Internet Use: Analysis and Abuse

Article excerpt

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently enhanced its scope of economic analyses for its member and nonmember countries. The OECD provides statistical, economic, and social data about national economies, trade, employment, population migration, energy, and health.

The OECD selected Elsevier's Scopus database to enhance the research performance within its economic development analysis. The OECD will use author and institute data to rank countries according to research output. This information is used to provide information on world research productivity trends and potential opportunities for developing needed innovations.

The OECD will also use Scopus to help its members get a better view of co-authorship and cross-border research collaborations to determine the role of their researchers in the global landscape. Using this information, policymakers, funding agencies, governments, and special interest groups will create more effective economic development strategies and policies.

"Science and technology play a crucial role in a country's economic growth," says Hiroyuki Tomizawa, principal administrator for the Economic Analysis and Statistics Division at the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry with the OECD. "We selected Scopus for its breadth of coverage including journal titles from over 100 nations as well as its advanced features. Together, these advantages will enable the OECD to execute more sophisticated statistical analyses to guide our member countries."

Scopus, which contains abstracts and references from more than 15,000 journals, is the world's largest database of journal abstracts with an interdisciplinary coverage. In November 2008, Elsevier announced plans to nearly double its coverage of arts and humanities titles from the present level of 1,600 journals. Access to the new material will begin in April 2009.

In October 2008, the OECD introduced a new tool called the OECD eXplorer, which enhances the display of regional statistical information on interactive world maps. OECD eXplorer was created in cooperation with the National Center for Visual Analytics at Linkoping University, Sweden. Users can try out eXplorer on the OECD website using world population, GDP, and unemployment statistics. World maps show countries and regions that are color-coded to indicate GDP per capita. Moving the cursor over a specific region provides full data for that location. Another panel in a split-screen display can be opened to show scatter plots, tables, or raw-text data for the same information.

TechWatch Blog Launched

The U.K.'s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) TechWatch service tracks information on information and communications technologies that may impact further and higher education within the next 5 to 10 years. In particular, it produces peer-reviewed reports on key technologies and standards. News concerning TechWatch reports will now be released in a new JISC blog called Notes from the Future, with updates and amendments to reports, commissioned reports from the field in universities and colleges, and reports from conferences and meetings. For example, the blog contains a report from the ICT 2008 conference held in Lyon, France, in November 2008, Europe's biggest ICT research meeting.

Personal Internet in the Office

8e6 Technologies, an internet security company based in Orange, Calif., and a satellite office in Taiwan, protects companies from internet threats. Last November, the company announced the results of a survey that polled 500 employees each in the U.S. and U.K. about their personal internet use in the workplace. The survey tracked visits to social networking sites, peer-to-peer services, and news and sports sites.

According to the survey, more than half (55% in the U.S. and 52% in the U.K.) use social networks for work purposes, but about one-third of respondents admitted to using the internet for personal purposes for an hour or more per day. …