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Digital Life Beyond The Institution

Slides for a talk on "Digital Life Beyond The Institution" given by Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus at the ILI 2013 conference in London on Tuesday 15 October 2013.


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Digital Life Beyond The Institution

  1. 1. Digital Life Beyond the Institution Brian Kelly UK Web Focus Being smart with technology; creating something from nothing: Continuing your professional life when your institutional IT infrastructure no longer exists! Email: Twitter: @briankelly Slides available under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence
  2. 2. • You’ve been working in your institution for several years or • You are a librarian and you provide support for your users What happens when: • You (or your users) leave your host institution but wish to continue your professional activities • You (or your users) no longer have access to:  IT applications which were licenced to the institution  Digital content which required institutional access rights  IT training and user support Context How do you survive digital life beyond the host institution?
  3. 3. • Worked at UKOLN, University of Bath from Oct 1996 - July 2013 • Made redundant following JISC cessation of core-funding for UKOLN My challenges: • How do I continue to function as an independent consultant? • How do I ensure that resources I have created can continue to be used and developed? • What do I do when I don’t know what to do or when things go wrong? About Me How can I continue to build and grow my digital identity and manage my digital tools and services?
  4. 4. What is the role of librarians in supporting users who may find themselves in this predicament? About You
  6. 6. 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:  A consultant  An itinerant researcher  A means of developing their CV  A ‘citizen scientist’  …. “The axeman cometh” Who has responsibilities for ensuring staff and researchers are able to respond appropriately to such ‘life events’?
  7. 7. What’s Your Policy When Staff Leave? See
  8. 8. •POLICY AT BATH UNIVERSITY Detailed policies 8 • Staff leave • Staff have a new job in the Uni • Staff are dismissed • Staff die University gives very brief details when: But is leaving the institution really an unusual event?
  9. 9. “By 2015, there will be more Briton 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, 20-26 Sept 2013 Changing Work Environment
  10. 10. 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 Responding to the Changes User support and education – the missing component? An opportunity for librarians?!
  11. 11. Following announcement of forthcoming cessation of funding 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 My Move to The Cloud: A Case Study Note that since I didn’t intent to die in my job, such plans should have been in place in any case!
  12. 12. The Institutional Repository Opus, the University of Bath institutional repository, provides a secure, reliable & maintained repository for my research papers, project reports, etc.
  13. 13. • Opus policy seeks to ensure long-term persistency of content. Persistency of Records • When people leave will they still have their contributions listed? • Or their usage statistics? Opus repository continues to provide content, ownership details and usage statistics 
  14. 14. 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 Persistency of Records
  15. 15. • Ensure that a record of your work (e.g. your publications) is available beyond the institution (e.g. on LinkedIn) Manage Your Own Records
  16. 16. • Ensure that your (open access) publications are hosted in an environment you can maintain when you leave the institution. • For example: • ResearchGate Manage Your Own Content Papers hosted initially in local open access repository
  17. 17. • Ensure that your (open access) publications are hosted in an environment you can maintain when you leave the institution. • For example: • ResearchGate • • … Manage Your Own Content No permission to upload book chapter, so metadata-only records Full-text of open access paper available
  18. 18. 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 Manage Your Own Ideas Blog at was continued with no need to migrate content
  19. 19. Have you got your drive SkyDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox accounts? Use Cloud Sharing Services Case study Since 2012 I’ve used SkyDrive for collaborative peer-reviewed papers: • File in one place (avoids multiple master copies problem). • Can be viewed (and updated) on mobile devices • Can use MS Word in the Cloud
  20. 20. A spectrum of ownership: • Your CV and list of publications • Your publications themselves • Your blog content • Your domain name • Your own server Manage Your Own Domain
  21. 21. Netskills course Learning More Case study: During Netskills course the hosting company mentioned. The domain was registered and Web site created for £10 fee in 10 minutes during course.
  22. 22. 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 Manage Your Research Identifier My ORCID: 0000-0001-5875-8744
  23. 23. After 17 years of email use I had: • Large number of messages • Large number of contacts • Personal & professional uses Know How To Migrate Your Email I needed 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
  24. 24. Change your email address to ensure you aren’t locked out of Cloud services! Email For Authentication Claim your papers in Google Scholar while your institutional email is valid – otherwise you might not be able to claim them!
  25. 25. Importance of developing one’s professional networks – a valuable source of advice and support: Twitter: Quick queries, discussion and links to resources Blogs: More in-depth contextual information and responses Getting Help – When the IT Help Desk Has Gone
  26. 26. 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? 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” … )
  27. 27. A New Role of 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 My University Slideshare Google
  28. 28. A New Role of 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) My PLE / PRE My current university My first university
  29. 29. 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 Stimulating The Economy
  30. 30. Advice for graduates provided by Careers Service
  31. 31. SCONUL No digital literacies for staff & researchers?
  32. 32. Shouldn’t life-long skills to manage digital content be address in Research Concordance? Research Concordance
  33. 33. Professional ethics: copyright is broken, so why am I enforcing it? (proposed by @lawsonstu) Copyright law is broken. By criminalising citizens and creators in order to protect the profits of corporations, it harms the people that it should be empowering. Therefore I see it as an ethical imperative to break and/or subvert it; civil disobedience is a necessary part of a functioning democracy. It is part of my job in a library to uphold and enforce copyright law. Professional ethics are in conflict here: on the one hand, I have a duty to my employer and society to act in accordance with the law; on the other hand, when that law is wrong, it is unethical to force people to comply with it. How can this be resolved? I'm not sure that the professional ethics espoused by our current professional organisation, CILIP, are enough to negotiate dilemmas like this. What does this mean? Do we need a new, more agile ethical approach that can deal with contemporary information ethics? And if so, can we find this within existing professional frameworks or do we need a new professional body? The Radical Librarian Session proposal for the Radical Library Camp, Bradford, 28 Sept 2013
  34. 34. Digital life is now primarily in the Cloud, so why am I ignoring this? (proposed by @briankelly) 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 only 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? The Radical Librarian Manifesto proposal for the ILI 2013, London, 28 Sept 2013
  35. 35. Photo from Where Do You Stand? Today we’re learning about the risks of using Web 2.0 services
  36. 36. Photo from Where Do You Stand? Today I’ve explained why you need to migrate to Web 2.0 services
  37. 37. 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 for innovative approaches from early adopters? Conclusions