Parallel Session 9

Parallel Session 9 – Charting the Field of Artificial Intelligence for Research Libraries II

Moderator: András Holl, Library and Information Centre, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary
Location: Tassos Papadopoulos – Room 101 (1st Floor)

9.1) From Overwhelm to Insight: How JSTOR’s AI Tool Empowers Researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Presenters: Beth LaPensee and Javanica Curry, ITHAKA / JSTOR, United States of America

Traditionally, research often involves grappling with the sheer volume of complex information, making it time-consuming and challenging to keep up with the latest scholarship. ITHAKA aims to empower researchers through the JSTOR platform, which combines the power of generative AI with a rich corpus of over 16 million academic journal articles and book chapters, and 5 million text and image-based primary source items. Our AI research tool, currently in beta, harnesses the power of LLMs, semantic search, and natural language processing to unlock new levels of comprehension and discovery, specifically in the humanities and social sciences.

Built collaboratively with users in mind, the research tool guides and supports the research process, significantly reducing time spent on tasks while ensuring researchers maintain full intellectual control. As one user aptly put it, “I can now accomplish in a day what used to take four or five. But the AI isn’t doing the thinking for me; it’s simply showing me where to look.”

Since August 2023, over 9,000 scholars, students, and librarians from over 100 countries have actively shaped the development of JSTOR through the beta program. Early feedback highlights researchers’ appreciation for the tool’s ability to uncover hidden connections, generate novel research questions, and expedite their work. Furthermore, we are seeing early signs of increased content usage, indicating a shift in research behavior.

In our presentation, we will:

Dive into the principles guiding our work, emphasizing academic integrity, trustworthiness, reliability, collaborative development, and continuous learning.

Share key learnings on how JSTOR is transforming traditional research behavior, influencing perceptions of value, and revealing new research opportunities.

Present data on JSTOR’s impact on searching, using, and comprehending content, quantifying the tool’s effectiveness.

Outline the future direction of JSTOR, including integrating image-based content, providing deeper support for critical research methods, and enhancing discovery capabilities.

ITHAKA is a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve access to knowledge and education for people around the world. We believe education is key to the well-being of individuals and society, and we work to make it more effective and affordable. We improve outcomes for students and researchers; and we preserve knowledge for future generations.

9.2) TerrA Incognita: methods of using AI tools in Croatian and Slovenian research libraries user education programs

Presenter: Nikica Gardijan, University of Zadar, Croatia

Considering that the development and increasing usage of artificial intelligence-based tools (AI tools) have had an immediate impact on all aspects of higher education, there is a need to assess the impact of AI tools on research libraries. Although the impact of AI tools, especially ChatGPT, is visible in all aspects of library operations (management, information sources acquisition, cataloguing, reference service, etc.), it is of utmost importance to examine effects of AI based tools on user education programs in research libraries.

In that regard, main objectives of this study are to investigate how research libraries have positioned themselves in relation to rapid development of AI tools, determine whether research libraries have included teaching the use of AI tools in their user education programs, identify, describe and compare user education programs in regard to use of AI based tools and lastly, to gain insight into librarians’ viewpoints on AI based tools in relation to their use as a learning tool.

In order to achieve stated objectives, we will use convergent parallel mixed method research design (in-depth semi-structured interview combined with survey). Respondents will be selected from a purposive sample of library managers and teaching librarians from three Croatian universities, namely; University of Zadar, University of Osijek and University of Zagreb, as well as from three Slovenian universities; University of Ljubljana, University of Maribor, University of Primorska, respectively.

It is expected that overall attitude of library managers in relation to use of AI tools in improving library services and work process optimization will be mostly positive. Also, it is expected that majority of libraries have still not yet included teaching the use of AI tools into their user education programs. Furthermore, it is expected that the majority of the respondents will point out the need for designing new user education programs that will reflect recent developments when it comes to AI tools and their use in academia. In regard to all these expectations, it is expected that there will be no significant differences with regard to country.

The importance of this study is twofold. First, this is the first research in Croatia, as well as in Slovenia, that aims to examine the ways in which AI tools have affected research libraries when it comes to user education program development and implementation. Also, this study is first to thoroughly enquire the stances of library managers in regard to use of AI tools as a means of library business improvement.

Second, results gained by this research can serve as a starting point in developing guidelines that could be used in creating new, enhanced user education programs.

Due to the fact that AI tools have already altered the role of research libraries and induced changes in the information environment, it is necessary to conduct grounded of this phenomenon in order to keep up with the changes that occur as a consequence of AI tools development and their impact on research libraries.

9.3) Multilingual Capabilities of AI-Driven Research Assistants: Investigating the Precision of Retrieval of Non-English Language Searches

Presenter: Reysa Alenzuela, Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

In the ever-expanding landscape of artificial intelligence (AI), the multilingual capabilities of AI-driven research assistants is one area that needs further exploration. As the scholarly community increasingly recognizes the potential of AI potential, librarians are looking what these AI-driven research assistants can bring to research practices. The Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences continues to adopt to transformation in its interdisciplinary exploration of the history, culture, religions, and languages of Asia and North Africa and the Middle East; there emerges a growing recognition of the imperative to integrate cutting-edge AI tools in the library to enhance research support.

This study explores the impact of AI-driven research assistants, particularly, Semantic Scholar, Elicit, ResearchRabbit app, and, on the accuracy of information retrieval in non-English language. In disciplines marked by linguistic diversity, the ability to conduct precise and efficient searches is helpful to enrich research. Utilizing a qualitative descriptive approach, this researcher will begin by identifying pertinent research questions and key terms within the timeframe of January 15 to February 15, 2024. The selection will be based on the potential research queries relevant to the ongoing work of researchers at the institute. It will begin with clearly defined criteria that constitute a “relevant” result followed by an analysis of the retrieved results for each query. Subsequently, coding, categorization, and thematic analysis will be made. Implications of language and cultural factors will be included in the analysis.

This research will share insights and practical implications associated with the utilization of AI-driven research assistants in non-English language searches. As libraries endeavor to be at the forefront of technological advancements, the exploration of innovative approaches to enhance research support services exemplifies the library’s commitment to serving an interconnected knowledge society.

53rd LIBER Annual Conference