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Posts Tagged ‘research’


If there is one lesson that I have “learnt” as an adult is that it is okay to ask for help. Yet that can be real hard, especially when the area you need help in is linked to your profession. Who want’s to admit that you struggle with something that is fairly important to your professional identity?

For me  this is framing search requests. It’s not something I have to do since I don’t work in the reference side of librarianship, but still, I don’t really like to admit that when it comes to working out effective search strategies I struggle.  This is doubly so when I want to do my own research.

One of the “things” I want to do this year is to do preparatory reading around a topic that I want to turn into a Master of Arts by thesis. I started earlier but my inability to find good reading material has caused me to let that slide. And so I am asking for guidance. Can any of you kind folks help me with developing search strategies?

The topic I am reading about is: What thought’s/planning around digital preservation, life cycle management, has gone into developing digital humanities web sites and resources. I am interested in finding research that discusses whether in the development stage of a project like the NZETC any thought was given to how long it should be maintained, how it would be preserved, what sort of development should be ongoing?

So far I have found oodles of research around digital preservation but nothing applicable to what I am looking for. It may be there is nothing out there but I am worried my searching is at fault.

My searches so far have encompassed “digital preservation” “Life Cycle Management” “Digital Humanities” “Digital projects” “website” “planning

 

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I am reposting this email I sent to the NZ-Libs mailing list. :-)

Dear Colleagues

Victoria University Library has recently digitised the research reports held by the library that were submitted when you completed your Masters of Library and Information Studies.

We would like to make these available openly on the internet through our http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/ Institutional Repository.

Can I ask you to fill in as much of this form as possible: http://library.victoria.ac.nz/library/sites/default/files/thesis_alumni.pdf and return this to me, either by email or in hard copy. Please leave the Research Code field blank.

UPDATE:

I should point out that if you have completed a MLIS or MIS in recent years and your Report was submitted electronically then you need not do anything further.

This is for those MLIS reports written from 1995 – 2010.

If you are unsure you can search for your report on the library catalogue http://library.victoria.ac.nz/library/ where there will either be a link to the http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/ which is the open access archive [no action required], a link to the RestrictedArchive which is for staff and students or no link as of yet. If it is either of the latter two options please contact me.

Kind regards

Michael

Michael Parry

Digital Initiatives Co-ordinator

Technology Services

The Library

Victoria University of Wellington

PO Box 3438, Wellington, New Zealand

e-mail: michael.parry@vuw.ac.nz

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altmetric_logo_business_card-300x106The following came through my inbox today promoting a service which seems to try to capture how Academic works are being discussed in Social Media. There is a free login for librarians (I am guessing they want us to wax lyrical about so that the institutions we work for will then subscribe.) I will be interested to see what others think about this service.

The Altmetric Explorer is a powerful, intuitive tool for measuring the attention that scholarly articles receive online

Each week Altmetric captures hundreds of thousands of tweets, blog posts, news stories and other pieces of content that mention scholarly articles.

The Explorer can browse, search and filter this data. Use it to deliver insights, track conversations and measure levels of attention over time or compared to your competitors

Altmetrics in libraries and institutional repositories

Explorer access – free for individual librarians, paid site licenses for researchers If you’re a librarian at an academic institution we’d love for you to sign up for a free librarian account for the Altmetric Explorer, our analysis and discovery tool. Poke around, check out the data, set up some reports, use it to help patrons… and keep it for as long as you like. Just drop us a line at support@altmetric.comusing your institutional email address and we’ll get you set up with a login and a quick demo, if desired. If you think access would be useful to your researchers or students too ping us about sorting out a paid site license which’ll enable us to keep developing the service.

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One of the activities my team at Victoria University Library recently has been carrying out is  the digitisation of the Robert Stout Pamphlet Collection.  We have been steadily working through uploading them into the NZETC and now nearly forty volumes are available. If you want to spend some time heading down a rabbit hole then have a browse.

An example of the eclectic mix of Pamphlets in the collection

An example of the eclectic mix of Pamphlets in the collection

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout

This project aims to digitise the Sir Robert Stout Pamphlet collection currently held by the J. C. Beaglehole Room. The Stout Pamphlet collection contains around 1000 early primarily New Zealand pamphlets collected by Stout and donated to the Victoria University Library. The pamphlets were then bound into their present volumes.

The collection represents Stout’s interests at the time which included evolution, land reform, law and the temperance movement.

To complement the pamphlet collection we have digitised K. A. Coleridge‘s catalogue with indexes. This catalogue contains valuable information on the history of the collection, the process of binding the collection and Stout’s relationship with the Victoria University library. You can find the catalogue here.

Some notable ones I have read:

Is Man An Automaton? A Lecture Delivered in The City Hall, Glasgow, On 23rd February 1875

Science and the Soul Telepathy Scientifically Demonstrated

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I thought I’d share this post with you. Its from Dick Eastman, an extremely tech-savvy genealogist. 

He responds to an email from someone who is horrified that alot of the books in the FamilySearch Family History Library are being digitised so they can be put online, and the original hard copies aren’t being replaced on their shelves. 

This Library/Research Centre is “Mecca” for someone in my field (along with The Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department in Allen County Public Library.)

For those who don’t know, FamilySearch is the genealogical organisation owned and run by the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Although they have their own reasons to do with their faith for genealogical research, they offer their resources/services worldwide free, to anyone regardless of their beliefs.

In their Granite Mountain vaults, they have millions of microfilms that are being digitised so they can be put online on their free website, and their books and serials in the FamilySearch Family History Centre are also being microfilmed so they can be OCRed. They are said to be running the world’s biggest digitisation project.

Anyway, have a read of this post and see what you think, and how it may relate to us as librarians (or researchers) in the future:

http://bit.ly/OULrqU

As a researcher, I am excited about the possibility of being able to access such richness online. As a librarian, I have subdued mixed feelings about the “destruction of books”, even if it is for the “greater good”. I’m sure they have a preservation process for their most precious titles.

I thought the points discussed were thought provoking and not dissimilar to discussions we’ve all had – you might be interested in his opinions about the digital versus “real” books debates that we are hearing and participating in!

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I’ve been sitting on this post for a couple of months now . . . the subject still bothers me, so I thought why not publish it anyway . . . so here goes! My first post for the Room of Infinite Diligence.

I work in a research centre, and go out and about in the community a heck of a lot too, delivering presentations on my specialist subject and my collection’s resources.

I am fairly active on the social media front, mostly trying to inform and update people, and networking. But I have a bit of fun with it too.

I am very passionate about user-education and information literacy. I see this as my primary role, when out and about, and also in the Centre.

As part of my job back in the research centre, we also do paid research, for those customers who can’t come in to the centre, or who can’t do the research themselves. Its a great service, and also a part of my job that I enjoy.

I was a bit taken aback a while ago, to receive a phone call from a customer, who wanted to pay me to do the research for her daughter’s high school “dissertation”.

The daughter was much too busy to do her own research, as she spent many hours a week on sports training. Apparently she was a top athlete, represents her country, and couldn’t spare the time to come in to the library to do her own research.

The subject of the school project was outside my department’s specialism, but as a researcher and librarian, I offered to recommend some resources, send some books free to her local library via our reservations service – but, no her daughter was much too busy, she wanted me to actually do the research for her.

The customer service side of me battled furiously with the educator side of me. For a moment.

I took a deep breath, and explained very politely, that it would be better for her daughter to do the research herself, as it helped her with her learning and set her up for a lifelong learning path.

I was told that she always got librarians to do the research for her daughter (and named someone and went into specifics about a particular incidence) . . . that she’d used our research centre before, and that it was money well spent.

She replied that her daughter was a top student that got top marks for her projects at an IB school. Another deep breath. I offered more suggestions, more resources. Not interested “good bye,” she hung up.

I felt very sad. I did a bit of soul searching  to see if I could have dealt with it differently, better. I worried about whether I had given good customer service.

Then I wondered about parents who think its ok to pay someone to do their child’s homework.

That sports practice is more important than academic “practice”.

Then I felt perhaps I’d failed, because I hadn’t delivered “user education” adequately. Or that maybe another librarian would have got a better result.

That perhaps I’d failed because I hadn’t made her understand (conflicted eh?)

But then this high achieving, high school sports star, also apparently achieves top marks on her projects. Perhaps that’s because she gets librarians to do the bulk of the work for her?

Question is, should I have stuck to my guns? If the mother hadn’t been upfront with me, I’d have done the research anyway, blissfully ignorant, unaware (you can still snow the best “reference interviews”).

Maybe that is what had happened previously, if other librarians had really done her research for her. Is it poor customer service to assert your opinion in such matters?

Did I discriminate in some way, by not quietly just doing the research for this student regardless? I wondered what the student’s teachers would have said if they had known. Should I have rung the school and given them the heads up? Or is that a bridge too far? Was I right not to? Is it any of my business what someone wants to do with the research they commission from me?

A colleague I discussed this with asked “what is the difference between arranging a contract with a paid researcher, and a well-off student going online to a paid assignment writing service?”

Could I have handled this differently?

What do you think? What would you have done?

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