Media Stories (April 2019)

Intelligent Infrastructure, Ubiquitous Mobility, and Smart Libraries – Innovate for the Future

Shen, Y. March 21, 2019 Data Science Journal, 18: 11, pp. 1–14

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute launched an initiative in 2016, entitled Intelligent Infrastructure for Human Centered Communities. The initiative brings together practitioners, developers, and faculty to formulate strategies that would enable Virginia Tech to become one of the foremost leaders in the emerging field of research characterized as “intelligent infrastructure”. This paper looks specifically at how intelligent infrastructure might impact the work of and contribution made by academic libraries. Specific consideration is given to the impact on workflows, methodologies, and learning frameworks.

This study discusses the developing scenarios of ’smart’ libraries as innovative testbeds for data exploration, community knowledge base, and intelligent information interface. It further projects an intelligent, learning, and adaptive library system, featuring exemplary data science platform. and dynamic data management mechanism, smart design and innovation space, as well as collective intelligence and creative partnership.”

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Understanding the Information Behaviors of Doctoral Students: An Exploratory Study

Moore, M., and Singley, E. (Preprint) Portal: Libraries and the Academy, Vol 19, No 1 pp 279-293. Johns Hopkins University Press.

This study looks at “non-library” information behaviors of doctoral students in the humanities. After observing the paths of engagement needed and experienced by such students, the authors conclude with a key set of questions: “If the information a scholar needs is so distributed that it cannot be contained in one system, how should libraries adapt? Would more efficient fulfillment of requests for items discovered elsewhere be more beneficial than focusing on local, closed systems? Should more emphasis be put on description and creating more granular identifiers for digital content so that it can be found and linked to more easily?

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Trends in the Information Technology Sector

Henry-Nickie, M., Frimpong, K., and SunFriday, H., Brookings Institute, March 2019

The importance of the information technology sector to the United States’ economic health cannot be argued. However, even as it builds strength across large, mid-sized, and small business enterprises, this Brookings Institute report points to emerging challenges that may impact that industry many find less easy to resolve. Those challenges include concerns surrounding data privacy and a requirement for educating an ill-prepared workforce.  Countering those challenges over the next 3 years are areas of potential growth such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and blockchain. The authors also note “A growing share of technology spending will be diverted toward newer capabilities such as AI, robotics, and augmented reality, fueled in part by the cost savings generated by cloud-based technology and automation.”

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What Collaboration Means to Me: Library collaboration is hard; effective collaboration is harder

Dempsey, L. Collaborative Librarianship: Vol. 10 : Iss. 4 , Article 3

Dempsey expresses concern for the health of some existing consortia in the face of a potential economic downturn. He notes that leaders holding “positions of influence and fiduciary responsibility on advisory committees and boards…have a responsibility to be careful stewards of community resources and expectations. They should carefully consider the scope and role of existing groups as well as their relationships to other groups, and should exercise caution about setting up new organizations that are not strongly motivated by need or community gaps.” As the title of this article suggests, effective collaboration requires more than simple agreements to work together. It requires disciplined, strategic choices.

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Ten principles for machine-actionable data management plans

Miksa, T., Simms, S., Mietchen, D., and Jones, S. PLoS Computational Biology 15(3): e1006750

Abridged from the published author abstract, “Data management plans (DMPs) are documents accompanying research proposals and project outputs. DMPs are created as free-form text and describe the data and tools employed in scientific investigations. They are often seen as an administrative exercise and not as an integral part of research practice.

“There is now widespread recognition that the DMP can have more thematic, machine-actionable richness with added value for all stakeholders: researchers, funders, repository managers, research administrators, data librarians, and others.

“This paper presents 10 principles to put machine-actionable DMPs (maDMPs) into practice and realize their benefits. The principles contain specific actions that various stakeholders are already undertaking or should undertake in order to work together across research communities to achieve the larger aims of the principles themselves.” 

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Seeking, reading, and use of scholarly articles: an international study of perceptions and behavior of researchers

Tenopir, C., Christian, L., and Kaufman, J. Publications 7, 18

Long-established scholar and expert in researcher reading behaviors, Carol Tenopir, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, documents her most recent benchmark survey of how faculty and scholars “discover, read, and use scholarly literature for their work. Respondents in 2018 report an average of almost 20 article readings a month and there are still significant differences found in the reading and use of scholarly literature by discipline and geographical location, consistent with the earlier studies. Researchers show they are willing to change or adopt new strategies to discover and obtain articles.” The research notes the thoroughness with which most respondents indicated they were reading specific articles with an average of 58.7 minutes spent on each. One of the final conclusions noted, This study found that 90.5% of article readings are obtained through electronic means and respondents ranked the ability to share as the number one most important feature of e-publications. These trends show that readers’ first obligation is to their work—discovering and obtaining the important resources they need, wherever they can, in the most convenient ways possible. The library and publishers need to facilitate this, even if sometimes it means just getting out of the way.”

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