DeLib Symposium “Emerging Technologies in Libraries” starts tomorrow

DeLib’s second library-oriented symposium begins tomorrow (11 April), focusing on “Emerging technologies in libraries“.

Held predominantly at the Grand Heritage Hotel in Doha, the symposium’s first day includes a series of workshops on modern web design, 3D printing, data visualization, and developing elearning sessions.

The second and third days are a mix of presentations and roundtable lunches. A feature will be the keynote address by Dr Barbara Tillett, previously the Chief of the Library of Congress’ Cataloging Policy & Support Office. Dr Tillett will discuss the international development of RDA (resource description and access): a unified cataloging standard designed to deal with an increasingly digital world in a way that the existing Anglo-American Cataloging Rules cannot.

Other topics addressed include:

  • copyright and licensing issues in virtual learning environments
  • developments in Gulf museums over the last 60 years
  • capacity-building for library support staff
  • the use of linked data in libraries
  • library management systems and data analytics.
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How to avoid predatory journals: Think, check, submit

Think. Check. Submit. is a new campaign to equip researchers with the means to check the credentials of an OA journal and avoid submitting their work to so-called “predatory open access” journals (a phrase first coined by librarian and OA researcher Jeffery Beall).

Open-access (OA) publishing has become a popular way for academics to disseminate their work. However, a publishing model where the author(s) submit an electronic document then pay up-front for online distribution has led to the rise of sham operations that masquerade as legitimate open-access publishers. These publisher do not provide the rigorous peer-review and editing that is the hallmark of scholarly publishing: once the author has paid the article processing charge, the paper is accepted with no review and published online with no true editorial input.

To be successful, a predatory journal must maintain the appearance of a true scholarly journal. They may use scholarly sounding titles, list a “distinguished” editorial board (the members of which may be entirely fictional), and claim to have a variety of “impact factors” indicating their high standing in the scholarly world. Unwary authors, particularly those just beginning to publish, or those from developing countries, can be fooled into believing these journals are real.

DeLib encourages authors to critically assess online scholarly journals, particularly those with which they are not familiar. Think. Check. Submit. provides an excellent checklist of questions that authors can ask to verify the legitimacy of an online journal. Examples include: Have your colleagues heard of it? Can you confirm that the editorial board is real? What are the details of the peer-review process used? Will your paper really be indexed in major scholarly databases?

Adopting a critical approach to OA journals will help you to find worthwhile venues to publish your work. It will also help ensure the credibility of scholarly publishing in general.

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Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar launches new open access journal


Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar has today announced the creation of the new open access journal “Innovations in Global Health Professions Education“, aimed at promoting innovation, discussion, and research at all levels of health education.

The new journal’s editorial board includes many WCM-Q faculty, notably our Dean, Dr Javaid I. Sheikh as one of the Editors-in-Chief, and the Distributed eLibrary’s very own Dr Mirko von Elstermann as Managing Editor.

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Share Journal Club Findings with Others in PubMed Commons

PubMed Commons Journal Clubs banner

PubMed Commons, a resource which makes it possible for PubMed users to provide input and share opinions on articles in PubMed, has a new feature entitled PubMed Journal Club.  With PubMed Journal Club, journal clubs can post a record of their discussions and findings for others to consider and comment on.  PubMed Commons hopes this will be an effective tool to spread the valuable findings of various journal clubs from around the world to an international audience.

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“Statista”: a new online statistics resource in DeLib’s collection

Statista aims to provide a single portal to “integrate data on over 80.000 topics from over 18.000 sources onto a single professional platform”. Users can search for statistics themselves, or view pre-prepared reports (“topics”) that pull together information on particular countries or subjects.The international coverage is extensive, although inevitably there is somewhat of a US bias. An intriguing feature is an ever-growing collection of info-graphics, featuring information about topics ranging from international gun homicide rates to the most-desired professions in a son/daughter-in-law in the UK.

Please explore Statista and let us know what you think.

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DeLib librarian wins award

DeLib librarian Mr Sa’ad Laws won a WCMC-Q Excellence in Teaching Award for his work with the 3rd and 4th year clerkships.

DeLib Director, Ms Ellen Sayed, described the award as “a huge achievement and a recognition of our contribution to the College and its mission.”

Awards are decided by student vote. Other winners this year included Dr Ziyad Mahfoud, Dr Ali Sultan, and Dr Gerardo Guiter.

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DeLib Copyright Symposium

DeLib held its inaugural Copyright Symposium on 21-22 April, 2015. Despite aiming at a purely local target audience, over 50 librarians, academics, researchers, and students attended.

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