Thursday, 29 January 2009

European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH)

The ERIH Lists categorises journals in the Humanities using a three point scale A, B and C. Definitions of these categories are presented in ERIH guidelines :

A high-ranking international publications with a very strong reputation among researchers of the field in different countries, regularly cited all over the world.
B: standard international publications with a good reputation among researchers of the field in different countries.
C: research journals with an important local / regional significance in Europe, occasionally cited outside the publishing country though their main target
group is the domestic academic community.

The aim of the project is to identify areas of excellence in the humanities. The lists are compiled by groups of experts, which reflect a similar process used by the Australian Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). Clearly stated on the ERIH website is that lists are not intended as a ranking exercise and should not be used as a bibliographic analysis tool. Their aim is to identify excellent research in the 15 areas analysed.

However, the ERIH has generated controversy among publishers and editors who argue that whatever the intention of the exercise, the outcome will be to produce a hierarchy of journals and to encourage academics and those who evaluate research outputs to focus on A category titles. Following protests from publishers, the A B C categories are being replaced by textual descriptors, reported in the THES. Some journal editors plan to publish a letter outlining their concerns with the ERIH in January 09 issues. Australian academics have voiced similar concerns, noting that journals in some areas of research, for example in media and film, there are few or no journals in the top A* category. The arguement continues in the blogosphere.

The debate is particular interst in view of the future planning for the REF, and the percieved problems of trying to assess the quality of research outputs in the Arts and Humanities.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

National e-Book Observatory - final questionnaire

Last January, JISC the National e-Book Observatory conducted one of the biggest surveys of Libray users ever conducted, with more than 23,000 responses from students and staff at UK universities. The project is now finishing and is asking students and staff to complete a final questionnaire.

If you recall the project provided access to e-books in media studies; business and management; engineering; medicine to generate data for the project. They are asking for responses from users of those e-books and from non-users.

Questionnaires can be found here ...

Student Questionnaire

Staff Questionnaire

More information about National e-Books Observatory Project
List of e-books in the project. These titles are available on the BU Library Catalogue for the duration of the project.

Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOS) Update

Electronic Theses Online Service or EThOS is a new British Library/JISC project to make available PhD theses to researchers over the web. The project has now moved into a new phase with a live system located at [ ].

You need to register as a user before you can request a thesis, although if you just want to search there is a basic search engine to check what is available. Some theses are available for immediate download - you have to log in to access these. This number will increase as the project rolls out and more digitised content is added.

This service is free to you. However, as with Inter-Library Loan, there are costs in the system which are being absorbed by participating universities and the project funders. Bournemouth University will monitor our own use of the system and may review costs in the light of actual usage.

Bournemouth University theses requested by other UK universities and digitised for EThOS will also be added to BURO.

EThOS website
More about the EThOS project
Detailed description of how EThOS will work

Sunday, 25 January 2009

BURO - log in problems on 23 January 2009

You may have experienced some problems accessing BURO yesterday, 23 January 2009. The problem is now resolved. Apologies for any inconvenience.