International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive July 2010

The Idea of Order: Transforming research collections for 21st century scholarship

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 9:44:17 a.m.

The Idea of Order explores the transition from an analog to a digital environment for knowledge access, preservation, and reconstitution, and the implications of this transition for managing research collections. The volume comprises three reports. The first, "Can a New Research Library be All-Digital?" by Lisa Spiro and Geneva Henry, explores the degree to which a new research library can eschew print. The second, "On the Cost of Keeping a Book," by Paul Courant and Matthew "Buzzy" Nielsen argues that from the perspective of long-term storage, digital surrogates offer a considerable cost savings over print-based libraries. The final report, "Ghostlier Demarcations," examines how well large text databases being created by Google Books and other mass-digitization efforts meet the needs of scholars, and the larger implications of these projects for research, teaching, and publishing.

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Semantically enhancing collections of library and non-library content

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 9:41:57 a.m.

Many digital libraries have not made the transition to semantic digital libraries, and often with good reason. Librarians and information technologists may not yet grasp the value of semantic mappings of bibliographic metadata, they may not have the resources to make the transition and, even if they do, semantic web tools and standards have varied in terms of maturity and performance. Selecting appropriate or reasonable classes and properties from ontologies, linking and augmenting bibliographic metadata as it is mapped to triples, data fusion and re-use, and considerations about what it means to represent this data as a graph, are all challenges librarians and information technologists face as they transition their various collections to the semantic web. This paper presents some lessons we have learned building small, focused semantic digital library collections that combine bibliographic and non-bibliographic data, based on specific topics. The tools map and augment the metadata to produce a collection of triples. We have also developed some prototype tools atop these collections which allow users to explore the content in ways that were either not possible or not easy to do with other library systems.

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JISC Inform issue 28 Summer 2010

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 9:40:18 a.m.

This edition is all about discovery – of data and knowledge, like-minded teachers, researchers and organisations.

New learners can discover rich educational materials online, published under open licences, as shown in our feature on Open Educational Resources. We also bring you examples of how colleges and universities are discovering new partnerships with business, ways of working together and how to share vital services and knowledge.

With the research environment in flux due to the economic climate and rapid digital developments, researchers are having to do more with less, and so it makes sense to urge them to discover new digital technologies that allow them to tap into global resources. We report on the research behaviour of ‘Generation Y’ and the increasing usefulness of virtual research environments.
While twenty years ago a group of scholars working on a common problem would have had to spend considerable amounts of money and time to enable their collaboration, new virtual environments allow online, real-time collaboration and speed up vital processes of innovation – as seen in the case studies about African sleeping sickness and the Roman tablet.
Today’s big problems such as climate change and global financial turmoil require new combinations of knowledge, helped by innovative digital technologies. This is why JISC is an indispensable resource for both individual institutions and the sector as a whole.

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Quality assurance and assessment of scholarly research

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 9:39:06 a.m.

A new guide has been produced to provide researchers, academic administrators and librarians with an understanding of quality assurance processes and some of the current issues surrounding the debate about quality assurance.

It provides an overview of some of the key issues surrounding quality assurance and assessment of scholarly research. It is intended for academic administrators, researchers and librarians who deal with elements of quality assurance and quality assessment as part of their daily work, but who wish to understand more about the broader context of that work.

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Emerging findings from Researchers of Tomorrow study

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 9:37:42 a.m.

Emerging findings from the first annual report of a major three-year study into the information seeking behaviour of Generation Y doctoral students show that there are striking similarities between students born between 1982 and 1994 and older age groups.

Researchers of Tomorrow was commissioned by JISC and the British Library to establish a benchmark for research behaviour, against which future generations can be measured – and also to provide guidance for librarians, information specialists and policy makers on how best to meet the research needs of Generation Y scholars.

The first annual report of this longitudinal study has just been completed and includes evidence-gathering from three groups of doctoral students in the UK, including: a cohort of 60 Generation Y doctoral students from 36 universities; responses to a national context-setting survey returned by over 2,000 Generation Y scholars and responses to the same national context-setting survey returned by 3,000 older doctoral students.

Generation Y students and older students concur on a number of areas.

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Use and relevance of web 2.0 for researchers

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 9:35:04 a.m.

This new RIN report looks at the extent of adoption of different web 2.0 tools in different subject fields and disciplines, and the different types of researchers who are using them.

The project enquired into the factors that influence researchers to adopt and use Web 2.0 tools, and conversely the factors that prevent, constrain or discourage usage.

This work was undertaken by team from the National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS), University of Manchester, and the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation (ISSTI), University of Edinburgh.

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