Archive for December, 2014

Internet-Related News Stories in 2014

The Internet Monitor 2014 looks back on this year and examines some of the major topics that have involved the Internet, such as”the right to be forgotten” along with copyright issues, sexting, and online hate speech. An interactive timeline is also made available, linking to relevant articles.

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NJCU Signs 20-Year Lease at Harborside for Business School

NJCU is making its presence felt in the Gold Coast by leasing an almost 70,000 square foot property from Mack-Cali. The particulars of the deal can be found at NJBIZ and this press release from Mack-Cali.

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“Conversations with History”

This acclaimed series of interviews now contains 500 dialogues with some of the world’s leading minds on a vast array of topics. You can search by name, topic, or year.

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Cost of Post 9/11 Military Operations is $1.6 Trillion

That is according to the CRS report The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11. This document details that expenditures totaled”…$686 billion (43%) for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) for Afghanistan and other counterterror operations received; $815 billion (51%) for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/Operation New Dawn(OND); $27 billion (2%) for Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), providing enhanced security at military bases; and $81 billion (5%) for war-designated funding not considered directly related to the Afghanistan or Iraq wars.”(2) This 100+ page report is replete with tables, figures, and footnotes. It should be consulted by anyone wishing to come to grips with the financial end of these operations.

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History of the British Parliament

A decades-long, still-ongoing project – History of Parliament Online – presents over 21,ooo biographies of members of Parliament from 1386 to 1832. Many of these contain in-depth explorations of a member’s political life, supplemented by both links and footnotes to original sources; however, some just offer a barebones outline. In addition, this site contains entries on constituencies, histories of parliamentary sessions, and surveys (overviews) of major themes dealt with by the various parliaments. A treasure trove of information; well worth a perusal.

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Top 10 Science Stories of 2014

These stories were selected by Science and range from the Black Death to “vampire” squirrels. Compare this with the listing from Scientific American.

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New Jersey Has Among the Least Generous Pension Benefits


According to this recently released report from the New Jersey Policy Perspective entitled New Jersey Has Modest Public Pension Benefits, this state “In addition to being some of the least generous pensions in the country, New Jersey’s pensions are modest in dollar amounts, even though the Garden State remains one of the highest-cost states in which to live.”(2)  The report continues stating how the average pension benefits for New Jersey workers average $26,000 and how out of the largest 100 pension plans examined, New Jersey’s is almost last in terms of pension generosity – 95.


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2013/14 Vandalism, Violence, and Bullying Statistics for New Jersey School Districts

The full report is here; previous reports dating to 1999/00 are here. School district figures from 2010/11 are broken down by separate categories, including HIB (harassment, intimidation, and bullying); in addition, data is arranged by county and by charter school. A review of the data is found in the always-reliable NJ Spotlight.

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Today in New Jersey History – December 18

On this date in 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the Constitution. Those tumultuous times are recorded in Minutes of the Convention of the state of New Jersey, holden at Trenton the 11th day of December 1787 (1788; repr. 1888). A more comprehensive look at the entire process of drawing up the Constitution can be found at Primary Documents in American History: United States Constitution as presented by the Library of Congress. Here you will also find mention of the New Jersey Plan as proposed by William Patterson[sic]. Variant versions of this compromise offer are available online.

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Online City Encyclopedias: Dubuque

Based on the 1991 printed edition called Dubuque: The Encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia Dubuque contains thousands of updated articles and illustrations highlighting the growth and development of this city. Many articles are hyperlinked and accompanied by original sources and select bibliographies. This work has benefited from a collaboration with the Center for Dubuque History of Loras College.

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U.S. to Re-Establish Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

Within the past hour, President Obama has announced that the United States will start lifting decades-old sanctions against Cuba with the ultimate goal of restoring full diplomatic relations. Read the White House Fact Sheet: Charting a new course on Cuba as well as this informative New York Times article and this Times Topics section on Cuba. In addition, relevant documents concerning our turbulent relations with this island nation are available online. This Department of State page on Cuba provides additional links and more worthwhile information is found in this CRS report Cuba: Policies and Issues for the 113th Congress.

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Senate Report on CIA and Torture

This official site includes the foreword, findings, conclusions, and executive summary (the whole 6700 page collection is still under wraps). N.B., a combination of the large size of the file and public interest has resulted in a very slow download.

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100 Top Academic Papers for 2014

Based on new media mentions (blog posts, Facebook, Reddit, Google+, Twitter, and news stories), Altmetric has complied the top academic papers for the year. You can search by journal, institution, category, country, and access type. Of the 100, almost 40 are open-access; one of these we are most interested in reading is “Searching the Internet for evidence of time travelers.”

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2014/15 Library Winter Intersession Hours

The schedule looks like this:

Monday, December 22 – Wednesday, December 24  8:30am – 4:30pm (The University has over the years closed early on Christmas Eve so call ahead to be sure we are open.)

Friday, January 2    8:30am – 4:30pm

Monday, January 5 – Friday, January 9       8:30am – 4:30pm

Monday, January 12 – Friday, January 16    8:30am – 4:30pm

Regular hours resume on Tuesday, January 20.

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2014 New Jersey High School Graduation Rates

The 2014 graduation rates, along with rates back to 2011 are now available. An interactive version of these state-released figures is provided via the good folks at NJ Spotlight.

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Number of Doctorates Awarded by U.S. Universities in 2013

This is an annual report from the NSF that also includes figures from the social sciences and the humanities. The data are broken down among 70 separate tables with some of the information going back to 1993 for comparative purposes. Table 1 charts awards from 1957 to 2013. See if your alma mater makes one of the lists. With NJCU poised to award its first earned doctorates next year, we can expect to appear in subsequent editions, especially the tables that deal with state or location.(Tables 7 and 8)

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History of Africa

We know it seems rather bold of us to tackle the history of an entire continent, so we won’t, but we are prompted to provide some guidance by discovering that the eight-volume (a ninth is being planned) UNESCO General History of Africa is now completely online. Accompanying these volumes are companion studies and documents, and Indian and Arab sources for African history. These volumes, published between 1981 and 1993, established African historiography as a legitimate field of endeavor. Researchers spent years compiling the rich oral and archival material that form a uniquely African perspective. If historians used Native American oral traditions, why not the griot traditions of Africa? A good read on this topic is authored by Bethwell Ogot, one of the main forces behind this series, in his African Historiography: From colonial historiography to UNESCO’s general history of Africa.

Other sources for monographs and documentary material can be found: HathiTrust contains thousands of books on Africa; the University of California Press gives access to more recent material than HathiTrust; and the University of Wisconsin’s Africana Digitization Project has titles of interest as well.

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National Security Reports – December 2014 Update

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CRS Compilation of Papers on Congress

This 400+ page document – The Evolving Congress – consists of 22 papers written by CRS staffers during the centennial of that research arm of the Library of Congress. The papers address a wide variety of issues from the use of electronic communications in Congress to policymaking case studies. Each report is augmented with quotes and footnotes, the latter a hallmark of CRS work. The “overview” section and the “members of congress” section may be of more general interest than the other portions. Given CRS’ reluctance to distribute any of its work to the public, it is a rare treat indeed. (Of course, these papers were published under the auspices of Congress, not CRS.)

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Tracing the Rise of ISIS

Profiling the Islamic State is a Brookings Doha Center publication that in less than sixty pages provides an overview about the development of this once-small group into a regional player today. Heavily annotated with linked references, this report should be consulted by all who have an interest in the group or the region. One of its observations is worth quoting in full: “When considering measures to counter IS’s growth and eventually to defeat it altogether, one must treat it as more than a terrorist organization. A counter-strategy must incorporate counter-terrorism practice but also involve aspects of economic, political, diplomatic, social, and religious policy. Effectively countering IS will take a long time and, crucially, will require local actors taking the lead with the support of Western states, not vice-versa.”(36)


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