International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive April 2014

2014 Horizon Report: Higher Education Edition

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 12:02:14 p.m.

Key Trends Accelerating Higher Education Technology Adoption

This year’s NMC Horizon Report identifies the Integration of Online, Hybrid, and Collaborative Learning and the Growing Ubiquity of Social Media as fast trends driving changes in higher education over the next one to two years. The Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators and the Rise of Data-Driven Learning and Assessment are mid-range trends expected to accelerate technology use in the next three to five years; and Agile Approaches to Change and the Evolution of Online Learning are long-range trends, positioned at more than five years away.
Significant Challenges Impeding Higher Education Technology Adoption

A number of challenges are acknowledged for presenting barriers to the mainstream use of technology in higher education. Low Digital Fluency of Faculty and Relative Lack of Rewards for Teaching are perceived as solvable challenges — those which we both understand and know how to solve. Competition from New Models of Education and Scaling Teaching Innovations are considered difficult challenges, which are defined as well understood but with solutions that are elusive.  Described as wicked challenges are Expanding Access and Keeping Education Relevant, which are complex to define, much less address.
Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

Additionally, the report identifies Flipped Classroom and Learning Analytics as technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the first horizon of one year or less. 3D Printing and Games and Gamification are seen in the second horizon of two to three years; Quantified Self and Virtual Assistants are seen emerging in the third horizon of four to five years.
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Top-Ten IT Issues, 2014: Be the Change You See

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 12:00:36 p.m.

EDUCAUSE presents the top-ten IT issues facing higher education institutions. Many of these issues are not new. But in 2014 the ideas, solutions, and models that have been accumulating in higher education and technology will hit IT organizations—and the institutions they serve—fast and hard. This is the year that the front part of the herd will join the mavericks, tipping the balance for the rest.
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The value and impact of data sharing and curation

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:57:33 a.m.

A synthesis of three recent studies of UK research data centres.
This report brings together the findings of a series of independent investigations into the value and impact of three very different, long-established UK research data centres: the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) and the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC).
It explores the benefits that users of data centres enjoy, and attempts to assign measurable value to them. It goes on to reflect on how value and impact can best be monitored and analysed in future, as the services develop, and it makes a series of recommendations.
These include the need to maintain support for data centres, and to standardise usage statistics so that it is easier to compare and contrast services, and learn from the experiences of the strongest performers.
It also recommends further work to identify and evaluate the wider benefits to society and the UK economy that are becoming evident as data centres grow and mature.
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Gowers publishes Elsevier spend

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:51:16 a.m.

A blog post has been published giving details of Russell Group Libraries' spend on Elsevier content. 

It has been published byTim Gowers following Freedom of Information requests to Russell Group universities. It can be found here:

It includes a critique of Elsevier’s monopolistic position. He states: “in 2013, Elsevier’s profit margin was up to 39%. (The profit is a little over £800 million on a little over £2 billion.)” and that “The problem is quite simply that Elsevier has a monopoly over a product for which the demand is still very inelastic (the lack of elasticity being largely the fault of the academic community), with the result that the prices are unreasonably high for the service that Elsevier provides.”

He has conducted a survey of academics within the maths departments at Cambridge.  It shows that “in both departments, most people would not suffer too much inconvenience if they had to do without Elsevier’s products and services, and a large majority were willing to risk doing without them if that would strengthen the bargaining position of those who negotiate with Elsevier.”
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Major repository infrastructure initiatives agree to align their networks

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:48:19 a.m.

In a meeting in Rome on March 20-21, 2014 representatives from several major regional repository networks sat down to develop a strategy to better align their activities.
The meeting brought together delegates from Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Latin America and the United States.
As research becomes increasingly global, it is critical to create infrastructure that can connect across geographic boundaries. Recently there have been significant efforts around the world to develop repository networks. These networks represent an important content layer within the research infrastructure system.
They provide access to the products of research such as articles, data, and other content to researchers and to the world. They are also becoming an important source of information for governments, funding agencies and institutions about the impact of the research they support.
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Using student feedback to re-shape library services

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:45:17 a.m.

The University of East Anglia’s library is in the vanguard of institutional libraries seeking to engage students and other users in shaping and embedding library services into core teaching and research activity, pioneering (among other things) digital literacy and the introduction of 24-hour opening. Its director Nicholas Lewis chairs the KnowledgeBase+ community advisory group and works with JISC on initiatives to make libraries more effective for users and more cost efficient for their institutions.
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LinkedUp: Linking Open Data for Education

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:41:45 a.m.

In the past, discussions around Open Education have tended to focus on content and primarily Open Educational Resources (OER), freely accessible, openly licensed resources that are used for teaching, learning, assessment and research purposes. However Open Education is a complex beast made up of many aspects, of which the opening up of data is one important element.
When one mentions open data in education a multitude of questions arise: from the technical (what is open data? What is linked data? How do I create open datasets?), the semantic (what is the difference between Open Education data and open data in education?) to the more philosophical (what exactly is Open Education anyway? How can we make sure ‘open’ means ‘accessible to all’? How can opening up data be helpful?) All valid questions, yet not all with straight-forward answers; however exploration around what might purport to be answers to these questions is very much in scope for the LinkedUp Project.

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