Current Cites

June 2017

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Peter Hirtle, Leo Robert Klein, Nancy Nyland, Roy Tennant

Buranyi, Stephen. "Is the Staggeringly Profitable Business of Scientific Publishing Bad for Science? The Guardian  (27 June 2017)( - Buranyi finds it hard to believe that scientific publishing, which he describes as "essentially a for-profit oligopoly functioning within an otherwise heavily regulated, government-funded enterprise[,] can avoid extinction in the long run." He attributes the fact that it has continued to be unbelievably profitable largely to the impact of Robert Maxwell, the larger-than-life founder of Pergamon Press. For anyone who wants a quick overview of the recent history of scholarly publishing and why it has been so slow to change, this article should be useful. - PH

Coalition for Networked Information, . Rethinking Institutional Repository Strategies: Report of a CNI Executive Roundtable Held April 2 & 3, 2017  Washington, D.C. : Coalition for Networked Information, 10 May 2017.( - According to this thoughtful summary of a discussion about the challenges facing institutional repositories (IRs), the focus of IRs has shifted from the IR as platform to the IR as service to most recently the IR as a bundle of related services. But perhaps as a result, there has been little consensus on what problems IRs are attempting to solve and hence little ability to assess whether they have been successful. The types of content that could be included in an IR, the functions that an IR can address, and the technological approaches that one can use are almost limitless. Because many options are resource-intensive, discussion must begin by determining which of the approaches identified in this report are important to the institution. - PH

Doucette, Lise. "Quantitative Methods and Inferential Statistics: Capacity and Development for LibrariansEvidence Based Library and Information Practice  12(2)(2017): 53 - 58. ( - More than one author has observed that librarians often have an "uneasy relationship" with statistics. All MLIS programs do not require a Research Methods course to make the relationship easier. Doucette reminds us that the majority of librarians are from humanities programs "and have little previous experience with statistics." For those of us who fall into that category but would like to expand our knowledge, there are many resources available. Besides reviewing the difference between quantitative and qualitative statistics, a refresher course starts here with an explanation of the difference between descriptive and inferential statistics. There is a reminder that the term "significant" means something different in the statistical world than in the English language generally. Librarians who would like to expand their abilities in this direction are pointed to resources at Coursera, the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), and books with wonderful titles like Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics. - NN

Magnuson, Lauren. "Decentralizing Library ITACRL TechConnect Blog  (7 June 2017)( - In this blog post, Magnuson asserts that "More personnel across the library are embracing and developing high tech skills traditionally housed in library systems or IT departments." She goes on to discuss six trends that she believes are spreading IT activities across the library: "Increasingly high technical skills are required for most library areas...Optimization of cloud-based systems can be distributed...More opportunities to build integrations...The increasing importance of data wrangling...Customization of discovery and library e-content...Systems beyond the ILS." "In my view," Magnuson concludes, "there’s simply too much technology change happening in library to keep all technology development centralized in a single unit within the library." - RT

Ratledge, David, and Claudene  Sproles. "An Analysis of the Changing Role of Systems LibrariansLibrary Hi Tech  35(2)(06 April 2017): 303-311. ( - This is a look at the changing responsibilities of a 'Systems Librarian' in this day and age. The authors base their research on job ads from the ALA JobList for 2014. They conclude that responsibilities have expanded, that systems positions have "morphed and divided into related but distinct positions such as emerging technology and digital initiatives librarians". - LRK

Wu, Michelle M.. "Piece by Piece Review of Digitize-and-Lend Projects Through the Lens of Copyright and Fair UseLegal Reference Services Quarterly (2017 Forthcoming)  (2 May 2017)( - Can a library legally digitize print books from its collection and then lend those digital copies to users? After extensive discussion of the legal principles involved, Wu concludes that "Controlled circulation of digitized works should therefore be fair use." On the other hand, in a recent court filing involving the ReDigi music resale service, the Association of American Publishers argues strenuously that “digital lending services” such as the Internet Library's Open Library pose an immediate and dangerous threat to the publishing industry. Perhaps the lack of legal action against Open Library is a sign that Wu has the better of the argument. - PH