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Author Archives: Peter Burnett
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
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.
Much has been made of the digital divide limiting progress in developing countries. In the world of research and higher education, this divide becomes particularly pertinent. Where countries in the developed world are rapidly transforming into information societies and knowledge economies, the ability for researchers in developing countries to access and contribute to the wealth of knowledge that is available through the internet can be the key to the relevance, dissemination and impact of their research.
For many years I worked in the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, and throughout much of that time complaints and criticisms of our library website were frequently voiced. Indeed, at one point I persuaded a visiting scholar from the School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, to spend part of her sabbatical in Oxford evaluating our website and advising on its improvement. Though I no longer work at the University I am informed that the process of review and improvement is continuing, most recently through a series of internal focus groups.