"The British Library Hack Is a Warning for All Academic Libraries"


The British Library’s computer systems were recently attacked by the notorious ransomware group Rhysida. The attack led to many of the Library’s core systems remaining unavailable for months and the auction of 573GB of employees’ personal data on Rhysida’s .onion site. Though the Library is slowly recovering and has admirably published their cyber-incident review paper openly, the incident highlights failures of senior management and devaluing of library technical skills that are widely applicable to libraries across UK higher education.

https://tinyurl.com/bdex73fv

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"Evaluating an Instructional Intervention for Research Data Management Training "


At a large research university in Canada, a research data management (RDM) specialist and two liaison librarians partnered to evaluate the effectiveness of an active learning component of their newly developed RDM training program. . . . This study relies on a pre- and post-test quasi-experimental intervention during introductory RDM workshops offered 12 times between February 2022 and January 2023. . . . Comparing the overall average scores for each participant pre- and post-instruction intervention, we find that workshop participants, in general, improved in proficiency. The results of a Wilcoxon signed-rank test demonstrate that the difference between the pre- and post-test observations is statistically significant with a high effect size.

https://tinyurl.com/2wvt5bhj

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University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at Simon Fraser University


In alignment with What’s Next: The SFU Strategy (https://tinyurl.com/yc3z9k87) and SFU Library’s Strategic Plan (https://tinyurl.com/mr33r3fk) the Dean will lead the continued transformation of the library; will sustain, support and grow library initiatives; and will be committed to furthering decolonization and reconciliation (per the statement at (https://tinyurl.com/55284ns4), diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. As an accomplished librarian with strong experience in post-secondary and academic environments, the Dean will lead through collaboration and relationship building to advance the mission and mandate of SFU and SFU Library. Reporting to the Provost and Vice-President Academic and working closely with the Office of the Vice-President Research and International as an active partner in the life cycle of research and scholarship, the successful candidate serves as a member of SFU’s senior administration with shared responsibility for the overall strategic leadership and management of the institution. Building on the strong foundation that SFU has established in academic and research excellence,

https://tinyurl.com/mryakkd9

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"Fair Use Rights to Conduct Text and Data Mining and Use Artificial Intelligence Tools Are Essential for UC Research and Teaching"


The UC Libraries invest more than $60 million each year licensing systemwide electronic content needed by scholars for these and other studies. (Indeed, the $60 million figure represents license agreements made at the UC systemwide and multi-campus levels. But each individual campus also licenses electronic resources, adding millions more in total expenditures.) Our libraries secure campus access to a broad range of digital resources including books, scientific journals, databases, multimedia resources, and other materials. In doing so, the UC Libraries must negotiate licensing terms that ensure scholars can make both lawful and comprehensive use of the materials the libraries have procured. Increasingly, however, publishers and vendors are presenting libraries with content license agreements that attempt to preclude, or charge additional and unsupportable fees for, fair uses like training AI tools in the course of conducting TDM. . . .

If the UC Libraries are unable to protect these fair uses, UC scholars will be at the mercy of publishers aggregating and controlling what may be done with the scholarly record. Further, UC scholars’ pursuit of knowledge will be disproportionately stymied relative to academic colleagues in other global regions, given that a large proportion of other countries preclude contractual override of research exceptions.

Indeed, in more than forty countries—including all those within the European Union (EU)—publishers are prohibited from using contracts to abrogate exceptions to copyright in non-profit scholarly and educational contexts. Article 3 of the EU’s Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market preserves the right for scholars within research organizations and cultural heritage institutions (like those researchers at UC) to conduct TDM for scientific research, and further proscribes publishers from invalidating this exception by license agreements (see Article 7). Moreover, under AI regulations recently adopted by the European Parliament, copyright owners may not opt out of having their works used in conjunction with artificial intelligence tools in TDM research—meaning copyrighted works must remain available for scientific research that is reliant on AI training, and publishers cannot override these AI training rights through contract. Publishers are thus obligated to—and do—preserve fair use-equivalent research exceptions for TDM and AI within the EU, and can do so in the United States, too. . . .

In all events, adaptable licensing language can address publishers’ concerns by reiterating that the licensed products may be used with AI tools only to the extent that doing so would not: i. create a competing or commercial product or service for use by third parties; ii. unreasonably disrupt the functionality of the subscribed products; or iii. reproduce or redistribute the subscribed products for third parties. In addition, license agreements can require commercially reasonable security measures (as also required in the EU) to extinguish the risk of content dissemination beyond permitted uses. In sum, these licensing terms can replicate the research rights that are unequivocally reserved for scholars elsewhere.

https://tinyurl.com/4fvpdz35

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The Research Data Services Landscape at US and Canadian Higher Education Institutions


The following are our high-level findings:

  • While there are wide divergences in the number and variety of services offered both within and across Carnegie Classifications, R1 institutions offer approximately three times the number of services offered by R2s, and more than nine times the number offered by liberal arts colleges.
  • General research data services are the most common type offered regardless of institution type. Statistical services, geospatial services, and visualization services are also common at research universities, which typically offer a much wider range of specialized services than liberal arts colleges.
  • Libraries remain the largest provider of research data services at US and Canadian research universities, but IT and units associated with the research office play important collaborative roles, especially with specialized services.
  • Bioinformatics services are offered almost exclusively through the interdisciplinary units associated with the research office or core facilities associated with medical schools.
  • Consulting services are the most common mode of service provision, comprising almost three quarters of all data services.

https://doi.org/10.18665/sr.320420

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"Are Price, Value, and Openness the Most Important Scholarly Communication Priorities?"


Specifically, academia has an enormous stake in imperatives like ensuring the trustworthiness of the scholarly record, providing for the platforms through which humans and machines will engage with scholarship, and addressing the atomization of the scholarly article. These topics demand collaboration by academia and research publishers. The current investments in developing AI-powered tools that support scholarly communication — and in resisting some of the challenges posed by the use of AI — makes these kinds of partnerships only more important and urgent. But how can academia and publishers build the basis for stronger collaboration when so much of the relationship in recent decades has been adversarial?

https://tinyurl.com/ppmucwn5

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"Guest Post — Shared Print & Sustainability through the Looking Glass"


The collective tolerance of decision-makers for investing significant resources in retaining collections of potential rather than immediate value is decreasing. The solution is to encourage a diversity of organizations to design services that increase or release the value of the print we steward. As long as print continues to be published, there will be opportunities to link authors, ideas, and publishing aesthetic trends as well as libraries and users. Transforming print collections at academic libraries identifies ways in which print collections can serve as learning tools, literacy aids, and opportunities for using print in new ways collections that aren’t on the fast track to digitization. The library community needs to investigate even more ways to innovate with print.

https://tinyurl.com/5byncjun

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OCUL [Ontario Council of University Libraries] Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence Report and Strategy: Interim Report


This report describes use cases for machine learning relevant to the OCUL consortium and recommends projects utilizing machine learning technologies. It also considers key contextual issues such as ethical concerns, technical capacity, available expertise, and infrastructure needs. All sections are drafts with some sections more fully developed than others

https://tinyurl.com/38cjdn9p

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"Using AI/Machine Learning to Extract Data from Japanese American Confinement Records"


Purpose: This paper examines the use of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning to extract a more comprehensive data set from a structured “standardized” form used to document Japanese American incarcerees during World War II.

Setting/Participants/Resources: The Bancroft Library partnered with Densho, a community memory organization, and Doxie.AI to complete this work.

Brief Description: The project digitized the complete set of Form WRA-26 "individual record"’ for more than 110,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated in War Relocation Authority camps during WWII. The library utilized AI/machine learning to automate text extraction from over 220,000 images of a structured "standardized" form; our goal was to improve upon and collect information not previously recorded in the Japanese American Internee Data file held by the National Archives and Records Administration. The project team worked with technical, academic, legal, and community partners to address ethical and logistical issues raised by the data extraction process, and to assess appropriate access options for the dataset(s) and digitized records.

https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.850

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"The Implementation of Keenious at Carnegie Mellon University"


n the fall of 2022, the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Libraries began investigating Keenious—an artificial intelligence (AI)-based article recommender tool&mdashfor a possible trial implementation to improve pathways to resource discovery and assist researchers in more effectively searching for relevant research. This process led to numerous discussions within the library regarding the unique nature of AI-based tools when compared with traditional library resources, including ethical questions surrounding data privacy, algorithmic transparency, and the impact on the research process. This case study explores these topics and how they were negotiated up to and immediately following CMU’s implementation of Keenious in January, 2023, and highlights the need for more frameworks for evaluating AI-based tools in academic settings.

https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.800

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Paywall: "Evaluating the Performance of ChatGPT and Perplexity AI in Business Reference"


The Thomas Mahaffey Jr. Business Library conducted a study to assess the performance of two competing generative AI products, ChatGPT and Perplexity AI, in answering business reference questions. The study used a data set consisting of a sample of anonymized reference questions submitted through the library’s ServiceNow ticketing system between January 2018 and May 2022. The questions were input as prompts to each competing AI. . . . Results showed similar and underwhelming performance between each AI at the composite level. Analysis of scores in each individual scoring dimension showed greater variance in the score distributions between the competing AI. Through the evaluation process, key strengths, weaknesses, and trends emerged between each AI.

https://doi.org/10.1080/08963568.2024.2317534

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Paywall: "Leveraging ChatGPT and Bard for Academic Librarians and Information Professionals: A Case Study of Developing Pedagogical Strategies Using Generative AI Models"


This study focuses on improving pedagogical strategies by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots and library databases. Examples from ChatGPT and Bard were used to demonstrate the quality of information. A cross-examination using a research validation template was conducted; it revealed that no artificial hallucinations were produced. However, the information provided by both AI chatbots was slightly outdated based on organizational changes and did not provide an in-depth analysis of the company.

https://doi.org/10.1080/08963568.2024.2321729

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"Using CHATGPT-Generated Essays in Library Instruction"


This case study details a library instruction activity developed by a team of academic librarians, which intended to leverage experiential learning to make students and faculty aware of the function, capabilities, and limitations of text-generating artificial intelligence (AI) tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The activity is described, with its development connected to key instructional theories and frameworks.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2024.102863

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"Establishing a Library as an Open Science Partner for Economic Research through Impact-Oriented Public Relations Work"


The article describes how ZBW — Leibniz Information Centre for Economics is working to strengthen its perception as a competent partner and promoter of Open Science for its target group of economic researchers. This article describes the challenges, goals and opportunities of impact-oriented communication for libraries using the example of the ZBW. The article describes the path from the challenges and goals of the concrete communication activities and the evaluation of the impact-oriented communication work.

https://doi.org/10.53377/lq.15060

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"E-book Acceptance by First-Year Undergraduate Students: A Longitudinal Examination and Implications for Library Researchers"


The frequency of electronic book usage by students, according to the research described here, appears fairly positive. On a six-level scale, ranging from 1 (I don’t use it at all) to 6 (I use it several times a week), the average score was 3.27, and the most frequent response, was "Use several times a month" (n = 84, 28 %). This suggests that, on average, students tend to use e-books approximately once or twice a month.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2024.102847

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"Realities of Academic Data Sharing (RADS) Initiative Releases Reports on Expenses of Making Data Publicly Accessible, Project Methodology"


This report presents data on the average yearly cost of DMS activities for institutional units, as well as direct DMS expenses incurred by researchers per funded research project. These expenses were then analyzed together, showing an average combined overall cost of $2,500,000 (with total institutional expenses ranging from approximately $800,000 to over $6,000,000).

http://tinyurl.com/5xsw32we

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"The University of North Carolina Selects Ex Libris Library Solutions"


As part of its transition to Ex Libris library platforms, UNC will implement:

  • Alma and Primo
  • Leganto, Ex Libris’ course resource management system
  • Library Mobile, Ex Libris’ integrated mobile library app and
  • Rapido, Ex Libris’ interlibrary loan system

http://tinyurl.com/rvumvpeh

More from UNC:

Who:

Appalachian State, UNC Asheville, UNC Charlotte, Fayetteville State, NC Central, NC State, NC A&T, UNC Pembroke, UNC School of the Arts, Western Carolina, UNC Wilmington, and Winston-Salem State.

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White Paper: AI Perceptions at the University of Baltimore


This white paper, produced by the UBalt AI team, explores the perceptions of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and generative AI within the UBalt community. It aims to uncover how students, faculty, and staff view AI’s role and implications in the educational landscape. The university collaborated with Ithaka S+R to acquire established, reliable and valid surveys from the AI literature, which was then adapted by the UBalt AI team to meet the needs of our academic community. This survey included a blend of both quantitative and qualitative questions, ensuring a deep understanding of the respondents’ views. . . . The responses obtained were then analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, as well as an exploratory qualitative analysis to extract meaningful insights, setting the stage for informed discussions and decision-making around AI in education.

http://tinyurl.com/mr47zx3j

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"ChatGPT in Medical Libraries, Possibilities and Future Directions: An Integrative Review"


Positioned as a review, our study elucidates the applications of ChatGPT in medical libraries and discusses relevant considerations. The integration of ChatGPT into medical library services holds promise for enhancing information retrieval and user experience, benefiting library users and the broader medical community.

https://doi.org/10.1111/hir.12518

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"The Nelson Memorandum: How Two HELIOS Members Are Responding"


The fall 2023 Texas Open Science Summit (TOSS)9 raised awareness about the importance of the Nelson Memorandum and continued UT’s discussions about open scholarship and public access compliance, incentives, and good practices. This forum offered a publicly visible opportunity for scholars and open access advocates in the region and state of Texas to learn more about the federal Year of Open Science and support structures at UT. . . .

Building on a long history of open access support, the CSU Libraries has since created the Advanced Research and Scholarship Support group,10 providing resources for data management planning and openly sharing research outputs. The working group hosted the Opentober Event, highlighting initiatives and support services for furthering open scholarship and public access compliance at CSU.

https://tinyurl.com/4dtdjfjw

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"TMU Libraries Immersion Studio: Overview of a Shared Immersive Tech Initiative to Enhance Education" (Video)


[This video] shares TMU’s [Toronto Metropolitan University’s] experience implementing a shared immersive extended reality environment to support teaching, learning, and research. The briefing includes specific domain examples and discusses the impact, limitations, and future of TMU’s Immersion Studio.

https://tinyurl.com/52664v32

From: "Edition Guide Coalition for Networked Information Pre-Recorded Project Briefing Series November 2023"e;

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IFLA AI SIG: Developing a Library Strategic Response to Artificial Intelligence


The strategy most aligned to existing library practices and librarian identities, particularly in university, school and public libraries, is to take a lead role in promoting AI literacy. There is a widespread understanding that the public, as citizens and workers need to understand the new technologies. Students, whatever discipline they are studying, need such knowledge for employability. . . .

AI literacy is likely to include the ability to identify when AI is being used; to appreciate the differences between narrow and general AI; to understand what types of problem AI is good at solving; to understand how machine learning models are trained. It would also include awareness of ethical issues such as bias, privacy, explainability and social impact.

https://tinyurl.com/s6r6czrh

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"Emerging Quality Assurance Practices in the Library of Congress Web Archives"


Building sustainable quality assurance practices is a challenge for today’s preservationists, who want to be sure that content preserved in web archives is not only the correct content, but in working order. This often means that archived web content should be replayed via Wayback rendering software in good fidelity when compared to the original website. The exponentially growing scale of web archives necessitates a multipronged approach to identify what is (and is not) being preserved, and where improvements can be made. This paper will explore actions that can take place iteratively throughout the web archiving life cycle, as part of a larger system of review where multiple individuals can contribute, including non-technical Library staff and subject matter experts. The processes described are part of a novel workflow in the Library of Congress Web Archiving Program.

https://tinyurl.com/2p9b4pve

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"ARL Statistics 2022 Publications Describe Resources, Services of Member Libraries"


These three publications present information describing the collections, staffing, expenditures, and service activities of 123 of the Association’s 126 member libraries in 2022. Of these 123 members, 118 are university libraries (16 in Canada and 102 in the US); the remaining 5 are governmental, nonprofit, and public research libraries in the US. The law and health sciences publications focus on the 72 law libraries and 57 medical libraries among the Association’s membership that completed the law and health sciences surveys.

https://tinyurl.com/mrxaej4e

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"ARL Annual Salary Survey 2022 Reports Data on Professional Positions in Member Libraries"


The median salary for professionals in US ARL university libraries in 2022 was $80,454, an increase of 4.0% over the 2021 median salary of $77,353. The US CPI rose 8.5% during the same period. The Canadian CPI rose 7.6%, and median salaries in Canadian university libraries increased 1.9% from $105,431 (Canadian dollars) to $107,426 (Canadian dollars). The median salary for US federal, nonprofit, and public ARL libraries decreased by 11.3 from $90,197 in 2021 to $80,009 in 2022.

https://tinyurl.com/bdzjh3ex

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