Information Studies Department

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 11
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    Diffusion of scientific knowledge in agriculture: The case for Africa
    (2014-01-22) Assefa, Shimelis; Alemneh, Daniel Gelaw; Rorissa, Abebe
    Diffusion of scientific knowledge in the agriculture sector in Africa, primarily in sub Saharan African (SSA) countries, is dominated by traditional extension service that is slow, linear, hierarchical, and poorly funded. Using exploratory research method, this paper set out to investigate existing knowledge diffusion models and their limitations, available best practices, and the potential to infuse translational research as a way to augment extension service programs in SSA agricultural practices. A closer analysis of the extant literature in the topic gave us a valuable insight in the following areas: (1) public private partnerships, including NGOs, and participation across the entire agricultural value chain is critical to forge a trusted and working knowledge exchange practice between the research and farming communities; (2) researchers and their institutions need to consider the needs and priorities of the farmer, the end user of produced knowledge, first; (3) extension services need to focus more on education, training, and face-to-face individual/group interactions by empowering the extension agent to become an effective knowledge broker; (4) translational research will help bolster the existing knowledge diffusion practice by bridging the knowledge to action/decision gap; (5) the potential for ICT use in disseminating new knowledge and creating knowledge networks exist in SSA. With these valuable insights, we also proposed what we called “Agricultural Knowledge Clearinghouse, AKC” that will work in tandem with the extension service. The significance of the AKC can be seen from the point of view of employing knowledge translation methods to integrate, synthesize, and create ready-to-use knowledge packages such as agricultural practice guidelines.
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    A bibliometric mapping of the structure of STEM education using co-word analysis
    (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013) Assefa, Shimelis; Rorissa, Abebe
    STEM, a set of fields that includes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; allied disciplines ranging from environmental, agricultural, and earth sciences to life science and computer science; and education and training in these fields, is clearly at the top of the list of priority funding areas for governments, including the United States government. The U.S. has 11 federal agencies dedicated to supporting programs and providing funding for research and curriculum development. The domain of STEM education has significant implications in preparing the desired workforce with the requisite knowledge, developing appropriate curricula, providing teachers the necessary professional development, focusing research dollars on areas that have maximum impact, and developing national educational policy and standards. A complex undertaking such as STEM education, which attracts interest and valuable resources from a number of stakeholders needs to be well understood. In light of this, we attempt to describe the underlying structure of STEM education, its core areas, and their relationships through co-word analyses of the titles, keywords, and abstracts of the relevant literature using visualization and bibliometric mapping tools. Implications are drawn with respect to the nature of STEM education as well as curriculum and policy development.
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    Visualizing and mapping the intellectual structure of information retrieval
    (Elsevier, 2012) Rorissa, Abebe; Yuan, Xiaojun
    Information retrieval is a long established subfield of library and information science. Since its inception in the early- to mid -1950s, it has grown as a result, in part, of well-regarded retrieval system evaluation exercises/campaigns, the proliferation of Web search engines, and the expansion of digital libraries. Although researchers have examined the intellectual structure and nature of the general field of library and information science, the same cannot be said about the subfield of information retrieval. We address that in this work by sketching the information retrieval intellectual landscape through visualizations of citation behaviors. Citation data for 10 years (2000–2009) were retrieved from the Web of Science and analyzed using existing visualization techniques. Our results address information retrieval’s co-authorship network, highly productive authors, highly cited journals and papers, author-assigned keywords, active institutions, and the import of ideas from other disciplines.
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    Benchmarking e-government: A comparison of frameworks for computing e-government index and ranking
    (Elsevier, 2011) Rorissa, Abebe; Demissie, Dawit; Pardo, Theresa
    Countries are often benchmarked and ranked according to economic, human, and technological development. Benchmarking and ranking tools, such as the United Nation's e-Government index (UNDPEPA, 2002), are used by decision makers when devising information and communication policies and allocating resources to implement those policies. Despite their widespread use, current benchmarking and ranking tools have limitations. For instance, they do not differentiate between static websites and highly integrated and interactive portals. In this paper, the strengths and limitations of six frameworks for computing e-Government indexes are assessed using both hypothetical data and data collected from 582 e-Government websites sponsored by 53 African countries. The frameworks compared include West's (2007a) foundational work and several variations designed to address its limitations. The alternative frameworks respond, in part, to the need for continuous assessment and reconsideration of generally recognized and regularly used frameworks.