The Ministry of Education and Culture, FUN Finnish University Libraries’ Network, the Helsinki University Library, the Academy of Finland, and CSC – IT Center for Science will organize a seminar on bibliometrics on 12 April 2022.
The themes of the event this year are knowledge ecosystems and responsible evaluation. The seminar is intended for all people working with e.g. bibliometrics, research evaluation, and research administration.
Parts of the seminar will be in English and parts in Finnish.
The seminar is held at Minerva Plaza in Helsinki and will be streamed online.
FUN’s anniversary year culminated in a 25th year seminar held in Jyväskylä on the theme of FUN visibility. The opportunity to meet people face to face was highly anticipated. Due to the COVID-19, the maximum number of people in the seminar room was limited to 90 people, and due to the COVID-19, the number of participants was less than half of that.
The 25th year celebration, which took place in exceptional circumstances, was held with coffee, meetings, and interesting speeches. Keijo Hämäläinen, Chairman of the Rectors’ Council of Finnish Universities UNIFI and Rector of the University of Jyväskylä, stated the importance of collective university networks. These networks have great added value to the university’s operations. Universities have sprung up around libraries to produce new knowledge and pass it on to new generations. Among the challenges for the future, he highlighted, among other things, the government’s goal of raising 50 percent of the age group to a university degree. How does the library respond to a challenge that, in addition to a vastly growing number of students, is made up of an increasingly diverse group of students, from different languages and cultures?
Atte Jääskeläinen, Director General of Ministry of Education and Culture, pointed out that it is worth moving towards responsible researcher evaluation, where the content is evaluated instead of the channel. As well as towards faster publishing, using publishing platforms and the scientific community’s own responsible channels. Finnish research is not competitive without transparency. The plight of domestic scientific publishing should also be resolved and any ideas in this regard are welcome.
The meritorious speech of Library Director emerita Päivi Kytömäki pointed out how in its history SYN/FUN has often been on the crest of a wave in highlighting and promoting issues that are important for higher education and research. Examples are FinELib, teaching information literacy, evaluating publications and open publishing. A summary of FUN’s 25-year history, compiled by Päivi Kytömäki, was displayed on the screen in the seminar hall’s lobby.
Aleksi Sandroos, Vice President of National Union of University Students in Finland, shed light on the student’s perspective on the future of university libraries. He believes that university libraries will always be needed in the future, although they can be much more than mere physical space. The university library of the future enables work regardless of time and place, is fast and free of charge, and considers different people and their way of working by offering a wide range of services. Young people want to relocate to their study locations, where university libraries are comfortable, bright, relaxed, enabling people to work together, and are equipped with cafés. Customizable facilities and efficient use of them promote development.
Mauri Pekkarinen, a busy MEP, shared his views of the future of science in Europe via Teams from Brussels. Science is a driver and enabler of many of the EU’s current efforts. The EU has set several goals in various contexts to increase funding for the science and RDI sector, but these have not yet come true, and Europe is increasingly lagging behind the US, Japan, and China. Science should be independent and self-governing, but exploiting its results is a fierce race between states.
The EU is now opening various bottlenecks for particularly innovative projects and applications, and the old 3 percent target is being re-committed. The internal market for research, the prioritization of RDI investment, access to top-level infrastructure for researchers and their mobility will be improved. Open sciences essential and has a wider impact on the construction of civilization.
The researcher’s perspective concluded the presentations. Petri Karonen, professor of Finnish history, considered the future of historical research. In historical research, everything is related to everything. An interesting aspect emerged from digitalization and digitization: is research really focused on the right things? Databases and bibliometrics are also not just right and good – research is hampered by, for example, double and triple records, emphasis, and unethical use of information. Digitization also increases the manipulation and misuse of information, making source criticism skills even more important. The differentiation of publishing platforms continues, and open access publishing will become the norm. Social impact must not be forgotten either. Publishing in Finnish and Swedish must be drastically be increased! And above and beyond everything are the resources. What resources will be used to reform everything open?
At the end of the seminar, led by FUN’s chairman Ari Muhonen, the glasses were raised, and the food and good company were enjoyed by the landscape windows in the Harju ridge landscape softened by the slowly falling snow.
Susanna Parikka Library Director University of Lapland
The Finnish University Libraries’ Network FUN celebrates its quarter of a century by going straight to the issue, its strategy, and opening its three themes in three webinars – COVID-19 will show if we can get to the seminar in the autumn.
In the second webinar of the series on May 20th FUN Experiment the theme was addressed from three different perspectives. The perspective of an active chamber musician and an AI researcher, the scientific history perspective of a top Open access developer, and the perspective of a Citizen Science pioneer.
Experiments and the importance of communication combined the performances.
The Netherlands, Denmark and Finland are all at the forefront as library countries.
Cynthia Liem spoke about the ongoing Future Library Lab project, coordinated by Delft University of Technology and the National Library of the Netherlands. They experiment and throw themselves into new things, organizing encounters between customers, librarians, researchers and new technology, Future Libraries Lab.
The needs of the customers were also considered – the artificial intelligence researcher is also a trained active pianist and from this perspective, the presentation of the information needs was interesting. According to Cynthia Liem, researchers usually use the library only if they cannot find what they are looking for. This could be helped by both increasing discussion with researchers and increasing library marketing. In general, libraries should tell more about research services so that researchers can be involved. In particular, the library could help researchers by making the researcher’s work more visible and accessible than the researcher themselves can ever do, said Cynthia Liem. Libraries could try to organize open discussion moments for researchers – they could talk about their own work and the library could talk about their own work for the benefit of researchers.
The power of different performances is to open new angles of entry into one’s own thinking. The Future Libraries Lab project also considers e.g. how AI could help open materials and how libraries can continue their search for the future. The goal is to bring out different perspectives so that everyone can get out of their own bubble. In a way, this was also highlighted by Janne-Tuomas Seppänen’s performance, which was a story-time journey into the decisive moments in the history of scientific communication – the development of development can depend on a small coincidence. Academic libraries would need to be well informed about what is going on in their own university research and what is coming.
The communication with others and the experimental mindset came up also in a presentation by Thomas Kaarsted, a Deputy Library Director, University Library of Southern Denmark, who shed extensively light on citizen science. He has specialized in it and has also promoted it for years. The decisive factor in the promotion of citizen science at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, too, had been making various light experiments and finding a connection with the faculties.
We celebrate the 25th anniversary of FUN Finnish University Libraries’ Network during this exceptional period in the form of webinars. The topic of the first webinar was FUN Impact in accordance with one aspect of FUN’s strategy.
Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC’s Director of Library Trends and User Research, demonstrated the topic in her presentation “Where are we Going and What do we do Next? Demonstrating Value and Impact of Academic Libraries in Uncertain Times”. The subject is very topical. Over the past year, many libraries have had to rethink their operations and demonstrate their impact and effectiveness in the midst of a pandemic. Libraries have been closed for some time, and are still not in normal form of operation.
Silipigni Connaway’s presentation based on her research Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research (2017). In addition to a literature review, the extensive study included interviews with university management, such as provosts. The areas related to the effectiveness of libraries were service, learning support, collaboration and communication.
An important manifestation of the impact of the library was the increase in critical skills in the world of fake news, which at the time of publication of this study (2017) was only raising its head and expanding to wild proportions in the United States. Impact, according to Silipigni Connaway, must also be produced by visualizing achievements and various metrics. Adding data as part of the data collected by the university is very important, and I dare say that in many Finnish universities this is something we already do quite well.
In assessing impact, a picture speaks more than a thousand words, as the phrase says. The impact of the library can also be improved by cooperating in many directions from within the library. By expanding to work closely with your own university administration, researchers, teachers, and students, and increasingly cooperating outside of the university, we can achieve a fundamentality of action. The involvement of different groups in the planning of library operations and facilities is also becoming increasingly important, as university’s facilities are condensed and renovated. In many ways, it is conceivable that the impact and significance of the library in the future will serve as a partner in achieving the university’s strategic goals.
Tommi Harju Library Director University of the Arts Helsinki
Ari Muhonen, the director of Jyväskylä University’s Open Science Centre, has been elected as FUN’s next chair for the term 2021-2022.
Earlier in his career, Ari has worked as the director of University of Helsinki’s Viikki Campus Library, as well as the head librarian at Aalto University and Helsinki University of Technology. Ari is also an experienced author. Ari previously served as the chair of FUN’s predecessor, Council for Finnish University Libraries, for the term 2005-2006.
FUN is participating in organising the annual Bibliometrics Seminar, which is going to be held as a webinar on 22.9.2020. The theme of the event is “Considering the diversity of publishing along with different sources of information and research methods in research evaluation”.
The seminar is bilingual: some speeches will be held in English, others in Finnish.
According to our new strategy, FUN started to put an effort to internationalization. FUN also made history with organising the first joint meeting ever with Nordic colleagues. It is natural, of course, to begin with the neighbours. Besides, the Nordic university systems are quite similar to each other. We also share the same culture and values. Because there is a Finnish chairperson in NUAS Library Group, Pia Södergård, the contact with our Nordic friends was easily established. Pia Södergård actually founded the NUAS Library Group and has been the chairperson from the beginning.
NUAS is a
network for Nordic university employees, especially for us who don´t do
research or teaching. NUAS means “Nordic Association of University
Administrators”. NUAS´ activities are meant for NUAS member universities. NUAS
has 13 working groups and one of them is the Library Group. It has nine members
from NUAS member universities: two from each country, except for Iceland, which
has one member. I have been the second Finnish member from the beginning.
Library Group had already chosen Rovaniemi and University of Lapland as the
place for the autumn meeting, and that is why also the joint meeting was organised
in Rovaniemi, at the University of Lapland´s Arctic Center.
working group succeeded in getting it all together: the joint meeting, the
separate meetings for FUN and NUAS, something nice to do while the other group
had its meeting and a dinner together. While
we were at the Arctic Circle in Lapland, we naturally provided everyone the
possibility to enjoy the nature of Lapland on an excursion.
of the library, which everybody considered as an important theme, was chosen as
a theme for the joint meeting. The best expert in Finland, Jarmo Saarti, gave
us an introduction to the subject; libraries are going towards a multimodal
evaluation. Afterwards we worked in small groups (Learning Café) with several
underthemes, and at the end of the meeting we watched an online presentation
from Rome, where Hanna-Mari Puuska, Janne Pölönen and Vidar Roeggen told us
about a Nordic initiative for a new Nordic Publication Information
What did we
gain from the joint meeting? In my opinion, it is very important to learn to
know each other, especially if we will continue the co-operation. It is also essential
that we all learn more about each others´conditions and circumstances. And it
is always a good idea to learn about your colleagues´ views and opinions on common
also noticed that we together could produce many ideas about the impact of
libraries, which we can continue working with. There are similar developing
perspectives in all countries, but each country also has its own
characteristics. We also noticed that there are many other meaningful subjects
that we can work together with in the future. NUAS Library Group has already
helped us with this. Last summer the group made a survey for all Nordic leaders
of academic libraries. On that basis, the group has started planning workshops
on current topics for Nordic leaders of academic libraries.
You have to prioritize – nobody can use all her working time for Nordic co-operation – unfortunately.