International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive May 2009

Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World

Wednesday, 27 May 2009 4:50:15 p.m.

Supported by the principal bodies and agencies in UK post-compulsory education, the Committee was set up in February 2008 to conduct an independent inquiry into the strategic and policy implications for higher education of the experience and expectations of learners in the light of their increasing use of the newest technologies.

Essentially, these are Web 2.0 or Social Web technologies, technologies that enable communication, collaboration, participation and sharing.

As we began our work, the online lifestyle of young people going into higher education was inescapable, and those working in it had sensed a clear change in their students’ pre-entry experience. The time was ripe for an informed, impartial assessment of this and what it might herald for higher education policy and strategy. This was our remit. Since they represent the future, we took young learners as our baseline. We have, however, been concerned with learners of all ages.

We reviewed the findings of completed and, where they were available, ongoing studies related to our remit; took oral evidence from a range of practising academics and researchers; and commissioned briefings and studies, including one substantial piece of work on current and developing international practice in the use of Web 2.0 in higher education. We met six times in full session and held one event dedicated to hearing evidence.
We structured our Inquiry into a consideration of the prior experience of higher education learners, their expectations, and international practice in the use of Web 2.0 in higher education. From our findings in these three areas, we identified a number of critical issues, the exploration of which then informed our conclusions and recommendations.

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Working Together or Apart: Promoting the Next Generation of Digital Scholarship

Wednesday, 27 May 2009 3:58:45 p.m.

Report of a Workshop Cosponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources and The National Endowment for the Humanities

As part of its ongoing programs in digital scholarship and the cyberinfrastructure to support teaching, learning and research, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) held a symposium on September 15, 2008 in which a group of some 30 leading scholars was invited to

• articulate the research challenges that will use the new media to advance the analysis and interpretations of text, images and other sources of interest to the humanities and social sciences and in so doing,
• pose interesting problems for ongoing computational research.

White papers were commissioned to help frame the issues. This report contains the final versions of those papers, as well as an account of the day's discussion and a summary of a report by Diane Zorich on digital humanities centers.

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The Metadata is the Interface: Better Description for Better Discovery of Archives and Special Collections

Wednesday, 27 May 2009 3:55:50 p.m.

This report synthesizes evidence from archival user studies and specifies what descriptive information is needed for research.

It also includes recommendations for improving discovery of archives and special collections.

More information

The Metadata is the Interface: Better Description for Better Discovery of Archives and Special Collections.

Archives and Special Collections Program.

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Redefining e-books

Wednesday, 27 May 2009 3:52:16 p.m.

There's little doubt that e-books are a hot topic for publishers and librarians. Sian Harris asked some people involved with e-books in different ways what the situation is like at the moment and what they predict for the future.

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RCUK publishes report on open access study

Wednesday, 27 May 2009 3:50:13 p.m.

RCUK published today an independent study commissioned by the Research Councils into open access to research outputs. The purpose of the study was to identify the effects and impacts of open access on publishing models and institutional repositories in light of national and international trends. This included the impact of open access on the quality and efficiency of scholarly outputs, specifically journal articles. The report presents options for the Research Councils to consider, such as maintaining the current variation in Research Councils’ mandates, or moving towards increased open access, eventually leading to Gold Standard.

Welcoming the study, Professor Ian Diamond, Chair of the RCUK Executive Group said: "This excellent study sets out a way forward for the UK Research Councils in relation to open access, building on the extensive activities already supported through repositories such as UK PubMed Central and ESRC Society Today. The Research Councils look forward to working with their partners across the research community to consider the options."
In response to the study, the Chief Executives of the Research Councils have agreed that over time the UK

Research Councils will support increased open access, by:

• building on their mandates on grant-holders to deposit research papers in suitable repositories within an agreed time period, and;
• extending their support for publishing in open access journals, including through the pay-to-publish model.

RCUK is now beginning this implementation process through a number of cross-Research Council working groups.
We recognise that there are many issues to consider and will liaise fully with all interested parties, including the academic community, publishers, and organisations such as JISC and the Research Information Network.

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Preservation of Web Resources

Wednesday, 27 May 2009 3:47:31 p.m.

Many of JISC’s programmes and initiatives support repositories and the retention, reuse and sharing of digital assets. Higher and further education institution websites might also count as repositories and may contain evidence of institutional activity, unrecorded elsewhere, that constitute an important record of digital initiatives over the last 15 years. Yet these websites are not being systematically preserved. There is a need to harmonise institutional web and digital preservation practices to prevent valuable collections of research and other materials being at risk.

There are two issues facing institutions in 2009:

• They may not be doing enough to preserve the valuable resources that have been created up to this point
• New resources are being created, especially through emerging Web 2.0 applications, that we don’t even know how to capture yet, let alone preserve

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