IFLA ARL Hot Topics 2019

The presentations from the Hot Topics session at IFLA WLIC 2019 in Athens are now available.

The three Hot Topics broadly coalesced around the “Open Agenda” with energetic discussion around 1) Plan S 2) Training for African librarians to advance the use of Open Educational Resources in the 4IR and the 3) Infrastructure, expertise and services to support OA publishing at the German National Library of Medicine.

Plan S: Revolution or Evolution

Dr Marga Koelen, Research Support Coordinator, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation ITC, University of Twente

Fourth Industrial Revolution and future-ready African Librarians

Dr Nkem Osuigwe, Human Capacity Development and Training, AfLIA

Open Access in the German National Library of Medicine

Dr Ursula Arning, ZB MED Information Centre for Life Sciences

The discussion on Plan S garnered much interest and highlighted some of the feedback received from around the world and the extended commencement point for Plan S from 2020 to January 2021. Differing opinions emerged about whether Plan S is a revolution or another step in the evolution towards OA. While it generated much energy around the globe, opinions were mixed as to whether Plan S is a new business model or a condition set by funders for researchers to get money. As well, it is unequal for EU researchers compared with US researchers.

The African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) is positioning itself to invest in and implement training for African librarians to advance OERs on their campuses. AfLIA considers OERs key drivers for economic development and librarians as key stakeholders to advance the use of OERs. Despite significant challenges to implement a training model for African librarians several ideas emerged about ways to advance OERs. They include professional library associations and information sharing at conferences (onsite or online) to learn from each other. There was strong encouragement for AfLIA to advocate for the role of libraries/librarians as a critical resource in the 4IR in the African Union. Librarians were encouraged to “lean-in.”  They must be willing to see and learn the importance of new skills to help build the 4IR infrastructure. Re-skilling is important.

The infrastructure to support OA publishing at the German National Library of Medicine offered an impressive range of services and expertise available to support researchers in green and gold OA.

See: https://www.ifla.org/node/92537?og=43


Lorraine J. Haricombe

Vice Provost and Director,

University of Texas Libraries

University of Texas at Austin, TX USA