Humanising the Library Portal

Good Evening I was wondering how on earth the Library could minimise the gap between the students and the librarian. We do Facebook, we blog, we youtube and many others. I still believe that we need to bring this gap-minimising thing to the next level. Alas, I remember one little app. that permits communication between two parties (as if you can communicate alone!) – meebo me widget

In geekspeak, it’s an IM unifier. In plain English, it’s a one-stop shop for all your instant-messaging needs. Which is to say that Meebo puts all your IM clients — the individual programs that make instant-messaging services incompatible with one another — into one browser window. There’s no need to download all the different apps (MSN, AOL/ICQ, Yahoo, Jabber/Gtalk) to your computer to have any and all types of IM conversations. Available in four dozen languages. More??? –> Click Here  

In the past, perhaps due to network issues, this little app. has not been so useful. Connection Time-Out, Access Denied and so on. Well. it’s the network issue – security and bla, bla, bla. As time passes by, network admin is being lenient I think… Library has no problem accessing meebo. Maybe if… should in the future we get time-out issue again, I will need to ask our glorious network admin to allow access of this site to one single workstation – Muhamad Hafiz’s (He’s the one that will take care of any enquiries and requests). I am not into this chit-chatting thing. That’s all things of the past… (of those who remember en_mun… Selamat Maju Jaya). Here’s the setup screen… very easy no hanky panky stuff. Simple and straight forward:

Just give your widget a name and username – registration and such can come later. This one is free and is a no brainer… After that, meebo will generate your widget embedding code. Copy and paste to your web. Super Easy. Then you will have your widget like this:

Easy kan????

Citing Sources Part#2

Salam Sejahtera dan Salam Ramadan. Minggu Lepas, saya ada bercerita tentang Plagiarism. Kali ini kita bersambung lagi di dalam artikel ilmiah kita yang seterusnya. Mohon maaf kerana terpaksa menulis di dalam bahasa Inggeris. Bukan semua pelajar OUM, tahu cakap Melayu dan bukan semua adalah orang Malaysia. Untuk menfaat bersama, termasuklah mereka yang diluar sana, saya tulis dalam BI.

The Importance of Making Citation
To avoid plagiarism or being accused of plagiarising works of another people, you should always cite ALL the sources you have referred. Whenever you are copying or quoting works of another person or even restructuring another persons’ idea into your own words, you will always have to cite its source.

Generally speaking, citation is done for these 3 reasons

  1. To give credit to your sources
  2. To tell your potential readers the materials you have used
  3. And finally, to guide readers to the materials you have used so they can confirm, challenge or expand it further.

These 3 simple but great reasons are vital in every academic writings. First of all, you are doing yourself a favour by avoiding plagiarism, a serious offence in any prestigious Learning Institutions.

Crediting Your Sources
How would you feel if someone took your ideas and writings and published it without giving you proper credit? How would you feel if anyone took your belongings without even asking? That is a simple analogy of why you must give credit to your sources. When you are using someone else’s ideas or writings, you will need to give credit where it is due. It is a form of courtesy and responsibility and when using another person’s words and ideas, it is important that you give proper credit to acknowledge or recognise that person. Remember that it is a serious offence to plagiarise works of another person which may be lead to several consequences that you never want in the first place.

Telling Others of Your Sources
Citation will help others to locate your sources. What you have used or what you have taken from another person’s works, you will have to tell. This will enable us or any other readers to locate your materials and sources. Where did you get that information? Obviously, you are referring to someone else’s work. Positively, citing your sources will strengthen the credibility of your work. When forming your ideas and conclusion, citation will show that you have done your work thoroughly by considering ideas and opinions of other people.

Promoting Research and Conforming Your Ideas
In academic world, there are some individuals will refuse to accept your ideas or conclusions without authenticating or confirming your ideas. These doubtful readers will not accept your findings and conclusions unless you provide them with proof and supporting ideas. Your citations are the key pointers of your findings and conclusions. Citation is a form of cross-reference between your ideas and your sources. Furthermore, citation will provide your reader the opportunity to build on your work. Readers may want to follow-up on some of your source material. A good citation will enable a reader to find this material more easily.

Reference

Avoiding Plagiarism Part #1

Salam Ramadan dan Salam Sejahtera

Sudah lama saya tidak menulis di dalam Bahasa Omputeh. Bukan apa. Boring sebab tidak banyak benda yang bisa dingarutkan. Sebelum apa2, berikut adalah posting untuk Handbook Pelajar yang saya karang untuk kegunaan dan bacaan pelajar2 di OUM.

What is plagiarism?
Most dictionaries define plagiarism as an immoral act of stealing works of others and claim it as one’s own work. It is a wrongful act of copying another person’s ideas and writings without providing any references or citations as if it is one’s own work. Plagiarism is a serious offense in Learning Institution in all countries across the globe.

In the context of Learning Institutions, plagiarism is a form of cheating. On the serious side, it is a fraudulent action and is subjected to several penalties including revocation of conferred degrees or any other stern actions.

When does plagiarism occur?
Academic wise, plagiarism is all about academic integrity. In Open University Malaysia, plagiarism is committed when:

  • Publishing and claiming as the sole author of any publications which is wholly written or partly written by another person.
  • Incorporating as co-author or any publications without making any contributions (academically) to that publication.
  • Forcing any third party to include you in the list of co-researchers or co-authors without making any contribution (academically) to that publication.
  • Extracting academic data which are the results of undertaken by another person and incorporating those data in your research without dully acknowledgment.
  • Using research data obtained through collaborative work with another person, as part of another distinct publication or research without obtaining the consent of your co-researchers prior to embarking on your personal research or prior to publishing the data.
  • Transcribing the ideas or creations of another person kept in any form, whether written, printed or electronic and claiming as the creator of that idea or creation.
  • Translating the writing or creation of another person from one language to another, wholly or partly and claiming the translation as your own writing and creation.
  • Extracting ideas or writing of another person and make certain modifications without dully acknowledgement to the original source.

In summary, you are plagiarising when:

  • Copying from any source without adequate citations and references.
  • Submitting as your own someone else’s unpublished work, either with or without permission.
  • Letting someone else write a paper for you or paying someone else to write a paper for you
  • You cheat about your paper

Go to Part 2

Sejarah hari ini : 1 September

Salam Ramadan dan Sejahtera Semua

Adapun tanggal 1 September mungkin tidak membawa sebarang makna kepada orang-orang kebanyakan. Namun, pada hari ini dalam tahun 1972, Parlimen Malaysia telah meluluskan sebuah akta yang menandakan permulaan sebuah organisasi yang agak penting di Malaysia.

Akta tersebut adalah, Akta Perpustakaan Negara, 1972. Dengan kelulusan akta ini, sebuah organisasi Perpustakaan telah dibentuk secara rasmi. Ketika itu, Perpustakaan Negara masih lagi bernaung dibawah Jabatan Arkib Negara. Dan sekitar tahun 1977, Perpustakaan Negara secara rasmi menjadi sebuah badan kerajaan secara mutlak, iaitu tidak lagi bernaung dibawah mana-mana Jabatan. Secara amnya, Perpustakaan Negara mempunyai Jabatan sendiri, Ketua Pengarah sendiri dan carta organisasi sediri.

Selepas pada tarikh 1 September 1972 inilah, banyak program-program yang melibatkan kakitangan kerajaan yang dikenali sebagai Pustakawan di peringkat kebangsaan. Sebagai contoh, dilantik sebagai penjaga nombor siri buku, ISBN peringkat kebangsaan.

Oleh itu wahai sahabatku warga Perpustakaan yang lain, janganlah anda semua memandang enteng akan tarikh 1 September ini. Janganlah anda semua buat-buat tak tahu tentang 1 September kerana, sekiranya anda tidak tahu sejarah, janganlah berangan tentang masa hadapan.

Update: Klik sini untuk melihat Akta Perpustakaan Negara 1972

Drupal 6.XX Single Sign On

Salam Sejahtera

Setelah berhari-hari membaca dan memahami Documentation API untuk Drupal. Akhirnya, pening kepala saya itu memberikan hasil yang bagus. Dokumentasi itu amatlah penting, Tanpanya penulis skrip akan tersesat jauh kerana tidak faham akan process yang ada di Drupal. Bila dah paham barulah kita boleh menulis skrip mengikut suka kita.

Senario saya adalah seperti berikut, setiap pelajar perlu mempunyai akaun perpustakaannya yang tersendiri. Namun, tidak ada sebarang integrasi diantara Sistem Pelajar dengan Sistem Perpustakaan. Mungkin atas sebab keselamatan, atau isu kompatibiliti, Data Sharing antara database tidak boleh dilakukan.

Keduanya, oleh kerana tidak ada integrasi antara Sistem, pelajar menggunakan sebuah akaun Generic untuk semua aktiviti Perpustakaan (Online Database sahaja). Makna kata Pelajar A, Pelajar B, Staff A dan B menggunakan Akaun yang sama untuk akses ke Online Database. Sebenarnya lebih mudah begini, tetapi di penghujung cerita, kami tidak boleh membuat database tracking kepada pengguna. Kita tidak dapat membezakan Pengguna A dengan Pelajar B dan sebagainya.

Oleh itu, timbullah idea ini untuk mendaftarkan mereka secara automatik dikala mereka membuka portal perpustakaan. Macam2 functions yang saya guna antaranya ialah

  1. hook_form_alter
  2. user external login register
  3. dan macam2 lagi.

Namun, kesemua ini adalah komplikated dan panjang ceritanya. Akhirnya, terdapat satu function yang paling mudah dan murah. Cukup senang dan kecil. Iaitu user_save & user_authenticate. Simple sungguh penulisan skripnya.

Sebelum itu, kita kaji dahulu workflownya

  1. Login ke iPortal
  2. Kemudian Drupal akan check data pelajar samada wujud atau tidak
  3. Jika Wujud, Drupal akan Load datanya
  4. Jika tidak Drupal akan Create data Pelajar dan Load
  5. Login ke Sistem secara halus (Pengguna tidak perlu tahu akan hal ini)

Snippet nya adalah seperti berikut (Nanti saya install Code Filter)

<?php

$iportal_userdata = array (
'name' => "$name",
'pass' => "$password",
'mail' => "$email",
'status' => 1,
'init' => 'External Authentication'
);

if (!db_result(db_query("SELECT COUNT(*) FROM {users} WHERE name = '%s';", $name))) {
// Kalau Data Pelajar itu Tidak Wujud. Kita bikin baru untuk dia.
user_save (NULL, $iportal_userdata);
// Kemudian kita Load Data
user_authenticate ($iportal_userdata);
}

else {
// Kalau data Pelajar Wujud, Kita Load datanya
user_authenticate ($iportal_userdata);
}

?>

Humanizing your Facebook Pages… revisited

Salam

To my surprise, through Meltwater news monitoring service, The Tan Sri Dr. Abdullah Sanusi Digital Library has been featured among other libraries in Mr. Lee’s blog post, Humanizing your Facebook Pages. In his post, he explained why some libraries had few FB fans while others had more than thousand fans.

The ground rule is very simple and easy. Make your Facebook Fan page as lively as possible. Post updates everyday and off course interact with every comments. That is the secret, well, it’s no-brainer stuff.

Others should follow too. Facebook is free and setup is super easy.

EBSCO has acquired NetLibrary

Effective Wednesday, March 17th, EBSCO Publishing and OCLC finalized an agreement whereby EBSCO has acquired NetLibrary, a leading eBook platform and service.  It has been a pleasure working with OCLC, who saw EBSCO as the ideal candidate to continue to serve NetLibrary customers, and take the service to new heights.

EBSCO’s goal is to better serve research by offering the strongest possible collection of materials and the greatest accessibility and usability.  As eBooks become more prominently used and relied upon by libraries, they are an ideal addition to the EBSCO suite of resources.  As EBSCOhost is the single most-used premium research platform in libraries worldwide, and overall usage continues to steadily increase, it follows logically that searching databases and eBooks on a single platform would create a more complete, fruitful one-stop research experience for end users.  Many librarians have requested we move in this direction, and we are pleased to be doing so.

At present, EBSCO will continue to support and enhance the NetLibrary platform, with the goal of enabling EBSCOhost to appropriately incorporate eBook availability in the near future.  In the coming months, we will be conducting focus groups, advisory sessions and usability testing to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of eBook platforms, and investigate the various models for accessibility and purchase.  We will provide updates on our progress as we move forward.  Additionally, we plan to maintain the dark archive of eBooks to ensure accessibility for customers who have purchased and will continue to purchase NetLibrary eBooks.  MARC records for these eBooks will also continue to be provided (at no cost).

Thank you for your patronage and support of EBSCO resources.  We are excited about what the future holds for EBSCOhost users.  If you have any questions regarding your current NetLibrary account, or would like to explore eBooks in subject sets or on a title by title level, please contact your EBSCO representative.

AND & OR adalah kawan baik anda

Salam Sejahtera dan Selamat Pagi

Pada hari Jumaat ini, eloklah kita bersedekah Ummul Al-Quran kepada semua hambaNya yang telah pergi. Ameen. Semoga yang telah pergi itu, dirahmati Allah dan kita yang masih hidup ini diberikan limpahan rezki yang cukup. Amin.

Mana-mana Universiti, pasti mempunyai sebuah Perpustakaan untuk membantu pelajar-pelajarnya mencari bahan-bahan pengajian mereka. Perpustakaan merupakan gedung ilmu yang kaya dengan pelbagai jenis maklumat. Apa yang diperlukan hanyalah usaha dan kepakaran mencari maklumat, untuk mana2 matapelajaran. Ini adalah kerana, pangkalan data hanyalah sebuah sistem yang bodoh (secara detailnya, sistem ini bodoh kerana tidak tahu apa yang pengguna mahu). Sistem ini memerlukan pengguna untuk diaplikasikan secara penuh.

Seperti yang kita sedia maklum, sebagus mana pun sistem itu, ianya tetap tidak akan dapat meneka apa yang pengguna mahu. Kitalah sebagai pengguna harus memberitahu kepada sistem apa yang kita mahu. Barulah sistem bisa memaparkan maklumat yang kita cari. Untuk itu adalah amat penting, pengguna menggunapakai tips ini:

Kenal pasti kehendak
Sebelum kita mencari maklumat, hendaklah kita mengenalpasti apakah keperluan kita. Sistem tidak tahu kehendak pengguna. Eloklah kiranya kira bentuk soalan2 atau statements berdasarkan kehendak kita. Kita hendaklah kreatif dan innovatif. Sebagai contoh:

Are left-handed people more intelligent?
Education in rural areas
Are drug-users more likely than non-users to commit robbery?

Dan daripada soalan atau statement yang kita buat, kenal pasti katakunci atau konsep yang penting untuk digunapakai didalam carian kita.

Are left-handed people more intelligent?
Education in rural areas
Are drug-users more likely than non-users to commit robbery?

Elok juga dipikirkan perkataan yang hampir maksudnya dengan kata-kunci kita tadi. Seterusnya kita gunakan boolean operators iaitu OR atau AND untuk menggabungkan kata-kunci kita tadi. Kedua AND dan OR ini mempunyai perbezaannya. Ini kita boleh lihat di dalam gambarajah di bawah.

AND

  • Akan memapakarkan maklumat yang hanya mempunyai kata-kunci kita
  • Digunakan untuk menggabungkan kata-kunci di dalam satu konsep

Jika kita lihat. Bahagian yang Kelabu itu adalah carian kita. Kesimpulannya, AND digunakan untuk membuang mana-mana carian yang tidak relevan dengan kemahuan kita.

OR

  • Akan memaparkan mana2 maklumat yang mengandungi kata-kunci kita kesemuanya
  • Selalunya digunakan untuk mencari persamaan dan mengembangkan carian kita

Perhatikan bulatan2 ini. Kesemuanya adalah kelabu. Ini menunjukkan OR akan memaparkan kesemua carian yang mempunyai kata-kunci kita.

Secara terperincinya carian jazz OR blues akan mencari mana-mana artikel yang membincangkan sama ada Jazz atau Blues. Berbeza pula carian jazz AND blues yang mana hasil daripada carian ini akan memaparkan artikel2 yang membincangkan kedua2 Jazz dan Blues.

Selamat Mencuba

That dreaded IE6… [#2]

Throm-ka

Yesterday I made a post regarding that fakap IE6. Which is Web-Developers worst nightmares on earth. My nightmare. IE6 is the dying old man which refuses to retire. So I wrote a little script to force users to upgrade whenever they view the library portal.

However, after looking at the log files and google anal. report, I soon realize that forcing users to upgrade their browser is mean. So mean, to the extend that some users still stump upon the upgrade warning. (lol. they still asked me what to do). I do so believe the warning is so direct. Why some users still don’t get it.

Some users may not upgrade to the latest IE due to unlicensed copy of Windows (stop using pirated windows ler). Some users may not install alternative browsers due to Company Restrictions (what company is that… so evil). Due to this I will have to lift the force upgrade script.

So… once again hacks and workaround will do the trick. All this started with CSS compatibility issues. Some elements may not appear in IE6 and some element will break the page in IE6. Sometimes I will have to forget the beautiful effect and design since in IE6 the page will break. What a nuisance.

After searching for solutions how to these pages at least viewable in IE6 I come across the conditional codes. Hmm. Created by Microsoft for Internet Explorers.

One of the most common operations performed in a Web page is to detect the browser type and version. Browser detection is performed to ensure that the content presented to the browser is compatible and renders correctly. The browser type can be detected using many different techniques. Most methods of browser detection make use of script on the server or client.

This article introduces conditional comments, which offer certain advantages over scripted browser detection techniques. Conditional comments make it easy for developers to take advantage of the enhanced features offered by Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 and later versions, while writing pages that downgrade gracefully in less-capable browsers or display correctly in browsers other than Windows Internet Explorer. Conditional comments are the preferred means of differentiating Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) rules intended for specific versions of Internet Explorer.

Source : msdn.microsoft.com

After some reading I use these stupid IE codes

 <!--[if lte IE 6 ]><div id="bodoh"><![endif]-->
 <!--[if gte IE 7 ]><div id="panes"><![endif]-->
 <!--[if !IE]>--><div id="panes"><!--<![endif]-->

These codes will load specific line based on users’ browsers as explained in the links. I hate IE.