Michael Nielsen, quantum computation pioneer
Online tools such as email, preprint servers and Skype have changed the way scientists work. In this talk I argue that such networked tools are in their infancy, and there is enormous untapped potential for online tools to change the way scientific discoveries are made. I'll discuss very recent examples that show the way, including large-scale open source collaborations in mathematics, citizen science projects enabling amateurs to make discoveries, and online markets in scientific problems. This potential is only part of the story, however, for there are cultural barriers strongly inhibiting scientists from using online tools to their full potential. I'll describe these cultural barriers, and how they can be overcome.
Repository-based publishing services: strategies for success (or failure)
Nathan MacBrien, Publications Director, Institute for International Studies, University of California, Berkeley
After more than a decade of discussion, the "crisis of the scholarly monograph" is now widely recognized by administrators and faculty in the humanities and social sciences. Scholars show increasing awareness of the costs of publishing well-edited, peer-reviewed books and of mounting pressures on presses and libraries. Yet no clear alternative to the printed monograph has emerged as a vehicle suitable for disseminating long-form argument or as a validation object. How can universities support small-market book publishing in a way that responds directly to campus needs and interests while distributing responsibilities fairly?
Since the early 2000s, the division International and Area Studies at the University of California, Berkeley has been collaborating with the California Digital Library and University of California Press. The program's mission has been to publish specialized books in international studies and to make them available free to a worldwide audience. This talk will discuss the development of this program, now titled the Global, Area, and International Archive and housed at Berkeley's Institute for International Studies. It will focus on the partnership's evolution as it addressed several key challenges and opportunities: (1) disciplinary norms and expectations about the printed book as a prestige object and about the appropriate level of value added by publishers; (2) the deepening collaboration between the Press and Library; and (3) sustainability questions brought about by campus-wide reorganization. It will emphasize the value of distributed responsibilities and collaboration both for serving scholarly communities and for sustainability during times of instability.
Mark P. Newton, Digital Collections Librarian, Purdue University Libraries
The imperative to publish drives scholarly activity, and repository programs that address this mandate can attract needs-based enthusiasm from local researchers. Libraries that enjoy an affiliation with a university press can nurture a collaborative relationship that engages campus research communities in discussions of how the digital repository can be brought to bear on their publishing practices. Rather than unpacking ‘publishing’ into component processes such as credentialing and dissemination, the library and university press at Purdue University are collaborating to extend publishing services contiguously across a continuum of campus research and publication needs. Library and press use consultative visits with members of the Purdue community to conduct scholarly publishing needs assessments that begin with a discussion of formal publication outputs and expand to incorporate a broader range of publishing options supported by the library and its digital repository infrastructure. A closer look at some specific cases of this activity will be used to explore the relationship between repository population and publishing and will probe some of the inherent difficulties, particularly in addressing the critical intersection of sustainability and service. Overall, the experience at Purdue suggests that pairing library repositories with press expertise is mutually beneficial and results in a more comprehensive response to emerging scholarly communication needs. Repository-based publishing thus offers a significant opportunity for libraries to become increasingly integrated into the institution’s research activity.
Ventura Perez, Assistant Professor of Bioarchaeology at UMass Amherst
During the spring of 2008, I co-organized an interdisciplinary conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst entitled “Landscapes of Violence: Trauma and Conflict through Time.” The conference had presenters from 19 different disciplines and had in excess of 300 people in attendance. The objective was to engage in an interdisciplinary inquiry of the study of violence, warfare, surveillance, and human rights however; there were very few venues to publish an interdisciplinary exploration of these subjects. This paper explores my rationale for creating the open-access journal Landscapes of Violence (LoV). Although there were many reasons for me to start a new journal such as wanting to cut across traditional subject boundaries and making this violence research freely available to a global audience, I faced many challenges and uncertainties in the two years it took for this project to become a reality. As a pre-tenured scholar there was some apprehension expressed by my colleagues about taking on such a large project. Most of their concerns soon dissipated as they began to realize that the journal was a natural extension of my research and teaching. LoV symbolizes my commitment to an interdisciplinary lens on violence and it provides a space to create and maintain theoretically rigorous scholarship. Through its open-access format, it serves as a model for how repository-based publishing can be used to improve research, teaching, and integration, thus incorporating reciprocal practices of civic engagement into the production of knowledge.
Wendy Robertson, Digital Resources Librarian, The University of Iowa Libraries
The University of Iowa Libraries has a small e-publishing program as part of our repository and other digital collections. We host a variety of faculty produced scholarship, including videos and image collections, as well as more traditional textual materials. Our working paper and journal collections include a variety of titles, from strongly institutionally affiliated titles to society titles. Setting up this program has been a learning process for us, particularly since we had not previously been a journal publisher. We view e-publishing as part of our commitment to open access scholarship and see this as a way in which we can provide support to faculty, as well as increasing awareness of open access publications. While we prefer to work with fully open access titles, we do support two subscription titles with moving walls for previously print only titles. Our e-publishing program is completely separate from our University Press, a humanities focused, monograph only publisher. The Libraries and the Press have a strong working relationship and we have collaborated in hosting the back content for several monographic series, as well as creating databases out of two of their reference works. This presentation will discuss our program, primarily focusing on e-journals, and share some of our lessons learned.
Kevin Ashley, Director of the UK's Digital Curation CenterThe UK enjoys an enviable position with regard to research data infrastructure in many respects. The national coordination which is enabled by JISC and its predecessors led to the provision of world class networking to all universities and research institutions from the mid 1980s onwards. JISC's funding of the Digital Curation Centre, and projects in research data management, aim to foster and develop good practice and effective infrastructure for research data management. However, universities are independent bodies, and the vision set forward in this year's final report from the UKRDS project recognized this. I will describe the current situation for management of research data in the UK, with particular focus on the role of university libraries. In particular I will examine the role of the DCC, including its development of online tools for data management planning; the projects being supported by JISC, and the future prospects emerging from the UKRDS report. The picture has been developing particularly rapidly in recent months and this report can only be a snapshot of current thinking. I plan to set this in the context of international developments, recognizing global nature of research and the management of the data it depends on.
Chuck Humphrey, Head of the Data Library, University of Alberta
Advancements in research data management infrastructure over this decade have resulted in a patchwork landscape of domain repositories and data centres largely operating independently of one another. In parallel, research libraries have been developing autonomous institutional repositories to manage local digital collections, some of which include data from local researchers. In the midst of this chequered milieu, data are being produced that are national or international in scope, spanning the mandate, if not the capacity, of individual institutional repositories. In addition, such diverse data collections may fall outside the realm of existing domain repositories. This is particularly the case for large-scale international research programs organized around interdisciplinary teams that collect data within participating countries. The International Polar Year (IPY) is an example of this type of research program. This presentation will draw upon the Canadian IPY experience to describe a collaborative model based on shared functions and services to bridge a mix of repositories in forming the Canadian IPY Data Assembly.
Gail Steinhart, Research Data and Environmental Sciences Librarian, Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University
The promise of open data to advance research and generate new discoveries is widely recognized. Data management for very large-scale research instruments and projects is typically planned for from a project’s inception, but curation and sharing of small-scale data sets can be ad hoc or non-existent. Academic libraries may have an important role to play in meeting this need, as new requirements from major research funders (such as the recent announcement by the National Science Foundation) prompt libraries and other campus service providers to develop or improve data services for researchers. Cornell University Library’s efforts in this area include identifying opportunities for the library and working with partners across the Cornell campus to support data stewardship, developing an experimental “data staging repository” (DataStaR) to support sharing and publication of small data sets, and working to develop the data curation skills of current and future librarians.
Global repository networks
Neil Jacobs, acting Program Director for the Information Environment, JISC
Thanks to the adoption of a few open standards, repositories already form a basic global network. However, this adoption is patchy, the standards are insufficient to allow repositories effectively to exploit the power of the Web, and the increasingly varied (and often unclear) missions of repositories mitigate against their potential to support global research and scholarship. This presentation will outline some proposed features of a global network of repositories in support of research and scholarship. It will argue that, to be effective, this network needs to be social as well as technical, and needs to both push for the transformational change required in research infrastructure, and accommodate that changed information environment as it emerges. I will present a provocative view of what might be and what it might take to get there. It will cover:
The presentation is intended to provide material against which an expert panel can discuss with the conference participants the value and potential of a global repositories network, the conditions for its emergence, and the role of individual repositories in it.
Martha Giraldo Jaramillo, Executive Director, RENATA
RedCLARA, The Latin American Research and Education Network, started operations in April 2008, interconnecting the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) of 12 Latin American countries, and offering direct connectivity to the European GÉANT2 and the North American Internet2 network.
RedClara is administered by CLARA, the Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks, a nonprofit organization whose members are the NRENs of Latin America. CLARA is in charge of the management, development, and operation of RedCLARA as well as the coordination of many of Latin America’s research networking activities.
This effort, together with government lobbying activities, the formation of a large well-trained group of technicians and managers, and the fostering of communities of researchers and educators, will form the basis for sustainability for a major breakthrough in the way Latin America uses knowledge resources to promote development.
One of the communities that has been created under CLARA's umbrella is CoLaBoRa: the Latin American community of libraries and digital repositories (Comunidad Latinoamericana de Bibliotecas y Repositorios Digitales). The creation of CoLaBoRa responds to the significant regional need for collaboration around a single point online and unrestricted access to academic, research and cultural production in Latin America, thereby increasing visibility and presence on the Web. The network will bring together researchers from 21 institutions from 8 LA countries. Another very important project being developed within CLARA, financed by the IADB as a regional public good is: Regional Strategy and Framework for Interoperability and Management for a Federated Latin American Network of Institutional Repositories on Scientific Documentation.
Tuesday Luncheon Keynote
George O. Strawn, Director, U.S. Networking Information Technology R&D Program
Information Technology over the last 60 years has become the tool of choice for an increasing number of societal services. The PC, Internet, and the Web are IT products that have engendered three revolutions over the last quarter century. I will compare these revolutions, with the intent of highlighting Web Publishing, the revolution that is now in progress.
Making the case for financial sustainability
Sue Kriegsman, Program Manager for the Office for Scholarly Communication, Harvard University Library
Harvard’s open-access DASH repository (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard) opened to the public in the fall of 2009. It was established in part to support the open-access policies voted by faculty at individual schools. The greatest financial concern for DASH isn’t running the repository itself but rather gathering the content to grow the repository. There are several options available at Harvard for storing and accessing the content but the cost and concern is in collecting the data to store in the first place. The DASH statistics show a correlation between the increase in the number of visitors and downloads as the number of articles in the repository increases. There is value in making scholarship available and the metric we want to track is the number of articles we can collect per dollar. The cost per article is also the piece in our control. As a result there is continuous experimentation on what collection method has the biggest bang for the buck.
David Palmer, Scholarly Communications Team Leader, Hong Kong University Libraries
In 2009, The HKU Scholars Hub, the IR of the University of Hong Kong, found new purpose and funding from the University's newly established Office of Knowledge Exchange (KE). KE seeks to share the research and expertise of HKU with its community for mutual benefit. With this funding, the HKU Libraries began a program of Gold OA, bibliometric rectification in the major citation databases, and an enlargement of The Hub to be the chief vehicle for KE at HKU. The Hub now shows new individual web pages for researchers, and for grants, interlinking each of them with publication item records, and outside citation databases. The Hub is now the locus for HKU to do, show and measure KE. Because key indicators maintained and updated by The Hub are tied to recurrent KE funding for faculties and departments, and soon even for individual staff appraisal, The Hub also expects to receive recurrent KE funding. With these many changes, The Hub has become an expert finder for media comment, collaborative and contract research, and many other purposes. It has become a Current Research Information System, providing support for decision-making and fund allocation concerning the research process. The Libraries many efforts in creating this new platform of visible research have aligned it with the Universities mission and vision, and made the Libraries as well highly visible amongst HKU administrators and faculty.
Oya Y. Rieger, Associate University Librarian for Digital Scholarship Services, Cornell University Library
In January 2010 Cornell University Library announced a new business model to broaden the funding base for the arXiv.org. The repository will remain free for readers and submitters and the Library has established a voluntary institutional contribution model and invited pledges from the top 200 libraries and research centers that use arXiv most heavily, accounting for more than 75 percent of annual institutional downloads. Although the interim sustainability model has garnered strong support, it is a transitional strategy that needs to be further assessed and developed. One of the frequently asked questions from the library and scientific community is if the current arXiv business model will encourage other institutions that manage globally-used open access online academic resources to establish similar collaborative sustainability strategies. At the crux of this question is how do we set priorities and decide which repositories to support? Making a case for the value of digital repositories requires more than reliance on common quantitative measures such as usage statistics and repository collection growth patterns. The assessment metrics also need to factor in a range of sociotechnical issues such as governance structure, transparency of the service model and underlying technologies, embeddedness of the resource into scholarly workflows, interoperability with complementary resources, and robust discovery and access features.