Measuring the impact of special collections and archives in the digital age: opportunities and challenges

Author : Christina Kamposiori

This paper is based on the outcome of a recent Research Libraries UK (RLUK) project that aimed to explore and understand the approaches employed by RLUK members for capturing and measuring the impact of activities based on special collections and archives.

In today’s constantly evolving information and scholarly environment, educational and cultural institutions, such as research libraries, are faced with a pressing demand to assess the value of their services and evidence their impact.

As part of our goal to develop a better understanding of how research libraries respond to this demand, we collected and analysed case-study and survey data from across the RLUK membership that show the practices and methods of research libraries for increasing and assessing the impact of their collections and related services.

As our results showed, research libraries increasingly employ audience-focused strategies and take advantage of the new possibilities offered by the digital age to enhance access to collections, reach a range of audience groups and achieve greater impact.

However, a number of issues, such as the lack of structured methodologies to capture and evaluate the full reach of digital collections and resources or the long-term impact of collections, can make the process of measuring and evidencing value a challenging task for institutions.

In this paper, we will present some of the key findings showing the pathways to impact followed by special collection and archive professionals in the UK and Ireland and reflect on the opportunities and challenges that the digital era presents for increasing and measuring this impact.

URL : Measuring the impact of special collections and archives in the digital age: opportunities and challenges


Understanding researcher needs and raising the profile of library research support

Authors : Colin Nickels, Hilary Davis

Researchers at North Carolina State University expect little to no difficulty in discerning how their Library can support their work. At the same time, librarians repeatedly find that researchers are unaware of what our Library has to offer.

Within this context, we embarked on a two-year study to help inform the development of outreach strategies to enable new research engagement opportunities that will scale and, at the same time, help us transform our model of research support strategies and engagement.

We interviewed both librarians and researchers to gain an understanding of researcher needs from both perspectives. The results of the interviews provided a solid grounding for building our awareness of researchers’ behaviors, expectations and workflows as well as presenting a unique picture of both unmet and unarticulated needs.

In this article we summarize our results with a specific focus on findings from the researcher interviews. We share our recommendations for evolving library research support and enhancing outreach strategies to provide an easier starting point for different types of researchers to discover relevant research assets provided by libraries such as ours.


Sci-Hub, a challenge for academic and research libraries

Authors : Llarina González-Solar, Viviana Fernández-Marcial

Sci-Hub emerged into the field of scientific communication in 2011 as a platform for free access to scientific papers. It is the most popular of the so-called shadow libraries, systems that overcome the limits of legal access to scientific publications, standing apart from the open access movement.

Besides from the media coverage that has served to boost its popularity, several studies reveal the impact of Sci-Hub among researchers, who have embraced this initiative. Sci-Hub has revealed new forms of access to scientific information, affecting academic and research libraries that cannot remain on the sidelines.

This study addresses the Sci-Hub phenomenon and its implications for academic and research libraries from different points of view, through a bibliographic review and an analysis of examples of action.


From Open Access to Open Data: collaborative work in the university libraries of Catalonia

Authors: Mireia Alcalá Ponce de León, Lluís Anglada i de Ferrer

In the last years, the scientific community and funding bodies have paid attention to collected, generated or used data throughout different research activities. The dissemination of these data becomes one of the constituent elements of Open Science.

For this reason, many funders are requiring or promoting the development of Data Management Plans, and depositing open data following the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).

Libraries and research offices of Catalan universities –which coordinately work within the Open Science Area of CSUC– offer support services to research data management. The different works carried out at the Consortium level will be presented, as well the implementation of the service in each university.

URL : From Open Access to Open Data: collaborative work in the university libraries of Catalonia


L’accompagnement juridique des chercheurs en bibliothèque universitaire et de recherche : une évolution naturelle des services ?

Auteur/Author : Aricia Bassinet

Au contact des services aux chercheurs, les bibliothèques ont développé, dans le cadre de leur mission de service public, de nouvelles compétences juridiques. La profession peine toutefois à valoriser des connaissances spécialisées qui s’éloignent de notre cœur de métier.

Dans la définition d’un service aux chercheurs d’accompagnement juridique, les bibliothèques universitaires peuvent espérer apporter une réponse aux besoins de conseil juridique des enseignants-chercheurs.

URL : L’accompagnement juridique des chercheurs en bibliothèque universitaire et de recherche : une évolution naturelle des services ?

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Software Curation in Research Libraries: Practice and Promise

Authors : Alexandra Chassanoff, Yasmin AlNoamany, Katherine Thornton, John Borghi


Research software plays an increasingly vital role in the scholarly record. Academic research libraries are in the early stages of exploring strategies for curating and preserving research software, aiming to facilitate support and services for long-term access and use.


In 2016, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) began offering postdoctoral fellowships in software curation. Four institutions hosted the initial cohort of software curation fellows.

This article describes the work activities and research program of the cohort, highlighting the challenges and benefits of doing this exploratory work in research libraries.


Academic research libraries are poised to play an important role in research and development around robust services for software curation. The next cohort of CLIR fellows is set to begin in fall 2018 and will likely shape and contribute substantially to an emergent research agenda.

URL : Software Curation in Research Libraries: Practice and Promise


Quelle place pour le prêt d’objets en bibliothèque ?

Auteur/Author : Justine Le Montagner

En France, les bibliothèques, territoriales comme universitaires, sont de plus en plus nombreuses à proposer des services de prêt d’objets, qui peuvent se définir, en opposition aux livres et aux documents audio-visuels, par leur valeur d’usage.

Ces services innovants, encore souvent expérimentaux, interrogent l’identité d’une institution en crise, et participent à la définition de la bibliothèque comme un lieu de vie et de création.

En légitimant le prêt d’objets qui favorisent l’accès des citoyens à des pratiques et à des savoirs et savoir-faire, la bibliothèque fait évoluer son image et poursuit des enjeux sociétaux, renforçant ainsi sa place au sein d’une communauté.

URL : Quelle place pour le prêt d’objets en bibliothèque ?

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