Rudaí 23 – Thing 5: Video Presentations

I have done the Thing, but I am wondering if I should have spent more time playing with the Powtoon features. It’s difficult to strike a balance between learning as much as possible, and just getting the thing done. I had a brief think about the instructions for this week and how you should plan your story before you even think about building the visual part of the presentation. I have used Screencast-O-Matic for work before, and decided against using it for this task. Usefully, Powtoon also prompts you to create a story by suggesting you start with slides that cover 1) Introduction, 2) Describing the problem, 3) Presenting a solution, and 4) A Call to Action.  Read more ›

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Posted in Information and Digital Literacy, Professional Development, Reflection

Rudaí 23 – Thing 4: Communicating Visually

In an attempt to get on top of things I am “live-blogging” my progress with Thing 4. I have used PhotoFunia a bit in the past, so am going to try Quik now. First hurdle: I don’t have enough room on my phone to download Quik and have been presented with a list of bulky and unused apps to remove before I can continue. RunKeeper and PhotoFunia are amongst those in the cull …farewell good intentions and back-ups… So now I’m waiting for Quik to download.

Selecting photos was fairly straightforward. I see you can login and choose photos from Google Photos, this is something I’d like to try out in the future. Read more ›

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Posted in Professional Development

Rudaí 23 – Thing 3: Image banks

As librarians, we are all too aware of copyright limitations, which can make searching for the right image to re-use a bit harder than usual. I find it can be quite a hurdle to navigate the different creative commons licences, especially if you are in a bit of a rush or have other things on your mind when preparing a presentation! You want to be professional and set a good example, but this can be tedious and frustrating. I have found Pixabay invaluable for finding images for use in presentations and posters in the past. All of the images are free to use, and you don’t have to worry about attribution.

For me, Pixabay has a few benefits over Flickr as an image bank. Flickr can be quite fiddly, requiring you to select your download quality, and other additional clicks. The back button doesn’t always work, you have to move your mouse and click on “back to search” or similar. These may seem like minor gripes, but as I hinted at above, sometimes I am in a rush when searching for images and these little trips are frustrating. In my experience, Pixabay has a better search and smoother website functionality. The photos are generally more suitable for professional use, having the feel of “stock images”. Flickr can be cluttered with poorer quality and images that don’t relate to the key words you search for. If you are looking for images with more personality, the Pixabay images could be too corporate or clinical. For me, this is less distracting. Flickr often leads me down rabbit holes where I end up thinking about travel, food, or my own photography. Something I could do in the future to improve my experience of Flickr, is try out more of the search filters and in particular filtering by licence type.  Read more ›

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Posted in Exhibition, Professional Development

Rudaí 23 – Thing 2: Reawakening the blog

I will start as I mean to go on – by taking shortcuts! For Thing 1 of Rudaí 23 (The Irish 23 Things from the wonderful WRSLAI), we were required to set up a blogging site. As I already have both WordPress and Tumblr set up, I decided to continue using this WordPress site for the purposes of the course. I have never stuck to the habit of regular blogging for long, but this has become a nice portfolio of CPD activities and occasional reflections. Although I would love to try out Medium, or even explore Tumblr a bit more, I think as I get further into the 23 Things and the challenges they bring, the comfort of WordPress will be welcome. So, no new platform for me, just an existing blog, and I’m sure it won’t be the last shortcut. Let’s call it being resourceful. I have used the WordPress app on my phone and Kindle fire, which makes typing out a draft on the bus or train easy, and a good use of time. Over the years, there have been some slight changes to the media library, or enhancements such as embedding tweets. These have been simple enough changes to adapt to, and the nuts and bolts remain the same.

As I mentioned, making blogging a regular habit has not been a success for me in the past, so I am looking forward to having the opportunity to reflect on the Rudaí 23 course, its highs and lows, and striving for the digital badges. For me, I think the idea of having to get very in depth into a topic, or risking leaving something important out of an argument, puts me off hitting the ‘Publish’ button. Although the wise Martin advises revising and checking your post before publishing it, I think a quick and honest reflection still holds an important place in the blogosphere. So, without further ado, I need to push this little post out of the holding area. 

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Posted in Professional Development, Reflection

IReL: Supporting Research Everyday

Poster presented at CONUL conference 2017.

Open PDF of poster

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Posted in Conference, eResources

NLPN Presentation: Prepared to Negotiate

On Saturday, I attended NLPN’s Winter event in Manchester. I presented on my experience of eResource negotiations. I am sharing the slides here, although they really only give a bare indication of the presentation content.

NLPN presentation – prepared to negotiate – FINAL

Posted in Uncategorized

NASIG: Open Access in the World of Scholarly Journals: Creation and Discovery

This conference session report was written for the September 2016 NASIG newsletter

This excellent presentation by Sandra Cowan (University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada) and Chris Bulock (California State University Northridge) brought together issues faced when advocating for the creation of Open Access content, and the discovery and access issues posed by Open Access content in hybrid journals.

Cowan ran through a number of reminders on where we currently are with Open Access. She presented stark figures demonstrating just how unsustainable the current subscription model is for libraries. The increasing costs of commercially published journals are damaging monograph budgets, and even impacting on the ability to hire new staff. Cowan outlined how Canadian institutions are seeking to counter this current crisis. Assessing which journals are absolutely critical has served as useful leverage in negotiations, particularly in breaking down “big deal” packages. However, she asserted that the best solution is to diminish the power that commercial publishers have over libraries. Cowan gave a very useful overview of Open Access policies and initiatives in Canada, including the University of Lethbridge Journal Incubator. The obstacles and incentives for Open Access publishing were also discussed. Cowan called on librarians to lead by example, advocate for positive OA publishing and policies, and to demonstrate the many benefits of Open Access to our academic colleagues.

Bulock spoke more specifically about hybrid journals and the many reasons why they are problematic. A hybrid journal is one which has both a subscription fee, plus an additional fee if the author wants to make their article Open Access. Bulock identified reasons why these are a popular choice. Publishing in a hybrid meets many OA mandates, but still has the “prestige” element required for promotion and tenure. For the library, hybrid journals are a particular challenge to integrate with Link Resolvers and Discovery layers. Bulock explained that within a hybrid journal, it is difficult to define which articles the library has access to. If the library doesn’t index OA articles, the user is probably getting better results via a Google search. The use of NISO Access and License Indicators offer an article level indicator in the metadata, however Bulock revealed that this is not being used by many publishers of hybrid journals, or it is being implemented incorrectly. There is high volume of research published, particularly in the UK, in hybrid journals, creating a real need to index this content correctly. Bulock concluded with suggestions for what librarians faced with this challenge can do. These included discussing the issue with your discovery and content providers, and advocating for the proper use of the NISO indicators.

I highly recommend viewing the slides from this presentation, and the full Conference Proceedings, to gain an insight into the various models and why we should advocate for “true” Open Access publishing.

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Posted in Cataloguing, Conference, eResources