International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive August 2008

Ithaka’s 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education

Friday, 29 August 2008 3:18:56 p.m.

Ross Housewright, Roger Schonfeld

In the modern era, academia has been faced with unprecedented and ubiquitous change, largely driven by technological developments like the personal computer and the internet. Changing technologies have been accompanied by changes in research habits, scholarly communications patterns, campus roles, and more.
These changes offer exciting new opportunities, but also pose significant challenges for those who serve the higher education community. In order to be effective, librarians, information technologists, academic administrators, and others concerned with facilitating research, teaching, and scholarly communication in a changing world must keep up with the complex and evolving needs and attitudes of scholars. For libraries in particular, a deep understanding of the information needs of a scholarly community and how existing services mesh with these needs is essential in order to effectively serve and remain relevant on the modern campus. To succeed in the internet age, libraries must be aware of which traditional roles are no longer needed and which potential roles would be valued, and strategically shift their service offerings to maximize their value to local users. We hope that this document, describing the findings of two largescale surveys conducted in 2006, will help librarians and others interested in scholarship in the digital world think about these changing needs and prompt consideration of how to best serve faculty in a rapidly changing world.

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No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century

Friday, 29 August 2008 3:17:13 p.m.

How should we be rethinking the research library in a swiftly changing information landscape?

In February 2008, CLIR convened 25 leading librarians, publishers, faculty members, and information technology specialists to consider this question. Participants discussed the challenges and opportunities that libraries are likely to face in the next five to ten years, and how changes in scholarly communication will affect the future library. Essays by eight of the participants—Paul Courant, Andrew Dillon, Rick Luce, Stephen Nichols, Daphnée Rentfrow, Abby Smith, Kate Wittenberg, and Lee Zia—were circulated to participants in advance and provided background for the conversation. This report contains these background essays as well as a summary of the meeting.

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The Impact of Digitizing Special Collections on Teaching and Scholarship

Friday, 29 August 2008 3:15:22 p.m.

Merrilee Proffitt and Jennifer Schaffner

University faculty and scholars demonstrated their uses of rare books and archives—in both digital and physical forms—to an audience of RLG Programs partners at a symposium in Philadelphia on June 4, 2008. Tony Grafton’s recent article in The New Yorker3 provoked the theme of the symposium: we’ll be travelling both the wide smooth road through the screen and the narrow difficult road of books and archives for a long time to come.
The audience of librarians, archivists, museum professionals and senior managers discussed administrative issues and opportunities for the use of digitized special collections. The academic speakers, however, spoke to us directly about their expectations of special collections and proposals for collaboration with scholars. These scholars emphasized the critical roles rare books, archives and other materials play in both teaching and research, and called for specific directions for libraries and archives to take in the near future. The primary users of primary resources presented clear imperatives for collections and custodians: work with faculty to understand current research methods and materials; go outside the library or archive to build collections and work with faculty; and continue to build digital and material collections for both teaching and research.

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University investment in the library: What's the return? A case study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Friday, 29 August 2008 3:13:37 p.m.

Judy Luther, President, Informed Strategies

In the spring of 2006, colleagues at Elsevier and I started noticing a theme arising in our individual conversations with customers. Librarians told us that their administrations were asking for research performance measurement, cost justification, and return on investment. Carol Tenopir had recently completed research that demonstrated the positive impact of electronic access on productivity. Both librarians and publishers had a hunch that such gains could subsequently have a positive impact on university funding. We collectively discussed the need for a return on investment (ROI) model that could apply to academic libraries, something that would articulate value in terms that would speak to the university administration. The model would need to encompass the value of all library content and not be limited to a single publisher’s product.

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Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyberlearning Opportunity and Challenge / A 21st Century Agenda for the National Science Foundation

Friday, 29 August 2008 3:11:33 p.m.

How does a protein fold? What happens to space-time when two black holes collide? What impact does species gene flow have on an ecological community? What are the key factors that drive climate change? Did one of the trillions of collisions at the Large Hadron Collider produce a Higgs boson, the dark matter particle or a black hole? Can we create an individualized model of each human being for personalized healthcare delivery? How does major technological change affect human behavior and structure complex social relationships?
What answers will we find – to questions we have yet to ask – in the very large datasets that are being produced by telescopes, sensor networks, and other experimental facilities?
These questions – and many others – are only now coming within our ability to answer because of advances in computing and related information technology. Once used by a handful of elite researchers in a few research communities on select problems, advanced computing has become essential to future progress across the frontier of science and engineering. Coupled with continuing improvements in microprocessor speeds, converging advances in networking, software, visualization, data systems and collaboration platforms are changing the way research and education is accomplished.

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Berkeley steps forward with bold initiative to pay authors’ open-access charges

Friday, 29 August 2008 3:09:58 p.m.

It’s one thing to say you support open-access publishing. It’s another to provide authors with a pot of money to actually pay for it.
That’s what’s happening at the University of California Berkeley. In January, the university launched the Berkeley Research Impact Initiative, a pilot program co-sponsored by the University Librarian and the Vice Chancellor for Research to cover publication charges for open-access journals.

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