Parallel Session 12

Parallel Session 12 – Connecting with the Young Researchers

Moderator: Matthew Greenhall, Libraries, Museums and Galleries, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Location: Tassos Papadopoulos – Room 202 (2nd Floor)

12.1) Overdue Knowledge: Teaching & Learning via Student-led Journals in the Library

Presenter: Rebecca Wojturska, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Academic publishing is an area often associated with a lack of transparency. What goes on behind the scenes and how does publishing really work? One of the many merits to Open Access is not only opening up research but also opening up the practices that make it possible. Embedding this knowledge from undergraduate level has the potential to help students flourish when it comes to approaching academia or publishing as a career path (among others). It also presents the opportunity to further embed community ownership in research through Open Access, putting the power back into the academic’s hands from the get-go. But how can librarians help?

Edinburgh Diamond, situated within Edinburgh University Library, provides free publishing services to academics, staff and students of the University of Edinburgh who wish to publish their own Diamond Open Access books and journals. The service currently has eight journals that are led by student-groups across the University, showcasing a variety of research from internal students as well as researchers of all levels worldwide. Edinburgh Diamond aims to grow this offering to increase publishing transparency and to equip students with skills and knowledge in academic publishing, including: launching a journal, managing workflow, facilitating peer-review, coordinating submissions, understanding editorial, production, marketing and promotion processes, and the importance of indexing, metadata and discoverability. Overall, Edinburgh Diamond aims to put scholarly communication ownership back into the research community, including students.

This presentation will demonstrate how the service aims to engage with students to develop their understanding and practical application of publishing knowledge, as well as how the process of running their own journal enhances the learning experience. Furthermore, this presentation will look at Edinburgh Diamond’s history and growth of student-led publishing, highlight student feedback, and share plans for the future.

12.2) A guide for research libraries to engage youth in research

Presenters: Mette Fentz Haastrup, Anne Kathrine Overgaard and Thomas Kaarsted, University Library of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Research libraries can play a key role in facilitating the dialogue between researchers and society. As part of the strategy for engaging with the community, the University Library of Southern Denmark (SDU Library) has chosen Citizen Science (CS) as a platform to interact with society, thereby ensuring the empowerment of the citizens, and providing new perspectives and insights for the researchers.

Building on a strong partnership between SDU Library and the faculties, the library facilitates Citizen science projects that engage citizens in research projects. Some of the projects involves a wide range of citizens, while other projects focus on a particular community, e.g. the youth.

Since 2019 74 Danish high school classes (approx. 1850 high school students) have participated in CS projects within natural sciences, social sciences and humanities facilitated by SDU Library. The students participate as part of their education program in high school giving them an insight in the research process through a hands-on, active learning process. Based on the projects – Find a Lake, Our History, Climate Future Fiction and A Healthier Southern Denmark; the High school Panel –, the SDU Library has co-developed a semi-generic model for engaging high school students in research projects.

The scope of this presentation is to present:

  1. reasons for engaging youth in research
  2. the semi-generic model, incl. the role of SDU Library in the CS projects
  3. a discussion of the opportunities for research libraries’ interaction with society

Ad 1) Reasons for engaging youth in research will be based on research on science education and CS combined with evaluations on our CS projects (from teachers and students) and follow-up research based on A Healthier Southern Denmark; The High School Panel (Borch 2022). Our follow-up research shows that the participating students increased their scientific literacy, which is substantiated by Nicolaisen, Ulriksen & Holmegaard (2023) demonstrating that youth engaged in science increase their “science capital”.

Ad 2) Based on relevant literature and experiences from the four CS projects for high schools, SDU Library has co-created with researchers and high school teachers a semi-generic model for implementing CS in high school education. The model includes a co-designing part with teachers and researchers on lessons plans and curriculum-based learning materials (formal learning). The model also includes a masterclass for the teachers, dialogue between the researchers and the K-12 students and a feedback loop (from researchers to students). The semi-generic model has been utilized for the CS projects and adjusted continuously.

Ad 3) This approach appears to be a new road for research libraries. But how does this pertain quality research data, FAIR data and how can this be expanded to all faculties? Also, this approach seems to have the potential to contribute to increased scientific literacy in youth.

12.3) Revitalizing spaces: redefining the role of the library and librarians at the University of Debrecen

Presenter: Edit Gorogh, University of Debrecen, Hungary

The functions and purpose of library spaces have undergone major transformation in the past decades. The changes have been brought on by two major trends: (1) the preference in research resource utilization shifted from printed to electronic, thus the relocation of open shelves frees up spaces, and (2) new generations of students bring new learning and information discovery methods.

The University Library of Debrecen recognizes the students’ and customers’ changing demands and preferences, and transforms services and spaces accordingly. Based on customer feedback and statistical usage data, we can affirm that the students’ motivation to use our libraries primarily determined by the quality of spaces and the connection to fellow students. There is a growing demand for comfortable sitting areas, good atmosphore, possibility for quiet learning, or studying in groups, infrastructure to use own devices, etc. Our data and experiences show that the main designing principles for library spaces are flexibility, possibility to rearrange, fit for independent use and multifunctional support to a variety of learning processes.

At the University of Debrecen the integrated Uni Library comprises nine libraries in four cities. This means that our operational portfolio incorporates and attempts to harmonize different user needs and different user habits throughout a variety of disciplines and faculties. We started to redefine our library spaces in 2019 with the primary goal to transform our libraries for the 21st-century student and user communities. The reevaluation of spaces and librarian tasks, in our case, has contributed to the development of specific organizing principles, which govern our efforts to restructure spaces and services in all our libraries. Furthermore, as library spaces with inventive design and multifunctional setup have evolved into a service on its own leading to the redefinition of functions and roles, innovative library spaces have become and element of strategic planning in the Library’s operation.

The presentation at the LIBER2024 conference provides an opportunity to showcase our new library spaces and to introduce the conceptual framework guiding the remodelling processes. The presentation is also a starting point of discussion to explore the transforming role of libraries, library spaces and librarians in enhancing student achievement.

53rd LIBER Annual Conference