International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive April 2008

IATUL Library Twinning Initiative

Tuesday, 15 April 2008 12:50:43 p.m.

To meet the requirements of patrons, modern libraries have created an international information network. By sharing knowledge and experience, and cooperating in complex projects to meet new challenges, librarianship can help considerably to constantly improve our knowledge infrastructure, and find new ways to efficiently navigate the global information highway.
To support the international community of scientific and technological university libraries in creating urgently required synergies, the International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries (IATUL) has established the IATUL Library Twinning Initiative.
Within the framework of the IATUL Library Twinning Initiative, member libraries are encouraged to form close and long term bonds of mutual cooperation and support, by joint ventures and by setting up an efficient communication infrastructure for the exchange of experience through electronic means and personal meetings.

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Stirling research goes global with repository first

Tuesday, 15 April 2008 12:39:10 p.m.

The University of Stirling has become the first academic institution in the UK to oblige staff to make all their published research available online.

Stirling is leading the way in open access to its research work, after the University’s Academic Council issued an institutional mandate which requires self-archiving of all theses and journal articles.

Professor Ian Simpson, Deputy Principal (Research and Knowledge Transfer) said: “We believe that the outcomes of all publicly funded research should be made available as widely as possible. By ensuring free online access to all our research output, we will maximise the visibility and impact of the University’s work to researchers worldwide.”

The four year project to create STORRE (Stirling Online Research Repository) has been brought to fruition by information technology specialists Clare Allan and Michael White.

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Learners 2.0? IT and 21st Century Learnners in Higher Education

Tuesday, 15 April 2008 12:32:23 p.m.

by Anne H Moore et al

This research bulletin examines what the literature refers to as “new learners” or “critically engaged learners.” It explores the responsibilities our institutions have to create opportunities for these learners to actively engage in creative discovery, problem definition, and appropriate use of information technologies. It is based on a literature review and accompanying conceptualizations that begin to answer important questions about institutional development for a technologically sophisticated age.

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RepoMMan: Delivering Private Repository Space for Day-to-Day Use

Tuesday, 15 April 2008 12:26:03 p.m.

by Richard Green and Chris Awre

In the spring of 2005, the University of Hull embarked on the RepoMMan Project a two-year JISC-funded endeavour to investigate a number of aspects of user interaction with an institutional repository. The vision at Hull was, and is, of a repository placed at the heart of Web services architecture: a key component of a university's information management. In this vision the institutional repository provides not only a showcase for finished digital output, but also a workspace in which members of the University can, if they wish, develop those same materials.
The RepoMMan Project set out to consider how a range of Web services could be brought together to allow a user to interact easily with private workspace in an institutional repository and how the Web services might ease the transition from a private work-in-progress to a formally exposed object in the repository complete with metadata. Three key decisions had been taken before the project proposal was submitted and will not be further discussed here: that open source software should be employed for the project, that the Web services should be orchestrated by an implementation of the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and that the Fedora repository software should be used.

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Using Open Source Social Software as Digital Library Interface

Tuesday, 15 April 2008 12:19:33 p.m.

by Erik Mitchell and Kevin Gilbertson, Wake Forest University

This article investigates the use of social software applications in digital library environments. It examines the use of blogging software as an interface to digital library content stored in a separate repository. The article begins with a definition of digital library approaches and features, examines ways in which open source and social software applications can serve to fill digital library roles, and presents a case study of the use of blogging software as a public interface to a project called Digital Forsyth, a grant-funded project involving three institutions in Forsyth County, NC. The article concludes with a review of positive and negative outcomes from this approach and makes recommendations for further research.

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The Fifth Blackbird: Some Thoughts on Economically Sustainable Digital Preservation

Tuesday, 15 April 2008 12:13:15 p.m.

by Brian F. Lavoie, OCLC Online Computer Library Center

A few years ago my colleague Lorcan Dempsey and I wrote an article entitled "Thirteen Ways of Looking at ... Digital Preservation" [1] (the title being a shameless re-working of "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird", a well-known poem by Wallace Stevens). Our purpose was to present a more nuanced view of digital preservation than one typically found in the literature, conferences, and community discussion springing up around the topic. At that time, digital preservation was often characterized as a discrete activity that could be segregated from, or tacked onto the end of, the digital life cycle; the primary obstacle to be overcome was the development of technical strategies, like emulation and migration, to stave off the twin evils of bit rot and technological obsolescence.

In the article, we acknowledged the importance of the technical imperatives of digital preservation, but argued that there was more to consider. We suggested thirteen different yet intertwined perspectives one can take on the digital preservation problem, with the implicit message that successful digital preservation activities will likely have to accommodate most if not all of them.

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