My learning round-up from the 2013 UKSG Annual Conference
Phil Sykes – University of Liverpool – Open Access Gets Tough
Is the triumph of OA is now inevitable? Maybe not – the current situation results from a fortuitous combination of circumstances, such as the political involvement of strongly pro-OA individuals. We have to provide strong support for OA through our professional bodies and via skilled advocacy on campus.
“Librarians insulate departments and academics too well from the true costs of their journal subscriptions.” We now have the opportunity to be star actors in the transformation. Nothing is inevitable, it’s time to get to work.
Jill Emery – Portland State University – Mining for gold: identifying the librarians’ toolkit for managing hybrid OA
We need to influence the change in academia not just within scholarly publishing, but also by getting academics involved. Make recommendations to them on where to publish. Don’t wait for the invitation – start the conversation on campus. We need to re-evaluate our budgets and allocate resource for APCs [article processing charges]. Get into marketing and promotion game.
Research and researchers: identity and evaluation Jenny Delasalle – Uni of Warwick – Research evaluation: why is it relevant to librarians?
Snowball metrics project – recipe book now available – sets out best practice for how data can be used to support institutional decision-making
Alt metrics [alternative metrics, linked to social web] – open to manipulation, but so are citation measurements. Opportunities for librarians – the article-level economy is coming, availability of alt metrics will support interest in other kinds of inputs than journal articles. Researchers want someone with technical expertise who can provide answers and reassurance – librarians can do this.
Laurel L. Haak – ORCID – Connecting research and researchers: ORCID ORCID mission: connecting research with researchers
“ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers”
ORCID is to individuals what DOIs are to articles.
Register for your ORCID iD here. Can embed ORCID IDs in workflows e.g. University CRISs, manuscript submission, grant applications, links with repositories, linkage with other IDs like Scopus Switchboard.
The new digital students, or, “I don’t think I have ever picked up a book out of library to do any research – all I have used is my computer” Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC
“A diamond is a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure.” – Henry Kissinger.
Users don’t think that e-resources are library resources. Users are confident in their information seeking and evaluation skills,and they believe that the same info in multiple places means it’s true…
The learning black market – covert online study habits e.g. they use Wikipedia, they don’t cite it, they feel guilty about it. Some admit to citing the references at the end of Wikipedia articles, even when they haven’t read them. “One size fits no-one.”
Idea: Create personas from special collections and use them to make social media accounts more personal.
The student-information relationship: a perspective of its evolution – Joshua James Harding, Warwick Medical School
Having everything on his iPad means he can do clinics and be able to check details, notes, and carry on with confidence. Inkling – interactive ebooks, also called smart or multitouch ebooks, including the option to buy chapters. While he studies a textbook, it studies him – maps his progress in terms of what’s been covered, how long spent on each chapter, sets alerts for him to go back and revise specific areas after set times. Librarians must improve pathways for making this info available to students.
Joshua asks why all paper textbooks aren’t available in e format. Other problems: fragmentation, reduced variety, variable quality, different platforms and formats… “Epubs are horrible as textbooks and I urge you, don’t make them any more!”
“I want to be able to annotate PDFs using third-party apps… I think we all want to see the end of proprietary formats.”
Maximising the Knowledge base – the community-driven initiatives KB+ and GOKb – Liam Earney, JISC Collections
Both projects aim to capture info that libraries need for managing their eresources portfolios and make this information available to other stakeholders too. KB+ and GOKb share interests in licensing, but GOKb has a greater focus on sharing a higher level of information across many institutions.
Issues surrounding quality and availability of data in the supply chain:
- Accuracy (many publishers don’t seem to understand what they publish) e.g. They often can’t make lists of what they publish, or sales/back office have different lists… Laughter in the room as this problem is widely recognised!
- Availability – not all parts of supply chain have access to all info they need; despite huge duplication of effort with many people involved in maintaining various different databases, but which contain broadly the same info
- Interoperability: spreadsheets, library staff, link resolver, publisher rep, JISC Collections – all have different silos of info about an institution’s subscription.
Open data delivers practical benefits e.g sharing and collaboration, improved accuracy, reduced burden on any one element in supply chain.
“The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from” – Andrew Tanenbaum
… But do please choose one! Let your data be promiscuous… Set your data free (but tidy it up first!). Liam noted that titles have longer relationships with institutions than with publishers.
Electronic resources and ILL – a self-contradiction? – Helle Brink, Aalborg University
Helle gave us an overview of inter-library loans in Denmark, and neatly summarised the current situation in which we can often supply digitised print items but have to send print copies of electronic resources (owing to licencing restrictions).
Possible new models for partial access include:
- Updating the definition of “walk-in user” to include electronic walk-in?
- Voucher solutions e.g. 10 articles per year
- Read-only, no download or print
- ILL after embargo e.g. 3 months
- Public access after embargo
- New ideas?
It seems to me that most problems involving e-resources and ILL arise from the nature of the licences for electronic resources the terms and conditions evolved from contracts regulating the use of print resources, and they don’t translate well to the new medium. Maybe it’s time to design e-resources licences specifically for digital media, rather than simply adapting contracts designed for a print environment?
The twenty-year butterflies: which web cookies have stuck in the internet’s pan? – Jason Scott, Archive Team
“There is no rare – there is only expensive” – Juke Joint Johnnie. Jason says, “There is no gone, there is only forgotten. If we take the smallest amount of effort to set up things to be remembered, they will never be forgotten.”
Archive Team recognise three virtues: rage, paranoia, and kleptomania.
“Instead of the cloud, I call it the clown. It’s more descriptive!”
“Tiny URLs are one-time crytographic keypads. We have discovered link shortening services than re-use short URLs. I’m not a Luddite, but too many people are putting too much trust in storing things on the Internet.”
Publishers and librarians: we share the same values – why are we fighting? – T. Scott Plutchak, University of Alabama at Birmingham
“The challenges are technological, cultural, and social.”
“Librarians and publishers – communities that are two key players, but have diametrically opposed views about how to achieve the same goal of making info widely available.”
I disagree that publishers share this goal with librarians. Are publishers really focused on access to information? Would they still be interested if it were not for profit? And the routes into the two careers could hardly be more different – how many publishers do vocational training, or volunteer in the information sector as part of their career development?
I think there is a fundamental difference between librarians and publishers in their perception of the value of knowledge and what happens to it when it is shared – to librarians, sharing knowledge increases its value (especially in research); but to a publisher, knowledge sharing without payment represents lost revenue.
The difference between the price and the value of knowledge, eh…
- A group of us went for a run on Tuesday evening – the inaugural UKSG 5K? Maybe it should be part of the official programme from 2014 onwards!
- A knitting breakout session – another idea for the programme
- Meeting lots of people from other countries who were talking about their work in English has prompted me to acquire some professional vocabulary in other languages. I’m starting with ALA’s Multilingual Glossary, which includes French and Spanish
- Referring to a discovery interface with different resource elements as a “bento box approach” – nice description!
- I think many people still think of UKSG as a serials organisation, but their remit has evolved in recent years and their current mission is to “connect the knowledge community and encourage the exchange of ideas on scholarly communication” – so if you think UKSG isn’t relevant to your role, perhaps it’s worth taking another look?