Tag Archives: library publishing

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: shaharima@ewubd.edu

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

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 Paul Royster, Linnea Fredrickson, and Sue Ann Gardner, who are responsible for the library publishing program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries, which was established in 2005. Their institutional repository is available at https://digitalcommons.unl.edu.

Affiliation: University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States

Describe your work in library publishing.

PR: We always considered the institutional repository as a publishing project. So it was a concise step to developing and finding original materials to publish. Our monograph imprint, Zea Books, has published more than 150 titles. We produce, publish, host, or mirror about 20 journals of various sizes and frequencies. We recruit, edit, design, and typeset as required in each case.

SG: The way we approach our work, all that we do involves library publishing in one form or another, whether it’s publishing books and journals, or populating the institutional repository.

LF: I do a number of things as a staff member in our scholarly communications unit that bit by bit helps to change scholarly communications—for the better is our goal. I help find, prepare, and upload materials—mostly professors’ academic papers—to our institutional repository (though we host all kinds of reports, curricula, proceedings, posters, videos, etc.). We also host entire journals, so I help post those that arrive in final form, and I copyedit and prepare for design and typesetting the articles of those that use our editorial service. We are also book publishers, and I use skills and processes from being an academic press project editor and copy editor to work with authors or editors and ready book manuscripts for design and typesetting. I also do proofreading on all sorts of projects, and I help with supervising some student workers who do scanning and IR uploading.

What attracted you to work in library publishing?

LF: Colleagues found me, thank goodness, while I was in library school mid-career, but with my experience in publishing (most recently in academic and educational publishing), it was a very nice fit to continue that kind of work in a library setting and be involved in changing scholarly communications in the twenty-first century—and for the “twenty-first-century academic library.”

SG: One thing that attracts me to work in library publishing is the collaborative nature of it. Researchers need to communicate with one another, their students, and the public at large, and we help them do that. Roger Chartier has said that authors don’t write books—they write manuscripts. From these, editors and publishers craft books, and that is what we do in our work.

What training resources have you found helpful in your work?

LF: Copy editors train every day with their style manuals—The Chicago Manual of Style, Scientific Style and Format, The Associated Press Stylebook, MLA Style Manual, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, and more. I am also a member of ACES: The Society for Editing (https://aceseditors.org/). I attend virtually the Library Publishing Forums, Southern Miss Institutional Repository Conferences (SMIRC), and the Digital Commons North American Conferences. I write workflow documentation or tips for myself and others, and then after I haven’t done a certain thing for half a year (busy with something else), I use my documentation to retrain myself!

What values and principles inform your work?

SG: One principle that informs our work is that the repository belongs to the faculty. We don’t own it and it’s not our place to saddle it with a bunch of extraneous policy and gatekeeping. We are allied with the faculty and aim above all to support and amplify their work.

PR:

  • The content belongs to the author.
  • It should be easy to be published if you are serious.
  • Someone somewhere is looking for this information.

What is the impact of your library publishing programme at institutional level?

PR: Our original publishing has a limited impact, perhaps around 20 faculty who have authored or edited works that we publish, and perhaps another 10 or 12 from outside the institution. But if we count all the contributors to the volumes and journals, it would number well into the thousands. So we have extended our institutional brand on a global scale, probably farther than any other media.

SG: We queried a subset of our participants recently to ask them to describe their experience with the UNL Digital Commons. The answers we received showed us that our services have emerged as essential in many of our colleagues’ scholarly communication workflows. An example quote: “[The UNL institutional repository] is indeed a remarkable resource, especially at the global level. My own papers, for which I am one of the authors, get picked up and later cited by people that would never have ready access to them otherwise. For that reason, I consider it a major means of promoting the scholarly strength of the university.”

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

PR: Right now, we are in a proof-of-concept stage—showing that professional-level publication is feasible for libraries at a modest scale. I believe we are also proving that online digital and on-demand publication do not require the full apparatus inherited from traditional paper publishing. We seek to change not simply the final form in which the product is delivered, but the entire system of scholarly publishing, including and especially the ownership and access to the means of production.

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

SG: My hope for the global library publishing community is that we will converge on sustainable funding models. Partnering with for-profit companies and relying on philanthropic organizations each require us to establish intentional fiscal approaches that keep those other domains’ attendant value systems at arm’s length while still partnering with them. Some people think we can and should divest from for-profit businesses and in some cases also not-for-profit philanthropic entities, but I think that this kind of fiscal protectionism is short-sighted. In my estimation, the aggregator BioOne’s funding model as it was around 2010 (and perhaps still is) is an example of a viable funding schema. The details of the flow of funds are available in a conference paper I wrote several years ago called Hot Potato: Who Will End Up Paying for Open Access? Interested readers can find it available in UNL’s institutional repository (https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libraryscience/199/).

Paul Royster: Coordinator for Scholarly Communications

Linnea Fredrickson: Scholarly Communications Production Specialist

Sue Ann Gardner: Scholarly Communications Libraries