Browsing is an essential component to discovery. Understanding the foundations of browsing patterns and preferences is crucial in developing effective ebrowsing environments.
It’s important to understand how researchers in diverse disciplines have described their discoveries in terms of browsing, searching, and serendipitous encounters. Examining the works of scientists, social scientists, and humanists through the lens of discovery will reveal essential components to be aware of in developing ebrowsing environments.
In turning to a wide range of sources, often outside traditional library literature, we deepen our understanding of what it means to browse in an electronic environment. As librarians, we have an obligation to create physical and virtual spaces that cultivate wonder and curiosity and acknowledge varied paths to discovery.
Electronic browsing options must become more robust if libraries are to be vital to scholarly communication. In this presentation we focus on the language and experience of browsing, with particular attention to serendipitous discovery, in order to encourage librarians, particularly those in public service, to more effectively articulate concerns and opportunities to developers.
Collaborative Improvements in the Discoverability of Scholarly Content : Accomplishments, Aspirations,
and Opportunities :
« The life cycle of academic works is supported by extensive cross-sector collaboration throughout the scholarly communications ecosystem. In recent years, traditional codes of practice have been disturbed. In response, in 2012, SAGE published a white paper that offered conversation starters for reinventing conventions and relationships among libraries, publishers, and service providers. To carry on the investigation of the first white paper, Improving Discoverability of Scholarly Content in the Twentieth Century: Collaboration Opportunities for Librarians, Publishers, and Vendors, this paper explores the latest accomplishments, aspirations, opportunities, and challenges for improved discoverability of scholarly content. As the discovery landscape is rapidly shifting, this paper demonstrates that progress continues to depend on core principles of cross-sector collaboration, taking the form of these actionable recommendations for anyone in scholarly communications:
•Standards: When relevant, all sectors should participate in ratified standards to ensure that cooperation is part of business-as-usual routines.
•Transparency: Standards compliance is critical for successful discovery, and the development, implementation, and enforcement of these standards require open relationships across the industry
focused on reaching our shared goals.
•Metadata: Quality metadata, observing ratified standards, enables successful discovery of scholarly
content, products, and services.
•Partnerships: Opportunities exist for new discovery innovations across the industry, such as linked open data and cross-publisher discovery tools. »
The Digital Public Domain : Foundations for an Open Culture :
« Digital technology has made culture more accessible than ever before. Texts, audio, pictures and video can easily be produced, disseminated, used remixed using devices that are increasingly user-friendly and affordable. However, along with this technological democratization comes a paradoxical flipside: the norms regulating culture’s use — copyright and related rights — have become increasingly restrictive. This book brings together essays by academics, librarians, entrepreneurs, activists… »
« Key Findings :
••The role of internet search engines in facilitating discovery of scholarly resources has continued to increase. The perceived decline in the role of the library catalog noted in previous cycles of this survey has been arrested and even modestly reversed, driven perhaps to some degree by significant strategic shifts in library discovery tools and services.
•• Respondents are generally satisfied with their ability to access the scholarly literature, not least because freely available materials have come to play a significant role in meeting their needs.
•• While respondents continued to trend overall towards greater acceptance of a print to electronic transition for scholarly journals, they grew modestly less comfortable with replacing print subscriptions with electronic access. Monographs, although widely used in electronic form, present a mixed picture for any possible format transition. While some monograph use cases are quite strong for electronic versions, others – especially long-form reading – are seen to favor print by a decisive share. Even so, a growing share of respondents expects substantial change in library collecting practices for monographs in the next five years.
•• Respondents’ personal interests are the primary factor in selecting research topics, but junior faculty members report that tenure considerations play an important role, as well. Collaboration models vary significantly across scholarly fields. While humanists are less likely than scientists or social scientists
to conduct quantitative analyses, nevertheless some 25% of humanists report gathering their own data for this purpose.
•• Small but non-trivial shares of respondents use technology in their undergraduate teaching. But while most recognize the availability of resources to help them do so, many respondents do not draw upon resources beyond their own ideas or feel strongly motivated to seek out opportunities to use more technology in their teaching.
•• Respondents tend to value established scholarly dissemination methods, prioritizing audiences in their sub-discipline and discipline, and those of lay professionals, more so than undergraduates or the general public. Similarly, they continue to select journals in which to publish based on characteristics such as topical coverage, readership, and impact factor. Finally, respondents tend to value existing publisher services, such as peer review, branding, copy-editing, while expressing less widespread agreement about the value of newer dissemination support services offered by libraries that are intended to maximize access and impact.
•• Respondents perceive less value from many functions of the academic library than they did in the last cycle of this survey. One notable exception is the gateway function, which experienced a modest resurgence in perceived value. A minority of respondents sees the library as primarily responsible for teaching research skills to undergraduates. And, though still a clear minority, the share of respondents who wish to see substantial change to library staff and buildings has increased. There are large differences in perceptions between disciplinary groups: for example, a smaller share of scientists views many
library roles as very important.
•• Conferences remain at the heart of respondents’ perceptions of the role and value of the scholarly societies in which they participate. Conferences are valued for both the formal function of discovering new scholarship and informal role of connecting scholars with peers. »
This article reports on the design and findings of a project concerning the feasibility of a collaborative model to benchmark the marketing of electronic resources in institutions of higher education.
This inter-national project gathered 100 libraries to move in lockstep through the process of a typical marketing cycle that included running a brief marketing campaign and reporting findings to each other. The findings show good reasons and strong support for this kind of model.
As an increasing number of archival repositories, libraries, and cultural institutions build significant freely accessible digital collections, archivists and digital librarians must continue to develop digital outreach strategies that reflect the nature of searching and discovery in today’s information economy.
This case study examines the use of Wikipedia by the Ball State University Libraries as an opportunity to raise the visibility of digitized historic sheet music assets made available in the university’s Digital Media Repository. By adding links to specific items in this collection to relevant, existing Wikipedia articles, Ball State successfully and efficiently expanded the user base of this collection in the Digital Media Repository by vastly enhancing the discoverability of the collection’s assets.
« In this post-digital age, digital technology is no longer a revolutionary phenomenon but a normal part of everyday life. The mutation of music and film into bits and bytes, downloads and streams is now taken for granted. For the world of book and magazine publishing however, this transformation has only just begun.
Still, the vision of this transformation is far from new. For more than a century now, avant-garde artists, activists and technologists have been anticipating the development of networked and electronic publishing. Although in hindsight the reports of the death of paper greatly exaggerated, electronic publishing has now certainly become a reality. How will the analog and the digital coexist in the post-digital age of publishing? How will they transition, mix and cross over?
In this book, Alessandro Ludovico re-reads the history of media technology, cultural activism and the avantgarde arts as a prehistory of cutting through the so-called dichotomy between paper and electronics. Ludovico is the editor and publisher of Neural, a magazine for criticaldigital culture and media arts. For more than twenty years now, he has been working at the cutting edge (and the outer fringes) of both print publishing and politically engaged digital art. »