International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive September 2011

ACRL 2010 Environmental Scan

Friday, 30 September 2011 1:44:01 p.m.

Every two years, the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee produces an environmental scan of higher education, including developments with the potential for continuing on impact academic libraries.  The 2010 environmental scan provides a broad review of the current higher education landscape, with special focus on the state of academic and research libraries. The document builds on earlier ACRL reports, including the Top Ten Trends in Academic Libraries.
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JISC Legal Cloud Computing and the Law Toolkit

Friday, 30 September 2011 1:44:01 p.m.

 The five publications in the toolkit are:
· Report on Cloud Computing and the Law for UK Further and Higher Education - An Overview
· User Guide: Cloud Computing and the Law for IT 
· User Guide: Cloud Computing and the Law for Senior Management and Policy Makers 
· User Guide: Cloud Computing and the Law for Users 
· User Guide: Cloud Computing Contracts, SLAs and Terms & Conditions of Use 

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A New Way to Find: Testing the Use of Clustering Topics in Digital Libraries

Friday, 30 September 2011 1:44:01 p.m.

Using a topic modeling algorithm to find relevant materials in a large corpus of textual items is not new; however, to date there has been little investigation into its usefulness to end-users. This article describes two methods we used to research this issue. In both methods, we used an instance of HathiTrust containing a snapshot of art, architecture and art history records from early 2010, that was populated with navigable terms generated using the topic modeling algorithm. In the first method, we created an unmoderated environment in which people navigated this instance on their own without supervision. In the second method, we talked to expert users as they navigated this same HathiTrust instance. Our unmoderated testing environment resulted in some conflicting results (use of topic facets was high, but satisfaction rating was somewhat low), while our one-on-one sessions with expert users give us reason to believe that topics and other subject terms (LCSH) are best used in conjunction with each other. This is a possibility we are interested in researching further.
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OCLC Research and OhioLINK release report and related data to support understanding of book usage patterns in academic libraries

Friday, 30 September 2011 1:44:01 p.m.

OhioLINK and OCLC Research have released a report of, and the data set used in, a joint study of OhioLINK circulation, to better understand the usage patterns of books in academic libraries and support further research in this area. The study, which incorporated usage data from 2007-2008, was limited to books and manuscripts because these materials typically circulate, and circulation is a significant element in evaluating collections.

The report, OhioLINK—OCLC Collection and Circulation Analysis Project 2011, provides an overview of the study, a description of how the data was analyzed and made available, and suggested uses for the data. The report is accompanied online by an extensive set of Excel spreadsheets that analyze the usage patterns observed in the study.

The data used in the report was from a collaborative OCLC-OhioLINK Collection and Circulation Analysis project that joined OhioLINK circulation data with WorldCat bibliographic records to produce a base file of circulation records for nearly 30 million different books. Ninety institutions participated in the study, including 16 universities, 23 community/technical colleges, 50 private colleges and the State Library of Ohio. The size of the combined collection and the number and diversity of participating institutions make this by far the largest and most comprehensive study of academic library circulation ever undertaken.

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Call for Papers - 33rd Annual IATUL Conference

Friday, 30 September 2011 1:44:01 p.m.

The IATUL 2012 Programme Committee invites proposals for papers and posters for the above Conference.
The Conference will focus on the changing relationship between academic libraries and users brought about by seismic changes in technology and the learning and research environment.

Users are central to libraries and their continued use of library services is crucial for the future of libraries. For a long time, the library as an institution played the critical role of pooling resources to provide users with access to a wider range and depth of information than the individual could otherwise afford. At the same time, library services and functions evolved to support learning and research endeavours through the effective use of those pooled resources.

Today, students, academics and researchers are drawn by an extremely open learning and research environment enabled by technology that offers unbeatable convenience, ubiquitous connectivity and attractive social networking. It is therefore important for institutional intermediaries like libraries to develop new strategies and services to engage users more effectively in the new environment.

We welcome papers and posters that address issues related to these concerns. Your proposed paper could focus on one of the following areas:
(A) Technology and innovations in libraries and their impact on learning, research and users.

(B) Changes in learning, research and information needs and behaviour of users.

(C) Trends, possibilities and scenarios for user-centred libraries.

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The Big Deal: Not Price but Cost

Friday, 30 September 2011 1:44:01 p.m.

First introduced by Academic Press (AP) in 1996, the Big Deal—in which publishers sell online subscriptions to large bundles of electronic journals—is now the principal means by which academics access research literature. When it was introduced, the Big Deal was widely seen as a solution to the so-called serials crisis, and both publishers and librarians embraced it enthusiastically. However, the Big Deal today is the biggest bugbear for librarians and currently the focus of a face-off between U.K. librarians and publishers. How did an initiative that was once viewed so positively become an object of dislike and derision? What is the solution?

In the early 1990s, scholarly publishers were increasingly concerned about what had become known as the serials crisis. With journal subscriptions rising at about 10% per annum, library budgets were struggling to keep up, and every time the price of a journal increased, a few more libraries canceled their subscriptions. This led publishers to increase prices further, which triggered another round of cancellations. It was a vicious cycle that many felt threatened to destroy the 350-year-old scholarly publishing system.
One of the publishers puzzling over this problem was Jan Velterop, then-European managing director at AP. Velterop created a graph extrapolating what AP would have to charge for a typical journal if its subscription base fell away, down to a single remaining subscription. It was a scary picture of the future publishers faced unless something changed.

To add to the challenge, publishers knew they needed to start making their journals available electronically, which they saw as a major organizational challenge. As Velterop explains today, “We feared there would be massive administrative overhead of authentication of different portfolios of journals to different customers.”
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Collecting Global Resources, SPEC Kit 324, Published by ARL

Friday, 30 September 2011 1:44:01 p.m.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published Collecting Global Resources, SPEC Kit 324, which explores the trends, practices, and challenges in collecting global resources in North American research libraries at a time of political and economic change, on the one hand, and of significant change in scholarly communication and collection management strategies, on the other. It covers global resources collections (including an overview of expenditures, collecting trends, sources of funding, and acquisition strategies), staff and organizational structure, preservation strategies, and discovery, public service, and outreach.

The survey results clearly demonstrate that support for global resources in North American research libraries is strong and predicted to remain so in the foreseeable future. Budget and space challenges, as well as increasing electronic access to resources with resulting changes in research habits of students and faculty, will create new and different patterns in collection growth. In response, many ARL libraries either already have or are in the process of creating organizational structures that facilitate intense outreach activities, in-depth reference, and collaborative collection development.
This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents that describes print and digital global collections, collection development policies, examples of research guides, and organization charts.
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