Repurposing Existing Digital Resources and Smoothing Interdisciplinary Communication: Environmental Policy Collection Development Page: 2
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Open access to data increases the efficiency of research by
avoiding unnecessary duplication of data collection and by
permitting the creation of new data sets combined from
multiple sources. A number of researchers (Cope and
Kalantzis 2009, Dutton and Paul 2011; among others)
summarize a wealth of research on how information
technologies enable both new forms of access and
innovative genres of collaboration. In light of this, the
University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries are working to
identify, collect, organize, and manage digital resources in
UNT'S ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY COLLECTION
In 2008, the University of North Texas Libraries began
moving towards the development of an environmental
policy digital library collection. Many of the initial
activities involved promoting the project at conferences,
soliciting partnerships, and holding informal interview and
focus groups with faculty members to gain a better
understanding of the discipline. In late 2009, after almost a
year of preparation, we finalized our collection guidelines
and began collecting materials to develop an environmental
policy digital library collection focused on climate change,
biodiversity, and sustainability. The goal of the project was
to identify, collect, organize, and manage digital resources
relevant to environmental policy in order to provide access
and enhanced services to a curated collection of content.
In addition to repurposed items from existing digital
collections, materials added to the collection were harvested
from the websites of U.S. federal agencies, state
governments, foreign governments, and international non-
government organizations and research bodies. Most of the
materials were under a creative commons license or in the
UNT DIGITAL LIBRARY
Statistics for Environmental Policy Collection
Item Uag 102 684 re Data
59,102 T:::al LIs-- 684 T-;:a Items 45 503 lles 683'''::l e , 1 Hidden
Usage by MonthYear
2012 2, 724 3 ,52 350.E 353 3E528 3287 3384 1,847
2011 922 1.& 0 1 CSE 1,904 2.71 1,858 1.e54 1.812 2 2 7327
201 I- -3 s e - 7' ... .
Figure 2. Usage Statistics for Environmental Policy Colle
Today, more urgently than ever, researchers ne
facilitate their research while at the same time
rather than inhibiting, intra- and interdisciplinary
communication. This is particularly important for research
in the interdisciplinary areas such as climate change. This is
not merely an academic concern, for it may also have
practical consequences. Consider the rapid development of
scientific and technical research in the areas of bio- and
nanotechnology, which far outstrips research on their
ethical and societal implications.
The UNT's Environmental Policy Collection was primarily
selected and recreated from existing digital collections.
With the UNT Digital Library's architecture already in
place, the cost of this collection was negligible as a research
tool compared with purchased and licensed titles. The UNT
Libraries compile system-wide aggregated usage statistics
for digital resources they manage. As can be seen from
Figure 2, the UNT Digital Library is used more than 32,000
times by people in over 215 countries around the world. It
was clear that the Environmental Policy collection was
seeing significant use in the UNT Digital Library system.
What is even more interesting is that usage has grown
without any active promotion by UNT Libraries.
Improving Access via Multiple Formats
The UNT Digital Library's provides access to multiple
content formats. These include UNT's own integrated page
turning interface, which provides users with highlighted
search terms and other features such as rotation and image
magnification. In addition, the UNT Digital Library can
take advantage of new and innovative ways of presenting
paginated book content such as PDF documents, the GNU
Book interface or other interfaces designed for emerging
mobile devices such as the iPad or other handheld tables.
The digital environment has now introduced new resource
types, new partners, and new user expectations into the
current information landscape. As research and scientific
inquiry depend on both the availability of heterogeneous
resources and their openness to easy and continued access,
enabling knowledge creation and facilitating access to
information resources become critical. The authors of this
article believe that providing access in such ways will have
important implications not just for future researchers in
climate change per se, but for stakeholders engaged in
collaborative collection development efforts. To deliver a
rich user experience and maintain the consistency of search
results and high recall of available resources, it is critical to
ensure the quality of the keywords and taxonomies used to
25575 describe heterogeneous digital resources within digital
S 83 24. 486
libraries. The authors speculate that letting subject
specialists and liaison librarians curate digital collections in
action: their own fields could lead to even more useful digital
collections, as well as better integration of goals and values
between groups providing access services and groups
ed ways to providing digital technology services.
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Hall, Nathan; Alemneh, Daniel Gelaw & Phillips, Mark Edward. Repurposing Existing Digital Resources and Smoothing Interdisciplinary Communication: Environmental Policy Collection Development, paper, October 2012; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122174/m1/2/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .