Tuesday, December 29, 2009

CNI Fall 2009 Membership Meeting

One of the most interesting presentations at the CNI meeting featured our own Sayeed Choudhury reporting on plans for the Data Conservancy, the DataNet project that he is leading. I will leave it to Sayeed to report on that, but I sat in on a couple of other good talks.

CLIR Postdoctoral Fellows program
Several current and former CLIR Postdoctoral Fellows talked about their experience working in libraries for the first time. This program attempts to bring recent Ph.D. recipients into the library to work on innovative new ways of integrating academic libraries into the teaching and research roles of the university. Gabrielle Dean of the Sheridan Libraries talked about some of the practical benefits of the program for the fellows. These include:
  • a chance to pursue a new career path
  • interesting things to work on and further develop your CV
  • interaction with other Fellows--this often becomes a long term association
  • broader view of academia; scholars sometimes get so focused on their research that they don't see the bigger picture
Several library representatives who have hosted Fellows talked about the benefits of the program. The Fellows have instant credibility with the faculty and graduate students as a result of their recent research. There was much agreement that both the library and the Fellow benefits from this association. Several agreed that there needs to be a tangible project for the Fellow and that there is a clear plan to integrate them into the library

Institutional Repository at UC
Catherine Mitchell from the University of California talked about their IR known as eScholarship. They have decided to stop focusing so much on having faculty submit their already-published work, and instead, to play a larger role in publishing. They recently formed a committee comprising faculty and librarians to gather data about the publishing landscape at UC. Some of the key points they found were:
  • few faculty understood the term "open access" or "institutional repository"
  • the university needs to play a larger role in publishing, not just access
  • campus based journal and monograph publishing needs more support (peer review, distribution, etc.)
  • multimedia publishing and data sets need support
This study and subsequent conversations with more faculty led to the following change in orientation for eScholarship:
  • not calling themselves a "repository" any more
  • they will focus on providing a compelling set of services for faculty rather than trying to get them on board with supporting open access or the institutional repository movement
  • librarians need to learn how to speak to users in a way that will catch their interest
  • eScholarship will be "rebranded" and focus on providing a publishing platform for faculty journals and monographs. This includes providing a clear distinction between peer-reviewed publications and others
  • new services such as the ability to see a rendering of the PDF before downloading it and tracking item "views" as well as downloads
These changes have brought them success in their new way of defining succes (that is, value rather than just numbers). They have increased their journal publishing from 27 titles to 37 in a few months. Participating research units have increased by 10%. eScholarship has seven full time employees at the California Digital Library plus multiple liaisons at each campus.

1 comment:

  1. Just when universities are at last realizing what needs to be done to fill their repositories with their own refereed research output (namely, to mandate deposit), JHU decides to go for in-house and vanity publishing. The ones primarily to blame are of course JHU researchers, for being as obtuse as researchers at most other institutions have been about what is in their own best interests and fully within reach. Next, there are JHU's administrators, who have so far been no wiser than their researchers. And then of course there are the funders, who foolishly and myopically mandate institution-external deposit instead of institutional deposit, competing with institutional mandates instead of reinforcing them. And last, the poor librarians, who are not empowered to mandate that JHU researchers deposit, so instead they try to head wherever the wind seems to be blowing... http://bit.ly/5ufZga