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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.

Posted in Document Supply | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

UKCoRR Meeting – University of Leicester

Posted by gazjjohnson on 19 February, 2010

Today we’re hosting repository managers from across the UK, and I’m going to attempt to keep up with the key points of the event here as the day goes on.

10.30: Jen Delasalle (Warwick) and Louise Jones (Leicester) opening the event.

10.40: Jen is standing down as UKCoRR Chair, oh no.  Wonder if I should run? Or maybe I should let someone else go for it.

10.42: RCUK looking to set up a central system to record their research outputs.  So does this mean we need a CRIS as well or is this taking over from local recording of research?

10.45: Discussing remit of group and membership criteria, and the elephant in the room of funding the longer term development of UKCoRR.  Should we pass the hat round each meeting?  Always tricky – once you have funding you are beholden to your funders, be they members or institutional and can be called to account.  Would this change the organisation too much?

10.50: Looking more at the RCUK outputs and capture, and the role of the repository.

10.55: Journal TOCs project – an API drawing on 13,000 journal outputs.  Nick Shephard (aka @MrNick on twitter) will be talking about a project related to this later on this morning.  Idea is to allow searching for publications for local authors, which is useful – but you need to build a tool to exploit the API, we’d ned someone else to build us the tool.  Perhaps this is what Mr Nick will be going to do for us all?

10.58: Role of publishers and repository managers working together with authors.  And the idea of publishers selling us metadata – erm, no thanks.

11.00 Nicky Cashman (Aber) now talking about her work at CADIR and Aberystwyth. Her main role is advocacy around the university.  Noted that UKCoRR now has 182 members, impressive – when’s our three day conference in Hastings then?  She’s gone on to give us an idea of how much stuff they now have in their repository.  first mention for Webometrics – which is interesting as Nicky and I were discussing this last night; how much do we really trust their data – even if senior management love it when we rise up the tables.

11.15: Talking about Bartrum and the Seals in Medieval Wales (SiMeW) project.  Interesting that Aber and CADIR are more embedded within their departments – is this due to the size of the institution being smaller than Leicester?  I’ve heard this comment from other unis with smaller academic numbers that it has been easier for them to work together with their academics directly.

11.20: Talking Ethos and mandates for theses.  Something I’ll be talking about here at Leicester later on this morning.  Currently the’re an opt in institution for thesis deposits, so I can understand the difficulties they must face.  They are a first requester pays organisation for theses, which I think is going to an increasingly popular choice for institutions, and increasingly unpopular choice for readers.

11.25: Aber is doing a survey on ethesis deposit mandates, comment from Southampton that they (like Leicester) are an opt-out mandate institution.

11.30: Breaking for tea.  After this Nick Shepard and then me are on. Not quite sure I can present and blog at the same time so might have to fill that bit in post-hoc.

11.55: Nick and Wendy Luker from Leeds Met talking about the Bibliosight Project (querying Web of Science from the desktop).  JISC RI project .  Uses Thomson Reuter’s Web of Science Web Services (WSLite/WoSAPI) – sadly live demo hasn’t worked out for today, but thankfully Nick has a back up to show us.  Idea is to down load and autopopulate the repository with data from the WoS.  They aim to use it to promote deposit from and tie this into the REF.

12.10: Distracted by sorting out network keys, so will have to look at Nick’s presentation later.  However, he’s now giving us a screen capture demo of how the queries work, which I assume we’ll be able to view later as well.  Plan is to take the data out (as XML) and convert using SWORD into repository ingest.

12.13: Readiness for REF, looking at the wider issue of data capture (R4R), from) Les Carr of Southampton.  Questions about how this works into the workflows of the repository e.g. with so many records downloaded how do you get them in, authenticated and cleanly.

12.15: Some questions still outstanding – see Nick’s presentation.

12.20: Off to do my talk….

12.55: And I’m done.  Got some laughs in the right place, which was good.  Interesting comment from Gill Hall (Herts) that I could have just as easily have been telling her story as a repository manager.  That’s the good thing from UKCoRR, it really is the best community to belong to (well along with FIL) – everyone seems to share the same sort of problems and issues.

12.57: Dominic Tate is now up talking about the RSP, and their new series of events.  Sounds promising I hope I can get to some of those, as they’re good networking and training days.  There will be an event based on the forthcoming economics of open access report written by Alma Swann (June 17th probably).  Aimed at senior university management, rather than repository workers.

13.03: Talking about his work representing UKCoRR as well.  Including the JISC Persistent Identifier Working Group.

13.05: Important for repository mangers to work more closely with their research staff.

14.14: Post lunch and after a whistle-stop tour around the multi-awarding David Wilson Library, Hannah Payne from the Welsh Repository Network talked about their work.  They are launching two new objects on metadata use in repositories.  Also comments about non-standard collections (e.g. ceramics) and how to get them into repository, like UWIC has.  National Library of Wales looking to expand role in terms of collecting and storing digital items like theses, but question about how that relates to Ethos.

14.25: Integrating repositories with the REF and satisfying their requirements is something they still looking at; not a big surprise.  WRN is planning a repository and CRIS event, which will be held at Leeds Met University and will be open to all.

14.30: Question about a cross searching tool, stemming from WRN Google custom search tool.

14.31: Jane Smith now on talking Advanced SHERPA/RoMEO.  Demonstrating the new features of the search tool and the new output, that allows you to add in funder name.  Also records now no longer list all the funders automatically, can opt for none, 1 or all.  Remember DOAJ open access journals don’t all support archiving in a repository, and as these are now listed on RoMEO important to go and check their actually policies.

14.37: Jane now showing all publisher lists and the information you can garner from them.  It is now possible to even generate list of payments needed to make items open access.  S/RoMEO’s monthly updates are displayed on a regular webpage.

14.47: Peter Millington from SHERPA is now speaking about the RoMEO API.  Journals may appear in one or more data sources (Zetoc, DOAJ and the RoMEO journals database).  Different sources may list different publishers, and this can be a problem to identify which is the right one to use.  Who is the publisher, and who counts for copyright and whose’s policy takes priority?  There are some clear cut cases, but where two publishers appear to have the rights, then they may not be compatible.

14.55: Difference between current RoMEO and trial RoMEO being illustrated, I think right now though this looks like muddying the water until things roll out for use.

15.06: Moving onto coffee and copyright.

16.54: Finally back at my desk after cleaning up the room and sorting out the leftovers.  The copyright session was good, but I think we really needed a couple of hours to dig into some of the issues.  But useful all the same.  And with that UKCoRR is over again, which is a shame – I could have done with two more days to really get round and talk to all the people I needed to, and indeed wanted to.  Sorry if you were one of the ones I had to rush by today – I really would have loved to have time to talk to you all – but it’s been a hectic day.  More like this UKCoRR please.

Thanks to the committee and everyone involved in running today’s event – it was highly stimulating!  A twitter stream of comments on the day can be found here.

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Meetings, Open Access | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Librarian Twitterers and other news

Posted by gazjjohnson on 14 September, 2009

Useful post by Phil Bradley with a 100 librarian twittering types in the UK. I don’t think it’s ranked in any order (worryingly I’m near the top or the bottom depending on how you read the list!).

http://tweepml.org/?t=1051

In other news the build up to the start of term (and in my case job switch) continues. Quite a few of the information librarians are already knees deep in induction work, I’m lucky enough that my few (last) sessions are only in week 1 of term (w/b 28th Sept).

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

Who’s doing what with their repository in the UK?

Posted by gazjjohnson on 11 March, 2009

Some very interesting results have come out from UEA and their survey of UK repositories activities.

UK Repository Survey Results

One or two things peeked my interest in particular – of those surveyed (70+ HEIs)

  • 28% will still archive if they do not get a reply from a publisher
  • 4% Don’t check publisher rights
  • 46% have less than 1FTE working on IPR clearance to deposit (3% have 5 or more staff!!!)
  • 89% of repositories are funded by their library
  • The modal level of deposit is 201-500 items a year

It’s not a long report, and there’s some very interesting data that can be gleaned from it – it certainly gives a very good picture of the current operating practices of the UK repositories; and unlike some more densely written reports it’s very easy to pick useful data out of it as a repository manager.  Highly recommended to read.

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Open Access | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »