Reflections on the UKSG 2013 Conference (#uksglive)
Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 11 April 2013
About the #uksglive Conference
I’m now back from an enjoyable and informative 3 days in Bournemouth where I attended the UKSG 2013 conference. I have spoken at this annual conference organised by the UK Serials Group on two previous occasions: in 2005 I ran a briefing session on “Providing And Using News Feeds: How RSS Can Help” and in 2001 I gave a talk on The Latest Web Developments both of which took place at Heriot-Watt University.
This year’s event, the 36th in the series, was the largest, attracting over 900 participants. I’d like to give my thanks to Ross MacIntyre, Karen Sadler, Alison Whitehorn and colleagues for successfully rising to the challenge of providing a programme of plenary talks, breakout sessions, lightning talks and various other meetings, as well as ensuring that the participants’ social needs were also addressed – and yes, there really was a funfair inside the conference venue!
In addition to successful organising such a large event I should also say how pleasing it was to see the speakers’ slides and video recording of the talks being uploaded to Slideshare and YouTube within about 24 hours of the talks being delivered. At the time of writing there are over 50 slides from talks given at the conference available on Slideshare and 25 videos available on YouTube.
For me the highlights were:
- Phil Sykes opening keynote talk on “Open Access Gets Tough” – see video and slides.
- Jenny Delasalle’s talk on “Research Evaluation: Why is it Relevant to Librarians?” – see video and slides.
- Laurel Haak’s talk on “Connecting Research and Researchers: ORCID” – see video and slides.
- Lynn Silipigni Connaway’s talk on “The new digital students, or, “I don’t think I have ever picked up a book out of the library to do any research — all I have used is my computer”” – see video and slides.
- Joshua James Harding’s talk on “The student-information relationship:>a perspective of its evolution” – see video and slides.
- The breakout session on “Altmetrics: Understanding New Ways to Measure Academic Impact using the Web” – see video and slides by Mark Taylor and Paul Groth.
I should add that I left early on the third day and so did not attend any of the sessions. However from the feedback on Twitter (using the #uksglive event hashtag) it seems that I should watch the video of the talk on “The Twenty-year Butterflies: Which Web Cookies Have Stuck to the Internet’s Pan?“ as this plenary talk on the final morning was highly regarded.
The altmetrics Breakout Session
The altmetrics breakout session (which was held on Monday and repeated the following day) was the one most closely aligned with my interests. But in addition to the content delivered by the speakers (i.e. the slides on “altmetrics and the Publisher” and “altmetrics: What Are They Good For?“) I was also interested in the reactions to the points made and the people in the audience who had similar interests.
Since access to a free WiFi network was available at the conference and large numbers of people had a mobile device I was able to engage in see the thoughts and comments made during the session. Since the session was of particular interest to me I have curated the tweets using Storify, since I am sure that this will be of interest to others besides myself.
It was pleasing to note that the two session speakers both encouraged tweets at the start of the session (this, incidentally, provided a useful bookmark which helped me identify the start of the tweets associated with the session). Some of the comments which summarised points beiung made by the speakers included:
- Taylor: makes distinction between calculating and evaluating meaning: #altmetrics is former, not latter #uksglive
- Taylor: what is relationship between social usage of schol content and social/academic impact of content? Big Q for#altmetrics #uksglive
- Very important distinction that bit.ly/11OvCcY is a company. #altmetrics bit.ly/10Q9IVt is a community of people #uksglive
- Taylor outlines a number of options eg impactstory.org,altmetrics.com for exploring #altmetrics #uksglive
- Taylor: researchers don’t have to do anything to collect#altmetrics, simply plug DOI into one of these tools #uksglive
In addition we saw some examples of those on Twitter responding to questions such as:Twitter
- .@TAC_NISO @ElsevierLabs Is a tweet or facebook-like equivalent to a scholarly citation? @herrison#uksglive
for which the following response was given:
- @EndoMetabPub@herrison No, it isn’t and won’t ever be. Does have some assessment value. Correlates to future citation #altmetrics#uksglive
Thoughts on Best Practices for Event Amplification
Although the event appeared to be a successful for the 950 participants, no longer need the talks and associated resources given at such conferences be restricted to the live audience. The event organisers did a great job in ensuring that video recordings of many of the talks were made publicly available, together with their slides. I’ve some suggestions on how this might be enhanced for next year’s event. But responsibilities for enhancing the sharing of ideas presented at conferences is not solely the remit of event organisers. Here are some suggestions for ways in which speakers and participants as well as event organisers can enhance the amplification of talks at events
For large events with parallel sessions, provide a session Twitter hashtag which can be useful in diffentiating tweets posted about parallel sessions (I’ve used the format #A1 to #A9 and #B1 to #B9 for the two parallel sessions for events I have organised (this should be included together with the main event hashtag).
Participants at sessions, especially parallel sessions, can help to signify their interest in an area by simply tweeting that they are attending the session (e.g. Here we go: Mike Taylor from Elsevier Labs on #altmetrics#uksglive)
The subsequent cuartion of tweets from a session can be carried out by participants who have a particular interest in the session (as I did for the altmetrics session).
The archive of slides and videos on services such as Slideshare and YouTube needs to be carefully labelled to ensure that others can easily correctly find and reuse appropriate resources.
Slides and videos should be tagged so they can be referenced as a collection of event-related resources. Note that although the #uksglive hashtag was used on Twitter (to avoid a clash with another event which was using the #uksg13 tag) the resources held on YouTube and Slideshare should include the year in any tag so they can be distinguished from resources from other years.
Note in order to illustrate how curated resources from a conference can be reused, the slides and video recording from the session on “Altmetrics: Understanding New Ways to Measure Academic Impact using the Web” are given below.