ITS and the University Libraries have now completed their respective strategic plans. A new development in this strategic planning cycle was the decision by both organizations to plan together and be emphatic in our plans about our joint strategic directions. Of course there are many ways we already collaborate, and our future work together naturally builds on these, but our plans target two key areas that we will invest in together over the next five years.
The first of these is broadly termed as "Joint Service Delivery" and will focus largely on the implementation of the Knowledge Commons facility in Pattee/Paterno Library. The Knowledge Commons will be an open collaborative space where students - undergraduates initially - will have access to reference, IT and academic consultation services as well as state-of-the-art computing resources and the UL's rich collection of online and print resources. The Knowledge Commons concept isn't location-bound, however, and elements, such as collaborative workspaces and Digital Commons multimedia facilities, are already in development at various library locations at UP and the campuses.
The second area we're targeting in the next five years is the creation of a Cyberinfrastructure, e-Content and Data Stewardship Program. Here's how this program is described in our strategic plans:
Complementing ITS’s existing high performance computing and networking infrastructure and the University Libraries’ developing scholarly communications program, we will partner to develop a Cyberinfrastructure, e-Content, and Data Stewardship program. E-science or e-research is typically defined as collaborative, distributed, large-scale and data-intensive. ITS and the UL will develop sustainable strategies for the stewardship of the outputs of e-science over its lifecycle – providing a cohesive suite of access, discovery, preservation, curation, repository, archival and storage services. Our phased approach will initially entail needs assessments and prototyping of beta services while building out infrastructure that can be extended to other areas of digital content management.
Both of these programs are described in our respective strategic plans; if you go to the ITS Strategic Planning wiki, you'll see them in the Appendix section.
These programs are the result of six months of discussion, planning and input at various levels of ITS and the University Libraries. In February of this year, three open forums were held to foster discussion and gather input; the results of these discussions are also available on the ITS Strategic Planning wiki under the Planning Framework section. What you see in the two programs is a result of the discussion at the forums; what was really reinforced in those sessions was how well the expertise and strengths of our organizations complement each other as well as the wisdom of our working together rather than duplicating effort.
We have a lot of details to work out now and a lot of organization to do. What you see in the descriptions of both programs were put together for resource planning purposes and they aren't set in stone by any means (don't get too attached). More to follow on next steps.
- Need for continuing education and new course offerings in Library Science and I-Schools;
- The value of collaboration in the "grey area" between Libraries and central IT;
- The value of domain experts (aka subject specialists);
- Engagement further upstream in scholarly communications and publication lifecycle (at creation or authoring rather than focusing on the publication stage for the most part);
- Scientists/researchers often don't know or understand what librarians do;
- Look for ways to "embed" the data librarian or librarian in the research activity (this is likely to be more successful if that librarian is a domain expert);
- The skills need to manage e-science data are not new to Libraries but the concept of libraries integrating "raw data" sets into its holdings is;
- The Semantic Web offers hope for the management of data and its integration with other resources;
- What will it mean for science if data goes away? How do we decide what data to keep?
- Scientists don't always want to share data; various reasons for this including research competitiveness, and data that's too raw and not easily interpreted or open to misinterpretation.
Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An In-depth Study of Faculty Needs and Ways of Meeting Them
Principal Investigator Diane Harley, Ph.D., Senior Researcher
Research Associates: Sarah Earl-Novell, Ph.D., Sophia Krzys Acord, Shannon Lawrence, Principal Investigator C. Judson King, Professor, Provost Emeritus and Director
The Center for Studies in Higher Education, with generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is conducting research to understand the needs and desires of faculty for in-progress scholarly communication (i.e., forms of communication employed as research is being executed) as well as archival publication. In the interest of developing a deeper understanding of how and why scholars do what they do to advance their fields, as well as their careers, our approach focuses on fine-grained analyses of faculty values and behaviors throughout the scholarly communication lifecycle, including sharing, collaborating, publishing, and engaging with the public. Well into our second year, we have posted a draft interim report describing some of our early results and impressions based on the responses of more than 150 interviewees in the fields of astrophysics, archaeology, biology, economics, history, music, and political science.
Our work to date has confirmed the important impact of disciplinary culture and tradition on many scholarly communication habits. These traditions may override the perceived “opportunities” afforded by new technologies, including those falling into the Web 2.0 category. As we have listened to our diverse informants, as well as followed closely the prognostications about the likely future of scholarly communication, we note that it is absolutely imperative to be precise about terms. That includes being clear about what is meant by “open access” publishing (i.e., using preprint or postprint servers for work published in prestigious outlets, versus publishing in new, untested open access journals, or the more casual individual posting of working papers, blogs, and other non-peer-reviewed work). Our work suggests that enthusiasm for technology development and adoption should not be conflated with the hard reality of tenure and promotion requirements (including the needs and goals of final archival publication) in highly competitive professional environments.
For more information about the research project see the Future of Scholarly Communication website: http://cshe.berkeley.edu/research/scholarlycommunication/
- At last year's conference, a lot of emphasis on workflow. This year the themes are preservation and sustainability, and the integration of social networking with repositories as well as presentations on working scientific repositories.
- Emphasis on the critical need to make the repository useful to scientists by easy ingest and integration from the initial authoring or data generation point. The repository has to be at researchers' desktop. The respository needs to be in the laboratory. Have to support all phases of research lifecycle.
- Repositories to date have focused at the last stages of the research lifecyle.
- Repository back-ends for blogging and other collaborative tools.
- Tension between scientists/scholars not seeing the IR or data repository as useful, but at the same time a critical concern is the amount of data being lost.
- A lot of tools refined now for ingest with a focus on easy ingest.
- A couple of very interesting presentations on text/data mining; one demonstrated the value of getting knowledge that's currently locked in e-theses into the published domain - obvious value of the Semantic Web standards.
- The Australians rule the world! Helps that their federal government has invested very substantially in this and other HE infrastructure areas. Their national library has produced a service framework composed of 39 services with standards and guidelines for each area. As a result, 80% of Australian universities have a production repository.
- Institutional data preservation policy required.
- The University of Southampton has been an excellent host despite the challenge of the attendance being nearly double that of last year (about 485 people here). Fortunately the students are on vacation.