Last week, two SUNCAT team members (Natasha and Moira) attended the UKSG annual conference in Torquay. This was a fascinating three day meeting, covering anything and everything to do with serials and e-resources. It was also a chance to meet up with some of our contributing libraries’ representatives on a face-to-face basis.
As far as the plenary and breakout sessions were concerned, the highlights included a talk by Joseph Janes from the University of Washington Information School, who commented that an environment which looks familiar, but is slightly off-kilter, is highly disorientating; referring this to scholarly communications, he said that comfortable territory was being left behind in the march forward, but that the future is not yet an alien landscape. However, the serial as it exists now is evolving, and that has to be accounted for in library practices.
Three sessions on e-books were also interesting. One session of note concerned the JISC national e-books observatory project, which concluded that e-books which were free at the point of use did not have a significant impact on print sales. Moira particularly liked these sessions, as she likes to keep abreast of developments in e-resources as a whole, not simply serials, and so found them useful.
Both Natasha and Moira appreciated the talk by Jill Taylor-Roe from Newcastle University, which considered the current economic climate and the “Big Deal” packages offered by publishers. It was interesting to note that a number of libraries are considering cancelling their Big Deals to concentrate on more specific journal titles.
A highlight for Natasha was the breakout session offered by Dave Pattern, from the University of Huddersfield, which illustrated how Web 2.0 can infiltrate the library OPAC to give increased functionality and usability.
However, the high point of the conference had to be the infamous UKSG quiz – with EDINA representatives on the winning team!
Next year, the UKSG annual conference is being held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. SUNCAT hopes to see some of you there!