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Volume 4, no. 3 April 2009
Association of Librarians and Information professionals in the Social Sciences
Special issue: strength through collaboration Changing nature of research and the need for collaboration Research Information Network, British Library results of user research Collaboration in area studies Centre for East European Language Based Area Studies (CEELBAS); Resource Sharing for Chinese Studies in Scotland Collaborative digitisation projects EThOS â€“ Opening Access to UK Theses; UK Research Reserve, 19th Century political and social pamphlets; Welsh Journals Online Information Literacy John Crawford and Christine Irving
ALISS Quarterly Volume 4 no. 3 April 2009
ALISS Quarterly Vol. 4 Number 3 April 2009 © The authors
Special issue: strength through collaboration
Each article is copyrighted to its author(s) and all rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or data retrieval system without prior written permission from the author(s) and full acknowledgement to ALISS.
Editorial Heather Dawson
Editor: Heather Dawson firstname.lastname@example.org
Changing nature of research and the need for collaboration
Published by ALISS.
A bright future for research libraries? Sarah Gentleman, Research Information Network Communications Officer British Library Social Science Collections and Research – results of user research Ian Cooke, Lead Content Specialist, International and Political Studies
Collaboration in area studies Survey of CEELBAS researchers’ requirements: some implications for library provision Lesley Pitman, Librarian and Director of Information Services, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library; and Chair, CEELBAS Library Committee. Resource Sharing for Chinese Studies: A co-operative approach among Scottish University Libraries Shenxiao Tong East Asian Librarian Edinburgh University Library
Collaborative digitisation projects EThOS – Opening Access to UK Theses Tracy Kent (University of Birmingham) & Kevin O’Leary (Imperial College London), Anthony Troman (The British Library) EThOSnet Project Team Innovative Collaboration in Action: UK Research Reserve Frances Boyle, UKRR Manager Alice Ashley-Smith, Management Trainee, Imperial College London UK research libraries collaborate to digitise a million pages of 19th Century political and social pamphlets. Grant Young, Digitisation and Digital Preservation Specialist, Cambridge University Library Putting Welsh Journals Online: the challenges Martin Locock, Welsh Journals Online project manager National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
Information Literacy Our information literacy journey John Crawford and Christine Irving
Welcome to the latest edition of ALISS Quarterly. It has been published by ALISS (Association of Librarians and Information Professionals in the Social Sciences). As the news is currently dominated by the impact of the recession, we thought we would focus on ways in which libraries collaborate in order to increase their strength. The need for collaboration was also a theme emphasised in a recent Council on Library and Information Services publication No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub142/pub142.pdf. Which gathered together a group of 25 leading librarians, publishers, faculty members, and information technology specialists to consider the future for research libraries in a changing academic and technological world. The issue begins by considering the way in which research is evolving and its possible impact upon libraries. Ian Cooke presents a survey undertaken by the British Library and Sarah Gentleman introduces the work of the Research information Network. The second section provides some insight into recent collaboration in area/ Language studies. Lesley Pitman describes the work of the CEELBAS Library committee in reviewing and responding to changing recent needs in Slavonic and East European studies. While Shenxiao Tong summarises some recent collaborative approaches for Chinese Studies in Scotland. The next second focuses upon how large scale collaborative digitisation projects in the UK can provide wider access to scarce and rare resources. We hear from the EThOS team about the digitisation of UK theses, The UK Research Reserve which is offering shared resource for journal storage and access, a project to digitise 19th Century Political pamphlets and the digitisation of a large collection of journals from Wales. Finally the issue concludes with an article on information literacy where John Crawford and Christine Irving argue that successful IR requires a cross collaboration between sectors. Remember that you can keep up to date with ALISS news by subscribing to our free electronic mailing list LIS_SOCIAL SCIENCE at http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/LIS-SOCIALSCIENCE.html Have you seen our new website at: http://www.alissnet.org.uk
We hope you enjoy the issue!
Heather Dawson. ALISS Secretary
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A bright future for research libraries? Sarah Gentleman Research Information Network Communications Officer email@example.com www.rin.ac.uk
The guide provides advice to institutions using a framework of areas to support library and information professionals: linking library content and collections to research strategies; cataloguing, navigation, discovery, delivery and access – researchers’ needs; sharing skills and expertise; communicating and evaluating research outputs; curation, preservation and disposal and sustainable resources.
Linking library content to research strategies Good library and information services are an essential part of ensuring excellent research work gets done. There is a good deal of evidence to show that research success depends in part on the quality of the information resources available to researchers. The Research Information Network’s guide Ensuring a bright future for research libraries www.rin.ac.uk/ bright-futures-libraries provides support for senior managers in universities to match up library and information services provision with their institution’s research strategy, and to ensure the services provided for researchers are relevant and effective. At the RIN, we investigate the efficiency and effectiveness of information services in UK higher education institutions and we keep the voice of the researcher firmly in mind. We look at how these services are changing, how researchers use them, and how policies could be improved to make services better. The RIN was set up in 2005 by the higher education funding councils (in England, Scotland and Wales), the seven UK research councils and the national libraries (the British Library and the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales). We work across the UK and across all the subject areas to identify common areas of practice, as well as differences, and we give UK researchers a voice in the debate on improving information services that are vital to their work. We do also look to developments overseas that are relevant to our work programmes, and aim to highlight and encourage good practice where we find it.
Developing better strategy and policy for information provision Our Bright futures guidance highlights that institutions need to develop collection and content development strategies that are in line with their research strategies and priorities, and encourages the active input of the library and academic staff in this process. It calls for strategies to be regularly reviewed to ensure they remain current and effective. The guide also recommends that institutions publish their strategies on their websites, so that it is communicated both internally and externally, to aid transparency and collaborative potential.
The role of library and information specialists Library and information professionals are key sources of advice and expertise about the rapid changes taking place in disseminating, publishing and sharing research results. They play an essential role in ensuring researchers can easily discover, locate and gain access to resources. ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
The guide recommends that institutions need to develop collection and content development strategies that are explicitly related to their research strategies and priorities, ensuring active consultation between library and academic staff. As no single institution can provide all the publications and other information resources needed by researchers, institutions should seek to work and collaborate with other libraries, where appropriate.
Ensuring researchers get the services they need: discovery and access Institutions are encouraged to ensure researchers can easily make use, through the library and other providers, of services that enable them to discover, locate and gain access to information resources that are relevant to their research. The guide recommends that library and information services are supported to provide training to researchers in using the services available, including producing user-friendly online guides. It also calls on institutions to eliminate cataloguing backlogs and ensure that all of the library’s content is fully catalogued and available via online discovery services. Libraries are encouraged to work with others in the institution to develop services that integrate the process of resource discovery into researchers’ workflows.
Sharing skills and expertise In a new and more complex research information environment, there is a growing need for better communication and engagement between library and information specialists and academic research staff, to encourage a sharing of skills and expertise, where appropriate. Institutions are encouraged to develop arrangements to promote engagement and professional development by supporting skills development programmes for library and information staff and for research staff and students. The guide highlights the need for the cost of specialised research information services to be clearly identified and included in the budget for the research work done by the institution.
Communicating and evaluating research outputs Effective communication of research results is an integral part of the research process. Library and information professionals are a key source of advice and expertise about the ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
rapid changes taking place in disseminating, publishing and sharing research results, and also in assessing their impact. Institutions should ensure that they develop and implement strategies to optimise the dissemination and impact of their research outputs, and to do this in consultation both with researchers and library and information staff. Clear policies and procedures should be developed as to the roles that institutional repositories should play in promoting access to research outputs, as well as policies on how to support researchers in meeting the costs of the publication fees charged by open access journals. The explosion of new social networking tools and technologies (including blogs, wikis and social tagging) and their rapid take-up by researchers is a big issue for institutions. How these tools are developed and used by researchers are important, as they have the potential to fundamentally change established forms of scholarly communication. Library and information professionals are well placed to help to monitor and assess the implications of these new technologies and the guidance calls on institutions to consult with them and with researchers to make sure these tools are used beneficially for research.
Curation, preservation and disposal Information resources need to be managed and curated effectively to make them accessible and usable for research. The guide recommends institutions put in place policies that cover what information resources need to be managed and preserved and for how long. Library and information staff should be involved in the development of effective curation, conservation, preservation and disposal policies, and that these policies are explicitly related to the research strategy of the institution.
Sustainable resources Library and information resources need sustainable resourcing at a level that enables them to deliver and develop their mission to support and enhance research performance. In the UK, recent estimates suggest that just to keep pace with the increased in the volume of research outputs produced worldwide, libraries will need an annual 2% increase for their subscription budgets. Institutions will therefore need to take account of the increasing volume, range and sophistication of digital resources and services when developing their library budgets, and of the growing expectations of researchers about what information services are available to them.
researchers are using or not, and at the implications for them and their colleagues, as well as for institutions and funders. We are doing a study looking in depth at how researchers find, evaluate, organise, manage, transform and disseminate information resources in the process of doing their research. We want to gain a better understanding of how they use different information sources in different contexts, and the problems and barriers they face. We are also investigating the motivations, incentives and constraints that underlie researchers’ decisions on when, where and how to disseminate their work and how these decisions are affected by the RAE and the REF. In the first study of its kind, we are looking at how researchers actually use e-journals: for example, how much do they read and how do they access articles (through the publishers’ websites or through Google?). This study will also look at links between expenditure and the use of e-journals and their effects on research productivity.
Have your say The information resources and services that social scientists use and depend on are changing rapidly, with major implications for how researchers work and share their knowledge. Our role is to increase the understanding and awareness of these changes, to enable libraries, publishers, universities, funders and others to develop efficient and effective services for researchers. To do this, we need your support: how are the changes in information services affecting you? Let us know what you think the big issues are, what problems you face, or any examples of where things work well – we would like to hear from you. If you’d like copies of our Bright futures guidance, to discuss any of the issues raised here, or to comment on our work more generally, then please do get in touch. The RIN produces a free monthly e-newsletter that keeps you up to date with our work and also covers other news, events and resources about information provision in higher education more generally, if you’d like to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org We are also on Twitter, you can follow our regular updates via http://twitter.com/ research_inform
Current RIN projects Other current projects we are working on include looking at the extent that Web 2.0 tools (such as wikis, blogs and social networking sites), are useful means for researchers to discuss and communicate their work. This study will look at what types of tools ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
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British Library Social Science Collections and Research – results of user research
heard about 37 different sources of funding, including ESRC, AHRC, Department for International Development, British Academy, and the Wellcome Trust.
Ian Cooke Lead Content Specialist, International and Political Studies Email: email@example.com 1
The need to work across disciplines is also apparent in the wide range of information sources that social science researchers use.4 Researchers in politics and international relations talked about their use of quantitative datasets (eg OECD, ILO), official publications, Non-Government Organisation reports, news sources, and commercial databases, as well as books and journals. Some researchers talked about the interviews that they conducted, and searches for contacts, alongside their use of published and other material.
Since April 2007, the Social Science Collections and Research team at the British Library has been gathering evidence on how researchers find and use information. This has been a high priority for the team, newly-formed to promote and develop collections and services for researchers across the social sciences. Of course, to survey the whole social science research domain was beyond the resources of the team. A number of methods were used to gain both a broad-level overview and a more in-depth understanding of selected areas: • desk-based research of published reports, and the statements made by academic departments, publishers, funding bodies, government departments, policy study centres, and charities2 • over 50 visits to, and focus groups held with, librarians and researchers across the UK; and, • an in-depth report on researchers in the fields of globalisation and population change.3
In some cases it was harder to see common characteristics in use of resources. Language use varied considerably both between and within subjects. Where researchers specialised on a specific country or region, they generally used at least some of the languages of that area. Research that was primarily theoretical tended to be more likely conducted in English only (this was reported by librarians as well as researchers). Other factors included the movement of researchers between countries throughout their careers, and also the number of projects that involve collaboration with partners in other countries.
The process of gathering evidence continues, so this is not a final report. It does however, point to the key emerging trends, impressions and challenges raised for the Library. Finally, the article describes some of the things we are doing in response to the challenges.
Time periods studied also showed much variation. For some subjects, anything that happened more than fifteen years ago was seen as barely relevant. For example, some international relations researchers focused on the post 1945 period, though the majority studied much more recent events. Similarly, the “lifespan” of publications was relatively short, generally put at around 10 years at most (much shorter for some subjects). However, in other cases, a broader historical perspective was taken. For example, work relevant to the development of a particular theoretical or methodological approach, or seminal pieces of research, remained of interest regardless of age.
One early consideration related to definitions. “Social Science” covers a large amount of disparate activity. Although there are some shared characteristics, much more is particular to specific disciplines or subjects. It was soon clear that it was essential to keep in mind that the experiences and priorities of one group were not necessarily representative of researchers in other subjects. This was also something that we needed to consider when looking for researchers to talk to, particularly within Higher Education as the activities we are interested in potentially occur across a number of faculties and schools within a university.
Researchers we spoke to tended to use a set of resources that they were familiar with, and that they trusted. Librarians played an important role in influencing the decisions on trusted sources. Resources commonly cited included: JSTOR, Web of Science, and International Bibliography of Social Sciences. Government websites were often mentioned, as was Google and, less frequently, Wikipedia. However, researchers were well aware of the limitations of Google and Wikipedia as research tools, and would not consider citing or relying uncritically on the information provided by either means. One researcher noted that Google was a good way of finding unpublished material, including presentation slides.
Research is also carried out in a multi-disciplinary environment, often led by the priorities of funding bodies, of governments, or in terms of the challenges that we face in the world today. Examples include climate change, global security, population change (ageing, migration etc), democracy and participation etc. All of these have implications for the study of society, technology, policy making, health care, and so on. An indicator of this multi-disciplinary is the range of funding sources that researchers drew on. From the 200 globalisation and population change researchers who replied to our survey, we
The use of trusted resources extended to choices about use of physical libraries. When describing libraries that they used alongside their own institution, a number of researchers spoke about those they had a long association with. This was true also for those working outside Higher Education, who used the library of an institution where they had been a student. There was very little indication of a willingness to travel to another library that was not previously known. The time needed to get to know how a particular library worked was seen as a disincentive to using new libraries. In the survey
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of researchers in population change and globalisation, more than half replied that a lack of certainty about the British Library’s collections and services was a barrier to their use of the Library. Even more significantly, academic researchers admitted to using the physical library of their own institution less and less.
Considerations for the British Library Alongside the more general questions about research interests and activities, researchers were also asked about their use and perceptions of the British Library. A clear message, common across all subjects, was about visibility. A large number of researchers did not know very much about the Library’s holdings and, with the exception of inter-library loans, did not think that it was relevant to them. The researchers in the study also had some very clear messages about the Library’s website and catalogue. The website was considered difficult to navigate, often using terminology that did not match that used by researchers themselves to describe their work. Some found it difficult and time-consuming to find out about the electronic resources held by the Library, as this information was spread across several different pages. But concerns generally focused on structure and sign-posting rather than on the level of detail contained on the pages. The importance of subject indexing in the catalogue was also stressed. Perhaps the most clear and common message for the Library was the desire for more information available remotely. The study of researchers in population change and globalisation showed that 90% wanted more remote access to electronic materials from the Library. Improved searching, and guides to the collection were also very strongly supported.5
An online resource, centred on sporting events, particularly the Olympics, will show how the collections can support a range of different approaches to a particular subject. The website will feature essays, guides and collection overviews to major sporting events considered from economic, educational, political, social and legislative viewpoints. A key feature of the project will be collaboration with researchers, to show how the Library can encourage new ways of thinking about a subject. Collaboration is an important way in which the Library can reach out to researchers. The Social Science team has been working in partnership with a number of organisations on conferences, workshops and other events, both at the Library and held elsewhere. Other projects, including exhibitions, will provide an opportunity to build relationships with one or more academic departments over the course of a specific activity.
Conclusion The user research carried out so far has been of great value to the Social Science team. It has provided more detail, and some surprising results, about how researches look for information and which sources are most valued. It has given the opportunity to ask questions about use of libraries outside of the home organisation. Also, it has provided a reminder about the differences within a group of disciplines as broad as “social sciences”. The Library needs to communicate clearly to show how it can support the kinds of research that demand information from many different sources. Projects and events can be a valued way of establishing and maintaining partnerships with researchers. In addition, the Social Science team will continue to talk, and listen, to researchers across a range of institutions and sectors.
References Responding to challenges A clear priority for the new team has been, therefore, to improve the visibility of the Library amongst social science researchers, and to review and improve the ways in which they can find out more about collections. The focus groups provided an opportunity to talk about the Library in different organisations across the country. The challenge is to build on this start, to improve awareness of the Library, and confidence in using its resources, more widely across researchers in social sciences. Some of the initiatives of the Social Science team follow. A redesign of the Library’s web pages provided an immediate opportunity. The new “Help for Researchers” section of our website provides subject-based signposting to our collection descriptions and guides. So far, there are more than 20 subject-based pages, using terms identified from desk-based research, which provide overviews, detailed guides and bibliographies on topical subjects. These will be built, to provide an extensive knowledge base of our resources, in all formats, and enable researchers to make effective use of their time when using the Library. ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
This paper was based on a presentation given by Ian Cooke, Gill Ridgley and Jerry Jenkins at the Wesline (West European Studies Library and Information Network) annual conference, 1- 2 September 2008 at the British Library, London A key point of reference was the Research Information Network report, Researchers and their use of academic libraries, published April 2007. This can be accessed online from: http://www.rin.ac.uk/researchers-uselibraries Scoping study to assess the potential for developing and exploiting research resources held at the British Library to inform research into the areas of population change and globalisation, final report to the ESRC and the British Library, Julie Carpenter (Education for Change) and Nick Moore (Acumen), December 2007. This paper makes use of both the final report and the data from the survey of 200 researchers. Research Information Network, as cited above, pp 40 – 1 Researchers were asked “What would encourage you to use the British Library’s collections and services more than you do at present” and given 11 options, of which they could select as many as they liked. 90% selected “Access to more electronic or digitised materials from your own work space (i.e without having to visit the British Library). More than two-thirds also supported “Access to large datasets (e.g. census) from your work space (i.e. without having to visit the British Library)”, “Improved online searching facilities”, and “Research topic guides to the library’s collections relevant to your area of research, in print or online”.
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Survey of CEELBAS researchers’ requirements: some implications for library provision Based on a presentation to the RIN Expert Workshop: world class research needs world class information resources, December 2008. Lesley Pitman, Librarian and Director of Information Services, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library; and Chair, CEELBAS Library Committee.
The Centre for East European Language Based Area Studies (CEELBAS) is one of several centres set up in 2006 with funding from HEFCE, the ESRC and the AHRC, aimed at enhancing the UK’s understanding of the Arabic speaking world, China, Japan, and Eastern Europe. CEELBAS received funding for the five years from October 2006 to September 2011. Led by the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) in partnership with the Universities of Birmingham and Oxford, the Centre also has a broader network of partners in seven other universities. Its main objective is to develop “multi-disciplinary, language-based research capacity around key research themes to generate a sustainable flow of highly trained area expertise”. The scope of CEELBAS is broad. It covers research into eighteen European countries. It supports masters programmes, doctoral students and postdoctoral research fellows, a programme of language skills training for research, user engagement and mid-career training, and a range of networking activities including conferences, workshops and projects. The geographical and linguistic breadth of CEELBAS would be challenging enough, but the most innovative feature of the centre is its interdisciplinary research. This is focused on the following themes:
Cities • • • • • • • •
Health, Wealth, Welfare and Demography Migration and Diasporic Citizenship New Dimensions of Social Inequality Identities and Solidarities Polish Foreign Policy International Relations, Security and Energy Politics Knowledge-based Economies and Societies Political and Economic Processes
The changing pattern of research in area studies The approach to research seen in CEELBAS is the culmination of a trend that has been developing over the last twenty years in the study of Russia and Eastern Europe and that is clearly illustrated in a recent survey of UK theses over the last hundred years.1 A few selected facts taken from that work illustrate the trends clearly: • In the period 1981-86 there were 267 postgraduate theses in the UK. 207 were on Russia, 16 on Yugoslavia and 14 on Poland. The majority were on Russian literature, language or history. • Between 1997 and 2001 there were 669 theses. 50% were on economics, politics and international relations – across the region. • In the 100 years of UK research on REES 54% of the 101 theses on society have been produced since 2000. Only twenty percent predate 1990. • There have been 50 theses on health and welfare since 1907. 36 of them date from 2000 or later. 45 postdate 1989 Since the fall of communism the main areas of growth have been the contemporary, economic, political, social and cultural aspects of the region as a whole. At the same time the traditional research areas of language, literature and history have remained steady. By developing its interdisciplinary research themes, CEELBAS is both reflecting and building on these trends to help set the research agenda for the future.
Existing library collaborations in Russian and East European Studies Research within CEELBAS is based on collaboration between the partner institutions, and the libraries supporting that research needed to collaborate as well. Fortunately UK libraries working in the area have a strong tradition of collaboration already. The Council for Slavonic and East European Library and Information Services (COSEELIS) was founded in 1964 and has been the springboard for a series of projects on collaborative collection management funded successively by the RSLP, CURL and the RIN. The information gathered in the various projects has greatly enhanced our understanding of the strengths and weaknesses in library provision nationally for Russian and East European studies. When CEELBAS began it was clear that the partner libraries would need a formal structure to discuss research resources and the CEELBAS library committee was set up. This builds on the work done by the earlier projects, but it is interesting to note that the membership of CEELBAS does not match exactly the membership of the earlier projects, or of COSEELIS.
Research under these headings might be contemporary or historical, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, comparative, or focused on one country. It cuts across the traditional disciplinary boundaries in university departments. It is also collaborative, being distributed between the partner institutions and brought together in conferences, workshops, and publications. Further information on the CEELBAS programme can be found at www. ceelbas.ac.uk. ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
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Survey of researchers’ needs
One of the early tasks of the CEELBAS Library Committee was to try and establish the research needs of the small but very disparate group of researchers within CEELBAS. A survey was set up using Survey Monkey and distributed in the autumn of 2008 to the 41 research students working within CEELBAS. In addition to information about where the students were studying the survey asked the following questions:
Research in Russian and East European Studies has become much more diverse since 1989 and therefore more challenging to support, despite the strength of the main research library collections and its recognition by national funders as being strategically important to the UK. The collaborative structures that exist for research libraries in the field can help identify the needs of researchers for materials, but usually retrospectively. Researchers are usually rooted in a discipline as well as a country or area, but they are often separated from others working in the same discipline within an institution, making it harder to meet their general research needs. Area studies research usually falls outside the main disciplinary departments in universities and the range of disciplines subsumed within area studies is not widely understood. Even given enough funding and prior knowledge of exact research topics it would be difficult to provide all the material needed. In some cases it simply does not exist or is very expensive and beyond the means of a single library to buy. Licensing restrictions make it difficult to share expensive subscriptions between libraries, even when it is to support shared research.
• Please give the subject of your research. • Please give the names of the top three resources that are essential to carry out your research. • Do you consider that you have access to all the resources you need to carry out your CEELBAS research? • If not, can you name any resources that you need? The results were disappointing in some ways, but clearly indicative of the problems surrounding small, complex and very diverse areas of research. Less than half the recipients completed the survey, which made the amount of data received too small to be statistically significant. This will always be a problem in subject areas with relatively small numbers of researchers nationally, even when the strategic importance of the research is clearly recognised. The research topics listed ranged from HIV in Russia to the theme of migration in contemporary Polish drama. Almost half (47.1%) considered that they had access to all the resources they needed. The others took full advantage of the opportunity to list the materials they felt they lacked, and this was where another difficulty became apparent. The range of requests was hugely varied and included: • • • • • • • • • •
It is clear that librarians need to be involved at an early stage when national initiatives are planned to support new research areas, and national negotiation for expensive electronic resources from abroad would be very useful, even though the potential user groups are relatively small. The CEELBAS Library group will continue to work to promote a collaborative approach to supporting research in language-based area studies.
University theses in Russian, Soviet and East European studies 1907-2006 by Gregory Walker and J.S.G. Simmons, Modern Humanities Research Association, 2008 (MHRA bibliographies)
official electoral statistics academic books especially in area of sociology more Russian-language journals a subscription service for news from the Balkans increased access to online Hungarian journals more contemporary Romanian films archives of Russian TV transcripts contemporary playtexts Bulgarian statistical data by ethnicity more books on contemporary Romania and journals of Romanian studies
There was obviously no single solution that could meet all their needs, and it was clear that the next cohort of researchers soon to be recruited would have their own distinct research interests.The CEELBAS Library Committee discussed the survey results and decided to pursue the provision of official statistics nationally, as that was one clear area that emerged that could be addressed collaboratively. Other gaps will have to be met by discussion between the researchers concerned, local librarians, and the CEELBAS Management Board.
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Resource Sharing for Chinese Studies: A co-operative approach among Scottish University Libraries1
The following table indicates the areas and scope of collaboration among the four libraries:
Benefiting areas Information service
Collaboration between research libraries today mainly focuses on the following areas: sharing bibliographical data, reciprocal borrowing, consortial approach to acquisition of e-resources, and now increasingly in digitisation and open access to institutional repositories. Our cooperative scheme extended beyond the data and library services to material acquisition for both print and electronic resources, cataloguing of vernacular language material, as well as information service through a project website. Therefore, the Consortium was based on a sharing of several kinds of resources: library material, library facilities (in the form of library access and borrowing rights), book funds, management, and language expertise. Within the Consortium, the level and method of involvement by each member institution depended upon their role in the corresponding MCS programme or the expertise they could offer.
Method and scope of collaboration
The purpose of the consortium was to provide library and information support for the postgraduate conversion courses leading to the degree of Master of Chinese Studies (MCS). The project lasted for five years till summer 2005.
Web server & expertise
In December 1997 a review of Chinese Studies in the UK, conducted by HEFCE in collaboration with SHEFC, identified “an increase in demand for people with skills in Chinese language, and with an understanding … of Chinese culture and political and social systems” (HEFCE Report2, 3b). One of the recommended actions was to provide additional funding “to build up library provision for Chinese studies, planned as a national resource, to ensure that this meets the needs of the centres and of the subject nationally” (4f). On the basis of the review and given the limited number of higher education institutions with resources related to China, SHEFC decided that library and information provision for Chinese studies in Scotland be delivered on a consortium basis (SHEFC Circular Letter3, 5). In September 2000 such a consortium was set up among the Libraries of Aberdeen, Abertay Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities, with Edinburgh being the lead site.
Chinese language skills
Shenxiao Tong East Asian Librarian Edinburgh University Library
Edinburgh Glasgow Abertay Aberdeen
Figure 1: Method and scope of collaboration As the table shows, collaboration in bibliographical services such as material acquisition and cataloguing of vernacular language material were set up between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Aberdeen’s involvement was limited to a share of the supplementary funds and library information service, which corresponded to its limited involvement in the MCS programme. Although Abertay did not contribute to the teaching, it played a major role in setting up and maintaining the project web site with its excellent IT expertise. The Chinese Studies Librarian, based in Edinburgh, took a co-ordinating role between all the four sites, in disseminating information and carrying out the activity of material purchase and cataloguing in the vernacular script for both Edinburgh and Glasgow. The overall management of the collaboration was supervised by a senior librarian in Edinburgh, and monitored annually by Librarians of member institutions and the fund provider SHEFC. Abertay: IT expertise, web
Glasgow: politics, economics
Edinburgh: language, literature, history, business
Figure 2: Spread of subject expertise ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
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SHEFC funding provided 75% of the salary cost for the Chinese Librarian post. The other 25% was covered by University of Edinburgh.
Management of material funds Over the five year period, a total of £98,900 was received and spent, mostly on material purchase and a small amount on web development and travel. The total funding for the MCS programme itself was £150,000 a year, i.e. £750,000 in total. There were two book funds from SHEFC for the project – the main fund and the supplementary fund, both provided annually in August and managed centrally at Edinburgh. The main fund was divided up between the four libraries according to the terms agreed by the Librarians at the beginning of the project. The supplementary fund was also allocated annually but by a different method. First of all, a fixed amount was top-sliced for Abertay and Aberdeen respectively for web development and as a contribution to teaching, while the remaining amount was divided between Edinburgh and Glasgow by two bidding sessions a year. This helped ensure institutional priorities in material acquisitions. There was some initial difficulty in budget control because of different funds for different institutions and allocated at different stages. This problem was soon resolved when Edinburgh’s Voyager system was used to process, record and monitor every spending.
Reciprocal library access Unlike the situation in England where library resources for Chinese studies have been well established in a number of universities, the Chinese Collection at Edinburgh is the only collection of Chinese language materials in Scotland. Meanwhile English language materials in the subject area exist in the libraries of member institutions that contribute to the teaching of the MCS courses, especially in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Resource sharing in the form of reciprocal library access was therefore considered not only necessary but geographically possible. In September 2002, full access to Edinburgh facilities with borrowing rights were arranged for the Glasgow and Aberdeen academic staff teaching the MCS courses. In the same spirit of co-operation, Glasgow offered a reciprocal service to MCS academic staff based in other universities. As the location of MCS courses alternated between Edinburgh and Glasgow, students were given full access to both libraries through matriculation with both Universities.
Cataloguing and classification Collaboration extended to cataloguing and classification of the Chinese language material. The Chinese Studies Librarian catalogued Chinese language materials for both Edinburgh and Glasgow, the latter being achieved remotely through telnet. Classification of these materials for the two sites was done locally by each institution.
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Information service The Scottish Information Network Online for Chinese Studies (SINO-CS) for the project was launched in May 2001, which provided an information gateway to a wide range of resources such as course material, reference bibliography, news and events, and internet links for Chinese studies. It also delivered an efficient library service, in the shape of online Book Suggestion Form, whereby academic staff based in different institutions could send their requests and check the archived lists of their book recommendations and their acquisition status. It was in the development of this service that Abertay’s role came in, where the web site was hosted. This wa another kind of collaboration within the Consortium, by the use of a Content Management System between the web developer and the content manager who were based in the two different institutions. The Chinese Studies Librarian could update the web content in an approved and controlled form whenever he chose and wherever he was, with little reliance upon technical expertise and therefore reduced overhead maintenance in terms of cost and resources. The SINO-CS website served not only as an information portal for staff and students; it also played an important role in advertising the programme and helping with the student recruitment.
Beyond the SHEFC-funded project Funding for the Chinese Studies in Scotland Initiative came to an end in the summer of 2005. However, both the MCS programme itself and the collaboration between Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities have continued. MCS has become a normal postgraduate degree programme at the University of Edinburgh, with certain elements of teaching being contributed by the University of Glasgow. As there is no funding any more for the library project, there is no longer the dedicated library post or joint activity for material purchase. The SINO-CS website no longer exists, but most of the useful web resources have been transferred to the new programme website. The structure for library collaboration is still in place, particularly in the following areas: cataloguing of the Chinese language material, joint subscription to Chinese eresources, and reciprocal provision of library membership. Indeed, library collaboration and resource sharing are thought to be the way forward, with or without project funding.
References 1. 2. 3.
This paper is based on a presentation at the RIN CLBAS Workshop in London, Tuesday 2 December 2008. HEFCE Report 99/09, February 1999. [WWW] http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/1999/99_09.htm (last accessed on 13 March 2009). SHEFC Circular Letter 22.99, 30 April 1999. [WWW] http://www.sfc.ac.uk/information/info_circulars/shefc/1999/ he2299/he2299.pdf (last accessed on 13 March 2009).
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EThOS – Opening Access to UK Theses Tracy Kent (University of Birmingham) & Kevin O’Leary (Imperial College London), Anthony Troman (The British Library) EThOSnet Project Team
Introduction On the 20th January 2009 the EThOS service went live (http://ethos.bl.uk), opening up access to UK PhD theses within the UK HE community and around the world. In this article we will provide some background and a brief re-cap of what the service provides before focussing on the outcomes of the service including usage and demand for theses, the successful take-up of the service and a case study from one of the participating institutions showing how EThOS is working in practice for HEIs who have joined the service.
Open access, as defined within the constraints of the EThOS service, will allow researchers to download an electronic copy of a requested thesis for free. If a thesis is not in digital format and requires digitisation then it will be paid for by the awarding participating HEI. If a thesis is requested from an HEI who has opted out of paying for open access supply, then digitisation of the thesis will be charged to the first researcher ordering the item, and thereafter it will be free to download and hence open access. The EThOS central hub offers a single point of access to all UK doctoral theses by harvesting e-theses from institutional repositories and by generating e-content by digitising paper-theses on a not for profit basis. Once in EThOS, the theses will be preserved in perpetuity by the British Library. Theses are being digitised based on user demand. Since EThOS went live the service has met with unprecedented demand and in its first month received approximately 9 months worth of requests (compared with the previous microfilm based service).
Institutions can also have digitised electronic copies harvested back to their Institutional Repository if they wish which increases the available content of electronic theses; this functionality will be expanded as part of future developments to the system.
EThOS is a service funded by JISC, RLUK and 7 project partners (Imperial College London, British Library, Cranfield University, Robert Gordon University, University of Birmingham, University of Glasgow and the University of Hull), to bring the UK to the forefront of international e-theses provision.
The service also provides for an infrastructure which gives a choice of participation options that allow other, smaller HEIs or those working in less popular areas to make their theses available. This can be seen in the increasing number of signups from across the Higher Education landscape
Through this collaborative approach, EThOS: • offers a ‘single point of access’ where researchers the world over can access Doctoral theses produced by UK Higher Education • supports HEIs through the transition from print to e-theses • helps UK HEIs expand available content by digitising paper theses • helps to demonstrate the quality of UK research and hence attract students and research investment into UK HE
Why EThOS? Until recently, the act of using a thesis for research involved a process that could take up to 6 weeks from request to delivery. EThOS now enables researchers the ability to search for theses online and to access, from their desktop, the full text, in secure format, of electronically stored theses. The key to the success of EThOS is making UK theses ‘open to all’. The UK HE community mandated responsible open access to make UK doctoral theses readily available and free at the point of use.
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Benefits to Institutions Benefits to institutions of using EThOS include savings in the current costs of providing theses such as reduced staff time in producing, borrowing and handling theses and extra shelf space. Statistical data is available to institutions such as frequently requested materials which help institutions predict future demands and target efforts. Making PhD research outputs available open access highlights research coming out of institutions and the UK and sets the platform for future collaborations between leaders in different fields of research and attracts investment into the UK.
Demand for theses – usage statistics Microfilm
20/01/09 – 16/03/09
No. theses filmed/digitised
No. theses supplied
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The above figures show that in the two months since the service has been live, EThOS has actually surpassed a year’s supply of the old microfilm service both in terms of theses filmed under the British Thesis Service or digitised under EThOS and also in terms of supply of those theses. This is a great example of how UK research is being accessed and used much more easily throughout the world.
Staff worked closely with the Alumni Office to obtain contact details and an internal database of Theses Requests. This database is the hub of the operation being updated with data on permissions and embargos. Users who made requests for PhDs through Document Supply were also targeted about the forthcoming service and invited to submit e-theses if they were Birmingham Alumni.
There are currently ninety seven institutions that have signed up to EThOS and this number is set to increase in the future.
This approach has the dual aim of obtaining e-content and promoting the existence of UBIRA and EThOS. The information was clear that this was an opt out policy.
Case Study: implementation of EThOS at the University of Birmingham
Revising Legal Agreements and Licences
The University of Birmingham is a research led institution which awards c200 PhDs per year across a broad range of subject disciplines. The University currently has a voluntary scheme for users to deposit electronic copies of their thesis and this will become mandatory in the 2009/10 academic year.
Submitting voluntarily, users signed a Supplementary Author Declaration (e-thesis) form developed in addition to the previous (print based) Agreement form. Of note was that this agreement recognised the role of EThOS. Staff in Digital Assets are now working with the University Student Records to revise the Deposit Agreement to accommodate the mandatory submissions in 2009/10. Text taken from the exemplar deposit agreement on the EThOSnet toolkit is included in this revision.
Before EThOS The paper based requests for Birmingham theses would average around 5 requests per week (on a good week) through the British Thesis Service. The University developed an Institutional Research Archive (in 2006) – UBIRA – where electronic deposits of full-text doctoral theses are held. Theses content in electronic form currently dates back to 1985 although the majority of content is from 2000 onwards.
For requests for theses to be supplied to EThOS authors are sent a letter requesting that they either submit an electronic copy or permission for the scanning of the paper copy. Users have to actively Opt Out if they do not wish to have their thesis made available via EThOS. Of the 100+ letters sent out only a handful have opted out with an increasing number supplying an electronic copy by return.
Dealing with restrictions, embargos and copyright Preparing for EThOS Birmingham, keen to realise the benefits of EThOS and to promote its own research, joined EThOS as a partner institution and signed up as an Open Access Sponsor. A targeted strategy set out to actively deal with the issues and practicalities of implementing EThOS. • • • • •
Four key elements of this strategy are of note: Actively seek e-content Involve all stakeholders Implement an “Opt Out” policy Safe supply through due diligence
On the receipt of a thesis request, Library staff will check to see if there are any restrictions, embargoes and copyright issues. Where there appears to be no issues of this nature the thesis will be supplied for digitisation. If there are matters to be resolved efforts are made to contact the author of the thesis to resolve them and, based on the permissions received, the printed thesis will be subsequently supplied or declined if appropriate. In this way we believe we have applied due diligence to dealing with restrictions, embargoes and copyright for printed theses supplied to EThOS. For items where an embargo has been placed (normally a maximum of four years) only the metadata (including the abstract) is supplied to EThOS. Local records are amended to reflect each situation to ensure an audit trail is maintained.
Actively seeking e-content
The Digital Assets team set about publicising EThOS through our internal channels from writing news items for departmental, college and university wide publications inviting Birmingham authors to submit electronic content of their theses. Letters were also sent to members of recent degree congregations inviting electronic submission.
Advising key stakeholders on EThOS requires an enhanced liaison role for Subject Librarians in particular. Specifically, by working on developing existing training materials for new authors on the issue of copyright in theses (in the light of electronic availability of theses) and the use of third-party materials. The key has been to actively encourage
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authors to seek out necessary permissions for inclusion of materials in their thesis for wider distribution. Optional use of a Creative Commons licence is also highlighted if appropriate.
Innovative Collaboration in Action: UK Research Reserve
Dealing with the Change
Within the first six weeks we had already had requests for around 120 Birmingham theses (over a years supply under the old scheme!). After the initial high demand, requests have subsided to a more manageable level with around 5 or 6 requests per day. EThOS has harvested theses from UBIRA adding to the overall number of Birmingham doctoral theses available.
Libraries are evolving to engage with and support their users’ changing requirements. The need for space is growing but the demand for print research journals remains. The UK Research Reserve is a 21st century strategy designed to secure the future of these infrequently used print journals. The material will be preserved and remain accessible to researchers, whilst enabling libraries to be responsive to other demands from their constituents.
The most dramatic change has come from the Document Supply Team who have witnessed a decline in the number of users requesting UK PhDs from other institutions. Although a store fetching service is still operated (for local users wishing to view the printed copy) the number of requests is already beginning to diminish as users are pointed to EThOS. Birmingham took the decision not to cover the digitisation costs in the event of requests by local users for theses from non Open Access participants in EThOS. To date this has not caused any difficulties for the front line staff.
Popularity of EThOS Have Birmingham theses become more popular as a result? It’s early days yet but a quick statistical analysis outlines the increase in downloads across the e-theses repository with the most popular thesis (Determination of metal quality of aluminium and its alloys) being downloaded 191 times in the six weeks since EThOS was launched. In addition there have been 395 unique Birmingham theses ordered from EThOS for supply to date and the number of submissions of e-theses has also increased, with several a week being added.
Lessons learned Success breeds success. EThOS has proved very popular for discovering Birmingham theses and, despite the initial swamp of requests, has turned into a manageable service. It is impossible to underestimate the importance of advocacy – at all levels and with all key stakeholders in gradually building up good relationships and quality content for electronic theses. This means that EThOS has provided Birmingham with the opportunity to widely disseminate doctoral theses through a service which is meeting the needs of the users.
Further information You can access the EThOS service at http://ethos.bl.uk More information on the EThOS service and how to become involved can be found on the EThOS Toolkit: http://ethostoolkit.cranfield.ac.uk ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
Frances Boyle, UKRR Manager Alice Ashley-Smith, Management Trainee, Imperial College London
The landscape It has been predicted that within the next 10 years there will be a shortfall of 350 linear kilometres in Higher Education (HE) libraries; an unsettling prospect.1 Despite the shortage of space in libraries being recognised as long ago as 1976, when the Atkinson Report championed the idea of the self renewing library, little real progress has been made.2 In many countries it is still commonplace for HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) to regard the size of their collections as a metric of value and reputation. This in turn will have an impact on the way libraries can be experienced by the current generation of users. As McDonald and Thomas suggest: ‘Finding the right way to achieve balance between traditional library values and the expectations and habits of coming generations will determine whether libraries remain relevant in the social, educational and personal contexts of the Information Age.’3 The UK Research Reserve aims to be an enabling mechanism which will allow university libraries to achieve that right balance to best serve the needs of their research and learning communities
What is UKRR? The idea of the UK Research Reserve was first formulated in 2006 by Clare Jenkins, then Chair of CURL4, and Jan Wilkinson, then Head of Higher Education at the British Library. The nascent scheme was strongly supported by Professor David Eastwood, Chief Executive of HEFCE. The principle is simple, yet ingenious: collaboration between HE libraries and the British Library to create a reserve of low use print journals stored and managed jointly. The key objective is to create a central research reserve in which three copies of these low use print journals will be held. One copy will be kept at the British Library and another two will be stored across the HE sector.
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Through this co-ordinated approach libraries will be able to de-duplicate to implement their institutional collection management policies in the knowledge that the journal titles will be preserved and remain accessible to their users. The added bonus is that the released space will allow the libraries to satisfy other demands on their estate.
Why is UKRR important? Although there has been a substantial growth in electronic holdings within the HE sector many print collections show no sign of declining. This is particularly the case if the material is unavailable on-line or indeed if there is concern regarding sustainable access to the electronic content. A recent study of the usage of biomedical journals shows that usage distributions exhibited a ‘long tail’: fifty percent of the 79,827 requests were for journal volumes published before 1986.5 This evidence is substantiated by the British Library’s analysis of the material supplied from the Document Supply Service over the last few years. In 2002 over fifty percent of requested material was for papers published in the last two years. In 2007 this half-life moved to five years.6 Older journals though they may be seldom used are still a valuable resource and it is imperative that they are managed in a strategic fashion. However, as already highlighted, demand for space is a constant challenge within the HE library sector. The term ‘Generation Y’ has been coined to describe the user who expects their library to be spacious and technologically advanced.7 Indeed this new ‘flavour’ of user is the subject of a recently announced joint programme by the JISC and the British Library.8 In 1995 JSTOR was founded with the intention of preserving access to scholarly content and thereby reducing costs for libraries to maintain sustainable access to this collection. However evidence points to the fact that libraries were reluctant to dispose. In 2003 over half of subscribing libraries had not discarded, and had no plans to discard, titles included in JSTOR.9 The UKRR programme enables libraries to strategically plan for ‘Generation Y’ by releasing space to be used to support their needs whilst providing a reliable access to their traditional collections.
How will UKRR benefit the HE library user? There is no definitive type of university library user, there are many, all of whom have different needs and expectations from their library. Carr is correct to argue that currently few libraries are providing all users with the service they require and ‘the endless possibilities of the digital communications era are still bumping uncomfortably against some “big legacy” issues of the era of print-on-paper’.10 UKRR is a step forward in achieving a balanced relationship between the print and digital worlds. Retaining the richness and depth of the research collection for the community is at the core of UKRR. Access to the research collections is protected as the programme funding ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
will secure the modernisation of the British Library’s document supply infrastructure. Researchers will benefit from the best of both worlds, a comfortable environment to work in, with quick and easy access to low-use print journals as and when required, including material which may not have been held in their library and would have been difficult to discover. The British Library is offering a 24 hour electronic delivery to UKRR members. Postal and fax delivery are also available, together with Reading Room access at St. Pancras and Boston Spa. As the core of the UKRR is being held at the British Library’s Boston Spa site gaps in their current collection will be filled ensuring complete runs of journals wherever possible.
How will UKRR work? Since the programme began in 2006 UKRR has progressed leaps and bounds. A Phase One pilot project ran successfully for 18 months from January 2007 to August 2008. The pilot involved the universities of Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, Liverpool, Newcastle, Southampton and St Andrews. It was led by Imperial College London. During the pilot over 11,000 metres of shelf space were freed. As a benefit to the university sector as a whole this can be seen as equivalent to a saving in recurrent estates costs of £308,000 and a capital value approaching £3.8 million per year.11 The Phase One pilot has set solid foundations for a successful Research Reserve and Phase Two programme. The British Library have already checked more than 14,000 holdings records submitted by partners against their own holdings, and more than 8,000 titles are currently in the Research Reserve collection there. Those universities involved in the pilot are reaping the many benefits of UKRR. Their users benefit from a more pleasant environment in which to work, an increase in study spaces, and an efficient and reliable access to a wider range of journals. The goal of Phase One was to identify and manage the challenges and to prove the UKRR concept was a workable process. This was undeniably achieved in a proactive and positive manner with the support of pilot libraries and the British Library. The evaluation report on Phase One found: ‘On the basis of evidence to date Phase One is likely to achieve most of its targets. The project has been well governed and managed, and has established robust operational procedures used by the pilot universities and the BL.’12 This has resulted in HEFCE funding £9.84 million for the expansion of the 5 year UKRR Phase Two programme. In its second phase UKRR will become a member organisation with university libraries invited to join to both de-duplicate their and also to act as holding libraries for some material to ensure that 3 copies are distributed across the Research Reserve. There is a subscription fee based on the JISC bands payable over the 5 years of the programme. UKRR members will have access to the HEFCE funds to de-duplicate their low use journals.
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Moving forward UKRR launched the Phase Two programme in mid February. It is currently in the planning stage, testing its systems and processes and taking forward the lessons learnt from the pilot project. To achieve its goals UKRR relies on the ongoing collaboration and participation of colleagues across the HE sector. UKRR has already received valuable support from the Research Information Network (RIN), Research Libraries UK (RLUK), the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). It has also demonstrated the willingness and effectiveness of collaboration between HE and the British Library. Five years on UKRR aims to have ‘liberated’ 100 kilometres of shelving. With the British Library holding one copy of the journal and another two copies within the sector, these low-use printed journals will be available for many moons to come. If you are interested in joining UKRR please go to www.ukrr.ac.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CHEMS Consulting Optimising Storage and Access in UK Research Libraries (September 2005). http://www. rluk.ac.uk/files/Optimising Storage and Access in UK Research Libraries Full Report, September 2005 2. R.C.J. Atkinson, Capital Provision for University Libraries: Report of a Working Party (London, HMSO, 1976) p.3. 3. R.H.McDonald, and T.Chuck, ‘Disconnects between library culture and millennial generation values’ Educause Quarterly, 4 (2006) p.6. 4. CURL is now RLUK www.rluk.ac.uk 5. S. Starr, and J. Williams, ‘The long tail: a usage of analysis of pre-1993 print biomedical journal literature’ Journal of the Medical Library Association, 96/1 (January 2008) pp.20. 6. M. Pfleger, ‘The British Library: the changing face of document supply’ Interlending and Document Supply, 36/3 (2008) pp.132.e 7. J. Vorman, Generation Y biggest user of libraries: survey http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/ idUSN2849864420071230 (December 2007) 8. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/news/stories/2009/01/ygen.aspx 9. CHEMS (2005) p.11. 10. R. Carr, ‘What users want: An academic ‘hybrid’ library perspective’ Ariadne, 46 http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/ issue46/carr/ (February 2006). 11. CHEMS (2005) p.5. 12. CHEMS, An evaluation of phase one of the UK Research Reserve: reports (Chems consulting, 2008) p.2.
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Atkinson, R.J.C. Capital Provision for University Libraries: Report of a Working Party (London, HMSO, 1976) CAVAL CARM website http://www.caval.edu.au/carm.html CHEMS Consulting Optimising Storage and Access in UK Research Libraries (September 2005) CHEMS Consulting An evaluation of Phase One of the UK Research Reserve: reports (2008) Carr, R. ‘What users want: An academic ‘hybrid’ library perspective’ Ariadne, 46 http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue46/ carr/ (February 2006). McDonald, R.H. and Chuck, T. ‘Disconnects between library culture and millennial generation values’ Educause Quarterly, 4 (2006) pp. 4-6. Pfleger, M. ‘The British Library: the changing face of document supply’ Interlending and Document Supply, 36/3 (2008) pp.132-134. Shorley, D. ‘Past its shelve by date? United Kingdom Research Reserve (UKRR): A twenty-first-century strategy to protect out research information for the future’ New Review of Academic Librarianship, 14 (2008) pp.115-120. Starr, S and Williams, J. ‘The long tail: a usage of analysis of pre-1993 print biomedical journal literature’ Journal of the Medical Library Association, 96/1 (January 2008) pp.20-27. Vorman, J. Generation Y biggest user of libraries: survey http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/ idUSN2849864420071230 (December 2007) Wright, N. and Crawford. J. ‘Supporting access to the UK’s research collection: the UK Research Reserve project’ Interlending and Document Supply, 36/4 (2008) pp.210-212. Wright, N. ‘Protecting the UK’s research collection: the UK Research Reserve project’ SCONUL Focus, 40 (Spring 2007) pp.38-40.
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UK research libraries collaborate to digitise a million pages of 19th Century political and social pamphlets.
Grant Young, Digitisation and Digital Preservation Specialist, Cambridge University Library
Earls Grey Collection belonging to family of politicians and colonial administrators
University of Liverpool
Earls of Derby (Knowsley) Collection belonging to family of politicians and colonial administrators
This new collection is interesting in terms of its content, but also the approaches taken in its creation, in particular the extent of its collaboration and its models for resource discovery and digital sustainability. This short article introduces the content and then considers these aspects of the resource’s creation.
Joseph Hume (1777-1855) Personal collection of an MP active within the first half of the 19th Century
Joseph Cowen (1829-1900) Personal collection of an MP active within the second half of the 19th Century
Why are 19th Century pamphlets interesting?
University of Manchester
Foreign Office & Colonial Office Official government collections focused on international relations and the Empire Selections from other pamphlet holdings Includes an important collection dealing with slavery
University of Bristol
Selection from pamphlet holdings Particularly from the National Liberal Club collection which includes personal and party collections
Selection from pamphlet holdings LSE is strong in party and pressure-group collections
Introduction Those teaching or researching the social, political or economic history of the 19th Century now have access to a substantial new resource due to the collaboration of several UK research libraries. Once the release of 19th Century British Pamphlets Collection within JSTOR is completed, users will be able to search and view more than 25,000 digitised pamphlets – over a million pages – delivered in high-quality facsimile versions.
Pamphlets played an important role within 19th Century political and social discourse, representing a key way for individuals, groups or organisations to get their message across to others. Pamphlets might be thought of as serving a similar purpose to some of the web-blogging of today. They were often self-published works by opinionated individuals or pressure groups and it is possible to trace debates through large sequences of pamphlets. Of course, compared with today’s websites and blog entries, this 19th Century equivalent was more verbose (often running into tens of pages), much slower (debates taking place over months or years) and much more difficult to thread together (no RSS feed being available). Not all 19th Century pamphlets were strongly polemical. The pamphlet was a convenient format to issue all manner of information, and the digital collection contains an extremely wide range of content: including maps, diagrams, statistical information, and rich description of aspects of everyday life. Britain was at the height of power in this century, controlling a substantial empire and intimately involved in the affairs of other powers. This is well reflected in the digital resource; particularly in the pamphlets that have been scanned from the 19th Century collections of the Foreign Office and Colonial Office, which are now cared for by the University of Manchester. The following table lists the collections that were digitised and are available within JSTOR, giving a hint of the wide range of content now available at each user’s desktop.
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Because they were often short, issued in small print runs, and held between flimsy paper covers, 19th Century pamphlets have not survived as well as some other forms of 19th Century publication. Many are now quite rare, surviving in a few known copies. Libraries that collected or inherited them would seldom catalogue individual pamphlet titles, but tended to place them in boxes or bind them together in large volumes (usually by subject). As a result, pamphlets have generally been quite difficult to discover and onerous to access, and so have been underutilised within research and teaching. From 1999-2002 a large retrospective cataloguing project created records for nearly 180,000 pamphlets held within libraries who were members of the Research Libraries UK group (RLUK, then called CURL). Other libraries took advantage of this work and catalogued their collections. The addition of these records to library catalogues and particular the joint Copac database, made it very much easier for researchers to discover ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
a pamphlet’s existence and whereabouts. However, having discovered a pamphlet, they would then frequently have to decide whether it was worth the effort to undertake expensive and time-consuming journeys to look at fairly short documents. In digitising a large selection of these pamphlets, the 19th Century Pamphlets Online digitisation project took a further and vital step in opening up access to this resource: providing desktop access.
Why is the 19th Century Pamphlets Online digitisation project interesting? The 19th Century Pamphlets Online project ran from February 2007 – March 2009. It was sponsored by RLUK, funded by the JISC and led by the University of Southampton. Pamphlets were scanned from collections held by the universities of Bristol, Durham, Liverpool, LSE, Manchester, Newcastle and UCL. JSTOR provided hosting and preservation, with Mimas enabling links to the digitised pamphlets from the Copac database and individual library OPACs. A large proportion of this content is available from JSTOR as this article goes to press; the remainder will be released within a few months.
Collaboration Working in a large consortia proved challenging: requiring the project to build strong relationships and maintain good communication. Within a two-year project, personnel and priorities can shift, and it can be hard to maintain momentum and commitment. The sponsorship of RLUK proved very useful. It helped to hold together the partnership during the course of this project and provided an important sense of continuity: stretching back to the earlier cataloguing project and forward into the future (e.g. RLUK took on the role of the holding body for the licensed content). Continuity is extremely difficult to achieve in a short-term collaborative project, but is vital where the digital resource and the contractual relationships supporting it need to extend very far into the future. The broad collaboration also enabled the project to act in an efficient and flexible way, drawing on a considerable pool of expertise among its partners. The project was led by the University of Southampton Library, which also took responsibility for the centralised scanning of the pamphlets within its expert digitisation unit. The partnership enabled Southampton to second staff from other institutions or to commission work from others as it made sense to do so. This had the advantage of drawing on existing expertise, but it also meant that much of that expertise was retained beyond the project – another challenge with project-based digitisation.
Resource discovery From its outset the project was determined to avoid creating a digital ‘silo’. Instead it partnered with JSTOR, taking advantage of JSTOR’s delivery system and enabling the pamphlets to be found alongside related content within JSTOR. The collection will benefit from JSTOR’s vigorous marketing activities and also from the linking arrangements JSTOR has with other organisations, which include Google, the History Cooperative , and RePEc (Research Papers in Economics). As a result, the pamphlets will soon appear within Google Scholar and be fully indexed by Google’s spider, enabling them to be found via a standard Google web search. The partnership with Mimas was also intended to improve discovery of the collection. Mimas has further developed the Copac catalogue to include direct links to the digital pamphlets within JSTOR. It is also making these links available to libraries who hold original copies of the pamphlets so these can be incorporated within their own library catalogues.
Preservation and sustainability Preservation and sustainability are key challenges for large digitisation projects, especially those created by a consortium – who is going to take long-term responsibility for a resource once the project is over and the money runs out?. The Pamphlets project chose to address these through its ‘business model’, in particular through an agreement made between RLUK and JSTOR. JSTOR has agreed to undertake the long-term preservation of the large archival and delivery datasets for RLUK and the project partners and to deliver the collection for free to UK universities, colleges, schools and public libraries. In exchange – and in order to fund this – JSTOR are able to provide subscription access to the pamphlets within other parts of the world. There is a 25-year agreement underpinning this model – which as anyone engaged in digitisation or digital licensing will know, is a very long-term.
Accessing the pamphlets Readers who belong to institutions subscribing to JSTOR will already have free access to the pamphlets. The following page links to the collections (click on ‘View Title List’): http://www.jstor.org/page/info/participate/other/britishPamphlets.jsp Support for UK institutions who are not currently JSTOR subscribers will be provided by JISC Collections – as long as the institution falls within HE or FE, or is a school or public library. Please contact JISC Collections for information: http://www.jisc-collections.ac.uk/ A website is being developed to support the use of the pamphlets. This will include resources for teachers, students, undergraduates and post-graduate researchers. It will also contain further information about this website. We expect this to be available shortly after the publication of this article at: http://www.britishpamphlets.org.uk/
ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
Putting Welsh Journals Online: the challenges Martin Locock, Welsh Journals Online project manager National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
The National Library of Wales was established in 1907 to collect and provide access to material relating to Wales and the Welsh-speaking peoples. The most heavily used printed works are its collection of scholarly and popular journals. These formed the basis of the Library’s first foray into the field of mass digitisation, following many years work on the digitisation of iconic manuscripts and other items to form its Digital Mirror. The Welsh Journals Online project was funded by grants from JISC via its Digitisation Programme and the Welsh Assembly Government and by the NLW’s funds. The project started in January 2007 and will end in June 2009; by which time the website ( welshjournals.llgc.org.uk ) will include 50 titles and 400,000 pages of text. This paper will review some of the challenges encountered by the project and outline how these were faced.
Scale, timing and work rate When the project proposal was being developed, it was assumed that the factor determining the quantity of material to be processed would be the rate of scanning. The project used two dedicated Zeutschel 5000TT scanners, capable of handling more than 2,000 pages per day. What became clear early on was that creating the metadata necessary to manage and present the scans, cataloguing each article and recording page ordering and labels, took up more time than the scanning operation; by the end of the project there were three metadata staff for each person scanning. Because the metadata work was the limiting factor, decisions about data standards had important and direct effects on the final output. Authority control for author names was dropped when it was realised that the process of finding and entering the authorised form for each article record was taking up more time than the whole remainder of the record. Even after simplification of the data, the scale of the project had to be reduced to match the resources available.
Selection and definition The Library estimated that there were about 140 publications that would fall within the definition of being Wales-related or in Welsh and a serial, not a newspaper, published in the 20th Century; a long list of the 90 most significant was selected (weighted towards scholarly and academic titles with long and consistent publication histories) and publisher details were researched. When the scope of the project was reduced, a critical criterion for inclusion was licensing, so that the first 50 to complete an agreement were accepted. As a result, the Library would not claim that those on the website represent the best, most interesting, or most important titles, although all will no doubt find some readers.
ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
Licensing and rights The Library’s previous experience of digitisation had largely avoided the question of rights by concentrating on its older material. It was recognised that the handling of rights and licensing would be a significant element of the Welsh Journals Online project, but the problems encountered were unexpected. It had been assumed that the Library would need to negotiate the terms of the licence with publishers and authors who would take a close interest in the use made of their intellectual property. It soon emerged that the principal issue in rights clearance was one of information: publishers held few records of what rights they held, publishing agreements between authors and publishers were not held, and in most cases never existed, and publishers held no current addresses or contact information about their authors. The Library worked on the basis that any material published after 1899 was potentially protected by copyright; if it had adopted a risk-averse approach and only re-published material for which it had explicit consent from the rights holders, it would have included perhaps 1% of the total. Instead, it has adopted a risk management approach, so that permission from the publisher is seen as the vital first step towards permission to digitise, but at article level only those explicitly refusing consent have been excluded. A robust takedown policy to deal with rights holders who come forward in the future is an essential corollary. For one of the titles, Welsh Outlook, it proved impossible to identify who now held any residual rights as publisher, and it was treated as an ‘orphaned work’; the Library has accepted that it is to some extent exposed in re-publishing the work without permission. One of the requirements of JISC’s funding was that the material should be licensed for re-use for educational purposes, and the Library built on this principle to acquire more general rights for re-use by all (following the Creative Commons model), and it is unusual in promoting and facilitating downloading, embedding, deep-linked and the creation of derivatives. From the Library’s point of view, such use justifies the investment it has made in creating the digital objects.
Publicity and controversy The Library offered publishers and authors no fee in return for licensing their content; responses to a survey taken when the project was being planned had suggested that there would be enough material of sufficient quality available free, and so no budget for payment was allocated. Perhaps because the project coincided with the US Writer’s Guild strike and the Google Books legal action, Academi, the Welsh literature promotion body, was vocal in criticising the Library and the terms offered. They held the view that asking authors to grant licences to digitise without payment was unreasonable and would threaten the sustainability of professional writing in Wales. The debate generated some publicity and eventually the principal modern English-language literary journals decided not to take part at present. From the Library’s point of view, it was regrettable that these popular and influential titles were absent, but on the whole this insistence on payment was unrepresentative: almost all of the authors of articles had not been paid, never ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
expected to be paid, and were keen to reach a wider audience. The Library is continuing to discuss digitisation with the literary titles in the hope that a solution can be found that meets their concerns.
Legacy and digital preservation In the past the management of many projects has focused on the immediate deliverables and implementation, but for Welsh Journals Online the questions of sustainability and long-term digital preservation have formed a critical part of planning, from the initial data specification. The twin needs, to ensure that the digital content is usable and accessible into the far future and that maintenance and rights management should not impose too much of a burden on core resources, have dictated a focus on creating robust systems, wherever possible common to others in use already, and a managed handover to the staff who will be responsible or oversight. With bespoke digitisation, it was possible to deal with these issues on an ad- hoc basis, relying on an implicit commitment to preservation, but when there is so much data this is unworkable.
Conclusion As the first data is released, it will be interesting to see how well it finds a role as a source of trusted data; one of the informal ambitions for the project is to replace Wikipedia as the first port of call for users searching for information about Wales. In the course of the project, the Library has had to think very hard about what functionality is essential and what is optional, and to learn to operate in an agile way in an environment where risk has to be managed rather than avoided.
Our information literacy journey John Crawford and Christine Irving
Recently Christine and I have been reflecting on our information literacy (IL) journey which has taken us from an educational agenda to a wider non library world and more recently to a higher education agenda but in a context of skills development and an innovative learning and teaching agenda. It all began back in 2003 with the Drumchapel Project where I worked with the school librarian in a school in a deprived area of Glasgow to identify a repertoire of ICT and information literacy issues which might inform further research. (McLelland and Crawford, 2004) The outcomes came thick and fast and some of them will probably never be investigated by us. For example, at that time, about 10% of the pupils were the children of asylum seekers and their enthusiasm for information and the school library was notable. Clearly IL has a role in supporting asylum seekers in their new life in the UK. The ICT skills of the pupils were found to be as good as those of pupils in a more affluent area of Glasgow (Hyndland Secondary) and, in both schools, about 60% of the pupils had learned their ICT skills at school. However the remaining 40% of the pupils at Hyndland had learned their skills at home. None had learned skills in a public library. At Drumchapel, the remaining 40% had learned their skills at home or at library or learning centre. Clearly there are questions about the social role of the public library here. However the key message was clear. School pupils were not acquiring basic IL skills which they could then develop further at University, use in the workplace or for leisure. This led, in October 2004, to what was supposed to be a one year project to develop an IL framework, linking secondary and tertiary education. We finally finished completing and piloting the framework last year and we are now restructuring it in the light of our experiences. We now see IL as a â€˜cradle to graveâ€™ experience and we are restructuring the framework to make it a genuine lifelong learning document. From early on in the Project we have worked with Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS), which provides advice, support, resources and staff development to the school education community in Scotland, and have recently done work for them including developing exemplars of good school IL practice for the Curriculum for Excellence Sharing practice website. Now we are working with them to develop early years material and CPD IL materials for school teachers. This work will also extend the Framework at the early years end. We have also worked with colleagues in Adult Literacies to raise awareness of IL as a basic skill. Apart from restructuring the Framework our other main current focus is researching and promoting the use of information in the workplace. Again the outcomes of this work will feed into the revised framework. The foundation of this strand is an interview based study of the use of information in the workplace (Crawford and Irving, 2009). The overall outcomes suggest that there is scope for progress although probably more so in the public sector. Interviewees usually used only a narrow range of sources, mostly internally generated, and the main source of information used is always other people. Advanced internet searching was little used and there seems to be a training need here. Colleagues
ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
were found to be the main information source consulted and the public library was viewed by most interviewees as irrelevant for anything other than recreational purposes. Recommendations included the following: • Contacts should be established with chambers of commerce, skills agencies and other organisations involved in workplace training • The viability of developing information literacy training programmes should be further researched • Information literacy training programmes should initially target sympathetic organizations • Advanced Internet training programmes should be offered to all workplace employees • The provision of information literacy training programmes by public libraries should be investigated These recommendations have generated an agenda of meetings and action. We have held meetings with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce which, we hope, will lead to contacts with representatives of Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to assess their information needs and the Chamber is currently administering a questionnaire to its members, designed by us. The employee focus is also being recognized and we have met the Everyday Skills Committee of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) with a view to having Information Literacy (IL) included in their repertoire of skills. Perhaps most promising of all is our contacts with Skills Development Scotland (SDS), a new skills body which is an amalgamation of learndirect Scotland, Careers Scotland and the training element of Scottish Enterprise. This has led to the identification of a role for IL in careers advice both for the end user and also training for SDS staff. The key issue lying behind this activity is the need to have IL recognised as an essential part of the skills agenda. Government focus on skills has been around for several years but the LIS profession has noteworthily failed to recognise this important opportunity. In Scotland the key document is Skills for Scotland A Lifelong Skills Strategy (Scottish Government, 2007). It includes definitions for the skills referred to in the strategy. Included in the definition for Literacy is the interpreting and analysing of information, and how to reach informed decisions. One of our most active project partners, Govan High School, (Blane, 2008), has developed a ‘Future Skills’ framework of some 70 skills in association with local employers and involving the pupils themselves. This is forming the basis of work with SDS and demonstrates a major policy role for IL. Another Project partner, the Scottish Government Information Service which participated in our workplace research project is now offering advance Internet training to all Scottish Government staff and has devised an information strategy for the Scottish Government (Crawford et al 2008).
Our most recent activity is the development of an internal focus to work with centres of learning and teaching innovation in the university and to integrate IL into blended learning strategies. We also work to promote IL as an employability skill for students. What have we learned from all this? Different groups of people constantly reinterpret IL in the light of their own qualifications, training, experience and needs and we must recognise this and accept that others may have a different ‘take’ on IL from us. IL is a key career choice, progression, CPD, employability and workplace skill although it is not recognised in any government document produced since 2005 which recognises IL as an independent skill. It is rolled up with IT – this much change! We must target skills and employers’/employee organisations. IL skills training in the workplace is feasible but must be carefully planned and targeted. The public library can offer IL training, developed from IT training but again it but must be carefully planned and targeted. The overall need is to think cross sectorally, both across library sectors and outside the information world too.
Blane, D. (2008) Core skills? What the ‘f***’ are they? Times Educational Supplement Scotland, 20/6. Crawford, John and Irving, Christine, (2009) Information literacy in the workplace: a qualitative exploratory study, JOLIS, (41)pp. 29-38 http://lis.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/41/1/29?etoc Crawford, John. et al. (2008) The use of information by Scottish Government staff, Library + Information Update, December 2008, pp. 48-49. McLelland, Dorothy. and Crawford, John (2004) The Drumchapel Project: a study of ICT usage by school pupils and teachers in a secondary school in a deprived area of Glasgow, Journal of librarianship and information science, (36), 2, pp. 55-67 Scottish Government (2007) Skills for Scotland A Lifelong Skills Strategy. Edinburgh: The Scottish Government. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2007/09/06091114/0 [accessed 06.11.08].
We are also following up the public library issue with Inverclyde Libraries which is now running employability training courses in conjunction with local educational bodies. At our suggestion they have built an information literacy element into the course. We will evaluate this initiative when the courses are over.
ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
ALISS Quarterly 4 (3) April 2009
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