International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive October 2012

Participatory Design in Academic Libraries: Methods, Findings, and Implementations

Monday, 29 October 2012 10:45:23 a.m.

Participatory design is an approach to building spaces, services, and tools where the people who will use them participate centrally in coming up with concepts and then designing the actual products.
The papers in this volume, written by librarians and IT professionals from 12 colleges and universities, report on user research and participatory design projects. All of the authors attended workshops and then dove fearlessly into projects with as little as two days of training.
The authors wanted to learn how their students or faculty members do their academic work. Their reports share new methods of approaching enduring questions and offer a number of useful and interesting findings. They make a good case for participatory design of academic libraries.

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MOOCs + Libraries = ???

Monday, 29 October 2012 10:43:23 a.m.

Research libraries have a stake in MOOCs - who owns the course content, what kinds of materials are incorporated into the virtual classroom and assigned for outside reading, what happens to the data they generate about online learning, whether the courses are accessible for all kinds of learners, and on and on. The laws that shape how we use content in traditional courses may apply in new and unusual ways to these courses, further sharpening the need for active library engagement.
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University of the Future

Monday, 29 October 2012 10:37:52 a.m.

Athousand year old industry on the cusp of profound change.
Higher education institutions will need to fundamentally transform their business models to survive, according to an industry wide study of Australia’s higher education sector. The study included interviews with more than 40 leaders from public universities, private universities, policy makers and sector representative groups.
Find out what the study concluded about:
·The drivers of change, how they will shape the industry and what    universities will need to do to adapt
·Three evolutionary possibilities for business models
· Future challenges for universities
· Implications for policy makers and the private sector
· Our framework for assessing and designing a model for the future

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The Problem of Data

Monday, 29 October 2012 10:36:25 a.m.

Data curation is defined as a group of activities that foster the preservation, maintenance, and archiving of data with a focus on security and accessibility. This report is about the challenges involved in all steps of the data curation process. As Charles Henry states in the introduction, one of the challenges of working with data is the need to involve those with both general and domain specific knowledge.
There is also a lack of standards and conformity, with a diversity of organizations involved including libraries, data centres, and different academic departments and professional organizations. All of these players have different cultural practices and goals and this further complicates the care and handling of data. The report divides into two sections: 1) an analysis of work practices and methodologies at five universities and 2) a survey of data curation activities that are currently being taught in Information Science graduate programs.
This study investigates data curation practices among social science researchers with the goal of identifying barriers to data curation and examining workflows and unmet needs related to the creation, management, and preservation of data.
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Working Together: Evolving Value for Academic Libraries

Monday, 29 October 2012 10:35:02 a.m.

This six-month study investigated the value of academic libraries for teaching and research staff. Many previous studies have focused on value to students, but this study addressed the value and impact of academic libraries for instructors and researchers. The authors found that librarians are struggling to find ways to demonstrate their value to this community. More work needs to be done to capture, describe, and promote the specific value that librarians are providing in supporting teaching and research efforts.

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What Are the Returns on Higher Education for Individuals and Countries?

Monday, 29 October 2012 10:33:01 a.m.

Investing in higher (tertiary) education is one of the more significant decisions a person can take. In some countries, the direct costs of higher education can be large, often requiring a significant investment of an individual’s personal funds, either in up-front payments or loan repayments later on. Even in countries where the direct costs of higher education to an individual are much lower, such as Finland, Norway, and Turkey, the time invested in pursuing a degree – and the opportunity cost of foregone earnings while an individual is in school – can be a major factor. In light of the personal costs associated with pursuing a tertiary degree, how do the benefits compare? OECD analyses based on the most recent year of available data (2007 for most countries), suggest that as far as the long-term economic benefits of higher education are concerned, the return on investment is very good.
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ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012

Monday, 1 October 2012 3:04:32 p.m.

ECAR has surveyed undergraduate students annually since 2004 about technology in higher education. In 2012, ECAR collaborated with 195 institutions to collect responses from more than 100,000 students about their technology experiences. The findings are distilled into the broad thematic message for institutions and educators to balance strategic innovation with solid delivery of basic institutional services and pedagogical practices and to know students well enough to understand which innovations they value the most.
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The Inevitability of Open Access

Monday, 1 October 2012 3:02:30 p.m.

Open access (OA) is an alternative business model for the publication of scholarly journals. It makes articles freely available to readers on the Internet and covers the costs associated with publication through means other than subscriptions. This article argues that Gold OA, where all of the articles of a journal are available at the time of publication, is a disruptive innovation as defined by business theorist Clayton Christensen. Using methods described by Christensen, we can predict the growth of Gold OA. This analysis suggests that Gold OA could account for 50 percent of the scholarly journal articles sometime between 2017 and 2021, and 90 percent of articles as soon as 2020 and more conservatively by 2025.
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Harnessing the power of game dynamics: Why, how to, and how not to gamify the library experience

Monday, 1 October 2012 3:01:14 p.m.

There is a lot of talk about games at libraries. Public libraries in particular have been active in incorporating videogames in their programs and collections.2 Academic libraries have been much less likely to create a videogame collection or offer gaming-related programs or services. However, gaming is no longer a distant topic to academic libraries.
The 2012 Horizon Report predicted that game-based learning is on the two-or three- year horizon for adoption in higher education. Some academic libraries are already moving in this direction. University of Huddersfield Library in the UK has built a game targeting library users called “Lemon Tree.” The North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries enlivened their orientation program by adding gaming elements and created the NCSU Libraries’ Mobile
Scavenger Hunt.
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Identifying Threats to Successful Digital Preservation: the SPOT Model for Risk Assessment

Monday, 1 October 2012 2:58:49 p.m.

Developing a successful digital preservation strategy amounts to accounting for, and mitigating, the impact of various threats to the accessibility and usability of digital materials over time. Typologies of threats are practical tools that can aid in the development of preservation strategies. This paper proposes a new outcome-based model, the Simple Property-Oriented Threat (SPOT) Model for Risk Assessment, which defines six essential properties of successful digital preservation and identifies a limited set of threats which, if manifested, would seriously diminish the ability of a repository to achieve these properties. We demonstrate that the SPOT Model possesses the attributes of conceptual clarity, balanced granularity, comprehensiveness and simplicity, and provide examples of practical uses of the model and suggestions for future work.

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