ESU/CILIP Travelling Librarian 2004 Report Simon Bevan November 2004 Acknowledgements Thanks must go to both CILIP and ESU for sponsoring such an excellent award. Also thanks to all the host institutions for their excellent hospitality. 1. Proposal The purpose of the trip to the US was to undertake research into the development, management and sustainability of Institutional Repositories in the US. It was hoped that knowledge acquired from the experiences of US institutions could be used both locally at Cranfield but also effectively disseminated to UK institutions interested in the whole area. The itinerary was designed so that visits were made to disparate institutions, some with considerable expertise in the area, and some who were just starting off with the process. All institutions visited had already developed either their own IR or had systems for the storage of some kind of internally created material (eg electronic theses). A number of the Libraries were chosen specifically as they were using the DSpace software (also currently in use at Cranfield), others had developed different solutions. In order to glean a consistent body of information from Libraries visited, an unofficial list of questions was created. Many of the answers came out in conversation with different members of staff. Institutions dealt with the visit of a foreign librarian in a number of different ways, from official two day programmes, to short pithy discussions. In most cases it was possible to speak with senior members of Library staff â€“ Library Deans and Assistant Deans â€“ so discussions were at both operational and strategic level. 2. Itinerary The trip itinerary covered the states of Massachusetts, New York, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The first visit was to MIT followed by a flight to Rochester, NY and visits to Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester. This was followed by a Greyhound bus trip down to Ithaca for a visit to Cornell. From there a flight to Morgantown, WV (via Pittsburgh), to visit the West Virginia University and then another flight to Philadelphia (again via Pittsburgh) for a visit to Drexel University. The final destination was Hofstra University on Long Island (NY), via Amtrak, then finally back to Boston by train for a flight back to the UK. 3. Length of visit The Travelling Librarian award is generally an award for a two week visit to the US. Fortunately Cranfield University agreed to allow the trip to extended to just over three weeks, with a further injection of funding. 4. Contact with ESU Contact with members of the ESU provided two of the most enjoyable and interesting parts of the whole trip. 4.1. Meeting with the Board of Directors of the Boston branch of the ESU. Initial contact was made with Charles Butts, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the ESU branch in Boston. Meeting initially with Charles was very interesting in that he had been responsible for copyright issues at Houghton Mifflin publishers in Boston
and this clearly had some relevance to the idea behind IRs, to make published copyright material openly accessible. The meeting with the Board was held in a five storey house in the Beacon Hill area, followed by dinner at the restaurant at the top of the Prudential Tower in downtown Boston. The Board meeting ranged from discussions on the upcoming (at the time) World Members Conference in New York; the Tanglewood Fellowship; Churchillian Lecture held at Tremont Temple; Shakespeare interactive workshop planning; Outreach and recruitment drives. Members of the Board also listened to a description of the Travelling Librarian award and the reasons for the trip, and they also asked a number of questions both during the meeting and at dinner. This meeting helped to place the ESU in a world context. PHOTO 4.2. Staying at the Union League of Philadelphia Through the contact made with the Philadelphia branch of the ESU it was possible to stay as a sponsored guest at the UL. It was very pleasant to be accommodated in such a refined atmosphere. PHOTO
5. Descriptions of individual institutional visits 5. 1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (4-Oct-04) PHOTO 5.1.1. Initial contact MIT was one of the institutions where contact had been previously made. This was a really useful visit for two reasons, first to consolidate this contact, and second, to talk in detail with staff at the institution where staff had co-authored the DSpace open source IR software, currently being used at Cranfield and at various institutions around the country (specifically those involved in JISC/FAIR projects). 5.1.2. Continued contact Since the visit to MIT, contact has continued with two members of MIT staff. Partly as a result of this contact an invitation to speak at the LEADIRs seminar in London in December on the topic of the policies governing IRs has been accepted. 5.1.3. Lessons learned Google project to index DSpace systems (in collaboration with OCLC) was largely to try and allow quality limits to be created via Google searches. (ref. to web articles) Google will harvest from DSpace systems as a matter of course (ie. Systems outside of the project). MIT believe that it is important that Faculty members have responsibility for adding their own material to their Institutional Repository There is no separation of refereed and unrefereed material within the MIT DSpace Preservation issue suddenly became of great importance to one department after their own IT storage was stolen. This is a good argument for IRs in terms of centralising storage, preservation and back-up.
Discussion of the shortcomings of Library schools in trying to ensure IT literate librarians MIT have three DSpace systems – production, demo and test. Statistical analysis has been undertaken on DSpace stats using apache logs. 5.2. University of Rochester (UR) (7-Oct-04) PHOTO 5.2.1. Initial contact Initial contact was made via an email address of the member of staff responsible for the strategic development of the DSpace system at UR. 5.2.2. Continued contact Further emails have been exchanged with a view to exchanging information on the most effective methods of populating an IR. 5.2.3. Lessons learned Decision to use DSpace was made outside the Library by senior University staff Usability testing undertaken with DSpace out-of-the-box and the software failed (usability group made up entirely of librarians). UR undertook an Participatory re-design of DSpace using ethnographic approach – work-practice study. This involved asking Faculty questions and videoing them. See ‘Use a shoehorn or design a better shoe: co-design of a University Repository’ conference paper. Understanding by Faculty of DSpace promotional material varies. Need to explain how an IR can help academics in their own language. They don’t know what ‘IR’ means; they don’t know the meaning of ‘metadata’ or ‘open source software’. Results of UR study have led to the creation of a researcher page, providing faculty with tools to help them. Work-practice study will be expanded to look at graduates and how they write research papers (Duke University are using DSpace for student papers). UR using ‘webstats’ software UR research seems to have huge parallels with VRE projects (JISC funding available) – how do researchers work? IR compelling at an institutional level but not at the personal level. Clear tension between the MIT view of metadata (ie. that it is not as important) and UR view that it is pretty central to IRs. Not much contact with RIT (which is about 5 mins away). UR have c900 items – interface is about to change, but so far still have standard outof-the-box interface.
E-theses have not really taken off – very few theses are produced. DSpace structure is by Dept/Faculty. Academics still haven’t been persuaded to add pre and post prints themselves See ‘Re-purposing MARC metadata’ Library Hi Tech v22, no 2 2004, pp153-165 FRBR UR are holding MODS records as extra items within DSpace so that when it is introduced they will have the records. 2 systems live & test No de-accessioning policy
5.3. Rochester Institute of Technology (8-Oct-04) PHOTO 5.3.1. Initial contact Initial contact was made via email on the suggestion of the University of Rochester. 5.3.2. Continued contact As yet there has been no further contact, but RIT have undertaken a lot of work on the DSpace interface and so there is clearly an area there for future discussion and collaboration. 5.3.3. Lessons learned RIT only have c75 items in their DSpace although they have spent significant amounts of time on changing the interface. MORE HERE
5.4. Cornell University (12-Oct-04) PHOTO 5.4.1. Initial contact Cornell (along with Cranfield) is one of the five test sites involved in the COUNTER project and so initial contact at Cornell was made via a member of staff involved in this project. Details of relevant senior staff were provided. 5.4.2. Continued contact Contact has continued in terms of email discussions on the Cornell ‘integrated framework for digital collections’. There is a possibility that a joint conference could result from initial contact made during this trip. Cornell have some funding available. 5.2.3. Lessons learned
Not necessarily clear to individuals where IR fits into institutional goals
There has been large scale digital conversion since 1990 – now trying to put a service structure over the top of this. Do not undertake bulk digitisation but rather high end work including consultancy to arrange and contract services. ArXiv has influenced the thinking. It is a disciplinary repository that has undergone organic development, but evolved from something that was already in place – developed from a listserv. Medics and biologists have opposing views from Physics and mathematicians – articles have to be refereed, otherwise they have no authority. If existing systems work ok then why change? ArXiv is not easily replicated. Library took over ArXiv so that it could use the model for other fields. DPubs system – this is where Cornell started IRs. Used for EUCLID project & computer science reports (‘tech reports’). System has Collections and objects (not Communities). Has just one page of DC metadata to complete. Admin & secretaries load papers. Already had DPubs (Dienst) but senior staff member wanted to get DSpace – imposed on them (see also Rochester). So two different pieces of software to do the same thing, but DSpace has helped to see how to develop DPubs. To be developed into more of as publishing tool. In discussions with Ken King, he was impressed with EPIC study on OA and ejournals Bill Arms of the opinion that full-text indexing is more effective than metadata alone. See Malcolm Getz article. Barriers to the development of IRs: Tenure and promotion; High cost of peer review; Global library – threat to librarians If it isn’t electronic, faculty won’t read it. Loyalty to discipline is stronger than loyalty to Institution Are different disciplinary cultures different enough to stop IRs? BUT – everyone wants to be googled – pander to faculty ego!
5.5. West Virginia University (WVU)(14/15-Oct-04) PHOTO 5.5.1 Initial contact Initial contact was made with a contact previously made at the ETD conference in Berlin in 2003 and consolidated at the ETD conference in Kentucky. At WVU a two-day programme was arranged which involved an invitation to the Travelling Librarian to speak, followed by a reception. This was an excellent opportunity to talk about development in e-theses and IRs both at Cranfield and nationally in the UK. It was also an opportunity to talk about sponsors of the TL award ESU and CILIP, and describe some of the missions and aims of the two organisations.
5.5.2. Continued contact There has been significant contact since the trip and an opportunity has arisen to collaborate with WVU and the Science and Technology Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries on a project concerned with electronic theses. After both extensive emails and a telephone conversation, it is hoped that a collaborative project may be possible in 2005. 5.5.3 Lessons learned See Data CDs containing four papers/presentations given (specifically arranged for the Travelling Librarian) 5.6 Drexel (18-Oct-04) PHOTO 5.6.1. Initial contact Initial contact was made via a contact made previously at the ETD (Electronic Theses and Dissertations) conference in Kentucky earlier in 2004. This led on to email discussions with the Chief Librarian at Drexel, and a lunchtime appointment with Professor Eugene Garfield, one of the founders of Information Science and the founder of the ISI. 5.6.2. Continued contact Contact concerning the projects discussed with Prof. Garfield has continued â€“ Cranfield has agreed to pilot test the new HISTCite software developed at ISI. Further contact and discussions have also been made (via an introduction from Prof. Garfied) with Michael Keen at Aberystwyth with a view to digitising the reports and papers of Cyril Cleverdon, the first Cranfield University Librarian and an early researcher into information retrieval. 5.6.3. Lessons learned See Data CDs containing IR set-up related papers 5.7. Hofstra (21-Oct-04) PHOTO 5.7.1. Initial contact Contact with Hofstra was made out of the blue with Susan Lukesh (Associate Provost for Budget and Planning) and Lanny Udey (Director of IT Planning) 5.7.2. Continued contact No further contact has so far been made with staff at Hofstra. It was agreed that experiences from Cranfield (including the results of the TL trip) would be passed over to Hofstra with a view to aiding them in their further development of their own IR. 5.7.3. Lessons learned Using e-prints software Issues of open source or subscribed software â€“ either pay for staff or for software Very little put in by academic staff. Lots put in by Associate Provost Collection policy not yet formulated
No advocacy undertaken; No e-theses; No licensing; No usage stats This final trip was interesting in that after talking about IRs at 6 different institutions on the trip, the seventh, Hofstra, were the least developed and probably the institution that learned the most from the Travelling Librarian.
5.8 Other contacts Prior to the trip, a number of other contacts were made with staff at Virginia Tech, University of California and Florida State University, with a view to being able to visit those institutions during the TL trip. Unfortunately, it became clear that visiting institutions over such a wide area was overambitious in terms of the time available.
6. Benefits: 6.1 Benefits for Institution Benchmarking 6.2 Benefits personally Increased number of contacts Feeding into professional aims Better understanding of HE system in US Better understanding of ESU Better understanding of US psyche â€“ allowing long term contact US elections World series MIT architecture, Boston, Philadelphia, New York 7. Results:
Simon Bevan November 2004
Cleverdon Garfield - HISTCite Possible project with WVU & possibly hosting visit Maintained contacts with others Documents/articles collected