International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive August 2015

Registration is open for the IATUL workshop on “Information literacy and beyond for E-Research Support”, 23– 25 November 2015, in Prague

Thursday, 27 August 2015 9:12:15 a.m.

The workshop will bring together information professionals and researchers from Central and Eastern Europe to discuss current issues and developments in the field of e-research services in libraries, centered on information literacy support.

The programme of the first day includes keynote addresses and two sessions with presentations on e-research support services and investigations into librarian skills in e-research support. On the second day, there will be a session about information literacy services for researchers and a group discussions on a range of topics associated with new trends and developments in e-research support.

Presenters come from several countries around the world and will share their findings and future plans.

On the third day, all interested delegates have the opportunity to take part in a guided tour of Prague and enjoy the highlights of both the old and modern city.

IATUL (International Association of University Libraries), provides a forum for the exchange of ideas relevant to librarianship in universities throughout the world. The IATUL Special Interest Group for Information Literacy was founded in 2012 to promote collaboration and share best practice among IATUL members interested in Information Literacy.

The event will take place in Prague, Czech Republic, 23– 25 November 2015. Please go to for further information and registration.

2015 IATUL Conference Presentations

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 4:43:36 p.m.

The presentations from the 36th Annual IATUL Conference "Strategic Partnerships for Access and Discovery" hosted by TIB in Hannover, Germany from 5-9 July 2015 are currently available on the Conference website. The full proceedings will be available soon.

Why educators can’t live without Social Media

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 4:42:02 p.m.

From student recruitment to alumni relations, social media has a place at every step of the student journey, says Eric Stoller. Institutions and educators ignore it at their peril.

Communication is at the core of the human experience. How we learn, teach and engage is predicated on our ability to communicate with one another, and technology-based services have added layers of complexity, efficiency, innovation, and disruption to how we do this. How we communicate is ever-evolving, especially with the rise of digital services as a primary method of engagement, and social media is one of the most exciting communication channels higher education institutions can use today.

But, while social media provides myriad conduits for interaction, learning, and communication, it requires nuance, experimentation, and intrepidity. The payback is that this kind of digital communication is multi-directional, almost always available, and provides utility in ways that are constantly emerging.

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NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Library Edition

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 4:40:13 p.m.

The NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Library Edition identifies “Increasing Value of the User Experience” and “Prioritization of Mobile Content and Delivery” as short-term impact trends driving changes in academic and research libraries over the next one to two years. The “Evolving Nature of the Scholarly Record” and “Increasing Focus on Research Data Management” are mid-term impact trends expected to accelerate technology use in the next three to five years; and “Increasing Accessibility of Research Content” and “Rethinking Library Spaces” are long-term impact trends, anticipated to impact libraries for the next five years or more.

“The trends identified by the expert panel indicate that libraries are doing a better job of making their content more accessible and adapting library spaces to meet the needs of the contemporary, connected academic community,” says Rudolf Mumenthaler, Professor of Library Science at HTW Chur and co-principal investigator of the report. “The outcomes of the report are very compelling, and it is an honor for HTW Chur to be deeply involved in this project.”

Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in Academic and Research Libraries

A number of challenges are acknowledged for presenting barriers to the mainstream use of technology in academic and research libraries. “Embedding Academic and Research Libraries in the Curriculum” and “Improving Digital Literacy” are perceived as solvable challenges – those which we both understand and know how to solve. “Competition from Alternative Avenues of Discovery” and “Rethinking the Roles and Skills of Librarians” are considered difficult challenges, which are defined as well understood but with solutions that are elusive. Described as wicked challenges are “Embracing the Need for Radical Change” and “Managing Knowledge Obsolescence,” which are complex to define, much less address.

Important Developments in Technology for Academic and Research Libraries

Additionally, the report identifies “Makerspaces” and “Online Learning” as technologies and digital strategies that are expected to enter mainstream use in the first horizon of one year or less. “Information Visualization” along with “Semantic Web and Linked Data” are seen in the second horizon of two to three years; “Location Intelligence” as well as “Machine Learning” are seen emerging in the third horizon of four to five years.

“This report is another crucial step forward for academic and research libraries, which are now being seen as incubators for experimenting with emerging technologies and are even leading the way at many university campuses across the world,” says Lambert Heller, Head of Open Science Lab at the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB) and co-principal investigator of the project.

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Making a Place for Curricular Transformation at the University of Technology Sydney

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 4:38:25 p.m.

Over the past eight years, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has undergone a remarkable transition, from a tired campus that housed an unsung technical institute to a major presence in Australia’s largest city where learning and research draw the attention of students, the higher education community, industry, and the public.

In “Making a Place for Curricular Transformation at the University of Technology Sydney,” authors Nancy Fried Foster and Christine Mulhern unpack the process through which UTS transformed its physical campus and its pedagogical approach in tandem, undertaking a billion dollar construction project that was shaped by significant curricular change. 

The accomplishment of this organization-wide, comprehensive transformation was made possible by leaders with a coherent vision who created the conditions that enabled staff to make the vision concrete from the bottom up. Relatively small experiments in instructional redesign gave both leadership and staff the confidence and know-how to scale up. In a relatively short period, the entire institution has been remade with an emphasis on active, career-focused learning.

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Policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework: Updated July 2015

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 4:36:05 p.m.

This document sets out the details of a requirement that certain research outputs should be made open-access to be eligible for submission to the next Research Excellence Framework (REF). This requirement will apply to journal articles and conference proceedings accepted for publication after 1 April 2016.

Key points
The policy states that, to be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, authors’ outputs must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an internet connection. The requirement applies only to journal articles and conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number. It will not apply to monographs, book chapters, other long-form publications, working papers, creative or practice-based research outputs, or data. The policy applies to research outputs accepted for publication after 1 April 2016, but we would strongly urge institutions to implement it now.

The policy allows repositories to respect embargo periods set by publications. Where a publication specifies an embargo period, authors can comply with the policy by making a ‘closed’ deposit. Closed deposits must be discoverable to anyone with an Internet connection before the full text becomes available for read and download (which will occur after the embargo period has elapsed). If still under embargo at the submission date of the next REF, closed deposits will be admissible to the REF.

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Beginning the Fourth Decade of the "IT Revolution" in Higher Education: Plus Ça Change

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 4:11:21 p.m.

The technology changes of the past three decades continue to be bounded by challenges that impede our efforts to effectively exploit the full value of IT investments.

That technology journey— our technology journey—has taken all of us many places over the past three decades. The journey has been fueled, in part, by great expectations for the use of new technologies in education—expectations that were articulated well before the first PCs and Macs even arrived on college and university campuses. For example, in a 1913 newspaper interview, the prolific inventor Thomas Edison proclaimed: "Books will soon be obsolete in the public schools. Scholars will be instructed through the eye. It is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture. Our school system will be completely changed in ten years."

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

("The more things change, the more things stay the same.")

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The Metric Tide: Report of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 4:09:28 p.m.

The review was chaired by James Wilsdon, professor of science and democracy at the University of Sussex, supported by an independent and multidisciplinary group of experts in scientometrics, research funding, research policy, publishing, university management and research administration. Through 15 months of consultation and evidence-gathering, the review looked in detail at the potential uses and limitations of research metrics and indicators, exploring the use of metrics within institutions and across disciplines.

The main findings of the review include the following: 

  • There is considerable scepticism among researchers, universities, representative bodies and learned societies about the broader use of metrics in research assessment and management.
  • Peer review, despite its flaws, continues to command widespread support as the primary basis for evaluating research outputs, proposals and individuals. However, a significant minority are enthusiastic about greater use of metrics, provided appropriate care is taken.
  • Carefully selected indicators can complement decision-making, but a ‘variable geometry’ of expert judgement, quantitative indicators and qualitative measures that respect research diversity will be required.
  • There is legitimate concern that some indicators can be misused or ‘gamed’: journal impact factors, university rankings and citation counts being three prominent examples.
  • The data infrastructure that underpins the use of metrics and information about research remains fragmented, with insufficient interoperability between systems.
  • Analysis concluded that that no metric can currently provide a like-for-like replacement for REF peer review.
  • In assessing research outputs in the REF, it is not currently feasible to assess research outputs or impacts in the REF using quantitative indicators alone.
  • In assessing impact in the REF, it is not currently feasible to use quantitative indicators in place of narrative case studies. However, there is scope to enhance the use of data in assessing research environments. 

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New Report: Stewardship of the Evolving Scholarly Record: From the Invisible Hand to Conscious Coordination

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 4:07:28 p.m.

As a follow on to our work with the Evolving Scholarly Record, this report by Brian Lavoie and Constance Malpas presents a view of future stewardship models of the evolving scholarly record and their practical implications. The scholarly record is increasingly digital and networked, while at the same time expanding in both the volume and diversity of the material it contains. The long-term future of the scholarly record cannot be effectively secured with traditional stewardship models developed for print materials. This report describes the key features of future stewardship models adapted to the characteristics of a digital, networked scholarly record, and discusses some practical implications of implementing these models.

You can read the report and also read Brian Lavoie’s post on our group blog, HangingTogether, Six Takeaways: Stewardship of the Evolving Scholarly Record.

Full report

The Once and Future Publishing Library

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 3:50:00 p.m.

The report explores the revitalization of library publishing and its possible future, and examines elements that influence the success and sustainability of library publishing initiatives.

The authors trace the history of library publishing and factors that have transformed the publishing landscape, and describe several significant library-press collaborations forged over the past two decades. Authors include results of a survey they conducted to better understand how current library publishing initiatives are supported financially. They conclude with a series of observations about the range of publishing initiatives in American academic libraries.

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