Researchers, especially in the life sciences and chemistry, have access to numerous tools/services to retrieve, store and work with scientific information. And every tool comes with a growing number of functions and features. Scientific publishers and scientific libraries should therefore align to ensure that scientists are aware of those possibilities, know the options and use the tools. And who would be better suited to do this communication job than the scientific library — independent and with a critical mind. However, to do so scientific libraries need to be aware of what's going on at scientific publishers, what’s in the pipeline and what the roadmap is.
With this in mind, the Chemistry | Biology | Pharmacy Information Center of ETH Zürich has, for the second time, hosted an Elsevier Library Connect Event for Switzerland, to ensure that there is an exchange between Elsevier and Swiss science librarians and information specialists.
Similar to 2014, the event was held as a one-day meeting at the Hönggerberg campus of ETH Zurich, located on a hill overlooking the city of Zurich. The event is a great opportunity for exchange, sharing best practices and networking. Anyone who is involved with management or assessment of information resources could attend, as well as those whose roles rely heavily on research. This year we welcomed an audience of delegates from universities and applied sciences universities (Fachhochschulen) throughout Switzerland. The focus was on research and education followed by presentations on a range of interesting themes.
This included lively discussions and interesting presentations about resources such as the newly launched Elsevier Publishing Campus
, an online training platform for early career researchers. Many attendees described the presentation as “very informative” because they saw the website as a place where researchers can find a wide variety of tools to support their research. This online platform offer free lectures, interactive training and professional advice.
Another interesting new service presented was My Research Dashboard, launched in 2015 for researchers who have published with Elsevier within the last three years. It was interesting to hear Hesham Attala speaking about Elsevier’s approach: to move away from a content-centric to a user-centric solution and about the #1 pain point for researchers: Yes, you are likely guessing right — a lack of time, a problem that most of us have. This is also the #1 pain point for libraries and information centers as it becomes more difficult to connect with researchers, especially when the proposed training and education programs require a time commitment. Can you think of a researcher who, lacking the time to read an important paper, would attend a two-hour training session organized by the library? This is a challenge both publishers and librarians must tackle; otherwise, information tools will simply not be adopted.
The event was also an excellent opportunity to gain insight into Elsevier’s Text and Data Mining Policy. While text and data mining has already arrived in the industry, researchers in academia still see less need and potential — possibly because they usually focus on one research area, which they explore in-depth. But we expect that text mining approaches will soon become more common in academia.
In summary, the talks provoked lively discussion and exchange among attendees from industry and the academic community. Bridges were built among people from different disciplines, and it was a great networking opportunity! The attendees left with a toolkit of new skills and knowledge, including Elsevier’s Journal Finder
. We are looking forward to meeting again at the next Library Forum. In the meantime, Elsevier provides training and updates via interesting webinars, communications (newsletters, blogs, etc.) and events for librarians and the academic community throughout the year.
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