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European Documentation Centres: what are they for, what is their future?

Posted by Andrew Dunn on 9 June, 2015

Notes from European Documentation Training: Brussels June 2015

European Documentation Centres were set up to allow the citizens of the EU to participate in a debate about the EU. Their mission was to promote teaching and research of the EU and to make information on all aspects of the EU – from the economy to the environment to health – available to the wider public. Their role was not so much to provide information as to facilitate communication and their establishment was seen as good policy rather than an obligatory function of the European Union.

However, even as far back as 1985 it was calculated that an EDC cost the EU between €10k and €12k a year. In recent years, faced with every decreasing and restrained budgets, the EU has distributed more communications online and less via the medium of print, leaving EDCs with closed or very slow growing collections and a falling number of users.

The delegates at the EU documentation training event were asked to advise the newly-formed pan-European working group on the future of EDCs on ways to take the EDC forward. Over the course of 2 hours of discussions the following points were raised:

EDCs have to face the digital reality. Lots of their documentation is online, fewer and fewer print documents of significance are being sent out by the EU. Users are by-passing EDCs and going straight to Google to find EU documentation.

However, EU documentation is available from a myriad of sources. Refined and sophisticated searches are possible on these platforms though usability is not necessarily intuitive. EDCs will still have a role then in the future but the emphasis will be more on training users in online discovery. Delegates at the training event were unanimous in calling for EDCs to remain a discreet, physical space where people can seek out support in information retrieval and some still saw a role for print documents in that physical space; others envisaged a more world café type set-up with computers available for online access to information.  It has to be stressed though that some historic documents are still not online – digitisation of COM Docs, for example, has only reached the 80s so print is still essential in some cases.

All agreed EDCs need to work on promotion to increase visibility and attract users back to use our services. There was also a widely-supported call for EDCs around Europe to work more collaboratively to create a network in which to share best practice and to make open-source training materials for end users.

Posted in Offical Publications, Open Access, Subject Support | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

USTLG November Meeting: Supporting Research

Posted by selinalock on 1 December, 2014

On the 26th November 2014 I attended and spoke at the University Science & Technology Librarians (USTLG) winter meeting on supporting research at Aston University. The last time I attended a USTLG meeting was in 2012 when I spoke about our re-structure into a Teaching and Learning team, a Research Support Team and a Special Collections/Digital Humanties team, and I was juts about to start my post as a Research Information Advisor.

This time I updated attendees on what had happened since the restructure and how the Research Services team had developed, and took #OAowl along for company:

#OAowl on the train to Birmingham

#OAowl on the train to Birmingham

The line-up for the day was:
Research Bites – researcher training programme
Georgina Hardy & Clare Langman
Aston University

  • Subject librarians with research support as part of their remit.
  • Research Bites – every lunchtime in July/August, 15-30mins sessions.
  • Record audio & slides to make available.
  • Used EventBrite for bookings & to keep stats on attendance.
  • Advertsie via lots of methods e.g. new bulletin, direct emails, flyers/posters to Depts, posters in library, in email sigs.
  • LibGuides to gather recordings.
  • Options to stay after talk to try  things out hands-on (in the lovely library training room where we had the meeting!)

Raising Your Research Profile – training programme
Linda Norbury & Judith Hegenbarth
University of Birmingham

  • Research support group to oversee research training within the library, run by subject librarians/group.
  • Tried out research support (ideas sessions) on Publication strategies, Open Access, Bibliometrics & Social Media on subject librarians first – helps upskill library staff.
  • Good feedback and led to other sessions/contacts, but need to review and expand in future.
  • Raising your research profile webpages.

Developing a blended learning approach to literature searching support for PhD students
Jenny Coombs & Liz Martin
De Montfort University

  • Compulsory lit searching module for PhD students as part of the Graduate School training programme.
  • Moved to an online approach – students can choose online module + face-to-face sessions or online only (depending on if they can visit campus)
  • Involves all subject librarians in the feedback part of the module – where students fill in a lit searching form to show what they have understood of the module.

Consultancy, bitesize and training – how Northumbria supports researchers
Suzie Kitchin
Northumbria University

  • Provide free advice and help with literature searching for all researchers, but also provide a charged literature searching service for funded projects that wish the library to undertake the literature search for them – charged at research librarian pay rate per hour.
  • research development week – feedback that it’s a good brand that is seen as targeted directly at researchers.
  • Use an online tutorial that is a pre-requisite to face-to-face teaching to ensure everyone is on the same level.
  • Skillsplus – online learning repository – includes all researcher materials – all online tutorials/learning objects are bitesized.

Supporting researchers – then and now
Selina Lock
University of Leicester

JISC Open Access Pathfinder project
Linda Kerr
Heriot-Watt University

  • Research Support Librarian – remit to run repositories and support open access publishing.
  • Offers advice, co-ordination, writes policies, support to staff in schools.
  • OA fund devolved to schools who deal with APCs.

 

Applying systematic review methodology from Health to other Science disciplines
Beth Hall
University of  Bangor

  • Supports systematic reviews in medicine/health care but found a growing demand for using thouse methods in other subjects such as ecology and software engineering.
  • Bangor Evidence Synthesis Hub (BESH) – Application of review methods and processes to different and interdependent contexts such as health, social care, environment, conservation.
  • Issues with applying methods to other areas – no one database to model search on (e.g. Medline in medicine), search functionality lacking in databases, no subject terms, no register of systematic reviews in non-medical areas.
  • Centre for evidence Based Conservation

 

You can access copies of the presentations on the USTLG website.

Tweets from the day: USTLG November 14 Storify (header seems to feature #OAowl)

Posted in Meetings, Open Access, Research Support, Service Delivery, Subject Support, Training, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Visit to Coventry University Library (16 January 2013)

Posted by JackieHanes on 16 January, 2013

I visited Sue White, the law and official publications librarian, in the Lanchester Library at Coventry University, to discuss library inductions and reading lists.  I attended a CILIP event at the Lanchester Library shortly after it opened, and it was interesting to return a decade + later to see how it had fared/aged.   

The subject librarian team have a very different structure to us: the team is much larger, librarians are responsible for only 1 or 2 subjects,  and they are supported by a large team of library assistants.  However, they provide services to both taught-course and research users, and they are responsible for their enquiry service too.  Lanchester had enquiry desks on each of their three floors (science, social science and arts).  But these have been closed, and replaced by ‘roving library enquiry staff’ to limited success.  Sue is currently involved in a project to train students to act as roving library enquiry staff. 

The law collection is classified using Dewey, but shelved out-of-sequence.  The collection includes a large number of print journals and law reports, which Sue feels are at risk, because of space pressures in the library.  Sue is also the EDC librarian: although her enquiries are very low in number, the print resources are well used, but she feels they would be better used if inter-filed in the main collection.

Coventry University provide all undergraduate students with a copy of their course textbooks as part of their £9K course fees.  While library footfall continues to increase, levels of borrowing and shelving are noticably lower.  It’s not yet know how this will affect library provision in the future.

Coventry University have used the Talis Aspire reading list software for about 5 years.  Subject librarians initially create module reading lists and handover responsibility to academics.  I was disappointed to discover that Sue has also failed to make Talis Aspire work with the LexisLibrary and Westlaw law databases.  Workarounds include linking to journal title level, rather than article level; and linking to judgments on BAIILI, rather than authoritive law reports.  She is also unable to use Talis Aspire to help with editions checking, and has employed her library assistants to manually check reading lists on an annual basis.

As regards library inductions, Sue is far more embedded into the curriculum than me.  She delivers a library welcome lecture in the first week (1 x 200 students), and then sees all students in their seminar groups during the second week for a legal research practical session (10 x 20 students).   In later weeks, Sue delivers lectures on official publications (jointly with an academic), and Westlaw and LexisLibrary database training (jointly with a third party database trainer).  By way of contrast, I delivered a library welcome lecture in the second week  (1 x 400 students), but was unable to deliver practical sessions, and met with resistance from timetabling.  Coventry University also used Echo 360 technology to record library training events and make them available on Moodle.

Sue was interested to learn more about our subject pages (they do not have an equivalent on their library website), my legal research online tutorials, and our experiences with the JustCite legal search engine. 

Lunch was not on the agenda, but I did enjoy a very nice coffee and black-forest brownie …

Posted in Collection management, Law, Offical Publications, Subject Support | Leave a Comment »

USTLG Spring 2012 Meeting – Being a Science/Engineering Librarian

Posted by selinalock on 4 September, 2012

A very, very late report on the Spring meeting that I attended and spoke at, which was held at the University of Newcastle.

Although the main theme of the event was sharing experiences of being a science and engineering librarian, some other loose themes emerged becoming embedded vs becoming generic, and the way the profession has/is changing.

Being a subject librarian – Changes to the Profession

So, what does it mean to be a subject librarian? Jenny Campbell, Newcastle University

– Recognise how our jobs are changing – teaching, marketing, web guru
– Allowed to develop more things on OA & Endnote.
– Different ways of teaching, larger groups, lectures with drop-ins
– Research support growing – workshops at Faculty level (50-60hrs to PhD students) + need to do more
– Using social media & have some engagement
– Student surveys for refurbishment of library = more study space, quiet areas, more books, power supply at every desk, more IT…

The Environment and Technology librarian: a new professional’s perspective, making the role your own, Emma Illingworth, University of Brighton

– Know my students, researchers, school staff, academics, subjects
– Social networking on the student/staff community networking site
– Twitter for the subjects – but are the students on there? Professionals are on there but students prefer FB. Are there better ways of engaging?
– Little funky business cards to give to staff & students
– Mainly a L&T role & has become embedded in some modules
– Info skills in each year – need a clear path through the modules
– Tried various ways of delivering teaching – for some groups need to change activities to keep attention
– Email before session to online noticeboard to ask what they want out of session – works well for some groups & not others
– Working collaboratively with academics & sharing successes
– Helped with open day & it was pointed out as a unique selling point to students = their own librarian
– Future – wants to be an embedded librarian

From Soviet Studies to Science and Engineering, Jenny Brine, Lancaster University

– 40 years of librarianship, but only science for a few years
– 1st degree in Russian & first post was running library for Russian & East European Studies = Essential to have language skills, hard to find reliable information, embedded/worked closely with research staff, encouraged to do a PhD, specialised, treated as member of research team and found researchers didn’t want to share data until after they were published,
– Moved to Aberdeen & started teaching IL skills (just didn’t realise that they were called IL, but had been compiling bibliographies for years so had the skills required) to a wide range of subjects, encouraged to do a teaching qualification, had to supervise students doing searches in many subjects – learned about how to find out about research/suject vocabularly,
– Lancaster Uni Library – started in ILL which gives you a good picture of research within the Uni plus contact with staff and students, could notice trends and suggest books for purchase.

– Learning about new subjects – informal (family), formal – colleagues, reading, web resources etc
– Read new scientist
– Support from sci & tech lib colleagues e.g. lis-medical, USTLG, courses & conferences
– Read the study skills/research skills books for subjects
– Talk to academics – get invites to meetings or to look around the Depts.

Widening Participation: building on the role of a science librarian, Tony Wilson, University of York

– Helps with Developing Independent Learning Day for schools & colleges network – aimed at 6th formers
– Library challenges = researching & evaluating info (other session on day about academic writing, campus tour & student ambassadors help with day)
– Quzzies about how library works
– Wanted to work closely with other Uni services to make the events more joined up – collaborated more & became the actual widening participation co-ordinator for Uni
– Extended projects may start to be taken into consideration for Uni admissions
– Develpoing a realising opp website at York – freely available resources
– Also work with local primary school projects – they liked the tour of the library! Done some sessions with school librarians and 10yr olds about evaluating websites
– Challenges – Doing on top of normal liaison post, need to be an all rounder, lack of clear leanining objectives from schools, maintaining discipline within classes
– Top tips – use student ambassadors, ensure clear understanding/agreement over what is being covered, keep session interactive, keep groups small
– Now have a relationship management team with WP as an area they deal with, share the workload – in future all liaison librarians will play a role.

All Change! Restructuring Academic Liaison, Selina Lock, University of Leicester

– I talked about our restructure from a team of subject librarians to a team of T&L Librarians (each with a subject remit for UG & PGT students) and a Research Support Team (each with a much wider subject remit for PGR and Researchers).

– I move into my new position supporting STEM researchers in a couple of weeks and I already know I need to learn more about/provide more support on our research archive, OA publishing, REF preparation, copyright, research data management… on top of the experience I already have in teaching literature searching and bibliographic software.

Becoming Embedded (in various ways…)

Embedding information literacy teaching within Engineering, Liz Martin, De Montfort University

– Moved from one induction slot in 2005 to sessions in induction, 1st yr, final yr UG, PG students
– Web-based Induction before students arrive & available all during their first year plus face to face induction within course induction

– 1st yr session = 2hr within design project module (e.g. design a remote controlled gutter cleaner), within report have to show evidence of research & IEEE referencing.

– Final yr UG as part as project briefings, big lecture to everyone as a refresher with the option to sign up for tutorials for more help.
– PG (MSc) – 2hr session
– How from one induction to embedding? Lots of chance opportunities, put together a Bb module for another subject & then showed it to other academics, Technology module leaders liked it, other links were forged through management boards (external examiner feedback), once referencing session in place led to other academics being interested & 1st yr engineering project session came through that, also worked with study support to introduce sessions on report formatting & do team teaching on some sessions.
– Future – a lot of teaching still ad-hoc/short notice, would prefer to be timetabled, see students every year of course, keep plugging for other subjects.

Making yourself indispensible – Science Community Librarianship, Steve Lee, University of Glamorgan

– Science, sport, chiropractice – too many subject to be traditionally embedded!
– Must be valued by our users – how?
– Make our users lives easier – if they value us they will fight to keep us
– Get out of the library – go to where users are
– Visit academic staff in their offices (on their turf) – what are their problems & work out action plan to resolve problems
– What are their problems? = time management, getting research time, dealing with students, accessing journals, searching easier on google, marking, admin takes time, keeping up to date etc
– Library matters not a priority, help solve their problems and their priorities – what makes their life easier?
– Visit your researchers & find out their interests – keep notes
– Plan individual strategies to meet needs – become valued member of support team
– Upskill users – you don’t loose value as they will come back when they need updating
– Takes time to set up e.g. new book lists & Journal ToC, but once up & running they can become automated
– Can then focus on individual problems- take ownership of problems & see it through to resolution instead of passing on to someone else
– Staff & students want fast resolutions to problems – want help now.
– E.g. staff member wanted to be able to borrow moe than 15 books – is it a resonable request? What do other institutions do? Present evidence to colleagues to increase loan limit & take it to senior management – agreed to put it up to 22 for a year – tiny amount took it up but had a few very happy academics.
– Periodically revisit staff to re-evaluate & find out about new needs.
– If you can’t solve the problems then at least they know you tried.
– In response to student need – sits in chiropractic dept at set times to help, as they are in a building away from both libraries – sit in student computer room so became another channel for helping students solve other problems too. Other people wanted same service & now done in other Depts.
– These surgeries allow you to get to know students, staff & researchers, can do work even if people don’t come, on average answer a couple of indepth queries each time, gather evidence for resources needed, only do in term time (exam times usually very quiet).

– Have to be pro-active so users cannot afford to loose you…

Hiding library training in other classes, Kirsty Thomson, Heriot-Watt University

– Students not keen on library training – think they already know it – even if they turn up they are not there in spirit.
– What do students care about? Getting their degree.
– Intro to Essay writing – biology students in wk 2+3, jointly teaching with effective learning tutor – saw in groups of 60-70 & got them to do group work looking at extracts of texts (e.g. journal, textbook, fiction, newspaper)
– Think about the style of writing, could they use it for essay, where/what did it come from, followed by group discussion on what is/isn’t appropriate for essay writing
– Fake essay extract with no references, talk about importance of referencing & got them to look at the essay to see whether they picked up where it should be referenced
– Class discussion on plagiarism – ‘is this plagiarised or not?’ slides
– 75% of class said info about referencing was useful & relevant
– Liked group work, working with examples
– Followed up by essay feedback class – essays submitted via TurnItIn – which librarian could see & based follow up on the kind of mistakes they’d made e.g. structuring, problems with referecing, using illustrations
– Made you realise what students don’t know! e.g. don’t realise a 70% mark =  a brilliant essay
– Go to meetings, volunteer for anything that is IL related, work with other services e.g. effective learning
– Needs to be relevant to student interest & worries
– Be convinced your teaching is interesting – if you’re not interested then they won’t be!
– Be careful what you call your sessions e.g. Avoiding Plagarism became ‘Copy & Paste: Just Say No!’ (only works if you remember Grange Hill!) – finally became ‘Using evidence in your essays’
– Don’t give up on an idea too quickly, but be ready to change classes if not working.
– Link to an assignment if possible
– Future: put shorter IL content into other lectures – build links to course content.

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Eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. -Hans Hofmann

Posted by sarahw9 on 20 July, 2012

I’ve got to admit I was surprised to arrive at Information Literacy & Summon, Sheffield Hallam University, and find there were so many people attending.  There was a real buzz and engagement from the audience and the presenters.  The day was dedicated case studies and discussions about how the implementation of Summon (a discovery system that enables search across library electronic and print holdings, ranging from bibliographic database content to the library catalogue, using one intuitive interface) has changed how they teach information literacy.  At Leicester we have had Summon since the summer of 2011, you can see it in action on the University of Leicester library website

 The big message of the day was that discovery systems allow us to give up teaching complicated and arcane interfaces and focus on the higher level information literacy skills such as selection, evaluation, context, appropriateness, and synthesis.

Many libraries use their discovery search and subject pages as their twin tools.  Some are abandoning their library catalogues completely (for example the University of the West of England) and at many others they are much less prominent.  No one is teaching ‘the catalogue’. 

I’ve reported the things that stood out to me the most.  The first section of the day was dedicated to presenters from Sheffield Hallam: 

  • Rod Aitken amused me with his comparison of Google (ideal search interface with clean screen) with the typical library website (completely cluttered). 
  • Alison Lahlafi emphasised how her teaching has shifted in focus from ‘the tools’ to ‘the process’. 
  • Sandy Buchanan pointed out that these higher level skills are in fact the more usefully transferable and generic skills, and how he focuses enabling building students confidence using academic resources.
  • Matt Borg pointed out that discovery systems are in line with the focus on the student experience and how they facilitated learning simply by making things easier. 

 The presenters from Huddersfield: 

  • Andrew Walsh amused us with the giving us an example of the information literacy lesson from hell, which included telling students that they will go blind and develop hairy palms if they dared to use Google.  He contrasted to how he can teach now, which is focus on the thinking about, context and application of information.  The students can teach themselves the basics of the interface, and he can facilitate to make sure they don’t miss anything. 
  • Bryony Ramsden raised some interesting questions about the dilemma that many health librarians have about whether to teach this as well as or instead of NHS Evidence (we do both here at Leicester). 
  • Alison Sharman pointed out that students often don’t find the facets (or tools to refine by subject / year / publication type) for themselves.  She had also devised an effective method for reaching students quickly at the relevant time in their course by getting 10 minutes slots in lectures and simply talking through the discovery search and relevant points.  She doesn’t prepare but gets the students to suggest the topics and works with what they give her at the time.  This is a quick way to reach students and incorporates an endorsement from the lecturer too.    

Finally Dave Pattern, also from Huddersfield, reminded us that the ideal interface is one you don’t have to teach.  If we insist on making it difficult for students they will simply go elsewhere. 

I realised I could be doing more with Summon than I do currently (which is to use it at induction level before moving onto the other resources in more detailed teaching sessions), and I’m going to investigate the possibilities of those 10 minute lecture slots.

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New month, new roles

Posted by gazjjohnson on 15 June, 2012

Hopefully most of our regular readers will have picked up by now that we’ve undergone a bit of a reorganisation in the library in the past few weeks.  Not the collections or resources, but in the staff and how we support our academics and students.  For myself this has resulted in bidding farewell to managing the copyright and document teams after three years. 

My focus is now exclusively on LRA, although the remit for this is expanding to include work towards the archiving and curation of research data outputs as well.  Work which in the light of the recent EPSRC policy framework announcement, and anticipated moves by other major UK funders, is something that the institution obviously has to consider closely.  You might also spot that we’ve changed the contact telephone numbers for myself and the LRA team.

Hopefully we’ll be able to update you on more of the interesting events and progress we make in this area in the next few months, and as always we welcome your comments and suggestions.

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Research Support, Subject Support | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

EMLIP Meeting & Westlaw Update – 9 May 2012

Posted by JackieHanes on 10 May, 2012

I attended my first EMLIP (East Midlands Legal Information Professionals) meeting held at Freeth Cartwright in Nottingham.  The meeting attracted an unusually high turnout (including 4 academic law librarians) – perhaps drawn by the promise of lunch courtesy of Thomson Reuters?

The main event was a presentation from Santiago Alonso (Westlaw UK Product Manager) on the new Westlaw platform scheduled for release in Q2 (July) 2012.  Westlaw considers their main competitor to be Google – not LexisLibrary et al.  New features in Westlaw UK include:- word wheels (predictive typing) indexing case citations, case names, legislation titles, and the Sweet & Maxwell legal subject taxonomy; improved relevance ranking of results (currently displayed chronologically); ability to filter results by subject, date and content type; and unlimited number of results (currently limited to 4000). 

Westlaw UK are also introducing new products including:- an online legal encyclopaedia led by Daniel Greenberg (editor of Stroud’s judicial dictionary), of articles providing a statement of the law on a subject in England, Scotland and Wales; a release of 50 more Sweet & Maxwell e-book titles (pay per title – additional cost on subscription); and status checking software to review legal citations in word documents.  Westlaw UK are also looking at mobile optimisation, and are planning APIs that could be used in mobile technology or embedded into websites.  The (as yet unnamed) legal encyclopaedia is a particularly welcome addition to the product range.  Westlaw asked for name suggestions – with the most apt being Halsbury’s Laws of England!

Westlaw International (currently well-hidden in Westlaw UK) is likely to move to a new platform in the near future, but will remain part of the Westlaw Academic subscription.

Also presenting was Mosharaf Hossain (Knowledge Management Consultant) who demonstrated the Solcara Legal Search federated search engine.  Solcara is aimed at the legal practice market, and searches across all major legal subscription databases, external legal websites, intranets and document management systems.  A federated search enables the user to search multiple datasets from a single search.  Results are organised by dataset, and you can link directly to the primary resources.  You can also create collections of resources and share them within your organisation.  While second federated search engine is probably not a path we would follow at UoL, it is interesting to hear that Westlaw / Lexis et al can be interogated by a federate search engine – which makes me wonder why Summon and Primo are unable to interogate legal databases …?

Thomson Reuters (Westlaw & Solcara parent company) then left the EMLIP – retiring to the Rutland Square Hotel to arrange lunch.  EMLIP continued their meeting, welcoming new members including me, Caroline Ball (University of Derby), and Paul Keegan (Fraser Brown).  Members exchanged views of Lexis PSL as an alternative to PLC; and discussed policy and opinion on sharing personal information (e.g. photo and social media) on company intranets and websites.  I was particularly pleased to make contact with law librarians at DeMontford, Derby and Nottingham Trent Universities.

Lunch was a splendid hot-fork buffet with a choice of fish-pie, chicken curry and vegetable pasta; plus couscous salad, potato salad and bread rolls (carb overload?); and followed by a ‘mystery fruit brule tart’ and fruit salad.  I avoided the wine – it being rather warm in the conservatory, and me being quite thirsty (never a good mix)!  Thomson Reuters gave us a lovely goodie bag of pens, usb stick, post-it notes, stress ball, drinks bottle and chocolates.  My daughter was particularly taken with the ball, bottle and chocolates …

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Lecture capture

Posted by Andrew Dunn on 24 April, 2012

Tony Churchill gave a presentation at DL Forum on Tuesday 24/4/12 on lecture capture.  He talked about a project funded by Echo 360 – a supplier of lecture capture software.  The project looked at uses of lecture capture software beyond simply recording and posting lectures for students to revisit.

The project looked at taking recorded lectures and cutting them up into 15 minute snapshots which can then be used a subsequent year to support students’ learning.  The snapshots could be posted in VLEs before face-to-face lectures to provide students with background knowledge and free up time in lectures for more interaction and discussion.  Recordings of face-to-face lectures can be used to support DLs.
Short snapshots of lectures can be made publicly available and used as effective recruitment tools.

Denise Sweeny reported on a lecture capture project going on at the University of Leicester at the moment.  Using Adobe Connect and/or open source software OpenEyA (see www.openeya.org for more information) lecturers from Media and Communication and from Chemistry have captured 5 hours of UG lectures and 12 hours of PGT lectures and have posted them in Bb with no guidance or instructions on how students should use them.  This term they will measure use of the captured lectures using Bb Analytics, focus groups, an online questionnaire and extended interviews.  They want to measure how often the lectures are accessed and how students use them.  They will also gather data on student demographics and their preferred modes of study.

If you want help and advise on capturing your own teaching sessions contact Simon Kear spk7@le.ac.uk in BDRA.

Posted in Projects, Research Support, Service Delivery, Subject Support, Technology & Devices, Training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lexis Nexis Academic Reception – 28 March 2012

Posted by JackieHanes on 4 April, 2012

Caralyn Duigan (Lexis Nexis Account Manager) and Emily Stanley (Lexis Nexis Training Consultant) held a reception for academic staff at the School of Law (University of Leicester) on Wednesday 28 March 2012.  It was also a good opportunity for the new law librarian to meet the legal academics!

The reception was used to highlight new features on the LexisLibrary legal database:- Find a Legal Term (2500 legal terms now indexed), Halsbury’s Laws of England, Halsbury’s Annotations in Legislation, Case Search, and Journals Index Plus (now 100 full-text journals available).

Also discussed was the offer to send Lexis Nexis trainers into university to deliver LexisLibrary database training and certification sessions to students, and Halsbury’s Laws editors to deliver lecture on use of Halsbury’s Laws in legal research.  I have worked with Lexis Nexis trainers to very good effect in my previous role, and think it’s something we should consider here at UoL.

Of interest to librarians:- LexisLibrary aims to be compatible with EndNote (as well as RefWorks) by end 2012, it should be compatible with Serial Solutions, but is not compatible with Summon (although Lexis Nexis are receiving more and more requests for this).  The My Bookshelf list of popular resources on the LexisLibrary start page can be changed during the summer.

Excellent freebies including a nice lunch, pens, pencils, highlighters, post-it notes, trolley-coin, and a laser-pen!

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Information Literacy as a graduate attribute: Are employers getting a good deal?

Posted by katiefraser on 24 January, 2012

This event was a University of West London (UWL) event focusing on information literacy and its relationship to graduate attributes. Graduate attributes are qualities that a university aims for graduates to obtain (many universities have explicit lists of these expected qualities) and tend to be linked explicitly to the employability of students. With employability high on the agenda at universities I think most university libraries are keen to make sure that the value of information literate graduates is reflected in such discussions, so we were all eager to find out more.

Transport issues meant that I missed the introductory talks from the University of West London, but arrived in time for Ruth Stubbings’ talk. She got us all thinking about both the small and big picture of information literacy: what it meant to us personally, and then how it should be seen more globally. In the context of this event her broad perspective seemed very relevant, particularly her discussion of who ‘owns’ information literacy: practically I felt this was currently librarians, but the consensus was that this should be much wider, with discussion focusing on how information literacy could be ‘quality assured’ at governmental level.

Next up was Marc Forster, discussing information literacy as a graduate attribute in the context of nursing. Nursing is a profession with a heavy focus on evidence-based practice, with nurses needing to find up-to-date information on health. He had worked on a standalone module in UWL’s virtual learning environment, which is supported by nursing tutors (as first point of help) with Marc advising those tutors. Marc will be evaluating the course as part of his PhD on the experience of information literacy by nurses, the results of which I’m sure will be interesting reading.

Jason Eyre then discussed a project he’d been doing with information literacy in social work (another discipline with a focus on evidence-based practice). Jason had worked with key stakeholders in De Montfort University’s social work course to establish a mediated discussion board, intending to facilitate conversation between students (on placements and thus crossing student and practitioner boundaries), practitioners, the department, and the library. Although the discussion board received limited use, it’s development and evaluation allowed him to gather a whole range of data students’ experience of information behaviours. A particularly interesting finding was that while the academic environment encouraged written, formal and critical information seeking, the practitioner environment used verbal, informal information seeking, with a strong respect for authority. Jason concluded that ‘authentic’ tasks were needed, and that students needed to be supported in developing criticality as a verbal skill, to allow transition of evidence-based practice from the academic to practitioner environment.

The last talk was from Jo Lozinska from the University of West London’s Careers section spoke about trying to help students articulate and communicate the skills that they gained at university. She went through some application forms for graduate jobs, picking out areas where they had to demonstrate information skills, particularly problem solving and decision making skills. It was very interesting to see information literacy discussed in this context and to see someone from the ‘other side’ making these connections.

Finally, we split into groups to discuss whether we needed to reassess our information literacy teaching to make them relevant when students became graduates (short answer: yes!) and some of the issues around this. Key needs identified included making sure that the library, student development and careers gave out a consistent message.

This was a timely session with some highly thought-provoking presentations. I think my strongest resolution is to make more of an effort to think about the employment context that students will be (or, for professional courses, are) experiencing: how the information literacy support I provide will translate into that context, and how I can improve the likelihood of that translation.

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USTLG Information Literacy Meeting

Posted by katiefraser on 16 May, 2011

Programme for the day

Programme for the day

This Monday I attended the University Science and Technology Librarians’ Group (USTLG) Spring meeting on Information Literacy. It was my first USTLG meeting (regular blog readers will have gathered that we try and send at least one science librarian to each) and was at the University of Sheffield, where I studied for my MA in Librarianship. The full information literacy presentations are available on the USTLG website.

The talks fell into three themes: two on researcher support, two on outreach, and two on online tutorials, alongside a presentation from the British Standards Institution, which sponsored the lunch. I’ll tackle the talks in terms of theme, rather than in the order they occurred.

Researcher Support

Moira Bent, from the University of Newcastle, spoke about the revised version of the 7 Pillars model of Information Literacy. This model, well known in the library world, mapped the different skills an information literate person should possess. The revised model addresses some concerns which have been raised in recent years: it is no longer linear, the focus is not just on skills, and each ‘pillar’ has a simple name (Identify, Scope, Plan, Gather, Evaluate, Manage and Present).

To further increase the model’s ease of application, a ‘research lens’ has been produced: looking at which skills and attitudes researchers would find productive under each pillar. The lens draws some of its terminology from the Researcher Development Framework, the UK’s widely-endorsed model of researcher development, in order to ensure its relevance. Moira emphasised that she was keen to use other ‘lenses’ to more increase the accessibility of the model in the long-term, perhaps for schools, undergraduates, or the workplace.

Further pursuing this theme, Sheila Webber, from the University of Sheffield, spoke about the influence of PhD supervisors on information literacy. She related Brew (2001)’s model of conceptions of research and Lee (2008)’s work on conceptions of supervision to simply demonstrate how a supervisor’s views were likely to influence the types of training they directed PhD students towards. She also made the interesting point that information literacy might not look the same in every field: a small field might be relatively easy to keep up-to-date with, while other PhDs might require a broad interdisciplinary approach and need a student to access many different tools and literatures.

Outreach

The two talks on outreach looked at science / technology librarians working with academic departments: one from Evi Tramatza at the University of Surrey, and one from Elizabeth Gadd at Loughborough University. Evi’s was a real success story, about the work she’d done to embed herself into the departments she supports using a focus on shared ground, pilot lectures and the support of the wider library to make sure she delivered on her promises.

Elizabeth talked about a more specific contribution she’d made towards improving teaching for a Civil Engineering literature review assignment. Elizabeth’s talk really emphasised for me how useful evidence can be in developing teaching: she’d used simple measures of the quality of the reviews before and after the teaching was introduced to demonstrate its impact, and was building upon this with other departments. You can see more of the evidence she used in Loughborough’s Institutional Repository.

Online Tutorials

Lastly, the two talks on online tutorials. The first was David Stacey, from the University of Bath, talking about the library’s role in creating an online tutorial on academic writing skills. This was a great illustration of how different specialists across the university (including the library and a Fellow from the Royal Literary Fund) had worked together to obtain funding to create this helpful resource. Unfortunately the tutorial is not currently accessible to those outside Bath (there’s some screenshots in his presentation slides) but they may produce an Open Educational Resource (OER) in the future.

The second, I already knew a little about, as Leicester is an observer on the project. This was the East Midlands Research Support Group (EMRSG), represented at USTLG by Elizabeth Martin from De Montfort University and Jenny Coombs from the University of Nottingham, who have been working together to produce a resource for researcher training. Again, this project was a triumph for collaboration, with four different universities – Loughborough and Coventry being the other key players – working together to get funding. I was really pleased to see how far the project has come since the last meeting I attended: they have developed a fantastic resource, with videos of senior researchers explaining core concepts and plenty of interactivity. Again, screenshots are available in the presentation slides right now, but the group intend to make an OER available in Jorum and Xpert in the future.

Overall, this was a great event, with good breadth, and plenty of practical ideas to bring back (particularly the focus on evidence and collaboration). I’ll look forward to my next USTLG meeting.

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IEEE User Group

Posted by selinalock on 14 April, 2011

 

 

IEEE User Group, Brunel University, 7th April 2011

Useful event as it gave me a chance to find out about the new features that have been added to IEEE Xplore recently and their plans for the future. It was useful to chat to other IEEE users from the academic and corporate world. The main information and tips I picked up from the day were:

Value of IEEE Content – Eva Veloso

  • New eBook package of 400 plus titles, which can be bought as an ongoing subscription or with perpetual access.
  • Book chapters will now appear when searching IEEE Xplore.
  • A range of books, from textbooks to handbooks to reference works.
  • The package will allow you to download chapter PDFs for use on any device.
  • Client Services Portal: includes tips sheets, tutorials, presentations and ways to promote your IEEE subscription.
  • eLearning courses – subscription package or buy outright to use in your own VLE. Mainly areas of professional development.

Quick Tips on IEEE Xplore – Elka Sloan

  • Advanced search features include the option to restrict by field, to do Boolean searching, can add up to 15 search boxes and can use limits.
  • Personalisation features by setting up a free IEEE Xplore account – search alerts, TOC alerts, set preferences e.g. for reference management software.
  • 10 concurrent user limit, but extra access can be requested for training sessions.
  • Automatically searches for plurals/singular and British/American spellings.
  • New conferences have more multimedia content – allows you to download a zip file of any extra content provided by the author.
  • Command search – allows for very complex search strategies and includes the operator NEAR.
  • Can request specific Webex tutorials to be created for our needs.
  • Added a browse by subject option – good for students who are new to a topic.
  • Can restrict the search to subscribed content only – stops results showing books/journals the university does not have access to.
  • Added Most Popular feature – shows the top searches in the last 30 days. Hoping to add what’s popular in your institution feature in future.
  • AbstractPlus includes INSPEC controlled vocabulary, author keywords and citations to other IEEE Xplore content.
  • Publication quick search – good t use when you only have a partial reference.
  • Spectrum Online – good for multimedia content (which you cannot find when searching) and for industry updates.
  • No author or institutional index control – so be sure to check for name variations. They are working with other people to look at author/researcherID standards.

IEEE Xplore Update – Prakash Bellur

  • Search facets introduced to help users narrow their searches.
  • XML based search API – allows integration with our new search software Summon.
  • IEEE Mobile – allows you to search IEEE Xplore & email results to a desktop for full text access.
  • Working to improve OpenURL linking.
  • Looking at introducing a metadata standard for conferences – would make it much easier for institutions to link to & access full text.
  • New feature for 2011:
    • Cited by
    • New IEEE index terms
    • Sort results by citation count
    • Combined search option
    • Group/User usage stats
    • Improve mobile access
    • Interactive HTML full text/next gen research article – pilot available now (extra feature, will not replace PDF version!).

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