International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive September 2008

Identifying Factors of Success in CIC Institutional Repository Development - Final Report

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 12:08:58 p.m.

With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the GSLIS Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign undertook a one-year pilot study to investigate advances in institutional repository (IR) development. The project was initiated by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and was designed to learn about successes and challenges experienced by university libraries that had made a substantial commitment to developing and sustaining an IR. Three sites with varying approaches to IR development were studied using the comparative case study method. The cases are highly illustrative of the kinds of progress, but also the tradeoffs, being made in active IR development, and the report provides a provisional baseline for determining realistic goals and promising approaches for IR development at similar institutions.

Go to source:

The Advent of the Gen Y Librarian

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 12:07:03 p.m.

Megan Curran

I have a natural penchant for old-fashioned things. I dress in mostly vintage clothing, play vinyl records and troll used bookstores for dusty old editions. I watch film noir with a longing for a time when men wore hats and trenches and smoke curled languorously around women’s kohl-rimmed eyes. But when I think of my education experience and my future in librarianship, all of the cultivated nostalgia evaporates quicker than those cinematic smoke rings. Style is one thing, but when it comes to learning and working, I’m glad I grew up digital.

Go to source:

Effective Practice with e-Portfolios

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 12:03:15 p.m.

The guide, Effective Practice with e-Portfolios, investigates current good practice in the use of e-portfolios as a support to learning and as an aid to progression to the next stage of education or to employment.

e-Portfolios are not a new concept. In various guises, digital presentations of skills and competences, online records of achievement and action plans with opportunities for reflection have been in use in education for nearly a decade. Tools and systems built for these purposes are now numerous. So what is new about e-portfolios?
During the first decade of the 21st century, there has been increasing interest in the potential of e-learning tools and technologies to support more learner-centred and personalised forms of learning, prompted in part by national strategies for e-learning and initiatives in favour of lifelong and personalised learning.

Go to source:

Using Personas to Understand the Needs and Goals of Institutional Repository Users

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 12:00:58 p.m.

This study shares the results of an effort to understand the needs and goals of future institutional repository (IR) users at the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB). Due to underutilization of IRs at other institutions, the University Libraries at UCB decided it was imperative that insight into users' goals and needs of an IR be gained before design of the repository began. The libraries partnered with faculty and students with expertise in human-computer interaction to study user needs. The results of this study yielded "personas" describing different classes of potential IR users on university campuses, which can be used to guide IR architects in designing repositories that facilitate increased participation.

This insight began with interviews conducted with eight graduate students and twelve faculty members from several disciplines. As described by Miaskiewicz, et al the interview transcripts were then clustered into four unique groups using a new approach based on Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA). The needs of each of the user groups were then represented through a persona, a method used in the human-computer interaction (HCI) field for summarizing and communicating information about a group of users in a personable and empathetic form. The four personas that were uncovered informed UCB's decision makers as to what the goals and needs of potential users were, and these goals tended to contradict assumptions. It was assumed that the users desired an open-access archive of primarily published research materials generated by the faculty and graduate students, but the users actually desired a network where teaching and learning materials are shared, potential collaborators are identified, and participants' research is promoted to institutional colleagues.

Go to source:

The Effectiveness of a Web-based Board Game for Teaching Undergraduate Students Information Literacy Concepts and Skills

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 11:57:19 a.m.

To teach incoming undergraduate students information literacy skills, a research team at the University of Michigan School of Information developed the Defense of Hidgeon, a web-based board game. We opted for a game in lieu of other approaches because what people are doing when they are playing good games is good learning. This article describes the game's backstory, how to navigate its 34-space game board, and special game-play features. The research team invited a class of undergraduate students to play the game, gave monetary awards to winning teams, and interviewed students about their game-play experiences to determine what they learned and obtain their suggestions for improvements to the game. The authors offer three premises for the redesign of the Defense of Hidgeon and discuss these premises with regard to the design of future information literacy games.

Go to source:

eBooks –The End User Perspective

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 11:51:46 a.m.

eBooks form a growing part of the collections at research and academic libraries. Although still in the early stages of adoption, eBooks have demonstrated advantages in the areas of accessibility, functionality, and cost-effectiveness. End users are just beginning to incorporate eBooks into their information experience and research habits. Libraries are eager to learn more about the rate of eBook adoption among their end users and the ways in which users are interacting with eBooks. In 2007, Springer surveyed librarians at six institutions to understand their views on eBook adoption and benefits. In 2008, Springer followed up that study with a survey of end users at five institutions to gauge their usage of and attitudes toward eBooks.

The survey uncovered some encouraging results regarding eBook adoption. Most users were aware of eBooks and had accessed them at least once. Respondents also overwhelmingly said that eBooks are useful and that they would like to incorporate eBooks into their information experience more frequently. These positive findings are supported by additional Springer usage research and studies from independent organizations that have found a surprising level of uptake for eBooks given their relative newness. 

Go to source:

Versioning in Repositories: Implementing Best Practice

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 11:49:31 a.m.

Jenny Brace

The Version Identification Framework (VIF) Project ran between July 2007 and May 2008 and was funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee, (JISC) under the Repositories and Preservation Programme in order to help develop versioning best practice in repositories.

The project was run by partners, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) the University of Leeds] and Erasmus University Rotterdam. It has produced a Detailed Web-based framework, which provides information and guidance about versioning in repositories. The article, ‘Version Identification: A Growing Problem’ published in Ariadne Issue 54 explored the issues associated with versions in institutional repositories and outlined the current research and work carried out to date. This successor article highlights some of the best practice developed within the VIF Project, which is also available in more detail in the framework itself. It also accompanies the event report in Ariadne Issue 55, ‘Which One’s Which? Understanding Versioning in Repositories’ which reported on VIF’s final workshop in April 2008.

Go to source: