshop or were visiting the country. With opportunities available to watch, listen and read in your target language, you don't need to have 700 reasons for learning a language, with the possibilities offered by the World Wide Web, there is simply no reason not to try, 2nd February 2006 - Page 9 www.freepint.com/issues/020206.htm
  10. 10. tap into a world of company information with ORBIS bvdep.com
  11. 11. Review " Knowledge-based working: intelligent operating for the knowledge age" Reviewed by Jela Webb The author Steve Ellis has a number of years experience in Knowledge Based Working (KBW) both Jinfo :: Advertise information as a practitioner and an academic. Drawing upon jobs to 4,000+ job seekers personal experience, coupled with his doctoral research studies, he has written a very readable text, Advertising an information-related vacancy with which focuses on the topic of 'knowledge work' from Jinfo puts that position in front of 4,000 Jinfo a human-relations perspective, rather than focusing Newsletter subscribers and the entire FreePint on KM from a technology-led perspective. membership. In the 'knowledge age', many organisations are Find out more about listing a vacancy today: facing challenges - their most important and valuable assets are their people and theknowledge <http://www.jinfo.com/> they use in day-to-day operations. For many, this Jela Webb, via her calls for new HR management techniques, and this business, Azione, is a book is aimed at providing advice and guidance to freelance strategic Chapters are interspersed with 'reflection points' those who find themselves managing 'knowledge advisor, consultant allowing the reader to consider issues raised and workers', as well as those who need to have an and trainer in each chapter concludes with a set of self- appreciation of KBW to support their studies information and assessment questions. The book contains some (professional qualifications and continued knowledge practical case study examples, drawn from the professional development). management, author's experience, and these are presented in a working with private way that reinforces learning points. The book is divided into four main chapters: and public sector clients. An associate The book is a slim volume (136 pages) and written 1. An introduction to Knowledge-Based Working - of Ashridge, in a style that makes it accessible to both the this covers definitions of KBW, how it is reflected in Learnership and TFPL, novice and the expert. Ellis is a firm believer in the today's organizations and what it may mean to she has implemented positive benefits that KBW brings. He shows very employees KM programmes in clearly how the vast majority of us are being FTSE 100 companies exposed to KBW in these changing times and how 2. Managing KBW and knowledge workers - this and has a particular we might adapt to the new ways of working. considers how knowledge workers should be interest in how best 'managed' and how this differs from the ways in to manage and which managers have traditionally managed and motivate knowledge Related FreePint links: motivated employees workers. 3. The new rules of organisational behaviour for KBW • Find out more about this book online at the She is also a Visiting - here, Ellis refers to a consultancy model to assist the FreePint Bookshelf University and reader (practitioner) to complete further analysis of http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/kbw.htm Business School KBW - referred to as the "4C's" of KBW - Commitment, • Read customer comments and buy this book at Lecturer and presents Culture, Confusion and Convergence Amazon.co.uk at KM conferences. As http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/18 a writer, Jela has 4. The implications of KBW - in this final chapter, Ellis 43341212/freepint0c contributed articles considers the immediate and future consequences of or Amazon.com to KM journals and KBW from the perspectives of individuals, managers http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/184 last year published a and organisations. 3341212/freepint00 report 'KM for SMEs: • "Knowledge Based Working: Intelligent Solutions and Readers will learn about the implications of the new Operating for the Knowledge Age" ISBN Strategies'. knowledge economy, how KBW has the capacity to 1843341212, published by Chandos Publishing affect all organisations, and what impact this will Oxford Ltd. She may be have as KBW becomes the dominant model of • Search for and purchase any book from Amazon contacted via working in the 21st century. The book also helps via the FreePint Bookshelf at <http://www.azione.c senior managers and executives to understand how <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf> o.uk>. KM affects them, their employees and the broader • Read about other Internet Strategy books on the organisation. Organisations that have focused FreePint Bookshelf heavily on a KM systems approach will find this book <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/strategy.h provides them with some tm> alternative/complementary methods that will help to To propose an information-related book for support their present KM activities. review, send details to <support@freepint.com>. 2nd February 2006 - Page 11 www.freepint.com/issues/020206.htm
  12. 12. Free Pint Limited 4-6 Station Approach T: 0870 141 7474 Ashford, Middlesex I: +44 870 141 7474 TW15 2QN E: support@vivaVIP.com VIP Eye VIP Eye is a twice-monthly subscription-only email newsletter, providing insightful current-awareness analysis of business information trends. News analysis delivered by email twice monthly Testimonials Editor's comment on developing trends in "... a great way to keep up-to- business information date in the fast-changing information world." What's new - roundup of all "... an excellent bi-weekly the new products roundup of news in the information sector." Who's doing what and how it affects you "VIP Eye keeps me updated with the latest industry news - in a Inside stories and upcoming very digestible format." developments Communications manager, business information vendor Now in HTML format for easy reading and usage. Read more and subscribe at www.vivaVIP.com/eye/
  13. 13. Feature Article "Bar Orphans: Getting your questions answered at the FreePint Bar" By Jane Macoustra One reason the Bar is popular is that many [The comments made in this article are solely the professionals, who need information to do their opinion of the author and are not representative of work effectively, do not understand how to any other person or company.] undertake the research. But if the responses they receive are off- topic from their real needs, Why don't some questions get answered at the requestors may feel frustrated by the experience Bar? as well as the answer provided. Yet they may not realise that they need to frame their requests I often log into the FreePint Bar differently in order to get better results. <http://www.freepint.com/bar/> to see what questions are being asked, and I think the response Asking a question from the tippling community is very good. But I have noticed that some of the questions end up with a Many people start a query by thinking about what long stream of responses, while other questions are they expect the research results to be. This is not all but ignored and turn into 'Bar Orphans' - lonely necessarily the correct strategy to take when queries with nary a response. My assumption has formulating a question. For example, if you need Jane Macoustra has been that the IT/technical type of questions information on the shoe manufacturing industry in over twenty five years generated the most responses. the UK, you'd probably be expecting someone to experience as an send you a link to a shoe manufacturing Information Not long ago, I decided to make a special effort to try association portal. Fine, but what if you can Professional, working to answer the unanswered Bar questions, as an enhance that research by looking a bit closer at for large corporations, exercise in keeping my research skills honed. When I the industry? Rather than thinking about those investment banks and began this process it occurred to me that maybe the ideal end results, think laterally and divide the law firms including one FreePint community didn't respond to some of the industry up into sectors: children's shoes, women's of the magic circle law questions because the questions themselves were, in shoes, men's shoes, industrial wear, and (come to firms. She has recently a sense, unanswerable. think of it) where do the emergency services worked in the public obtain their footwear? Consider both the big sector for a large Creating answerable questions -- information picture and the details in order to come up with an County Council, and in literacy answer that is as valuable as possible. Look for the the academic bigger picture, otherwise the answer is quick and community teaching One aspect of the discipline of information literacy is dirty and does not hold as much value. information literacy. knowing how to ask a question in such a way that a During her career she researcher can respond without having to ask for The sort of questions that requestors should ask has covered every clarifications. Asking questions is a skill that comes themselves, before taking any further steps, are: aspect of librarianship. naturally to some; for others, however, it is not so She runs her own easy. consultancy business, • What do I need? Tai-Pan Research. Many libraries and information centres rely on systems for research requests that require the • Why do I need it? Jane is a member of requestor to complete specific fields. These systems CILIP, the AIIP and the allow the library or information centre to compile • How can I make the question more explicit? Is Special Libraries statistical data on what work is being requested, as there more than one description (synonym) for Association where she well as how much time is spent on the research what I need? is currently serving as work; for institutions that charge back their time the President for the and/or costs, this step is a must. They also ensure • Is there an acronym for what I am looking for? Asian Chapter. Prior to that the researcher has basic, clear information this, Jane also served as before the work commences. • What search terms would narrow down or a Director for the SLA expand the results? Asian Chapter. Sometimes the requestor does not have a clear idea of what he/she really needs to complete the • What don't I want? Are there any antonyms that assignment. Sometimes it's hard to know what you can describe what isn't required? need until you know what's out there, but you can't know what's out there until you start the research. • Is this a specialist subject? 2nd February 2006 - Page 13 www.freepint.com/issues/020206.htm
  14. 14. Feature Article Related FreePint links • What additional information can I provide that may 1000 dictionaries indexed, and also has a great assist the researcher? reverse look-up facility that is still in Beta testing mode. Some of the dictionaries are specialised and 'Information and • Where have I have already looked? can assist with difficult topics. Libraries' articles in the FreePint Portal • Is all the spelling in my request correct? Also consider how the response to one question <http://www.freepint.co can enable you to answer other questions. If you m/go/p69> • Is the grammar in my request correct? need information for six countries/industries/legal systems, etc., why not ask for information on just A number of requests at the Bar for information have one area and then apply the information provided Post a message to the proven unanswerable without additional to the rest of the other areas yourself? That way, authors, Jane information, including: you learn more about what goes into a research Macoustra, or suggest plan and can opt to do the work yourself - or at further resources at the least be better informed about how to frame the FreePint Bar • Region, country, county, or city questions for best results. Bar responders are <http://www.freepint.co • How recent the information needs to be generous in providing not just answers to m/bar> • How detailed the information needs to be questions but guidance on sources, approaches, and research know-how. If the query was, for example, "information on the Read this article online, development of the number of manufacturing jobs If you try the suggestions I have given above, you with activated in Japan, China and India", the following information may eventually find that you have focused your hyperlinks could be used to formulate the question: ideas enough to do the research yourself. If you <http://www.freepint.co still prefer to ask, then at least you will know that m/issues/020206.htm#fe Manufacturing what? you are asking as well as possible and not creating ature> Manufacturing where? a Bar Orphan. Competitors are who? Litigation pending? Conclusion Access the entire archive Good/bad press? of FreePint content Statistics? <http://www.freepint.co Unanswered questions languish at both the Bar m/portal/content/> and the Student Bar, although the Student Bar Then, the question could be asked as follows: does not appear to have as many non- respondents. I suspect this could be mainly "I need to locate statistical data on the number of because the students are usually asking for jobs in the manufacturing of white goods/washing assistance with a subject for their dissertations and machines/fridges/microwaves /tumble driers in not asking specific research questions. Still, some Japan, China and India in the last two years to enable Student Bar questions go unanswered, which me to see what trends are occurring within this suggests that although students have been industry. I don't need this information for Macau, inducted at Higher Education level on how to use Hong Kong or Taiwan. I have already checked on the library and what is available to them, some are Google, but did not find much that was relevant". not attending the information literacy classes which are freely available to them. A large number The results you get depend entirely on what you ask of students expect to find everything they need on for and how you ask for it. You may require a quick the Internet and don't appreciate the free use of response or a more detailed answer. the proprietary databases that are available to them while they are studying. Therefore, some Before asking a question, it is a good idea to produce students struggle to use the databases and they a mind map around a Venn diagram don't know the best way to formulate a question <http://digbig.com/4gdet> of what you need, and for research assistance. also a reverse mind map on the same page in a different colour, showing what you don't need or Information practitioners are happy to assist at what may be useful. A mind map would enable you both Bars, and frequently do so. Using the tips in to formulate the questions posed above much more this article will help newcomers and veterans alike easily. If you don't know enough about your subject, ask the kinds of questions we most love to devote use a dictionary such as Onelook our (free) services and energies to: answerable <http://www.onelook.com/>. Onelook has almost ones. 2nd February 2006 - Page 14 www.freepint.com/issues/020206.htm
  15. 15. Researcha gives you immediate pay- Recently Jinfo (pronounced 'Jin-fo') as-you-go access to company data advertised job is the place to find and advertise titles: from the UK, Ireland, Austria, jobs in the information industry. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Information Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Scientist The Jinfo Newsletter contains Spain and Switzerland. Researcher advice from recruitment Reference Librarian consultants and a list of the latest Get the benefits: Part-time vacancies in Jinfo. Library One-stop access to company Manager Recent articles include: Knowledge reports from many countries Co-ordinator Information "Interview day blues (things they Hard-to-find data on company Professional don't tell you about in books ...)" directors Know How "Skills for Records Management" Indexer "How to give yourself the best Associate chance of making it to interview" Free to search and view basic Researcher "Accentuate the positive - tips for details prior to purchase Telecoms handling rejection" Researcher Information Convenient delivery of reports - email to yourself or others Services Assistants Search jobs, advertise and Information subscribe at Services Search today at Manager www.Jinfo.com www.Researcha.com Willco enables publishers to manage VIP web-based communities, distribute e-newsletters, update web content, In-depth, unbiased reviews of push information out to audiences, business information products. and publish controlled-access "The process couldn't be documents through a single, VIP Eye simpler, and the scalable, powerful system. support we Recent Reviews: Insightful current-awareness receive is Get the benefits: analysis of business information exemplary. We Pay-as-you- would thoroughly go service trends. Now in HTML format for recommend Automate management and Euromonitor easy reading and usage. using them to distribution of email newsletters LexisNexis support your Prospectus+ Perfect DEBT VIP Wire dissemination needs." Build community through online Hemscott discussion forums OneSource Post your business information "We use the ISI press releases for free. Willco Lists Manage publication schedules Module, and have Forthcoming and access to premium content. "I am a recent subscriber and find VIP a found it to be a Reviews: wonderful source of information and have fast and efficient already benefited from its content." way to deliver our Publish fresh web content easily Mint Knowledge Centre Manager, (UK). newsletter. Reputation Excellent - and deliver it directly to mgt member inboxes support." Northern Light Full details at Read about the Modules at www.vivaVIP.com www.Willco.com
  16. 16. Events - Gold Events Gold United Kingdom: A look back at what FreePint covered at this time in previous years: • "Search Engine Marketing - Maximise the Impact" 23rd February • FreePint No.176 10th February 2005. <http://www.freepint.com/go/e634> "Understanding Consumers through Online Competitive Intelligence" and "Child Rights: • "Focusing on Data Protection & Privacy" 2nd Is Information really free for all?" March <http://www.freepint.com/go/e624> <http://www.freepint.com/issues/100205.htm> • "Working with Agencies - Fostering a Prosperous • FreePint No.153 5th February 2004. "Disintegrating Working Relationship" 8th March Digital Fences: Finding Business Information in <http://www.freepint.com/go/e658> Ukraine and its Neighbouring Countries" and "10 things you should know about the UK's Freedom Canada: of Information regime" <http://www.freepint.com/issues/050204.htm> • "2006 Government & Health Technologies Conference & Expo" 8th - 9th March • FreePint No.130 6th February 2003. "Online Library <http://www.freepint.com/go/e620> Catalogues" and "Patent Searching Without Words - Why Do It, How To Do It?" <http://www.freepint.com/issues/060203.htm> United States: • FreePint No.105, 7th February 2002. "Business • "Braintrust International 2006" 20th - 22nd Information in Germany" and "Pay Per Click Search February <http://www.freepint.com/go/e656> Engines and Promoting your Website" <http://www.freepint.com/issues/070202.htm> • "Strategic & Operational Portfolio Management" 27th February - 1st March • FreePint No.80, 1st February 2001. "An adventure <http://www.freepint.com/go/e654> in ADSL: the Superhighway finally becomes 'super'?" and "E-Books" • "Linking Customer Feedback to Business Results" <http://www.freepint.com/issues/010201.htm> 27th February - 1st March <http://www.freepint.com/go/e655> • FreePint No.55, 3rd February 2000. "Classical Music Web Sites" and "Researching the Researchers - • "Spring 2006 ASIDIC meeting" 12th - 14th March Finding Market Research Agencies on <http://www.freepint.com/go/e619> the Web" <http://www.freepint.com/issues/030200.htm> • "Lean Design & Development" 12th - 15th March <http://www.freepint.com/go/e652> • FreePint No.31, 4th February 1999. "Researching from home" and "Internet Resources for Seniors" • "Achieving Customer Service Excellence" <http://www.freepint.com/issues/040299.htm> 13th - 15th March <http://www.freepint.com/go/e653> • FreePint No.7, 5th February 1998. "Fabricating Information" and "Engineering resources: • "JISC Conference 2006" 14th March examples and sources" <http://www.freepint.com/go/e633> <http://www.freepint.com/issues/050298.htm> Submit your event for free promotion: <http://www.freepint.com/events/> These are just a selection of the global events listed on the FreePint Website at <http://www.freepint.com/events>. 2nd February 2006 - Page 16 www.freepint.com/issues/020206.htm
  17. 17. Contact Contact FreePint® Web: www.freepint.com Email: support@freepint.com Free Pint Limited Subscriptions: support@freepint.com 1997-2006 Authors: www.freepint.com/author.htm Advertisers: www.onopoly.com FreePint is a Registered Trademark of Free Pint ISSN: 1460-7239 Limited (R) Free Pint Limited To subscribe, unsubscribe, change your 4-6 Station Approach subscriptions or password, visit Ashford, Middlesex <http://web.freepint.com/> or email TW15 2QN, United Kingdom <support@freepint.com>. For details about Tel (UK): 0870 141 7474 contributing, advertising or to see past issues, please Tel (Int): +44 870 141 7474 visit the Web site at <http://www.freepint.com/> or email <support@freepint.com>. Technology by Willco <http://www.willco.com/> Please note: FreePint (ISSN 1460-7239) is a registered trademark of, and published by, Free Pint Limited. The publishers will NEVER make the subscriber list Contributors to this issue available to any other company or organisation. The opinions, advice, products and services offered William Hann (Managing Editor, FreePint), Penny herein are the sole responsibility of the contributors. Hann (Production Editor, FreePint), Pam Foster Whilst all reasonable care has been taken to ensure (Editor, VIP), Emma Thompson, Lee McLean, Jela the accuracy of the publication, the publishers Webb, Jane Macoustra, Plain Text cannot accept responsibility for any errors or <http://www.plain-text.co.uk/> (proofreading). omissions. Advertisers/Sponsors of this issue This publication may be freely copied and/or distributed in its entirety. However, individual Los Alamos National Laboratory, City Professionals, sections MAY NOT be copied and/or distributed InfoSphere, BvD, Factiva, Sue Hill Recruitment, Glen without the prior written agreement of the Recruitment, Willco, VIP. publishers. Write to William Hann, Managing Editor, © Free Pint Limited 1997-2006 <william.hann@freepint.com> for more details. Product names used in FreePint are for identification purposes only, and may be trademarks of their respective owners. FreePint disclaims any and all rights in those marks. All rights reserved. 2nd February 2006 - Page 17 www.freepint.com/issues/020206.htm

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