International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive October 2009

IATUL Conference 2010 Call for Papers

Friday, 30 October 2009 5:13:29 p.m.

The IATUL 2010 Program Committee invites proposals for papers and posters for the 31st Annual IATUL Conference to be held at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, from June 20 – 24, 2010.

The Conference theme is “The Evolving World of e-Science: Impact and Implications for Science and Technology Libraries.” This topic is receiving significant attention in research and scholarly venues and by funding agencies throughout the world, and has launched discussion and research within the global scientific and technological library community on how it can facilitate data management and further scientific research.

A recent report, Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age (, summarizes the data management challenges facing the scientific research community. The report, discussing implications for big and small science, was issued by the Committee on Ensuring the Utility and Integrity of Research Data in a Digital Age, National Academy of Sciences, in the fall of 2009.

The Program Committee encourages submissions related to the following program themes:

Understanding the needs, challenges, and opportunities of computational scientific research and the implications for the scientific and technological library community.

Cultural and organizational initiatives that meet the challenges of e-science, including education and outreach strategies for engaging disciplinary research communities; analysis of programs that institutionalize e-science services in libraries; and the preparation of librarians to facilitate the management of research data.

Tools for e-science initiatives, including the development of new frameworks, platforms, and systems for discovery, access, management, and preservation of data; strategies for metadata management, repository structures; and digital data curation.

Local, regional, national, and international collaborations related to data management.

Submissions may highlight e-science initiatives either broad or narrow that further an understanding in any of a host of areas, including overarching concepts, basic or specialized research needs, computational scientific research, successful established or nascent projects, and emerging areas of exploration and investigation.

Please submit your proposal by completing the Paper/Poster Submission Form and submit it to: by November 30, 2009. Please note, there is an option to select whether a submission is to be considered only as a paper, only as a poster, or if not accepted as a paper, to consider it as poster presentation. If the last box is checked, the Program Review Committee will automatically consider the submission for a poster session if it is not approved for a paper presentation. Notification will be made after such a decision is made to the submitter for information and concurrence. 

Go to source:

Skilling Up to Do Data: Whose Role, Whose Responsibility, Whose Career?

Friday, 30 October 2009 5:10:56 p.m.

What are the roles necessary to effective data management and what kinds of expertise are needed by the researchers and data specialists who are filling those roles? These questions were posed at a workshop of data creators and curators whose delegates challenged the DCC and RIN to identify the training needs and career opportunities for the broad cohort that finds itself working in data management – sometimes by design but more often by accident. This paper revisits previous investigations into the roles and responsibilities required by a “data workforce”, presents a representative spectrum of informed opinion from the DCC Research Data Management Forum, and makes some recommendations for raising capability, capacity and status.

Go to source:

Documents for a Digital Democracy: A Model for the Federal Depository Library Program in the 21st Century

Friday, 30 October 2009 5:09:30 p.m.

Interim Summary

In June 2009, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) retained Ithaka S+R to propose a comprehensive framework for the Federal Depository Library Program (“FDLP” or the “Program”) in response to changes in the environment for information dissemination and usage. New approaches must take advantage of the opportunities presented by today’s digital and networking technologies to deliver services to users more effectively, more broadly, and at lower cost. For this project, Ithaka S+R staff interviewed more than 80 individuals from 30 libraries, the Government Printing Office (GPO), and a number of other key organizations. The FDLP serves a variety of needs across a number of communities, and in this project Ithaka S+R has taken a system wide perspective in an attempt to understand the needs of all stakeholders. This summary presents a high-level overview of the project’s interim findings and recommendations.1
The FDLP is the mechanism for 1,240 academic, state, public, and law libraries to work as partners

Go to source:

The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery

Friday, 30 October 2009 5:05:11 p.m.

Presenting the first broad look at the rapidly emerging field of data-intensive science

Increasingly, scientific breakthroughs will be powered by advanced computing capabilities that help researchers manipulate and explore massive datasets.

The speed at which any given scientific discipline advances will depend on how well its researchers collaborate with one another, and with technologists, in areas of eScience such as databases, workflow management, visualization, and cloud computing technologies.

In The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery, the collection of essays expands on the vision of pioneering computer scientist Jim Gray for a new, fourth paradigm of discovery based on data-intensive science and offers insights into how it can be fully realized.

Go to source:

Impact of the economic recession on university library and IT services

Friday, 30 October 2009 4:34:51 p.m.

The main focus of this research was to assess the impact of the economic downturn on university library and IT services. We conducted 40 interviews with representatives of each of these services in 36 different institutions across the UK.

Executive Summary

We included a wide selection of universities – old and new, campus and city, and small and large. While each institution is unique with respect to the way it reacts to student and staff needs, there are concerns and issues that cut across all of them when it comes to the potential impacts of the economic recession on services.

The situation today

Most institutions we spoke to are not yet feeling the ‘pinch’ of the recession on their services, which may be due in part to the fact that this research was conducted early in terms of the budgeting year. There is also a strong sense that both the library and IT departments occupy a protected place as central and essential services, and most report that the impact of the recession on budgets has currently been contained to small, easily managed cuts – for now. That being said, many institutions are anticipating deep cuts starting next year and are attempting to plan for reduced budgets now.

For most universities the 2009/2010 financial year is not of great concern. Even those libraries and IT departments that have been instructed to deliver 5% efficiency savings and believe they can meet the challenge of reducing costs without impacting services.

2010/2011 could see deep budget cuts, competition over fewer students, and a change in government 2010/2011, on the other hand, is anticipated to be harsher with deep budget cuts, competition over fewer students, and a change in government all increasing the pressure to deliver real savings over maintaining service delivery. Many universities are already adopting a more private sector/commercial approach to the business of the university as a whole and believe that ‘no institution has the right to exist anymore. We’ve got to prove our worth.’

Both libraries and IT departments have changed dramatically over the past five years. They have had to adapt to a larger body of students who are increasingly technologically adept, and who also look for increasingly personalised services from the institutions they attend. While the fundamental function of both libraries and IT departments has remained unchanged, the way in which services are delivered have evolved as the use of online resources has become more sophisticated.

Go to source:

Open Access

Friday, 30 October 2009 4:26:42 p.m.

Open Access enhances scholarly communication by making the results of publicly funded research available to all.

Why Open Access?

Opening the knowledge base to all means more researchers can build on it and there is less duplication of effort. Researchers can reach a greater audience and find that their work is more widely read and cited, institutions gain an enhanced reputation as their research becomes more visible, funding agencies see a greater return on their investment, and publishers find that the impact of their journals increases. JISC has been at the forefront of the Open Access debate from the very beginning.
As a result, publicly-funded research has more impact and society as a whole benefits.

JISC has been at the forefront of the Open Access debate from the very beginning. In the UK it is supporting institutions in the move to greater Open Access by funding programmes to build and enhance institutional Open Access repositories. It is helping researchers to use those repositories more effectively, and making it easier for them to do so through technology. JISC is also working with publishers to explore new business models for Open Access scholarly communications. Internationally, JISC is engaging with the wider academic research community and with policy-makers to transform attitudes towards Open Access within Europe and beyond.

Go to source:

What to Withdraw: Print Collections Management in the Wake of Digitization

Friday, 30 October 2009 4:23:09 p.m.

As journals are increasingly accessed in digitized form, many libraries have grown interested in de-accessioning little-used print originals; but desires to repurpose space often come into conflict with concerns about preservation. “What to Withdraw: Print Collections Management in the Wake of Digitization” analyzes which types of journals can be withdrawn responsibly today and how that set of materials can be expanded to allow libraries the maximum possible flexibility and savings in the future.

For journals that are principally accessed in digital form, preservation is the primary remaining role of the print original. This study analyzes the rationales for retaining some copies of scholarly journals in print format, determining that actual ongoing community needs for print materials in the face of high quality and well-preserved digitization are significant but not unlimited.

Based on the expected continuing needs for print materials, this report considers the minimum time period for which access to the original will be required and assesses the number of print copies necessary to ensure that these goals are met. While complex, this methodology provides for a variety of risk profiles based on key characteristics, with preservation recommendations that similarly vary. For example, many materials that are adequately digitized and preserved in digital form, contain few images, and are held in certain quantities in system-wide print repositories may be safely withdrawn from local print holdings without impacting either preservation or access.

At the same time, the report warns that other print materials may not yet be ready for broad withdrawal without threatening both access and preservation goals. For these materials, a number of strategies are recommended to increase the flexibility available to libraries in the future.

This report is intended to allow libraries to redeploy the resources devoted to print collections management to special collections, digital collections, or new services. We encourage you to share your thoughts with us and with the community by sending us your comments using the comment feature below.

Go to source: