International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

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Archive July 2016

Analysis of International Linked Data Survey for Implementers

Thursday, 28 July 2016 5:28:31 p.m.

The International Linked Data Survey for Implementers conducted by OCLC Research in 2014 and 2015 attracted responses from 90 institutions in 20 countries. This analysis of the 112 linked data projects or services described by the 2015 respondents — those that publish linked data, consume linked data, or both — indicates that most are primarily experimental in nature. This article provides an overview of the linked data projects or services institutions or organizations have implemented or are implementing, what data they publish and consume, the reasons respondents give for implementing linked data and the barriers encountered. Relatively small projects are emerging and provide a window into future opportunities. Applications that take advantage of linked data resources are currently few and are yet to demonstrate value over existing systems.


Rethinking Research Libraries in the Era of Global Universities

Thursday, 28 July 2016 5:27:49 p.m.

·Building Universities as Global Entities

·Assessing Library Support for Internationalization

·Engaging International Students Directly


As our world becomes increasingly interconnected politically, economically, culturally, and socially higher education has followed suit. The 2011 survey by the American Council of Education’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement found a perceived acceleration of internationalization across campuses, from doctoral to associate degree institutions. The definition of what that means for each institution varies.

Preservation Challenges in the Digital Age

Thursday, 28 July 2016 5:27:05 p.m.

The digital preservation field is evolving rapidly. Focal areas are changing and best practices are still under debate. Preservation efforts must address not just preservation of the technologies of the past, but also those of the future. The rapidly increasing volume of data requiring preservation makes other digital preservation challenges inherently larger and more complex. The shorter lifespan of digital materials also makes the need for timely and effective preservation action more urgent. This article describes what the author sees as the current major challenges in digital preservation, and covers a range of technical, administrative, legal and logistical aspects.

The case for Open Research: the mis-measurement problem

Thursday, 28 July 2016 5:26:23 p.m.

Let’s face it. The biggest blockage we have to widespread Open Access is not researcher apathy, a lack of interoperable systems, or an unwillingness of publishers to engage (although these do each play some part) – it is the problem that the only thing that counts in academia is publication in a high impact journal.

This situation is causing multiple problems, from huge numbers of authors on papers, researchers cherry picking results and retrospectively applying hypotheses, to the reproducibility crisis and a surge in retractions.

This blog was intended to be an exploration of some solutions prefaced by a short overview of the issues. Rather depressingly, there was so much material the blog has had to be split up, with several parts describing the problem(s) before getting to the solutions.

Prepare yourself, this will be a bumpy ride. This first instalment looks at the reward system. The second instalment will consider authorship and credit. The third will look at reproducibility, retractions and retrospective hypotheses. And the final blog will discuss some options for solving at least part of the problem.

Librariansí Competencies for E-Research and Scholarly Communication

Thursday, 28 July 2016 5:22:09 p.m.

The aim of this task force is to produce a number of competency profiles that will help to build capacity in libraries for supporting new roles in the area of scholarly communication and e-research. The profiles will enable library managers to identify skill gaps in their institution, form the basis of job descriptions, enable professionals to carry out self-assessments, and act as a foundation for the development of training programs for librarians and library professionals. In addition, the toolkit will provide an outline of new organizational models that are evolving in this dynamic environment.

Article processing charges (APCs) and subscriptions: Monitoring open access costs

Thursday, 28 July 2016 5:19:39 p.m.

·    The number of article processing charges (APCs) paid doubled between 2013 and 2014. Growth remained strong in 2015, but slowed in part due to limited room for growth in institutions’ internal budgets

·    The average APC has increased by 6% over the past two years, a rise well above the cost of inflation

·    Publishers’ APC costs are converging to a more uniform price range, although they still vary widely. Journals with low APCs are raising their prices, perhaps to avoid being perceived as low quality following expectations set by the Finch report

·    APC expenditure is unevenly distributed between publishers, with the lion’s share of income distributed among a handful of major publishers

·    Elsevier, the one major publisher with no offset deal in place, has seen high growth. This shows that there is currently no penalty for publishers who reject offsetting deals

·    It is difficult to assess the true cost of APCs paid for through offset and voucher schemes and these are often recorded at £0. Jisc plans to work closely with funders, institutions, and publishers to ensure that these costs are accurately recorded in the future

·    APCs are increasingly moving towards high-end imprints such as Nature and Cell or fully open access publishers such as Public Library of Science (PLoS)

·    The majority of APCs are paid to hybrid journals, and hybrid APC pricing is higher on average than full open access (OA) journals’. However, the average APC of OA journals is rising more quickly than that of fully hybrid journals. This is partly due to increases in average APCs for certain popular open access journals, and partly to shifts towards expensive full OA journals

·    The most common licence is CC BY

·    Subscription expenditure is taking up an increased proportion of libraries’ budgets

·    The estimated journal subscription expenditure for 2014 is £180m

·    APCs make up 12% of institutions’ total expenditure on journals

Strategic Thinking and Design Initiative: Extended and Updated Report

Monday, 4 July 2016 9:38:55 a.m.

This report documents the Strategic Thinking and Design work that the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) engaged in from the fall of 2013 through the end of 2015. Fuelled by the deep desire of the ARL membership to rise to the challenges facing higher education in the 21st century, and with grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Association engaged in an unprecedented project to reimagine the future of the research library and then reshape ARL, its organization, to help bring that future into being.


This process was unprecedented in that, instead of trying to ameliorate, one by one, the challenges that research libraries face—challenges that are a product of the friction between the research libraries’ historical evolution and a rapidly changing context—or seek a silver-bullet technological solution to move the community forward, the process focused on what the research library would be if it were specifically designed for the context of the 21st century—for the digital and networked age. The process engaged more than 360 people drawn from throughout the library community (both within ARL and beyond) and from the academic, funding, and association communities to “world build” the future of the research library. This approach, coupled with deep research into the strategic plans of higher education institutions and their libraries, led to the fashioning of a “System of Action” for ARL to shape the community of research libraries towards the newly imagined future.

The Internet of Things: Riding the Wave in Higher Education

Monday, 4 July 2016 9:37:49 a.m.

Looking at the vast ocean that is modern-day computing, we can see that major developments come in waves. The arrival of mainframe computers in the 1960s generated the first wave (one computer for many people), followed in the late 1970s by personal computers in the second wave (one computer for one person). In 1988, Mark Weiser presciently observed that computers embedded into everyday objects, objects all around us, were forming the third wave—what he called ubiquitous computing (many computers for one person). A decade later, in 1999, Keven Ashton put forth the ideas behind, and coined the term for, the fourth wave: the Internet of Things.

In this paradigm shift, Weiser's computer-embedded everyday objects—or "things"—are connected to the Internet and can communicate with users and with other devices. The guiding principle is connection, along with the conviction that if something can be connected, it will be connected. Indeed, in recent years, the wave appears to be rising to a crest. The plunging cost and size of processors and chipsets, the massive expansion of the IP address space, and the growing coverage of broadband networks allow virtually any object to be connected to the Internet. The computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones that constitute the bulk of the Internet of Things (IoT) today are being joined by smartwatches, smart appliances, cars, lightbulbs, and an array of other devices that collect and transfer data, often without any human involvement. As that data is increasing and the technologies are advancing, we are moving from the early IoT of smart connections to a new phase, one of invisible integration.


Turning the revolution into an evolution: The case for design thinking and rapid prototyping in libraries

Monday, 4 July 2016 9:36:58 a.m.

As academic libraries evolve to meet the changing needs of their surrounding communities, we are beginning to engage with these communities in new ways, such as participating in efforts to transform teaching and learning. These shifts in services and roles can be challenging. As we try to figure out how to adapt and move forward, we need to apply new approaches to the way we think and problem solve. Enter the processes of design thinking and rapid prototyping.

2016 top trends in academic libraries: A review of the trends and issues affecting academic libraries in higher education

Monday, 4 July 2016 9:35:51 a.m.

Every other year, the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee produces a document on top trends in higher education as they relate to academic librarianship.


The 2016 Top Trends report discusses research data services, digital scholarship, collection assessment trends, content provider mergers, evidence of learning, new directions with the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy, altmetrics, emerging staff positions, and open educational resources.

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