International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive August 2009

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

Monday, 31 August 2009 11:23:44 a.m.

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 centres.

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Final OLE Project Report

Monday, 31 August 2009 11:22:18 a.m.

With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Open Library Environment project (OLE Project) convened a multi-national group of libraries to analyze library business processes and to define a next-generation library technology platform. The resulting OLE platform is predicated on Service Oriented Architecture and a community-source model of development and governance.

The response from the library community during this project exceeded all expectations. Workshops quickly filled with participants from libraries large and small, near and far. Webcasts drew interest from around the world; project members began recording and posting the recordings for those who could not attend “live” in the middle of the night. Throughout all of these activities, individuals with deep respect and concern for libraries wrestled with difficult issues and diverse points of view.

Over 300 libraries, educational institutions, professional organizations and business participated in some phase of the project. Using input from those participants, the project planners produced an OLE design framework that embeds libraries directly in the key processes of scholarship generation, knowledge management, teaching and learning by utilizing existing enterprise systems where appropriate and by delivering new services built on connections between the library’s business systems and other technology systems.

The OLE Project met all of its objectives and was completed on time and within budget. Project members are now in discussions with potential investing partners who will develop and deploy this new library technology platform. Although this is an especially difficult time for libraries to launch new projects and commit funding for them, project planners continue to hear from the library community that it is more critical than ever to create the technology infrastructure that can help libraries serve as a primary nexus of scholarly information management.

The OLE Project completed its official goals, but beyond that, it launched a world-wide conversation about the desired future of libraries and what is needed to move libraries toward that future.

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Institutional Repositories: Staff and Skills Set

Monday, 31 August 2009 11:20:28 a.m.

This document began in response to requests received by the core SHERPA team for examples of job descriptions for repository posts. Its development has been greatly assisted by contributions from the SHERPA partners and UKCORR members.

The document will be revised annually (July/August) to reflect changing needs and requirements. Input from the repository community will be sought at this time.

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Libraries of the Future

Monday, 31 August 2009 11:18:14 a.m.

Libraries are at a turning point. As technology rapidly transforms the way we access information, and resources are increasingly available online and in digital formats, the established role of the library as a physical space housing racks of books is looking increasingly out of step with the needs of students and researchers.

Allied with technology, library users’ needs and preferences are helping to drive the change in libraries. Students, researchers and teachers now expect to be able to access information around the clock, from almost anywhere in the world and via a growing number of devices, from laptops to phones.

What does this mean for the academic library as we know it? What will it look like in 10 years’ time? Will it exist in its current physical form? What role will librarians play in supporting learning and research in the digital age?

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ICSTI 2009 Public Conference

Monday, 31 August 2009 11:09:02 a.m.

The ICSTI 2009 Public Conference took place on 9 -10 June in Ottawa, Canada and was organized by the National Research Council Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI) for the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI).

The presentations and videos of the speakers are available at

A slideshow of conference photos can be viewed at

A threat to scientific communication

Monday, 31 August 2009 11:06:26 a.m.

Do academic journals pose a threat to the advancement of science?

A young scientist is threatened with legal action for breaching copyright after she republishes a journal's graph on her website to illustrate its deficiencies. Meanwhile, another is too scared to Twitter the fascinating results from his Antarctic explorations for fear it could jeopardise his chances of being published in Nature.

Elsewhere, a researcher knows that the negative results of her experiment are essentially worthless - who is going to publish them? And a university, keen to bolster its standing, is deciding who to appoint based on where the applicants have been published.

All around the world, from grant funding to the peer review, publication, reproduction and public dissemination of research results, elite scientific journals wield huge influence and control over just about every facet of scientists' lives.

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