Monthly Archives: December 2013

Cross searching of institutional repositories
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With the accelerating growth of institutional and subject repositories comes the need to be able to search across multiple repositories simultaneously. Such functionality enables repository content to be discovered easily and cost effectively, regardless of location. Fortunately most institutional and subject repositories have adopted a common standard for describing their contents which enables the metadata to be ‘harvested’ by search engines and repository-specific search services that allow you to cross-search multiple repositories with one search query. This issue has been mentioned to INASP by a number of its country partners and came up most recently during discussions at an INASP strategic planning meeting, held for library consortia and other national representatives in Oxford at the beginning of December. Seeing as this is a topic of some interest, I wanted to list some of the available search engines that enable this cross searching. What search engines exist? BASE. This search engine … Continue reading

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An eventful year of online courses
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After a successful pilot phase in 2011, e-learning became a formal part of AuthorAID at INASP in July 2012 with the launch of our Moodle system. Last year, we conducted two online courses in research writing, which were completed by 58 researchers from about 20 developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. They were among 68 researchers who enrolled in the courses following an application and selection stage. Encouraged by the high completion and participation rates (see this post for more details), we began our first collaboration to develop and run a customized course in research writing. Our partner in this effort was Blacksmith Institute, a US-based nonprofit focused on solving pollution problems. Sandy Page-Cook and Anne Riederer from Blacksmith’s Journal of Health and Pollution helped us customize the course to make it relevant to researchers working in environmental health.

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What is the role of a librarian in Research Data Management?
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Last week (6 December 2013), I went along to the annual workshop of the International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries (IATUL) at Keble College, Oxford. The title of the conference was Research Data Management: Finding our Role and the focus was not on the technical aspects of the subject, but rather on the role that librarians can and are indeed playing in this increasingly important area. A hot topic The whole area of data management has become a hot topic in recent times. Back in 2010 LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche / Association of European Research Libraries) established an “E-Science working group” to investigate the role libraries can and should play in the field of e-science.  After three workshops, the final one taking place in Tartu, June 2012, the group proposed ten recommendations for libraries to get started with research data management.

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