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Posts Tagged ‘higher education’

Distance Learning Postal Loan Limits – survey results

Posted by gazjjohnson on 2 September, 2011

A few weeks ago I asked the UK educational library community some questions about levels of postal loans that they mail out to their students from stock. 35 individuals responded on behalf of their institutions and as such this is by no means a comprehensive survey, but merely indicative of the trends in postal loans as evidenced by the responding institutions.  As promised here are the results of that work – my grateful thanks to all those people whom took the time to respond to my survey!

For contrast to the national picture you can read about University of Leicester’s service here.

Do you post items from library stock?

Response

Percentage

Yes: UK based users only

51%

Yes: Overseas based users only

0%

Yes: All distance learners

23%

Yes: UK and Ireland

4%

Yes: Part-time students/anyone who has difficulty accessing the library

5%

Yes: Any student off campus (not just DL)

2%

Yes: BFPO addresses

5%

No

9%

Do all categories of users have the same limits?

Response Percentage
Yes: All users have the same limits

37%

No: Limits vary by course level

40%

No limits

17%

N/a

3%

No: Limited to p/t DL students only

3%

What is the maximum number of items a distance learner may have on postal loan at any one time?

Response Percentage
2 items (shipped at any one time), unlimited**

3%

3 items (shipped at any one time), unlimited**

3%

5 items max

6%

8 items max

6%

10 items max

3%

12 items max

12%

13 items max

3%

15 items max

12%

20 items max

3%

Unlimited (to normal borrowing quota)

44%

N/a

6%

**Values not included in Unlimited percentage

There is some variance hidden in the unlimited figure, due to the maximum number of loans varying by degree level for most institutions.  Many of those reporting an unlimited level of postal loans commented that few users took advantage of it; due the cost of returning items.  For some institutions this made a potential ceiling of 40 items on postal loan per user at any one time (ResPG students). The single institution that set a ceiling of 10 books for postal loan applies a £5 per item charge any items over and above this level.

How closely are any loan limits applied?

Response

Percentage

Strictly (virtually no exceptions)

61%

Broadly (limited exceptions above normal level)

19%

Flexibly (limits are guidelines only)

3%

No limits

16%

 Other comments

Additional comments were received from respondents amplifying the information they had given.  The following are selected highlights.

  • A number of respondents noted that the service was a lowly used one, and hence their loan ceiling was set generously high.  However, at least one noted that were the service to take off more that they would struggle to staff it with their current resource.
  • A number of institutions (4 in the sample) noted making a charge for the loan to cover postage costs.  Some have a flat rate, while others make a variable charge depending on where in the world it is being sent. Rates of between £1.40 to £5 per loaned item were quoted.  One institution offers a discounted rate where items are bundled, while another charges strictly on a per item basis.
  • Most, that noted it, pay for the outgoing postage and expect the student to pay the return costs.  One institution commented that departments are liable for the outgoing postage charges, and the students for the return.  Another noted that students themselves were liable for outgoing and return charges.
  • Many of the respondents noted a photocopy from stock supply service or scan to email service operated alongside their postal loan service.  Only one institution noted an active policy of eBook purchasing for distance learning students through faculty librarians encouraging academics to purchase these in preference to the print.

Key findings

From the sample it is possible to conclude:

  • The majority (91%) do post items from stock, mainly to distance learning students.
  • The modal value for postal loans is at an unlimited level, up to the maximum allowed by degree level.
  • UK based students (85%) are more likely to have a postal loan service than overseas students (37%).
  • Most institutions impose limits (80%) on the number of items postal loaned.
  • Some student loan limits (43%) vary by course level (PG/UG) or type (P/T or F/T).
  • Most institutions adhere closely to their postal loan limits (96% of those with limits).
  • A small number of institutions charge for the service, or make students or departments liable for outgoing postal loans.
  • The majority cover outgoing postal costs but expect students to cover payment for the return shipping.
  • Other supply services (photocopy, emailed PDFs and eBooks) operate in partnership with postal loan services at most institutions.
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Going on an etheses mandate hunt

Posted by gazjjohnson on 22 July, 2010

A few weeks back I did some investigations into the current state of etheses submissions.  From reading webpages and speaking to a fair few other repository managers (thanks guys) I built up the following rough and ready picture of what is happening in the UK at the moment.  It’s in no way comprehensive, and I apologise if I misinterpreted anyone’s online policy – let me know and I’ll modify the details below. 

To confuse matters with terminology slightly (which seems to be an IR standard!) Where I mention moratorium that’s what we use in Leicester for temporary delayEmbargos here are more serious, semi-permanent->permanent withholding.  Some places use these terms interchangeably, but I’ve tried to standardise for how we understand them here.

  • Aberystwyth University
    Opt out mandate 2008-. PhD and selected MA/M.Scs.  Automatic moratorium 2 years.  Author requested moratorium/embargo period up to 5 years (or indefinitely), co-signed by supervisor
  • Birkbeck, University of London (1994 Grp)
    No thesis mandate currently but planned
  • Brunel University
    Opt out mandate 2008-. No student requested moratorium.  Formal embargo applied for by supervisor (3 year fixed term) to Research Support Office
  • Cambridge University (RLUK)
    Opt in mandate
  • Cardiff University (RLUK)
    No thesis mandate currently, but one planned
  • Cranfield University
    Opt out mandate
  • De Montfort University
    Opt out mandate
  • Durham University (RLUK) (1994 Grp)
    Opt out mandate 2009.  No author request moratorium period.  Author may apply for (up to) 5 year embargo through formal process.
  • Edinburgh University (RLUK)
    Opt out mandate 2005-.  1 year moratorium, repeatable.  5 year embargos can be applied for.
  • Glasgow University (RLUK)
    Opt out mandate 2007/8 -.  Author requested moratorium standard period of 3 years (with extension if required, eg commercial confidentiality). Permanent embargos agreed between the student, primary supervisor and the graduate school so the institution wouldn’t apply an embargo in isolation.
  • Goldsmiths, University of London (1994 Grp)
    Opt in mandate
  • Imperial College London (RLUK)
    Opt out mandate.  No author requested moratorium.  Formal embargo maximum two years may be applied under special circumstances.
  • Institute of Education, University of London (1994 Grp)
    Unclear, possibly opt in mandate
  • King’s College London (RLUK)
    No thesis mandate
  • Leeds Metropolitan University
    No thesis mandate currently but planned
  • LSE (RLUK)
    Opt in mandate
  • Loughborough University (1994 Grp)
    Opt out thesis mandate 2009-. No author requested moratorium.  Supervisor/HoD can request up to 3 year moratorium for “restricted access” theses
  • Newcastle University (RLUK)
    Opt in thesis mandate currently deposit “strongly encouraged”
  • Queen Mary, University of London (1994 Grp)
    Unclear, possibly no mandate.
  • Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
    Opt out mandate.  Ethesis only submitted.
  • Robert Gordon University
    Opt out mandate.
  • Roehampton University
    Opt out mandate. Author requested moratorium, no time period specified
  • Royal Holloway, University of London (1994 Grp)
    Opt out mandate from 1/Oct/2010-.  2 year author requested moratorium.  Formal application for longer institutionally applied embargos.
  • School of Oriental and African Studies (1994 Grp) (RLUK)
    Unclear, possibly no mandate
  •  Trinity College (Dublin) (RLUK)
    Opt out mandate
    University College London (RLUK)
    Opt out mandate
  • University of Aberdeen (RLUK)
    Unclear, opt in mandate suspected
  • University of Abertay, Dundee
    Opt out mandate
  • University of the Arts, London
    Opt in mandate
  • University of Bath (1994 Grp)
    Opt out mandate.  Author requested 1 year maximum moratorium.  Formal embargo (max 3 years) on application to Board of Studies.  Formal embargo (longer than 3 years) discussed by senate.
  • University of Bolton
    No thesis mandate currently
  • University of Birmingham (RLUK)
    Opt out mandate.  4 year author moratorium.  Formal embargo possible on application to senior committees
  • University of Bradford
    Opt out mandate 2009-.  No mention of embargo/moratorium in policy
  • University of Bristol (RLUK)
    Opt in mandate
  • University of Central Lancashire
    Opt out mandate 1/Sept/2010.  Authors may request moratoriums to be approved by Graduate Office. Embargoes will be applied for purposes of IPR, confidentiality etc
  • University of Chester
    Opt in thesis mandate
  • University of East Anglia (1994 Grp)
    Opt in mandate, Apr 2010. Authors may request a moratorium. No formal embargoes.
  • University of Essex (1994 Grp)
    Unclear, possibly no mandate
  • University of Exeter (1994 Grp)
    Opt out mandate 2008-.  Author requested moratorium up to 18 months.  Up to 5 year embargo can be formally requested
  • University of Greenwich
    Currently considering opt out mandate (Sept 2010). Mandates and embargos not yet decided
  • University of Hull
    Opt out mandate Sept 2008-. Author requested moratorium up to 5 years. Rare, v. special exceptions for long term embargo
  • University of Hertfordshire
    Opt out mandate 2007 –.  Author requested moratorium up to 2 years.  Author can apply for permanent embargo formally.
  • University of Huddersfield
    Opt out mandate 2007-.  Author requested 2 year moratorium.  Formal embargo for up to 10 years on application
  • University of Lancaster (1994 Grp)
    No mandate yet, but in planning stages
  • University of Leeds (RLUK)
    Opt out thesis mandate.  Author requested moratorium up to 5 years.  20 year embargo for thesis where a patent is pending
  • University of Leicester (1994 Grp)
    Opt out mandate, 2008-. Up to three year student requested post-award delay. Semi/Permanent embargo on formal application to Graduate Office/Senate
  • University of Lincoln
    No thesis mandate currently
  • University of Liverpool (RLUK)
    Opt out mandate 2008-.  No author requested moratorium.  Formal up to 5 year embargo on application to HoD & Supervisor
  • University of Manchester (RLUK)
    Opt out mandate 2009-.  No author requested moratorium. Formal embargoes on application to Graduate Office, strongly discouraged.
  • University of Nottingham (RLUK)
    Opt out mandate 2009-.  2 year author requested moratorium.  Permanent embargo on application to appropriate university committee
  • University of Oxford (RLUK)
    Opt out mandate 2007 (PhD, M.Litt and M.Sc (Res).  3 out of 4 divisions have author requested moratorium (3 years max).  Formal longer term embargo can applied (term TBC by Graduate Studies) to Supervisor and Director of Graduate Studies
  • University of Reading (1994 Grp)
    Unclear, possibly no mandate.
  • University of Salford
    No mandate currently, but planning work underway.
  • University of Sheffield (RLUK)
    Opt out thesis mandate 2009-.  Author requested moratorium up to 5 years. 20 year embargo for thesis where a patent is pending
  • University of Southampton (RLUK)
    Opt out mandate
  • University of St Andrews (1994 Grp)
    Opt out mandate, 2006-.  No author moratorium. Senate approved embargo can be applied for. Up to 5 years on print and/or electronic, for commercial, sensitive, pre publication/copyright reasons. Permanent embargo possible but exceptional. Abstracts and even title can be embargoed on request
  • University of Stirling
    Opt out mandate
  • University of Strathclyde
    Opt out mandate
  • University of Surrey (1994 Grp)
    No thesis mandate
  • University of Sussex (1994 Grp)
    Opt out mandate 2009-.  Electronic only thesis submission
  • University of Wales, Institute Cardiff (UWIC)
    Opt out mandate
  • University of Wales, Newport
    No mandate currently.
  • University of Warwick (RLUK)
    Opt in mandate
  • University of Westminster
    Opt out mandate
  • University of Wolverhampton
    Opt out mandate
  • University of York (1994 Grp)
    Opt out mandate 2009-.  Author requested moratorium 2 years maximum.  Embargo must be formally requested and approved

Key
Opt out mandate = student deposit of ethesis is required, unless under regulations a delay is permissible.
Opt in mandate = encouragement but not requirement to deposit.

I should note a few places asked me to redact their not-public-yet policies – so some of the omissions are due to that, and I’m more than happy to respect people’s professional wishes.  I think what I’ve taken away from this brief survey is that what we do here at Leicester is pretty much slap-bang in the centre of what other comparator institutions are doing.  Mandates for etheses deposits are very widespread throughout the UKHEI sector as a whole, and clearly where they aren’t already in place, I’d expect over the next year or so to see most if not all institutions adopting them.  Certainly one thing that is evident from the LRA statistics month after month is that these etheses are much more heavily consulted than the print ones ever were.

[Edit 23/July – I’ve added/amended a few details in the list after speaking with some repo managers]

[Edit 26/July: Also if you find this really useful – leave a comment, as it’d be nice to know where it’s being quoted/used!]

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Open Access | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Introduction to Management in LIS and IT

Posted by gazjjohnson on 14 December, 2009

Last week I spent three days on a Leadership Foundation for HE course on management, specifically aimed at Library and IT people working as middle management for the first time.  I’ve always enjoyed management training (it formed a rich part of both my previous degrees), and welcomed the opportunity to go on this.  I must say especial thanks to the Staff Development Office for funding my attendance too.

One thing I’ll be up-front about were the rules of the room – anything we discussed in-depth with real world implications had to stay in the room.  It made for a very free and frank exchange of experiences, but it’s a bit of a shame as I would love to tell people more about them.  But those where the rules, and far be it from me to breach them.

What I really learned was that a lot of people in positions similar to mine face a lot of the same challenges – and with the delegates taken entirely from HE we had a lot in common to start with, even based as we were around the UK.  Quite a bit of what we covered wasn’t new to me, although much of it was well worth going through again.  Some aspects and topics were on the other hand quite new – Edward de Bono’s colour of hats for thinking/decision making is one that really resonated with me.

The three days started with the personal, taking stock of ourselves and our skills using a Myers/Briggs test – which for most of us revealed what we already knew.  However, being aware of it allowed us to shift roles within the group exercises to make maximum advantage of our proclivities and talents.  From team roles and effective communication we shifted to people management and motivation on the second day.  Then leading, delegation along with problem solving.  The last day looked at managing yourself and real world issues and examples.

Throughout this was a very hands on, kinesthetic course with exercises, management games, discussions and tasks.  Very much my prefered way of working, although I’m still quite tired out by it all some days later.  it was just that full on an experience.  Certainly the 24 people on the course bonded quickly in the face of this shared adversity, and discussions over drinks and food continued long into the night.

Our team's effort - in 15 minutesOf especial worth of mentioning were the two extensive business management exercises.  The first looked at setting up a Dot.com buisiness from concept to pitch.  As the team (and possibly the room’s) biggest extrovert communicator I can honestly say my role as Executive Head of marketing was a plum role; indeed one of the other teams started bidding for my services.  The other exercise saw me heading a team, with very limited resources, in construction of a ship – to be judged against predefined characteristics.  While we didn’t win, our team worked effectively and efficiently – and at least we produced by far the best looking boat.

There may be an underlying metaphor there – but I’ll skip on.

If there was a low point for me it would be the talk from the real head of service.  Contrasted with the interactivity and engagement of the rest of the course it felt dry, and I can;t say I took away anything of especial value from it.  Not helped by the fellow legging it as soon as he finished talking, a debate and discussion about translating theory to practice at senior level would have been a wonderful capstone.

But I have come back with a lot to think about, and the feeling that I’m not alone in the daily challenges I face (from the minor to the not quite so).  I’d love to take some of the ideas further, and will certainly be following up some of the suggested reading to broaden my understanding of the concepts and techniques covered.

Posted in Staff training, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Research into how academics use blogs

Posted by selinalock on 11 August, 2009

Adventures in digital academia

Could be a useful resource when discussing web2.0, professional identities and open publising with academics.

Posted in Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »