International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive June 2014

Education, Learning and Libraries at a Tipping Point

Monday, 30 June 2014 12:11:56 p.m.

At a Tipping Point looks at the views of online learners - their concerns about the cost of higher education, their experiences with online learning, and their expectations for more convenient, life-based education models in the future.
“The pressure is mounting on traditional models of learning. We see evidence in the research that we may be reaching a tipping point in how consumers think about and would like to manage their education,” said Ms. De Rosa. “Students and parents are eager for more convenience and more options in how they learn—they favour convenience over structure, self-service over predefined options. Students of all ages are having success with online learning and, like most services that have moved onto the Web, consumers expect these new services to continue to improve in quality and increase in popularity.”
Changes to education and online learning have implications and opportunities for libraries. “The same digital forces reshaping education will reshape library users’ expectations, on our campuses and across our communities,” said Ms. De Rosa.
The report provides data on consumer attitudes and perceptions about online learning and MOOCs. The report also includes data about parents’ and students’ perceptions of campus life and their use of libraries—both at the library and online. It concludes with some thoughts for strategic consideration and action for libraries.
See a brief video about At a Tipping Point: Education, Learning and Libraries on the website at

The full report is available at

IOP Publishing and UK university libraries collaborate on open access offsetting pilot

Monday, 30 June 2014 12:10:36 p.m.

IOP Publishing (IOP), one of the world’s leading scientific publishers, has today announced the launch of a three-year pilot project under which participating universities will be able to offset the majority of their expenditure on hybrid article publication charges (APCs) in IOP journals against their subscription and licence fees.
The agreement follows discussions between IOP, Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and the Russell Group of leading universities.
IOP has developed a sliding scale for its offsetting model, under which its income from APCs for open access publication in subscription-based journals is offset against the licensing costs of universities paying the APCs and is also used to reduce subscription prices for all customers.
Go to source:

Action on discoverability

Monday, 30 June 2014 12:08:23 p.m.

More and more frequently the web is the starting point for researchers when they begin a project. 
Research carried out among the UK’s academic community during 2012 found that 40% of researchers kicked off their project with a trawl through the internet for material, while only 2% preferred to make a visit to a physical library space. That’s a huge change in a relatively short period, fuelled by the sheer richness of the digital content that is now potentially available online.

Go to source:

Electronic Lab Notebooks: Supporting Laboratory Data in the Digital Era

Monday, 30 June 2014 12:06:19 p.m.

Yale University researchers, departments and labs have been using laboratory notebooks, paper or electronic, for years without formal institutional guidance. In this column, we describe how Yale University Library (YUL) and Information Technology Services (ITS) partnered to introduce a service providing institutional support for electronic lab notebooks (ELNs). This new service is offered within a suite of YUL data management services as well as within ITS' research technologies. This column looks at the process involved in choosing a product, describes support considerations, and discusses alternative steps we might have taken. It does not discuss cost issues, nor should it be considered an endorsement of any particular product or vendor.

Go to source:

The University Library as Incubator for Digital Scholarship

Monday, 30 June 2014 12:05:07 p.m.

By leveraging technology, we can open new doors to scholarly inquiry for ourselves and our students. Through new collaborations, we can create exciting shared spaces, both virtual and physical, where that inquiry can take place. The library is a natural home for these technology-rich spaces.
With origins in the digital humanities, digital scholarship in recent years has seen investigators from other disciplines — including the sciences and social sciences — embrace its tools and possibilities. New hybrid communities of inquiry are increasingly visual, collaborative, and spatial, or simply seek to make new connections possible in a digital world. Much of this is owed to advances and convergences in data visualization, mapping applications, and web development.

Go to source:

Realising the Potential of Altmetrics within Institutions

Monday, 30 June 2014 12:02:20 p.m.

The concept of alternative metrics as indicators of non-traditional forms of research impact – better known as ‘altmetrics’ – has been gaining significant attention and support from both the scholarly publishing and academic communities. After being adopted by many publishing platforms and institutional repositories within the past year, altmetrics have entered into the scholarly mainstream, emerging as a relevant topic for academic consideration amidst mounting opposition to misuse of the Journal Impact Factor.
The future of altmetrics has mostly been discussed in the context of highlighting research impact. Although the metrics themselves still require much refinement, qualitative highlights from these data are valuable and have already begun to appear in the digital CVs of researchers. It is likely that qualitative altmetrics data will be increasingly used to inform research assessment, such as in funding applications, as well as faculty promotion and tenure. However, the development of altmetrics is still in its early stages. Moreover, much of the data collected at the moment indicates the attention paid to rather than the quality of different scholarly works, and it is important to bear this in mind and to distinguish between the different kinds of impact that a piece of research can have. Altmetrics are very good at finding evidence of some kinds of impact and not so much others. They complement rather than replace existing methods.
Go to source:

Top trends in academic libraries

Monday, 30 June 2014 12:00:33 p.m.

A review of the trends and issues affecting academic libraries in higher education

Every other year, the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee produces a document on top trends in academic libraries. This year, after numerous discussions and literature reviews, the committee decided upon a unifying theme for current trends: deeper collaboration. The committee found examples of either recent library collaborations or current collaborations within higher education that we believe could benefit from library participation. We focus on the following large categories within higher education: data, device neutral digital services, evolving openness in higher education, student success initiatives, competency-based learning, altmetrics, and digital humanities.

Go to source:

Evaluating big deal journal bundles

Monday, 30 June 2014 11:58:44 a.m.

Large commercial publishers sell bundled online subscriptions to their entire list of academic journals at prices significantly lower than the sum of their á la carte prices. Bundle prices differ drastically between institutions, but they are not publicly posted. The data that we have collected enable us to compare the bundle prices charged by commercial publishers with those of nonprofit societies and to examine the types of price discrimination practiced by commercial and nonprofit journal publishers. This information is of interest to economists who study monopolist pricing, librarians interested in making efficient use of library budgets, and scholars who are interested in the availability of the work that they publish.
Go to source: