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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

  • Taking stock after the storm
  • Library reports on electronic journals
  • Workshop today talks of integrity
  • Looking back on 30 years in ES
Chris Redmond

Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas

K-W Software Quality Association meets at 11:45, Davis Centre room 1304.

'Managing New Product Development', Murray Gamble, C3 Group of Companies, 12 noon, Needles Hall room 1101 (sponsored by CBET).

Tenor saxophone concert (Willem Moolenbeek and Boyd MacDonald), 12:30, Conrad Grebel University College chapel, free.

Media forum with Federation of Students candidates, 2 p.m., Bombshelter pub.

'30 Years of Computers in Medical Imaging', Smarter Health seminar by Terry Peters, Robarts Research Institute, 3:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

Anglican service celebrating 60th anniversary of ordination of Rev. Florence Li Tim-Oi, 3 p.m., Renison College chapel.

Poet and novelist Barry Dempster reads, 4 p.m., Sweeney Hall, St. Jerome's University.

Starting your own business student seminar, 5:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, space limited -- e-mail info@innovate.uwaterloo.ca.

Volleyball Warriors host McMaster, women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m., PAC main gym.

Ecological Fair, 7 p.m., Paul Martin Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University.

Unlimited gaming in the Cove, Student Life Centre, free for math students (others $5) at MathSoc's Cove Night, from 8 p.m.

Victoria and Seattle UW alumni events tonight, details online.

Arriscraft Lecture, British architect Michael Stacey, Thursday 7 p.m., Environmental Studies II room 286.

'Religious Exclusiveness with Spiritual Inclusiveness', seminar by Bob Chodos, Thursday 7 p.m., Math and Computer room 4021.

Taking stock after the storm

It's back to work and back to class this morning, surrounded by a deep layer of snow, which the grounds crew is doing its best to clear. I haven't heard of any exciting incidents in connection with yesterday's storm and shutdown, but no doubt lots of stories will be circulating today.

I had e-mail from Elaine Carpenter, UW's parking manager, on Monday, just before the big snowfall, and what she said obviously goes double now. I quote:

"Due to the amount of snow that has fallen and continues to fall, it is difficult to see the lines in the University parking lots. Please be aware of where you are parking your vehicle.

"Vehicles are parking at the end of rows blocking access to and from the lots, there should be room at the end of rows for vehicles to pass each other. Also, we have had numerous vehicles parking creating third rows and blocking in the vehicles in the middle.

"You are responsible to ensure that your vehicle is parked properly for safety as well as a courtesy to the others using the parking lot. Thank you for being considerate."

And campus traffic will be busier than average today and for the next three weeks, as co-op employer interviews for spring term jobs are beginning. Interview season runs through February 13.

Library reports on electronic journals

Students and researchers are likely to get their information in electronic form these days, as UW's library (and its counterparts across Canada) shift their spending away from print materials and towards online versions of scientific and scholarly publications -- "e-journals".

"Spending on electronic serials by Canada's research libraries rose from an average of $1.01 million in 2000-2001 to $1.40 million in 2001-2002 -- a remarkable increase of 38.6%," says a news release from the Canadian Association of Research Libraries. "The University of Waterloo led the charge, for the first time spending more on electronic serials than print ones."

[Haslett] UW's university librarian, Mark Haslett (left), proudly brought the CARL announcement to last week's meeting of the UW senate, at which he reported on what's happening in the libraries, with the emphasis on e-journals.

"The traditional role of the Library remains," Haslett told the senate. "The environment, however, is changing." A big part of that shift is the move to the electronic version of journals, which can be accessed through a web interface. Libraries are now buying such journals -- from Acta Linguistica Hungarica to Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society -- in electronic form either along with the printed version, or instead of print.

Haslett stressed that print isn't disappearing, and that the goal in the library is "balancing" the various forms in which information is now available. "We have been able to increase journal holdings over the last few years, with relatively small increases in the Library acquisitions budget," he told the senate, pointing to the result: "Increased and enhanced access from your desktop on and off campus."

The exact number of e-journals available to UW users is hard to calculate, and changes almost daily, as titles start and stop. Yesterday morning, the count was 7,618, Haslett said. That's up from about 600 journals in 1997, and 5,800 when the Canadian National Site Licensing Project was launched in the fall of 2001.

"Licensing" is the key word for e-journals, as libraries, or groups of libraries, negotiate licences with publishers or companies that package and deliver the journals in return for subscription fees. Haslett told the senate that the shift to electronic information has been made possible by CNSLP at the national level, joint buying for Ontario institutions by the Ontario Council of University Libraries, and close cooperation within the Tri-Universities Group of UW, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Guelph.

While the emphasis, especially in CNSLP, has been on scientific journals, he said a major new project is being proposed that will -- if funding is found -- improve access to journals in the humanities and social sciences as well.

A goal for the library, Haslett said, is to "create an environment that meets the needs of faculty, students and staff in an evolving hybrid information environment, both print and electronic". That means that while some resources are available from the desktop, 24 hours a day, users will still find other resources -- and expert help in using them -- in the library itself.

And is the hybrid environment working? "I have never seen the libraries as busy as they are this year," he said.

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  • Workshop today talks of integrity

    A group of about 40 faculty members and students will spend this afternoon talking about "academic integrity", described as "the core value of the academic enterprise".

    The participants -- associate deans, key committee members and others -- have been invited to a workshop organized by Barbara Bulman-Fleming, director of the teaching resource office, "with the strong support of the deans" and top UW officials.

    "I'm sure you'll agree that this is a very important issue," she wrote in an invitation letter before the Christmas holidays. "The workshop will be given by Dr. Julia Christensen Hughes of the University of Guelph, an excellent presenter who is, in my opinion, the most knowledgeable person on this subject in Canada."

    A bit of background: "Christensen Hughes is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour in the Faculty of Management at the University of Guelph and is currently completing her second term as Director of Teaching Support Services (TSS). As Director, Julia recently coordinated a comprehensive study on academic integrity at the University of Guelph. This project has now grown into a national study involving over 15 Canadian universities. An award-winning instructor and engaging facilitator, Julia has conducted numerous workshops for both academic and business audiences. Within the educational domain, Julia's research interests include academic integrity, learner-centredness, universal instructional design, and classroom planning."

    Says an abstract of today's workshop: "Academic integrity is at the heart -- the core value of the academic enterprise. Achieving it requires an ongoing commitment by all levels of the university community. Unfortunately, recent articles in academic journals and the popular press have brought into question our collective success in living this value. This presentation will provide an overview of the extent and types of academic misconduct university students are engaging in today as well as possible explanations for why this misconduct is occurring. Summary results from Guelph's 2002 study will be shared along with key findings including the 'five levers for supporting a culture of integrity.'

    "Following an interactive presentation, participants will be asked to identify specific steps the University of Waterloo might take in support of academic integrity."

    Looking back on 30 years in ES

    Keystone Campaign publicity turns to a retired staff member in the latest profile to be published as an unpaid ad in the Gazette. The interview subject is Barbara Yeaman (left), [Yeaman] who worked at four public schools and a secondary school before coming to UW as the first secretary to the first dean of the faculty of environmental studies. She was also the alumni and undergraduate administrator for FES during her 30-year career at UW. Now retired, she is again in school, assisting in the language skills program at a local primary school.

    Yeaman is asked about her UW career and also about her reasons for supporting Keystone, which is seeking to raise $4.5 million from staff, faculty and retirees for the university as part of Campaign Waterloo.

    What did you like best about your job at UW? "I enjoyed the constantly changing faces as new groups of students arrived each gear, the attractions of the campus, and the exposure to student and faculty research which made life at UW informative and educational."

    What makes you proud of UW? "It gives me great pleasure to look back to the beginning and realize that I witnessed and participated in the growth and development of FES over the years. I am proud of the achievements of UW, its astounding growth in a very short time, and its international status."

    What motivated you personally to give to Waterloo? "Donating to Environmental Studies Senate Undergraduate Scholarships helps to ensure that students have assistance as they pursue their first degree. I did not have the opportunity following high school to attend university, partly for financial reasons, and this enables me to help give someone else that chance."

    What is your favourite spot on campus? "I have two favourite spots -- the 'deep in the woods' path from University Avenue to Minota Hagey, which allows one to leave the city behind if only for a short time, and the tiny walkway through the evergreens beside the Physics building, which gave me a moment of serenity on a busy day!"


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