Libraries and research excellence

Last month I mentioned the publication of A comparative review of research assessment regimes in five countries and the role of libraries in the research assessment process, which had been produced for us by Key Perspectives. It is a detailed report, and I also said that we’d shortly issue a companion report with some background …

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Europeana at the Halfway Mark

For the recent LIBER/EBLIDA workshop on digitization at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague, I was asked to provide a view on Europeana from the US perspective. Of course, I neither speak for the US nor do I have inside information about Europeana, but I’d been following it from afar and had read just about …

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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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Edinburgh University Library comes full circle

I was invited back to Edinburgh University Library last Thursday to attend the launch event for the opening of the refurbished Ground Floor – part of a long renovation project that began last year with the opening of its excellent Centre for Research Collections on the upper floors. The library that I left almost two …

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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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