Wednesday, 30 September 2009

DSpace now open for e-thesis depositing


The DSpace@Cambridge team is pleased to announce that from October 1st 2009 it will be possible to deposit theses in electronic form in DSpace@Cambridge, the institutional repository of the University. The theses will be disseminated online via the DSpace@Cambridge interface, allowing interested readers from all over the world to access them.

Each University faculty or department will have its own e-thesis collection where students, staff and alumni will be able to deposit their theses. The goal is to build a complete digital collection of theses from the University, ensuring continued access to this valuable material for future generations.

The deposit process is simple. The University Library is collaborating with the Board of Graduate Studies on the scheme, and all students submitting their thesis for examination will receive offers to deposit their thesis in DSpace@Cambridge. Deposits are made on a voluntary basis. Librarians from the University Library will verify that all details are correct before the thesis is made available for online access.

It will also be possible for University staff and alumni to make their theses available in DSpace@Cambridge. Further information about e-thesis deposit for current staff and alumni will be distributed to all University departments throughout the autumn. Interested parties can also contact the DSpace@Cambridge team at

Further information about the scheme is available at:

Lee Dirks's Harvard talk on transforming scholarly communication

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Amazon kindle not wowing academic users at Princeton

Whilst most of the comments were personal and anecdotal, this article from the Daily Princetonian raises some of the issues faced in moving teaching materials completely away from print:

When the University announced its Kindle e-reader pilot program last May, administrators seemed cautiously optimistic that the e-readers would both be sustainable and serve as a valuable academic tool. But less than two weeks after 50 students received the free Kindle DX e-readers, many of them said they were dissatisfied and uncomfortable with the devices.

On Wednesday, the University revealed that students in three courses — WWS 325: Civil Society and Public Policy, WWS 555A: U.S. Policy and Diplomacy in the Middle East, and CLA 546: Religion and Magic in Ancient Rome — were given a new Kindle DX containing their course readings for the semester. The University had announced last May it was partnering with, founded by Jeff Bezos ’86, to provide students and faculty members with the e-readers as part of a sustainability initiative to conserve paper.

But though they acknowledged some benefits of the new technology, many students and faculty in the three courses said they found the Kindles disappointing and difficult to use.

“I hate to sound like a Luddite, but this technology is a poor excuse of an academic tool,” said Aaron Horvath ’10, a student in Civil Society and Public Policy. “It’s clunky, slow and a real pain to operate.”

Horvath said that using the Kindle has required completely changing the way he completes his coursework.

“Much of my learning comes from a physical interaction with the text: bookmarks, highlights, page-tearing, sticky notes and other marks representing the importance of certain passages — not to mention margin notes, where most of my paper ideas come from and interaction with the material occurs,” he explained. “All these things have been lost, and if not lost they’re too slow to keep up with my thinking, and the ‘features’ have been rendered useless.”

Fulll article: Kindles yet to woo University users

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Cambridge Entrepreneurs

Listen to the Cambridge Entrepreneurs
as part of the BBC Radio 4's Global Business programme.

Cong Cong Bo, the chairman of Cambridge University Entrepreneurs, and Stage 2 Clinical Student, is interviewed, and presenter Peter Day "hears how academic attitudes to business have changed over the past few decades."

(from Medical Library blog)

Is the Library should be talking to this group?

Listen again

to the Media Show of 9th September 2009 - talking about Google Books, with pithy contribution from one J. Naughton.....