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New IFLA Standard: IFLA Guidelines for Library Services to Children aged 0-18 [revised version 2018]

(10 December 2018) The Committee on Standards is pleased to announce the publication of the IFLA Guidelines for Library Services to Children aged 0-18, revised version 2018, which was endorsed by the IFLA Professional Committee in August 2018.

The IFLA Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section (C&YA Section) have undertaken this revision of the Guidelines for Children’s Libraries Services, last published in 2003, to represent good practice in library services for children.

These Guidelines promote and encourage the development of effective library services for children of all abilities by giving guidance to the international library community about children’s needs and rights on information, literacy and reading. The intention is to help public libraries implement high quality children’s services in the digital age and recognising the changing role of the library in modern society. The IFLA Global Vision discussion shows that libraries are deeply committed to core roles in supporting literacy, learning and reading and are focused on our communities. Quality of education and universal literacy is recognised in the vision for the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The revised Guidelines provide up to date knowledge and professional insight for those who strategically plan or deliver children’s library services and programmes. They are aimed at practicing librarians, library staff, library managers and administrators and the students and lecturers in library and information studies faculties. The Guidelines can help to inform decision makers and those involved in developing policies. The information will also benefit non-government organisations (NGOs) who support literacy and reading programs for children and their families.

The announcement is here.

Introducing an experimental format for learning about content mining for digital scholarship

(7 December 2018) This post by the British Library’s Digital Curator for Western Heritage Collections, Dr Mia Ridge, reports on an experimental format designed to provide more flexible and timely training on fast-moving topics like text and data mining.

This post covers two topics – firstly, an update to the established format of sessions on our Digital Scholarship Training Programme (DSTP) to introduce ‘strands’ of related modules that cumulatively make up a ‘course’, and secondly, an overview of subjects we’ve covered related to content mining for digital scholarship with cultural heritage collections.

The Digital Scholarship Blog has the details.

China launches “Panda Book Corner” library project in Nepali schools

(7 December 2018, Kathmandu, (Xinhua) A library project, the “Panda Book Corner,” has been launched by the Chinese government in Nepal to distribute books to schools.

The project was launched on Thursday in five different schools of Kathmandu valley. It aims to promote the Chinese language among school students, to share knowledge and experience from China, and to provide Chinese learning materials for Nepalese school students.

Addressing the function, Nepali Environment Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet expressed hope that the Panda Book Corner will widen the horizon of knowledge among Nepalese students.

Around 5,000 books have been distributed to five schools including three private schools and two community schools. The Panda Book Corner comprises of books about Chinese history, economy, culture, festivals, language, music, the Silk Road and dictionary, among others.

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong said that the book corner will provide more knowledge and information about China to Nepali students. She also urged the students to read more books and work as goodwill ambassadors between the two countries in the future.

The news is here.

Big European funders flesh out plan towards immediate free access to journals

Plan S architects explain how grantees can abide by initiative’s rules by 2020, when the paywalls are due to fall 

(27 November 2018) The architects of Plan S, a contentious plan to tear down scholarly journals’ paywalls in Europe, have laid out more details on how the initiative will work.

In a seven-page implementation guidance note published on Tuesday, funders backing the plan, including the European Research Council, national agencies in France, the Netherlands and the UK, as well as private funders including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, explain how grantees can abide by Plan S rules by 2020, when it goes into effect.

The note says that, aside from publishing in an open access journal or platform, researchers can comply with Plan S by publishing in a subscription journal provided they also make a peer reviewed version immediately available in a repository. Many top journals do not allow this until at least six months after publication.

Grantees will be permitted to publish in so-called hybrid journals, which charge a subscription but make some articles free to view, but only if the journal has committed to transform into a fully open access model. has the news in full.

SAGE Publishing invests in Thusly to bring crowd annotation software to social scientists

(5 December 2018)  SAGE Publishing, a leading global academic publisher, today announces that it has made a major seed investment in Thusly Inc. – a technology start-up creating research tools for big data analysis of document archives. The investment is the first for SAGE as part of its SAGE Ocean initiative, and will support the launch of Thusly’s TagWorks crowd annotation software into the academic research market.

TagWorks enables social science researchers to perform complex content analysis on very large document collections at up to ten times the speed of existing methods. The collaborative tool enables researchers to deeply analyze documents by asking internet-based workers a series of detailed questions to evaluate passages of text. TagWorks is currently being used to identify and report nuanced forms of misinformation in news articles such as ‘exaggerated metaphor,’ and ‘confusion of correlation and causation.’

Thusly Inc. was co-founded by Nick Adams Ph.D, a sociologist and former research scientist at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, and Norman Gilmore, a seasoned software developer with a long term interest in citizen science. The idea for TagWorks was born when Adams’s research posed the challenge of closely annotating nearly 10,000 news articles describing events of the Occupy movement.

“Wherever researchers have big data in the form of documents –– whether that’s government archives, newspaper data, court transcripts, meeting minutes etc. –– they have data that has, until now, been practically inaccessible,” says Nick Adams, CEO of Thusly. “TagWorks will open up new horizons for social science. Analyzing big archives used to mean training waves of research assistants, and content analysis projects would stretch on for years. Now, hundreds of internet-based analysts can work on a project with no face-to-face training, meaning a job that would have taken a decade can be completed in a matter of months. What’s more, researchers don’t have to choose between quantitative and qualitative data, they can have both. Access to such big, rich data enables us to ask and answer complex questions we couldn’t before.”

SAGE Ocean was launched earlier this year to support social scientists working with big data and new technologies. TagWorks joins its growing portfolio of products, which also includes social data science e-learning platform, SAGE Campus.

Katie Metzler, Executive Head of Methods Innovation at SAGE says, “This investment is an example of the type of innovation we want to catalyze with SAGE Ocean. Software like this needs investment and incubation to make it from an inventor’s sketchpad into the hands of social scientists. This is an important milestone for us as we build a portfolio of new products to meet the evolving needs of social science researchers working in the age of big data.”

Nick Adams continues, “We’re really grateful to SAGE for recognizing the promise of TagWorks. It takes some methodological expertise to understand the deep value of this tool, and a real commitment to social science to provide the kind of support SAGE Ocean has offered. The incubation team has coached us on the development of our business plan, pricing model, marketing materials, and business operations. We really couldn’t hope for a better strategic partner to ensure that this powerful tool is enabling the next generation of big data research.”

TagWorks’ first customers include the Public Editor project from Goodly Labs, a California-based non-profit evaluating thousands of news articles for social good projects (SAGE Publishing announced a sponsorship of Public Editor earlier this year) and the History Lab at Columbia University, which is using TagWorks with National Science Foundation support to annotate and curate U.S. State Department cables. TagWorks will also provide ideal human-labeled “training” data for research projects developing artificial intelligence through supervised machine learning.

Matt Connelly Ph.D., the Director of Columbia’s History Lab, says his team feels fortunate to be one of TagWorks’ first customers. “We have so many documents we’re curating for the broader research community and we just couldn’t find another tool that would allow us to work at the big data scale. Automated techniques produce too many errors. But old-style annotation tools aren’t designed to work for such large archives. We had thought a few years back that someone should create a crowd approach for annotating large archives. With TagWorks, we’re glad it’s finally here.”

The full announcement is here.

University of Tasmania Library hiring Associate Director (Collections)

(6 December 2018) The University’s Cultural Collections and Gallery has recently been added to the Library’s portfolio within the University’s Academic Division. We are seeking an innovative, enthusiastic and collaborative Associate Director Collections to lead a team of Library, Cultural Collections custodians and Gallery staff, to provide an experience that highlights the value of these collections, for learning, teaching and research with our Colleges and community. As a leader you will develop and implement a new governance model and bring together diverse and distributed cultural collections and exhibition programs.

Closing date is 21 January 2019.

ALIA has the full job description.

China backs bold plan to tear down journal paywalls

Officials pledge support for European-led ‘Plan S’ to make research papers immediately free to read — but it’s unclear whether China will adopt its policies. 

(5 December 2018) In a huge boost to the open-access movement, librarians and funders in China have said that they intend to make results of publicly funded research free to read immediately on publication.

The move, announced at an open-access meeting this week in Berlin, includes a pledge of support for Plan S, a bold initiative launched in September by a group of European funders to ensure that, by 2020, their scientists make papers immediately open.

It is not yet clear when Chinese organizations will begin implementing new policies, or whether they will exactly adopt Plan S’s details, but Robert-Jan Smits, the chief architect of Plan S, says the new stance is a ringing endorsement for his initiative. “This is a crucial step forward for the global open access movement,” he says. “We knew China was reflecting to join us — but that it would join as so soon and unambiguously is an enormous surprise.”

Nature has the news in full.

Vietnam to enhance digitalization of library

(6 December 2018) Speaking at the seminar “Developing and reforming library activities in the new era”, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam emphasized that digitalization of library nationwide will help people to access books easily.

The seminar was held yesterday by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. According to the Ministry, library system has developed nationwide yet its role is still limited.

Saigon Online has the story.

The Academic Market in China: An Overview

(3 December 2018) No one says selling into the Chinese market is simple, but is it unmanageable, given that there are nearly 1.4 billion people speaking a very different language and sharing a very different culture? The answer is: not necessarily, if you know the basics, and then zoom in on the details.

As in any other country, the academic market in China consists of universities and research institutes, and hospitals for medical content.

The Scholarly Kitchen has the full, illustrated article by guest writer Tao Tao.

Sci-Hub blocked in Russia following ruling by Moscow court

(3 December 2018) Sci-Hub, the popular pirate site that bypasses paywalls to illicitly host millions of pay-to-read scientific papers, is being blocked in Russia after a court in the country ruled against the site.

Last month, the Moscow City Court ruled that Sci-Hub should be blocked in the country following complaints from the academic publishers Elsevier and Springer Nature, who alleged intellectual property infringement. As a result, Russia’s state media regulator Roskomnadzor (RKN) has blocked Sci-Hub and related mirror sites. It is believed that Alexandra Elbakyan, who founded Sci-Hub in 2011, operates the site out of Russia. Elbakyan did not respond to a request for comment.

Last November, a Virginia district court ruled that internet service providers and search engines must block Sci-Hub and that the site should pay the American Chemical Society (ACS) – which was alleging copyright infringement, trademark counterfeiting and trademark infringement – $4.8 million (£3.7 million) in damages. Although some Sci-Hub domains disappeared following this ruling, the site quickly switched to new domains.

ChemistryWorld has the news in full by Dalmeet Singh Chawla.

Applications and nominations are invited for University Librarian, City University of Hong Kong

(5 December 2018) Applications and nominations are invited for: University Librarian [Ref. B/239/09], City University of Hong Kong

As a large administrative unit with over 100 staff members supporting the University’s academic enterprise, the Library endeavours to support and augment teaching, learning and research by providing a dynamic environment conducive to studying and offering seamless access to the diverse, up-to-date and high-quality resources.  The Library’s current collection includes more than 1 million volumes of print books and about 2 million electronic books.  The collection also comprises several hundred thousand volumes of bound periodicals and over one thousand current serials titles. The Library maintains an expanding number of electronic databases, e-journals, and media resources.

Reporting to the Provost, the University Librarian plays a pivotal role in providing strategic leadership to the Library and effective management of resources in the delivery of services.  The appointee will also work closely with the University senior management to develop the Library as a key resource centre to provide professional intellectual support in the utilization and creation of knowledge and scholarly information.

Qualifications for Appointment
Candidates should possess strong academic credentials, preferably at the level of Professor or above, with proven track record of effective management and leadership of an academic library.  Other essential qualities include relevant professional qualifications, commitment to excellence, outstanding interpersonal and collaboration skills to work effectively with different stakeholders, demonstrated management and leadership ability, and considerable knowledge of emerging technologies to support excellence in research and professional education.

Salary and Conditions of Service
The appointee will be offered appointment to a rank commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Remuneration package will be highly competitive, commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Initial appointment will be made on a fixed-term contract; fringe benefits include gratuity, leave, medical and dental schemes, and housing benefits.

Information and Application
Further information on the post is available at, or from the Human Resources Office, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong [Email:
Fax : (852) 2788 1154 or (852) 3442 0311].

To apply, please submit an online application at, and include a current curriculum vitae.  Nominations can be sent directly to the Human Resources Office, or email to ““.

Applications and nominations received by 31 December 2018 will receive full consideration.  The University’s privacy policy is available on the homepage.

Kudos raises £2.2 million to help optimize research communication and accelerate impact

(5 December 2018)  Kudos, the award-winning service for maximizing the reach and impact of research, will develop and launch a new communications management system for researchers, after securing £2.2m investment in a round led by Mobeus Equity Partners.

The global research sector is undergoing significant and accelerating change, with mechanisms for evaluation, publication and reward being overhauled to improve efficiencies. With over £150b invested annually in research through universities worldwide, innovation is needed to improve the return on this expenditure; effective communication, throughout the research lifecycle, is central to this.

Launched in 2014, Kudos serves over a quarter of a million researchers, affiliated with over 10,000 universities and other research institutions in 190 countries. Having built a central data set of communications activities and results, the company is uniquely positioned to develop algorithms for maximizing engagement with research and its potential for impact.

Through this investment, Kudos will rapidly expand its service to enable research groups, departments and universities to plan, action and report on their communication activities – across multiple projects, outputs and publications – and understand which are most effective for engaging specific target audiences. Further, the data collected will give funders, publishers and other stakeholders greater insight into the most effective communication mechanisms for improving research impact.

For the full press release, see here.

ChemRxiv announces streamlined submission of research for journal peer review

(5 December 2018) Now in its second year of successfully sharing research findings openly with the global chemistry community, ChemRxiv today announced Direct Journal Transfer, a new feature that will help authors submit their posted preprints to established journals for editorial consideration and peer review. This feature, which is now available on the ChemRxiv website, currently enables direct submission to journals published by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Royal Society of  Chemistry (RSC) and the German Chemical Society (GDCh), including ChemPubSoc Europe (CPSE) journals. Those ChemRxiv founder society partners welcome other interested scientific publishers to inquire about adoption of ChemRxiv’s Direct Journal Transfer capability for their journals.

For the full press release, see here.

Chiba University launches open access resource “c-arc”

(4 December 2018) Chiba University launched a new academic resource collection named “Chiba University Academic Resource Collections (c-arc) ” which makes content published and provided by Chiba University Libraries widely available on the web. This website is a new infrastructure to realize “Digital Scholarship,” which promotes using digital content to research, education, and learning materials. Not only students and researchers at Chiba University, but anyone can use this open resource.

“c-arc” offers rare eastern medicine book collection, Horticulture book collection on Edo-Meiji era, Machino family documents and Fungi and Actinomycetes gallery.

Rare eastern medicine book collection

This collection mainly consists of Japanese and Chinese medical books, as well as books on herbal medicine and Western medicine, published and transcribed in the period from the Edo period (1603-1868) to the early Meiji era (1868-1912). The collection contains valuable documents such as “Revised Kaitai Shinsho” written by Gentaku Otsuki and “Zoshi, ” Japan’s first anatomical book. There are 197 items in this collection.

Horticulture book collection on Edo-Meiji era

This is a collection of horticulture books important for tracking the development and transition of Japanese horticulture since the Edo period (1603-1868). The collection includes beautiful colored pictorial books depicting various kinds of plants, such as morning glory, whose cultivars were popular in the Edo period, as well as iris and maple. The collection also includes a draft of “Kasho-Baiyoroku (draft) ” written by Sadatomo Matsudaira, who produced about 300 varieties of improved iris strains. There are 18 items in this collection.

Archive of the family Machino

This collection belonged to the Machino family, who served for generations as village headman of Kotehashi Village, Chiba District from the Edo period to the Meiji Era (the 1650s to the 1880s). The content ranges widely from annual tribute taxes to other administrative records. There are about 700 items in this collection.

The Machino family contributed the collection to Chiba University in 1957, and the National Museum of Japanese history had digitized materials held at Chiba University and published them on the web.

Fungi and Actinomycetes Gallery

The gallery shows images of pathogenic fungi, yeasts, mushrooms, and pathogenic actinomycetes. The Medical Mycology Research Center of Chiba University created the gallery with assistance from the National BioResource Project (NBRP). There are about 224 items in this collection.

In the future, the collection of designs by graduates from the Department of Design, Faculty of Engineering, Chiba University and Haginiwa Herbarium will be added to this website.

Visit c-arc here.

Ruth’s Ranking News Flash! 2018-7: Researchers, Subjects, and Regional Rankings

  • Who has the most Highly Cited (Top 1%) papers in the world?
  • Which Asian university is in the top ten of a THE subject ranking?
  • Which university that was top 10 in Asia last year is not even top 20 this year?

(Answers in red below)

(1 December 2018) This really is the last News Flash! of the year.  Clarivate Analytics announced its new list of Highly Cited Researchers, with more researchers than last year and a change in methodology.  Times Higher Education finished rolling out its 2019 subject rankings and we have gone back to review the QS regional rankings that we missed.

Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers

Ruth’s Rankings 34 introduced the list of 3,400 highly cited authors based on Web of Science and Essential Science Indicators (ESI) data.

This year’s list identified 4,058 researchers across the 21 ESI fields and added a new category of 2000 researchers in “cross fields”.  The U.S. and U.K. continue to lead with the number of researchers and China has risen to number three and Australia to number five.

There is no ranking. Inclusion is based on the date of the citations over the past 11 years, from 2006 to 2016, and by field. The researchers are listed alphabetically.  Table 1, Highly Cited Researchers in Australia in Agricultural Sciences, is an example of filtering by subject, resorting and copying into a spreadsheet. Those who have access to Incites can search by time frame, ESI category, and location to find out who is really number one.  From Table 1, Richardson is number one with 10 highly cited articles while the top researcher in Clinical Medicine has over 50.


An added feature is links to the researchers’ identifiers in Publons, Research-ID (CA), ORCID and the researcher’s institutional home page, as shown in Example 1.

Key findings and Methodology and available online and readers interested in more in-depth information can download the Executive Summary.

Times Higher Education Subject Rankings

THE just completed the roll out of its 2019 subject rankings.  We reported the first four,  Business and economics, Education,  Law, ; and Social Sciences, in News Flash!  2018-6.  The methodology is presented for each category.

Here are the rest:

  • Arts & Humanities- (506); Stanford number one, MIT number two; Peking, 23
  • Psychology – (463):  Stanford number one; Melbourne 37; U Tokyo 46
  • Clinical …. health- (721):  Oxford number one, Melbourne number nine, NUS 26 with U Tokyo (34 overall) 11 in research
  • Physical Sciences (963): Princeton number one; NUS 18
  • Psychology (463):  Stanford number one; Melbourne 37, U Tokyo 46
  • Life sciences (751):  Harvard number one, Tsinghua number 10
  • Computer science (684):  Oxford number one; NUS 15
  • Engineering & technology (903): Oxford is number one; NUS is eight

Engineering and technology is one field with sub-categories.

Only NUS is in the top ten in THE’s Engineering rankings while four Asian universities are top ten in Engineering and Technology in QS.  Four are also in the top ten in U.S.News Global with Tsinghua as number one in the world.  In the NTU Performance rankings with emphasis on scholarly papers, eight of the top ten Engineering universities are from Asia, again with Tsinghua as number one.

Even with modified methodology, the top universities in THE’s subject rankings mirror the top universities overall.

QS’s Asia and other regional rankings

We missed the QS 2019 regional ranking published at the end of October.  Asia includes countries in South Asia and East Asia. The number of institutions increased from 400 to 499.  National University of Singapore regained the number one position and NTU slipped back to number 3.  The University of Hong Kong rose to number two. City University dropped from eight to 21. See Table 2 for the top 10 universities in Asia for 2019 and 2018.


BRICS (400) are led by China with seven universities in the top 10 and a total of 112. Russia is second with 101 universities followed by Brazil with 90, India with 84 and South Africa with 13.  Tsinghua is number one.

The Arab Region (122) has 22 universities from Saudi Arabia with three in the top 10 and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals at number one.  One Syrian university is included and four from Palestinian Territory, Occupied.  50 universities have academic and employee reputation scores.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia (301) includes Russia and former Soviet Union countries.  In this ranking, Russia has 87 universities.

Latin America (391) includes 6 universities from Cuba and 6 from El Salvador. The World Ranking has one Cuban university and none from El Salvador.

Unlike some other regional rankings, there is a value add in the QS rankings, which includes universities that did not qualify for its world rankings.  I am still concerned by the high value (50%) placed on reputation rankings.

The next Ruth’s Rankings, scheduled for the beginning of 2019, will feature the ASEAN region.

Hauoli Makahiki Hou

Ruth’s Rankings News Flash! is written by Ruth A. Pagell, emeritus faculty librarian at Emory University.  After working at Emory, she was the founding librarian of the Li Ka Shing Library at Singapore Management University and then adjunct faculty [teaching] in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii.  She has written and spoken extensively on various aspects of librarianship, including contributing articles to ACCESS –