Library Notes for Political Science

Teaching resources, news, and links to keep McGill’s Political Scientists informed

Archive for the ‘In the news’ Category

Open Access Week: October 24-30

Posted by Megan on October 22, 2011

Why does open access matter for researchers? Here are some thoughts cross-posted from the McGill Library website:

What is open access?

“Open Access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.”Peter Suber

Why should I care?

Open access

  • …gives your work more exposure.

    By making by making your work openly available on the internet, it can be found via most search engines (like Google).

  • …provides universal access to your work.

    It is no longer hidden behind subscription barriers, and it can be accessed by everyone not just those who can pay.

  • …meets the requirements of many funding agencies.

    Many funders stipulate that research be made publicly available since it is being funded by the public. eScholarship@McGill meets this requirement.

Copyright and your scholarly work

Your rights as an author

  • the author holds copyright of a work unless they transfer it to someone else in a signed agreement
  • assigning copyright to someone else matters, as they can do anything with your work, and can prevent you from using it in course work and reusing it in subsequent work
  • there are tools available where you can transfer copyright while holding back key rights – publishing agreements are negotiable

SPARC Canadian Author’s Addendum

The SPARC Canadian Author’s Addendum is a legal instrument that helps you modify the publisher’s agreement and keep key rights to your article.


  • retain your rights
  • reuse your work without restrictions
  • receive proper attribution for your work
  • make your work openly available through an open access repository

…Read more!


Posted in Academic publishing, In the news | Comments Off on Open Access Week: October 24-30

Canadian researcher survey 2010

Posted by Megan on July 14, 2011

Rather old news, but still of interest!

Last year, the publisher Taylor & Francis conducted a survey of 1,500 Canadian researchers on their publishing preferences and information seeking strategies.

The full report can be read online.

Unsurprisingly, when selecting a journal in which to publish, participants considered timeliness of the review process and reputation of the journal to be most important. More than 70% indicated that the “right to circulate the article after publication” to be very important or important, which has important implications for the uptake of open access policies in Canada.

Of interest for libraries in particular was the question “When you look for research articles, where do you start?”

It would appear that respondents could enter more than one option, since the percentages add up to more than 100, but at any rate, 64% selected Google as a starting point. Next in popularity was library websites (54%), followed by JSTOR (31%). It would be interesting to get more nuanced data, though, as to whether researchers took the question to refer to starting points for tracking done known citations or for surveying research literature in general. JSTOR, of course, does not include the most recent issues of most journals, so it’s not usually recommended as a starting point for research.

In other Taylor & Francis news, their online journal platform has recently undergone some updates to refine the search functions and article displays, including mobile access. Note that journals previously accessible from Informaworld are now part of the Taylor & Francis suite. McGill subscribes to 182 Taylor & Francis journals in Political Science and International Relations.

Posted in Academic publishing, In the news | Comments Off on Canadian researcher survey 2010

Information resources South Sudan

Posted by Megan on July 9, 2011

Here are some suggestions for resources on the economic and security outlook for the world’s newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan:

1. World Bank country page for Sudan

2. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s reports on South Sudan and Sudan includes daily news, monthly assessments, and backgrounders. [McGill subscription]

3. Jane’s Military and Security Assessments has extensive reference information on Sudan, including political climate, maps, military assessments (budgets, armaments, etc.), presence of terrorist groups, demographics, and external relations. In addition, news features provide analysis on the emergence of the newly independent South Sudan. [McGill subscription]

4. The World Bank data site has an article introducing the the Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation, which will collect statistical information for the new nation.

5. The World Bank’s “mapping for results” project also provides a helpful overview of the economic situation of the region.

Incidentally, the New York Times recently published an article praising the World Bank’s many initiatives to make their data freely available, accessible, and generally useful to the public.

See: Stephanie Strom, “World Bank Is Opening Its Treasure Chest of Data,” New York Times, July 2, 2011

Posted in In the news, Resources of note | Comments Off on Information resources South Sudan

Human Development Indicators in Google Public Data Explorer

Posted by Megan on June 9, 2011

Announcement posted on the UNDP’s website:

Human Development Indicators now accessible online through Google Public Data Explorer

Human development statistics on Google’s Public Data Explorer let web users visualize the latest HDI data for all UN member-states

United Nations, 17 May 2011—In a move to provide greater global access to key human development indicators for all countries, Google’s innovative Public Data Explorer will now feature the latest Human Development Index (HDI) figures and direct links to the extensive Human Development Report database of international development statistics.

The Public Data Explorer, available online throughout the world in Google Labs, has for the first time incorporated all the key statistical indicators from the Human Development Report, including the HDI, an annual composite national measure of health, education and income introduced in the first Human Development Report 21 years ago.

The Google Public Data Explorer enables users to view a wide range of international development statistics, and then graph and contrast different sets of figures. Anyone with Internet access can now readily compare the HDI performance of (for example) China, Egypt, India, Norway, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Sudan, Tunisia and the United States, graph the results, and share their newly created charts and maps with friends by email.

Posted in In the news | 1 Comment »

Online seminar from Jane’s: May 11

Posted by Megan on May 10, 2011

Client Briefing: The Osama bin Laden raid and its consequences

On May 11, 2011, a panel of IHS Jane’s experts, including Gareth Jennings, James Hardy, James Brazier, Jeremy Binnie, Will Hartley and Alison Puccioni will present their analysis of key events and consequences following last week’s raid in Pakistan. The panel will also be available to take questions during the briefing which will be moderated by JDW Editor Peter Felstead.

Join this 60 minute online seminar to listen to IHS Jane’s experts analyse the following key topics:
• Did the US military employ state-of-the-art classified equipment in the bin Laden operation?
• What will be the impact of the discovery and death of bin Laden on US-Pakistan relations?
• The implications for Al-Qaeda

For Intelligence Centre/Module and DS Forecast customers and IHS staff (who are ALL entitled to attend free of charge), please use/forward the links below to register for the event.

• REGISTRATION LINK: Wed 11 May, 3pm (UK) / 10am (New York)

Posted in In the news | Comments Off on Online seminar from Jane’s: May 11

Search alerts in CanLII

Posted by Megan on April 12, 2011

CanLII (Canadian Legal Information Institute) recently released some upgrades to its search tools. One particularly useful addition is RSS feeds for searches. This means that you can save a search and receive a notification through your RSS reader when a new document is added that matches your criteria. You can also get RSS updates of all new cases added to the CanLII databases. For more information, visit the RSS page.

CanLII is a free, fully searchable database of Canadian legislation, cases, and administrative tribunal decisions for federal and provincial jurisdictions.

Posted in In the news, Resources of note | Comments Off on Search alerts in CanLII

Jane’s Intelligence online seminar: March 23

Posted by Megan on March 22, 2011

Libya Crisis: A Jane’s Client Briefing


A panel of Jane’s experts, including Chris Foss, Richard Scott, Mike Gething, Tim Ripley, Guy Anderson, David Hartwell, Jeremy Binnie & Ron Hertenstein, will present their analysis of ongoing events to Jane’s module and intelligence centre customers. The panel will also be available to take questions during the briefing.

The session will cover both military and political aspects of the Libyan crisis including Coalition military strikes, the developing international response, and scenarios for Libya’s political future.

For Intelligence Centre/Module and DS Forecast customers and IHS staff (who are ALL entitled to attend free of charge), please use/forward the link below to register for the event.

Also taking place later this week:

Environmental Security: Military and Security Implications of Climate Change

For Intelligence Centre/Module and DS Forecast customers and IHS staff (who are ALL entitled to attend free of charge), please use/forward the link below to register for the event.

Posted in In the news | Comments Off on Jane’s Intelligence online seminar: March 23

Canadian Open Data

Posted by Megan on March 21, 2011

Last week, the Government of Canada launched its Open Data Pilot Project:

The Open Data Pilot is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to open government, which is being pursued along three streams: open data, open information and open dialogue, and aims to drive innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians.

The Open Data Pilot seeks to improve the ability of the public to find, download and use Government of Canada data. You are invited to search the catalogue, download datasets and explore the possibilities of Open Data.

The website currently includes 781 “general” datasets and 260296 geospatial datasets. The advanced search function allows for searching by agency, topic category (e.g., labour, military, education), and keyword.

For further reading, David Eaves provides interesting commentary on the promising outlook of this initiative but notes concerns about the overly restrictive license attached to the data:

The launch of is an important first step. It gives those of us interested in open data and open government a vehicle by which to get more data open and improve the accountability, transparency as well as business and social innovation. That said, there is much work to be done still: getting more data up and, more importantly, addressing the significant concerns around the license. I have spoken to Treasury Board President Stockwell Day about these concerns and he is very interested and engaged by them. My hope is that with more Canadians expressing their concerns, and with better understanding by ministerial and political staff, we can land on the right license and help find ways to improve the website and program. That’s why we to beta launches in the tech world, hopefully it is something the government will be able to do here too.

Posted in Database, In the news, Resources of note | Comments Off on Canadian Open Data

Crown copyright news

Posted by Megan on March 4, 2011

This announcement may have gone unnoticed back in December 2010:

“Great news! Crown Copyright and Licensing (CCL) is pleased to announce that permission to reproduce Government of Canada works is no longer required, in part or in whole, and by any means, for personal or public non-commercial purposes, or for cost-recovery purposes, unless otherwise specified in the material you wish to reproduce.”


The US federal government does not copyright its publications, but the Canadian government had previously always officially automatically restricted use of its publications.

Posted in In the news | Comments Off on Crown copyright news

Alternative news sources

Posted by Megan on February 25, 2011

College & Research Libraries News recently published a brief compilation of resources for alternative news and information. Specific publications are included, as well as online indexes and aggregators. The focus is on the U.S. along with other items of international interest.

Rickert, Kathleen D. 2011. “Media and Democracy: Resources for alternative news and information.”
College & Research Libraries News 72:24-27.

Posted in In the news, Resources of note | Comments Off on Alternative news sources