Friday, October 22, 2010

Ithaka Sustainable Scholarship 2010 Conference

I attended the Ithaka “Sustainable Scholarship 2010” conference held September 27-28, 2010 in NYC. The conference was well attended by librarians and publishers, in particular university presses. A highlight of the conference was an opening keynote by Daniel Russell, Senior Research Scientist for Search Quality & User Happiness at Google. Daniel shared examples of how they work with users to incrementally evolve Google services. At the end of the talk he noted that although Google can continue to make their search services as intuitive as possible there’s still a need for instruction and that as a community we need to work together from both ends. He said, “We can and must teach these skills now” and that “your best internet resource is a librarian.”
Some interesting points and information pulled from my notes include:
• Library’s role is to develop new models of preservation.
• 70% of new initiatives funded by grants and discretionary money list their sustainability model as “give to host institution”. This is not sustainability.
• In 2011 Portico will add and offer separate services for e-books and D-collections. D-collections (Database collections) will be offered to publishers as a private service so they can offer it as a benefit to their institutional clients.
• January 2011 JStore launching the hosting of current content. Already 19 publishers and 174 journals included in the pilot for 2011.
• JStore will continue their alumni library collections pilot, pricing is a 10% add-on access fee to the existing license. Alumni library pilot partners this year included Columbia, Duke, Penn State, etc.
• Ithaka S+R group is researching international funders attitudes and practices for defining sustainability specifically for grants. Working on a toolkit for normalizing sustainability from a preservation and financial perspective and “zeroing in on the question” of how to report on sustainability to funders.
• Ithaka S+R also engaged in a study with Carnegie Melon to research online learning initiatives. More background in this vein of research can be found at:
• Jan Reichelt shared more background on Mendeley and how putting a social layer on a database enables very different kinds of sharing of information and highlighting of interdisciplinary work. He expressed interest I “crowd sourcing of findings” and said they were interested in connecting the academic world to consumer information. I noted that they have over 500,000 users.
• Javin West of Eigenfactor shared how he developed the Eigenfactor to better evaluate scholarly literature than impact factors. The Eigenfactor shifts away from an over emphasis on citation analysis to include how information is connected, the access to the information and more.

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