Drawing on an expanding array of intelligent web services and applications, a growing number of people are creating, distributing and exploiting user-created content (UCC) and being part of the wider participative web. This study describes the rapid growth of UCC and its increasing role in worldwide communication, and draws out implications for policy. Questions addressed include: What is user-created content? What are its key drivers, its scope and different forms? What are the new value chains and business models? What are the extent and form of social, cultural and economic opportunities and impacts? What are the associated challenges? Is there a government role, and what form could it take?
In September 2005, library directors from 17 universities and colleges met to discuss the current state of electronic journal preservation and endorsed a statement calling for “Urgent Action” to preserve scholarly e-journals. Over two years later in January 2008, in the Portico and Ithaka invited 1,371 library directors of four-year colleges and universities in the United States to respond to a survey examining current perspectives on preservation of e-journals. A strong response has yielded interesting findings that we now share with the community in the hope they will spark useful discussion among library directors, funders, and administrators regarding strategic library priorities.
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Fran Berman, Ardys Kozbial, Robert H. McDonald, and
Brian E. C. Shottlaender
Many disparate groups—data managers, university administrators, computer scientists, technology educators, and librarians—are concerned about the deluge of digital data brought about by the Information Age. And well they might be. An EMC-sponsored research team from International Data Corporation (IDC) posits that 281 exabytes (281 billion gigabytes) of digital information existed in the world in 2007 and that by 2011, the aggregate amount of digital data will be 1.8 zettabytes (1,800 exabytes).1
In recent years, academic libraries have launched major initiatives to make their resources more easily available to users. But with this increasingly sophisticated infrastructure comes a user environment that is challenging for libraries to assess because it can often appear seamless from the user’s perspective, making it difficult for users to report back on their experiences in a meaningful way. This creates the conundrum: How can we learn who is using these new resources and how well are they meeting users’ needs?
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The research re-visits a cohort of the school and college students who participated in phase one of the research in June 2007 to explore how their current experiences of ICT in their first year of higher education match up with their expectations. A representative sample of first year students from across the UK was also surveyed to identify whether findings emerging from the cohort were reflected across the wider student population. Over 1,000 students were researched using quantitative and qualitative techniques.