Research Support in Australian University Libraries: An Outsider View

It is always interesting to see yourself through someone else’s eyes. The experience can be surprising as we learn what we believe to be ordinary can look unusual to someone else. This is as true for a profession or group practice, as it is for an individual. An early view paper for the journal Australian Academic and Research Libraries (AARL) enables staff employed in research support at Australian university libraries to do just this.  Dr Alice Keller, who currently holds a senior management position at the Zentralbibliothek Zürich and has previously worked at the ETH Library in Zurich, Switzerland and at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, UK recently visited Australia for a seven week sabbatical hosted by Macquarie University Library. During this period Alice conducted research initially focussing on the role of subject or liaison librarians. What her paper ends up doing is focussing on research support services, covering the ground very well and reflecting on the changes that have taken place in Australian academic libraries in recent years.  It does a great job covering topics such as “Libraries as partners in research”, “research support services” such as institutional repositories, open access, research data management and more.  While some is reporting of what we may think we know, it is interesting to hear how different libraries approach different services and enlightening to see practices we understand as common to be described as “refreshing or shocking – whichever you prefer”.  In particular comparisons between practices in Australian libraries and those in Europe are of interest.  The article titled “Research Support in Australian University Libraries: An Outsider View” is available through the AARL web site:

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Opening up our data – practicing what we preach

CSU has been participating in an Australian National Data Service (ANDS) funded Open Data Collection Project. The first dataset included was from Roshan Thapa’s PhD and the second set was our survey on research support services. Both can be accessed from RDA or via CRO, CSU’s institutional repository.

Part of the service is to create a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which can facilitate data citation. Citing data is increasingly being recognised as one of the key practices leading to recognition of data as a primary research output.

The current two CSU open datasets are:

Thapa, Roshan ( 2015 ): Botanal and Seedling Data: Rehabilitation of perennial pastures PhD Project. Charles Sturt University. URI:

Kennan, Mary Anne ; Corrall, Sheila ; Afzal, Waseem ( 2015 ): Academic library survey responses data: Research support services, including bibliometrics and research data management. Charles Sturt University & University of Pittsburgh. URI:

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Docam doctoral forum

DOCAM adds a doctoral forum to its program

Call For Participants: Doctoral Forum & Poster Presentation

DOCAM / RAILS special event

DOCAM 2015 and RAILS 2015 are pleased to invite submissions from doctoral students in information/document studies or a related discipline to attend a joint Doctoral Forum on the afternoon and evening of 22 July, 2015. Prospective doctoral students developing a PhD application for 2015/16 are also invited to apply. The aim of the forum is to provide a supporting environment where students can discuss their research and receive mentoring and advice from an international panel of senior researchers.

This is a special shared event co-hosted by the 12th Annual Conference of the Document Academy, 20-22 July, 2015 and the Research Applications in Information and Library Studies Conference (RAILS), following DOCAM from 22–24 July, 2015. Both conferences are sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), and the School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University (CSU).

The doctoral forum is open to students enrolled in a doctoral program in any of RAILS and DOCAM’s cognate disciplines (e.g. Information Science, Information Systems, Librarianship, Museum Studies, Rhetoric, Document and Media Studies, Information and Computer Science). The forum is included, at no additional cost, for students registered to attend DOCAM 2015 or RAILS 2015.

The doctoral forum will be led by Professor Pamela McKenzie (University of Western Ontario, Canada) who will be joined by senior academics in the field, including Dr Michael Olsson (UTS, Australia) and Professor Lisa Given (CSU, Australia). To be considered for this event students must submit an abstract outlining their Doctoral research, including the stage of their research that they are currently undertaking and the particular challenges they are facing that they would like to discuss and seek advice about . In addition students attending DOCAM will be given the opportunity to present a poster that introduces their PhD work during DOCAM 2015. Space in the Forum will be limited and, given the interactive nature of the forum discussion, students should be prepared to present on and talk about their research.

The forum schedule will be finalised in conjunction with DOCAM’s co-provider RAILS once the number of attendees has been determined. Notifications of decisions will be made by February 15, 2015. If there are any queries regarding submissions, please email Dr Michael Olsson (

DOCAM/RAILS submission process for Doctoral Forum

Abstracts of 500 words must be submitted through Easychair by midnight (23:59:00 Australian Eastern Daylight Time) on Friday, 30 January 2015.

Students should provide a brief overview of the nature of their project (research problem, methodology/method, theoretical framework, etc.), a description of their intended poster and explain why they would benefit from participating in the event. Please see the EasyChair Submission Instructions for details, prior to submitting your abstract to the system. Note in front of your title proper, please type these words: Doctoral Forum.

Criteria for Selection

Submitted abstracts of 500 words should address the following criteria:

  • Proposed benefit to the student’s doctoral program (approx. 100 words);
  • Clear, coherent outline (abstract) of original research (200 words);
  • Outline of issues and challenges student wishes to discuss (100 words)
  • Description of the poster presentation to be provided in support of the work (approx. 100 words in addition to research outline); and
  • Indication of attendance at (student rates) for either DOCAM 2015 or RAILS 2015

EasyChair Submission Instructions

The submission deadline for all DOCAM doctoral forum proposals is midnight (23:59:00 Australian Eastern Daylight Time) Friday 30 January 2015. Proposals must be submitted via the EasyChair system ( To submit your abstract at EasyChair, please follow the steps below:

  1. name and contact information for the forum participant;
  2. title of work, include the words Doctoral Forum immediately before your title;
  3. select poster in the category type;
  4. add 3 to 5 keywords;
  5. do not complete the abstract box available in the EasyChair template, instead
  6. upload your abstract (500 words) for your proposed forum contribution

Doctoral forum abstracts (a combined 500 word description max.) must be in the word format. References may also be included, beyond the allowed 500 words.

We look forward to meeting you at DOCAM 2015 and RAILS 2015.

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Australian Academic and Research Libraries (AARL) December 2014

The December issue of AARL is published. It is a special issue on research support services in academic libraries. We are very fortunate to have some excellent papers. The version of record is available at:

Many of the authors have also placed their author final versions in their repositories for those without subscriptions (see below for links).

This issue focuses on research support services in academic libraries. We released a call for papers in the middle of 2013 expressing an interest in papers investigating research support services in academic libraries. Interestingly, most of the papers we received were about scholarly communication, particularly open access – clearly areas of great importance and activity in the academic library world. The other papers in this issue report on awareness of a research data management services in South Africa and a research impact measurement service in Australia, also areas of increasing interest in academic libraries.

 Colin Steele “Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Publishing and University Libraries. Plus Ça Change?”

Danny Kingsley “Paying for publication: issues and challenges for research support services”,

Paul Ayris, Erica McLaren, Martin Moyle, Catherine Sharp & Lara Speicher “Open Access in UCL: A New Paradigm for London’s Global University in Research Support”

Michelle Kahn, Richard Higgs, Joy Davidson & Sarah Jones “Research Data Management in South Africa: How We Shape Up”

Robyn Drummond “RIMS Revisited: The Evolution of the Research Impact Measurement Service at UNSW Library”


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The DOCAM 2015 conference extension for submission of abstracts

The DOCAM 2015 conference is pleased to announce an extension for submissions of extended abstracts and posters.

Over the past few days we have had multiple requests for extensions, AND with the onset of the holiday season it seems only appropriate to extend our deadline.

DOCAM 2015’s new and final date for submission of abstracts is midnight (23:59:00) 12 January, 2015, Australian Eastern Daylight Time (see indicative international times below).

Extended abstracts to be submitted by: 12 January 2015
Notification of acceptance by: 15 February 2015
Conference dates: 20-22 July 2015

Monday January 12, midnight Sydney time is:

London : Monday 12 January 1 pm
Los Angeles : Monday 12 January 5 am
New York : Monday 12 January 8 am
Oslo : Monday 12 January 2 pm
Tokyo : Monday 12 January 10pm

Submissions can be made from the Conference web site:

DOCAM ’15 website:

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DOCAM 2015 Call for papers

12th Annual International Meeting of the Document Academy
To be held at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia
Jointly hosted by UTS and Charles Sturt University (CSU)
July 20-22, 2015

In 2015 the Document Academy will come together under the theme of “Documents Unbounded” and is calling for submissions that examine the challenges ahead, as our understanding of data, documents, records, artefacts, evidence and memory, and form in the continuously changing landscape of new media and communications.

Important dates
Extended abstracts by: 15 December 2014
Notification of acceptance by: 15 February 2015
Conference dates: 20-22 July 2015

DOCAM2015 is the 12th annual meeting of the Document Academy, an international network of scholars, artists, and professionals in various fields, who are interested in the exploration of the concept of the document as a resource for scholarly, artistic and professional work.
The annual conference fosters a multidisciplinary space for experimental and critical research on the document in the widest sense, drawing on scholarship, traditions, and experiences from the arts, humanities, social sciences, education, and natural science, and from diverse fields, such as information, media, museum, archives, culture and science studies.

Research presentations
The DOCAM2015 Program Committee especially encourages completed research, research-in-progress, general conceptual and theoretical work, projects and case studies, creative and practical work in areas of document theory, document analysis and document materiality relevant to the conference theme in the following formats:
1. conference papers (extended abstracts for 20-minute presentations followed by 10 minutes of discussion);
2. brief abstracts for poster display and presentation.

Proposal submissions
Extended abstracts for conference papers and brief abstracts describing poster presentations should be submitted through the DOCAM2015 EasyChair system located at
The conference language is English. Follow the submission template.

For papers include:
1. names and contact information for all contributors;
2. title of paper;
3. select the category type extended abstract;
4. 3 to 5 keywords.
Do not complete the abstract box available in the EasyChair template; instead
5. upload your extended abstract of up to 1000 words for your proposed presentation;
All abstracts should be submitted in Word document format (.doc .docx). As all extended abstracts will be blind peer reviewed, please ensure that author names and affiliations do not appear on the submitted Word document.

For posters include:
1. names and contact information for all contributors;
2. title of poster presentation;
3. an abstract or brief description of up to 250 words in the text box available in the template for abstracts;
4. 3 to 5 keywords;
Submissions for posters do not require upload of any Word documents.
All proposals should also include a brief statement providing:
• an explanation of how they will be presented (verbal, with presentation software, video, performance, or other forms of demonstration);
• preferred size of poster presentation;
• any special equipment needs.

Publication of Conference proceedings
Full conference papers of between 2,500 and 5,000 words will be published in an open access peer-reviewed volume, Proceedings from the Annual Meeting of the Document Academy.

More Information
DOCAM2015 website:
DOCAM2015 Facebook page:
DOCAM2015 Twitter account:

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AARL Australian Academic and Research Libraries September issue

The September 2014 print issue of AARL has just been delivered and is available online.

The first paper in this issue anticipates the forthcoming December on research support issue by dealing with one aspect of research support that of personalised information consultations in the early stages of PhD candidature. “Wrangling the Literature: Quietly Contributing to HDR Completions”, by Jennifer Warburton and Peter Macauley, shares the findings of a study profiling PhD candidates’ usage of an academic library research consultation service. The full text of this paper is available in the author’s institutional repository.

Fiona Brown’s article, “Replacing Law Firm Libraries with Commercial Law Library and Legal Research Services in the UK”, looks at outsourcing services. While this paper focuses on law libraries in the United Kingdom, outsourcing is common to many information services and the implications relating to outsourcing are of concern across the LIS profession.

In “Contemporary Cataloguing Policy and Practice in Australian Libraries”, Philip Hider reports on a survey of Australian libraries across different sectors. Hider’s research looked at which staff in libraries were performing cataloguing roles and what standards were being used. The paper concludes that cataloguers are still very much in demand.

The final article in this issue is by Suzana Sukovic, who led a digital storytelling project during the 2012 Year of Reading at an independent girls’ high school. “ iTell: Transliteracy and Digital Storytelling” provides an in-depth discussion about the notions of transliteracy and digital storytelling, followed by the findings of the research. Using these relatively recent concepts, student engagement was observed during the project and the paper provides research evidence for the role of digital storytelling in learning environments. T

Take a look!

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