Archive for January, 2011


Governments do not always show all the actions they are doing. There are some things that they do not want to share with the citizens of their countries and the rest of the world. It could be said that there is not transparency in our politicians. Take as an example, Guantánamo, nobody knows what is done there and how detainees are treated. However, there is an organization since 2006 that wants to break all that and is fighting against corruption. This organization is called WikiLeaks. His creator was Julian Assange, who is an Australian publisher  and journalist. The aim of this journalist is to open governments as it is said in Wikileaks’s slogan: “We open governments”

For instance, WikiLeaks is a non-profit organization, in other words, the journalists who work in this organization do not want money. They want to stop how our governments rule our countries. WikiLeaks believes in the Universal Declaration of Human rights which says that everybody has the right to speak freely and without interference of any type. They claim that journalists should be able to write about any topic without being afraid of being sent to prison or something worse. Publishing improves transparency and that is the only way to form a better society.

Wikleaks is compared to Daniel Ellsberg's leaking of the Pentagon Papers in 1971

WikiLeaks has been a success and has won many prizes since it was launched such as  the 2008 Economist Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression award or the 2009 Amnesty International human rights reporting award (New Media). Furthermore, it has broken many stories such as war, killing, torture, finace, taxes… However, the problem has appeared when its creator Julian Assagne was sent to prison due to sexual offences. Some people claim and Julian himself  that governments are politically motivated and want him in prison. There have been many riots in favor of  releasing Assange and this event is being one of the most trending topics of this time.

Many questions have still to be answered. Is  Assange a good person in favor of human rights or is he using the fact of being the creator of WikiLeaks to avoid prision? Are governments against transparency? The truth is that Wikileaks has put governments in an awkward position.



Open Access

For instance, you have to know that scholars are not paid for the articles they publish in  scientific journals. The aim of those articles is to improve the field scholars are studying and show their new discoveries to the world. However, people sometimes do not read their articles because they are restricted to a particular section of society. How can this be changed in order to help improving the right for information of the society? The answer is Open Access.

Open access or (OA)  refers to unrestricted online access to articles published in scholarly journals. Open access breaks barriers and the limits of society. It has to be said that this system could not exist without the appearance of internet. Internet has given the key to society to being able to read a wide range of articles all over the world. Readers can do whatever they want with the articles copy, download, print… However, Open Access is different from open content where users can change the text they are reading.

Many people may think that Open Access is not good for authors. However, this is not true. Everybody will take advantage of Open Access. For instance, there have been many studies that show that articles who are published in open access journals are more cited and read than the rest of the books. Authors will be happy to know that their books are being read and that they are having more impact than if they have been published in a normal journal. Moreover, articles will be more effective because they will be more easy to find and use. Another part of the society that will take advantage of OA will be teachers that will feel safe that their students are using the convenient information to the research they will have to do.

What about quality?  There are some misunderstandings about Open Access. Some people claim that this are second-class papers and that they do not have enough quality. However, these articles are peer review, in other words, they are checked in order to know if they are good enough. Moreover, there will be more competition between scholars that will want their articles to be more cited and read than the ohters.

Finally, there are two ways to publish the articles through Internet. On the one hand, authors can publish their articles in Open Access Repositories which are digital collections of all the articles published by different authors. On the other hand, Open Access journals are also popular. They consist in  peer-reviewed journals whose articles may be accessed online without carge. Many institutions and universities are launching their own digital repositories to publish their articles to the whole public. There is a video in the references that shows very well the desire to improve OA by all the institutions. There also included in the references some interesting repositories where you can find good articles.


Diferencia entre bibliotecas electrónicas, digitales y virtuales.

Numerosas son las cosas que están cambiando debido al desarrollo tecnológico. Una de ellas son las bibliotecas. Antes solo se conocía por biblioteca a un determinado edificio que guardaba diversos textos en formato de papel para que los usuarios pudieran leerlos y utilizarlos. Sin embargo, este concepto ha ido cambiando con el paso del tiempo.  Las bibliotecas han ido evolucionando para satisfacer a los usuarios que quieren una pronta respuesta a sus necesidades. Ahora se conocen tres tipos de diferentes de bibliotecas que difieren en sus características y en el modo que ofrecen sus servicios a los usuarios. Éstos tres tipos son: las bibliotecas electrónicas, digitales y virtuales.

En primer lugar, decir que en multitud de ocasiones se producen ambigüedades entre los términos y se suelen confundir. Aquí les definiremos y los compararemos con exactitud. El primer tipo de biblioteca se llama biblioteca electrónica. Las principales características  de estas bibliotecas es que se encuentran situadas geográficamente en un lugar, es decir, existe un edificio como tal donde se encuentran los libros. Los catálogos, libros y revistas de esta biblioteca están principalmente  en formato papel y cuenta con una serie de soportes electrónicos que les ayudan a los trabajadores y usuarios del lugar a encontrar rápidamente los libros que  buscan y la información deseada. Un ejemplo de biblioteca electrónica es la biblioteca de la Universidad de Deusto. Lopez Guzmán da una clara definición de lo que se entiende por biblioteca electrónica:

“Es aquella que cuenta con sistemas de automatización que le permite una ágil y correcta administración de los materiales que resguarda, principalmente en papel. Asi mismo, cuenta con sistemas de telecomunicaciones que le permiten acceder a su información, en formato electrónico, de manera remota o local. Proporciona  principalmente catálogos y listas de las colecciones que se encuentran físicamente en un edificio.” (Lopez Guzmán)

Por otro lado, existen también las bibliotecas digitales. Se suelen equivocar muchas veces con las virtuales. Sin embargo, mientras que las digitales tienen un edificio como tal donde los usuarios pueden acudir, las virtuales no lo tienen. Las digitales son bibliotecas donde hay soportes electrónicos mediante los cuales las personas pueden cosultar los documentos electrónicos deseados. En cambio las virtuales también disponen de sus documentos en formato electrónico, pero su utilización se hace a través de internet lo que permite que muchas personas tengan acceso a libros que anteriormente les sería imposible. La biblioteca virtual Miguel de Cervantes es un buen ejemplo de como de funcionar este tipo de bibliotecas.



January 2011
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