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Preparing Our Users For Digital Life Beyond the Institution

Sides for a talk on "Digital Life Beyond the Institution" given by Brian Kelly, Innovation Advocate at Cetis, University of Bolton at a seminar for the iSchool, University of Northumbria on 11 February 2015.


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Preparing Our Users For Digital Life Beyond the Institution

  1. 1. Preparing Our Users For Digital Life Beyond The Institution 1 Preparing Our Users For Digital Life Beyond The Institution Brian Kelly, Cetis
  2. 2. Preparing Our Users For Digital Life Beyond The Institution Brian Kelly Innovation Advocate Cetis University of Bolton Bolton, UK Contact Details Email: Twitter: @briankelly Cetis Web site: Blog: Slides and further information available at
  3. 3. 3 3 You are free to: copy, share, adapt, or re-mix; photograph, film, or broadcast; blog, live-blog, or post video of this presentation provided that: You attribute the work to its author and respect the rights and licences associated with its components. Idea from Cameron Neylon Slide Concept by Cameron Neylon, who has waived all copyright and related or neighbouring rights. This slide only CCZero. Social Media Icons adapted with permission from originals by Christopher Ross. Original images are available under GPL at:
  4. 4. About This Talk Abstract Many institutions seek to ensure that students are given support in various aspects of digital literacy which seek to ensure that they can make effective use of digital resources when they graduate. But what of staff and researchers? Unlike students, there is not an expectation that members of staff will leave their host institution after a fixed period of time. Similarly Vitae’s concordat for researchers addresses development for researchers which aim to ensure they are effective researchers whilst at their institution, with seemingly little consideration to their research career beyond their current host institutions. In this seminar Brian Kelly will explore digital life beyond one’s current host institution and suggest that libraries should have an important role in providing support. 4
  5. 5. About Me Brian Kelly: • Innovation Advocate at Cetis, Bolton University since Oct 2013 • Formerly UK Web Focus at UKOLN, University of Bath from 1996-2013 Interests in: • Encouraging use of innovative technologies and practices to support institutional activities • Areas of work have included:  Web standards ■ Web accessibility  Mobile technologies ■ Social web  Digital preservation ■ …. A change of direction: • Redundancy in July 2013 for majority of UKOLN staff • Desire to continue professional work (consultant or employment in sector) Introduction 5
  6. 6. The Challenge – for Many of Us! What happens when: • “The axeman cometh” and staff are made redundant or take early retirement? • They wish to continue to exploit their professional interests as:  In a new organisation  A consultant  An itinerant researcher  A means of developing their CV • The researcher’s contract expires and they wish to further their research elsewhere? 6 Who has responsibilities for ensuring staff and researchers are able to respond appropriately to such ‘life events’?
  7. 7. Changing Work Environment “By 2015, there will be more Britons over 65 than under 15. We cannot afford to discard their expertise.” “Studies show that on average each of us will have seven careers, two of which are yet to exist.” Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow In New Statesman, 20th Sept 2013 7
  8. 8. VIEW OF A RETIRED ACADEMIC “Last night, I wrote reference for an ex-colleague, and noticed that the form expected me to belong to an institution. I guess that identity formation is ongoing work. Am I retired just because I have a pension? Retired is a deadly label I think.” Recently retired academic from a northern university 8
  9. 9. About You What is the role of librarians in supporting users who may find themselves in this predicament? Can you identify: • Concrete institutional strategies • Training and support services which prepare staff and researchers for digital life after they leave the institution? 9
  10. 10. Information Literacy • Defined as “the ability to find, use, evaluate and communicate information” • Felt to be “an essential skill in this digital age and era of life-long learning” LILAC Conference home page 10 Should we say: • “the ability to find, use and reuse, evaluate and communicate information” where reuse includes future use in a different work context
  11. 11. Assumptions The University environment typically assumes: • You can trust the institution • We will provide the appropriate IT infrastructure • We are here to help you But: • When you leave we don’t care (unless you donate money!) • Our auditors tell us we must delete accounts when people leave • We run courses for new staff & students (our assets) but not when they are about to leave (our liabilities) 11 Will the institution’s IT environment be regarded as a silo (a ‘walled garden’) afer you leave the institution?
  12. 12. Policy at Bath University 12 See ×
  13. 13. University gives very brief details when: Policy at Bath University 13 Detailed policies• Detailed policies • Staff leave • Staff have a new job in the Uni • Staff are dismissed • Staff die But is leaving the institution really an unusual event?
  14. 14. The Open Agenda We are seeing how moves to openness can provide benefits for life-long learners: • Open source software: avoids licence costs which enable software to be used outside the institution • Open content: avoids licensing restrictions so content can be used and modified • Open access: avoids licensing restrictions so research papers can continue to be accessed • Open educational practices: working in an open and transparent way 14 Education and user support and – the missing component? An opportunity for librarians?!
  15. 15. My Move to The Cloud: A Case Study Following announcement of cessation of funding for UKOLN I identified that need to ensure: • Minimal loss of digital content • Minimal loss of professional networks • Continued access to use and modify social media services • Identify and implement strategies for ongoing digital presence 15 Note that since I didn’t intent to die in my job, such plans should have been in place in any case!
  16. 16. The Institutional Repository Opus, the University of Bath institutional repository, provides a secure, reliable & maintained repository for my research papers, project reports, etc. 16 My Opus entry, which provides a record of my publications from 1997-2013. See
  17. 17. Persistency of Records Opus policy seeks to ensure long-term persistency of content. 17 When people leave will they still have their contributions listed? Or their usage statistics? Opus repository continues to provide content, ownership details (in part) and usage statistics
  18. 18. Persistency of Records Informal feedback: • "Records disappear when someone leaves because that's entirely appropriate." • "Staff leaving the university have a different relationship to the organisation. By rights we should shut off ALL accounts the day the relationship with the organisation ends." Institutional context: • “this is obviously down to institutional management of people records” Where does your policy fit in the spectrum? • We’re focussing on the REF and our CRIS (Current Research Information System) • We are loyal to former employees 18
  19. 19. Manage Your Own Records Ensure that a record of your work (e.g. your publications) is available beyond the institution (e.g. on LinkedIn) 19
  20. 20. Manage Your Own Content Ensure that your (open access) publications are hosted in an environment you can maintain when you leave the institution. For example: • ResearchGate 20 Papers hosted initially in local open access repository
  21. 21. Manage Your Own Content Ensure that your (open access) publications are hosted in an environment you can maintain when you leave the institution. For example: • ResearchGate • • … 21 No permission to upload book chapter, so metadata-only records Full-text of open access paper available
  22. 22. Manage Your Own Ideas Ensure that if you have a blog it isn’t trapped in the institution (and potentially deleted when you leave). Some options: • Create a blog in the Cloud initially • Migrate your blog to the Cloud 22 Blog at continued with no need to migrate content
  23. 23. Use Cloud Sharing Services Have you got your OneDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox accounts? 23 Case study Since 2012 I’ve used OneDrive (was SkyDrive) for collaborative peer-reviewed papers: • Can use MS Word in the Cloud • File in one place (avoids multiple master copies problem). • Can be viewed (and updated) on mobile devices • Not part of an ‘institutional silo’
  24. 24. Manage Your Research Identifier Take control of your research identity! ORCID: • Open Researcher and Contributor ID • Non-proprietary alphanumeric code to uniquely identify scientific / academic authors • Managed by ORCID Inc. an open & independent registry 24 My ORCID: 0000-0001-5875-8744 Not coupled to institutional ID
  25. 25. Know How To Migrate Your Email After 17 years of email use I had: • Large number of messages • Large number of contacts • Personal & professional uses 25 Need to know how to: • Set up new email accounts (Gmail) & re-subscribe to lists of interest • Migrate old email messages, sender details, etc. • Associate social media services with new email accounts • Rationalise use of email • Understand risks of loss of email account
  26. 26. Email For Authentication Change your email address to ensure you aren’t locked out of Cloud services! 26 Claim your papers in Google Scholar while your institutional email is valid – otherwise you might not be able to claim them!
  27. 27. Manage Your Own Domain A spectrum of ownership: • Your CV and list of publications • Your publications themselves • Your blog content • Your digital identify • Your email (content, connections, authentication) • Your domain name • Your own server 27
  28. 28. The Role of Librarians What is the role of librarians in ensuring staff and researchers and other members of staff can exploit their potential when they leave their host institution? 28 Traditionally: • Many IT services were provided by the institution • Librarians (and IT staff) provided advice & support on use of such services • Non-hosted services were banned (access to Second Life) or deprecated (“the content isn’t secure”, “the service isn’t reliable”, “they’ll claim ownership of your content”, “students won’t want us in their space”, … )
  29. 29. A New Role for Librarians In the past: • The IT infrastructure was mainly hosted in the institution • The IT support infrastructure focussed primarily on institutional services, with some appreciation of (and warnings about) Cloud services 29 My University Slideshare Google
  30. 30. A New Role for Librarians In the future: • The IT infrastructure no longer revolves around the institution • The IT infrastructure will focus on the services chosen by the individual (with warning about the transient nature of institutional services) 30 My PLE/PRE My current place of work My first university
  31. 31. Stimulating The Economy New approaches can help librarians to ensure that the departure of researchers can stimulate the economy: • Support the migration of intellectual assets so that they can continue to be used • Ensure that training to do so is embedded in institution 31
  32. 32. 32 Who has responsibility?
  33. 33. SCONUL 33 Thoughts: • No digital literacies for staff & researchers? • Limited view on ‘digital literacy’?
  34. 34. 34 The Research Concordat: “an agreement between funders and employers of research staff to improve the employment and support for researchers and research careers in UK higher education.” Research Concordat
  35. 35. 35 Research Concordat Shouldn’t life-long skills to manage digital content be addressed in the Research Concordat?
  36. 36. Survey Across The Community Survey of institutional approaches to information literacy & Cloud services carried out in March 2014: • 89 responses received • Only 15% of IL policies cover Cloud services • Only 2 institutions addressed needs of staff leaving institution • “It’s not our responsibility!” 36
  37. 37. Reflections Digital life is now primarily in the Cloud, so why are we ignoring this? We seek to prepare our students with life-long learning skills for working in a digital environment after they graduate. But members of staff and researchers are only given training in institutionally- approved & support technologies. We fail to provide training and support for staff for their digital life beyond the institution. And yet everyone will leave the institution (unless they die in the job!) Professional practices and institutions are in conflict here: on the one hand, I have a duty to my employer to support the needs of the institution; on the other hand, my profession, and the higher education sector, believes in the value of life-long learning. How can this be resolved? I'm not sure that the digital literacies summary espoused SCONUL and promoted by Jisc, are sufficient, as this focusses on teaching of digital literacies. Do we need a new, more agile approach that can deal with contemporary need for digital life beyond the institution? And if so, can we find this within existing professional frameworks or do we need to do this for ourselves? 37
  38. 38. Will This Work? Proposed policy: The University seeks to ensure that staff and students are able to be productive and effective in their work and study at the university and are able to continue to exploit their skills, knowledge and content when they leave provide this does not conflict with licence conditions, etc. How? During induction staff and students are advised on how to maximise long-term access to content and services. Prior to leaving staff and students will be able to access support on how to migrate their content, communities and access from institutional services. 38
  39. 39. Photo from Where Do You Stand? Today we’re learning about the risks of using Web 2.0 services
  40. 40. Photo from Where Do You Stand? Today I’ve explained why you need to migrate to Web 2.0 services and avoid the institutional silo
  41. 41. Conclusions To conclude: • There will be an increase in the numbers of staff and researchers who will need to manage digital content and services when they leave their host institution. • Current institutional and national plans do not seem to address such needs. • An opportunity to take a lead in developing an institutional (national) strategy? 41
  42. 42. Questions? Any questions, comments, …? 42 Carry on the discussion – see the blog post at our-users-for-digital-life-beyond-the-institution/
  43. 43. This presentation, “Preparing Our Users For Digital Life Beyond The Institution” by Brian Kelly, Cetis is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence Note the licence covers most of the text in this presentation. Quotations may have other licence conditions. Images may have other licence conditions. Where possible links are provided to the source of images so that licence conditions can be found. 43 Slides and further information available at Licence and Additional Resources