International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive May 2008

Increasing trust in the content of repositories:version identification framework published

Friday, 30 May 2008 11:50:45 a.m.

Poor version identification hinders users’ trust in the research outputs they find in digital repositories. The JISC funded VIF (Version Identification Framework) project has completed a Framework of recommendations and solutions for all those with a role in repository use and implementation to address this problem.

A serious growing pain for digital repositories has been the issue of how to identify versions of open access (OA) works deposited in them. Draft versions, working papers, different formats, supporting material and so on are all accepted by repositories, but their version status is often poorly described and items are often not linked together appropriately. 'There are a range of solutions and suggestions for repository managers to take advantage of and to pick and choose from according to their needs.'

The Framework promotes better practice for repository staff, offering solutions that enable clearer understanding of version relationships as well as better version identification of digital objects, no matter how an end user accesses the object held in a repository.

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Research Libraries and the Power of the Co-operative

Friday, 30 May 2008 11:48:01 a.m.

John MacColl

RLG Programs became part of OCLC in the summer of 2006. In November of last year, RLG Programs announced the appointment of a European Director, John MacColl. This article explains the rationale behind the combination of RLG with the OCLC Office of Research, and describes the work programme of the new Programs and Research Group. It argues for co-operation as the necessary response to the challenges presented to research libraries as the Web changes the way researchers work, and it lays out a new programme dedicated to research outputs, which will have significant European Partner involvement.

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Future of the Academic Library explored in major Guardian Supplement

Friday, 30 May 2008 11:44:51 a.m.

An eight-page special supplement is published in the Guardian newspaper today that examines the achievements of academic libraries in the UK, assesses current challenges and looks at how these might shape the future of our university libraries.

SCONUL members contributed to articles about a wide range of issues including library design, open access, and digital archiving including personal reflections from SCONUL Chair Anne Bell and other members on how technology has changed the role of the librarian in recent years.

In a lead article, editor Stephen Hoare says that academic libraries are rising to the challenges of changing user needs and finding new means of searching and navigating information.

The supplement also looks forward, and the editor comments, 'changing faster than at any time in their history. Information technology, online databases, and catalogues and digitised archives have put the library back at the heart of teaching, learning and academic research on campus.' Toby Bainton, SCONUL secretary adds that he sees libraries taking on a much more central, in-house publishing role in making the universities own research available.

SCONUL worked closely with partners JISC, who sponsored the supplement. The supplement marks the start of 'Libraries of the Future', an attempt by JISC to initiate a debate about academic libraries and to open up - with partner organisations and librarians themselves - a debate about the future of the academic and research library.

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Draft Interim Report: Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An In-depth Study of Faculty Needs and Ways of Meeting Them.

Friday, 30 May 2008 11:40:02 a.m.

Diane Harley, Sarah Earl-Novell, Sophia Krzys Acord, Shannon Lawrence, and C. Judson King.

The Center for Studies in Higher Education, with generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is conducting research to understand the needs and desires of faculty for in-progress scholarly communication (i.e., forms of communication employed as research is being executed) as well as archival publication. In the interest of developing a deeper understanding of how and why scholars do what they do to advance their fields as well as their careers, our approach focuses on fine-grained analyses of faculty values and behaviors throughout the scholarly communication lifecycle, including sharing, collaborating, publishing, and engaging with the public. Well into our second year, we have posted a draft interim report describing some of our early results and impressions based on the responses of more than 150 interviewees in the fields of astrophysics, archaeology, biology, economics, history, music, and political science.

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Developing the Capability and Skills to Support eResearch

Friday, 30 May 2008 11:15:46 a.m.

Margaret Henty

The growing capacity of ICT to contribute to research of all kinds has excited researchers the world over as they invent new ways of conducting research and enjoy the benefits of bigger and more sophisticated computers and communications systems to support measurement, analysis, collaboration and publishing. The expanding rate of ICT development is matched by the numbers of people wanting to join in this funfest, by growth in the amount of data being generated, and by demands for new and improved hardware, software, networks, and data storage. Governments and research funders, too, are keen to exploit the potential for new discoveries which may bring societal benefits and a return on their financial investment.

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