Supporting social science: Bernie Folan, UKSG


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Bernie Folan presented the outcomes of a round table discussion with social science librarians and academics: what are the key communications issues they face? How can they support each other?

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  • This is about how research is happening.Interesting to note differences in disciplines. English = closed, private, solitary.Anthropology = open, share, we need to be open.It was very clear from the comments made by the researchers that interacting with contributorsand others in a network outside of peer-reviewed journals, for instance via blogs, can be hugelyintellectually stimulating and is a key part of some research processes. Twitter is used to enable publicengagement with research. All acknowledged that one of the huge academic challenges is that sources such as video and audioare not peer reviewed. Helpful quality filters are absent. All present agreed that peer review is stilla critical process. In some disciplines it was acknowledged that peer review partially happensin public with more and more researchers ‘polishing’ their work on blogs via the comments.A feeling that special collections, in many cases, need to be promoted more effectively beyond niche research circles.There was a suggestion that libraries could generate revenue from their special collections of primarysource material.
  • From the survey
  • This year SAGE published a new white paper investigating how we improve discoverability through collaboration between librarians, publishers and vendors. Drawing from interviews, case studies, and scholarly literature, the white paper assesses the current environment and proposed cross-sector conversations to further visibility and usage of scholarly communication.
  • Supporting social science: Bernie Folan, UKSG

    1. 1. Supporting effective communication andworkflows in social science research:summary of a group discussionUKSG Feedback session, March 2012Bernie Folan Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    2. 2. What’s happened Conversations with librarians ... “greater need for librarians and researchers to talk, with publishers listening” Discussion chaired by SAGE, facilitated by the RIN, librarians and social science early career researchers (6-8 of each) Article published in Serials July 2011 summarising key findings Survey to test strength of response to challenges uncovered Charleston Feedback Session November 11 UKSG Feedback Session March 2012 Next... Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    3. 3. Problems in the discovery, use and creation ofresearch material Combat reliance on narrow discovery methods and misunderstanding of search tools by some experienced researchers who are supervising doctoral students. Browsing outside discipline is essential, but it is now a predominantly search culture. Library branding needs greater prominence on publisher platforms to highlight library value Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    4. 4. Problems in the discovery, use and creationof research material (continued) Improve adoption of search and browse skills training amongst all researchers and appoint institutional advocates. Greater transparency needed on service inclusion and overlap between widely-used services and gateways (for both researchers and librarians). Institutions with devolved budgeting need improved systems to purchase cross-disciplinary material as well as fund OA submissions. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    5. 5. What librarians and researchers need from eachother to improve research workflows• Greater attendance of librarians at departmental subject meetings and other fora to better understand researcher needs and concerns.• A need to explain the mechanics of content purchasing and its challenges to researchers.• Explanation to senior financial managers on agreed common themes (eg. finer detail of usage analysis) is required to avoid misunderstandings. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    6. 6. How can librarians and publishers work togetherto demonstrate value and impact of researchmaterial on their institutional strategic goals Institutions require local data reporting, beyond usage stats, (e.g. author numbers, usage and citation of local research) Institutions can be poor at knowing and valuing what they have, for example PhD numbers. It is essential, though challenging, for authors to demonstrate the impact of their research beyond academia. Need for a single robust academic ID and profile site. Initiatives in existence, but a need for one solution that can be tied into academic appraisal and help showcase institutional output. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    7. 7. Resources beyond scholarly articles andchapters for research and output Researchers are using a wide variety of alternative research resources, from blogs and Twitter to Listserves. Libraries could optimize use and generate more revenue from their special collections and archives and market them better beyond niche research circles. To differing degrees, and dependent on discipline, researchers are contributing beyond journal articles and book chapters. Mostly they are observing a careful balance between openness and traditional publishing. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    8. 8. Institutional mechanisms for funding openaccess in the humanities and social science Increased lobbying of Research Councils and other bodies required to make funding available and access to it transparent in Social Sciences Improved education about OA funding is needed at senior levels to ensure facilities are in place. Greater education around what OA means and how it works is needed by researchers at all levels – many are unsure and are confusing „open‟ with „free‟. Greater efforts to persuade „big names‟ to publish in newer OA outlets essential to move things along in favour of OA in the humanities and social sciences. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    9. 9. The library’s evolving role in providingteaching material alongside research content Teaching materials should be available within the institutional network not at an outside link. E-textbooks and e-books are still too expensive and DRM issues stand in the way of success. A wide variance in the sophistication of reading list support tools and practices is in use. Reading list compilation provides many challenges. Good practice needs to be more widespread with systems put in place to combat bad practice. Higher education IT departments are often in institutional silos. They could work together to find solutions to challenges with more creation and sharing of open source programming solutions. Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    10. 10. “The 3 big issues for us are probably common ones: constraints on content wecan purchase (budget cuts and more cuts)promoting awareness of what we have (we still have a lot of great content despite budget issues) and how to access it:providing training (too few librarians for the magnitude of the task)” Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    11. 11. ● Research project, commissioned by SAGE, to investigate the value of academic libraries for academic departments.● SAGE appointed LISU to undertake the research Dec 2011.● Building on existing research: How libraries can - Better market their services - Improve perceptions with key decision makers.● Preliminary results now online● Get involved – surveys coming soon! Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    12. 12. Working together: evolving value for academic libraries – 4 Phases● Phase 1: desk research aiming to identify recent significant publications on the issue of value of academic libraries (January 2012)● Phase 2: series of 8 case studies of HE libraries in the UK, US and Scandinavia (January – March 2012)● Phase 3: triangulation of case study results with a series of informal surveys, distributed to librarians to ascertain extent to which issues and findings from the case study resonate with own experience (April-May 2012)● Phase 4: evidence gathered synthesised into final report (June 2012) Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    13. 13. Exploring future business models• OA round table• Jointly hosted by SAGE and BL• Chair: Simon Inger• International participation• Report: end 2012 Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    14. 14. Championing discoverability● White paper, released January 2012● The development of more sophisticated discovery and visibility strategies very much depends on heightened cross-sector collaborations Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC
    15. 15. Article: or Comment on blog: FolanSAGE, LondonEmail: @berniefolan Los Angeles | London | New Delhi Singapore | Washington DC