Category Archives: General

ARL Continues to Support Attendance at IFLA Events

This post is by Mimi Calter, Vice Provost & University Librarian, Washington University Libraries in St. Louis and Chair of the ARL Section, for the ARL Division on the attendance grant Winners for the Information Summit, 2024.

For more than a decade, the Academic & Research Libraries section, supported by SAGE and ExLibris, has been able to provide attendance grants for the WLIC.  We’ve enjoyed managing this program and building relationships with our awardees over the years.  Though there will be no WLIC in 2024, ARL wants to continue to enable young professionals to attend IFLA events, and SAGE continues to support that work, so we are sponsoring attendance at two different programs this year.

First, we sponsored attendance at our own Division D mid-term program, Libraries Bridging Boundaries: Challenges & Strategies for Global Openness.  We did not follow our traditional review format with this sponsorship, instead supporting the program overall to allow residents of Türkiye to attend at a reduced rate.  We were happy to learn that than half of the attendees at this very successful program were local.  A great success.  See this post for more information about the mid-term event.

In addition, we are sponsoring three attendees to the 2024 IFLA Information Futures Summit in Brisbane, Australia.  For Information Futures we have followed our traditional attendance grant model, though we limited the regional attendance to Oceania.  The three attendees were chosen from the pool of applicants and will participate actively in the summit.  Following the event, each will write a blog post about their engagement which will be featured here on the ARL blog.

Our winners are:

  • Ane Ah Poe, Knowledge Management Assistant, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme
  • Pham Ba Toan, Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh, University of Science Library
  • Adi Ela Radini Davuilevu, Library Information Assistant, Fiji National University

We look forward to hearing more from our awardees after the Information Futures Summit.

Division D Joint Mid-Term in Istanbul, Türkiye

This post is by Mimi Calter, Vice Provost & University Librarian, Washington University Libraries in St. Louis and Chair of the ARL Section.

I had the pleasure to join several members of the IFLA Academic and Research Libraries (ARL) section in participating in the Division D Joint Mid-Term program in Istanbul on June 5th through 7th, 2024.  The theme of the program was Libraries Bridging Boundaries: Challenges & Strategies for Global Openness, and the program did not disappoint.

ARL was one of four sponsoring units within Division D, the others being the Science & Technology Section, the Acquisition & Collection Development Section, and the Library Publishing SIG.  The session was hosted by Koç University at their Center for the Study of Anatolian Civilization in the heart of Istanbul, and participants from all the sponsoring units were joined by colleagues from throughout Turkey and the Mediterranean region.  There were about 80 registered participants for the program, and it was a great opportunity to meet people and make new connections.  I can attest that the group had some lively conversations during the meeting breaks and meals.

Three keynote presentations, which provided regional perspectives on the state of open research were highlights of the program.  The first, from Prof. Dr. Yaşar Tonta, Emeritus Professor, Department of Information Management at Hacettepe University, looked at Türkiye.  On day 2, Saray Córdoba who is now retired from the Universidad de Costa Rica, but remains active in researching the areas of Scientific Communication, Open Science, and Open Access, discussed the topic from the Central American perspective.  And on day 3, Dr. Gracian Chimwaza of South Africa gave an African perspective on the topic.  All three presenters are excited by the potential of open research, though there are significant  challenges to building the infrastructure needed to support it.

In between the keynotes we had some fantastic panel discussions, and those panel discussions included presentations from ARL members Mary Ngure and Jérôme Fronty.  The presentations made clear that open research and open communication are considered core objectives for most research libraries.  While there are many shared challenges to achieving fully open research communications, and the Open Access movement has not yet achieved its full potential, there are lots of local success stories.  Jelena Bokovac presented some inspirational programs from Croatia, and Çiğdem Yıldırım presented on initiatives at our host organization, Koç University.

An important takeaway for me was the importance of connection and interoperability between these systems.  Regional and discipline-centric approaches to openness are beneficial, but risk becoming siloed.  We need to find ways for these local successes to be shared, and sharable, resources.  I look forward to future conversations and ways to advance that goal.

 

PIDs in Australia

This post is by Matthias Liffers. He is the Product Manager for the Persistent Identifier Services at the Australian Research Data Common

Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) are a core component of a national information infrastructure and key to world-class research and innovation. In 2024, the Australian Research Data Commons released the 2024 Australian National PID Strategy – developed through a coordinated, comprehensive and collaborative process and informed by international developments and the international PID environment.

But what is a PID? It is a globally unique, unambiguous, long-lasting reference to a particular person or thing in the research ecosystem. A typical PID consists of two parts: the identifier itself, which is a unique string of characters and/or numbers; and an accompanying public metadata record.

For ease of use, most PIDs can be displayed as a URL that you can visit in your browser in order to access the metadata record. For example, the PID that refers to me (Matthias Liffers, the author of this post) is https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3639-2080. If you visit that URL, you can see a human-readable representation of the metadata record known as a landing page.

I have only one ORCID, and that ORCID will always refer to me. If another person called Matthias Liffers creates an ORCID, they will get their own. Admittedly, my name isn’t very common, but it makes more sense if you think all the researchers that are called Kim Lee or John Smith.

There are many PIDs, each suited to identifying a particular type of thing. An ORCID iD, for example, is designed for researchers and other contributors to research, whereas a DOI is more appropriate for a research output like a publication, a dataset, or a piece of research software. There are also PIDs for organisations (ROR ID) and projects (RAiD).

Why are there so many different types of PID? Because the metadata required for a human is quite different to the metadata you would need for a publication. The metadata schema for each type of PID is tailored to the type of thing you want to identify.

Generally, the person or organisation responsible for a particular thing will mint – create and assign – a PID to it. For example, a researcher would create their own ORCID and keep it through their whole career, whereas a publisher would mint DOIs for the articles in their journals. Items deposited into trustworthy repositories like Dryad, Figshare, and Zenodoreceive DOIs. If you work at a research institution, you might have access to an institutional repository that can also assign DOIs.

You might have noticed that my ORCID record contains references to my current and past employers, my education, and my publications. This demonstrates where the real power of PIDs lies – being able to make links between PIDs, so that you can establish unambiguous relationships between authors and their papers, their dataset, their affiliations, their projects, and their funding.

This global network of relationships is known as the research graph and, as more researchers and research organisations apply PIDs to their contributions to research, it gets easier to find research, establish its trustworthiness, and measure its impact on society.

To learn more about the use of PIDs in Australia, visit the Australian National PID Strategy and Roadmap website. On top of the PID Strategy, the ARDC is leading the development of RAiD – the Research Activity Identifier, as the global Registration Authority for ISO 23527:2022.

Australia isn’t the only country working on a National PID Strategy. A couple of weeks after the publication of this blog post, PIDfest 2024 will be taking place at the National Technical Library of the Czech Republic in Prague from 11-13 June 2024. It is an opportunity for PID providers like ORCID, DataCite, Crossref and the Australian Research Data Commons to come together, share knowledge, and work on pain points to make sure that when someone turns on the tap for research information, it flows.

 

Academic and Research Libraries Serving the Needs of Mixed Race Students, Faculty and Staff

This post is by Karen E. Downing, Education Liaison Librarian, University of Michigan, Donovan Johnson, Undergraduate Student, University of Michigan, and Prakruthi Manjunatha, Graduate Student, University of Michigan

https://www.lib.umich.edu/visit-and-study/events-and-exhibits/today-and-upcoming/being-mixed-race-mono-racially-organized

Academic and research libraries are highly committed to contributing to their campus diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) efforts. Through the library’s collections, staff, services and programming, they attempt to create a culture of inclusivity for all students, faculty and staff. With this in mind, libraries are continually looking for ways to increase collaborative DEIA involvement with campus partners.

For many academic and research libraries, building expertise, collections, exhibits, and programming around issues related to the growing mixed race populations on campus is new territory. Mixed race populations are growing in many nations across the globe, and within our campuses. For example, between the 2010 and 2020 United States censuses, the mixed race population increased from nine million people to 33.8 million people; a 276% increase (Jones et al., 2021). These statistics are a wake up call for many postsecondary institutions that their demographics will be shifting in profound ways, and we need to be well-positioned to meet the needs of mixed race people.

The lack of an overall welcoming campus climate for many people of color is a daily reality for many mixed race students, faculty, and staff in a world that revolves around mono-racial norms. The study of what it means to be multiracial in a mono-racially organized world is called “critical mixed race studies” (CMRS). Academic librarians should know that both the numbers of mixed-race students and those engaging in CMRS research are growing rapidly throughout the disciplines. A recent search in ProQuest Research Library on the terms “mixed-race OR biracial OR multiracial” returned 359 results in the decade beginning in 1980, and 16,242 results in the decade beginning in 2010! (See Figure 1 for details.)

The expression of social and cultural identities matters to people in myriad ways that are relevant to how we think about campus demographics, course offerings, co-curricular activities and groups, and library collections. While not every multiracial person will conduct research on multiracial issues, seeing one’s self reflected in our campus culture and activities is important for any group or individual (Snider, 2017). Academic and research librarians should know that mixed race people may not have places or people on campus that reflect their identities in the same ways other groups may. While librarians cannot control what courses are taught on campus, they can plan co-curricular programs and enhance and highlight collections to insure that mixed race students, faculty and staff see themselves reflected in our library offerings. Collaborative programs or exhibits that highlight mixed race issues with other campus units and groups can also further enhance campus relationships, and send a message that the library is a welcoming place for all.

One easy way to start mixed race inclusive services is to create a research guide that highlights the library’s collections, as well as links to reliable Internet resources. At the University of Michigan, our Interracial Resources research guide gets thousands of visits each year. We hope this information is useful to you and your campus communities!

FIGURE 1. Number of Mixed Race Resources Across Disciplines in ProQuest Research Library

References

Jones, N., Marks, R., Ramirez, R., Rios-Vargas, M. (2021). 2020 Census illuminates racial and ethnic composition of the country. Accessed on February 10, 2022 from: https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2021/08/improved-race-ethnicity-measures-reveal-united-states-population-much-more-multiracial.html

Snider, Gwendlyn C.(2017). Embodying the Oppressed and the Oppressor: Critical Mixed Race Studies for Liberation and Social Justice Education. Master’s Theses. 217. https://repository.usfca.edu/thes/217

Library Publishing Through the IFLA Global Lens

This posting is sponsored by the Library Publishing SIG and published in cooperation with the ARL Section.

This post features Talea Anderson, a Scholarly Communication Librarian at the Washington State University, USA.

I manage our university’s institutional repository, where we publish unique materials including theses, dissertations, student culminating projects, and datasets. In addition, I have taken a leading role in open education initiatives on campus and have, therefore, assisted in preparing open access textbooks. In general, we have opted to publish these texts in Pressbooks. My role in these projects has been largely advisory given staff constraints. Along with Pressbooks, we use Ex Libris products for most of our publishing work—most notably, Esploro, which we are using as our institutional repository.

I am particularly proud of the impact that we have had in open education at WSU. We received support from our President’s and Provost’s Office to provide Affordable Learning grants to faculty in 2016-2020. These grants were used to create OER in 56 courses, impacting 144,000 students during the initial year of implementation for each class. The Libraries did this work in partnership with our Academic Outreach and Innovation unit, ultimately securing millions of dollars in savings for our students.

I have found many resources helpful while learning about OER publishing in particular. Open Education Network provides workshops and community gatherings to discuss workflows, accessibility, fundraising, and many other connected issues. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) provided an Open Education Leadership program that proved especially helpful in allowing me to connect with peers and mentors at other institutions. The Library Publishing Coalition also supported my work and training via their fellowship program, which helped me connect with peers who are focused on accessibility work in publishing. Thanks to those connections, I was able to write my own open access textbook: Accessibility Case Studies for Scholarly Communication Librarians and Practitioners. While compiling this text, I pulled together many of the resources that I found useful while learning about web accessibility in open access publishing.

As for books that changed my life—there are so many but I will call out Frank Arthur’s The Wounded Storyteller, which helped me more clearly understand the differences between medical and social models of disability. I read this book while beginning to think about what I could do as a library professional to widen access to academic resources.

 

Library Publishing Through the IFLA Global Lens

This posting is sponsored by the Library Publishing SIG and published in cooperation with the ARL Section. Members of the Library Publishing SIG reach out to library publishers and invite them to respond to a series of questions.

This post features Jesper Boserup Thestrup, who is an Information Specialist at the Royal Danish Library (https://www.kb.dk/en) (RDL) in Aarhus (https://www.kb.dk/en/visit-us/victor-albecks-vej-aarhus). He works with the publishing platforms Tidsskrift.dk (https://tidsskrift.dk/) and Ebooks.au.dk (https://ebooks.au.dk/aul). More information about his professional work could be found on his LinkedIn profile (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesperboserupthestrup/)

1: Describe your work in library publishing and which infrastructure are you working with?

JBT: I am part of our team working with two Library Publishing servers operated by RDL. Tidsskrift.dk operates on an Open Journal Systems platform (OJS) and is a national open access platform for Danish Scientific Journals. Ebooks.au.dk operates on an Open Monograph Press (OMP) platform. Ebooks.au.dk publish literature for Aarhus University.

The team operates the servers, test, and update the software. We introduce the editorial boards to the software, help the editors to set up the journals, and gives the editors courses about the software. We help to index the journals. We answer question about copyright, CC Licenses, different file formats, data management, and much more. The service is more complex than we expected when the servers started.

Both the RDL and the State and University Library started an OJS-server in 2007. In 2017, the two libraries merged into the RDL and the two servers merged. Today we present 193 journals and yearbooks online via tidsskrift.dk. Most of them are active, some are digitized versions of old journals and some are older versions of active journals. All journals are Open Access but some have embargoes. Today new journals must be Danish Scientific Journals. We make 100.000 articles available.

The OMP server, ebooks.au.dk, only publish books from Aarhus University. Par example technical reports and accepted Ph.D-theses. The service started in 2015 and today we make 329 e-books available.

In relation to the two servers, the RDL functions as a platform provider. We are not a publisher. If the RDL became a publisher, the library would have to offer more service.

2: What values and principles inform your work?

JBT: In order to manage and develop the servers and help the editors my work has to be based on openness. The servers are intended to give access to information and scientific knowledge and help Danish scientific journals to survive online. That can only be done if we share information about our work and are willing to lean from other similar service providers.

3: What partners do you collaborate with?
JBT: We need to cooperate with many different partners in order to maintain and develop our service.

We are a part of the community, which Public Knowledge Project (PKP) has created. Actually, we were in June the local organizers of the latest PKP development Sprint in Copenhagen. A PKP Sprint is a great way to meet the community and I suggest that You participate in one of the Sprints. The next sprint in Europe is in Hannover https://events.tib.eu/pkpsprinthannover2023/.

We cooperate closely with other Danish OJS-servers and are in contact with the Swedish OJS-network and servers in Finland, Norway, France, The Czech Republic, The Netherlands, and hopefully soon in Poland. We always learn new things about Scholarly Publications when we meet with the other servers.

We try to ensure dialogue between us and our editors in order develop our service. This is often difficult. Very often editors see that something needs to be changed, or improved, when a problem is discovered.

We need to cooperate with other institutions in order to ensure a positive development in this sector. We are involved in different projects with LIBER and Knowledge Exchange. Last year we were part of a national a project involving DOAJ, where we got more Danish OA journals index in DOAJ (https://pro.kb.dk/en/danish-open-access-journals-and-directory-open-access-journals).

4: What training resources have you found helpful in your work?
JBT: I, and some of my colleagues, have followed different courses about copyright in order to give advice to the editors. It is sometimes problematic to publish texts and follow Danish copyright regulation. I took a course about the Creative Common (https://certificates.creativecommons.org/). The course had a focus on librarians and it has been quite helpful.

5: What do you think is the impact of library publishing in the broader scholarly communications landscape?

JBT: Funding is becoming a challenge because many journals do not charge APC’s and subscription is not used due to Open Access Policies. At the same time, universities are cutting funding. The library sector can provide infrastructures, which the individual editors cannot fund and thereby partly ensure that journals can give access to scientific knowledge. I see our servers as an example on how university and national libraries can ensure that Scientific Journals can publish in minor languages like Danish, and help new journals to start.

6: What are your hopes and aspirations for the global library publishing community?

JBT: I hope that library publishing infrastructures can help Scholar Publications to become more available globally, help publications in minor languages to survive and overcome the north-south divide. I think that the necessary software and knowhow is available today.

Funding is an issue. It is not free to operate a journal. Somebody need to pay for the infrastructures and pay for typesetters, graphic designers, and proofreaders. It does not appear to be necessary for editors to take care for all the topics related to Scholarly Publication. The editors must focus on the scientific content of their journals.

Combatting Digital Amnesia: The Crucial Role of Librarians in the Age of Information Overload

This posting is by the ARL Section.

This post features Shaharima Parvin, a  Senior Assistant Librarian at the East West University, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Email: [email protected]

Last semester, while walking through the library’s laptop charging zone, I overheard a conversation that captured a common struggle: “I forgot, wait, try with Google! We don’t need to remember, Google can say!” They were looking up something as simple as their course name on the university’s website. This got me thinking about google effect or digital amnesia.

A study, conducted by Dr. Esther Kang at the University of Cologne in Germany and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that relying on Google to find information might make it harder to remember things compared to traditional methods like reading from a book. This phenomenon, sometimes called “Digital Amnesia” or the “Google effect,” highlights a potential downside of the vast amount of information readily available online. The study indicates that when we know we can easily access information later, we tend not to commit it to memory as deeply. This happens because, according to the study, people naturally don’t like to put in too much mental effort, and researchers call this being “cognitive misers”.

The term was “Digital Amnesia” coined not by scientists but by a cybersecurity firm that sells solutions to help protect the information we store digitally”. It’s about how we’re not as good at remembering things because we let our gadgets remember for us. Renowned universities like Harvard and Columbia have studied this, especially the “Google Effect,” which is when we don’t bother remembering stuff because we can find it online anytime. This habit can make us less sharp and only understand things on a shallow level.

Image Credit: Shaharima Parvin via Flickr

We know technology makes it super easy to find information, but that shouldn’t make us forget how to remember things ourselves. This is where librarians step in as crucial guides in the age of information overload. As “custodians of information and knowledge,” here’s what we can do:

  • Show users how to find and choose good information from bad, how to check if something’s true, and how to search smarter. This helps us not just take in information without thinking about it.
  • Help start conversations and get us to ask questions about what we are learning. This makes us think more about the information, form our own ideas, and get better at reasoning, instead of just taking the easy answer from the internet.
  • Teach users how to tell if a source is trustworthy, like checking who wrote it, when it was written, and if it’s backed up by facts.
  • Promoting deeper engagement with information through activities like research projects, discussions, and workshops.
  • I believe strongly in the benefits of embedded librarianship to fight against “digital amnesia,” where people forget things they learn online. This approach connects librarians directly with specific groups, like students or researchers, to provide help tailored to their needs. Embedded librarians work closely with their group to understand how they use information and what challenges they face. While using the technology is important, we should also be aware of the drawbacks of relying too heavily on technology for learning and remembering.

Many people think that their memory and focus have got worse and they are blaming various issues such as age, job, or children that might be true, but it is also very likely due to the way they are interacting with technologies in the information overloaded landscape. In my role at a university library, I am actively promoting for incorporating concepts like digital amnesia, information literacy, and embedded librarianship into our services. Today’s students may be incredibly tech-savvy, they intend to skim the surface instead of really understanding the information. So, it’s important to think about how this habit affects their ability to remember and learn deeply and how much they use technology today. By fostering information literacy, critical thinking, source evaluation skills and practicing embedded librarianship, librarians equip individuals to combat digital amnesia and become responsible and discerning information consumers in the digital age.

References:

Chadwick, J. (2022, March 21). Digital amnesia: “Google effect” means you are more likely to forget information you read online. MailOnline. Retrieved February 20, 2024, from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10634967/Googling-information-makes-likely-forget-things-study-finds.html.

Jarry, J. (2023, March 24). Digital Amnesia has been exaggerated. McGill Office for Science and Society (OSS). https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/critical-thinking-technology/digital-amnesia-has-been-exaggerated

Musa, N., Mukhtaruddin, & Bakkara, V. F. (2023). The effects of digital amnesia on knowledge construction and memory retention. Khizanah Al-Hikmah : Jurnal Ilmu Perpustakaan, Informasi, Dan Kearsipan, 11(2), 313–326. https://doi.org/10.24252/kah.v11i2cf1