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Research Information:FOCUS ON NORTH AMERICA


Canada, the Canadian Graduate Student Mobility Agreement encourages graduate student mobility within Canada in order to foster the exchange of ideas, specialised training, research collaboration, and interdisciplinarity. Research mobility has its obvious benefits: research gains when researchers have access to different labs, exposure to new ways of working, and broader and deeper networks of other researchers and expertise – all of which help to spread the enthusiasm around important research.


3. The rate of change is increasing


The information industry – publishers and librarians – is doing its part to support the connected and mobile researcher by developing novel ways of accessing and engaging with content.


Publishers are developing interfaces and tools that can be used on any device, such as a smartphone, laptop, or a desktop. Enhanced search and discovery tools are being developed, with new ways for researchers to share research easily and within copyright. The STM initiative HowCanIShareIt.com is the result of a multi- year collaboration with researchers, librarians, scholars, practitioners, and publishers to modify sharing policies and provide tools so users have a single source for sharing information. Some publishers are integrating researchers’ data into their article record as well as additional content, such as 3D models, videos, and podcasts. Others are helping researchers further promote their research and research profiles.


Many libraries have embraced the idea of the Information Commons, a new ‘ecosystem’ of creativity and information in the digital age. Information Commons, or Learning Commons, bring together technology, content, and services in a physical space that creates a non-traditional library environment. In these Commons, collaboration is encouraged through group workspaces equipped with tables, whiteboards, and smartboards. Breaking traditional library taboos, there’s a din of discussion throughout the Commons, which are also set up with cafes to offer caffeination as required.


4. New ways of funding access and analysing spending are being explored


As the volume of scientific content continues to increase in the face of flat budgets, both publishers and libraries are exploring different business models.


The major new business model is open www.researchinformation.info @researchinfo


access, which has support from funding bodies such as the Canadian Institute for Health Research, the National Institutes of Health and the Research Councils UK, which now require public access to the final publications of research funded through public money.


spreadsheets, without


advanced analytics such as visualisation tools. Even in large STM publishing companies, to prepare for renewal


Consortia have always helped libraries to acquire content they may not otherwise have the bandwidth to license on their own. In Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, consortia such as the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), JISC, and Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK) play even more vital cost-control roles for libraries seeking scholarly content.


Efficiency is also increasing, and changing the requirements around business intelligence. Analysing usage reports, librarians can identify the ‘real’ value for their licensed content investments, identify collection needs, monitor trends in evolving research, see where training and promotions are needed, and shift or reduce budgets as appropriate.


‘There are many similarities that unite us within the


information industry’


Similarly, publishers are redoubling their efforts at understanding their clients’ usage behaviours, which helps with editorial direction, product development, and publishing priorities.


But in many cases, libraries and publishers – both experiencing controlled costs measures – are challenged to glean intel from data that is sometimes hard to access, non-standardised, and difficult to understand. Many librarians rely on vendor-provided usage reports, which they pull from publishers’ portals or request be sent, and import into years-old Excel


discussions, sales teams must submit email requests for usage reports, which are queued and sent seven to 10 business days later in Excel, leaving it up to the sales team to analyse for their customers’ renewal needs. While business intelligence is key to helping libraries and publishers make better- informed decisions – whether buying or selling – the challenges in getting access to the data and better analytical tools increases the workflow inefficiencies for already time- and resource-strapped staff.


5. Librarians and publishers remain lynchpins


Beyond geographical boundaries, scholarly publishers contribute significantly to the global economy. According to 2013 estimates, the STM portion of the industry employs around 90,000 people around the world, and publishing activities support 20,000 to30,000 more people who provide additional services, including suppliers, freelancers, and external editors, who are vital to the publishing industry.


And the contribution to the global economy doesn’t stop there. Scholars and researchers use journals to identify authoritative and addressable information for use in their own research, and to disseminate research to other colleagues around the world. The number of journal articles published and the number of new journal titles grows at a rate of about three per cent a year, which is consistent with increases both in the number of researchers and in R&D funding. Regardless of the geographic location, librarians and publishers, or buyers and sellers, contribute heavily to enable research to advance and proliferate, which helps humanity to thrive and flourish.


JUNE/JULY 2016 Research Information 5


Dawid Rojek/Shutterstock.com


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