Author Archives: vicki

Open access in Singapore

Author: Yeo Pin Pin, Head of Research Services, Singapore Management University Libraries

Academic libraries in Singapore support Open Access and Open Science trends in the world. Some of the trends can be seen in the ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit. Let me outline how we have supported these trends in Singapore.

Open access repositories

Starting from 2005 with the first institutional repository (IR) by the National Institute of Education (NIE), the academic libraries in Singapore progressively launched their own IRs: Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in 2009, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU) in 2010. The latest IR was launched by the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) in 2021.

The platforms used for the IRs are either open source on DSpace or commercial platforms like Digital Commons and Figshare. NIE, NUS and NTU use DSpace and engage a vendor to help them manage the technical side. SMU uses the hosted solution by Digital Commons and SIT uses Figshare. The library staff of the IRs in Singapore focus on supporting institutional policies, integration with internal systems, building content and promoting usage and engagement within the community.

Content in repositories

The IRs in Singapore showcase the research done at their institutions by having records, and the full text where possible, of publications by their researchers and faculty members. The IRs in Singapore also include theses and dissertations. The IRs in Singapore have good discoverability and downloads.

Some of the unique content available in NUS Digital Gems include the papers of Edwin Thumboo, Koh Kim Yam and the Earl of Cranbrook. The NIE IR has the manuscripts of Dr Muhammad Ariff Ahmad. The SMU IR has the oral history interviews and transcripts with the pioneers who set up SMU and the leaders who helmed SMU subsequently.

Historical newspapers from Southeast Asia published in Chinese, Jawi and English were digitised and made available open access in NUS Digital Gems. Recordings of musical performances from the NUS Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music are another unique offering in the NUS IR.

Growth in open access publications

Using the data in, the growth in the number of open access publications in Singapore has been steady and has grown to 50% in 2021 from 11% in 2000.

Let us look at the breakdown by type of open access in Singapore using the data in Singapore started with more green open access publications than gold open access from 2000 to 2019. From 2020, the number of gold open access publications exceeded green open access. Bronze open access publications was 7% in 2021 with hybrid at 10%. We have not seen bronze open access increasing in proportion in Singapore, as found by Piwowar, et al (2018).

The above charts show the growth in percentage of open access publications over the past 20 years. The type of open access has also shifted, from mainly green with less gold open access to more gold and less green open access. From 2019, there were more gold open access publications than green open access publications in Singapore. This was possibly aided by funders allowing grant funding to be used for article processing charges and more awareness of the benefits of open access.

Open Data and Open Science

NTU was the first institution to have a research data policy which was effective in 2016. NIE also had their Data Management Plan and Research Data Management Policy in place by 2017 and revised by 2021. SMU crafted its research data policy in consultation with the library, the schools and the faculty and the policy was in effect from January 2020. SIT put in place their research data policy in 2021. The libraries in Singapore had worked with their respective research offices and key stakeholders to put in place the infrastructure to support the policies. The other institutions are working on their policies.

NTU Library has an Open Science & Research Services team to focus their efforts on creating awareness and advocating the best practices in open science among the NTU community. At SMU, we have a Data Services team to focus our efforts on providing services for accessing, managing and working with data for our community. The libraries in Singapore organise and conduct learning sessions about relevant topics on open science for their own community. Together we are also working to raise awareness about open science in Singapore through organizing events that are open to the academic community. Some examples were the webinar on Institutional repositories and sensitive data in 2020, and COAR Asia OA Meeting in 2021 organised by the Singapore Alliance of University Libraries’ Research Support Task Force.

Data repositories

NTU launched its data repository (DR) on the Dataverse platform in 2017, followed by NIE in 2018 using the same platform. In 2018, NUS enhanced its existing repository on the DSpace platform to take in datasets. In 2020, SMU launched its DR using the Figshare platform. In 2021, SIT launched its integrated repository for both papers and data using the Figshare platform.

There is recognition that not all data can be made open. Hence, NUS, NIE and NTU set up systems to store the data that was still in-progress or sensitive.

Research funders

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) put in place an open access mandate in 2013 and set up an IR to support their researchers to comply with the mandate. In 2016, the major research funders in Singapore introduced a common clause that required that the publications arising from their funded research be made open access within 12 months of the official date of publication in a suitable repository. The funders then allowed the use of the grants for Article Processing Charges. These changes provided incentives to researchers to make their publications open access and even gold open access.

Publisher agreements

NUS Libraries had negotiated deals with several publishers for discounts on the Article Processing Charges (APCs) for NUS authors. The Singapore Alliance of University Libraries (SAUL) has a committee working on negotiating with selected publishers for better terms and conditions for the group and exploring whether transformative deals would work in the Singapore context.


In Singapore, we follow the trends closely and then work within our own institution to implement those that suit the needs of our institutions. We also collaborate and learn from each other about best practices. Open access is on a strong footing now after steady growth over a decade. We are trying out some deals with publishers to make publishing open access and gold open access easier for our researchers.  We are supporting and promoting Open Data and Open Science and this area is still new for us, but we hope to make further progress in this area.



Association of College and Research Libraries. (2022). Scholarly Communication Toolkit. Available at:

Conrad, Lettie. (2022, January). 5 scholarly publishing trends to watch in 2022. Available at:

Dempsey, Lorcan. (2022, April). Workflow is the new content. Presented at Digital initiatives Symposium. Available at:

Hayashi, Kazuhiro. (2021). How could COVID-19 change scholarly communication to a new normal in the Open Science paradigm. Patterns, 2 (1), 100191. DOI: 10.1016/j.patter.2020.100191

Ooi, Lian Ping. 2021. Open access and open science in Singapore. Presented at COAR Asia OA Meeting. Available at:

Piwowar, Heather, et al. (2018). The state of OA: a large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles. PeerJ, 6, e4375. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4375


Links for repositories in Singapore

Writing Open Access Policies: Experience in Sciences

Author: Ursula Arning (ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences; TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences)

The goals of Open Access (OA) are to provide unrestricted access to scientific information and increase the visibility of scientific findings, thereby improving and facilitating the sharing of scientific knowledge worldwide. Writing an open access policy is an effective way to enable these goals.

This post offers specific suggestions for writing an effective policy. It also examines how to get the right balance between the requirements of individual institutions and the need to keep the wording of such a policy as standardised as possible, given international cooperation between academics and scientists.

Why is an open access policy important?

One of the primary purposes of an OA policy is to enable organisations to send a signal to the outside world. When it comes to evaluations, research funding applications, and other key activities, a commitment to OA is politically desirable and attracts significant support.

Efforts to advance OA also send a clear signal within the institution, thereby helping to ensure that open science becomes a core part of people’s daily work. Such efforts can include giving employees concrete guidelines on publishing under OA and the measures it uses to encourage it. Therefore, it is helpful to provide the OA policy to new staff as part of their welcome package.

For larger organisations, such as non-university research institutions, a centralised OA policy can be a useful instrument for the institutes that operate under its umbrella; firstly, because it reduces the workload of these individual institutions and, secondly, because it encourages a homogeneous approach to dealing with OA on both an operational and strategic level.

Who should be involved in drafting the OA Policy?

The main target audience of an OA policy comprises the members of the institution who conduct research and publish. However, the policy is also aimed at employees who provide more general support and impetus for OA, such as open access coordinators and/or members of the management team. As discussed above, the OA policy also serves as a position paper that outlines the institution’s attitude and intentions to research funders and political supporters.

All staff (directors, researchers and librarians) must work together for the successful implementation of a policy.

“The successful design, implementation and acceptance of an OA policy requires dialogue among the institution’s members about these goals and their significance. One of the key strategic tasks of the management team is to stimulate and sustain this dialogue and to provide reliable support to the institution’s members as they seek to put the agreed steps into practice.” (WR 2022, p. 59).

What are the key elements of an OA policy?

The content and the wording of an OA policy will depend on the type of organization and the objectives of the policy. The policies can run anywhere between a single page and well over ten pages. Below are the component parts of an OA policy. They are not in priority order nor will every policy include all parts, depending on the requirements of the specific institution.

Background or introductory statement:

An open access policy defines why the institution supports and promotes OA and how it promotes it (e.g. by covering the payment of fees such as APCs). It represents a commitment on the part of the institution, which is why many OA policies start by providing information about the institution.

Definition of OA and/or place of publication:

Ideally, the policy should define what is meant by the term OA, which models of OA the institution supports, and whether it is committed to green OA (self-archiving) and/or gold OA (immediate publishing of the work in an open access journal).

Support for the publishing process:

Most OA policies provide detailed recommendations on how to make members’ publications open access. These recommendations should be accompanied by an advisory service that is highlighted and promoted in the policy. To keep the policy clear and concise, and to ensure it remains valid in the long term, it is preferable to list any detailed step by step publishing workflows in a separate document, such as a set of publishing guidelines.

Determination of licensing terms / Reference to author’s rights:

Licensing terms warrants explicit mention in the OA policy. This serves as a reminder to authors of the importance of preserving the rights to their publications. Based on the principles of OA, institutions are encouraged to specify the use of a particular licence (e.g. a Creative Commons licence; ideally the CC-BY licence, which grants the most freedom).

(Figure 1: CC licences Wikimedia Commons 2013,


State what financial support will be available for OA. This might include information on which fees will be covered or reference to an existing publication fund. It is equally important to point out any options that may be available for acquiring third party funding in order to ensure that all the funding avenues are explored from the start, including external options.

Establishing policy timelines:

The policy should clearly state the deadlines by which each measure will be implemented. In many cases, institutions opt to specify a percentage of publications that they intend to publish under OA by a certain date. It is also advisable to set a deadline by which the institution intends to implement its OA workflows. This serves to highlight the binding nature of the policy.

Assignment of roles and responsibilities:

The policy should clearly define roles and/or responsibilities for each individual measure. In the case of larger institutions, it is important to clearly define what lies within the central office’s sphere of responsibility and what is the responsibility of subordinate bodies and/or individual researchers. In the case of independent institutions, the responsibilities should also be clearly divided between the executive departments (e.g. library or knowledge management department) and the employees. Such a division provides useful clarification and makes it easier to contact the right person in the event of any questions. It is generally better to avoid using personal email addresses to prevent information from becoming outdated.


Monitoring the OA measures is another useful way to create a sense of commitment. It provides useful information on which publishing channels the institution uses in the long term while also building up a central record of all its publication output. In Germany, you could provide this data to OpenAPC (INTACT n.d.) in order to help foster the transparency of OA as a whole, as described above.

Further measures:

In the case of institutions that encompass a broad range of disciplines, such as universities, it is often important to point out how publishing behaviour differs between them. This can create a greater sense of cohesion and help accommodate researchers from disciplines in which OA is not as firmly established. It may also be worthwhile to provide relevant research funding policies.

Consider making explicit reference to the commitment to OA as an editor or reviewer which can help boost OA and provide a useful incentive if this commitment is tied to positive connotations such as performance-related funding allocations or positive results in evaluations. Including explicit requests for managers to enable their staff to publish under OA can be equally useful.

When an OA policy includes research data, include any embargo periods that may apply.


The OA policy can also be a useful starting point for an institution to establish closer ties with its researchers. It is therefore advisable to include a short section at the end, which includes details of who to contact concerning OA.

As the OA movement itself is evolving rapidly; the policy should therefore state the date on which it was drafted and, where applicable, indicate that it is subject to regular updates. Best practice would also be to publish the policy under a CC  BY licence, not only to set a good example, but also to make it easier for other institutions to draft their own policy in the spirit of OA.

How should an open access policy be worded?

Policies can be worded with varying degrees of strictness; in the words of Fournier (2017, 21), they may be phrased “more as an appeal, as a recommendation, or as a mandate with a greater or lesser degree of strictness”. The style in which the OA policy is worded will have implications for how it is implemented within the institution. The Sherpa Juliet database, for example, specifies “requires” and “encourages” as categories (Sherpa Juliet n.d.).

A policy, of course, can also employ gradations in phrasing when it comes to expressing whether green OA and gold OA are more of an expectation or an obligation. Even though, from an OA perspective, it is better for a policy to have a “binding” character, there may be local circumstances that justify wording the policy more as an appeal, at least at first.


It is highly advisable for all institutions to draft an OA policy. To make its position clear, the institution drawing up such a policy should bear in mind both the wider community and the institution itself. Such a policy is a clear public statement that the institution believes in the principles of OA and actively supports them. This can be advantageous for funding applications, evaluations and other circumstances. An OA policy also sets out in-house guidelines for staff, especially researchers, on how and where they should publish their work in order to help improve the accessibility of their scientific articles. It does this by specifying certain publishing and advisory services that meet its goals.

The adoption of a clear (binding) position is to be encouraged, even though certain disciplines may be justified in toning down some of the wording to phrase it more as a recommendation than a mandate.

Nonetheless, however much an institution wishes to mould its OA policy to its in-house requirements, it is still important to agree on standards that will facilitate international research cooperation. In the case of researchers who have to collaborate on both national and international levels while also complying with the requirements set by funding bodies, “it can be challenging for authors to accommodate all of these differences while still remaining committed to each of the various sets of guidelines” (Fournier 2017, 23).

OA is constantly evolving, so any OA policy will need to be updated on a regular basis. It is also important to frequently review the OA policy components described above to check that they are still applicable. (Last updated: May 2022)



Fournier, Johannes (2017): Open-Access-Policies und ihre Gestaltung durch Forschungsförderer (Open Access Policies and How They Are Shaped by Research Funders). In: Praxishandbuch Open Access, edited by Konstanze Söllner and Bernhard Mittermaier, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Saur, pp. 21-27. (In German; last updated: 19.01.2022).

INTACT (o.J.): Transparent Infrastructure for Article Charges. (last updated: 22.05.2022)

Sherpa Juliet (o.J.): Research Funders’ Open Access Policies. (last updated: 22.05.2022)

Wissenschaftsrat (Hrsg. 2022): Empfehlungen zur Transformation des wissenschaftlichen Publizierens zu Open Access. DOI: (Stand 22.05.2022).


Wikimedia Commons (2013): Ordering of Creative Commons licenses from most to least permissive.png.

Leabharlanna i mBaile Atha Cliath (Libraries in Dublin)


Author: Jim O’Donnell, Arizona State University

Ireland is a country that has worked very hard on building its brand around the world, as befits a small country with a rich tourism industry.  As IFLA prepares at last to bring the World Library and Information Congress to Dublin this summer, we should remember to appreciate the Irish tradition in librarianship.  I have a tiny fragment of that history to tell you.

The title to this blog entry is in both of the official languages of the Republic of Ireland.  I framed it that way to remind us of the distinctiveness of the culture and the challenges it has faced.  Colonized by England and long oppressed, emerging from that shadow only with huge and painful difficulties in the twentieth century, and still in a relationship with the UK marked by potentially explosive tensions (as I write, the UK government is working very hard to exacerbate those tensions for the benefit of their ruling party), Ireland stands now stronger than ever before as a unique and distinct nation with an outsize part to play in the affairs of the world.

Traditionally known as the land of saints and scholars (hmmph, we muttered into our beer when I was a student there decades ago, priests and pedants more like it!), Ireland had a rich cultural heritage before Roman and Christian influences were felt.  While WLIC participants are in Dublin, they will undoubtedly visit the Long Room in Trinity College Library, the most iconic library space in the world and home to fabulous treasures of medieval Irish culture – soon to close for three years of necessary renovation.

But I might encourage at least a few to walk a few blocks to the Royal Irish Academy in Dawson Street and ask to see the Cathach of Columcille.  I can’t tell whether it will be on display, but it’s worth the ask.  This is a Latin manuscript of the Psalms that scholarly experts date to the sixth century CE, and it comes with a story.  It was discovered in the 19th century inside an elaborate protective case where it had been kept for at least three hundred years since it was put into safekeeping by the family that owned it at the time Irish independence was collapsing and the great princely families were hunkering down.

The story about this manuscript is that it was copied in the hand of St. Columcille himself (St. Columba for the Latin spelling) from an original that belonged to another man.  When he had done copying, the owner of the original filed, yes, a copyright lawsuit, the first in history, against Columcille and the matter went to the local king for adjudication.  “As the calf belongs to the owner of the cow,” said the king, “so the copy belongs to the owner of the original book.”  You can sniff the whole future of copyright legislation and debates in those few words.

A page of the book:

The book’s case since the eleventh century:

Columcille harrumphed, and didn’t just harrumph.  He fought a war to keep the book and successfully preserved it for himself and his community.  Now, wars are not the sort of thing Saints and Psalm-copiers are supposed to engage in, so in consequence of his success, Columcille was given his penance for his sin:  to leave Ireland and never lay eyes on it again.  He sailed over the waters to the island of Iona and founded there a monastery that was a center of culture and learning for centuries after.  Behind him, Ireland flourished as a Latin-writing and -reading culture and the Catholic church, with all its strengths and all its faults, remained central to Irish culture from that day till this.

Eventually, well after Columcille himself had died, the book he copied was carefully protected in a bejeweled case that goes back to the eleventh century and given to Columcille’s family, who used to carry it into their wars as a good luck charm.  Cathach, the name for the manuscript now, is the Irish for “battler” or “fighter”.  The family flourished for most of a thousand years with that good luck charm and their military fortunes and those of Ireland only faded when the book was relegated to safekeeping.  The family held on to its keepsake fiercely but seems to have forgotten there was a book inside the lavish exterior.  That ignorance may have been bad luck for the family in its battles, but probably good luck for preserving this evidence of the first copyright lawsuit.

Which family was it, you ask, that owned and abused this precious manuscript, then forgot about it, then found it again?  Ah, that would be the O’Donnells, don’t you know?  Feicfidh mé i mBaile Átha Cliath thú (oh, try Google translate on that one) – and we can talk about other Irish library stories then.







Librarians from all over the world fly in to meet in Odense @LIBER2022

Author: Bertil F Dorch. Library Director, University Library of Southern Denmark; Associate Professor, Department Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy

Like the birds gathering around a pond in a story by poet Hans Christian Andersen – the ducks, chicken and swans of his fairytales – people from across the world of research libraries will gather around a library in the city of Odense, Denmark, in early July this year.

About a year before his public break-through, the famous Danish fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen applied for a job as a librarian at the King’s library in Copenhagen – the capitol of Denmark. In his application he argued that he wanted the job so that he might be “relieved of the burden of writing”. Luckily, he did not get the job and continued writing. Lucky for us, but perhaps sad for the library. Andersen would probably have made a wonderful librarian: Curious, well-read, hardworking, a creative mind, and a bit odd, too.

It is well known that Andersen’s fairytale about the ugly duckling is an autobiographic metamorphosis story built on his own life, and that the mean ducks and chicken represent the citizens of his birth town Odense, while the swans represent the nobility that he himself so desperately wanted to be accepted among.

Hans Christian Andersen left Odense as a teenager in 1819 for the capital of Copenhagen. If we could bring him back to life and Odense, there would still be many features that he would recognize: The lush stream where his mother used to wash clothes still traverses the city, and the parks alongside its shores remain a green oasis. The narrow, cobbled streets with hollyhocks and roses clinging to the small houses where he grew up are still there, and so is the church where he was baptized.

However, since he left Odense, the number of inhabitants has increased ten-fold from less than 15,000 to more than 150,000 today. The city is the home of a thriving robotic industry and a booming environment for drone developments. Facebook has an enormous data center here.  He would probably be very proud when he saw the newly opened Hans Christian Andersen Museum in the center of the city.  And last, but certainly not least, the city is the home of The University of Southern Denmark, a truly research-intensive university ranked among the 300 top universities in the world.  The University is the working-place of more than 2,000 faculty and staff and 32,000 students, and has the second largest research library in the kingdom.

With such a large student population, Odense has become a ‘young’ city with a vibrant student life with its own increasing demand for a modern and efficient infrastructure, nice restaurants and cafes, and an abundancy of cultural events; and in recent years the city has been almost reborn from a sleepy midsized provincial city to a vibrant student hub, rated among the top 100 of cities to visit in the world.

From July 6 to 8, 2022 Odense and the University Library of Southern Denmark is proud to host the annual 51st LIBER conference, which has not been held as a physical meeting for the last two years.

LIBER does not only mean “book” or “free”, but it is also an abbreviation of Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – the Association of European Research Libraries.

Since the foundation of LIBER in 1971, the LIBER conference has visited Andersen’s country four times (in 1978, 1988 and 2000): Three times in the capital of Copenhagen at the Royal Library – Andersen’s King’s library – with themes related to Interlibrary Lending, Collection Development, and Libraries as Global Information Leaders. The previous LIBER conference in Denmark took place in the country’s second largest city Aarhus – at the State and University Library – and focused on Re-Inventing the Library. This year, the fifth LIBER conference in Denmark than takes place in Andersen’s birth town – the third largest city – with the theme: Libraries in the Research and Innovation landscape.

The conference brings together three keynote speakers who represent the span of theme in an excellent way:

 Darlene Cavalier is a professor at Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society.  Professor Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter and a founding board member of the Citizen Science Association.

 Karel Luyben is Rector Magnificus Emeritus of the Delft University of Technology. Luyben is National Coordinator for Open Science in the Netherlands and, among other things, President of the European Open Science Cloud Association.

 Oksana Brui is Ukrainian librarian, a public activist with a Ph.D. in social communication, Director of the Scientific and Technical Library of ‘Kyiv Igor Sikorsky Polytechnic Institute’ and the President of the Ukrainian Library Association, while also serving as member of the working group in the development of The National Plan of the Open Science in Ukraine.

We hope to see library people from all over the world attending the 2022 LIBER Annual Conference physically and in person! To quote Hans Christian Andersen: “To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote, To travel is to live.” (Andersen, The Fairy Tale of My Life).

And incidentally, since 2022 also marks the 200th anniversary of Andersen’s first book, nothing could be more fitting than that we should be meeting in a library in Odense in July!

More at:



ARL members and associates show their support for Ukraine

Author: Bertil F Dorch. Library Director, University Library of Southern Denmark; Associate Professor, Department Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many librarians, libraries, and library associations around the world have taken action to support colleagues in the war-struck country. This was highlighted in an IFLA news post earlier this month.

In this special blog post, IFLA’s Academic and Research Libraries (ARL) Section Committee is proud to highlight examples of actions being taken by our members around the world, along with local, regional and national organizations, to support our Ukrainian colleagues, and to impose sanctions on Russia to stop their aggressive warfare against their neighboring country.

Examples include stories of libraries helping to safeguard Ukrainian books and culture, and saving Ukrainian cultural heritage.

At the end of this blog you will find links to various initiatives, statements and other actions being taken by academic and research libraries around the world.

Australia and New Zealand

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) have both released statements in support of their professional colleagues and the people of Ukraine.

The Australian National University (ANU) has made a statement on Ukraine, announcing that “the University is therefore suspending all ties and activities with Russian institutions, indefinitely and with immediate effect”. The library is completely in agreement and compliance with the University’s position.

The ANU Library does not have any MOUs or agreements with Russian institutions, but is fully committed to supporting the university’s position i.e. that scholar-to-scholar collaboration is a matter of academic freedom, while one should avoid publishing in Russian-owned and operated journals.

Similarly, the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne have published messages of support for Ukraine.



Aalto University in Finland supports both Ukrainian researchers and students who are fleeing the war, by following the recommendation of the Ministry of Education and Culture to refrain from all cooperation with Russian partner organizations. Finnish universities will not initiate new projects and existing cooperation will be suspended for the time being.

In Denmark, like Finland, research institutions have been ordered by the Danish government to shut down any joined research programs, exchanges of students and staff, etc. with institutions in Russia and Belarus, and to heighten information security related to research and innovation to prevent the possibility of dual use of research results. The Danish Research Library Association has published a Statement on Ukraine, as well as an appeal to suspend relations with Russian libraries.

In Estonia, like some other northern countries, universities will not admit Russian and Belorussian students this year and all contracts have been suspended or cancelled. University of Tartu has established a scholarship fund to collect and channel donations to support Ukrainian students’ studies at the university. Additionally, the university library mediates reliable information in Estonian, Russian and English, and has arranged a room in the library with a collection of books in Ukrainian. There are more than 30,000 refugees in Estonia so far.

In France, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) has taken various initiatives, e.g. on policy statements and actions to exclude Russian national libraries from CENL (Conference of European National Libraries) and to suspend loan agreements (e.g. for exhibitions) with Russian institutions.

Solidarity and technical initiatives include joining the Ukrainian heritage collections identification effort of UNESCO, offering storage for digital Ukrainian collections with the SUCHO initiative, and sending preservation and conservation materials in partnership with ICOM (International Council of Museums).

Other French cultural and scientific activities include partnering with the Cultural Forum for Ukraine in association with Inha (National institute for Art history) and a regional museum (Rouen, Normandy), providing sponsorship to researchers and organizing various events.

Also, European library associations have taken various concrete actions e.g. the 51st LIBER annual conference which is held in Denmark this year has invited the president of the Ukrainian Library Association as a keynote speaker on July 6th.

A comprehensive overview of actions, statements, and possible ways to help from mostly European libraries has been published by the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA).

United States

Examples from the US include an updated research guide on the Russian war in Ukraine by the University of Michigan library, and the Cornell University Library support for partner institutions in Ukraine. This includes free scanning for Interlibrary Loan requests from the Cornell University collection, and a library partnership that is providing free memberships to Ukrainian libraries including a range of services.

The partnership includes access to Ivy Plus Libraries’ web collections, which have curated contents that may never be published in traditional forms. Subject librarians and other colleagues were also asked to assemble online resources that are broad or focused on a particular subject area.

The University of Texas Libraries has published a subject guide with links to resources relevant to the Ukraine invasion, including media sources, electronic resources and relevant databases from the Library’s collection. It also has a significant collection of online Ukraine maps.


Global efforts

Australia and New Zealand


United States

Welcome – The Russian Invasion of Ukraine – LibGuides at University of Texas at Austin (

Ukraine Maps – Perry-Castañeda Map Collection – UT Library Online (

DEIA data toolkit: helping diversity researchers share their sensitive data

Authored by: Rachel Woodbrook and Karen Downing

Practices and policies around scholarship development are changing to better address society’s critical social issues. Among these changes is the expectation that data collected during a research project will be made accessible to the appropriate audience, and to the public where possible, with sufficient context to enable it to be discovered, understood, and reused by other scholars and communities. Because limited funding and data support resources have been made available to the scholarly community to support data sharing, practical execution can still be a challenging proposition, and solutions may differ across disciplines and regional areas.

While there is some movement in the scholarly community on the topic of open/public data, there is still limited understanding and a scarcity of resources for scholars conducting diversity scholarship – i.e., scholarship that furthers our understandings of historical and contemporary social issues related to identity, difference, culture, representation, power, oppression and inequality–as they occur and affect individuals, groups and communities. Diversity scholars are particularly critical to consider in this conversation because their work interrogates sensitive social issues, often regarding marginalized or vulnerable communities. Furthermore, these communities themselves are not often considered as an audience for research data, even when they are the population from whom data are gathered.

For many researchers, sharing data outside of their research team is still relatively new. Outside of a broad “ethical conduct of research” workshop, many researchers, particularly in the social sciences and humanities, have not received training on how to share their data. Nor, have they  considered the contexts and needs of the communities they are studying, which may extend beyond just making raw or de-identified data openly accessible.

For academic and research librarians, there is great opportunity to help improve policy and practice surrounding the treatment and disposition of research data. There is a need to articulate how Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) values and principles can be applied to the collection, management, use, sharing, and preservation of research data, building on the work of scholars who are already addressing these concerns in their practices.

At the University of Michigan, from 2020-2021, a group of librarians and students interviewed and surveyed diversity scholars from across the United States to learn about their current data practices, and to learn more about their data needs relative to their diversity-related research. One outcome of this research is a new online toolkit to assist diversity scholars with their data planning, collection, management, preservation and sharing. The DEIA Data Toolkit 1.0 draft is available for all who wish to access it, and is arranged by stages in the data lifecycle. The toolkit authors welcome your feedback, and are especially interested in any suggestions for additional resources to include.

Discussion of the toolkit (among other related research ethics topics) will be included in the IFLA-ARL’s May Webinar on Research Ethics in an Open Research Environment on 25 May 2022.


Rachel Woodbrook, Data Curation Librarian, University of Michigan

Karen E. Downing, Education Librarian, University of Michigan