OCLC Research Quarterly Highlights
Issue 13: Fourth Quarter: April-June 2014
OCLC 754109685: ISSN 2163-8675

Collection Directions

A message from Lorcan Dempsey

Lorcan Dempsey

Collections are at the core of library activity. We are seeing major changes in how we think about collections in a network environment. I wrote about these changes with colleagues Constance Malpas and Brian Lavoie in an article in portal: Libraries and the Academy. There is an open access version of the paper available here [pdf]. The article is part of a special issue of portal edited by Damon Jaggars, of Columbia University, and devoted to exploring the future of academic libraries. The whole issue is worth checking out. In the interim, as a taster, here is the list of drivers we identified at the end of our "Collection Directions" article:

  • Ongoing policy attention to the outputs of publicly-funded research, the pressure to contain costs and to redistribute attention to greater engagement with research and learning, and the influence of the digital network will continue to drive change.
  • Discovery will continue to be progressively de-coupled from the local collection as "facilitated access" emerges as a core service, which is not necessarily anchored in a local collection.
  • The scholarly record is diversifying to include both the traditional outcomes of research and the products of enquiry (primary materials, data, methods, preprints, etc.), as well as derivative, repurposed, and aggregate works.
  • This is driving an interest in an ecosystem of services organized around research workflows, discovery, communication, and assessment. Universities, publishers, and other service providers are all diversifying research and learning support services that support multiple disciplinary communities.
  • As the library becomes more engaged in research and learning workflows, in supporting the creation, curation and disclosure of institutional research and learning materials, it needs to rebalance investment in "commodity" materials.
  • This drives an interest in rightscaling the investment in print, shifting it from local to shared environments, and licensed electronic resources, moving to consortial and demand-driven licensing models.
  • To increase operational efficiencies, library workflows will need to be more intelligent and data-aware, using demand-side usage data to trigger acquisitions, collection balancing between institutions, triage for digitization, consolidation in shared print environments, transfer or withdrawal decisions, and so on.
  • An inside-out orientation will become more important as universities focus attention on distinctive institutional assets and libraries direct increased curatorial attention toward special collections, new scholarly products, research preprints, and pedagogical resources.


Lorcan Dempsey is Vice President, OCLC Research, and Chief Strategist


Lynn Connaway.
Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Ixchel Faniel
Reordering Ranganathan: Shifting User Behaviors, Shifting Priorities
This report reorders Ranganathan’s laws to reflect today’s library resources, services and user behaviors.


Constance Malpas
Brian Lavoie, Constance Malpas and JD Shipengrover
Abridged Print Management at "Mega-scale" analysis included in new De Gruyter volume

An abridged version of the OCLC Research report, Print Management at "Mega-scale" has been published in the new De Gruyter volume, Wissensorganisation und -repräsentation mit digitalen Technologien.


Brian Lavoie
Brian Lavoie, Eric Childress, Ricky Erway, Ixchel Faniel, Constance Malpas, Jennifer Schaffner and Titia van der Werf
The Evolving Scholarly Record

This report presents a framework to help organize and drive discussions about the evolving scholarly record. The framework provides a high-level view of the categories of material the scholarly record potentially encompasses, as well as the key stakeholder roles associated with the creation, management, and use of the scholarly record.


Titia van der Werf
Wouter Kool, Brian Lavoie and Titia van der Werf
This report presents the preliminary findings of Phase 1 of our Preservation Health Check investigation of preservation monitoring and suggests that there is an opportunity to use PREMIS preservation metadata as an evidence base to support a threat assessment exercise based on the Simple Property-Oriented Threat (SPOT) model.
A complete list of OCLC Research publications is available online at: http://www.oclc.org/research/publications.html.

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Prototypes and Services

WorldCat Genres Genre profiles allow users to browse genre terms for hundreds of titles, authors, subjects, characters, places, and more, ranked by popularity in WorldCat.


Classify Classify is a FRBR-based prototype designed to support the assignment of classification numbers and subject headings for books, DVDs, CDs, and other types of materials.


Explore the top ships in library collections
We've selected the ships most represented in library collections from Thom Hickey's list of 50,000 ships in WorldCat Identities.   More...
Michael Buckland named recipient of 2014 Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library Technology
Dr. Michael Buckland was recognized for his outstanding educational leadership and research in Library and Information Science.  More...
Lorcan Dempsey received Honorary Doctorate from the Open University, UK
The degree was conferred for Academic and Scholarly Distinction during a ceremony on 21 June in Edinburgh, Scotland.  More...
OCLC Research offers Above the Fold readers new options
In addition to the e-newsletter that launched in 2008, Above the Fold content is now available on Twitter (@ATFOCLC) and on the new Above the Fold blog.  More...
OCLC Research launches multilingual bibliographic structure activity
This activity leverages the multilingual content of WorldCat to make it easier for users to identify resources in their preferred language and script.  More...
Discover the long and the short of libraries
Whether you're looking for a novel to keep you busy for a long while or a quick read, check out this feature of some of the longest novels ever published and a selection of short stories.  More...
Getting the Right Fit: Tailoring Assessment Strategies for Your Library
Senior Research Scientist Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Marie L. Radford from Rutgers University presented this keynote during the Collective Insight event co-hosted by the Boston Library Consortium and OCLC at Brandeis University on 22 April 2014.  More...
Lorcan Dempsey participated in ALA invitational summit
Lorcan  participated in the American Library Association's invitational Summit, Libraries From Now On: Imagining the Future at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.  More...
International Jazz Day celebrated on 30 April with the top jazz artists in libraries
This list was generated from the OCLC WorldCat database  based on the number of artists (authors) associated with the subject heading jazz held by OCLC member libraries.  More...
Research Support Specialist Jeff Mixter received 2014 KSU SLIS Beta Phi Mu Student Achievement Award
Jeff Mixter was selected to receive this award in recognition of his master's thesis research in library authorities and linked data along with other work he has done in this area.  More...
A complete list of OCLC Research news items is available online at: http://www.oclc.org/research/news.html.

Events, Webinars and Presentations

Evaluating Online Behaviors: A Visitors and Residents Approach
This webinar, co-hosted by OCLC Research and Jisc, demonstrated how the Evaluating Digital Services infoKit can be used to evaluate online behaviors and address various ways of evaluating user engagement.   More....
Reordering Ranganathan: Shifting User Behaviors, Shifting Priorities
In this webinar with Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Ixchel Faniel, participants learned how a reinterpretation of Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science can help evolve both the work done by libraries and the perceptions of libraries and librarians.  More...
OCLC Research Update at ALA Annual
See the complete list of OCLC Research meetings held at ALA Annual 2014 in Las Vegas, NV, 27-30 June, and the staff who hosted them, on our website.  More...
OCLC Research Library Partnership Meeting: Libraries and Research: Support Change/Changing Support
Exclusively for OCLC Research Library Partners, this gathering explored the evolving nature of academic research practices and the new demands on research library services. In addition to changes in the research process, research universities are evolving in new directions. Libraries are taking on new roles and responsibilities to support these changes—and libraries themselves are changing to position themselves for the future.   More....
The Evolving Scholarly Record and the Evolving Stewardship Ecosystem
Co-organized by OCLC Research and DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services), this workshop was built on the discussions of the Force11 "Beyond the PDF" conferences and the DANS workshop, "Riding the Wave and the Scholarly Archive of the Future," to explore the boundaries of the scholarly record and the curation roles of various stakeholders.   More....
Exploring shifting changes in user engagement
In this webinar, Lynn Silipigni Connaway gave a talk about her Digital Visitors and Residents work and the related Evaluating digital services infokit that was recently published. Participants learned how individuals engage with technology, how they engage or don't engage with some of our services, and how to evaluate your services and systems.   More...
The library has a website? User-Centered Library Assessment
Lynn Silipigni Connaway gave a plenary presentation at the ALAO Spring Workshop at OCLC in Dublin, OH.  More...
Getting the Right Fit: Tailoring Assessment Strategies for Your Library
Lynn and Marie L. Radford from Rutgers University delivered the keynote at "Getting the Right Fit: Tailoring Assessment Strategies for your Library." a half-day event at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts and co-hosted by the Boston Library Consortium and OCLC.  More...
Challenges of integrating researchers in authority files outlined in presentation and draft report
Karen Smith-Yoshimura and Micah Altman's (MIT Libraries) slides from their presentation at the CNI Spring 2014 Membership Meeting, along with a draft report for community review and feedback, are now available online.  More...
Brian Lavoie discussed framework for thinking about the evolving scholarly record in new presentation
Slides from Brian Lavoie’s "The Evolving Scholarly Record: Scope, Stakeholders and Stewardship" presentation at the CNI Spring 2014 Membership Meeting are now available for downloading or viewing on SlideShare.  More...
Inside the Digital Public Library of America with Dan Cohen
View the video of Dan Cohen's "Inside the Digital Public Library of America" presentation for insights into the DPLA's creation, how it functions as a portal and platform, what's underway, and what's to come.  More...
A complete list of OCLC Research events is available online at: http://www.oclc.org/research/events.html.

OCLC Researcher Spotlight—Ixchel Faniel: Sharing and Reusing Research Data 

Ixchel Faniel

I began my career as an information technology consultant, designing and implementing custom software solutions for clients.  After earning my MBA, I worked at IBM selling mainframes and later worked with a team of colleagues to propose appropriate solutions to customer-specific problems.  I went on to earn a Ph.D. in business administration. My dissertation work examined  and then worked to examine how technology could support sharing and reusing knowledge in a corporate setting.  Later I worked as an Assistant Professor at University of Michigan, School of Information, which helped shape my research interests.

My recent scholarship has focused on sharing and reusing research data within academic communities.   I’m currently leading an IMLS funded project, Dissemination Information Packages for Information Reuse (DIPIR), in which I’m  working with Elizabeth Yakel, a Professor of Information at the University of Michigan School of Information. We are examining data reuse in three academic disciplines (quantitative social science, archaeology, and zoology) to identify how contextual information about the data that supports reuse can be created and preserved.  In a related study we are collaborating with Eric Kansa and Sarah Whitcher Kansa of Open Context, a web-based publisher of archaeological research data.  Tracking archaeological data from sharing to reuse, we want to understand how the actions of data producers, curators, and reusers during different parts of the data lifecycle influence the ease with which data can be shared, processed and reused.

I also have an interest in the potential role libraries and librarians can play in supporting researchers’ needs to manage, curate, and preserve data, so I started a new OCLC Research activity, E-Research and Data: Opportunities for Library Engagement.  My objective with this work is to examine early responses to opportunities for library engagement in order to inform practical and effective approaches within the larger academic community. My research activities can be found on the OCLC Research website under the User Behavior Studies and Synthesis theme, along with Lynn Silipigni Connaway’s work. 

Not long after I started at OCLC Research, Lynn wanted to revisit the purpose and scope of the research activities related to User Behavior Studies and Synthesis and suggested using S.R. Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Library Science as a means to stimulate our thinking.  After reviewing the literature and our research, we decided to use Ranganathan’s five laws as a framework to create a shared understanding of the User Behavior Studies and Synthesis theme.  We also wanted to use the five laws as a means to shape the future direction of our research and put it in a context that would be timely and relevant for library community.  If you would like to learn more, please see our new report, Reordering Ranganathan: Shifting User Behaviors, Shifting Priorities.

Ixchel Faniel is an Associate Research Scientist in OCLC Research.