Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Giving ebooks to the world

Here's an interview with the founder of, which the University of Alberta Libraries has supported with the first unglued book, Oral Literature in Africa. We chose to support because of its new approach to making scholarly books widely available and open access.

Giving ebooks to the world

Springer Publishing extends their Springer Open program to e-books

Springer Open is now publishing open access ebooks. It's not exactly clear what the author fee is - looks like it's based on the number of pages in the book. Since the University of Alberta Libraries supports BioMed Central (a Springer division) with membership, our membership also applies to Springer Open for both journal articles and books. This means that UAlberta authors will receive a discount (50%) on the author fee should they wish to publish this way.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Simons Foundation provides funding for arXiv

Today, Cornell University Library announced that the Simons Foundation is providing an operating grant to assist with the stewardship of arXiv. The grant will match membership fees paid by libraries, to a maximum of $300,000. The University of Alberta Libraries has made a 5 year commitment to support arXiv and it is nice to know that our contribution is now going further through this matching grant.

Ensuring arXiv's Future

How to Succeed in Publishing Without Really Trying

A brilliant piece in Inside Higher Ed:. Sums up the current state of scholarly publishing very accurately, and with humour.  Definitely worth a read.

How to Succeed in Publishing Without Really Trying

Monday, 27 August 2012

Are you a book lover, technophile, pragmatist, or printer?

This recently published article in College & Research Libraries measured user opinions of e-books. The authors found that people generally fell into one of four main categories:
1. Book lovers - "have an inherent affinity for the print form. They cherish books as physical objects. Leisure reading is a very important component of their opinion on e-books, and they cannot imagine reading an e-book for pleasure."
2. Technophiles - "are strongly interested in the possibilities of new technology as regards the book. They feel as if the advantages in searching and access outweigh any downsides to e-books."
3. Pragmatists - "are the most neutral of the four types isolated, as they are most interested in content and see pros and cons to both formats."
4. Printers - "prefer print books but are distinguished from Book Lovers in that they have specific difficulties with the usability of e-books. This group simply cannot read text on a screen and needs to print any online texts with which they work."

Book Lovers, Technophiles, Pragmatists, and Printers: The Social and Demographic Structure of User Attitudes toward e-Books by Andy Revelle, Kevin Messner, Aaron Shrimplin, and Susan Hurst

The study found that overall, 34% of participants were Book Lovers, 22% Technophiles, 19% Pragmatists, and 28% Printers.  The study also breaks these figures down by gender, departmental affiliation, and academic status.  Some food for thought in terms of how we buy books and the preferences of our students and faculty.

ALCTS web course: Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management

This four-week online course addresses the basic components of collection development and management (CDM) in libraries. The course was developed by Peggy Johnson, University of Minnesota. 

ALCTS web course: Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management
Session: October 1–October 26,  2012
Registration Fees:  $109 ALCTS Member and  $129 Non-member

Article: New Journals in Education and Psychology

Today I sat in on a journal club at our Education Library. We discussed the following article by Bernadette Lear in College & Research Libraries (March 2012):

New Journals in Education and Psychology: General Trends, Discoverability, and Ubiquitous Journals of the Decade, 2000–2009

Lear looks at English language refereed journals that began publication between 2000-2009, in the fields of education and psychology.  It is quite a long article, with much information about the publication and coverage of these new journals in indexes, databases, etc. If your liaison area is education or psychology, the findings will be fascinating. For example, of the 683 journal titles included in the study, 259 (37.9%) were open access; only 38.4% of titles had any coverage in ERIC, PsycINFO, or Web of Science; only 34.8% of the titles had any coverage in Ebsco's Academic Search Complete, Gale's Academic OneFile, and ProQuest's Central.  There's a lot more data in this article -- lots to think about when making collections decisions, and also when helping students and faculty. Our small group was inspired since the article gave us lots to think about and sparked some future research possibilities.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Integrating E-books in Academic Libraries

This literature review in Collection Management provides a good overview of the breadth of issues that librarians need to consider regarding e-books in academic libraries.

Best Practices for Integrating E-books in Academic Libraries: A Literature Review From 2005 to Present

Opening Access to Research

Here's a good current overview article about open access from Peter Suber, in berfrois: Intellectual Jousting in the Republic of Letters:

Ah e-books, everyone's favourite!

From Research Information, August 20, 2012:

Librarians and publishers still have problems with e-books

First Steps for Managing Born-Digital Content Received on Physical Media

Here's a new report from OCLC on managing born-digital content received on physical media:

You've Got to Walk Before You Can Run: First Steps for Managing Born-Digital Content Received on Physical Media

Students Find E-Textbooks ‘Clumsy’ and Don’t Use Their Interactive Features

This article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, August 22, 2012, discusses student use of e-textbooks at Cornell University, Indiana University, University of Minnesota, University of Virginia, and University of Wisconsin:

Students Find E-Textbooks ‘Clumsy’ and Don’t Use Their Interactive Features

Here is the actual report that the Chronicle article is talking about:

Internet2 eTextbook Spring 2012 Pilot Final Project Report, August 1, 2012

Alt-metrics: fairer, faster impact data?

Alt-metrics refers to alternative impact measures for research publications. With social media such as Twitter and open citation management programs such as Mendeley, scholarly research is being discussed and cited in many new ways.  To learn more about alt-metrics, see: alt-metrics: a manifesto.

From Times Higher Education, August 23, 2012:

Research Intelligence - Alt-metrics: fairer, faster impact data?

Thursday, 23 August 2012


Welcome to my collections blog. The purpose is to send out information and initiate discussion about collections related topics in libraries. I particularly hope to engage librarians at the University of Alberta Libraries on issues that are of importance to our library, but also to have broad based discussions within the wider profession.