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March 29, 2006

It's going to take how long to get my PhD?!

The National Science Foundation has just released a report on the average time to degree differences among research doctorate recipients from U.S. universities. The report is based on data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates.

The report looks at three measures of time to degree:

  • total elapsed time from completion of the baccalaureate to the doctorate (total time to degree--TTD)
  • time in graduate school less reported periods of nonenrollment (registered time to degree--RTD)
  • age at receipt of doctorate
  • For the academic year ending in 2003, for all doctorate recipients in the social sciences, the median total time to degree (TTD) was 10.0 years; the median registered time to degree (RTD) was 7.8 years; and the median age was 33.1

    Education doctorates had the highest median TTD, 18.2. Anthropologists had the highest RTD, 9.6. The median age for doctorates in chemistry was 29.6, veritable whippersnappers! In comparison, the median age for education doctorates was 43.5.

    Posted by kfolger at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)

    March 24, 2006

    Congratulations Grace

    Grace York, Coordinator of the Documents Center, has been named the recipient of the 2006 James Bennett Childs Award. This award is given to a librarian who has made a “lifetime and significant contribution to the field of documents librarianship”. It is a very high honor that Grace has earned because of her extensive knowledge and tireless work to promote access to government information. The Government Documents Round Table of Michigan has posted the nomination letters for Grace give an indication of how valuable she is to the documents librarian community. Bravo Grace!

    Posted by cmorse at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

    March 12, 2006

    Sunshine Week 2006, March 12-18

    Democracy works because we have an open government. According to David C. Vladeck, Associate professor, Georgetown University Law Center, in his article Freedom of Information Overview , U.S. citizens can, and should keep tabs on our government and when we’re not satisfied with the job being done, we have the right to either, 1.) vote the rascals out of office the next time or 2.) insist the U.S. court system review the situation and take necessary action to defend our laws and constitution. Either way, to make an open government work citizens need to know what’s going on. That’s where the Freedom of Information Act comes in.

    This Act will be 40 years old in another few months, having been signed on the Fourth of July, 1966 by Lyndon Johnson. According to this act the government has a limit of 20 days to provide information requested by U.S. citizens but many times it takes months or years to get access to this information. Sunday’s Ann Arbor News featured an article on Freedom of Information by Rebecca Carr which addressed this logjam and mentioned one professor, William Aceves, who requested information from the government 16 years ago, as a graduate student which he still has yet to receive.

    Sunday, March 12 marks the beginning of National Sunshine Week, a “celebration” focused on the importance of an open government and the rights of U.S. citizens to access government information freely. Of course librarians have always been militant about U.S. citizens’ rights to freedom, access, and privacy. ALA celebrates Freedom of Information Day this week and offers annual awards to those who promote freedom of information and open access to government documents. They also offer a guide for using the Freedom of Information Act and they collaborated with the Sunshine Week team to create a flier promoting National Sunshine Week from a library point of view.

    University of Michigan University Library and the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science presented an interesting and apropos symposium last week on U-M campus, Scholarship and Libraries in Transition: A Dialogue about the Impacts of Mass Digitization Projects. During the public policy panel session on Saturday, this blog’s own Kathleen Folger offered her concerns as a librarian about the federal government yanking web pages in the name of security. Bruce James, U.S. Public Printer, U.S. Government Printing Office, who was part of the panel, seemed to think there were fewer of these pages taken down than most people think. Interesting reading for Mr. James would be an article on the OMB Watch web site listing information removed from government agency web sites since 9/11 and an article by Susan Nevelow Mart in the January 2006 issue of Law Library Journal, “Let the People Know the Facts: Can Government Information Removed from the Internet be Reclaimed?”

    Happy Sunshine Week and to celebrate, go download the “The Open Record Blues” from the Sunshine Week Blog.

    Posted by swortman at 07:20 PM | Comments (0)

    March 06, 2006

    Typical American Family Finances

    The Washington Post has a wake-up call for American families

    Meet the typical American family.

    It has about $3,800 in the bank. No one has a retirement account, and the neighbors who do only have about $35,000 in theirs. Mutual funds? Stocks? Bonds? Nope. The house is worth $160,000, but the family owes $95,000 on it to the bank. The breadwinners make more than $43,000 a year but can't manage to pay off a $2,200 credit card balance.

    The description of the typical American family is based on the Federal Reserve Board's most recent Survey of Consumer Finances

    Posted by kfolger at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)