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improving student and researcher relations with the library


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  • In the first place I have to thank the organizers of this congress for the trust they have put into me, the opportunity they have given us to present to you what we think is unique library role we have carved out as a library in the research cycle at our Uiversity. Before I really start. I should point out that this presentation is/ or will be available at my slideshare space, and I will blog about this congress and presentation at my English blog at So there is no need to take notes. Please listen.
  • Perhaps I should introduce myself a little bit further. In the first place I am an information specialist at the Wageningen University and Research Centre Library. Information specialist or subject library in the plant sciences. In the library, apart from the classical subject librarian tasks, I am heavily involved in research evaluation and library 2.0 developments and applications. On the library 2.0 front I also active as a teacher and blogger on various platforms. As a result of that I was selcted as Information Professional of the year 2007 by my Dutch Colleagues. To my own astonishment Péter Jácso selected my English blog as one of Péter’s pick in his online column in the July/August issue of the Online Magazine earlier this year.
  • So far for the formal introduction. Perhaps it is more insightful to have a look at the cloud tag of my English blog. Apart from the ELAG congress (European Library Automation Group) which was hosted by our library in 2008 tag. The tags for Open Access, Impact Factors, Scopus, Web of Science and University rankings stand out. They take most of my blogging passion. But please have a look at my blog, later at you own leisure.
  • When you look at the cloudtag of my delicious account another professional passion shows up, next to a number of conferences. Web 2.0 and library 2.0.
  • So far about my passions. I have come here as a representative of Wageningen UR library to tell you about they ways we have improved the relations between students and staff and the library. Here you have a picture of the Wageningen Campus. The large, square reddish building at the left is actually the building in which the library is housed. It was opened in 2007. So it is actually quite a new library.
  • A very brief history of our University and Research Centre is as follows: Established as an agricultural college in 1876, and ratified as an institute for higher education in 1918 Various research institutes were established for the daily routine tasks (quality of milk, seeds, fertilizers etc…) these resorted directly under the jurisdiction of the ministry of agriculture and fisheries In the late 1980's research institutes became independent from the ministry of Agriculture In 1998 Wageningen University, the research institutes merged to form Wageningen University and Research Centre In 2003 Wageningen University merges with the university of applied sciences. To improve growth of MSc students after te introduction of the Anglo-Saxon Bachelor/Master structure in hihgher education in the Netherlands Why this long story on the history of the university? It is to explain the rather exceptional composition of the student/staff ratio's
  • The essence of this slide is that we are a small University. But a special one. Just over 5,500 students. The FTE of all staff is slightly less than half the number of students. As a library we are responsible for the information infrastructure for the research institutes as well. They employ a similar number of staff. The polytechnic university has an entirely different ratio of staff to students. At this moment we have less involvement with the polytechnic, but that’s likely to change in the long run.
  • Interesting characteristic of our University is it’s highly international orientation. This is for instance shown in the number of international students. In the BSc the percentage of international students amounted on 4%, but in the MSc approximately 46% of the students (987) have a non-Dutch nationality. In Wageningen, a village with about 33,000 inhabitants, these numbers stand out quite remarkably. Over 100 different nationalities are represented in Wageningen.
  • Wageningen University used to be an agricultural university but has now a life sciences focus. To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life’ That is the mission of Wageningen UR Issues within the Wageningen domain are almost never exclusively natural, technical or social in nature. There are always multiple approaches and possible solutions – often synergetic ones. Wageningen UR therefore fosters the unique interaction between the natural and social sciences The university has a strong profile in the Agricultural & Food Sciences, Environment & Ecology and Plant & Animal Science. With top 10 positions in these fields according to the Essential Science Indicators. According to the international Taiwan ranking, Wageningen is the second best university in the field of agriculture just after the University of California Davis.
  • A view into our library. Probably sometime in the exam period when it is really busy in the search for a little bit of tranquility.
  • In 2003 it was decided to establish a central library plus a library for the social sciences department. A central library was to be built as part of new education building that was aimed to host all teaching activities, restaurant facilities and the library. Three functions combined, centrally located at the Wageningen Campus . The new library is operation for two years now. Open for some 90 hours per week. Next to that we have a few satellite libraries in the country that are part of local research stations. Physical library is primarily a place to study for our MSc students. The library is regarded as a tranquil space in a busy building. Innovative Catalog and own article and indexing databases are supported by an in-house developed CMS. Next year introduction of lucene as search engine on these databases. Flexible and versatile, but sometimes it small changes take a long period of time due to the workload of the ICT department. Integration of Web 2.0 posibilities whenever possible. Comments, RSS feeds, TOC inclusions. Information junkies Despite being one of the smallest Dutch universities, the second highest number of downloaded articles from platforms such as SD and Springer. We have been focusing our attention on the digital services from early days. It started with A&I databases, follwowed by electronic journals, and currently we are working hard on electronic book collections and implementation of e-readers. The more successful we are the fewer we see Staff in the library. They visit the library from their desktop 24*7 from anywhere in the world.
  • In no particular order. External clients an important group on which I will not discuss any further in this keynote. But we do very relevant work for the Ministery of Agriculture in the field of knowledge dissemination.
  • The courses we run especially geared towards PhD-Students are very valuable to the library as well. In the introductory course we teach standard information literacy basics and extend this with courses on publishing, plagiarism and bibliometrics The consultation session is particularly valuable for the library and students alike. We start with an intake interview in which the students' PhD proposal is the starting point of the conversation. We give advice on database selection and search strategy. The student works out various search strategies, based on our tips and advice, and starts SDI alerts for these searches. After about a month we discuss the results from these alerts, sharpen and adjust the strategies together with the PhD candidate. A much appreciated advice for Sandwich PhD's (PhD students that perform the mainstay of their work in their country of origin, and are thus a long haul from the university) is to make an alert for the affiliation of their research department, so they keep informed on the latest published research from their supervisors. These sessions are valuable to the library since we are closely involved with the fresh research project at the heart of our university. We learn in which direction the research at the university is heading.
  • As indicated earlier, our users are characterized as heavy duty users. We have a disproportionate share of downloaded articles from all academic libraries in the Netherlands. However, they are little or subconsciously aware of the services and possibilities offered by the library. We have to show them libraries are still relevant. We have to find opportunities to tell them stories from the library. In our case we have been quite successful at creating a important role in the regular research evaluation process that takes place throughout the university and research institutes at regular intervals. We started this years ago on a small scale, and over the years we have gained the confidence and trust of our researchers that we can play a vital role in the research evaluation cycle.
  • We follow the methodology of van Raan cs. (the citation gurus in the Netherlands, or perhaps in Europe.) But whereas their methods are based on the refinement and extension of the raw data from the SCI. We apply their methodology with help of library licensed databases on the research output of our academic staff. In this case we make use of Web of Science and Essential Science indicators from Thomson Reuters.
  • The advantage of the implementation of this system on our repository, is that we can harvest and calculate the advanced bibliometric indicators for all our registerd publications at once. We can therefore apply this type of analysis at any time for any group, or each researcher. The system was developed for a massive peer review of 6 graduate schools, but as a result we cover all publication output as far as it is covered by WoS with our methodology. In this example you see the bibliometric results of a business unit from one of the research institutes, which did not participate in the peer review this year. But we can show similare type of results.
  • Or we can look at results for a single researcher. Here you see the bibliometrics for one of our excellent researchers, the microbiologist Willem de Vos. Who was a recipient of the most prestigious science award in the Netherlands. Since the data in the repository date back only to 2002. We calculated a variation on the h-index the h6, for the citations to publications over the period 2002-2007. So prof. de Vos has for that period co-authored 28 papers that received at least 28 citations.
  • What is really appreciated by the researchers is the fact that we publish their publication lists on which we base our calculations as well. For each article included we provide a direct link to Web of Science to have a look at the actual number of citations at this moment. Bu we include the number of citations at the time of our calculations, the research field in which the article was categorized, the Relative Impact (or crown indicator) of the article, and whether or not it belonged to the top 10% or top 1% most cited papers in its field. So far about the systems, but what has it brought us?
  • Transcript

    • 1. Improving staff and student library relations at Wageningen University Wouter Gerritsma, Information specialist Wageningen UR Library
    • 2. Pre-amble
      • This powerpoint is available at:
      • More information on the topics to be presented can be found at my blog:
        • http://
    • 3. Introductions
      • Myself
      • Information specialist plant sciences at Wagenigen UR library
        • Research evaluation
        • Library 2.0
      • Information professional of the year 2007
      • was selected as Péter’s picks in Online magazine Jul./Aug. 2009
    • 4. Tagcloud of http://
    • 5. Wordle tagcloud of my delicious account
    • 6. Photo credits : 芒果人
    • 7. Introducing Wageningen UR
      • My employer
      • Agricultural college established in 1876
        • Agr. Research stations were spinned off
      • Wageningen's attained the status of an institute of higher education in 1918
      • Wageningen University and research stations merged to form Wageningen UR in 1998
      • Wageningen University and Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences merged in 2003
    • 8. Size of Wageningen UR 7016 9408 388 3791 Polytechnic 2801 Research institutes 2335 5617 University Staff (FTE) Students
    • 9. Wageningen is an international University 94 Americas 1108 Total 409 Asia 162 Africa 23 Other European countries 421 EC countries
    • 10. Life Sciences at Wageningen UR
      • Wageningen UR for quality of life
        • Food and food production
        • Living environment
        • Health, lifestyle and livelihood
    • 11.  
    • 12. The library
      • Concentration to a single physical library
      • Innovative team
      • And our users
      • Information junkies
    • 13. Who are our users?
      • Students
      • Teachers
      • Researchers
      • External clients
    • 14. Information literacy to reach out to students
      • Information literacy
      • Integrated in discipline oriented courses
        • First year introductory course
        • Third year refresher & deepening
      • MSc students optional
        • Highly recommended for 'foreign' MSc students
    • 15. Information literacy for PhD students
      • 2 day course information literacy
        • 1 day introduction
        • ½ day EndNote course
        • ½ day Consultation homework under guidance of a subject librarian
    • 16. Teachers
      • Not our primary target
      • We liaise with selected teachers for introductory courses “information literacy”
      • All teachers are researchers themselves
    • 17. Researchers
      • They know their way to the digital library already
      • They are little aware of all the services the library offers
      • We have to find opportunities to engage them
      • Research evaluation is such an occasion
    • 18. Research evaluation in the Netherlands
      • Based on a 6 year cycle
        • Supervised by Quality Assurance Netherlands Universities (QANU)
        • Each 6 years external international peer review
        • Each 3 years internal mid term review
        • Standard Evaluation Protocol (SEP)
          • http:// / sep
    • 19. SEP protocol
      • Quality
      • Productivity
      • Societal relevance
      • Vitality and feasibility
    • 20. What role does the library play?
      • Productivity of a group is extracted from databases maintained by library
      • Bibliometric analyses are input to assess the research quality
        • Bibliometric analysis is not stipulated in the (national) SEP!
          • In Wageningen included as additional requirement
        • Advanced bibliometric indicators are now standardly implemented on our repository
    • 21. My article has been cited 22 times! But was does it mean? Image:
    • 22. How do we compare numbers?
      • Scientist Z. Math has a publication from 1998 with 17 citations
      • Scientist M. Biology has a publication from 2006 with 24 citations
    • 23. Baseline mathematics from ESI
    • 24. Baseline Molecular Biology from ESI
    • 25. In practice: Normalization
      • Dicke, M. Agrawal, A.A. Bruin, J. (2003) Plants talk, but are they deaf? Trends in Plant Science 8 (9):403 - 405.
        • Times cited: 44 times
      • Trends in Plant Science (from journals menu ESI)
        • Plant & Animal Science
      • Baseline data (from ESI)
        • Article from 2003 in Plant & Animal Science : Average: 8.56 citations
        • top 10%: 20 citations, top 1%: 65 citations
      • Crown Indicator = 44 / 8.56 = 5.14
    • 26. Other bibliometric indicators
      • Number or percentage of highly cited articles, i.e. top 10% or top 1% most cited articles
      • Number or percentage of uncited articles
      • H-index (g-index etc …)
        • Balancing productivity and citedness
    • 27. Differences with the CWTS approach (van Raan c.s.)
      • Normalization per publication type
        • We can’t normalize per publication type
      • Self citations
        • Much debated issue
      • Fixed citation windows
        • Some times used in research
      • Representativeness
    • 28. Results per Graduate School 86% 8% 4% 21% 1.55 11.04 8970 13864 1256 WIMEK 93% 11% 1% 14% 1.19 8.01 6940 8254 1031 WIAS 92% 8% 3% 20% 1.48 12.68 16591 24582 1938 VLAG 79% 13% 2% 18% 1.42 8.53 11219 15972 1873 PE&RC 54% 26% 2% 15% 1.23 5.05 2033 2504 496 MGS 86% 5% 9% 38% 2.34 17.77 11413 26660 1500 EPS 26% 27% 1% 6% 0.82 3.12 379 312 100 Ceres Repr %NC %T1 %T10 CI CPP Wavg C N RS
    • 29. Also available for any group at Wageningen UR
    • 30.  
    • 31.  
    • 32. Why bibliometrics in the library
      • We maintained the metadata archive for publications from the university already
      • We have experience with developing, and maintaining large publication databases
      • We license bibliometric databases used in these analyses
      • We are experienced in searching notoriously illogical databases such as Web of Science
    • 33. Win/win for the library
      • Improvement of our repository
      • Many presentations on the bibliometric approach
      • Presentations on detailed analysis for individual science groups
      • Advice on bibliometrics to publication strategy
    • 34. Matching our Repository and WoS WoS 9577 articles & reviews Repository 10933 p.r. articles Missing in repository, 807 articles Missing from WoS, 1159 articles 1161 peer reviewed articles not in WoS journals
    • 35. Is this the only thing you do with the repository? Repository Univ. white pages Dept. pages Pers. pages Peer review Research administration system Project administration system
    • 36. New roles for libraries
      • Application based on our own content
      • Enriched with data from third parties
      • Remixed and added value
      • To be used in other applications
      • Is it an example of a Web 2.0 application?
    • 37. Conclusion
      • In the beginning our services concentrated on raking in the data, and calculating the advanced bibliometric indicators
      • Now the number crunching is largely automated, and we added value to our services by giving advice and consultations to many groups of researchers
      • For publication advice they come to the library!
    • 38. D ě kuji!