Shirl Kennedy The Rise of DocuTicker: So Many Reports, So Little Time
Jinfo Blog

Wednesday, 31st May 2006

By Shirl Kennedy


Government agencies, think tanks, commercial and non-profit organisations, and trade associations provide an incredibly rich and diverse collection of free reports and research. The trouble is there are so many available resources, it's difficult for any information professional to know what's out there, never mind categorise them in a useful way.


Shirl KennedyGovernment agencies, think tanks, commercial and non-profit organisations, and trade associations provide an incredibly rich and diverse collection of free reports and research. The trouble is there are so many available resources, it's difficult for any information professional to know what's out there, never mind categorise them in a useful way.

As editor of DocuTicker, I spend my days combing through the masses of data out there. What goes onto DocuTicker are links to only free, full-text reports. Here's a glimpse into the careful selection process I use to populate the site with new resources every day:

  • I make every effort to include important documents many people are looking for, i.e. those mentioned in the news or that are issued on a regular basis. I also try to include interesting items our readers are unlikely to stumble across on their own.

  • Everything I post includes a link to a freely available full-text report. DocuTicker doesn't include documents from subscription journals (unless offered as free samples) or reports that must be purchased.

  • I try to include a good mix of subject matter, with an emphasis on high interest topics, such as education, health care, social and cultural issues. In the new iteration of DocuTicker, recently unveiled, you'll find these categories, and in the future you'll also see topical RSS feeds. In other words, if you're interested only in reports on health and health care, you will be able to subscribe to a feed that shows postings in that category.

  • In each post, I try to include an abstract taken directly from the document or from a press release issued by the agency responsible for the document. I don't provide commentary/reviews/value judgments -- either about a document or the organisation that produced it. Many of these groups have some sort of ideological axe to grind, which doesn't mean the reports they generate are useless, but we assume our readers are savvy enough to educate themselves by trolling the organisation's website.

  • Although DocuTicker is aimed at a predominately American audience, I make an effort to include international materials useful to our global readership. I depend on help from non-U.S. readers to increase our coverage. If you're aware of any good fishing holes for full-text reports, or can alert us to especially important or time-critical documents, please get in touch.

I also depend on feedback from readers to let me know what they like and what they don't like. If you encounter something you think I should post or a site I should monitor for content, I want to hear from you.

Below is a selection of recent DocuTicker postings. You can read these and more by going to <>:

Different Cultures, Similar Perceptions: Stereotyping of Western European Business Leaders Source: Catalyst

'Different Cultures, Similar Perceptions: Stereotyping of Western European Business Leaders is the third report in a series of studies Catalyst is undertaking to examine barriers to women's advancement in the workplace. It exposes some significant differences in the nature and prevalence of stereotypic perceptions across cultural clusters in Western Europe'.

Direct link to this DocuTicker post: <>


World Cup Special: Football, Sports, and Development Source: World Bank

'For two months every four years, the world stops for the World Cup. It is estimated that 1.3 billion people watched the final of the 2002 World Cup in Japan, a number which is sure to rise this year in Berlin. So, earlier this year, research teams from some of the world's leading investment banks shifted their eyes from stocks and bonds to predicting the winners of this summer's matches in Germany. The reason - studies suggest that success or failure in football (or soccer) may affect a country's economy'. Links to many full-text papers on economics and the World Cup (PDFs).

Direct link to this DocuTicker post: <>


Who's Afraid of Labour Market Flexibility Source: The Work Foundation (UK)

From press release: 'The widespread conviction that low levels of employment regulation and weak trade unions are the cause of Britain's good record at creating jobs and keeping unemployment down is today exposed as a myth in a new study by The Work Foundation. The study also takes aim at the assumption that "being more like America" is essential if high levels of unemployment in some continental European countries are to be reduced'.

Direct link to this DocuTicker post: <>


The Other Search: Making the Most of Site Search to Optimize the Total Customer Experience Source: Web Side Story

'Effective site search can take you from high abandonment to full carts, one-hit visits to long eyeballs, or from a contact center deluge of nasty-grams to loyal customers. Internet search - the activity on Google and Yahoo! - delivers visitors to your door. Site search - that search box that should be a navigation choice you offer on every Web page - drives the customer's experience and triggers the delivery of your marketing messages for the duration of the visit. Customer activity that begins on an Internet search engine doesn't end at the entry point to your site. You should sustain attention to visitors until they have either completed their objectives or abandoned them. Site search and the information it offers can help you determine how to surpass customer expectations and also reduce the number of frustrated visitors. The site search box itself is a tremendous gift to you from your customers: they are telling you exactly what they want, in their own words. They are inviting you to make your best offer. But in order to hear them, you need a plan for monitoring and managing seeker experience. Our 5- step plan provides the fundamentals for getting the most out of customer visits. We also provide KPIs and key metrics for your site and your seeker experience'.

Direct link to this DocuTicker post: <>


The Framing Effect of Price Format Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

'Existing evidence suggests that preferences are affected by whether a price is presented as one all-inclusive expense or partitioned into a series of charges. To explain this phenomenon, we propose a simple psychological mechanism whereby price format determines how many product attributes are actively processed at the time of valuation. Three studies support the hypothesis that price partitioning acts as an incentive to process multiple product dimensions. This process sometimes leads to the paradoxical overweighting of minor (but easy to evaluate) attributes that would be overlooked under an all-inclusive price format. The effect of price partitioning on demand can be detrimental or beneficial, consistent with existing conflicting findings in the literature and with variance in practice. Beyond its predictive and prescriptive implications, this theory contributes to the general notion that pricing might affect as much as capture perceived value'.

Direct link to this DocuTicker post: <>


Middle East and North African-Investment Policies Source: The World Bank Governance and private investment in the Middle East and North Africa

'This paper addresses the issue of the low level of private investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with special emphasis on the role of governance. Based on the existing literature, the authors categorize what types of governance institutions are more detrimental to entrepreneurial investments. They then estimate a simultaneous model of private investment and governance quality where economic policies concurrently explain both variables. The empirical results show that governance plays a significant role in private investment decisions. This result is particularly true in the case of "administrative quality" in the form of control of corruption, bureaucratic quality, investment- friendly profile of administration, and law and order, as well as for "political stability." Evidence in favor of "public accountability" seems, however, less robust. The estimations also stress that structural reforms-such as financial development and trade openness-and human development affect private investment decisions directly, and/or through their positive impact on governance. These findings bring new empirical evidence on the subject of private investment in the developing world and in MENA countries in particular'.

Direct link to this DocuTicker post: <>


Wireless Security Source: Infosec Writers

'As more and more home and business users adapt wireless technologies because of their ease of use and affordability, these devices are coming under attack by the malicious who are after your data and by the casual user looking for free bandwidth. In this paper, I will explain how wireless attacks are done on Wired Equivalency Privacy (WEP) networks, other common network attacks and then present several options to defend wireless networks'.

Direct link to this DocuTicker post: <>


The State of IPTV 2006: The Advent of Personalized Programming (PDF; 1.03 MB) Source: New Millennium Research Council

'Internet Protocol Television is an all-encompassing term that covers many different forms of video programming and services. Because the underlying technologies are Internet-based, IPTV can be transmitted over broadband networks and accessed by customers through a number of different devices. In general, IPTV allows consumers not only to customise their video programming experience. IPTV also empowers organizations of all types to directly and more inexpensively access new and/or targeted global audiences often otherwise unavailable to them via traditional television'.

Direct link to this DocuTicker post: <>


Life Sciences-Security Programs Source: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Life Sciences Focusing On Security Issues

'Major global life sciences organizations plan to enhance their security programs, hiring chief security officers and investing in technological advancements to protect their products, customers, and brand, according to a new survey conducted by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) Security & Privacy Services industry group, made up of Deloitte member firm Security & Privacy Services practices. The study, one of the first to focus on security and privacy issues in the life sciences and health care industry, canvassed more than 90 percent of the major pharmaceuticals, as well as the leading biotechnology and medical device companies globally.' Free registration required to access report.

Direct link to this DocuTicker post: <>


Biometrics Source: Infosec Writers Two Papers (full documents in PDF)

+ Biometrics - The Wave of the Future? (Daniels): 'Will biometrics be a factor in our future? Of course it will, at least to the extent that it has been in our past history. We as citizens must decide upon the best methods to use and the best way to utilize this technology. Biometrics can be defined in several ways such as the study of measurable biological characteristics. In reference to Information Security it specifically applies to the automated use of physiological or behavioural characteristics to determine or verify identity'.

+ Biometrics: 21st Century Security (Smith): 'Biometrics is a process used to identify or authenticate an individual's identity using any of a series of physical or behavioural characteristics. These characteristics can include but are not limited to fingerprints, hand or palm geometry, retina and iris scans, facial mapping, signature or writing style, and more recently, DNA maps. While relatively new, biometrics is rapidly advancing and growing in acceptance and use. The importance of this emerging technology does not necessarily lie in learning the intricacies of how biometric science works, but in exploring the management of the exposures biometrics present to individuals, businesses, and governments. This process begins with identifying the cyber risk exposures that biometrics makes possible'.

Direct link to this DocuTicker post: <>


By presenting a hand-picked selection of full-text resources from specific kinds of organisations, DocuTicker does something that no other site/weblog/mailing list does. We've found that it appeals not only to librarians but also to others looking for timely information and research material. For example, we have a significant readership among journalists, who can do everything from gather background to find inspiration for their next in-depth feature. Living, breathing professional librarians review materials from a wide range of sources, on a wide range of topics, to provide a unique - and free - service.

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