SUNCAT reaches 100 Contributing Libraries!

We are very pleased that SUNCAT has just added its 100th Contributing Library, the National Archives. Reaching 100 Contributing Libraries is a landmark for SUNCAT highlighting it as the most comprehensive source of journal holding information in the UK. SUNCAT contains the holdings of all the UK legal deposit libraries:

• British Library
• National Library of Scotland
• National Library of Wales
• Trinity College, Dublin
• University of Cambridge
• University of Oxford

In addition, it has over 50 Higher Education Libraries from across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, including all those of the Russell Group.

SUNCAT also has a range of specialist libraries covering a wide variety of disciplines including art; music; history; medicine; science; horticulture and the environment.

By incorporating information from all these libraries SUNCAT can help you uncover new or unique journals in a particular field, help you locate copies held closest to you or where you can apply for a copy of an article. The service can also highlight those journals which are widely held and more importantly where the one or two copies of more unusual titles are available.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Contributors for working with us to keep SUNCAT as comprehensive, accurate and current as possible!

To find out more information and directions to all the locations of each of the 100 Contributing Libraries click on the library locations map.

We are not stopping at 100 libraries and are keen to add more UK Higher Education, Specialist and Public Libraries, so if you are interested in contributing please see the earlier Contributing to SUNCAT is easy post.

For further information and news about SUNCAT please see our website, follow SUNCAT on Twitter (@suncatteam), or contact the EDINA helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk.

SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated.  Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past week.  The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • Brunel University (01 Jan 15)
  • CONSER (21 Jan 15)
  • Cranfield University (20 Jan 15)
  • Edinburgh University (21 Dec 14)
  • Queen’s University Belfast (03 Jan 15)
  • Reading University (14 Jan 15)
  • Royal College of Music (20 Jan 15)
  • Royal Society of Medicine (06 Jan 15)
  • Sheffield Hallam University (16 Jan 15)
  • Southampton University (18 Jan 15)
  • Strathclyde University (16 Dec 14)
  • Sussex University (15 Jan 15)
  • Swansea University (15 Jan 15)
  • Trinity College Dublin (12 Jan 15)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.


GoGeo Mobile has been released

The GoGeo Mobile iPhone App was created bgogeoAppy EDINA at the University of Edinburgh to support teaching, learning and research.

Jisc provided support for the GoGeo App project as part of its commitment to encourage the use of new and emerging technology to support research and learning in the UK.

GoGeo Mobile is an app that allows users to keep abreast of news and events in the geospatial sector. GoGeo Mobile is separated into a number of channels including News, Events, Jobs and Resources for Teachers. Each channel contains useful and relevant resources for anyone working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing or spatial data.

In addition, GoGeo Mobile allows users to perform targeted searches for spatial data. Searches can be defined by keyword and/or location and return a brief description of the data and users can then forward themselves a direct URL to the metadata record so they can download the data when they are back at their desk.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimised for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.

You can download the GoGeo Mobile App from the UK iTunes App Store.

Please provide Feedback to edina@ed.ac.uk with GoGeo App in the subject field.

New Digimap registration system – preview

As blogged about last month, we have been working on a new Digimap registration system which will be released next Tuesday (27th January) The current registration system has been in place for over ten years. It has served us well, but it is now rather dated especially because users have to wait for their registration to be manually approved and processed overnight. The new registration system allows users to get instant access to Digimap. This will be a significant improvement and help those students that leave their Digimap coursework a bit late! At least now they will be able to get access quickly and easily (unfortunately we can’t guarantee they’ll get the work submitted on time though!) Detailed help pages will be available from Wednesday, once the release has been completed and Digimap is available to users. To help prepare site reps and support staff for the change, here is an overview of the registration process.   Registering with Digimap Registration will now be an automated two-step process. Users will supply their details to register and then they must activate access to collections by agreeing to the individual licences. After logging into Digimap to start, users will be presented with the registration form to enter their name, email address, department, status and where they heard about Digimap. Registration form After hitting the submit button, users will be sent an email with a link to verify their account.  Once they have successfully verified, they will be directed back to the Digimap homepage, where they then complete the next step of activating collection access. registration_verify_600 registration_verify_confirmation_600 Agreeing to licence for Digimap collections (activating access) After verifying their email address, users will need to agree to the licences for each of the specific Digimap collections that they wish to use, this is done through the licence agreements page. registration_licence_agreement2_600 Users will only be able to agree to licences for the collections that their institution subscribes to.  Once the user has agreed to the licence(s) and hit the confirm button, they will have access to those Digimap collections. If the process is completed in one go, it takes no more than a few minutes.  Much quicker than the current system! Existing users Existing users will not notice any change unless they have not been active in a collection for more than 12 months.  Access to a collection expires after 12 months of inactivity.  If that’s the case, they will be prompted to accept the licence when they try to access an application in that collection.  Generally though, if someone has not accessed a particular collection for more than 12 months, we don’t expect they will activate access and therefore will not notice any change with the new system.  Access to active collections will carry on as normal. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the EDINA Helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk

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Open up! On the scientific and public benefits of data sharing

Research published a year ago in the journal Current Biology found that 80 percent of original scientific data obtained through publicly-funded research is lost within two decades of publication. The study, based on 516 random journal articles which purported to make associated data available, found the odds of finding the original data for these papers fell by 17 percent every year after publication, and concluded that “Policies mandating data archiving at publication are clearly needed� (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.014).

In this post I’ll touch on three different initiatives aimed at strengthening policies requiring publicly funded data – whether produced by government or academics – to be made open. First, a report published last month by the Research Data Alliance Europe, “The Data Harvest: How sharing research data can yield knowledge, jobs and growth.�  Second, a report by an EU-funded research project called RECODE on “Policy Recommendations for Open Access to Research Data�, released last week at their conference in Athens.  Third, the upcoming publication of Scotland’s Open Data Strategy, pre-released to attendees of an Open Data and PSI Directive Awareness Raising Workshop Monday in Edinburgh.

Experienced so close together in time (having read the data harvest report on the plane back from Athens in between the two meetings), these discrete recommendations, policies and reports are making me just about believe that 2015 will lead not only to a new world of interactions in which much more research becomes a collaborative and integrative endeavour, playing out the idea of ‘Science 2.0’ or ‘Open Science’, and even that the long-promised ‘knowledge economy’ is actually coalescing, based on new products and services derived from the wealth of (open) data being created and made available.

‘The initial investment is scientific, but the ultimate return is economic and social’

John Wood, currently the Co-Chair of the global Research Data Alliance (RDA) as well as Chair of RDA-Europe, set out the case in his introduction to the Data Harvest report, and from the podium at the RECODE conference, that the new European commissioners and parliamentarians must first of all, not get in the way, and second, almost literally ‘plan the harvest’ for the economic benefits that the significant public investments in data, research and technical infrastructure are bringing.

CaptureThe report’s irrepressible argument goes, “Just as the World Wide Web, with all its associated technologies and communications standards, evolved from a scientific network to an economic powerhouse, so we believe the storing, sharing and re-use of scientific data on a massive scale will stimulate great new sources of wealth.â€� The analogy is certainly helped by the fact that the WWW was invented at a research institute (CERN), by a researcher, for researchers. The web – connecting 2 billion people, according to a McKinsey 2011 report, contributed more to GDP globally than energy or agriculture. The report doesn’t shy away from reminding us and the politicians it targets, that it is the USA rather than Europe that has grabbed the lion’s share of economic benefit– via Internet giants Google, Amazon, eBay, etc. – from the invention of the Web and that we would be foolish to let this happen again.

This may be a ruse to convince politicians to continue to pour investment into research and data infrastructure, but if so it is a compelling one. Still, the purpose of the RDA, with its 3,000 members from 96 countries is to further global scientific data sharing, not economies. The report documents what it considers to be a step-change in the nature of scientific endeavour, in discipline after discipline. The report – which is the successor to the 2010 report also chaired by Wood, “Riding the Wave: How Europe can gain from the rising tide of scientific data,” celebrates rather than fears the well-documented data deluge, stating,

“But when data volumes rise so high, something strange and marvellous happens: the nature of science changes.�

The report gives examples of successful European collaborative data projects, mainly but not exclusively in the sciences, such as the following:

  • Lifewatch – monitors Europe’s wetlands, providing a single point to collect information on migratory birds. Datasets created help to assess the impact of climate change and agricultural practices on biodiversity
  • Pharmacog – partnership of academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies to find promising compounds for Alzheimer’s research to avoid expensive late-stage failures of drugs in development.
  • Human Brain Project – multidisciplinary initiative to collect and store data in a standardised and systematic way to facilitate modelling.
  • Clarin – integrating archival information from across Europe to make it discoverable and usable through a single portal regardless of language.

The benefits of open data, the report claims, extends to three main groups:

  • to citizens, who will benefit indirectly from new products and services and also be empowered to participate in civic society and scientific endeavour (e.g. citizen science);
  • to entrepeneurs, who can innovate based on new information that no one organisation has the money or expertise to exploit alone;
  • to researchers, for whom the free exchange of data will open up new research and career opportunities, allow crossing of boundaries of disciplines, institutions, countries, and languages, and whose status in society will be enhanced.

‘Open by Default’

If the data harvest report lays out the argument for funding open data and open science, the RECODE policy recommendations focus on what the stakeholders can do to make it a reality. The project is fundamentally a research project which has been producing outputs such as disciplinary case studies in physics, health, bioengineering, environment and archaeology. The researchers have examined what they consider to be four grand challenges for data sharing.

  • Stakeholder values and ecosystems: the road towards open access is not perceived in the same way by those funding, creating, disseminating, curating and using data.
  • Legal and ethical concerns: unintended secondary uses, misappropriation and commercialization of research data, unequal distribution of scientific results and impacts on academic freedom.
  • Infrastructure and technology challenges: heterogeneity and interoperability; accessibility and discoverability; preservation and curation; quality and assessibility; security.
  • Institutional challenges: financial support, evaluating and maintaining the quality, value and trustworthiness of research data, training and awareness-raising on opportunities and limitations of open data.

Capture1RECODE gives overarching recommendations as well as stake-holder specific ones, a ‘practical guide for developing policies’ with checklist for the four major stakeholder groups: funders, data managers, research institutions and publishers.

‘Open Changes Everything’

The Scottish government event was a pre-release of the  open data strategy, which is awaiting final ministerial approval, though in its final draft, following public consultation. The speakers made it clear that Scotland wants to be a leader in this area and drive culture change to achieve it. The policy is driven in part by the G8 countries’ “Open Data Charterâ€� to act by the end of 2015 on a set of five basic principles – for instance, that public data should be open to all “by defaultâ€� rather than only in special cases, and supported by UK initiatives such as the government-funded Open Data Institute and the grassroots Open Knowledge Foundation.

Capture

Improved governance (or public services) and ‘unleashing’ innovation in the economy are the two main themes of both the G8 charter and the Scotland strategy. The fact was not lost on the bureaucrats devising the strategy that public sector organisations have as much to gain as the public and businesses from better availability of government data.

The thorny issue of personal data is not overlooked in the strategy, and a number of important strides have been taken in Scotland by government and (University of Edinburgh) academics recently on both understanding the public’s attitudes, and devising governance strategies for important uses of personal data such as linking patient records with other government records for research.

According to Jane Morgan from the Digital Public Services Division of the Scottish Government, the goal is for citizens to feel ownership of their own data, while opening up “trustworthy uses of data for public benefit.�

Tabitha Stringer, whose title might be properly translated as ‘policy wonk’ for open data, reiterated the three main reason for the government to embrace open data:

  • Transparency, accountability, supporting civic engagement
  • Designing and delivering public services (and increasingly digital services)
  • Basis for nnovation, supporting the economy via growth of products & services

‘Digital first’

The remainder of the day focused on the new EU Public Service Information directive and how it is being ‘transposed’ into UK legislation to be completed this year. In short, the Freedom of Information and other legislation is being built upon to require not just publication schemes but also asset lists with particular titles by government agencies. The effect of which, and the reason for the awareness raising workshop is that every government agency is to become a data publisher, and must learn how to manage their data not just for their own use but for public ‘re-users’. Also, for the first time academic libraries and other ‘cultural organisations’ are to be included in the rules, where there is a ‘public task’ in their mission.

‘Digital first’ refers to the charging rules in which only marginal costs (not full recovery) may be passed on, and where information is digital the marginal cost is expected to be zero, so that the vast majority of data will be made freely available.

keep-calm-and-open-data-11Robin Rice
EDINA and Data Library

 

 

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Ordnance Survey to become a GovCo at the end of the financial year

OS

Matthew Hancock MP has just posted this statement regarding the status of the OS. 

I am today announcing the Government’s intention to change Ordnance Survey from a Trading Fund to a Government Company at the end of the financial year.
The change is operational in nature, and is aimed at improving Ordnance Survey’s day-to-day efficiency and performance. It will provide the organisation with a more appropriate platform from which to operate, and one which provides greater individual and collective responsibility for performance.
Ordnance Survey will remain under 100% public ownership with the data remaining Crown property, with ultimate accountability for the organisation staying with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Further to this change, in the coming weeks I will also be setting out more details on how Ordnance Survey will be building on its existing extensive support for the Government’s Open Data policy and on some senior appointments which will further strengthen the management team.

Ordnance Survey exists in a fast moving and developing global market. There has been rapid technology change in the capture and provision of mapping data, and increasingly sophisticated demands from customers who require data and associated services – including from government. To operate effectively, Ordnance Survey needs to function in an increasingly agile and flexible manner to continue to provide the high level of data provision and services to all customers in the UK and abroad, in a cost effective way, open and free where possible. Company status will provide that.

Mapping data and services are critical in underpinning many business and public sector functions as well as being increasingly used by individuals in new technology. Ordnance Survey sits at the heart of the UK’s geospatial sector. Under the new model, the quality, integrity and open availability of data will be fully maintained, and in future, improved. Existing customers, partners and suppliers will benefit from working with an improved organisation more aligned to their commercial, technological and business needs.
The relationship with Government will be articulated through the Shareholder Framework Agreement alongside the Company Articles of Association. The change will be subject to final Ministerial approval of these governance matters.

Ordnance Survey will also continue to publish a statement of its public task, to subscribe to the Information Fair Trader Scheme and comply with the relevant Public Sector Information Regulations, including Freedom of Information legislation, and make as much data as possible openly available to a wide audience of users.

The statement can be found here.

 

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The National Archives SUNCAT’s 100th Contributing Library!

The SUNCAT team is very proud to announce that The National Archives is our hundredth Contributing Library. Just over 1600 serials records from The National Archives Library have been added to the database. This milestone makes it a fantastic start to the year.

Photograph of the interior of The National Archives Library

The National Archives, located at Kew in Richmond, Surrey, is the UK government’s official archive. Its collection of over 11 million historical government and public records is one of the largest in the world. From the Domesday Book to modern government papers and digital files, the collection includes paper and parchment, electronic records and websites, photographs, posters, maps, drawings and paintings. The National Archives’ present aim is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible.

Photograph of the interior of The National Archives Library

The reference-only Library at The National Archives has a collection of books, periodicals and directories on history (including local, family and military history), law, biography, genealogy, as well as a wide range of reference material.  A number of electronic reference resources are also available. The National Archives Library uses Koha open-source Integrated Library System, the first library using this system to be added to SUNCAT.

For further information and news about SUNCAT please see our website, follow SUNCAT on Twitter (@suncatteam), or contact the EDINA helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk.

 

Salisbury Crags

Elspeth Jajdelska, University of Strathclyde

‘British Geological Survey’, P545612

View of Salisbury Crags and Edinburgh, ‘British Geological Survey’, P545612

 

Salisbury Crags is a ridge of rock on one side of Edinburgh’s mountain, Arthur’s Seat. In the late eighteenth century, Edinburgh scientist James Hutton, known later as the ‘Father of Geology’, used the Crags to develop his theory of the earth as an ancient system of heat and rock in constant (if slow) change. This was a radical departure from the idea of the earth as created in seven days some few thousand years ago. Hutton’s account had its own poetry – ‘we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end’ – but his description of the Crags themselves is detached and factual: ‘These masses of whinstone are from three or four to an hundred feet thick, running parallel in planes inclined to the horizon’ (Theory of the Earth, vol.1, 1795).

Charles Darwin recorded one visit to the Crags in both human and geological time. In a letter to his cousin, he mentioned that ‘a solitary walk on Salisbury crags’ had called up ‘old thoughts of former times’ as a medical student in the city. But in his field notes he describes the crags in the language of geology.

Hutton’s discoveries had surprisingly little impact on literary descriptions. The late eighteenth century had already seen a shift in feelings about mountains. In the 1690s, the Leeds diarist Ralph Thoresby had described mountains as hazards, ‘dangerous, terrible and tedious’, hellish enemies of man, which could be tamed by God alone, breaking them with ‘earthquakes and tempests’ (Diary of Ralph Thoresby).

Walter Scott, however, followed the taste of the romantics, for whom mountains were sublime and even gothic. In The Heart of Midlothianhe writes that, ‘The valley behind Salisbury Crags…has for a background the north-western shoulder of the mountain called Arthur’s Seat, on whose descent still remain the ruins of what was once a chapel, or hermitage, dedicated to St. Anthony the Eremite. A better site for such a building could hardly have been selected; for the chapel, situated among the rude and pathless cliffs, lies in a desert’.

Hutton’s findings were easily incorporated into this romantic view of the Crags. William Hazlitt wrote of them as the work of Nature the artist, operating at a scale beyond human capacity: ‘No imagination can toss and tumble about huge heaps of earth as the ocean in its fury can. A volcano is more potent to rend rocks asunder than the most splashing pencil’ (from The Elgin Marbles).

Stormy times!

We have all experienced some stormy times over the last week or so. Thankfully, this seems to have abated – for now! Here are some weird and wonderful storm and wind-related titles found in SUNCAT. Warning – some are not actually about stormy weather!

Photograph of large waves battering the Ashton area of Gourock, Inverclyde in Scotland during the 8 December 2011 Winterstorm.

Large waves battering the Ashton area of Gourock, Inverclyde in Scotland during the 8 December 2011 Winterstorm, also knows as “Hurricane Bawbag”. By easylocum (http://www.flickr.com/photos/easylocum/6479148985/) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

  • Storm courier.
  • Captain Storm.
  • Sew up a storm.
  • Storm Lake pilot.
  • Achilles storm featuring Razmataz.
  • Weathering the storm / Corus.
  • Manchester storm supporter survey.
  • Vision midweek storm.
  • Castle. A calm before storm.
  • The Pawn storm : journal of the Framingham Chess Club.
  • The Viking storm : the official Widnes Vikings magazine.
  • Battle with storm force.
  • Storm King sentinel.
  • The Commune : a herald of the coming storm.
  • Idiot wind.
  • Oh wind! Campbranch wind! Blow into my past! Oh wind!.
  • The Wind rose.
  • Practices of the wind.
  • Voices in the wind.
  • Whispering wind.
  • Wind-sock.
  • China wind sector : change of direction.
  • Into the teeth of the wind.
  • Wind up. A souvenir of ‘Breezy’ days at Gailes. Ed.: J.B. Nicholas.

For more storm and wind serials and other weird and wonderful titles have a search of SUNCAT.


SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated.  Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past week.  The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • Bristol University (08 Jan 15)
  • British Library (03 Jan 15)
  • Cambridge University (02 Jan 15)
  • CONSER (07 Jan 15)
  • Cranfield University (20 Dec 15)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (13th Jan 15)
  • Exeter University (15 Dec 15)
  • Glasgow University (05 Jan 15)
  • Goldsmiths University of London (6th Jan 15)
  • Kent University (01 Jan 15)
  • King’s College London (01 Jan 15)
  • Leeds University (12 Dec 14)
  • London Business School (07 Jan 15)
  • The London Library (23 Jan 15)
  • National Library of Scotland (14 Jan 15)
  • Nottingham University (08 Jan 15)
  • Oxford University (22 Dec 15)
  • Robert Gordon University (03 Jan 15)
  • St Andrews University (06 Jan 15)
  • Southampton University (11 Jan 15)
  • Warwick University (07 Jan 15)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.