The Elusive User

  Each year, OCLC Research staff gather together to review current activities and to plan for the upcoming year. During this year’s meeting, which happened in September, we reviewed our activity areas. I lead the User Behavior Studies and Synthesis activity area; our group engaged in a discussion about describing and possibly renaming the activity area. …

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Climate change for libraries

At the RLG Partnership Annual Meeting in 2007, Timothy Burke told the assembled research librarians ‘you have to figure out how to be hydraulic engineers of information flow rather than the guardians of the fortress’. It’s an image that has stuck with me. Everywhere now in our professional literature we see the challenges of our …

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Mendeley scrobbles your papers

Mendeley is a social web application for academic authors that has been receiving quite a lot of attention recently. Victor Keegan wrote about it in The Guardian last week, likening it to the streaming music service Last.fm: How does it work? At the basic level, students can “drag and drop” research papers into the site …

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Journals and the tainting of science

The main feature article in last week’s Times Higher, A threat to scientific communication: do academic journals pose a threat to the advancement of science?, by Zoë Corbyn, examines the scholarly journals system and asks some penetrating questions about dysfunctionality in the academy, at least in the UK. We are all aware of some troubling …

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Special collections and university rankings

The University of Leeds has made two prestigious acquisitions recently which have been deemed worthy of announcing from the university’s own news page. In early June, the university acquired the archive of Marks & Spencer, one of the UK’s most prestigious stores, which began its life in Leeds some 125 years ago (and has created …

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