Weeknote 3 (2021)

Hey. I missed last week’s weeknote. But we are here now.


This week I gave a class on searching scientific literature to a group of biology masters students. While I was making my slides comparing the Advanced Search capabilities of Web of Science and Scopus, I discovered this weird behaviour of Google Scholar: a phrase search generated more hits than not.

I understand that Google Scholar performs ‘stemming’ instead of truncation in generating search results but this still makes no sense to me.


New to me: if you belong to an organization that is already a member of CrossRef, you are eligible to use a Similarity Check of documents for an additional fee. Perhaps this is a service we could provide to our OJS editors.


I’m still working through the Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship special issue on Academic Libraries and the Irrational.

Long time readers know that I have a fondness for the study of organizational culture and so it should not be too surprising that the first piece I wanted to read was The Digital Disease in Academic Libraries. It begins….

THOUGH several recent books and articles have been written about change and adaptation in contemporary academic libraries (Mossop 2013; Eden 2015; Lewis 2016), there are few critical examinations of change practices at the organizational level. One example, from which this paper draws its title, is Braden Cannon’s (2013) The Canadian Disease, where the term disease is used to explore the trend of amalgamating libraries, archives, and museums into monolithic organizations. Though it is centered on the impact of institutional convergence, Cannon’s analysis uses an ethical lens to critique the bureaucratic absurdity of combined library-archive-museum structures. This article follows in Cannon’s steps, using observations from organizational de-sign and management literature to critique a current trend in the strategic planning processes and structures of contemporary academic libraries. My target is our field’s ongoing obsession with digital transformation beyond the shift from paper-based to electronic resources, examined in a North American context and framed here as The Digital Disease.

I don’t want to spoil the article but I do want to include this zinger of a symptom which is the first of several:

If your library’s organizational chart highlights digital forms of existing functions, you might have The Digital Disease.

Kris Joseph, The Digital Disease in Academic Libraries, Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship, Vol 6 (2020)

Ouch. That truth hurts almost as much as this tweet did:

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