Author Archives: jayshree

A special case of academic libraries: military libraries in Chile

In Chile the first institutional library has been created for the Military Academy, currently the Military School of Chile. At inception it had a small bibliographic collection that was intended to provide material for apprentice and specialist teachers and military cadets. As described in the book Nuestro Patrimonio Histórico Militar Un Tesoro de Todos Los Chilenos (Our Military Historical Heritage: A Treasure of All Chileans. Conservation and Dissemination of Historical and Military Heritage, 2013):

In the memory of Guerra of the year 1850, the minister Pedro Nolasco Vidal gave an account to the Congress of the texts that were used to support the teaching of the different branches, among others: that of Fleuri for ancient history; Francoeur for spherical trigonometry; Beauchemin for the French language; that of Andrés Bello for Castilian grammar and that of Liscar and Francoeur for the teaching of cosmography applied to navigation and uranography.

The collection’s development was carried out through donations from the members of the army; material was also requested from Spain, specifically concerning the artillery, such as treaties on weaponry for engineers. In 1870 the library kept 750 scientific and literary volumes.

At that time the topics addressed by military academic libraries were the following: architecture and construction, astronomy, defense, security, mathematics, physics and natural sciences, literature and languages, military art, geography, dictionary and encyclopedias, law, yearbooks, magazines and newspapers, infantry, cavalry and history.

The Military School Library meets the basic requirements of academic libraries but due to its combined military and academic nature it has to include specific resources.  As a result, it keeps unique collections reflecting the history of Chile in Military areas. The access to the Library is open to the general academic world.

In 1885, the bibliographic collection was extended to all army barracks, according to the Minister of War at the time. As a result, a corpus of reference collections was spread throughout the country in every battalion and regiments. This corpus of 200 books initially has been increased overtime.

During the twentieth century the Library of the General Staff of the Chilean Army was created, which later became the Central Library of the Army when it was merged with the War Academy in 1976. Here again, library services remained open to the general academic public, who need to use its special collections.

Currently the School of the Military Library includes a Direction of Libraries, various teams of Librarians and digital and face-to-face services for its internal and external users. Its bibliographic collection amounts to more than 100,000 volumes, some of them of great heritage value, such as the works of different themes and Valuable Heritage, such as the History of Florida by Inca Garcilazo de la Vega, published in Madrid in 1722, or the epic poem Canto General by Pablo Neruda published in 1950.

Currently all military schools and regiments have their own bibliographic collections, including the Center for Military Studies and Research of the Chilean Army, which collection of approximately 6,000 volumes and special resources includes notably security and defense matters. In addition, the Military Geographical Institute can be noted which collections include Chilean planimetry, the first version of the cartographic survey made by the Frenchman Amadeo Pissis (Pierre Joseph Aimé Pissis, 1812-1889) from the 1850s and printed in 1875, an important input for Chilean commanders during the War of the Pacific between Chile and Peru against Bolivia (1879-1884).

References :

Cuaderno de Historia Militar Na1 (Departamento de Historia Ejército de Chile ed., Vol. 1). (2005). Ejército de Chile

-Chrysostom M. Ximena. Evolución Histórica de la Biblioteca de Escuela Militar. Santiago 2012. Unpublished research.

Nuestro Patrimonio Histórico Militar Un Tesoro de Todos Los Chilenos Corporación Conservación y Difusión del Patrimonio Histórico y Militar, 2013.


Camila Muñoz Churruca

Librarian of the Center for Military Studies and Research of Chile

IFLA ARL Standing Committee 2017-2021



BnF’s new Digital Roadmap: the ultimate travel companion in the Digital Countries of the National Library of France… and beyond

What you see in the image below is the Digital Roadmap of the National Library of France (BnF):  []. Whether you want to follow the footsteps of Artificial Intelligence, explore the digitization region or discover the way the Library shares its infrastructures and skills, you’ll find on this map a comfortable, welcoming place to spend your time. It displays a panoramic and comprehensive view of the Library’s digital life in order to help people find their way and work together in this complex ecosystem on a day-to-day basis. Its regions are surrounded by the Knowledge Ocean; its lands extend beyond the map’s borders, open to numerous partnerships, tools, projects and ideas.

This edition of the Library’s Digital roadmap follows two very different ones (in the late 2000s and the mid-2010s []). It is the result of a collective approach involving about 150 people, that still supports the digital transformation of the Library today. The medium chosen is quite unusual, drawing inspiration from both the Library’s collections of maps and plans, for example from the “Carte de Tendre” (map of Tender) tradition of the courteous French literature tradition (, and also from card games. Metaphor is used to bring humanity and poetry to digital issues, to enable a common understanding of a complex subject and to promote the Library’s vision for the future:

  • Ever more accessible
  • Responsible and ethical approaches
  • Towards renewed catalogues and cataloguing
  • The foundations of digital heritage of the 21st century
  • A library devoted to long-term digital preservation worldwide

This edition also shows the increasing importance, currently, of issues related to the working environment at the Library, for both staff and users – something we were already thinking about before the 2020 lockdown.

Several must-see spots are particularly recommended to Academic and Research libraries lovers: the BnF Data Lab, CartoMundi, Shared heritage, the URL shortener, IIIF,, Digital hospitality, the Digital legal deposit development, Studying, examining, anticipating uses…

Céline Leclaire

Strategic Media Production Officer

Services and Networks Directorate

National Library of France

Generic email address for the

Further readings:

University Library Alliance in the Greater Bay Area of China: the story continues

To support and follow the “One-hour Academic Circle” proposed in November 2016 to foster academic cooperation in the region, the University of Macau Library, the Sun Yat-sen University Library in Guangzhou and the Chinese University of Hong Kong Library initiated to establish the “Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau University Library Alliance” (GHMULA). The goals of setting up the GHMULA are fourfold:

  • (1) To facilitate the three regions in their move towards the knowledge-based economy era;
  • (2) To deepen academic exchanges and research cooperation among them;
  • (3) To promote the cooperation among the major university libraries;
  • (4) To provide support to the development of the Greater Bay Area in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.

The member libraries of the GHMULA are from major universities and institutions in the Greater Bay Area of China. The alliance encompasses 29 member libraries: 13 from Guangdong, 9 from Hong Kong, and 7 from Macau. (Member Libraries). Shortly after the setting up of the alliance, the GHMULA has established cooperative projects on interlibrary loan, document delivery, exchange of publications, and exchange and training of library professional to foster deeper collaboration among member libraries. Apart from these collaborations, five major events were held since the inception of the alliance:

Looking ahead, it is anticipated that more cooperative projects and further collaborations will be set up by the GHMULA to drive the development of the academic libraries in the Greater Bay Area of China.

Further reading:

Leo F.H. Ma

Head, Upper-campus Libraries

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

Experiencing Covid-19 as a catalyst for change in the academic Library, from ICT to CPD: an Ugandan perspective

March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived at our doors unannounced. Life nearly came to a standstill for several countries and we have experienced lockdowns since then to curtail the spread of the virus. As I write this article, Uganda is under partial lockdown since 7th June 2021 as the second wave of the virus takes its toll. The effect of such measures has devastated almost all aspects of life, but also fostered positive change in many sectors : opportunities have come forth as we struggle for normalcy.

In the education sector, teaching and learning has been greatly disrupted and for a few months in 2020 went into limbo. Sadly, while most of the universities had running subscriptions to e-learning platforms like Moodle, Blackboard and Google suites, the adoption of e-learning had remained slow. This phenomenon, especially in public universities, has been attributed to several factors that include technological,copyright, inadequate information communication & technology (ICT) skills, mind-set challenges, etc. (Mutisya & Makokha, 2016). When in-person/physical classes stopped in Uganda, universities reawakened amidst scattered resistance from students to implement online learning and retrieved the archived online learning policies, now critically opportune.

A lasting legacy of the COVID-19 experience and a key element of online learning is the need for an electronic library collection. Furthermore, the need for remote access to library resources as we implement e-learning cannot be overemphasised. University libraries in Uganda have been subscribing to electronic resources, both e-books and e-journals, for several years, through projects funded by development partners (Kawooya, 2007). But low usage statistics (Kinengyere, Kiyingi, & Baziraake, 2012) have been reported over the years. For the academic library, such a time presents an opportunity to review and step up our digital services portfolio to improve teaching and learning in new normal” times.  Besides the e-resources that are a characteristic of the academic library, there’s need for other e-services. This includes e.g. conducting virtual information literacy sessions to equip library users with required skills, so that they confidently navigate the plethora of information resources available in the public space.

As the library transitions into unprecedented mandatory online operations so does the need to equip the library staff with the requisite digital skills. These are meant to support students and staff to adequately access and utilise the digital resources. Such skills include, but are not limited to: public relations and customer care with an online community; copyright education; social media engagement; working with faculty to link course content on the e-learning platforms; e-collection / e-resources development; and virtual reference build-up.

Whereas library service has been an in person service, the pandemic challenges this tradition.  This entails the need for a paradigm shift to remote library service. So how does the library in this part of the world continue to provide quality service to the library users where it is reported that only 28% of the population has access to the Internet at home and only 17% have access to the computer at home (ITU, 2021) ? It is paramount to be innovative and re-invent service models to meet the needs of the university community that is scattered all over the country. Therein is an opportunity for electronic document delivery of journal articles and scanned chapters, bearing un mind that such practices have not been the norm so far.

On the flip side, what does remote library service mean for library staff? Can library staff handle the tasks to be undertaken remotely? Just like the community served, they might be challenged with access to computers and Internet access. Thus, the transition to remote and increased digital work calls for increased university investment in technology (both software and hardware) in addition to access to the Internet to facilitate usage and sharing of documents.

Continuous professional development (CPD) is inherent to career development of any professional. The many benefits of physical conferences notwithstanding, the virtual conferences or workshops presents opportunities when registration fees make them affordable and accessible especially for professionals from low income countries. The implication of this option is that several librarians can attend without worrying about accommodation, air tickets, visa costs and restrictions that we endure when planning a conference attendance outside your country.  I hope that a virtual option can remain an option for all conferences post COVID.  

For all the opportunities discussed above, their success hinges on policies put in place to guide their implementation, such as:-

i. e-learning policies – to regulate and govern e-learningincluding use of  library e-resources
ii. Library policies
iii. Human Resources (HR) policy especially to cover the remote work arrangement, work related expenses for library staff working from home

The concept of the library without walls has been brought closer than planned for many libraries in the developing world. But rather than bemoan the lack of preparation, the academic library in the developing countries should embrace the change and come up with new services, models and procedures to work within the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Eliz Nassali State

University Librarian, Kyambogo University, Uganda




ITU. (2021). Digital trends in Africa 2021 : ICT technology trends and developments in the Africa region, 2017-2020. Retrieved from
Kawooya, D. (2007). Copyright and access to e-resources in Africa’s education and research contexts : the case of selected Ugandan institutions. Retrieved from
Kinengyere, A. A., Kiyingi, G. W., & Baziraake, B. B. (2012). Factors affecting utilisation of electronic health information resources in universities in Uganda. Alis, 59(2), 90-96. Mutisya, D. N., & Makokha, G. L. (2016). Challenges affecting adoption of e-learning in public universities in Kenya. E-Learning and Digital Media, 13(3-4), 140-157. doi:10.1177/2042753016672902

Open Access in Finland: down the long road

A national goal for open scholarship

Finland is among the many countries that have a vision of moving towards more open scholarship. The journey toward open scholarship was started in 2014-2017 by the Open Science and Research project of the Ministry of Education and Culture, after which the coordination work was passed on to the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. This Open Science National Coordination has brought together researchers, universities, libraries, funding bodies, archives, and publishers to work together towards the common goal. There are four expert panels : “Culture of open scholarship”, “Open data”, “Open access” and “Open education”,  that invite all interested parties and have dozens of working groups to address a diverse selection of issues.

The first goal post was reached in December 2019, with the Declaration for open science and research, which has since been signed by 66 organizations. It presents a vision for the whole Finnish research community in which open science and research has become an integral part of the researcher’s everyday work where the fundamental value of openness improves the quality and societal impact of the research outputs.

This declaration is to be followed by four policies to outline the strategic principles, objectives and action plans necessary to achieve the objectives set out in the Declaration. The first part to be completed was the policy Open access to scholarly publications – National policy and executive plan by the research community in Finland for 2020–2025; this will be completed with policy components for monographs, professional publications and non-textual research publications. Then came the Policy for the Open Education and Educational Resources, to be completed with a policy component on open educational practices. The policy for Open Scholarship and The policy for Open Access to Research Data and Methods are at drafting or commenting stage. All the documents will be supplemented by guidelines and recommendations, with more detailed instructions for each subject. All the documents are accessible for the whole community to comment on and have been discussed in several open workshops, thus even better incorporating the community’s voice in the finalized texts.

National consortium negotiates Read & Write agreements

FinELib, the Finnish national consortium for acquiring electronic resources, has also been negotiating open access elements into the journal package deals. Currently, there are 12 agreements with open access elements, including Read & Write agreements with major publishers like Elsevier, Springer, Taylor & Francis and Wiley. Some of the agreements (Wiley, Emerald, SAGE, ACS, and IEEE) cover both hybrid and fully Open Access journals; in other agreements, Open Access publishing is limited to hybrid journals only.

These negotiations have had a great impact on the openness of research outcomes. The number of research articles opened due to the consortium agreements has risen from just 214 in 2017 to almost 2900 in 2020. A 65 % rise in open articles from 2019 to 2020 was spurred by the long-negotiated transformative agreements with Taylor & Francis and Wiley. The newly minted Elsevier agreement for 2021-2023 is expected to almost double the amount of open publications.

 The road ahead

Whereas many steps have been taken towards a more open scientific world, the work continues. The national expert panels will engage the community in forming the rest of the policy documents and recommendations. The universities and other research organizations are updating their own policies and ensuring that researchers have all the support they need to conduct research in an open way, including open data management, open access publishing and the tools for more open teaching practices. As we can see, a shift in the culture of research and education is slowly taking place.

Mari Aaltonen

Head of Library Resources

Aalto University



Building a quality-proof open-access publishing platform

Many academic libraries are looking for help and support when building a quality-assured open access (OA) publishing platform. Anyone thinking of setting up such a platform will go through the same key Open Access logo PLoS white greenquestions: “What are the key points to consider when establishing a publishing platform?”, “What resources are available to set it up?” and “How can I show that our platform is trustworthy and meets the required quality standards?” Here are some of the key aspects you need to consider.

Key factor Nr 1: Project management

The first thing to remember is that you need to apply the principles of project management just as you would with any other project. The first step is to develop a clear concept for the platform in order to define its purpose. Equally important is a project schedule.

  • Choosing the content: The first question to ask yourself is whether your institution wishes to support so-called “green” OA or enable users to pursue the “gold” OA route. “Green” OA, or self-archiving, means making a version of a previously published work available through a repository, while “gold” OA means that the published work is available for anyone to access immediately upon publication. Various other questions need to be addressed. For example, will you also allow users to publish research data? Might there be reasons for not immediately making everything freely available in open access? Should you offer an embargo function in such cases to ensure articles are made freely accessible after a set embargo period? How long should this embargo period be? You also need to decide which types of publication the platform will accept. Will the focus be on journals, books or congresses? And what impact will this have on how the publishing process is structured? For example, review procedures typically differ from one discipline to the next. The question of licensing (e.g. Creative Commons) should also be clarified as early as possible. To make sure everyone involved has a clear and transparent overview of their rights and obligations, these points should be summarised in a publicly accessible policy.
  • Tackling the technology: Once you have decided on the content, you can find the best technical infrastructure for your platform by asking another series of questions: Which is the most suitable system for the concept you have chosen? Should it be an open-source system? Is there any reason why buying a system might be better? What technical resources do you already have in place? This includes issues such as system stability and performance; for example, do you expect your publishing operations to expand in a way that might require a scalable server? Storage capacity is another point to consider: if you are only planning to publish one journal, or perhaps only text, you will need less capacity than if you are planning to publish multiple journals or to allow authors to publish their research data. Digital preservation is equally important. Do you already have in-house solutions to ensure the long-term preservation of publications on the platform? What interfaces will the platform need to link to these solutions? Do not forget that accessibility issues and data protection regulations need to be taken into account right from the start!
  • Setting a schedule: The more accurately you can plan your project schedule, the easier it will be to calculate the resources needed, human or otherwise. Many of the stages in the project will be interlinked, but a good project management system will bundle these together and support you in keeping tabs on progress. What are the deadlines for completing the platform’s various technical development milestones? When do you expect to publish the first items on the platform? When is the best time to begin marketing the platform and acquiring publications? Who should be kept updated about the platform and its development? When should they be informed? Will you need to schedule workshops on how to use the platform?

Remember: Development projects often take longer than planned, so make sure to include plenty of extra time in your calculations to give yourself a buffer.

Key factor Nr 2: Resources

Financial resources are another of course paramount. Check which ones are already available and what additional resources may be required. Then calculate all the costs as precisely as possible, including the cost of materials as well as labour.

  • Human resources: The human resources required will depend on the concept chosen for your platform. For example, do you intend to provide the infrastructure required for publishing? Even if you provide nothing else apart from the technical system, you will still need to budget for time spent on technical support. If you intend to offer additional services on the non-technical side – such as an editorial team to proofread, edit and potentially manage the whole review process – you will need to add on the cost of the staff required to do this. On top of these services, you may also wish to offer advice on the publishing process and copyright issues in order to establish closer ties with researchers. This will require a publishing manager who can take care of tracking the publishing workflow and acquiring new publications. You should also budget for a project manager during the development of the publishing platform. Their job is to monitor the development of the platform and bring together everyone involved to ensure rapid action is taken in the event of any problems. When planning these roles, make sure to clearly specify the skills and knowledge – technical or otherwise – that each candidate will need to have. Will you be able to recruit staff from your existing workforce who would happily take on these new tasks? Perhaps after receiving further training or additional qualifications? Or will you need to recruit new candidates and prepare the corresponding job descriptions?
  • Material costs: The cost of building a publishing platform infrastructure should not be underestimated. Even if you opt for an open-source solution, you will still need to carry out minor development tweaks to customise the platform. You will also need to find the best solutions for maintaining and hosting the platform. How many servers, virtual machines and licences will you need to budget for? And how will you solve the minor yet important issues such as website security certificates?

Ultimately, the cost of these resources will depend on whether you award a contract to a third-party development company following a corresponding tendering process, or whether you can rely on dedicated in-house expertise that can be invoiced internally.

Remember: There may be research organisations in your country that offer funding for developing this kind of infrastructure.

Key Factor Nr 3: Quality

Whether you choose the “gold” or “green” route of open access publishing, quality assurance is another important factor you need to take into account. You can find useful tips on how to tackle this aspect by consulting the guidelines and recommendations published by the German Initiative for Network Information (DINI e.V.;, for example. These guidelines can even be used as a basis for getting your platform certified. One of the best-known international developers of quality criteria and the corresponding standards is the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA; Organisations that fulfil OASPA’s criteria are eligible to become members. This effectively turns OASPA membership into a ‘seal of quality’. One of the key initiatives in the field of publishing ethics is the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE; We recommend referring to their criteria at least on the website or in your publishing policies. Other important initiatives include OpenAIRE ( and Plan S ( ), both of which define quality criteria that platforms must comply with if they wish to include publications that were funded by the partners.

Evaluation criteria generally include the platform’s accessibility and visibility, the availability of interfaces and statistics, and compliance with legal provisions, digital preservation guidelines and sustainability requirements. Platforms that meet these requirements are regarded as meeting the highest quality criteria and standards and are therefore perceived as trustworthy by both editors and authors.

In a nutshell:

Before making the decision to set up a publishing platform, bear in mind that it requires considerable resources. On the plus side, your researchers will be able to enjoy a trustworthy, quality-assured publishing platform. In the meantime, however, there are also many partners in the public sector that offer open-source systems as cooperative solutions while handling all the hosting and maintenance tasks. These include the Open Journal System (OJS;, as well as the PUBLISSO system ( run by ZB MED.

Designing a concept for your publishing platform is a complex task, so it can be helpful to discuss and share your ideas with others. Support in this area is available from multiple sources, including members of the working group of German‐language university presses (AG Universitätsverlage) and the DINI Electronic Publishing working group (DINI e-Pub), who have many years of experience working in this field.

Further reading:

[1] The guide was developed as part of the SynOA-Pub project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It is based on interviews with software developers who have worked on publishing platforms as well as on ZB MED’s own experience in setting up the PUBLISSO gold OA publishing platform and the PUBLISSO Repository for Life Sciences. The guide takes into account the established standards required to obtain a DINI certificate and to meet the requirements stipulated for Plan S compliance.
Cf. Beringer C, Arning U (2020), Guide for establishing Gold and Green Open Access Publishing Platforms, DOI: 10.4126/FRL01-006421133.

Ursula Arning

ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences


Teaching Research Data Management to PhD students at the University of Tartu, Estonia: from skills to ethics

Open science is mainly about open access to publications and open research data, ensured by open licenses. Although Estonia does not have a clear-cut open science policy yet, our researchers have been involved in Open Science because, on the one hand, it is required by the European Commission and, on the other hand, it is practised by scientific communities worldwide.

University of Tartu (UT) Library has been proactive in the open data field since 2014, and having taught the basics of research data management since 2015. About 400 doctoral students have passed the elective PhD course “Introduction to Information Research” containing a research data management (RDM) module.

We realised from the feedback of this course that the subject of data management needed a more thorough discussion and a separate course, thus the library, in cooperation with the UT Natural History Museum, created the

 E-course for PhD students: Research Data Management and Publication

 The course is updated and held twice a year both in Estonian and in English. In 2020, the course was nominated as one of the best six e-courses in Estonia and it was granted a quality mark.


The guiding principle of the course is that graduate students should be able to create a data management plan and publish their own research data in a machine-readable format on a data management platform called PlutoF  To achieve this goal, two subject modules were developed to cover the entire lifecycle of research data:

1st module, taught by the UT Library1. Introduction to Open Science
2. Data Management Plan (DMP). Doctoral students create a data management plan based on their own research data using the DMP online tool. They can consult with their supervisor, the related Principal Investigator (PI) of the said research and the research group, and apply DMPs in their work. Students get individual guidance, feedback and evaluation.
3. Open Data Search. Searching openly shared research data and evaluating related metadata significantly improves students’ FAIR data skills: they learn from good and bad examples how to make their own data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.

2nd module, the PlutoF Data Management Platform

This module is suitable for students working with biodiversity data; it provides step-by-step guidance and feedback, explaining how to publish one’s research data in machine-readable format.

All the work done on the course is also part of doctoral students’ daily work, so they get credit points for completing the course and the result – their DMP   can right away be used in planning and managing their research.

Proper data management is not only about data – it is also the guarantee of research integrity.
So RDM is also a part of the elective course for PhD students curated by the Ethics Centre: Research Integrity: Framework Requirements, Values and Principles of Action.

 Students’ feedback

“This course has been very eye-opening.  The DMP is the foundation! As the French poet/writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said: “A goal without a plan is just a wish””.

“I especially liked the practical homework of creating the DMP and searching datasets through repositories, because these are very practical skills that I can use further on”.

“As there is no formal training for student supervisors, this course would be great for them where they can refresh their knowledge and understanding or improve and learn new skills. Because research management is critical for Masters and PhD students”.

Based on  feedback from students, we can see that early career researchers are very willing to practice open science. They bring their knowledge and skills to research groups, ensuring proper data management and publication to get credit for all research-associated activities.

Their contribution to bottom-up activities can also support and accelerate the creation of Open Science policy for Estonian research institutions.

Tiiu Tarkpea
Data Librarian
University of Tartu Library, Estonia