Connector, Catalyst and Common Good: Defining the Academic Library of the 21st Century

Authors : Janice Jaguszewski, Lisa A. McGuire

Clearly articulating how an academic library inspires and transforms teaching, learning and research is critical for library leadership. Conveying the library’s deep expertise throughout the knowledge lifecycle (discovery, use, creation, and sharing) and demonstrating its ability to provide solutions to information problems are core to what an academic library brings to campus collaborations.

At the University of Minnesota, the Health Sciences Libraries have developed a “Space as a Service” model of collaboration that positions them as a vital component of a larger Interprofessional Learning and Education Center within the University’s Academic Health Center.

We describe and discuss six fundamental principles that guide our vision of an academic library as a Connector, Catalyst, Common Good and Service-Rich Environment, and offer a template for applying this model to a range of disciplines.


Decentralized creation of academic documents using a Network Attached Storage (NAS) server

Authors : Johannes Wilm, Afshin Sadeghi, Christoph Lange, Philipp Mayr

Scholarly document creation continues to face various obstacles. Scholarly text production requires more complex word processors than other forms of texts because of the complex structures of citations, formulas and figures.

The need for peer review, often single-blind or double-blind, creates needs for document management that other texts do not require. Additionally, the need for collaborative editing, security and strict document access rules means that many existing word processors are imperfect solutions for academics.

Nevertheless, most papers continue to be written using Microsoft Word (Sadeghi et al. 2017).

We here analyze some of the problems with existing academic solutions and then present an argument why we believe that running an open source academic writing solution for academic purposes, such as Fidus Writer, on a Network Attached Storage (NAS) server could be a viable alternative.


Collaboratory Digital Libraries for Humanities in the Italian…

Collaboratory Digital Libraries for Humanities in the Italian context :

« The study investigates the approach to collaboration in Humanities, within the Italian context, to test the possibility of collaborative digital library for scholars. The research hypothesis is that collaboration can foster innovation and scienti c development: therefore, within Humanities, digital libraries can be the collaborative laboratory for research. Thus, understanding perception of scholars towards collaboration, especially online, and comprehending if wiki systems could be the framework of collaboration were the objectives of the study. A qualitative approach has been adopted, using case study as research method: in-depth, semi-structured interviews to Digital Humanities scholars provide data integrated with interviews with two key informants (one of which is prof. Umberto Eco). The results of the study show that Humanities, within Italian context, do appreciate collaboration and the concept of a collaboratory digital library, though several issues need to be solved. In fact, Humanities are still tied with individual work and collaboration is not easy to pursue, for cultural, technical and political reasons. Great e ort needs to be done at many different levels to eliminate obstacles and facilitate online collaboration for scholars. The study provides a draft model for a collaborative digital library arisen from gathered data. »


Knowledge networks and nations Global scientific collaboration in…

Knowledge, networks and nations: Global scientific collaboration in the 21st century :

« Knowledge, Networks and Nations surveys the global scientific landscape in 2011, noting the shift to an increasingly multipolar world underpinned by the rise of new scientific powers such as China, India and Brazil; as well as the emergence of scientific nations in the Middle East, South-East Asia and North Africa. The scientific world is also becoming more interconnected, with international collaboration on the rise. Over a third of all articles published in international journals are internationally collaborative, up from a quarter 15 years ago.

Collaboration is increasing for a variety of reasons. Enabling factors such as advances in communication technology and cheaper travel have played a part, but the primary driver of most collaboration is individual scientists. In seeking to work with the best of their peers and to gain access to complementary resources, equipment and knowledge, researchers fundamentally enhance the quality and improve the efficiency of their work.

Today collaboration has never been more important. With human society facing a number of wide-ranging and interlinked ‘global challenges’ such as climate change, food security, energy security and infectious disease, international scientific collaboration is essential if we are to have any chance of addressing the causes, or dealing with the impacts, of these problems. Through a few selected case studies, we examine the achievements of some of the current efforts to tackle these challenges, discuss problems they have faced, and highlight important lessons their experience has to offer similar initiatives.

Knowledge, Networks and Nations, in cooperation with Elsevier, was led by a high-level Advisory Group of leaders and experts in international science and science policy, chaired by Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith FRS, Director of Energy Research at the University of Oxford and former Director General of CERN, and drew on evidence, analysis and extensive consultation with scientists and policymakers from around the world.

It makes 5 major recommendations:

  • Support for international science should be maintained and strengthened
  • Internationally collaborative science should be encouraged, supported and facilitated
  • National and international strategies for science are required to address global challenges
  • International capacity building is crucial to ensure that the impacts of scientific research are shared globally
  • Better indicators are required in order to properly evaluate global science »


A survey on collaboration rate of Semnan…

A survey on collaboration rate of Semnan University faculties in producing scientific papers during 2002- 2009 Years :

« Collaboration in research and production of scientific publications is common in all academic areas. The Importance of collaboration in the production of scientific publications in today’s complex world where in the age of technology is very apparent. Most of Scientists have realized that in order to get their work wildly used and cited by other experts, they supposed to collaborate together. Scientific cooperation can be considered as a process that during it individuals and groups to research and scientific activities can help each other. Current research aims to survey the rate of collaboration among Semnan University Faculties in production of scientific articles during the 2002- 2009 years. In this research, in addition to survey on quantity amount of Semnan University faculties scientific articles, the amount of their collaboration together and with other domestic and foreign professors were studied. Data were collected through research documents that are publishing by Semnan University annually. Findings indicate that Enigineering College in Semnan University with 316 articles has highlited role in scientific productions in Semnan University. From 316 articles, 69 articles were individual and 247 articles were team. After them, Science College with 157 articles (51 artilces individual and 106 articles team) has second rank. »


Adapting the information professionals t…

Adapting the information professionals to the digital collections universe :
« Libraries, Archives and Museums (LAMs) should respond as one articulated entity to the user informational needs and to the demands of the scholarly electronic communication. LAMs are stepping forward into the arena of digital stewardship and this move requires new skills and abilities. The specialists are adapting practices and instruments to the pressing needs for digital curation and preservation. The necessity for an active and continuous partnership between the information-intensive organisations, the scholarly community and general public, must be ensured while incorporating the paradigm of guiding the user and empowering the researcher. There are important questions that future digital stewardship raises related to how the professional profile will look like for those powering the specialised structures put in place to safeguard cultural and scientific heritage. What will be the core competences based on what set of skills and abilities? How will the facilities look like? What will be the general environment, and most importantly, will there be a space for common knowledge exchange for those entrusted with maintaining vast bodies of information. The article searches for answers related to the shifting core competencies, future set of skills and abilities and how future facilities will be shaped by these evolutions. The first step is the establishment of spaces especially destined for knowledge exchange to help converge disciplines within LAM framework. Different structural and cultural chances are revealed, starting from job adverts up to the policies addressing the needs of information and knowledge management. »