Overcoming Barriers: Access to Research Information Content

The Research Information Network has released Overcoming Barriers: Access to Research Information Content.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Based on the findings of five studies, the report investigates the nature and scale of key restrictions on access to information resources of importance to researchers; the impact of these restrictions and the ways in which they might be alleviated or overcome.

The report examines the frequency with which researchers encounter problems in accessing content; researchers’ perceptions of the ease with which they can gain access and the issue of researcher access to information resources in the public and private sector which are not formally published and which are often subject to copyright restrictions. It also reviews academic and research libraries arrangements to provide access to researchers who are not members of their institutions.

The report’s key finding is that access is still a major concern for researchers. Although researchers report having no problems finding content in this age of electronic information, gaining access is another matter due to the complexity of licensing arrangements, restrictions placed on researchers accessing content outside of their own institution and the laws protecting public and private sector information. This means that research into important information resources can be missing. Researchers report that they are frustrated by this lack of immediate access and that this slows their progress, hinders collaborative work and may well affect the quality and integrity of work produced.

UC Berkeley Media Vault Program Progress Report

The University of California, Berkeley's Media Vault Program has posted a progress report.

Here's an excerpt:

Media Vault Program partners offer a number of specialized tools to help campus researchers manage their materials. These include:

  • WebGenDL (UCB Library Systems) — the library's internal system for managing, creating, preserving and discovering digital library content. These tools are aimed primarily at mature, publishable sets of materials, rather than the broader context of research data
  • UC3 Curation Micro-services — a set of low barrier tools for full lifecycle enrichment of objects (e.g., identity, fixity, replication, annotation). The first few will be rolled out publicly in January 2010. These are presented not as a user interface, but rather as behind-the-scenes services
  • Sakai 3 — the next-generation version of the platform that powers the Berkeley campus's bSpace application. Due in 2011, Sakai 3 will include a range of social tools to help users extend and disseminate their materials

To augment these services, and to handle use cases beyond their scope, the MVP team examined a number of potential platforms. . . .

Of these candidates, Alfresco stands out as the most functional, out-of-the-box solution. With a little customization, it can be readied for user testing. Therefore, the MVP team has selected it as the basis of its next round of discussions with stakeholders, partners and prospective users.

Read more about Alfresco at the AlfrescoWiki.

Web Services Librarian at Georgia State University

The Georgia State University Library is recruiting a Web Services Librarian.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

This position works both independently and collaboratively to provide expertise in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of current and future web interfaces and technologies that provide user access to the Library's resources and services. The incumbent identifies policy, technical, and programmatic needs of the Library’s web site and various web applications running locally or from hosted services.

The Web Services Librarian collaborates and leads discussion with library employees, committees, groups, and departments regarding website and application interface functionality. The Web Services Librarian will provide leadership on website policy and technical standards, and adhere to those standards/policies while creating a supportive, collaborative atmosphere working with the Department Head and management to establish policies and procedures, priorities, and timelines. Other responsibilities include maintaining current awareness of digital library technologies and actively participating in local, national, and international meetings and organizations. As a faculty member, the incumbent will serve on library committees and engage in scholarly activities.

The Web Services Librarian reports to the Head of Digital Library Services and supervises two Web Programmer Analysts, student workers, and Graduate Research Assistants as needed.

Research Information Systems in the Nordic Countries: Infrastructure, Concepts and Organization

Nordbib has released Research Information Systems in the Nordic Countries: Infrastructure, Concepts and Organization.

Here's an excerpt:

This report is commissioned by the Nordbib programme, and is based on a web survey of the current status of CRIS (Current Research Information Systems) and IR (Institutional Repositories) in the Nordic countries.

The survey has been conducted to investigate how Nordic higher education institutions collect and present their research output. Do they use Institutional Repositories and/or Current Research Information Systems, are these systems separate or integrated, what software is used, and how are they staffed and financed? An important part of the survey was to analyse the perceived needs for national and Nordic coordination and support regarding such specific issues as rights management, central search services, educational and promotional materials etc. The survey results are presented against international developments in Open Access, both historical and current.

University of Ottawa Adopts Comprehensive Open Access Program

The University of Ottawa has adopted a comprehensive open access program.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The University's new program includes:

  • a commitment to make the University's scholarly publications available online at no charge through the University's repository, uO Research;
  • an author fund to help researchers defray open access fees charged by publishers;
  • a fund to support the creation of digital educational materials organized as courses and available to everyone online at no charge;
  • support for the University of Ottawa Press's commitment to publishing a collection of open access books; and
  • a research grant to support further research on the open access movement.

The University of Ottawa also becomes the first Canadian university to join the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE), adding its name to a list of prestigious institutions including Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Berkeley. The signatories of this compact make a commitment to support open access journals that make articles available at no charge to everyone while providing the same services common to all scholarly journals, services such as management of the peer review process, production and distribution.

University of Ottawa researchers have already participated in many significant open access projects. These projects include developing the Canadian Creative Commons license, which ensures authors retain the right of attribution and that their work is accessible; under the leadership of Michael Geist and Ian Kerr, the publication of legal texts that are made available at no charge; and the founding of Open Medicine and Aporia, two open access journals in the fields of medicine and health sciences.

"I am proud that our university is the first one in the country to introduce a comprehensive open access program. Canada's university has become Canada's Open Access University," said Allan Rock, president and vice-chancellor at the University of Ottawa. "The fruit of our faculty's contributions to academic research will now be more visible, freely accessible and shared with the world."

ARL Academic Law Library Statistics 2007-2008

The Association of Research Libraries has released ARL Academic Law Library Statistics 2007-2008 (print version also available).

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published the ARL Academic Law Library Statistics 2007-2008, which presents data that describe collections, expenditures, personnel, and services in 75 law libraries at ARL member institutions throughout North America.

In 2007-2008, the reporting law libraries held a median of 345,935 volumes, spent a total of $215,630,657 and employed 2,129 FTE staff. Expenditures for materials and staff accounted for the bulk of total expenditures, at 47% and 45% respectively. Respondents reported spending a total of $20,345,053 for electronic materials (this was 22% of their total materials budgets); this includes a total of $17,200,532 for electronic serials.

See also ARL Law Statistics Tables 2007-08 (XLS file).

Presentations from the 5th International Digital Curation Conference

Presentations from the 5th International Digital Curation Conference are now available. (Thanks to the Digital Curation Blog, which has provided extensive coverage of the conference.)

First Day

Day Two

ARL Academic Health Sciences Library Statistics 2007-2008

The Association of Research Libraries has released ARL Academic Health Sciences Library Statistics 2007-2008 (print version also available).

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published the ARL Academic Health Sciences Library Statistics 2007-2008, which presents data that describe collections, expenditures, personnel, and services in 64 medical libraries at ARL member institutions throughout North America.

In 2007-2008, the reporting health sciences libraries held a median of 240,955 volumes, spent a total of $240,019,298 and employed 2,304 FTE staff. Expenditures for materials and staff accounted for the bulk of total expenditures, at 49% and 42% respectively. Respondents reported spending a total of $81,986,136 for electronic materials, or an average of 76% of their total materials budgets; this includes a total of $76,921,558 for electronic serials.

See also ARL Health Sciences Statistics Tables 2007-08 (XLS file).

Director, Library Digital Initiatives at University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia Library is recruiting a Director, Library Digital Initiatives.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

University of British Columbia Library is seeking an energetic, creative and experienced leader, capable of envisioning, developing and implementing the UBC Library's digital strategy and infrastructure all within the context of a rapidly changing environment.

This work will include providing stewardship and leadership to creating and developing the Libraries' digital services program; providing conceptual direction to the library's existing and future digitization services and projects, and defining and shaping the work of staff engaged in digital initiatives.

The position will collaborate with staff and departments to assess the appropriateness and applicability of digital initiatives projects and will steward the planning, development and implementation to ensure projects support the library's goals. Additionally, the position will provide leadership to the development of supporting metadata thereby enabling effective creation and management, search, discovery, and presentation as well as long term digital preservation.

The Director will provide strategic leadership to specific activities involving copyright, standards, digital projects and cIRcle and will be involved with matters relating to usability studies, materials preparation,costing/budget analysis; proposals for digitization work. This position also participates in the work of the Library Operations Management Group. 

The Director, Library Digital Initiatives will advocate for the program and give presentations locally, nationally and internationally. The Director will lead cooperative activities within the University and the Community essential to program development. The position will represent UBC Library nationally and internationally and undertake professional responsibilities which will foster long term relationships and support the goals of the UBC Library.

This position reports to the University Librarian, works Library-wide and closely with all levels of staff to develop and implement digital initiatives strategies and projects and provides strategic leadership to staff involved in library wide digital activities and projects including cIRcle, Scholarly Communications, Copyright, Standards, Digitization Projects.

ARL Statistics 2007-2008

The Association of Research Libraries has released ARL Statistics 2007-2008 (print version also available).

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published the ARL Statistics 2007-2008, the latest in a series of annual publications that describe the collections, staffing, expenditures, and service activities of ARL's 123 member libraries. Of these member libraries, 113 are university libraries (14 in Canada, 99 in the US); the remaining 10 are public, governmental, and private research libraries (2 in Canada, 8 in the US).

ARL libraries are a relatively small subset of libraries in North America, but they account for a large portion of academic library resources in terms of assets, budgets, and the number of users they serve. The total library expenditures of all 123 member libraries in 2007-2008 was more than $4.1. billion; of that total, over $3.1 billion was spent by the 113 university libraries and $1 billion was spent by the 10 nonuniversity libraries.

See also ARL Statistics Tables 2007-08 (XLS file).

File Formats for Preservation

The Digital Preservation Coalition has released File Formats for Preservation.

Here's an excerpt:

File formats are the principal means of encoding information content in any computing environment. Preserving intellectual content requires a firm grasp of the file formats used to create, store and disseminate it, and ensuring that they remain fit for purpose. There are several significant pronouncements on preservation file formats in the literature. These have generally emanated from either preservation institutions or research projects and usually take one of three approaches:

  • recommendations for submitting material to digital repositories
  • recommendations or policies for long term preservation or
  • proposals, plans for and technical documentation of existing registries to store attributes of formats.

More recently, attention has broadened to pay specific attention to the significant properties of the intellectual objects that are the subject of preservation. This Technology Watch Report has been written to provide an overview of these developments in context by comparative review and analysis to assist repository managers and the preservation community more widely. It aims to provide a guide and critique to the current literature, and place it in the context of a wider professional knowledge and research base.

RADAR Repository Services Development Manager at Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes University's Directorate of Learning Resources is recruiting a RADAR Repository Services Development Manager.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

Oxford Brookes has recently launched its blended institutional repository, RADAR (Research Archive and Digital Assets Repository). Based in the library, you will take the lead and co-ordinate the development of the RADAR research repository as a service across the university. You will also work closely with the e-Learning Systems Developer to provide advice on the development of the Brookes learning objects repository.

David Prosser Named Executive Director of RLUK

David Prosser has been named the Executive Director of RLUK (Research Libraries UK).

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

RLUK is very pleased to announce that David Prosser has been appointed Executive Director. David joins us from SPARC Europe, where his leadership and advocacy skills have played a critical role in the success of the European Open Access movement.

The Chair of RLUK, Dr Mark Brown of the University of Southampton said: "We are delighted that David will be joining us as our new Executive Director. David brings ten years' experience of shaping strategic thinking for an active membership organisation, and encouraging partnerships and collaborations which can bring together librarians, publishers, and funders. We look forward to David playing a key role in delivering our exciting new strategy."

David Prosser said: "It is a great honour to join RLUK as the new Executive Director. These are exciting times for research libraries in terms of new delivery of content, use of physical space and the ways in which researchers and students use our collections. They are also potentially difficult times as public spending tightens and decisions need to be made on priorities for the future. Now, more than ever, the UK community needs to speak with a strong voice to ensure that the case for research libraries is heard. We also need to look for innovative collaborative solutions for budgetary issues. I look forward to working with the Board, members, and RLUK staff to address these issues and help fulfill the RLUK vision of ensuring that the UK should have the best research library support in the world."

University Library Systems Manager at Tufts

Tufts University is recruiting a University Library Systems Manager.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

University Library Technology Services (ULTS) provides technology planning and systems infrastructure to support the services of all Tufts libraries at three campuses. Our primary mission is to provide highly available and secure systems to permit acquisition; cataloging and classification; identification; location and authorized access by the Tufts community to general shared physical and electronic collections, ultimately in support of the teaching, learning, and research mission of the University. Millennium is the library's integrated system which includes the university's library collections database, as well as acquisitions, cataloging and circulation functional modules. Our services are high-use, high-profile and extended to users with rare exceptions for 24/7 service.

The University Library Systems Manager provides technical systems support for the shared technology services of the five Tufts Libraries including primary management and support of the libraries' Innovative Interfaces Millennium server.

"Citing and Reading Behaviours in High-Energy Physics. How a Community Stopped Worrying about Journals and Learned to Love Repositories"

Anne Gentil-Beccot, Salvatore Mele, and Travis Brooks have self-archived "Citing and Reading Behaviours in High-Energy Physics. How a Community Stopped Worrying about Journals and Learned to Love Repositories" in arXiv.org.

Here's an excerpt:

Contemporary scholarly discourse follows many alternative routes in addition to the three-century old tradition of publication in peer-reviewed journals. The field of High- Energy Physics (HEP) has explored alternative communication strategies for decades, initially via the mass mailing of paper copies of preliminary manuscripts, then via the inception of the first online repositories and digital libraries.

This field is uniquely placed to answer recurrent questions raised by the current trends in scholarly communication: is there an advantage for scientists to make their work available through repositories, often in preliminary form? Is there an advantage to publishing in Open Access journals? Do scientists still read journals or do they use digital repositories?

The analysis of citation data demonstrates that free and immediate online dissemination of preprints creates an immense citation advantage in HEP, whereas publication in Open Access journals presents no discernible advantage. In addition, the analysis of clickstreams in the leading digital library of the field shows that HEP scientists seldom read journals, preferring preprints instead.

Digging into Data Challenge Projects Funded

JISC has announced that eight projects have been awarded Digging into Data Challenge grants.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

"Data mining and analysis are not just for scientists" is the message coming strongly out of an international JISC-funded competition, the "Digging into Data Challenge."

Entrants have been challenged to answer the question "what would you do with a million books? Or a million pages of newspapers? Or a million photographs of artworks?" That is, how can analysis done over immense quantities of digital data be employed in humanities and social science research? What would you do with a million books? Or a million pages of newspapers? Or a million photographs of artworks?

Eight international research teams from the UK, US and Canada will be using a variety of data analysis tools to demonstrate that techniques currently used in the sciences can leverage open, new avenues for scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.

The winners of the competition are announced today by the four leading research agencies sponsoring the competition: JISC, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), both of the United States.

Investment from the four agencies together amounts to over a million pounds, allowing new links to be forged across the different countries, as well as breaking down disciplinary boundaries.

Here are the funded projects

  • Data Mining with Criminal Intent: George Mason University, University of Alberta, and University of Hertfordshire
  • Digging into Image Data to Answer Authorship Related Questions: Michigan State University, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and University of Sheffield
  • Digging into the Enlightenment: Mapping the Republic of Letters: University of Oklahoma, University of Oxford, and Stanford University
  • Harvesting Speech Datasets for Linguistic Research on the Web: McGill University and Cornell University
  • Mining a Year of Speech: University of Oxford and University of Pennsylvania
  • Railroads and the Making of Modern America—Tools for Spatio-Temporal Correlation, Analysis, and Visualization: University of Portsmouth and University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Structural Analysis of Large Amounts of Music Information: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, University of Southampton, and McGill University
  • Towards Dynamic Variorum Editions: Mount Allison University, Imperial College, London, and Tufts University

Research Program Manager, Sr. at Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research is recruiting a Research Program Manager, Sr.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

Be a part of a dynamic team in Microsoft Research focused on improving Microsoft's engagement with researchers and academics worldwide-by advancing the state of the art in teaching, learning and scholarly communication. Our team designs, promotes, administers and evaluates projects that target how Microsoft products can evolve to better address the research needs of the higher education community. Through this work, we seek to establish Microsoft Research as a premier partner in advancing the frontiers of "eResearch"—with a specific role focus moving forward on digital humanities work with libraries, cultural institutions, educators and scholars on a global basis. This is accomplished by engaging with top researchers at universities and other non-profit organizations around the world to build proof-of-concept and prototype software based on Microsoft technologies enhancing the linkages between Microsoft software to the research lifecycle. Specifically, this program manager position will help identify important technical trends (focusing in the eHumanities), evangelize Microsoft's technologies, ensure interoperability and participate in activities with academic researchers and cultural institutions to improve our offerings tailored to these communities. This role will also provide support and close collaboration with related efforts in other Microsoft Research labs worldwide. Ideally, we seek a solid program manager with deep experience in using Microsoft platforms and applications to catalyze academic communication and computing. This position is worldwide in scope, so both domestic and international travel is expected.

Duties include: Primary responsibility is focused on overseeing multiple projects with universities and government organizations around the world and writing related specification documentation to support software development. This involves a broad range of activities, including: relationship building and engagement with a broad number of influentials in the education, research, and academic publishing world. Mapping to an existing strategy, this role helps develop and manage projects from initial set-up through to closure, including: concept refinement, negotiating terms and conditions, project set-up, regular progress tracking, detailed documentation of procedures/process, ensuring compliance (reporting, etc), as well as some basic financial tracking. Heavy focus on demonstrating the value of these projects both within the company (internally with product groups and the field sales organization), as well as externally (with government organizations and at academic conferences, etc)—namely external presentations, executive briefings, attendance at conferences as well as project/partner site visits. Domestic and international travel is required.

Cornell University's eCommons Repository Policies

Cornell University's eCommons Policies, which were developed during the last six months by Terry Ehling, Peter Hirtle, Eileen Keating, George Kozak, Oya Rieger, John Saylor, Kizer Walker, and Simeon Warner, are now available.

The following policies are currently in place

  • Content Collection Policy
  • Deposit Policy
  • Access Policy
  • Withdrawal Policy
  • Alteration Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Preservation Support Policy

Data Preservation in High Energy Physics

The ICHFA DPHEP International Study Group has self-archived Data Preservation in High Energy Physics in arXiv.org.

Here's an excerpt:

Data from high-energy physics (HEP) experiments are collected with significant financial and human effort and are mostly unique. At the same time, HEP has no coherent strategy for data preservation and re-use. An inter-experimental Study Group on HEP data preservation and long-term analysis was convened at the end of 2008 and held two workshops, at DESY (January 2009) and SLAC (May 2009). This document is an intermediate report to the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) of the reflections of this Study Group.

Understanding the Costs of Digitisation: Detail Report

JISC has released Understanding the Costs of Digitisation: Detail Report.

Here's an excerpt:

This document is the detailed output of a study to synthesise the experiences of a range of digitisation projects to provide JISC and the digitisation community with an evidence base to support funding allocation, project planning and project and programme management. Case studies are drawn from five digitisation projects that supported this study, and links are provided to other resources that provide supporting information.

Also available: Understanding the Costs of Digitisation: A Briefing Paper.

Head, Library Technology Services at University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee Libraries are recruiting a Head, Library Technology Services.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

An experienced, innovative, and visionary leader, the successful candidate will provide oversight and programmatic guidance for 3 faculty and 10 staff responsible for information technology and digital services at the university's flagship campus. LTS supports a wide range of digital systems and services, encompassing an integrated library system, link resolver and federated search software, next generation search and discovery services, library web development, interlibrary loan system, proxy server, and staff desktop support.

Currently, the Libraries is involved in a number of initiatives including extension of next generation discovery services, development of mobile technologies, consideration of electronic resource management systems, development of a campus digital repository, and expansion of digitization and media streaming services.

Reporting to the Executive Associate Dean, the ideal candidate possesses in-depth knowledge of technology practices and trends in libraries. He/she serves as an effective advocate for the libraries in building and sustaining collaborative relationships with a variety of constituencies, especially campus technology stakeholders.

Multimedia Deposits: Complications and Considerations with Intellectual Property Rights

The Welsh Repository Network has released Multimedia Deposits: Complications and Considerations with Intellectual Property Rights .

Here's an excerpt:

The purpose of this learning object is to explore the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) that may be within multimedia items, and to highlight some of the complications and considerations that need to be taken into account before a deposit of this type can be made into a repository.

Following two short introductions to multimedia and to copyright, questions are then posed on some of the details of copyright within varying item types. Feedback on, and an explanation to, the question's answers are given. Also included is a short exercise looking at what needs to be taken into consideration before allowing a performance video item into a repository. The learning object concludes with a look at Performers' Rights and highlights what repository staff should be aware of in regard to this IPR within potential repository deposits.

Also available as a Zip file.

Project Manager for the OpenAIRE project

The Goettingen State and University Library is recruiting a Project Manager for the OpenAIRE project.

Here's an excerpt from the ad:

Your responsibility will be to manage the project, working closely with the scientific, technical and administrative coordinators of the project by supporting the effective collaboration of all partners, across organisational and technological developments and a broad scale advocacy and awareness programme. . . .

The OpenAIRE project supports the Open Access Pilot conducted by the European Commission in the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7). The project will deliver an electronic infrastructure and supporting mechanism for the presentation and monitoring of research articles (and to some extent related scientific data) funded in seven disciplines (energy, environment, ICT, electronic infrastructures, science in society etc.). The SUB Goettingen acts as the scientific coordinator of the project, and will coordinate the establishment and operation of a "European Open Access Helpdesk System" based on a network of national "Open Access Liason Offices" covering the European Union member states.

Issues Surrounding Syndicated Feed Deposit into Institutional Repositories

Jorum has released Issues Surrounding Syndicated Feed Deposit into Institutional Repositories.

Here's an excerpt:

Repositories offer various ways of depositing resources. This paper examines the issues surrounding the potential offered by a syndicating feed standard such as Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and the ATOM protocol. The distinction is made between notification of metadata, for the purpose of registration and supply of metadata (to support search and subsequent onward linking to the object described being hosted elsewhere) and deposit of the object with metadata (to support its release for others to use).