Molly Schwartz

This Community Spotlight was provided by Molly Schwartz, National Digital Stewardship Resident at the Library of Congress & ARL.

From APIs to research lineage to structured data markup, an emphasis on practical use-cases for using new software and technologies to open up access to information ran strong through the second day of the 2013 DLF Forum. The true essence of the DLF Forum is that it’s so much more than a group of librarians coming together to agree on high-minded ideals of open access to information—it’s a group of practitioners coming together to share how they have opened access to information in significant ways. Most attendees I’ve talked to agree that they come to DLF because they know they will meet practitioners in the field and come away with concrete examples of how to take on and solve problems and their own institutions, such as those shared in the snapshot presentation sessions.

Highlights included the impressive work being done at universities to create open access research repositories, including a new open access policy at the University of California system across 10 campuses, a colorful competition to be voted best poster that featured talk of mustaches, mullets, and and squirrels, and a lively Birds of a Feather lunchtime discussion of gender and technology that filled four tables and prompted requests for a panel next year. There was a remarkable trend of evaluating technologies and policies in terms of their user-friendliness and likelihood of generating user buy-in. There was also a noticeable focus on semantics and the importance of defining concepts and presenting them in ways that others can understand. For example, what does “pre-print” and “post-print” mean to professors trying to deposit their research in open access repositories? What is the difference between printing, publishing, making public, and making available? Whether started during sessions, over snack breaks, or during the dine-around Austin dinners, interesting conversations abound as we move into our third full day of the forum.