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Volume 6, no. 4 July 2011

ISSN 17479258

ALISS Quarterly

Association of Librarians and Information professionals in the Social Sciences

Special issue: Supporting Researchers: eBooks Today and the Digital Promises of Tomorrow Research Needs Changing Nature of Research Communication Research Information Network; British Library Growing Knowledge Exhibition eBooks The View from SOAS; Patron Driven Acquisition of eBooks – King’s College, London; Digital Publishing Tomorrow – SAGE Press Support for Researchers John Rylands University Library, the University of Manchester; University of Sussex Targeted Provision: Supporting Researchers at the University of Huddersfield, Kate McGuinn, Subject Librarian and Sarah Munks, Subject Librarian, University of Huddersfield

ALISS Quarterly Volume 6 no. 4 July 2011

ALISS Quarterly Vol. 6 Number 4 July 2011 © The authors

Special issue: Supporting Researchers: eBooks Today and the Digital Promises of Tomorrow

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

Research Needs

Published by ALISS.

Changing Nature of Research Communication Ellen Collins, Research Officer, Research Information Network British Library Growing Knowledge Exhibition Nora Daly, Digital Curator, British Library

eBooks eBooks – The View from SOAS Joanna Tate, Assistant Librarian for Politics and Economics Patron Driven Acquisition of eBooks King’s College London eBook Library pilot Nick Woolley, Information Resources Manager, Library Services, King’s College London

Support for Researchers Scholarly Communications for Post-graduate Researchers Samantha Aston and Steve McIndoe John Rylands University Library, the University of Manchester Engaging with International Open Access Week at the University of Sussex Helen Webb, Research Liaison Supervisor, Unversity of Sussex Targeted Provision: Supporting Researchers at the University of Huddersfield Kate McGuinn, Subject Librarian and Sarah Munks, Subject Librarian, University of Huddersfield

Editorial Welcome to the latest edition of ALISS Quarterly. It has been published by ALISS (Association of Librarians and Information Professionals in the Social Sciences). This special issue is based on the ALISS AGM Supporting researchers: eBooks today and the digital promises of tomorrow which was held on the June 16th 2011 at the British Library. It took the topical theme of supporting researchers using new technology. Presentations are available on the ALISS Website. aspx?id=10737418260. They included: Growing Knowledge: The Evolution of Research by Nora Daly A presentation by Nora Daly, Digital Curator at the British Library which provided insight into the aims of the British Library’s Growing knowledge exhibition eBooks – the View from SOAS- Joanna Tate An overview of current subscriptions and practises at the School of Oriental and African Studies, by Joanna Tate, Subject Librarian - Politics and Economics eBooks – the View from Bristol – Angela Joyce Another viewpoint from the University of Bristol by Angela Joyce Subject Librarian Economics, Finance and Management. Digital Publishing Tomorrow, Huw Alexander – Rights & Digital Sales Manager, Martha Sedgwick – Senior Manager, Online Products SAGE. Following on from this theme the issue begins with discussion of the changing needs of researchers and the way on which they might use web. 2.0 technologies by the Research Information Network (RIN). It then introduces the British Library Growing knowledge exhibition which used new technology to explore future trends. A second section looks at one of the growing trends: eBooks. The paper from Sage offers a publisher perspective on the future of digital publishing and priorities for future development. Further papers give experiences from 2 major academic libraries, Bristol and King’s College on student use and library practices in acquiring and making them available. Finally some more innovative methods of research support are considered. Open access week at Sussex University, targeted provision at the University of Huddersfield and scholarly communications seminars at the University of Manchester We have just relaunched our website. We also have a new twitter channel where you can keep up to date with our latest activities. we are using it to highlight weekly listings of new social science websites and new UK government publications online. Remember that you can also keep up to date with ALISS news by subscribing to our free electronic mailing list LIS_SOCIAL SCIENCE at . Or consulting our website at: We hope you enjoy the issue! Heather Dawson. ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

Changing Nature of Research Communication. Ellen Collins Research Officer Research Information Network Technology has revolutionised the way that we communicate information. Web 2.0 tools have made it easier for ordinary people to create, share and view information without an intermediary. At the same time, developments in physical hardware such as smartphones and tablet computers mean that information can be accessed almost anywhere, and at any time. Researchers, like many other professionals, have begun to experiment with these new tools and technologies within their working practices. This article considers how the growth of web 2.0 services and electronic journals has altered researchers’ information habits, and considers how librarians and information professionals can develop services that continue to meet such researchers’ needs. Web 2.0 Two recent research reports, from RIN (2010) and Nicholas et al. (2010) suggest that the role of social media in research practices has, perhaps, been slightly overstated, with most researchers aware of the technology, or occasional users, but not necessarily regular or recent participants. However, it is clear that researchers are interested in these new technologies, and the potential that they may offer for sourcing, sharing and even generating new information. The Nicholas et al. report found that social media tools were considered useful (to a greater or lesser degree) at every stage of the research cycle, with the sole exception of analysing research data (Nicholas et al., 2010, p.10). Projects such as Galaxy Zoo, however, which uses ‘citizen scientists’ to classify galaxies observed via the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, show that social media can help with analysis of large quantities of data. Crucially, it is not just the technology but also the participatory nature of social media which allows enthusiastic amateur astronomers to add their classifications to the growing database of observations ( Social media for researchers An awareness of the potential of social media, and its growing role in research, has led funders and independent developers to create tools specifically designed for academic researchers. Examples include the myExperiment virtual research environment, which allows researchers to share and reuse workflows (; academic reference management services Mendeley ( and CiteULike (; and ResearchGate (, a social network designed exclusively for researchers, particularly scientists. The statistics for some of these services are impressive. CiteULike contains over 5 million articles, and ResearchGate has over 1 million members. However, the evidence from the Nicholas et al. report suggests that they have not yet become the default location for researchers who want to use social media to enhance their work. Rather, users tend to revert to generic, commercial services that they repurpose or adapt to meet their specific research needs. When respondents to the survey were asked to name the social media tool they used most often in their research, Skype, Wikipedia and the Google portfolio ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

(Google Scholar, Google Docs etc.) dominated. The only specialist services to make it into the top 24 were CiteULike and (, a social network which enables people to follow the latest research in their field. Those in the business of supplying information to researchers are also keen to expand their offer into the social media arena. Publishers, particularly those in the biomedical fields, have explored a range of options, including social networking such as Nature Network ( or the ‘Rapid Response’ offered by the British Medical Journal, which is akin to a moderated discussion forum (http://resources.bmj. com/bmj/readers/responding-to-articles/rapid-response-requirements). These have met with differing levels of success and, as the RIN report acknowledges, publishers often experiment with a range of tools before finding one which meets their users’ needs. In particular, there can be a conflict between a publisher’s desire to be the sole platform for discussion of its content and researchers’ behaviour, which tends to be more heterogeneous. For example, a researcher may blog about an article, tweet it and tag it on CiteUlike before they consider commenting on the website of the journal where it was published. For many publishers, this remains a challenge. Supporting researchers to use social media Librarians, too, have begun to consider how they can help researchers get the most out of social media. The RIN survey showed that occasional and non-users of web 2.0 tools perceive their library and information services as more supportive than any other group when it comes to encouraging such use, although it is important to note that in absolute terms this was only 33% of occasional and 18% of non-users (RIN, 2010, p.59). Nonetheless, librarians have a role in encouraging researchers to explore web 2.0 tools, and not just because researchers consider them a relatively important source of support. Social media are a way for researchers to find, sort and prioritise information, and they increasingly work alongside traditional finding aids such as catalogues and databases. If this trend continues, it will be important for librarians to help researchers get the most out of these tools, using them wherever they might add value to the research process. A recent guide published by RIN and compiled by the International Centre for Guidance Studies at the University of Derby aims to help librarians with this task. Social media: A guide for researchers (RIN, 2011b) sets out some of the main types of social media, with examples of how they have helped researchers in their work. It also examines some of the arguments against use of social media, which include concerns about superficiality, lack of rigour and distraction from the main purpose of research. It rebuts some of these arguments, but also emphasises that researchers need to make their own decisions about what is appropriate for their working practices and research needs. This theme is echoed in a project run by RIN and the University of Huddersfield in late 2010 and early 2011. 25 Things for Researchers builds on the well-established 23 Things Learning 2.0 Course for librarians ( The RIN/Huddersfield project used the same model, but targeted it at researchers rather than librarians. Over a nine-week period, participants were given a weekly set of tasks, designed to encourage experimentation with three or four discrete but related tools. The project was run via a blog, and the participants also blogged about their experiences. ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

The aim – which post-project evaluation suggests has been realised – was to help researchers explore the tools that are available, and make an educated choice about what is best for their own research needs. Most participants indicated that they will persevere with one or two of the tools, as they fill a hole in their current information practices. Electronic journals Electronic journals require less introduction than web 2.0 technologies, and it has long been recognised that they are researchers’ preferred information source. However, a recent report from RIN (2011a) highlights trends in electronic usage, including how the widespread availability of e-journals has affected researcher behaviours and research outcomes. Some of these changes are the result of the new tools and technologies mentioned above, particularly mobile internet access devices. The report finds that researchers’ information-seeking happens primarily outside the library, and often outside office hours or at the weekend. Researchers no longer need to be physically present, either in their library building or at their campus PC, to access the library’s resources. Furthermore, the library’s role in providing access to such resources can become obscured by researchers’ preference for gateway sites such as Google, Google Scholar, Web of Knowledge and PubMed to undertake literature searches. Hardware and software developments have made the library’s infrastructure less visible.

that many librarians are already supporting. In other areas, such as web 2.0, we see a relatively small group of researchers engaging enthusiastically, with the majority still unsure about the value that these tools can add to their work. At present, it is not clear whether the small group represents a vanguard of all academics, or whether the use of social media will remain a niche practice, employed where value is added but ignored where it is not. However, it is important for librarians to begin thinking about their role in such technologies, and in particular how they might help researchers understand the possibilities inherent in these tools.


Research Information Network (2010) If you build it, will they come? How researchers perceive and use web 2.0 Research Information Network (2011a) E-journals: their use value and impact final report. Research Information Network (2011b) Social media: A guide for researchers Nicholas, D., Rowlands, I. and Wamae, D. (2010) ‘Charleston Observatory 2010: Are social media impacting on research?’. At XXX Annual Charleston Conference, Thursday 4 November 2010 [Accessed 21 June 2011 from]

The report also found that the global increase in article numbers has been reflected in researchers’ reading and citation habits, although the rise in these cases has not been so rapid. This means that, although citation rates are going up, researchers are citing proportionally fewer articles, as the number of articles available is rising faster than citation rates. Nonetheless, the authors conclude that researchers are keeping pace with the growing literature, both in terms of volume and range. They also find that libraries are providing a much larger range of electronic titles than ever before, and that expenditure on e-resources and training has driven a massive rise in usage and, consequently, a dramatic fall in the average cost per download. One final, interesting, conclusion, which will undoubtedly need to be the subject of further work, posits a relationship between e-journal expenditure and usage and research success. At present, no causality can be established within this relationship: it is not possible to argue that increased expenditure on e-journals leads to increased usage, which leads to institution-wide success in applications for grants and other funding. However, a correlation between these three factors does seem to exist: it appears that expenditure on e-journals drives increased usage, that increased usage is related to research success, and (via a positive feedback loop), research success leads to increased usage of e-journals in the future. This finding may be a useful weapon in the armoury of librarians fighting cuts in the next few years. Conclusions New technologies, both hardware and software, are changing the way that some researchers work. In some areas, such as use of e-journals, the changes are sufficiently widespread as to constitute a new way of conducting research, and are thus something ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

British Library Growing Knowledge Exhibition Nora Daly Digital Curator, British Library The article is based on a talk given at ALISS AGM, June 16th 2011. The slides can be viewed at From the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, libraries have responded to new forms of knowledge and new modes of scholarly endeavour. Now, in the digital age, research is again changing. Researchers have access to vast amounts of data, can combine sources in novel ways, and communicate in ways that were previously unimaginable. New technologies offer the possibility of reading previously illegible ancient texts or exploring the natural world at the atomic or astronomical scale, just as the social sciences are engaging with the mass of data about our everyday lives produced by governments and other agencies. Digitisation projects, mobile devices and electronic texts, and the need for collaborative working are also reshaping the way we see the previously silent reading room of the library. And, as electronic publishing becomes ever more affordable, the peer review process and patterns of scholarly communication are changing. The Growing Knowledge exhibition at the British Library (12 October 2010 - 16 July 2011) is a chance to explore some of these issues and contribute to a debate on the future of research and libraries, making best use of the old and the new. It showcases just some of the creative new ways digital technology is being leveraged to address the needs of researchers today. It explores the exciting evolution of research by showcasing a wide variety of innovative technologies and digital tools and invites visitors to comment. Examples of the tools on offer include: Garibaldi scrolls – Focussing on panoramas of images of the Italian leader from the historic collections of Brown University, it offers innovative ways of digitising large formats. Galaxy zoo Is an innovative way to get citizens involved in scientific research. The aim of the project is to collect information on the shape of the galaxies, to construct a database of detailed shape information for almost all the galaxies the Hubble Space Telescope has ever seen. Such a database will have substantial legacy value for the international astronomy community. Citizens are being asked to look at the data and comment on shapes this information is then fed to the scientific team. ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

Journal of visualized experiments Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) is a peer reviewed, PubMed indexed journal devoted to the publication of biological, medical, chemical and physical research. It is innovative in that it incorporates video footage of medical operations. These are of significant value to students, contributing greatly to the value of the journal. Finally we should mention the Haptic Cow. Haptics are routinely used in medical and veterinary training to simulate the sensation of touching animals. During Haptics Day @ British Library in June the Royal Veterinary College provided hands-on demonstrations. Visitors had opportunity to “feel” whether she was pregnant, test their manual skills using touch feedback games and even make their own virtual touchable 3D model using interactive software! The haptic cow in the Growing Knowledge exhibition is not just a teaching aid for vet students or a means for digital curators to recapture their past life on the farm without smells or mess. It is a model for any kind of training that requires the development of fine motor skills and deftness of touch – another example of which is book and paper conservation training. . found that students using the simulator gained a head start in acquiring practical skills over those who did not. Library users and exhibition visitors are invited to Take Part in evaluating the projects, tools and workstation design. Working with JISC and CIBER Research Group, quantitative and qualitative data collected via feedback, surveys and discussion groups both online and onsite will provide clues as to what services, tool and environments libraries must expect to provide in the 21st Century. The findings of this analysis will be issued in a report on the Future of Research to be published on summer 2011 Earlier this year JISC published some preliminary finding Specifically, visitors to the exhibition are impressed by the resources and tools on show and their usefulness to the research process. Findings show that visitors are rating the applications on show as ‘very useful’ or ‘possibly useful’. For example, 68% of visitors surveyed found the UK Web Archive very or possibly useful, whilst 50% found one of the most popular tools, Mendeley very or possibly useful. Mendeley caught the attention of many visitors to the interactive research pod content of the exhibition and was highly rated. It was praised for meeting the many and complex requirements of researchers such as: organising disparate papers; providing an Amazonstyle facility whereby users can see what others with similar research interests are doing; synchronising itself with other reference management software; including a web archive system and generating bibliographies and indexes from papers being written. The research also shows that the exhibition has shifted perceptions and provided researchers with food for thought in terms of tools and applications they might not ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

previously have considered. Examining some of the key applications such as visualisation tools and audio search, 58% and 63% of visitors surveyed stated that they are not using these features currently but may do so in the future. Aleks Krotoski, Growing Knowledge researcher in residence, commented on these findings: “What’s interesting is that Growing Knowledge has already started to seed interest amongst non-Library users. The aim all along was to test the water with the research community and these early findings show that perceptions of digital research tools are slowly starting to change, both within the sector and beyond.” Growing Knowledge has also attracted a diverse audience. Interestingly, over half of the visitors to the exhibition have been over 40, suggesting that digital technology and research is not only the province of the young. Further, the exhibition has reached a large percentage of visitors who are not registered library readers. 69.4% of all visitors do not hold a library readers pass therefore demonstrating the appeal of the exhibition to a broad range of visitors

Digital Publishing Tomorrow SAGE Press This paper is based on a presentation given at the ALISS AGM 16th June 2011 by Martha Sedgwick, Senior manager online products and How Alexander, Rights and Digital sales Manager. It identifies key issues for the digital publishing age and outlines the approach being taken by leading UK publisher SAGE The slides (including online wizardry!) can be viewed online at: • 12 key issues for future digital publishers to tackle are: Rights, metadata, user experience, agile content, format, accessibility, discoverability, partnerships, business models, pricing, usage, curation. • Rights – publishers need to consider issues relating to national and international rights of digital materials and of different categories of material. • Metadata – publishers need to consider more thoroughly standardisation of metadata relating to digital products in order to make them discoverable • User experience – we need to take account and test the way in which readers use and want to use digital materials and consider how this differs from print products • Content needs to be agile – not just print content transferred to a digital world. We need to create new forms that can be released in different types of formats according to need, sold in different types of products that can be mixed and matched. • Formats – may change in the digital landscape. Instead of selling whole books we can sell chapters. • Digital products need to be accessible to all. Publishers need to work with communities using assistive technology to make formats usable to the partially sighted. • Discoverability – can digital publishing offer increased findability of material? Make texts more searchable. • Partnerships – the digital future offers the opportunity to break out of existing professional divisions between publishers, search engines, libraries. There should be more cross working between different groups. • Business models should be more flexible. Librarians have often found costings of eBook packages complicated to understand. We could explore models based on actual usage of eBooks rather than bulk buy models. • This also relates to pricing. Different flexible models reflecting user need can be explored. Some should be based on levels of usage. • In terms of usage, publishers should be prepared to supply detailed tailored usage statistics to clients.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011



• Finally curation. Publishers must adapt to begin to curate their own digital content. Not just to focus on new products to take on a role to curate what they have published electronically.

How does Sage see the future and how are we preparing for it? Sage aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher it believes passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of a healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable. This means playing a creative role by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstone of which are good long term relationships, a focus on markets and an ability to combine quality and innovation. As part of this Sage is conducting research into user behaviour, exploring the new ways of reading online. Research is being conducted with students at the University of Sussex. Students are keeping daily diaries of their reading habits, photographing when where and what they are reading on typical days.

Monday 9.45am - Dining table Book: How children develop

Undergraduate Psychology - 2nd Year - University of Sussex

Saturday 3.08pm -Dining table Book: How children develop Friday 10.04am - Living room Ebook: Family relationships in middle childhood

Saturday 3.10pm - Dining table Book: Cognitive psychology

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011



“I always go through the library for access. I mainly use my own computer because then I can bookmark things. I use a lot – I finished my dissertation and didn’t even use one print book for that.” [This user was referring to eJournals in the main rather then eBooks] Karolina (undergraduate, International Relations) “I use them to check references – I’ll type in a quote on Google and sometimes it throws up chapters of a book… If I want to buy a book [in print] I will always browse for a preview online.” Nina (PhD student, Education) ‘A couple of times I’ve asked the library to buy a book and they’ve bought the eBook version… I read them at home… I can imagine a scenario where I might use my iPhone if I needed to… but my worry is that you would lose the book” Paul (PhD student, History) “Sometimes I will see eBooks when searching for a literature review.” Kirsti (academic, Music and Education) The results are revealing that users expect a suite of features to be available on the eBook platforms • • • • •

69.9% look for a PDF chapter download More than 50% of respondents look for an option to download the entire title There is a similar desire to print and to have the HTML formatted text (39-37%) 1/3 want to browse the text exactly as it would be formatted in the print Approximately ¼ want to send a link to a citation manager or an email account, they would also like a hyperlinked bibliography and the option to copy and paste the reference information • 18% want to email the text • 18% want links to related texts, recommended by the website ….other features that were selected: - - - -

10.6% look for text resizing - 9.2% for DOI information - 6.4% separate images/tables, footnotes/bibliography 6% Share on social media websites (Facebook, Twitter) 2.7% other suggestions 2.6 % Social bookmarking links

Exploring New Opportunities for the delivery of content online. Sage methods online is a web-based research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. It enables cross searching of books, articles and papers from sage publications. Sage journals will also soon be available in a mobile mixed format so that articles can be viewed on iphones, android phones and smartpihone devices. New business models are also being explored. Sage open is a new open access peer reviewed publication which was launched in spring 2011 It publishes peer-reviewed, original research and review articles in an interactive, open access format. Articles may span the full spectrum of the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities. $195 introductory author acceptance fee (discounted from the regular price of $695) Sage is also exploring offering textbook rentals direct to students via such sites as course smart. Other initiatives to explore user needs include the creation of sage method space and social space online discussion communities. http://www. User panels are being set up to receive feedback on future products.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011



EBooks - The View from SOAS Joanna Tate, Assistant Librarian for Politics and Economics

Background SOAS Library is one of the world’s most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, which attracts scholars from all over the world to conduct research. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes at the SOAS campus at Russell Square in central London, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Cambridge Books Online has proved much more popular with users – there have been 5416 downloads since August 2010. Feedback Feedback from users is gathered both informally at the library enquiry desk and during training sessions, and formally via an annual e-resource usage survey. A question about e-books has been included since 2007: Would you like the Library to purchase electronic books? If so, are there any particular books or subject areas you think we should look at?

Coverage Increasingly, the library purchases electronic books to support the teaching and research needs of the School. In particular, eBooks are purchased as additional copies for books in high demand where they are available. Currently the main eBook platforms used are Dawsonera and Cambridge Books Online, although the library does also have a small number of regional and subject-specific reference books, and a collection of electronic books from China (Chinamaxx). Freely available e-books and other texts are added to the Library catalogue if the content is relevant to teaching or research at SOAS. The preferred purchasing model is one off purchase rather than leasing with the associated recurrent costs, or purchase of a package which may include many titles not relevant to teaching and research at SOAS. Purchased e-books are added to the library catalogue, and are advertised on posters around the library. Users are also able to access the eBook platforms directly through our A-Z listing of electronic databases. To date, the library has purchased 548 titles from Dawsonera, and approximately 300 titles from Cambridge Books Online.

Usage Dawsonera works on a credit system. All eBooks owned by the library have a certain number of credits attached to them each year – normally between 300 and 400. One person using an eBook in a 24 hour period uses one credit. Once the credits for an eBook have all been used, it cannot be viewed again until the next year’s credits are available. Of the books that SOAS library has purchased, there are currently 70 books with no usage at all, and only 2 titles have been used significantly. Some work needs to be carried out looking at why these usage figures are so low. Possible explanations are that: • • • •

We have sufficient print copies and students prefer print Students object to using the platform We have bought the wrong titles Lack of awareness and/or training

Interestingly, the two titles that do have significant usage are both core readings on courses with a large number of students, for which we have not purchased many print copies. Changing the book selection model for multiple copies of course readings is a possibility - usage of the library’s eBooks may increase if the number of print copies purchased was reduced. ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

Fig 1: Most commonly used words in response to question about eBooks in annual e-resource survey 2007-1010.

As Figure 1 demonstrates, in theory users generally think that ‘yes, eBooks are a good idea’. However, this is not borne out in the usage statistics. The feedback also indicates that the books they would like to see available as eBooks are current editions of core texts – in particular in law, economics and anthropology. These courses have the highest student numbers and therefore the highest pressure on print copies of textbooks. Unfortunately, most of the texts requested cannot be purchased as electronic versions. The feedback further indicates that many users find the platforms difficult to use: “Good idea because in my experience demand exceeds supply for critical course books. However, I prefer to read the printed page where at all possible”. “I definitely prefer hard copies. Any E-book would have to be printed out; the search options are most unsatisfying. Besides, E-books are inconvenient for the eyes”. “E-books are a great idea, but Dawsonera’s electronic books are a nightmare to use. They ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011



can’t be read on some of the computers at SOAS, because they require special Adobe Reader plug-ins that are not installed. Moreover, Dawsonera’s security mechanism doesn’t allow you to read a book unless you’re connected to the Internet. This makes these ebooks significantly less useful than the paper versions, which can be read anywhere. SOAS should find a way to make books available as e-books without imposing restrictions on them that aren’t imposed on the paper versions”. There are also a number of responses to the survey each year stating that they are not aware the library had any eBooks, and several users who do not know how to access the eBook platforms. This obviously indicates a training need – although eBooks are covered as part of library training sessions, it may be worth considering setting up some dedicated sessions, and promoting their use through other tools such as newsletters, the library website, and twitter.

Dawsonera v Cambridge Books Online We have found positive and negative aspects to both of the main platforms we use at SOAS Library. Neither is perfect, and our e-resources team is in touch with the suppliers to try to work out solutions to some of the issues.

The Good Dawsonera: • The whole book can be downloaded at once • There is a wide range of books available

The Future The library’s acquisitions and e-resources teams are considering a number of options regarding eBook purchasing in the future. It will be interesting to see how the Dawsonera platform develops following the recent takeover of Dawson Books by Smiths News, and the library will also be closely following developments with NetLibrary now it is on EBSCOhost. We are also currently investigating the possibility of one off purchase options with Oxford Scholarship Online. One area under consideration is implementing user/ patron driven selection. This is very much in the early stages at present, pending further research. There are concerns within the library regarding budgeting, and the role of the subject librarians. Finally, the library needs to consider changing the book selection model for multiple copies of course readings. We currently purchase a maximum of 4 print copies of a title where the e-book is available. The evidence from the usage statistics is that students will use the eBook when there are fewer print copies in the library. Therefore there is a proposal to purchase only 1 print copy of a title when we have an electronic version – however, we cannot go ahead with until the users are happy with the e-platforms. In conclusion, it seems that our users believe that eBooks are a great idea in theory, particularly for core texts, but choose not to use them in practice. Further investigation needs to be carried out to determine the reasons for this. However, formal and informal feedback suggests both that users are not happy with the eBook platforms as they are at the moment, and also that there is a need for further training and marketing by the library. This article is based on a paper given at the ALISS 2011 AGM. Slides can be viewed online at

Cambridge Books Online: • Chapters can be downloaded and stored locally for an indefinite time • Whole chapters can be printed • PDFs are accessible from eBook readers e.g. Kindle or iphones

The Bad & The Ugly Dawsonera: • • • • •

Restrictions on printing – only 1 page can be printed at a time Users must be online to read downloaded text Restrictions on the number of downloads Restrictions on the length of time text can be downloaded Not compatible with eBook readers

Cambridge Books Online • Users can see all content not just that which the library subscribes to • Includes journal content as well as eBooks • This can be confusing for users ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011


Patron Driven Acquisition of ebooks King’s College London Ebook Library pilot Nick Woolley, Information Resources Manager, Library Services, King’s College London

Introduction Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) of ebooks, where usage levels determines acquisition, is receiving an increasing amount of attention as an alternative model for developing ebook collections to meet growing user expectations. At the same time, strong evidence-based arguments are being presented for focussing on a ‘big deal’ package approach, as epitomised by the study of Springer collections by Terry Bucknell, Electronic Resources Manager at the University of Liverpool, who believes ‘Buying by the bucketful’1 allows libraries to give users what they want and at best value for their budgets. Given the pressure to expand ebook provision at a time of budget cuts and constraints, how should libraries respond to these contrasting approaches to ebook collection development and acquisition?

Ebooks at King’s King’s College London is a research-led multidisciplinary university with approximately 14,500 undergraduate students, 9000 graduate students, and 6,000 staff, based across five campuses in central London. King’s library collection includes approximately 280,000 ebooks, the majority of which are provided through large subject packages. In addition to the two ‘mega’ collections Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), Library Services at King’s have bought or subscribed to twenty ebook packages including Cambridge Histories Online, Emerald Business, Management and Economics, and Oxford Scholarship Online. Ebooks are also acquired at title level on two aggregator platforms; NetLibrary (since 2001) and MyiLibrary (since 2008). MARC records for all ebooks in the collection are added to the Library catalogue. In recent years, King’s has invested in expanding provision of ebooks, and since 2007 has more than doubled each year the number of titles available (excluding EEBO and ECCO). On the basis of equivalent annual SCONUL return data, King’s was the fifth biggest spender on ebooks in the Russell Group between 2006-2009, and for 2009-10, COUNTER usage data showed just under 400,000 successful title requests (BR1) and a year-on-year trend where usage is growing at a faster rate than the ebook collection itself. Despite this, it has been clear that King’s students want more. Feedback in the national surveys and day-to-day experience indicates more ebooks are required to support teaching and learning. This is especially the case in Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities subject areas, and for taught graduates. Importantly, users appear to be format agnostic, requiring both print and e, a factor which adds to the collection development challenge.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011


As part of a wider programme of ebook acquisition, a decision was made to test PDA from December 2010. The various PDA models and platform offerings were considered, and on the basis of configuration options and experience at other institutions, including Newcastle University2 and Royal Holloway, Ebook Library (EBL) was chosen for a short PDA pilot.

Pilot objectives The PDA pilot objectives included: • To test how PDA would work in the King’s setting, and in so doing acquire operational experience and evidence to inform future decision making. • To enhance ebook provision to taught graduates across College, and immediately over the Christmas period when students have a greater reliance on e resources. • To enhance provision to students in the School of Art & Humanities and the School of Social Science and Public Policy where the need for greater provision of ebooks was greatest. • To implement PDA in a short-time frame to deliver enhanced ebook service by the end of term December 2010 and in advance of national student surveys in 2011.

• To monitor usage and spend, and produce an internal report analysing both.

Selecting EBL for PDA at King’s EBL is an academic ebook aggregator platform owned by the Australian public company Ebooks Corporation Limited3, and launched in 2004 at CERN with demand-driven PDA functionality added as an optional service in 2006. To date, EBL has proved a popular platform in Australia and North America, but remains relatively new to the UK market, where it is currently distributed by Blackwell UK Ltd. EBL was selected on the basis of the combination of platform features and PDA specific configuration options. These included: • Library choice of how many loans are required before autopurchase • Flexible library mediation options • Publisher, subject level, and cost-based collection profile selection • Unlimited concurrent use of titles (within an annual allowance) • Personalisation features including bookmarks and title lists • Downloads for offline use with Adobe Digital Editions • Legally compliant printing and copy paste options • Digital Course Pack functionality • Instant title availability on acquisition (whether library-led or via PDA) • COUNTER compliant usage data and granular financial data for charged transactions • Growing support for mobile devices, including Bluefire reader for Apple devices

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011


Implementing EBL Several Information Resources staff were involved in implementing EBL which required: • Selecting a collection profile. This involved excluding / including ebooks on the basis of publisher, subject, setting a threshold on title cost, and deduplicating for ebooks held on different platforms. Over seventy publishers were excluded initially and it took several iterations before all non-scholarly material was removed. Titles costing more than £200 were also excluded. • Importing over 120,000 MARC records into the library catalogue. • Setting up new accounts and financial processes to deal with title-level spending from a deposit lump sum, initially of £50,000. Costs include autopurchases at list price, and Short Term Loans (STL) usually around 7% of list price. • Setting up authentication. EBL supports Shibboleth which King’s are moving to from Athens. • Selecting registration information to allow granular management information to be collected on user School and status.

Configuring PDA EBL allows a wide range of configuration options. For the pilot the following options were selected: • A limit of three Short Term Loans (STL) per user per day. An STL is triggered after five minutes active browsing and this limit only applies to non-purchased titles. This limit was chosen to control expenditure while providing an acceptable level of access to content. • No loan mediation within the three STL limit. Mediation requests are triggered if users attempt to loan more than three titles per day. This level of mediation was set to reduce the demand on Information Resources staff and reduce potential delay between users selecting a title and being able to access content for more than five minutes. • Autopurchase on the fourth loan request. EBL does not differentiate which users have loaned any title so it is possible for autopurchase to occur after a single user has loaned the same title four times.

Pilot results EBL went live at King’s on 15th December and communications were sent out to target taught students to let them know a new ebook service providing over 120,000 titles would be available over the Christmas break. The first autopurchase was made on the 27th December and activity as a whole steadily grew until mid-January when usage became relatively stable. The initial £50,000 deposit was used faster than expected, although the level of usage was also higher than expected with highs of fifteen autopurchases per day in late January. To control expenditure the STL limit was reduced to one per day, and MARC records for non-purchased titles removed from the catalogue.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011


Although PDA had been configured to reduce the need for mediation by Information Resources staff there was still significant daily email liaison with users when the loan limit had been reached. Expenditure and usage data was compiled for the period 15th December to 31st January and showed: • 2260 total unique users • 7196 different titles accessed • 9669 free browses • 5089 STL • 3292 Downloads • 195 Autopurchases Autopurchases and loans from 59 different publishers, the top four being; John Wiley (38), Taylor & Francis (25), Routledge (24), and Cambridge University Press (14). Additional data provided by EBL for the period 15th December to 20th February showed: • 4128 total unique users • Average browsing time for non-owned book 2.14 minutes • Average read online time for Short Term Loans 101 minutes • Estimated cost for equivalent access to loaned titles by purchase £264,781 • Estimated cost for equivalent access to all viewed titles by purchase £513,862 Feedback from students included: ‘..the e-book system is absolutely brilliant.’ (taught graduate) ‘It’s a great service, a really nice interface compared with the older one.’ (undergraduate)

Analysis and discussion • The pilot results show the objectives to enhance ebook provision for specific groups of students were being met. The largest groups of users were students from the School of Arts & Humanities and the School of Social Science & Public Policy (see Figure 1), and taught graduates made as much use of EBL as undergraduates despite being far fewer in number (see Figure 2). This raises the possibility that PDA may be more suited to support some disciplines than others. • Most autopurchases resulted from loan activity by multiple users (see Figure 3). • 60% of autopurchases were available in the Library print collections (see Figure 4), despite previous initiatives to take match print ISBNs with ebooks available for purchase, and ebook checking as a basic step in all reading list acquisition. • The average browse time and number of titles viewed for free (i.e. less than five minutes) indicates that a major level of demand for content is being satisfied without the need for purchase.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011



• The cost of providing content as Short Term Loans (STL) is cheaper than purchase where the number of loans do not trigger an autopurchase, and the average cost of an STL on EBL (approximately £8 including VAT) is cheaper than the cost of a print Inter Library Loan from the British Library. • To have supplied all the content accessed in the pilot by outright purchase would have cost ten times more by individual list price, although how purchase would compare via subject packages is more difficult to calculate. • PDA spend can be controlled by configuration options and metadata management. Reducing the daily limit of loans reduces spend. Removing MARC records form the Library catalogue dramatically reduces expenditure as the discoverability of ebooks on EBL is reduced. This is especially interesting given the popular orthodoxy that students do not go to Library catalogues. • Information Resources staff have had to take on new tasks around loan mediation, financial tracking, deposit budget control, and ebook MARC records metadata management.

Post-pilot and conclusion EBL has now moved from a pilot to a business as usual service at King’s and has proved a successful addition to the ebook collection. It has complemented rather than replaced pre-existing ebook acquisition, and titles are still being purchased on NetLibrary and MyiLibrary in addition to the purchase of large subject packages. These different approaches do not need to be mutually exclusive.

Figure 1 Relative usage by School based on total expenditure (autopurchases and STL). The Schools of Arts & Humanities and Social Science & Public Policy (SSPP) comprise 34% of student FTE at King’s, but account for 57% of EBL usage.

There is a delicate balance to be found between achieving financial sustainability and ensuring discovery and access of information resources. Ebook metadata management, challenging at the best of times, requires more attention in PDA where it can play a role as an expenditure control mechanism, and to enable periodisation of content availability. Over 130,000 titles are currently available for PDA on EBL at King’s and this has proved important in supporting access to information resources during the closure of Franklin Wilkins Library for a major transformation project over summer 2011. The economics of PDA warrants a fresh look at the perennial Just in Case (JIC) v. Just in Time (JIT) debate, and begs the question what are collections for? Are they about ownership or about access to content? As a JIC model, EBL PDA compares favourably in cost with traditional print supply. Interestingly, in April 2011 OCLC and Ingram announced a new service making MyiLibrary ebooks available for loan via WorldCat Resource Sharing4 albeit at a higher cost. Finally, it is important to note that while EBL may not be the ‘perfect’ platform due to Digital Rights Management (DRM) limits on downloaded content, is has allowed King’s to significantly and effectively expand ebook provision. During this period of rising student expectations, and challenging times for academic libraries, waiting for the perfect offering is not an option. Figure 2 Relative usage by user status based on total expenditure (autopurchases and STL). Taught graduates comprise 28% of student FTE at King’s, but account for 41% of EBL usage.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011



References 1 2 3 4

For example see Terry’s plenary at the 34th UKSG Annual Conference 2011: conference11/plenary_sessions/ See Jill Taylor-Roe’s UKSG seminar presentation from 18th November 2010: org/files/PresentationTaylor-Roe_1.pdf

Figure 3 The number of users involved in loans leading to autopurchases based on data for the first 187 autopurchases.

Figure 4 Comparing autopurchases with titles in King’s print collection, based on data form the first 223 autopurchases.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011


eBooks: Recommended Resources Here are our recommended list of eBooks websites. There are of course many efficient commercial services. These resources focus upon free websites

Searching for free eBooks on the Internet. Google Books Aims to make available information and full text books. Constantly improving. It is in negotiation with certain libraries to scan and digitise selected books. A list of those involved is at; Updates can be found on the Google Blog at Search screen at: Help screens at: Note that in many cases copyright restrictions mean that you can only view a few pages of the book. This is particularly true for recently published books unless the publisher has decided to make it open access. Many charities and think tanks are increasingly doing this but in practise most full text books available have been published before the 1920s.

Search tips The advanced search form enables you to search for full text books only. You can also limit by publication date and language. Select the full view button. The option limited preview retrieves items where abstracts or selected chapters only are available. Library catalogues will search a database called worldcat. This provides information about paper / print copies of the texts in Libraries worldwide. Advanced searching also enables searching for exact phrases, authors, subject areas.

Viewing the books. Search results appear as book covers or lists. Click on the title to see the book. A typical screen looks like this:


Note you will not always be taken to the front page of the book. It will jump to parts of the text where your search terms appear. If the book is available in full text the option. Download PDF – will appear on the right hand side of the screen. Click on about this book to retrieve the full publication details. Note you will need to do this to cite.

Ebook collections. Use these to locate hundreds of free resources.

Europeana An excellent European Commission funded portal which is working to build a virtual European library that will offer free access to Europe’s cultural resources. It includes millions of texts (manuscripts, papers, eBooks), images (photographs, maps), films (moving images, videos, film clips, television broadcasts) and sounds all of which are taken from Europe’s main research libraries, archives and galleries.

Gallica Renown Electronic library of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. It provides free access to thousands of full text historic French language books, journals and newspapers from the library, covering all subject areas.

HathiTrust Digital Library

Consortium of research libraries (most American based) who are creating a digital archive of their major research materials. This includes the full text of books and pamphlets out of copyright. All subject areas of the arts and humanities, sciences and social sciences are covered. There is particularly strong coverage of American political, social and economic history.

National Academic Press Publications

The National Academy Press (NAP) was created by the US National Academies to publish the reports issued by the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council. Its web site provides free access to the full text of a large number of reports issued by NAP. Areas covered include: urban policy, social policy, industry and economics, transport and public health. Users may search the database by keyword or browse the subject categories.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011



Online ebooks Collection

Information Automation

Excellent index to free eBooks maintained by Penn University. Highlights individual titles and large eBook directories. Over 1 million titles currently listed. Covers all subject areas

Website has an excellent bibliography of writings relating to eBooks, e-text books and emonograph publishing and use. Arranged into annual files covering 2000 onwards. Includes lists of articles, books and websites. Internet links are provided where available.

Universal Digital Library: Million Book Collection

International consortium starting to provide free access to online books. Funders include the National Science Foundation. Contributing organisations, Carnegie Mellon University and Universities in China and India. Includes Chinese Arabic and Indian language books. Currently some displays showing abstracts only or requiring plug ins but a good project.

SPARC Open access newsletter Maintained by Peter Suber. published and sponsored by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).Provides monthly updates of the latest developments in open access publishing. Highlighting key projects. These include free eBook collections.

World Digital Library Home

The World Digital Library (WDL) was launched in 2009 by UNESCO in association with over 30 other national, university and research libraries and archives. Current partners include: Library of Congress, Bibliotheca Alexandrina of Alexandria, Egypt and National Libraries in Japan, China and Russia. It aims to provide free public access to an online collection of cultural materials These are intended to include books, manuscripts, prints, photographs, sound recordings and film clips covering all areas of the world from earliest times to the present day. They include many examples of rare historic materials. Subject covered are broad ranging - encompassing a wide range of social sciences and humanities topics. These include politics; anthropology; the history of migration and colonisation; political history; philosophy; cultural studies and social history.

Ebook Projects These sites are useful for tracing commentary on projects.

JISC National eBooks Observatory

The main project ran from 2007-2009 and is still widely cited. It focused on medicine, media, business and engineering, evaluating the use of course text e-books though deep log analysis, analyzing the impact of free library provided course text e-books upon publisher sales, reader behaviour and library processes. The final report and behaviour analysis surveys can be found on the website. Further information about this and later projects can be found on the main jisc website campaigns/librariesofthefuture/ebooks.aspx JISC collections has updates on eBook services for HE and FE and coverage of licensing issues. It also highlights deals which it has negotiated.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011


Scholarly Communications for Post-graduate Researchers Samantha Aston and Steven McIndoe John Rylands University Library, The University of Manchester

Background The University of Manchester is host to 3,500 registered PhD students from all over the world and is strategically committed to supporting and developing excellent doctoral researchers as a major part of the University’s research strategy. As part of the research support offered, John Rylands University Library (JRUL) has maintained a research information skills programme, initially set up as part of the Roberts skills agenda (Vitae, 2002), offering generic skills training in reference management, resource discovery and bibliometrics analysis. With the recent development of Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework (RDF) (Vitae, 2010), and as part of an initiative to broaden the range of skills training offered by the JRUL, the Library carried out a mapping exercise to highlight areas of the RDF where training and support was offered, and more importantly to identify any gaps in our provision.

Scholarly Communications Scholarly communications – the creation, evaluation, storage, organisation and dissemination of scholarly outputs – is an area of research activity with an increasingly high profile but was not something the JRUL was supporting consistently or comprehensively. The institutional repository, Manchester eScholar, has ensured that the research outputs generated by researchers are stored by the University and can be exposed to search engines, and researchers are supported and guided in terms of writing skills, but the mechanics of disseminating research outputs – “getting published” – a fundamental aspect of doctoral research, and a prominent feature of the RDF, were not supported by the Library research skills programme at all.


We expanded the scope of the seminars to include sessions on Open Access publishing (led by Amanda Hodgson from the Centre for Research Communication), an Intellectual Property workshop delivered by University of Manchester Intellectual Property and a workshop on the RDF and Information Literacy led by the Vitae North-West Hub and Moira Bent from the University of Newcastle. We also marketed the Institutional Repository Annual Symposium under the ‘Scholarly Communications seminars’ banner to promote Manchester e-Scholar and to engage researchers in discussions on scholarly communications issues.

Promotion The sessions were promoted to researchers at the University through a number of channels to maximise awareness. Our subject specialists promoted the sessions to their Schools, colleagues involved in skills training across all Faculties added the details to their blogs and noticeboards, and we advertised the sessions through our own Researchers’ blog (with regular tweets), our Information Skills Bulletin, and through electronic signs around the Library. Messages were also placed on internal Faculty intranets and the publishers workshops were advertised in the University’s weekly electronic newsletter.

Attendance Attendance at the sessions was open to all members of the University, although they were only marketed to researchers. 300 people attended in total, with 221 identified as research postgraduates.

Seminars To address the gaps in provision and ensure that researchers could access training and advice on scholarly communications, the JRUL held a series of seminars grouped around the theme of Scholarly Communications. The initial impetus for the seminars came from the Library’s relationship with publishers as a major subscriber to large numbers of academic journals and e-journal packages. One publisher had offered to come to the University and provide an ‘author workshop’ and having taken them up on the offer we approached a number of other publishers with requests for similar sessions. As a result, we have hosted author workshops by Elsevier, Emerald and Springer where editors and experts in academic publishing provided researchers with advice on the publishing cycle, covering everything from identifying the most appropriate titles for submission to tips on writing abstracts, information on the peer review process, editorial policies and the importance of metadata. ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

The majority of bookings came from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. The Faculty of Humanities had the least bookings, possibly because the model of publishing is different in the arts and humanities and therefore the seminars may hold little interest for this group. It would be worth investigating this further to find out why attendance was low and to identify what those working in Humanities may want instead.

Challenges There were a number of challenges to running seminars with external speakers. Without a dedicated events budget, we had to identify speakers who had a mutually beneficial relationship with the Library and were willing to come and talk for free, although we were able to cover travel expenses in some cases. ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011



The marketing of the workshops was very effective and we attracted a high level of registrations for sessions but obtaining accurate attendance figures and feedback, especially for the larger sessions such as the author workshops, was difficult when the events were delivered by a third party.

Engaging with International Open Access Week at the University of Sussex

However, most of the sessions were fully subscribed and attendance levels were high for most of the workshops. The limited amount of feedback we did obtain does suggest that Scholarly Communications seminars were well-received.

In order to raise awareness of the issues surrounding Open Access (OA), the University of Sussex Library held a series of events for its researchers as part of Open Access Week. International Open Access Week is a global event, now entering its fifth year, which aims to raise awareness of the benefits of Open Access to research results. The events were organised by the Library’s Research Liaison team who have the remit to support the research interests of the University.

Comments from researchers “Nice high level discussion for a serious academic audience.” Attendee at Open Access “I found the course to be extremely useful, it was practical and well delivered.” Attendee at Elsevier Publishers Workshop “Enjoyed it very much, lecturers were easy going and approachable throughout.” Attendee at Elsevier Publishers Workshop “It would be helpful to have this kind of workshop more frequently.” Attendee at Emerald Publishers Workshop. “The best compliment I can give is that I would recommend this course to all my fellow students.” Attendee at Information Literacy for Researchers.

The future This coming academic year we intend to run further author workshops and seminars in the area of Scholarly Communications, as well as expanding our coverage into aspects of social media and networking techniques for promoting and communicating research. We are contacting University of Manchester academics who review and edit for peerreviewed journals and identifying PhD students and other researchers willing to come and talk about their experiences of disseminating their research and raising their profile. We are also investigating the feasibility of commercial sponsorship for a seminar series, something which has been piloted by other UK Higher Education institutions. Widening the target audience to include post-doctoral students and even early-career research staff is another ambition, with the Library well placed through its relationship with publishers and other information providers to act as a focal point for scholarly communications support.


VITAE. 2002. Set for success: final report of Sir Gareth Roberts’ review [Online]. Available: policy-practice/1393-3083/SET-for-Success-Final-Report-of-Sir-Gareth-Roberts-Review.html [Accessed 9 June 2011]. VITAE. 2010. Researcher Development Framework [Online]. Available: [Accessed 9 June 2011].

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

Helen Webb, Research Liaison Supervisor University of Sussex

The Research Liaison team was created in 2005 after a large-scale restructure at the University of Sussex Library during which the Library moved away from the more traditional provision of support through subject librarians. The result was the development of Academic Liaison, a section divided into two teams of Learning and Teaching Support (LATS), who look after the needs of undergraduates and taught postgraduates, and Research Liaison, who work with researchers for doctoral students to academics. The impact of these changes is discussed more fully in ‘What subject librarians did next’ (Ball, 2011), but one key aspect is that a single point of contact for researchers makes organising cross-departmental events such as Open Access week for researchers much more straightforward. Indeed, part of the inspiration behind our desire to run events for Open Access week came from the research seminar series we ran in Spring term 2010. These events boasted external speakers and were a great success in attracting researchers into the Library building, and in one seminar on the future of Open Access publishing the subsequent discussion made it apparent that many of our researchers were not fully aware of the opportunities and challenges offered by Open Access. The recently released Research Lens of the SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy suggests that researchers should be in a position to understand the ‘processes for the dissemination of research outputs’, and able to ‘select appropriate publications and dissemination outlets in which to publish’ (SCONUL, p12). Additionally, the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) re-emphasises the importance for researchers to develop an understanding of the processes of publication and dissemination of research results, and the range of mechanisms to support knowledge transfer and maximise the impact of their research. Whether via publishing in repositories or Open Access journals, OA presents researchers across all disciplines with a unique opportunity to make their work widely available and so maximise impact. However, despite the understanding that presentation of research results is another skill researchers need to develop, it tends to be neglected in terms of training and support in favour of some of the earlier stages such as literature searching, presentation skills and even networking. There is perhaps the sense that this is one of the skills that doesn’t ‘belong’ to any one set of people to teach – should supervisors take the lead on advising their doctoral researchers how to disseminate their results, is it a ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011



job for information professionals or should the researchers be investigating their options themselves?

themselves from the more traditional routes of publishing in journals, and for this reasons the Green model was much preferred.

As a relatively small team, Research Liaison are able to work closely with other departments across the university who also support researchers such as the Doctoral School and the Teaching and Learning Development Unit, and this allows us to deliver joint courses and also to pool information on what areas it seems our researchers are keen to have additional support in. We felt that as library and information professionals we were ideally placed to support researchers to engage with the concepts surrounding dissemination of research outputs in general, and Open Access in particular under the banner of International Open Access Week.

During Open Access week we had a great deal of interest from researchers in the social sciences and humanities, with our session for these researchers attracting almost three times as many attendees as the event for the scientists. This is possibly because Open Access publishing is more common in the sciences with publication in repositories such as arXiv a fairly standard practice. However, a strong case for the relevance of OA to the humanities was made during a talk by Martin Eve, a doctoral researcher who recently joined with fellow Sussex researchers in the School of English to set up Excursions, a multidisciplinary Open Access journal. Intended to ‘showcase high-quality, innovative and inventive work’ and with an Open Access policy ‘on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge’, Excursions demonstrates how Open Access publishing can allow doctoral researchers to take control of their research output.

For our 2010 events we organised a set of lunchtime seminars and attracted our researchers through a combination of external speakers who were experts in their field (including representatives from OA publishers BioMed Central and ESRC), and the promise of lunch whilst they learned. Open Access publishing has been accepted at different rates by different disciplines and so we decided to hold two separate seminar events, one for researchers in the humanities and social sciences and another for those in the sciences and medics. These seminars were both marketed as ‘Maximise your research impact: engaging with Open Access publishing’. Additionally, a workshop lead by Jo Appleford, Editorial Manager at BioMed Central, was offered for all disciplines on the practicalities of getting your work published in Open Access journals. As well as this a session was delivered for staff from across the university whose work involves supporting researchers. This was hosted by Library staff and included presentations on issues they were likely to come across in their work with researchers such as issues surrounding electronic submission of theses, an introduction to the revamped institutional repository, Sussex Research Online, and an overview of issues relating to scholarly publication and Open Access.

Events such as the Open Access week workshops and the seminars that provoked them are important not only in delivering support but also in encouraging researchers at all levels into the Library and into a dialogue with us and each other. We intend to continue our support of International Open Access week in October 2011, and are currently in the process of planning our events. We expect to focus on promotion of Sussex Research Online in advance of the REF and efforts to develop the interest in the Green model of publishing.


Ball, J., 2011. What subject librarians did next. CILIP Update, February, 40-42 Excursions, 2011. Available at: SCONUL, 2011. The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy. A Research Lens for Higher Education. VITAE, 2010. Researcher Development Framework

The sessions were well attended and we were delighted to be offering an event that attracted researchers other than those who normally came to library events. Much discussion centred on the two main routes for OA publishing of journal articles and theses, Gold and Green. The Gold model is where an author submits an article to a publisher who makes the article freely available on publication, with the cost of publication covered by a one-off fee being paid by the author. The Green model has an author depositing their work into a repository either before publication (preprint) or afterwards (postprint), with their work being made freely and publically available either on publication or after an agreed embargo period. We found that our doctoral researchers were somewhat suspicious of the Gold model of publishing and were unable to shrug off the connotations of vanity publishing – the sense was that if you are paying to publish then perhaps your work will be viewed as not strong enough to stand on its own merits. Even though it was reiterated that authors paying did not replace the peer-review process in any way, the attendees found it difficult to detach

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011


Targeted Provision: Supporting Researchers at the University of Huddersfield Kate McGuinn, Subject Librarian Sarah Munks, Subject Librarian University of Hudderfield.

Background The Support for Researchers group was set up at the University of Huddersfield to consider ways in which Computing and Library Services (CLS) could better support the University’s research community. The group has overseen a number of successful initiatives including targeted training sessions, creation of the Repository, development of dedicated Support for Research web pages, participation in the University Research Festival, EndNote training and support and an improved IT infrastructure for researchers.

Web pages The new web pages (figure 1.) provide information on the in-depth help and support that is available from CLS for our research community. Content includes information on finding and managing information (including help and advice on using the University’s preferred reference management software), detailed information on accessing and depositing in the University Repository, copyright and intellectual property rights and keeping up-to-date with developments in any chosen research area.


Targeted training Three half day training sessions targeted at researchers were organised. These initially ran once per term and were made up of: • • • • •

1 hour advanced search methods 1 hour EndNote training 30 minutes current awareness training 30 minutes Inter-Library Loans and Copyright overview 15 minute Archives and Special Collections overview

Feedback for these sessions was on the whole positive. Many researchers welcomed the opportunity to meet and develop working relationships with their relevant subject teams in the library. It was felt, however, that an hour for advanced search methods and EndNote was inadequate and separate sessions are now offered covering these areas. These are run in conjunction with our staff development team who publicise the sessions and deal with the administrative side of things such as bookings and organising rooms.

Referencing software As part of its remit, the group also looked at the range of reference management software available and an institutional subscription to EndNote was purchased. When compared to other similar software, EndNote came out as the clear front runner as it had the best functionality, was easy to use and was already being used by some academic staff. Workshops on using and supporting EndNote were held for library staff who regularly came into contact with academics and researchers. Additionally, each of the subject teams has an ‘EndNote Champion’ to support and promote the use of the software within their respective academic departments.

Summon Huddersfield was the first UK University to adopt the web-scale discovery tool – Summon. Summon enables cross searching of most of the e-resources we subscribe to and makes the research process simple and seamless for academics, researchers and undergraduates alike. Searches can also be performed to include items outside of our own collections making it a valuable one-stop-shop for research.

Figure 2. Usage of Summon compared with usage of our previous system.

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011


Subject team staff liaised with staff and researchers in their respective schools and arranged drop-in and 1-2-1 sessions to demonstrate Summon and promote use. Initial comparisons of the usage of Summon compared to our previous system show a steady increase (figure 2). We are currently looking at full-text downloads from publishers which will be a key indicator of whether or not Summon is, as we hope, making it easier to locate articles.

The Repository As the number of researchers at Huddersfield grew, it became apparent that we needed a solution to facilitate open access publishing of research. As a result, the University of Huddersfield Repository was founded in 2008. The intentions behind the Repository were to showcase Huddersfield research to the wider academic community, complement the existing publishing process and enable researchers to fulfil their duty to disseminate work widely as a condition of funding. Since its inception, over 9,500 items have been added to the Repository. It now ranks as the 12th most popular university repository in the UK.


for specialist resources such as BioMed Central, an open access publisher of highly regarded peer reviewed journals.

The Research Festival The Research Festival takes place each year in the Spring Term and is an opportunity for researchers to share ideas and showcase what they are working on. The Festival is led by the Research Office, but Computing and Library Services is heavily involved with the planning and sees the Festival as a vital part of its support of research activity.

The Research Portal The Research Portal provides a one-stop shop on or off campus to a range of web based resources and applications. Amongst other things, the Portal links to the Grant Finder, the Repository, the Support for Researchers web pages and the Business Mine, a service which supports Huddersfield students in setting up their own business.

IT provision for researchers Researchers have a unique set of needs when it comes to IT. Two innovations we have implemented at Huddersfield to assist researchers are the Mobile Home service, which gives access to personal network storage when off campus and the enhanced Mobile Desktop service. The latter provides staff and research students with access to a range of resources including Microsoft Office, SPSS, EndNote and Nvivo. Mobile Home is a simple browser based service which students can use wherever they are without downloading any additional software, while Mobile Desktop uses Citrix software to provide access to applications.

25 Research Things Figure 3. Full text downloads from the University of Huddersfield Repository June 2010 to June 2011.

As the bar chart shows (figure 3), usage peaked in May 2011 at nearly 15,000 full text downloads. One of the aims of the Repository team is to find new ways to improve the visibility of the Repository. For instance Huddersfield PhD theses are now searchable in DART-Europe, a partnership of research libraries and consortia who are working to improve global access to European research theses. Also, Scopus citation data has recently been linked into the Repository.

Purchasing resources for research Traditionally, the University of Huddersfield has focussed primarily on undergraduate teaching. As the number of researchers at the university has grown steadily in recent years, members of staff responsible for buying resources have had to rethink their purchasing accordingly. This has been reflected in changed buying habits for books and journals to provide for the needs of researchers and also in the purchase of subscriptions ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

25 research things is an online programme for researchers which takes them through some of the major innovations in web technology which are changing the way people communicate with each other. Over ten weeks, participants cover topics such as blogging, social networks, Flickr, Mashups, RSS feeds, Technorati, tagging and wikis.

The Convivium The Convivium was launched in 2009 as part of the refurbishment of the Computing and Library Centre. It is a dedicated space for research students to sit and think, discuss ideas, share experiences and relax. The area is designed to be flexible and researchers are encouraged to move furniture and use the space as they wish. The Convivium also provides a useful space for events aimed at providing support for researchers, usually run by the Research Office. Recent events of this type have include a workshop for part-time researchers and meetings for international research students to enable them to discuss life at the University of Huddersfield for researchers from overseas and provide feedback to improve the experience of future students.

The Future At the time of writing, Computing and Library Services is being restructured and the ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011



Support for Researchers group has been re-launched with new terms of reference. It is anticipated that a new post will be created to take responsibility for supporting researchers. The new group will focus on improving the IT infrastructure, including High Performance Computing, grid computing and data storage and working towards greater interoperability of systems to support the REF in 2014. Further work will also be needed to embed the Repository in the day to day activities of researchers and to continue encouraging a culture of open access publishing.


Support for Researchers web pages University of Huddersfield Repository

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011


ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011


ALISS Quarterly 6 (4) July 2011

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July 2011  

ALISS Quarterly July 2011

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