International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive March 2013

SPARC Open Data Resource for Research Funders

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 10:05:51 a.m.

 SPARC has released a new community resource for research funders entitled, “Implementing an Open Data Policy”. This primer addresses key issues that these organizations encounter when considering the adoption and implementation of an open data policy. The guide covers big-picture topics such as how to decide on the range of activities an open data policy should cover. It also delves into areas of very specific concern, such as options for where data can be deposited, and how privacy and other concerns can be managed.

SPARC has worked with funding organizations with increasing frequency on a number of fronts recently, as interest in open access and open data has continued to grow. The genesis of this interest is twofold. First, many funders invest in research in order to speed the pace of scientific discovery, encourage innovation, enrich education, and to enhance the public good. These funders recognize that one way to attain these goals is to make their research outputs - and their supporting data - available as quickly and as openly as possible. Second, both open access and open data offer very real practical benefits for these organizations. Many of these research funders rely on private contributions to support our activities. Disseminating research outputs and data in a highly visible manner promotes sharing, discussion, and encourages follow-up science. It’s a clear way to demonstrate the effective use and stewardship of the funds entrusted to the organization.

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The student experience and the future of libraries

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 10:04:16 a.m.

JISC’s Ben Showers sends a message from the future explaining library systems in 2020 and offers advice on improving the student experience. 

Increasingly, the distinction between services provided by libraries and the technologies of companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Google, are blurring or disappearing entirely. For users there is no distinction. The expectations of students using library services are measured against the services they receive from these corporate providers. For libraries (and the wider university or college) to meet and exceed expectations, the library needs to learn from and use the tools and techniques so effectively employed by these companies.

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Spotting emerging technologies for 2013

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 10:02:33 a.m.

Exciting new trends for education sees the tech of tomorrow being used today.

Bett 2013 in London and the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, offered lots of opportunities for JISC’s future-watchers to spot the ‘next big things’ for education. JISC’s programme director Matthew Dovey and JISC RSC’s e-learning advisor Judy Bloxham found that this was also the year when some recent technologies found themselves with practical applications.

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What do librarians need to know about MOOCs?

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 10:00:04 a.m.

Over the past several months, the proliferation of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) has been hailed as a potent defence against the rising cost and insular culture of attending a traditional college. The courses, which are generally taught by experts with affiliations to elite universities, are characterized by their unique pedagogy and unlimited enrolment. To date, no course has been accepted for transfer credit at a major on-campus institution; however some administrators and higher-education experts predict their gradual integration into university curriculum. This article examines the MOOC phenomenon, identifying aspects that academic librarians should consider in the coming years, including how these courses interact with scholarly resources and library services. Methods for integrating library services in these courses are evaluated, with recommendations for the best course of action.

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From Stacks to the Web: The Transformation of Academic Library Collecting

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 9:58:34 a.m.

The existence of a ubiquitous and cheap worldwide communications network that increasingly makes documents easily and freely available will require a transformation of academic library collecting practice. It will be driven by a number of specific developments including: the digitization of content; the development of print repositories; the development of e-readers and print-on-demand publishing; the growth of open access; challenges to establish academic publishing organizations; and the growth of new forms of scholarship based on openness and social productivity. If academic libraries are to be successful, they will need to: deconstruct legacy print collections; move from item-by-item book selection to purchase-on-demand and subscriptions; manage the transition to open access journals; focus on curating unique items; and develop new mechanisms for funding national infrastructure. 

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RCUK Policy on Open Access

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 9:56:58 a.m.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) has published the latest version of its revised Policy on Open Access, which comes in to effect on 1 April 2013. 

This latest version draws the policy and the guidance together into one document and aims to give researchers, research organisations as well as publishers further clarity on the implementation of the policy.

RCUK is keen to continue to engage with its stakeholders on the development of the guidance, so is inviting organisations to provide further input to this version where aspects may still not be clear. RCUK will then revise the guidance further to take into account these clarifications.

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Top EDUCAUSE articles of the year...

Friday, 8 March 2013 11:07:51 a.m.

The ten most widely read EDUCAUSE Review and EDUCAUSE Review Online articles from 2012 focused on current IT issues, online education, analytics, academic libraries, and more. Pretty much every one of these talks about analytics at some point.

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Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Chemists

Friday, 8 March 2013 11:06:09 a.m.

In this report, we present the results of Ithaka S+R’s study of the scholarly practices of academic chemists. This study, funded by Jisc, presents information meant to empower research support providers in their work with chemists. The report covers themes such as data management, research collaboration, library use, discovery, publication practices, and research funding.
The report describes the findings of our investigation into academic chemists’ research habits and research support needs. The digital availability of scholarly literature has transformed chemists’ research by creating an environment where they can easily search for journal articles and chemical information. However, they often feel overwhelmed by the amount of new research available, and they need better tools to remain aware of current research. Furthermore, despite their heavy use of technology for research, many academic chemists have been slow to adopt new models of sharing data and research results such as online repositories and open access publishing. Our interviews highlighted the importance of the research group as a unit of academic life, and revealed some of the challenges inherent in working in groups that span institutions and national boundaries.
The report describes key research support needs that face academic chemists, and proposes new service models that addresses these needs. We hope that these service models will provide useful intelligence for libraries, publishers, scholarly societies, and other organizations that work to support chemists.

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Print Management at "Mega-scale": a Regional Perspective on Print Book Collections in North America

Friday, 8 March 2013 11:04:11 a.m.

The report, Print Management at "Mega-Scale": A Regional Perspective on Print Book Collections in North America, provides insight into the characteristics of a network of regionally consolidated print collections, key relationships across these collections, and their implications for system-wide issues such as information access, mass digitization, resource sharing, and preservation of library resources.
An analysis of regionally consolidated print collections, such as this current mega-regions report, requires a framework of regional consolidation, as well as data to support collection analysis within that framework. Our work in this area utilized urbanist Richard Florida's mega-regions framework and the WorldCat bibliographic database to explore the North American print book resource as a network of regionally consolidated shared collections. Mega-regions are geographical regions defined on the basis of economic integration and other forms of interdependence. Using the mega-regions framework as the basis for a theoretical consolidation of library print resources enabled us to re-imagine the "natural boundaries" of collection management and to consider these regional aggregations in the context of shared traditions, mutual interests, and the needs of overlapping constituencies. The result is a new mapping of North American print collections against empirically derived zones of economic and cultural integration, robust knowledge flows, and networks of exchange.
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Survey of Special Collections and Archives in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Friday, 8 March 2013 10:58:03 a.m.

Key findings:
· The top challenges for archives and special collections in the UK and Ireland are outreach, born-digital materials and space
· Alignment of special collections with institutional missions and priorities is an ongoing challenge
· The special collections sector is undergoing a major culture shift that mandates significant retraining and careful examination of priorities
· Philanthropic support is limited, as are librarians' fundraising skills
· Use of all types of special collections material has increased across the board
· Users expect everything in libraries and archives to be digitized
· One-third of archival collections are not discoverable in online catalogues
· Management of born-digital archival materials remains in its infancy

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