The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Serials and Other Continuing Resources Section (SOCRS) developed programming centered upon scholarly communication and open access for the 2017 IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in Wrocław, Poland.
Encompassing Scholarly Communication, SOCRS Redefines its Reach in Wrocław
SOCRS has always concerned itself with “all issues which make serial publications unique in both the print and electronic environments.” Experience during the last few years creating IFLA WLIC programming, however, has shown us that our mission and scope is actually broader; more accurately, the section sits “at the intersection of scholarly communication and continuing resources.” Our areas of expertise, our main publications, and even our jobs are reshaping themselves to encompass scholarly communication. Our Standing Committee took action, proposing to IFLA’s Professional Committee that the section be renamed “Scholarly Communication and Continuing Resources.” Further details about our proposed name change can be found in the 2017 business meeting minutes.
We created our programs to explore solidarity with emerging, alternative forms of evaluating contributions to scholarly knowledge and with the open access (OA) movement in keeping with the conference theme of “Libraries. Solidarity. Society.”
Open Session Program: “Altmetrics: It’s Time to Take Action”
- “An Introduction to Altmetrics” by Stacy Konkiel.
- “Measuring Research Impact of Library and Information Science Journals: Citation verses Altmetrics” by Ifeanyi J. Ezema and Cyprian Ugwu.
- “Exploring Values-based (Alt)Metrics to Enhance Library Services” by Stacy Konkiel, Rebecca Kennison, Nicky Agate, Christopher Long, Jason Rhody, and Simone Sacchi.
- “Web-based Citation: A New Metric for Evaluating Scientific Journals” by Afsaneh Teymourikhani.
- “Altmetrics and Library Publishing” by Lauren Collister, Jessica Kirschner, Michelle Bradbury, Timothy S. Deliyannides, and Robin Kear.
- “Developing an Academic Hub with Data Synchronization: Altmetrics Display and Added Value Information for Promoting Scholarly Communication Performance” by Ming-Yueh Tsay and Chih-Ming Chen.
- “The Altmetrics of Retracted Articles in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology” by Shima Moradi.
Satellite Meeting: “Open Access: Action Required”
The Acquisition and Collection Development Section teamed up with SOCRS to co-sponsor a satellite meeting at the European Solidarity Center in Gdańsk, Poland. Huge thanks are due to Zuza Wiorogorska and Matylda Filas for their work on the Satellite, the content of which was excellent with a good mix of papers.
We held two business meetings of the Standing Committee during the Congress. During the first meeting, after electing our new officers (meet them in the photograph above), we discussed our current program, the mission and scope of SOCRS, and the Satellite meeting. During the second meeting, we talked about IFLA’s Global Vision, the importance of membership commitment, the SOCRS action plan, and our continuing welcome to new members. The fun part was helping to design a new logo for our shiny new (hopefully forthcoming soon) section name!
We also discussed possible topics for the SOCRS open program at the 2018 conference and tried out a few titles incorporating Scholarly Communications and Kuala Lumpur’s key theme of “transforming society.” Libraries-as-publishers is currently a topic of general interest, partly due to the fact that we had already organized a 2016 satellite meeting around it entitled “Libraries as Publishers: Building a Global Community” in collaboration with the Acquisition and Collection Development Section. We are also planning to collaborate with the Science and Technology Section to co-sponsor a program on bringing open access to a new level.
Wrocław: Where History Becomes Art
The art I encountered around this beautiful city, nestled on islands in the Oder River, affected me on several levels. On my first jet-lagged sortie, 100 meters from my hotel, I came across perfectly lifelike statues of ordinary people descending into the sidewalk at the crossing of two busy avenues. From their demeanor one knows immediately that they are taking a tragic detour in their lives, some never to reemerge on the other side of the street. Known in English as “The Anonymous Pedestrians,” Przejście (literally “passage, transition”), by Polish artist Jerry Kalina, leaves no doubt in the observer’s mind that something sinister drove those people underground. Looking it up later, I learned that the work refers to a deadly period of martial law that occurred only a few decades ago.
Portrayal of Flood a Foreshadowing of Tragedy in Texas?
I was still in Poland six days later when my heart sank on hearing that Hurricane Harvey had made landfall on August 26 at Rockport, Texas. Few people have heard of Rockport, a small town of shrimp boats and tourist shops, but I have. It’s where my Postmaster dad’s “two-horse” U.S. Post Office is—was—located. Had the Opening Ceremony portended more watery misery soon to come? Entitled “Short Story of Wrocław: A theatrical show which presents the history of Wrocław,” the production combined theater, light, and dance, all performed before an enormous screen playing historical film and still images. During the depiction of the 1997 flood of the River Oder, the stage was engulfed in shades of deepest blue as our eyes took in the immensity of the disaster, so vast it was also known as the 1997 Central European Flood.
Thanks to the wonderful people of Wrocław for a memorable, artful, and friendly conference—and for heaps upon heaps of delicious pickles!