The Straight Dope on OAIster

As many of you are probably aware, OCLC and the University of Michigan announced last January that OCLC was taking over the OAIster aggregation of metadata harvested from OAI-compliant repositories. The University of Michigan was no longer able to support it, and was looking for assistance in sustaining this valuable community resource. As Kat Hagedorn …

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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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Bottoms-up for bottom-up

I don’t know whether colleagues in the US talk about effective change requiring initiatives which are both top-down and bottom-up, but it’s a pairing we often approve in the UK. It has perhaps been nowhere more evident as a strategy than in the development of repositories in recent years. The top-down work looks for mandates …

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Impact Measures and Library Selection

I have just been reading a recent article by Kathy Enger* published in Library & Information Science Research that examines the potential value of citation analysis as a selection tool in academic library acquisitions. Enger proposes that citation analysis of the journal literature might be used to identify potentially high-impact books for inclusion in a …

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Interesting ideas do not always a project make

A little over a year ago, I inherited a project that didn’t have much more than a name: “Explore and understand the place of large digital text aggregations in scholarship and research.” I had several discussions with my colleagues about what this project might turn out to be. We had several ideas: ­– Create a …

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Libraries of the future, plurality and multi-scalarity

JISC and Oxford University Library Services hosted a meeting in Oxford on Thursday to mark the conclusion of JISC’s Libraries of the Future Campaign. The event took place in the afternoon, with a series of challengingly short presentations from a set of well-known librarians and commentators: Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian at Oxford; Chris Batt – …

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Efficiency and scholarly information practices

There is a good article* in the most recent issue of JASIS&T by a group of Canadian scholars who challenge James Evans’ controversial claim that the increase in online availability of research publications has resulted in more focused and narrowly concentrated scholarly citation patterns. Evans’ study (2008) was the subject of a previous post on …

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“From the library”

Richard Ovenden, Keeper of Special Collections and Associate Director of the Bodleian Library in Oxford, gave an OCLC Distinguished Seminar presentation in Dublin Ohio on Monday of last week. Merrilee has already blogged about it here. I notice that the webcast of the presentation is now available from the Distinguished Seminar Series page. He presented …

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Repositories and library cultures

When is a repository not a repository? When it’s an OPAC? Are OPACs in reality a species of repository, however reluctantly, given that the genus is usually used with a specific application in mind – one which is a newcomer to the library world whose value is still not convincingly proven? In the UK, JISC …

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Bitter fruits of the RAE?

In December I posted an entry about the results of the Research Assessment Exercise in the UK. Today comes the news that the funding allocations which follow the assessment have been made for England (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will follow later). The picture is a mixed one, as reported in The Guardian. The exercise …

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