E-Science and Data Support Services

The Association of Research Libraries E-Science Working Group developed a survey to “build an understanding of how libraries can contribute to e-science activities in their institution” and “identify organizations and institutions that have similar interests in e-science to leverage research library interests.”

The August 2009 survey gathered 57 responses to the survey from the 123 ARL member libraries in the United States and Canada. Twenty-one respondents report their institution provides infrastructure or support services for e-science, 23 institutions are in the planning stages, and 13 do not provide support for e-science.

After analyzing the survey results, the authors identified a small set of respondents (Purdue University, the University of California, San Diego, Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) for interviews to further elaborate their activities.

The resulting six case studies synthesize the interviews with the corresponding institutions’ responses to the survey. The cases further illuminate programs and services mentioned only briefly in the survey and allow some interesting patterns to emerge from interviewees’ reflections on faculty connections, staffing levels, and organizational structure and culture.

This report presents a summary of the survey results and the six cases studies. It also includes a bibliography of related articles, reports, and Web sites, along with the survey instrument and a selection of recent research library position descriptions with significant e-science support components.

URL : http://www.arl.org/storage/documents/publications/escience-report-2010.pdf

Economic and Social Returns on Investment in Open Archiving Publicly Funded Research Outputs

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) provided support for a feasibility study, to outline one possible approach to measuring the impacts of the proposed US Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) on returns to public investment in R&D. The aim is to define and scope the data collection requirements and further model developments necessary for a more robust estimate of the likely impacts of the proposed FRPAA open archiving mandate.

Preliminary modeling suggests that over a transitional period of 30 years from implementation, the potential incremental benefits of the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be worth between 4 and 24 times the costs. Perhaps two-thirds of these benefits would accrue within the US, with the remainder spilling over to other countries. Hence, the US national benefits arising from the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be of the order of 16 times the costs.

Exploring sensitivities in the model we find that the benefits exceed the costs over a wide range of  values. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any plausible values for the input data and model parameters that would lead to a fundamentally different answer.

These preliminary estimates are based on the information available to us at the time of writing. They are released in conjunction with an online model, which enables others to explore their own preferred values for the various parameters.

URL : http://sparc.arl.org/sites/default/files/vufrpaa.pdf

User’s behaviour inside a digital library

CASPUR allows many academic Italian institutions located in the Centre-South of Italy to access more than 7 million of articles through a digital library platform. We analyzed the behaviour of its users by considering their “traces” stored into the web server log file.

Using several Web Mining and Data Mining techniques we discovered that there is a gradual and dynamic change in the way how articles are accessed; in particular there is evidence of a Journal browsing increase in comparison to the searching mode.

We interpreted such phenomenon by considering that browsing better meets the need of users when they want to keep abreast about the latest advances in their scientific field, in comparison to a more generic searching inside the digital library.

URL : http://eprints.rclis.org/14805/

Envisioning the Future of Research Libraries: ARL’s Scenario-Development Project

 In this July 19, 2010, ARL webcast, consultant Susan Stickley introduces the concept of scenario planning and highlights how it compares to and complements other prediction-oriented tools for planning, such as forecasting or trend analysis. ARL is developing a new toolset for libraries through its scenario-planning project. The webcast includes a project update and audience questions.

Scientists, Philosophers, and Knowledge Managers, Oh My!: The Use of Philosopher of Science Michael Polanyi’s Ideas in the Literature of the Knowledge Management Movement

This paper asks and attempts to answer the following questions in the order they appear:

1) What does formal philosophy have in common with business?

2) What, according to KM authors Nonaka and Takeuchi, paved the way for Michael Polanyi’s ideas in KM?

3) In what context were Michael Polanyi’s ideas originally made well-known to the world of KM?

4) What are some practical examples of how Polanyi’s insights have been applied?

5) But do most in the KM movement really understand the core of Polanyi’s ideas regarding:

a) tacit and explicit knowledge,

b) information and knowledge, and

c) the management of knowledge

6) What might the future of KM, Polanyi, and philosophy in general, hold?

In this article’s conclusion, the importance of Polanyi’s thought is stressed, and KM practitioners are encouraged to take a closer look yet at the work of Michael Polanyi to assist them in their organizations.

URL : http://hdl.handle.net/10760/14757

Faculty self-archiving: Motivations and barriers

This study investigated factors that motivate or impede faculty participation in self-archiving practices – the placement of research work in various open access (OA) venues, ranging from personal Web pages to OA archives.

The author’s research design involves triangulation of survey and interview data from 17 Carnegie doctorate universities with DSpace institutional repositories.

The analysis of survey responses from 684 professors and 41 telephone interviews identified seven significant factors: (a) altruism – the idea of providing OA benefits for users; (b) perceived self-archiving culture; (c) copyright concerns; (d) technical skills; (e) age; (f) perception of no harmful impact of self-archiving on tenure and promotion; and (g) concerns about additional time and effort.

The factors are listed in descending order of their effect size. Age, copyright concerns, and additional time and effort are negatively associated with self-archiving, whereas remaining factors are positively related to it.

Faculty are motivated by OA advantages to users, disciplinary norms, and no negative influence on academic reward. However, barriers to self-archiving – concerns about copyright, extra time and effort, technical ability, and age – imply that the provision of services to assist faculty with copyright management, and with technical and logistical issues, could encourage higher rates of self-archiving.

URL : http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123585469/abstract