Friday, 14 July 2017

DG Research and Innovation Expert Group on Altmetrics Report



The EC Directorate Research and Innovation's Expert Group on Altmetrics was set up to consider how to advance Article-Level publication metrics (altmetrics) in the context of the open research agenda, to review different altmetrics measures in relation to more established methods of measuring research output, how to remove the current barriers to open research/open science and to recommend infrastructures to help embed open research in academic culture. Their report "Next-Generation Metrics: Responsible metrics and Evaluation for Open Science" recommends that the EC should provide clear guidelines for the responsible use of metrics to support open research in the next Research Framework programme (FP9) that research should be undertaken on the potential for gaming any new altmetrics proposed for FP9 before their introduction.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Aberystwyth LibTeachMeet 2017








This year’s theme at the Aberystwyth LibTeachMeet was ‘Information Literacy in the Age of Fake News’ a challenging issue facing libraries and their readers. The CILIP Information Literacy Group kindly sponsored the event.

Librarians and information professionals working in higher and further education were amongst the attendees and it was apparent that we all faced similar issues in student engagement, especially when promoting information literacy. Customer Services and Academic Engagement Managers, Nia Ellis and Elizabeth Kensler opened this year’s TeachMeet. Nia and Elizabeth reiterated that fake news posed a considerable threat to information literacy and they hoped that this TeachMeet would inspire some innovative ways to combat it.

We began with ‘The One Armed Bandit of News’ icebreaker, where I put our attendee’s fake news detection skills to the test. Loosely based on a certain long running satirical news show, two humorous headlines were shown and it was up to the attendees to decide on which they thought was the ‘real’ headline. The icebreaker proved that even as information professionals it can be somewhat difficult to sift fact from fiction.

The first talk of day was An Alternate History of Alternative Facts presented by myself. I spoke about the different types of fake news and discussed a few downright sinister examples from history, explaining that fake news is by no means a recent phenomenon. Our next speakers were Dr Amy Staniforth and Simon French of Aberystwyth University with Facts Matter: Truth, Memory and Metadata. Simon and Amy examined the “librarians’ agenda” when providing accurate information and metadata. The talk inspired a rather heated, but good natured debate about the ethics of censorship in libraries. 

Next up, Julie Archer and Tom Francis of Aberystwyth University presented a historical case study of Professor Herman Ethè, a shameful episode in Aberystwyth's history. Tom an acquisitions librarian, who has also written a play about the ill-fated professor, gave a detailed account of the larger than life character who found himself at odds with the local townsfolk. Julie, Records Manager and Archivist delved deep into the Aberystwyth University archives to show the wave of anti-German hysteria, which had taken hold of the town following an intense propaganda campaign in the First World War. Our first external speaker of the day was Catherine Finch, who had joined us from Cardiff Metropolitan University. In DuChamp’s Bicycle: teaching students about keywords in searching, Catherine demonstrated an effective exercise she uses to get students to think about keywords in relation to searching on the internet.

Our second external speaker was Jacinta Jolly of NPTC Group of Colleges. Jacinta kicked off the after-lunch talks with a perspective from further education, reviewing critical literacy teaching. Jacinta discussed the perennial issue of student engagement with initiatives and demonstrated some effective strategies to encourage students to take part. She finished her talk with a fun ‘kahoot!’ critical thinking quiz, which motivated some friendly competition amongst the attendees. Finally, Joy Cadwallader subject librarian at Aberystwyth University presented Embedding in the curriculum: first steps in fake news. Joy discussed some future ideas for teaching fake news including using musical clues, the choice of the Fleet Foxes rounded off the day nicely!

There was plenty of commentary and photos shared on twitter thanks to our own dedicated hashtag #AberLTM17. I would like to thank the CILIP Group for kindly sponsoring this year’s TeachMeet and our attendees who had travelled from the length and breadth of Wales. I would also like to thank our speakers who delivered excellent, thought provoking presentations.

Keep your eyes peeled for Aber LibTeachMeet 2018!

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Resource of the Month: European Sources Online





European Sources Online is an extensive online database which forms part of the University’s European Documentation Centre.
It provides access to the latest information on the European Union, including primary and official documentation on policies, institutions and countries.The ESO database also provides access to;·        Thousands of selected EU documents and statistical records
·        EU publications, news articles and website links
·        Bibliographic records to important academic texts and journal articles
·        Unique Information Guides which explore key topics within Europe
·        Information on current and past issues affecting EU citizens

European Sources Online can be accessed from the University network at http://www.europeansources.info/search.jsp
For further information, the European Sources Online’s FAQ page can be found at http://www.europeansources.info/about.jsp
If accessing European Sources Online away from campus, you must connect via the University’s VPN: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/it-services/vpn/


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Resource of the Month: Nexis


Nexis is an online full-text database which searches regional, national and global newspapers from over 100 countries, business and industry trade magazines, business news and company information.

• This resource is often used to aid businesses as it provides insights into over 30,000 trusted and invaluable sources of business and news information. These range from global news articles, to company records and additional legal information.

Why the resource is useful for students;

Nexis helps to prepare for job interviews and careers – the database can be used to gain insight over others within the current job market. This is through the ability to monitor and obtain crucial information about specific companies and job sectors.

It can be used to aid research for assignments and dissertations – the vast database allows users to research and reference approved news sources, business statistics and bibliographic references within their work.

• The resource’s varied document types can be used to aid research within a wide range of degree subjects – the main types of accessible documents include;

UK and international news sources
Business and trade publications
Company profiles
Company, country and industry reports
Market insights
Biographical data
International and emerging market sources
US public records
Legal information

Access Nexis from the University network at: https://www.nexis.com/home/home.do?randomNum=0.6811372427443615

If accessing Nexis away from campus, connect via the University’s VPN: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/it-services/vpn/

Nexis training resources including video tutorials and downloadable guides can be found here: http://help.bisuktraining.lexisnexis.co.uk/about-nexis

Contact acastaff@aber.ac.uk for further information or to arrange a demonstration.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Forum for Responsible Research Metrics


In 2015, an independent report entitled "The Metric Tide" chaired by Prof James Wilsdon of the Science Policy Research Unit (Univ Sussex) drew attention to the rising pressure on universities, research funders and policymakers to use quantitative metrics in the assessment of research quality and productivity.  In the opinion of many academics and information professionals, however, the current levels of understanding of  the ways in which such measures are calculated, described and used is not high and can lead to inappropriate conclusions being drawn and unintended negative publishing behaviours developing.

To address these matters, the Forum for Responsible Research Metrics has been set up by a partnership of HEFCE, RCUK, Universities UK, Wellcome and JISC in September 2016 to develop the understanding, transparency and flexibility of research metrics as applied throughout the UK research and funding communities. Under the chairmanship of Prof David Price, Vice-Provost (Research) at the University College London, the Forum will advise all UK higher education funding bodies as to how research metrics might best be used in assessing research outputs and environments, Such advise will have particular relevance in terms of the consultations currently taking place on the structure of the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise scheduled for 2021.

Steve Smith
March 2017

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Resource of the Month: Web of Science

Web of Science is an online resource available at Aberystwyth University.

It gives access to thousands of easily searchable scientific journals, publications and citations within its Master Journal List.

How the resource can help students;

  • Helps to aid research for assignments, dissertations and exams – The database offers easy access to the latest academic research, texts and bibliographic references.
  • The database covers a wide range of subjects – Its core collection of scholarly journals covers not only science subjects, but also social sciences and arts and humanities.
  • Various other worldwide databases can be accessed within the Web of Science collection – these include the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE database, the BIOSIS biosciences database and the Russian Science Citation Index.

Types of accessible documents within the database include;

  • Journal articles
  • Book chapters
  • Biographical items
  • News items
  • Bibliographies

Web of Science can be accessed online from the University Network at: http://wok.mimas.ac.uk 
or from http://apps.webofknowledge.com/ or connect from the Primo Resources A-Z tab under W.

If accessing Web of Science away from campus, connect via the University's VPN:
https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/it-services/vpn/ 

Video tutorials can be accessed here:
http://wokinfo.com/training_support/training/web-of-knowledge/

Web of Science's Quick Reference Guide can be found at:
 http://wokinfo.com/media/pdf/qrc/webofscience_qrc_en.pdf 

Contact acastaff@aber.ac.uk for further information or to arrange a demonstration.