So here I am at the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries in Austin, TX. It’s an interesting crowd in attendance. There are about 110 of us (intimate compared to ALA) including lots of computer scientist from the looks of the list of attendees. And lots of suits in the audience this morning. Wonder if they’re really administrative types with computer science “roots”?
Keynote speaker this morning is Leslie Carr, senior lecturer in the Intelligence, Agents, and Multimedia Group in the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southhamton, on the directions IRs have taken in the UK, Europe, Australia, and the US. He suggests that, in UK there is greater emphasis and requirement for institutions to take responsibility for accounting for the federal, public research funds that they receive. There’s a national research assessment process. He doesn’t see that emphasis being made in the US. The response is/was for repositories to position themselves as providing a catalog of research output. The advantage of this is that it positions the repository at the heart of the institution. The disadvantage is that it diverts the repositories’ attention to their original goal of providing open access to research results.
I guess I disagree, from the perspective of the US, I think the assessment side goes hand in hand with providing open access to research results to the people who really paid for it, the taxpayers.
Interesting closing idea, that librarians are mediating new practices, e.g. the creation of repositories, open access, and science 2.0, at the same time they are enforcing historic norms like copyright, privacy, and intellectual property.
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