Meme Database

If you’re interested in internet meme culture—how images, websites, links, video, words, catchphrases, and hasthtags circulate the web to a viral extent— your research will likely include some visits to the Know Your Meme database. meme

Know Your Meme is a dotcom site that can be initially overwhelming because there are so many moving parts to it–forums, episodes, and blogs, not to mention ads. Started in December of 2008, the site’s purpose is to catalog and track trending memes on the web. Any meme that is registered (they can be uploaded by anyone but there is a research and evaluation process that follows) will be archived and findable through the website’s search engine. Even memes that are rejected by the editorial staff have a place in the “Deadpool” (how about that for a dissertation). To date there are 1,959 confirmed meme entries.

The look of the site varies, depending on the quality of the deposited memes; if the images or videos are pixilated or on the small size that’s how they remain in the database.

For some solid grounding on the subject (and no ads), check out Memes in Digital Culture by Limor Shifman (MIT Press, 2013).


Incites Journal Citation Reports (JCR)

Journal Citation Reports, the go-to resource for evaluating and comparing journal performance and reputation from citation data, has a new look called InCites.

The new InCites interface improves JCR‘s usability with the following capabilities:Capture

  • Compare individual titles and subject groups of titles across many years back to 1997
  • Compare individual titles across the Science Citation Index / Social Sciences Citation Index divide
  • New metrics, including 5-year Journal Impact Factor, Eigenfactors, Journal self cites, and Rank-in-Category
  • Graphing and enhanced reporting and output options

If we turn to our field, Incites Journal Citation Reports (JCR)  currently ranks 74 Communication journals by a number of measures including impact factor (the frequency with which the average article in the journal has been cited in a particular year), total cites, and Eigenfactor (number of times articles from the journal published in the past 5 years have been cited in a JCR journal). The top five impact factor journals in 2013 were Communication Research, Research on Language and Social Interaction, Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, and Public Opinion Quarterly. The Eigenfactor Score’s top 5 mix it up a bit: Public Opinion Quarterly leads, followed by Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and Journal of Health Communication.

Individual titles from the list of 74 can also be tracked by impact factor stripped of self-cites, 5-year impact factor, immediacy (how quickly articles in the journal are cited), citable items (total number of articles and reviews), citing relationships between journal, Article Influence score ( calculates the relative importance of the journal on a per-article basis, specifically it’s the journal’s Eigenfactor Score divided by the number of articles published by the journal) and others. Pictured below is the Article Influence Score for New Media & Society, which trends upwards post 2010.




The prettiest graphs show journal relationships, that is, citing patterns between journals.  Below is a 2013 Cited Data visualization for Public Understanding of Science displaying cited relationships between the top twenty journals in its network.  You can’t do it here but in the database hovering over the chords divulges the specifics of the citation relationship; hovering over the titles divulges their impact factors; clicking on the arc takes you to that title’s profile page.




Journal Citation Reports is a lot more fun to look at now with it’s new InCites trappings. Definitely worth checking out.

ScholarlyCommons at Penn: Annenberg Update

I’ve written about ScholarlyCommons before in this blog but it’s time to revisit as a lot more Annenberg papers have been uploaded since we last “talked.”

To review: “ScholarlyCommons is a repository for the scholarly output of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. It promotes dissemination of their work and preserves it in a freely-accessible, long-term archive. ScholarlyCommons allows researchers and other interested readers anywhere in the world to learn about and keep up to date with Penn scholarship.  Items placed in the Archive are available to all free of charge.”  —Research Communication and e-Scholarship Guide

One of the benefits to participating in ScholarlyCommons is the metadata feedback that authors and departments get on a monthly basis.  Last time I reported on the month’s most popular articles in communication, that is, the ones that had the highest number of downloads. This time I have a broader metric as reported to me by colleague Sarah Wipperman, ScholarlyCommon’s Repository Services Manager and Analyst. According to Sarah, so far in 2014 the Annenberg School ranks highest in impact factor over all other departments and schools at Penn. The impact factor is calculated by dividing the average number of downloaded documents by the total number uploaded. So far, in 2014 Annenberg articles, which  number at 364, have been downloaded 187,404 times across the globe. Now that’s impact!

Look for Penn Libraries to be adding more ASC papers to ScholarlyCommons. In addition to faculty papers, the Annenberg section now includes 114 Dissertations (and growing) and will soon include material from the Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS).

Citing Data–Current Practice, Policy, and Technology

The U.S. CODATA and the Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI) has just published a new  75-page report: Out of Cite, Out of Mind: The Current State of Practice, Policy, and Technology for the Citation of Data, appearing in the CODATA open access journal Data Science Journal. 

Explains Paul F. Uhlir, Director of BRDI, “the report discusses the current state of data citation policies and practices, its supporting infrastructure, a set of guiding principles for implementing data citation, challenges to implementation of good data citation practices, and open research questions.” 

Chapters include: Defining the Concepts and Characteristics of Data, Emerging Principles for Data Citation, The Existing Institutional Infrastructures for Data Citation, The Technical Infrastructure, and The Socio-Cultural Dimension. And if you’re really into this topic there is a hefty bibliography to peruse.

Out of Cite... follows their first report published in 2012, For Attribution-Developing Data Attribution and Citation Practices and Standards.

2013 Sage Knowledge eBook Collection

I’m reposting this recent entry in Library News by Lauris Olson, Penn Libraries’ Social Sciences Collections Coordinator. Notice his shoutout to our own Paul Messaris, author of the very popular  (according to circulation data) Visual Persuasion.

With the recent purchase of the 2013 SAGE Knowledge Complete Collection, the Penn Libraries have made a major e-book collection purchase to support instruction and research in the social sciences and beyond.

SAGE Knowledge brings more than 2,700 SAGE eBooks, eHandbooks, and eReference works to Penn readers – the complete SAGE Knowledge collection from its beginning through its 2013 releases. Subject areas covered by the collection include Education, Business and Management, Sociology, Media and Communication, Counseling and Psychotherapy, Health and Social Care, Psychology, Politics and International Relations, Criminology, and Geography.

SAGE publications are very popular among Penn readers. Among the 1,372 SAGE Knowledge titles we own in print, 147 titles may be found in Penn Libraries course-reserve or reference locations. Several titles have been often-borrowed:

Other print titles represented in the SAGE Knowledge collection have been frequently borrowed through BorrowDirect, including:

A particular strength of SAGE Knowledge reflects the press’s emphasis on methodology, reflected in these works:

The list of award-winning works (from CHOICE, Library Journal, ALA, etc.)  demonstrates the breadth of the SAGE Knowledge collection:

The SAGE Knowledge platform delivers fulltext in chapter-level HTML and PDF formats, with stable URLs for individual chapters. We expect to add to Franklin, the Penn Libraries catalog, individual titles in this collection soon. We are considering ways in which we may continue to build our SAGE Knowledge holdings through future acquisitions. Please contact us for additional information regarding the Penn Libraries’ new SAGE Knowledge collection.

Russell Sage Foundation e-books on Project MUSE

From Penn Libraries New & Noteworthy:

“The Penn Libraries welcomes Project MUSE as a new e-book provider through the acquisition of more than 150 Russell Sage Foundation e-books

Project MUSE has been a dependable platform for humanities and social sciences e-journals since its founding by the Johns Hopkins University Press in 1995. The platform added e-book collections from university presses and scholarly societies in 2012 and recently permitted libraries to acquire e-books as individual purchases. 

The Russell Sage Foundation, founded in 1907, has been the principal American foundation devoted exclusively to research in the social sciences, looking especially to strengthen methods, data, and theory as a means of improving social policies. The Foundation’s current publishing program focus on cultural contact, the future of work, immigration, and social inequality. The Foundation also publishes the American Sociological Association’s Rose Series in Sociology. 

Penn usage of Russell Sage Foundation books is remarkable. At any given time, one-quarter to one-half of Russell Sage Foundation print copies will be charged out to Penn readers. Of the 150-plus e-book titles acquired, print counterparts have been borrowed an average of 7.3 times. 35 of the titles have been borrowed 10 or more times. Russell Sage Foundation titles frequently appear in faculty course reserve requests. The e-book format will provide these in-demand materials to multiple readers around the clock. 

We hope to continue acquiring Russell Sage Foundation e-books as they appear in Project MUSE.”

From this batch you might want to “check out”: 
Dialogue Across Difference: Practice, Theory, and Research on Intergroup Dialogue (their most recent title, 2013)
The broken table: the Detroit Newspaper Strike and the state of American labor (2012)

Unveiling inequality: a world-historical perspective  (2012)
Still connected : family and friends in America since 1970 (2011)
Who gets represented? (2011)
The handbook of research synthesis and meta-analysis (2009)
Democracy, inequality, and representation: a comparative perspective (2008)
Designing democratic government: making institutions work  (2008)

E-Resource News: Handbook of Social Psychology

The Handbook of Social Psychology (Fifth Edition), a foundational classic for anyone in the social sciences, is now available online from Penn Libraries E-Resources.

Since the first edition was published in 1935, the Handbook of Social Psychology has been the standard reference work in the field, offering historic, integrative, and pene­trating surveys of the topics that constitute the discipline. This two-volume Fifth Edition reflects the tremendous changes the field has experienced in the last decade and continues to be an indispensable resource for students and scholars alike, with all-new chapters written by the world’s foremost authorities on each topic and a list of contributors that reads like an international Who’s Who in Social Psychology.  –Publisher’s statement

The work is divided into three sections: Part I: The Science of Social Psychology; Part II: The Social Being; and Part III: The Social World.  The Social Being section includes topics like motivation, attitude formation and persuasion, gender issues, social cognitive neuroscience and nonverbal behavior.  The Social World section includes social psychology and language, political behavior, inter group relations, conflict, and cultural psychology. That’s a very incomplete set of examples–I’m just honing in on some key areas for our field that students starting out, not to mention ones taking comps soon(!), might want to download for their permanent reference
 Other new E-Resource reference book additions you might want to check out: 
Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization
The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology
International Studies Encyclopedia Online
African Studies Companion


Scholarly Commons : Annenberg Papers

The University of Pennsylvania’s ScholarlyCommons Repository is a an open access collection of the scholarly output of its faculty, researchers, and graduate students.  It promotes dissemination of the collection and preserves it in a freely-accessible, long-term archive. One can browse by schools, departments and centers, by locally published journals or series, by dissertations and theses, or by disciplines using a very cool color wheel to go from broad to specific topic areas (such as Social and Behavioral Sciences to Communication to Speech and Rhetorical Studies).

The Annenberg School currently has over 300 Departmental Papers posted. Each month I get a usage report on downloads which features the most “popular.”  This month, and some others preceding, the three most downloaded papers were:

Journal Public Culture in For Some Changes

Read about changes in store for the prominent cultural studies journal Public Culture in the May 13th Chronicle of Higher Education. The journal, under new editorship, plans to aim for a broader audience. Sociologist and public intellectual Eric Klinenberg, one of the new editorial board members, explains that “the remade Public Culture will place greater emphasis on ‘imaginative social theory’ and ‘vivid ethnographic writing.’ It will also emphasize contemporary issues such as climate change, military interventions, the power of markets, and links between social media and social movements.”

The journal will also include “‘visual investigations’—images that invite readers to ponder and analyze. Some of those will run online only, alongside videos and podcast” as reported by Chronicle reporter Peter Monaghan.

You can read the full article here.

AAPOR’s Other Publications

We all know the American Association for Public Opinion’s flagship journal, Public Opinion Quarterly, since 1937, available full text from OUP.  But you may not know about two other publications from AAPOR. Survey Practice, an e-journal with public opinion and survey research articles and commentary by and for practitioners. This bi-monthly blog of sorts is available on the AAPOR site going back to 2008.

Also on the site is the 7th edition of Standard Definitions, Final Dispositions of Case Codes and Outcome Rates for Surveys: RDD Telephone Surveys, In-Person Household Surveys, Mail Surveys of Specifically Named Persons, Internet Surveys of Specifically Named Persons (2011).