Thursday, August 17, 2017

Call for contributions - LIR HEAnet User Group Annual Seminar

Cultivating Libraries in a Post Digital Learning Ecosystem
The 2017 LIR Annual Seminar takes place on Friday, November 24th,
Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin.
This year’s seminar explores both the challenges, and opportunities confronting libraries, as they devise sustainable strategies, to navigate and flourish in a post digital learning ecosystem.  In these virtual learning spaces, Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) plays a significant role simultaneously generating and analysing data, which contributes to improving an individual’s overall performance. The focus for libraries being primarily their ability to utilise technology to engage and enhance their user’s experience of resources and services to maximum effect.
 These issues and related sub-themes are explored in greater depth by our confirmed  
 Keynote speakers
David White - Head of Technology Enhanced Learning - University of Arts London,
 Lee O’ Farrell - "Project Manager - Learning Analytics" National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
Other invited speakers -TBC.

We would like to invite proposals for short presentations to give attendees a chance to demonstrate how your organisation is embracing these new challenges and opportunities posed by constantly evolving technologies.

Short presentations will be 20 minutes each. Examples of suggested topics include but are not limited to the following:
·        Copyright
·        Reading List Software
·        Data Support
·        Developing a library presence in a VLE/LMS
·        Supporting Digital Humanities
This is an excellent opportunity to showcase innovative and interesting developments within your own institution. Abstracts for presentations should be a limited to 200 words.

Expressions of interest, and proposals for short presentations (should be forwarded to LIRCTTE@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE by, September 25th.
Details of previous LIR events,and upcoming workshops can be found at

Chair, LIR Committee

The Journal Editors Perspective - Emma Coonan Journal of Information Literacy

Guest post by Emma Coonan, Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed open access Journal of Information Literacy

After several years of peer reviewing and two years of editor-in-chiefing, I’ve managed to boil down what I’m looking for in a journal article to five bullet points:
  • ·         An original contribution to the field
  • ·         A research-informed and evidence-based approach
  • ·         Designed around an arguable research question
  • ·         Contextualised with reference to previous and current advances in IL thinking
  • ·         Methodologically robust with a demonstrable research design

So at JIL we’re looking for research that helps readers understand a new development in information literacy, or understand existing thinking more deeply; that builds on evidence from other literature to back up its arguments; and that shows that the writer did some thinking and planning about what they wanted the research to achieve before they went ahead and did it.
Don’t be scared by the M word - methodology. It brings a lot of people out in hives, but having a clear and well applied method is simultaneously essential for a research article and not as terrifying as it’s often made to sound. The simplest way to think about it is to remember that a research article is about investigation, not description. JIL has a separate section for sharing good practice, where you can tell us about your teaching practice and resource design, but to be published in the peer-reviewed research articles section, your paper needs to not just describe what you did, but also say:
·         why it needed to be done to start with
·         why you went about it the way you did
·         how you made sure the process wasn’t full of assumptions, errors, biases and holes
If you look at a few papers in your field, especially ones from the journal you’d like to publish in, you’ll see how this investigative approach translates into a written article. You can also use a handout I made, based on xkcd’s ‘Thing Explainer’, that describes the structure of a journal article in simple language. You can see it on my blog  [LINK:] or download a copy [INCLUDED SEPARATELY].
It’s a brave thing to release your writing into the wild. Showing other people what you’ve written can make you feel vulnerable; receiving even the most kindly framed criticism might make you feel (temporarily) homicidal. There’s a brilliant Storify [LINK:] on dealing with reviewer comments, and you should also engrave the following principles on your heart:
·         Journals have a specific scope and remit
If your article doesn’t fit, maybe the container is the wrong shape. Try a different journal: your work has something to say to somebody.
·          ‘Resubmit’ doesn’t mean ‘Reject’
It’s been known for authors to react as though they’re the same thing. If you’ve been invited to resubmit your work for further review, it means they like it.
·         Reviewers and editors are writers too

and we know it sucks to have your writing criticised. At JIL we make a point of giving authors constructive, practical, workable suggestions for how you could improve your paper. We aim to not only be humane, but objective and evidence-based: the same principles that apply to all scholarly communication. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Journal Editor's Perspective - Reference Services Review

Guest post by Eleanor Mitchell and  Sarah Barbara Watstein

As co-editors of Reference Services Review (RSR), we hope that authors will enjoy the authoring and publication experience; the following tips and aha’s promise to make the academic writing journey a fulfilling one!

  1. Why Write? Why Publish? Before you begin, think about why you want to write and publish. Do you want to demonstrate or share expertise? Advance in your position or career? Obtain funding? Develop/build community? Enhance the visibility of your institution/library/program? Do writing and publication bring you professional or personal satisfaction? Reflecting on why you want to write and publish at the head end of your work ensures both focus and momentum.
  2. Journal Options: Identify and assess journal options (publishing options/outlets). Review the journal purpose, editorial objectives, availability, intended audience, guidance for potential authors, colleague-mentoring opportunities.
  3. The Right Fit: Select the appropriate journal for your topic, your style and approach, your preferred audience, your time-frame.  If you have an off -hand, editorial style of writing, and use an informal tone, make sure the journal you are considering publishes this sort of writing.  However, sometimes, in our journal (Reference Services Review) we will include an opinion piece or an interview or a point-counterpoint style article if the topic seems provocative and relevant. Similarly, sometimes a submission may seem tangential or almost off-topic for our areas of focus; with additional work and refocusing, articles of this sort have become among the most highly downloaded by our readers.  If your topic and perspective are compelling, take a chance.
  4. Making Contact: If you have questions about whether or not a journal is “the right fit,” contact the editor or co-editor, attend conferences or events and stop by the publisher’s booth(s), reach out to members of the journal’s Editorial Advisory Board, or track down published authors.
  5. Author Guidelines: Adhere to manuscript requirements (format; tables, figures and illustrations; references”) and follow manuscript submission guidelines.
  6. Manuscript Submission: Submit your best and final work: don’t send something half-baked or clearly unedited. However, RSR has a long editorial tradition, established by our long time founding editor and legend Ilene Rockman, of working closely with authors, particularly first time authors, to help them at different points in the process. Whether it is sharpening the thesis, clarifying the arguments, or bringing additional sources or perspectives to bear, our reviewers and editors often provide essential guidance. Frequently authors will correspond with us outside the submission process to jump start their writing process.
  7. The Editorial Process: Familiarize yourself with the manuscript review and revision process for the journal you’ve selected.
  8. The Revising Process – Do’s and Don’ts: Do read the reviews carefully. Decide whether to revise or not. As you revise, take care to respond to the reviewer’s/reviewers’ comments. And, take care to complete your revisions in a timely manner. When in doubt, check in with the journal editor. Remember not to internalize or personalize the reviewer’s/reviewers’ comments.
  9. Copyright, Permissions and Access: Familiarize yourself with the copyright and permissions policies of the journal, including guidance on published article reuse by authors and others. Some journals/publishers assist authors in fulfilling funder open access mandates by depositing the accepted version of their article in a designated public repository within the required time period.
  10. If Your Article is Rejected: Read the reviews carefully. Consider the reasons provided. Either plan to rewrite/resubmit or plan to resubmit elsewhere.