Charleston 2014 – Crowd Sourcing of Library Services

Speaker: John Dove, Credo Reference

Lots of words about what crowd sourcing is and why we should care. This is why I’m not a scholar. Just get to the point and don’t spend so much time convincing me that the point is the point.


Speaker: Tim Spalding, LibraryThing

It’s a personal cataloging tool that becomes social with more people doing it. Personal cataloging is the basis, and it was started with the idea that it would only be that.

Users can add tags to categories their books, and there are over 112 million tags from users. Users can add cover images for their own books, creating a vast collection of book covers.

The next level of engagement is exhibitionism and voyeurism, followed by self-expression via reviews. Reviews happen after a person reads the book, not when they are looking it up in the library catalog.

Users can add their own series information, including sub-series, which is often more information than what librarians are able to add. Other common knowledge content includes characters, author information, etc. Members also manage the “authority control” — FRBRization, author disambiguation, tag disambiguation.

Policing (get off my lawn) and helping (here’s how to be on my lawn) — dealing with spam, trolls, etc. and also assisting newer users via forums.

The final level of engagement comes with collaborative cataloging of books by dead people or that have shown up in mass media (i.e. Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog).

Lessons: secure the bottom of the ladder, build it rung by rung or at least think about it that way, and finally, crowd sourcing is not a feature. It’s not about what you get, it’s about what you give.


Speaker: Scott Johnson, ChiliFresh

If the internet in the 70s and 80s, waterbeds would probably have not reached the 20% penetration due to online reviews.

The wisdom of crowd source information is also the madness.

Rather than having a closed database of reviews from local patrons only, they have a collaborative database of reviews from library users across the world that local libraries can choose to participate in it or not. The reviews themselves are written by patrons, but they are moderated by librarians.


Speaker: Ilana Stonebraker, Purdue University

How is my library like the Vlog Brothers 54 jokes video? There is a huge network and community doing important things that are not visible in just that video. We are icebergs.

Most reference questions are lower-level, even online questions. What’s supposed to happen is at a much higher level, but the reality is that isn’t most of what happens. The traditional reference service model also assumes that the librarian is the only one who can give the answer. For example, sometimes students who have had a similar problem and found a solution can help each other.

CrowdAsk is similar to StackOverflow for gamification and badging. It’s open source on Git Hub. You can ask a question, and assign a bounty using your points to get a faster answer. They use it in lower level courses to allow the students to work together. Users can vote on answers and questions. Students who are really good at answering each other’s questions gain more power/authority in the system.

There is a good level of participation so far, and there are quite a number of lurkers, with the average time spent at over 6 minutes. They did some usability tests and found that often the motivation is reciprocity — they were helped and they want to help others.

The goal is to create a sustainable user engagement and community involvement as a part of the library’s website, not just to triage late-night reference questions.

Charleston 2014 – Charleston Premiers

Speaker: Joel Mills, Apex CoVantage

GEMS was created for editorial workflow, specifically for managing freelancers. It’s a web-based task/project management tool. There are also some reporting and accounting features.


Speaker: Colleen Hunter, ArtStor

Shared Shelf is a tool for storing and cataloging digital media assets (audio, video, documents, and images). You can choose to use most existing metadata schemas. Access restrictions are flexible to any level.


Speaker: Jean-Gabriel Bankier, bepress Digital Commons

Download metrics was one of the biggest impacts on getting faculty to participate in institutional repositories. They built a near-realtime readership activity map, and it has been well-received by administration. Static images and reports aren’t as effective as live use reporting. Some show it to donors, some display it on monitors in the library.


Speaker: Maya Bystrom, Bevara Technologies

Developing adapters and playback tools for all file types, regardless of whether they eventually become obsolete or not.


Speaker: Tim Williams, Edward Elgar

Research Reviews is their major reference works online. They publish mostly books, but some journals. Their terms are pretty much what librarians have asked for, including ILL. The research reviews direct researchers to seminal works in the field, both books and articles, and links out to those works.


Speaker: Ray Abruzzi, Gale

Working with researchers to data mine the contents of the Gale databases. They may eventually host the data and provide tools to work with it, but for now they are providing the data on portable hard drives directly to the researchers.


Speaker: Greg Cornblue, Harvard UP

Loeb Classical Library covers the important Greek and Latin literature. You can create reading lists with annotations and bookmarks that can be shared with groups or specific users.


Speaker: Howard Burton, Ideas Roadshow

Video interviews with scholars and researchers. There are also ebooks of some sort, self-published it seems.


Speaker: Richard Hollis, IET Digital Library

Engineering content.


Speaker: David Sommer, Kudos

Kudos is a set of tools to increase the discoverability and impact of research. Authors can catalog their work, enhance the metadata, share it on social networks, and see the resulting click data. They are integrated with ORCID and will be incorporating citation data from Thomson Reuters.


Speaker: John Hammersley, Overleaf

Authors are shuffling multiple versions of the same documents over email, dealing with formatting issues, and maintaining the format of citations across different editing tools. Overleaf works like GoogleDocs but is based on LaTeX and can be easily reformatted for whatever style/template you want. There can be real-time collaborative editing, with track changes and commenting. Teachers can send an assignment, and the students can work in the tool to complete and return it.


Speaker: Barbara Olson, ProQuest

Lots of stuff about products with data sets.


Speaker: Jennifer Hopkins, SAGE

SAGE Business Researcher contains reports on relevant topics to introduce students to them. SAGE Business Cases collects case studies. SAGE Video collection to support pedagogical and reference needs, primarily in social sciences.


Speaker: Kendall Barge, Third Iron

BrowZine offers the library’s journal subscriptions in a newsstand format. They have been primarily an app-based tool, but they are developing a web interface with the ability to be embedded in LibGuides, etc.

Charleston 2014 – Reinforcing the Role of the Library: Communicating Value, Increasing Access and Knowledge

Speaker: Elliot Hermann, Nature

Libraries use a lot of statistical data to determine the value of their content. You know how it goes.

University of Utah and Nature worked out a pilot with ReadCube to provide rental article access. $2.99 for read-only for 48 hrs, $7.99 for purchase and available. In the end, this was a better value for the library for high demand titles that are not used enough to justify purchase/subscription.

How can publishers and librarians work together to determine and establish value? Publishers are trying to do more analytics beyond cost per download. Cost per citation, local citations, author submissions/affiliations, access denials, altmetrics – ultimately some sort of customized solution.


Speaker: Jill Emery, Portland State University

Collaboration, Content, Connection

PSU could not exist without the Orbis-Cascade Alliance, their consortia.

Librarians and publishers are complimentary. We are both invested in the success of authored content, and we agree that quality academic content carries a cost.

In consortium we are able to do things that we could not do individually, unless we are at the 800lb gorilla libraries. OCA did a DDA with EBL via YBP. They spent a lot of time figuring out who would work with them and how it would be set up. It was understood from the outset that it was a pilot project for all of them, and at some point things might change. So, last year when the STL prices went up, it wasn’t a surprise to them. What ended up being complicated was the communication.

It wasn’t a real loss for the publishers. They gained markets they wouldn’t have had. The other outcome was the proof that this could be done across multiple organizations to some success.

There is an agreement that quality academic content carries a cost, but the issue is the price point. The profit reports coming from the commercial STM publishers makes librarians uncomfortable with continuing to invest their collections funds in that market.

Librarians help add context to quality content. Librarians expand on the metadata of the quality academic content. Librarians and publishers partner to make sure standards are employed.

Publishers and librarians are enmeshed in the scholarly communication network. We need to continue to experiment and move forward, but in a way that is affordable for all of us, without negatively impacting the quality of the work.


Speaker: Maggie Farrell, University of Wyoming

Universities are under pressure to graduate students in four years with marketable degrees. They are under pressure to do research in areas relevant to local interests. They are under pressure to collect materials in those areas and be repositories for the research done.

She would like to link metrics to collection purchases, collection impact, value, and university pressures.

Charleston 2014 – Evidence-Based eBook Purchasing: Results and Implications from a Consortia-Publisher Initiative

Speaker: Julia Gelfand, University of California Irvine

They had purchased the CRC ebooks from 2002-2012, but couldn’t continue due to financial constraints. They reviewed their priorities and options for cost sharing and access.

In 2013, they opted to go with 6 collections at the lower tier of access shared across a subset of campuses. In 2014, they opted to go an evidence-based DDA route in EngNetBase.

All new titles were added as they were released, and after the second use, in general it was acquired system-wide.

Campuses that had discovery systems added the titles, but there was no other deep indexing of the content.

The total spend was less than the cost of the package, but still generous and fit about what they expected on a title-by-title cost.


Speaker: Susan Sanders, Taylor & Francis

The publisher provided MARC records and usage data, and there was an agreed-upon spend but no deposit. They had trouble generating statistics for this collection specifically, both on a consortia level and at an institutional level.

One adjustment they needed to make was to extend access beyond the calendar year because 4th quarter titles didn’t have much time to be discovered.

Charleston 2014 – To Go Boldly Beyond Downloads

Speaker: Gabriel Hughes, Elsevier

New to the industry, and didn’t know what usage data was when he started. He’s interested in usage that COUNTER doesn’t count.

Internet based storage and sharing technology results in higher volume of reading of material than is reflected in download statistics due to scholars sharing the content more easily. Elsevier has done surveys on this, and 65% of those researchers surveyed this year agreed that they access articles from a shared folder or platform, which is increasing over time.

For the most part, sharing doesn’t happen because the recipient doesn’t have access. It’s more out of convenience, particularly with annotations or attached notes. Of course, he recommends using Mendeley (or similar tools, whatever they may be) to meet this need.

Elsevier is funding the research that Tenopir is doing on how and why researchers share, and how that compares with measured usage.


Speaker: Carol Tenopir, University of Tennessee

There are many tools and platforms designed to share citations and content, and they were designed to fit the research workflow. Informal methods are tools that weren’t designed for sharing citations/documents, but are used widely both personally and professionally to do so (i.e. Twitter, blogs).

They have done interviews and focus groups, and an international survey that went out two days ago. Sharing a citation or link is more common than sharing a document. Those that share their own work say that they mostly share what was uploaded to their institutional repository.

Altruism and the advancement of research trump any concerns about copyright when it comes to sharing content with other scholars.

There are some differences when it comes to books. Articles and research reports are more easily shared, but book royalties are a consideration that causes many to hesitate. They certainly wouldn’t want their own books shared instead of purchased.

Is a COUNTER-like measure/calculation possible? Good question. Any thoughts on that are welcome.