Wednesday, March 27, 2013

LILAC: When Staff and Researchers Leave Their Host Institution #lilac13

Next session for me at the LILAC conference #lilac in Manchester,UK, is When Staff and Researchers Leave Their Host Institution from Brian Kelly (who is shown here checking a handheld device before the session started). Helpfully, Brian already posted his slides at
I agree with Brian that this is an issue that universities themselves have ignored. He started by talking about how the thing that united everyone in the room was that at some point they would leave their institution. Who has responsibility for people when they leave? The basic attitude of universities appear to be that when staff leave, they just cut them off and want them out the door. In some cases there may be no "grace" period, and all your content deleted. In his own institution if people die in post, their accounts are closed and deleted immediately.
Therefore supporting people making this transition seems very relevant to information literacy practitioners: developing skills that can be used beyond university and also being literate in understanding what to do when you know you are leaving.
Since JISC is cutting funding to UKOLN, Brian will be in this position later in the year: but hewants to continue to maintain and manage his profile, protect his content and so forth. His first example was the institutional repository: although it seems very secure, the fact is that with his university's repository the paper stays there, but you can no longer find it through a search - only if you know the web address. When Brian he queried this the response was "Records disappear when someone leaves because that's entirely appropriate" (although the records manager may now try and fix this).
In terms of making yourself findable: previously you might have relied on your university home page. Instead he recommended using Linked-In for your profile and also using ResearchGate for depositing his papers, since he can manage that. With blogs etc. you may also need to move that to a service in the cloud. Brian pointed put that teaching people how to set up their own domain could also be useful.
He moved on to the issue of digital identity and mentioned ORCID ID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID). It is a code to uniquely identify scientific/ academic authors, independent of the institution.
Migrating email can be vital, and so you need to know how to do this, manage connections and also migrate your list usage. Very importantly you need to remember which online tools etc. have your email address as your validation address, and change the address, or you may lose access to those accounts.
Brian pointed out that the leaver can bring value to their former institution because of "link love" (links to your material etc.) It should be important to support migration of material so they can continue to be used. However, this whole issues seems to be overlooked by universities. It would be good if librarians took on the opportunity to do something about it.

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