Charleston 2014 – What Faculty Want Librarians To Know

Speaker: Phil Richerme, Postdoctoral Researcher, Joint Quantum Institute

He studied antimatter properties at CERN. They published the results in journals, generally the top ones in the field. Currently interested in quantum problem-solving, and now publishing in journals with a broader reach, but still no books.

Each day, the first thing he does is check to see what’s new in the world. Some new open access journals have been created, but the author fees are not appealing when most of the pre-print and some post-print is already freely available in the arXiv. It also saves the researchers a lot of time wasted doing things that others have already done, given the delay between when an article is submitted and when it is finally published.

The next thing he does is go to the lab. To determine what experiments he needs to do, he often does a literature search, generally with Google Scholar, sometimes with Web of Science. He does not use the university library site in part because it is too comprehensive. Books in general aren’t the medium for breaking new ground in physics. They are generally reference sources or have equations of interest, and if he does need to use one, he usually goes to Google Books. If he can’t find a scan of the book, he goes to Amazon to look inside the book, and if not there, he continues to search online. He polled his lab, and only two out of 16 researchers know how to get to the physics library.

In summary, books are no longer relevant for physics research. Journals are the primary source of communication.

Speaker: Tim Johnson, Chair of Classics, College of Charleston

I think he is saying he’s shifted from browsing physical material to digital searches/browsing. He’s interested in serendipity, or at least looking around beyond just the search results. Students can’t find the books, or figure out where they are shelved, so he sees them using more ebooks and articles.

ILL is not a workable solution, because he can’t keep the materials forever and ever like the things the library owns. He rails against our access over ownership model.

He had one bad experience with online resources, and now it’s an IT problem we will always struggle against. Digital should be free, right?

I think I know why his librarians aren’t giving him what he wants — he can’t express it in plain language, and what I can glean from his self-aggrandizing poetics and gross sexualization of the physical book, his expectations are unrealistic.

Speaker: Christine Fair, Assistant Professor of Security Studies, Georgetown University

She gets a lot of information from journals, but she mostly uses books, and particularly those not generally available where she is due to her research on Pakistani and other south Asian security. She browses physical materials, often because she finds other relevant content there.

Academics have no sense of the value of their time. As a consultant paid by the hour, it drives her nuts how much time is wasted by academics who talk about nothing for too long.

Librarians are her collaborators on learning about disciplines/areas that are important to her work but that she doesn’t have time to ramp up on her own.

Her experience with the Georgetown library has not been on the top of her list. In part, her field of study is not one that the university has historically collected in. She doesn’t expect to have everything, but she does want libraries to have better relationships with places that have the content researchers need so that they can access the resources. She’s more likely to buy a cheap book on Amazon than going to the library.

Hard to follow, but it sounds like she has to travel a lot to access content.

She wants the journals digitized? I’m guessing these are not the mainstream scholarly journals that are pretty much born digital now.

ER&L 2013: Overcoming Librarian Resistance to Adopting Discovery Tools — A Focus on Information Literacy Opportunities

“X-Factor” by Andy Rennie

Speaker: Stefanie Buck (Oregon State University)

It’s safe to say that discovery products have not received a positive response from the librarians who are expected to use them. We always talk about the users, and we forget that librarians are users, and are probably in them more than the typical freshman. They are new, and new things can be scary.

OSU has Summon, which they brought up in 2010. She thinks that even though this is mostly about her experience with Summon, it can be applied to other discovery tools and libraries. They had a federated search from 2003-2010, but toward the latter years, librarians had stopped teaching it, so when discovery services came along, they went that way.

Initially, librarians had a negative view of the one search box because of their negative experience with federated searching. Through the process of the implementation, they gathered feedback from the librarians, and the librarians were hopeful that this might live up to the promise that federated search did not. They also surveyed librarians outside of OSU, and found a broad range from love it to not over my dead body, but most lived in the middle, where it depended on the context.

Most librarians think they will use a discovery tool in teaching lower division undergraduates, but it depends if it’s appropriate or not. The promise of a discovery tool is that librarians don’t have to spend so much time teaching different tools, so they could spend more time talking about evaluating sources and the iterative process of research. Some think they actually will do that, but for now, they have simply added the discovery tool to the mix.

Participation in the implementation process is key for getting folks on board. When librarians are told “you must,” it doesn’t go over very well. Providing training and instruction is essential. There might be some negative feedback from the students until they get used to it, and librarians need to be prepared for that. Librarians need to understand how it works and where the limitations fall. Don’t underestimate the abilities of librarians to work around you.

These tools are always changing. Make sure that folks know that it has improved if they don’t like it at first. Make fun (and useful) tools, and that the librarians know how to create scoped tools that they can use for specific courses. If you have a “not over my dead body,” team teaching might be a good approach to show them that it could be useful.

Speaker: Leslie Moyo & Tracy Gilmore (Virginia Tech)

Initially there were mixed perceptions, but more are starting to incorporate it into their instruction. With so many products out there, we really need to move away from teaching all of them and spending more time on good research/search skills.

Students “get” discovery services faster if it is introduced as the Google of library stuff.

Move away from teaching sources and towards teaching the process. Enhance the power of boolean searching with faceted searching. Shift from deliberate format searching (book, article, etc.) toward mixed format results that are most relevant to the search.

CIL 2009: Open Access: Green and Gold

Presenter: Shane Beers

Green open access (OA) is the practice of depositing and making available a document on the web. Most frequently, these are peer reviewed research and conference articles. This is not self-publishing! OA repositories allow institutions to store and showcase the research output of institutions, thus increasing their visibility within the academic community.

Institutional repositories are usually managed by either DSpace, Fedora, or EPrints, and there are third-party external options using these systems. There are also a few subject-specific repositories not affiliated with any particular institution.

The "serials crisis" results in most libraries not subscribing to every journal out there that their researchers need. OA eliminates this problem by making relevant research available to anyone who needs it, regardless of their economic barriers.

A 2008 study showed that less than 20% of all scientific articles published were made available in a green or gold OA repository. Self-archiving is at a low 15%, and incentives to do so increase it only by 30%. Researchers and their work habits are the greatest barriers that OA repository managers encounter. The only way to guarantee 100% self-archiving is with an institutional mandate.

Copyright complications are also barriers to adoption. Post-print archiving is the most problematic, particularly as publishers continue to resist OA and prohibit it in author contracts.

OA repositories are not self-sustaining. They require top-down dedication and support, not only for the project as a whole, but also the equipment/service and staff costs. A single "repository rat" model is rarely successful.

The future? More mandates, peer-reviewed green OA repositories, expanding repositories to encompass services, and integration of OA repositories into the workflow of researchers.

Presenter: Amy Buckland

Gold open access is about not having price or permission barriers. No embargos with immediate post-print archiving.

The Public Knowledge Project is an easy tool for creating an open journal that includes all the capabilities of online multi-media. For example, First Monday uses it.

Buckland wants libraries to become publishers of content by making the platforms available to the researchers. Editors and editorial boards can come from volunteers within the institution, and authors just need to do what they do.

Publication models are changing. May granting agencies are requiring OA components tied with funding. The best part: everyone in the world can see your institution’s output immediately!

Installation of the product is easy — it’s getting the word out that’s hard.

Libraries can make the MARC records freely available, and ensure that the journals are indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Doing this will build relationships between faculty and the library. Libraries become directly involved in the research output of faculty, which makes libraries more visible to administrators and budget decision-makers. University presses are struggling, but even though they are focused on revenue, OA journal publishing could enhance their visibility and status. Also, if you publish OA, the big G will find it (and other search engines).

Harvard & the Open Access movement

A colleague called the Harvard faculty’s decision on making all of their works available in an institutional repository a “bold step towards online scholarship and open access.” I thought about this for a bit, and I’m not so sure it’s the right step, depending on how this process is done. Initially, I thought the resolution called for depositing articles before they are published, which would be difficult to enforce and likely result in the non-publication of said articles. However, upon further reflection and investigation, it seems that the resolution simply limits the outlets for faculty publication to those journals that allow for pre- or post-publication versions to be deposited in institutional repositories. Many publishers are moving in that direction, but it’s still not universal, and is unlikely to be so in the near future.

I am concerned that the short-term consequences will be increased difficulty in junior faculty getting their work published, thus creating another unnecessary barrier to tenure. I like the idea of a system that retains the scholarship generated at an institution, but I’m not sure if this is the right way to do it. Don’t get me wrong — repositories are a great way to collect the knowledge of an institution’s researchers, but they aren’t the holy grail solution to the scholarly communication crisis. Unless faculty put more of a priority on making their scholarship readily available to the world than on the prestige of the journal in which it is published, there will be little incentive to exclusively submit articles to publishers that allow them to be deposited in institutional repositories beyond mandatory participation. There are enough hungry junior faculty in the world to keep the top-shelf journal publishers in the black for years to come.

carnival of the infosciences #87 – call for submissions

I will be hosting the January 21st Carnival of the Infosciences, so get your submissions ready! Martha Hardy had a solid collection of essays from bibliobloggers, despite the holiday disruptions, which bodes well for the next two weeks. You can submit suggestions via the form or simply tag them carninfo on, but whatever you do, please do it before 6pm on January 20th and follow the submission guidelines.