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Letting Traditional Boundaries Blur: A Case Study in Co-Developing Stem “Excellence” Courses

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Letting Traditional Boundaries Blur: A Case Study in Co-Developing Stem “Excellence” Courses

Abstract and Figures

This illustrative case study describes the evolution of a series of courses (2014-present) aimed at providing advanced students and early career researchers from a Czech science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) campus with the skills they need to adequately participate in global scientific endeavors. The involvement of library staff in the courses described here ranged far beyond embedding in the passive sense of the word, with all aspects of course design, implementation, and revision managed collaboratively and actively by an interdisciplinary, cross-institutional team championed by library personnel. Thus, this study raises the question of whether or not “embedding” is the appropriate term for describing active library leadership in such “catalytic” endeavors. Structurally, the case study will linearly relate how course modules were developed and how the team approached various organizational and structural hurdles which emerged over time. The study will also show how information literacy concepts were woven into the curriculum without being labeled as such—thus identifying a possible necessity for refining the discourse surrounding information literacy concepts so that students and researchers better understand why they are valuable. The study includes original data from course evaluations as well as descriptions of final syllabi (topics covered, readings assigned, types of homework assigned) for two courses, Scientific Writing in English, and Gaining Confidence in Presenting. Because all instruction and materials were delivered in English, the content described will be relevant to anyone working with advanced STEM students and early career researchers who publish in English. Finally, the study relates how such courses provide essential starting points for proactive engagement with patrons and includes examples of dialogues about writing, publishing, and related topics, introducing issues related to blur: the blurring of traditional boundaries between librarianship and scholarship.
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Proceedings of the IATUL Conferences 2017 IATUL Proceedings
Letting Traditional Boundaries Blur: A Case Study in Co-Letting Traditional Boundaries Blur: A Case Study in Co-
Developing STEM “Excellence” Courses Developing STEM “Excellence” Courses
Stephanie Krueger
Czech National Library of Technology
, stephanie.krueger@techlib.cz
Stephanie Krueger, "Letting Traditional Boundaries Blur: A Case Study in Co-Developing STEM
“Excellence” Courses."
Proceedings of the IATUL Conferences.
Paper 1.
https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/iatul/2017/infolit/1
This document has been made available through Purdue e-Pubs, a service of the Purdue University Libraries.
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LETTING TRADITIONAL BOUNDARIES BLUR: A CASE
STUDY IN CO-DEVELOPING STEM “EXCELLENCE”
COURSES
Stephanie Krueger
National Library of Technology in Prague, Czech Republic
stephanie.krueger@techlib.cz
Abstract
This illustrative case study describes the evolution of a series of courses (2014-present) aimed at
providing advanced students and early career researchers from a Czech science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics (STEM) campus with the skills they need to adequately participate
in global scientific endeavors. The involvement of library staff in the courses described here ranged
far beyond embedding in the passive sense of the word, with all aspects of course design,
implementation, and revision managed collaboratively and actively by an interdisciplinary, cross-
institutional team championed by library personnel. Thus, this study raises the question of whether
or not “embedding” is the appropriate term for describing active library leadership in such “catalytic”
endeavors.
Structurally, the case study will linearly relate how course modules were developed and how the
team approached various organizational and structural hurdles which emerged over time.
The study will also show how information literacy concepts were woven into the curriculum without
being labeled as suchthus identifying a possible necessity for refining the discourse surrounding
information literacy concepts so that students and researchers better understand why they are
valuable.
The study includes original data from course evaluations as well as descriptions of final syllabi
(topics covered, readings assigned, types of homework assigned) for two courses, Scientific
Writing in English, and Gaining Confidence in Presenting. Because all instruction and materials
were delivered in English, the content described will be relevant to anyone working with advanced
STEM students and early career researchers who publish in English.
Finally, the study relates how such courses provide essential starting points for proactive
engagement with patrons and includes examples of dialogues about writing, publishing, and related
topics, introducing issues related to blur: the blurring of traditional boundaries between librarianship
and scholarship.
Keywords
STEM education, Czech Republic, international competitiveness, doctoral education, doctoral
experience
1 Introduction
This case study chronicles the evolution (2014-present) of organically-developed courses tailored
specifically to increase the international competitiveness of doctoral and postdoctoral students,
initially from the Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU), Faculty of Civil Engineering,
Department of Mechanics. These efforts have recently been expanded and are open to advanced
students from the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague (UCT Prague), the Czech
Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (IOCB AR), and Charles
University (CU).
The courses described here are organized and take place in the National Library of Technology
(NTK) and were co-developed with professors from CTU’s Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department
of Mechanics. The courses emphasize the cultivation of English language research, writing, and
presentation skills in order to supplement and support subject-specific knowledge imparted by
primary mentors. In-class work is supplemented by on-demand individual consultations and
editorial services provided by NTK staff.
1.1 Context
CTU’s Faculty of Civil Engineering is the university’s largest and oldest school, serving over 5,000
students annually with approximately 400 instructors and research staff (Kohoutková, 2016). In the
most recent subject-specific QS university rankings, the faculty placed in the top 51-100 category
(QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited, 2017). The faculty embodies many aspects of a model
engineering school and prides itself on its dynamism and ties to industry, stating its “graduates are
traditionally in great demand in engineering practice as they possess a solid theoretical
background, professional competencies, and developed creative abilities” (Kohoutková, n.d.).
The Department of Mechanics conducts research in the areas of engineering and structural
mechanics, statics and dynamics of building structures, theory of elasticity and plasticity of
materials, experimental analysis, fracture and damage mechanics, and computational mechanics
(Líbenek, 2011).
The evolution of the collaboration with the library began with a chance encounterthe author of
this paper conducted a tour of the library for students of a professor from this department in early
2013. Following the tour, plans were made to have coffee and discuss possible areas of
collaboration. This first meeting happened over one year later.
1.2 Format Zero: September 2014
At their initial meeting, the three collaborators (two professors and the author) discussed joint goals
for advanced student support and created outlines for three thirty-minute pilot workshops.
Initial goals of the collaborative team:
1. Reduce basic library/information resource teaching burden for [the professors] and
[their] colleagues
2. Provide "QuickStart" to effectively using eResources, eBooks, and other materials
provided by NTK and [CTU] and openly online - advanced skills for serious young scholars
3. Give an introduction to the scholarly publishing/research process/lifecycle
4. Determine what additional advanced instruction or services NTK might provide which
are not available from the [CTU] library presently
5. Give students an opportunity to practice their research English - oral and written skills
(S. Krueger, personal communication, Sept. 11, 2014).
Initial sketch for the three pilot workshops, including optional homework:
Workshop Title
Content
Optional Homework
Beyond Google: QuickStart
to effectively using NTK and
[CTU] resources
Includes remote access, special
services for PhD students,
building a good query in English
Write a one-page description of
your research interests and prior
experience with library/resources
The scholarly
publishing/research universe:
what you might not know yet
& tools to help you
Includes overview of citation
management options (open
source and commercial - review
your existing guide briefly at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Com
parison_of_reference_managem
ent_software + AMS TeX
resources,
http://www.ams.org/publications/
authors/tex/tex), new social tools
like ResearchGate, Mendeley -
advantages and disadvantages,
Write a brief (one paragraph)
description of articles you have
already published or describing
proposals for conferences to
date, then write two one
paragraph reviews discussing
the advantages and
disadvantages of ResearchGate
versus Mendeley and Scopus
versus Web of Science,
respectively
effectively using Scopus & Web
of Science, critical thinking in
relation to commercially-
provided tools (pros & cons)
Technical/professional
writing for engineers: useful
resources
Overview of useful specialized
reference, material/product
information and product design
resources
Write a one-page review of your
favorite print or electronic
resource(s) for engineering -
choose one or discuss several -
not more than three favorites.
What do you like and what drives
you crazy?
Table 1: Initial Workshop Sketch (S. Krueger, personal communication, Sept. 11, 2014)
In evaluations of the pilot, when asked what might be improved, several participants emphasized
writing, speaking, and publishingand more time:
The main drawback is the limited time Stephanie was given. Depending on the number of
attendees I would prefer more discussions to overcome [shyness] and to practice talking in
general.
I would appreciate more intensive course about professional scientific writing. Maybe
something about an hour to present our work in conferences.
I would appreciate more information about citation metrics.
Maybe more time for the course, it was quick quick. (S. Krueger, student evaluations, Jan.
9, 2015)
Participants’ wish list for future courses:
Professional presentation skills, transferrable skills
Principles for writing good papers
How to write a paper: scientific writing in English (course). Presentation in English how to
present at a conference (course).
I would generally appreciate more profound course on scientific writing.
Advanced course on scientific writing
Editing services, automated purchase/delivery of papers not available online (S. Krueger,
student evaluations, Jan. 9, 2015)
The message sent in evaluations was loud and clear: the writing process would constitute the next
stage of our efforts. Editorial services were launched immediately and plans were made for the
launch of a writing and publishing course in late 2015. Complementary presentation courses
followed, launching in 2016.
2 Scientific Writing in Practice: A Modest Proposal
Based on feedback from the initial sessions, the decision was made by the collaborative team to
create a proposal for a semester-long writing in English course open to all CTU doctoral students,
managed by the library and the Department of Mechanics.
While members of the collaborative team were aware of online massive online open courses
(MOOCs) about scientific writing, we specifically wanted to create an in-classroom experience for
advanced students, with small class sizes (limit: 20 participants) and the ability to facilitate
discussion. We also wanted to be able to quickly adjust courses to local needs, with a particular
emphasis on early doctoral students (Mantai, 2015).
The proposal targeted excellencedefined for this course as the ability of advanced students and
researchers to publish in top international journals and to communicate their original research to
others worldwide.
Another notable aspect of the initial concept was its emphasis on neutralityproviding skills
transferrable to any publisher or scholarly publishing setting, unlike many courses provided by
publishers which train students for specific publishing contexts.
Figure 1: Initial proposal sketch (J. Zeman, personal communication, Dec. 12, 2014)
The proposal, in expanded form, was presented by the Department of Mechanics to CTU
administrators and by the library services group to its leadership. There were some concerns
regarding the blurring of traditional boundaries between the library and the academy as well as the
long-term sustainability of the course (i.e., enough campus wide student interest). Despite this, the
collaborative team pressed forward, unified by the urgent need to provide students from their
department with systematic support in the areas identified in Figure 1 and exemplified by this
recent evaluation comment:
I really appreciate what you have been doing here. It is very special and something I have
been looking for a long time. The Czech academic environment lacks such sources. The
situation has changed recently, I guess, yet there are many things to be done in the future
(S. Krueger, student evaluation, Jan. 18, 2017).
Funding from CTU in the pilot phase was exclusively provided for a local English teacher on a
contractual basis. A Fulbright visiting professor in Electrical Engineering was engaged as a
volunteer expert to cover each topical area of the course (Figure 1). Each weekly session included
one hour led by the Fulbright professor focused on his experiences as a writer, editor, and reviewer
(NTK, 2016) followed by one hour of language instruction in difficulties typically encountered by
non-native speakers of English. A pilot version of the course was launched in short-course form in
November 2015 and was followed by three semester-long courses to date.
Starting in late 2016 (after the departure of the Fulbright professor), one professor and the English
teacher took the lead on developing the syllabus. Moodle, hosted by the library, was employed as
the course management system. The library continues to serve as project manager and
coordinator of course activities. One of the professors serves as primary lead to all appropriate
university parties and manages all organizational communications with course participants.
Workload for the course is thus shared across the collaboration team.
Appendix A provides the current course syllabus and reading list. All reading materials still in print
were purchased by the library with copies on permanent reserve.
This year the course, together with the supplementary courses described below, were opened to
doctoral students and researchers from other institutions on a first come, first served basis,
pending space available following registration by CTU students. The course was also approved by
the Faculty of Civil Engineering as a for-credit elective doctoral course (Hájek, 2017).
3 Complementary Courses and Individual Consultations
3.1 Supplementary Presentation Courses
In response to a continued call in writing course evaluations for more time to speak and practice
presentation skills, the library launched a semester-long Gaining Confidence in Presenting course
targeted at writing course alumni in 2016 (initial syllabus, including homework assignments, in
Appendix B). A second stage semester-long course, Scientific Oral Presentations, was launched in
spring 2017. Both courses are presently non-credit. Class size in both cases is limited to 10
students.
A young researcher from the Department of Mechanics assisted in the initial development of
Gaining Confidence, serving as a “usability tester” for the pilot concept prior to launch:
I think that the name ‘Gaining Confidence as a Presenter’ is perfect and could attract
students to your course. As a brief description I would recommend to highlight the following
(please excuse my English):
- techniques to help with presenting fluently will be presented (like the ones we discussed -
not trying to remember everything and improvise, to avoid unfamiliar etc.),
- basic presentation mistakes will be discussed (such as going into detail, making the
presentation boring for audience, having text instead of highlights in Power Point
presentations etc.) (V. N., personal communication, Aug. 22, 2016)
The small workshops aim to foster within students a sense of belonging to a scientific community,
enabling participants to discuss their academic motivations, achievements, and individual interests.
Trujillo & Turner (2014) provide additional background on the topic of scientific belonging. In
Moodle, these courses are purposefully categorized under the heading Researcher/Student
Success.
Locally, many researchers refer to such supplementary courses as “soft skills” courses; however,
the author increasingly agrees with the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) that such skills
are crucial to doctoral students, if our aim is to make them truly globally competitive, truly excellent:
Technical excellence is the essential attribute of engineering graduates, but those
graduates should also possess team, communication, ethical reasoning, and societal and
global contextual analysis skills as well as understand work strategies….[to produce]
engineers able to communicate with the public, able to engage in a global engineering
marketplace, or trained to be lifelong learners (National Academy of Engineering, 2005, p.
52).
Another way of referring to these competencies is the “development of self-sufficient individuals
able to articulate and activate a vision and bring it to fruition” (National Academy of Engineering,
2005, p. 104).
For more recent discussions on related topics, the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and
Junior Researchers (Eurodoc) provides newsletters addressing many of these issues (Eurodoc,
2012-2017).
3.2 Individual Consultations and Writing Center
Individual English writing consultation and editing services were launched in parallel with the initial
writing workshops in 2015. To date, demand for these services has been strong and steady but not
yet overwhelming.
Topic/Task
Number of Consultations (Jan 1 June 6,
2017; in-person or virtual)
Editing, journal article
8
Admissions materials (postdoc positions, other
applications)
20
Language testing preparation (TOEFL, IELTS)
5
Doctoral dissertation discussion
6
Career, life, diversity issues
9
Presentation editing
4
Other editing (titles, abstracts, essays, other)
26
Grant application editing
1
Translations, Czech to English
3
Traditional library reference (using resources,
remote access, appropriate subject resources)
9
Total:
91
Table 2: S. Krueger Individual Consultations, 2017 (to June 6)
In order to anticipate future demand and to build capacity and depth of our writing, research, and
teaching initiatives, a part-time staff member with a PhD in Neuroscience was hired by the library in
early 2017. We will begin proactively promoting our writing center services later this year.
The author of this paper has, as an individual, joined the International Writing Centers Association
(IWCA), upon recommendation from the Executive Director of the Texas A&M University Writing
Center, with whom the author has been in touch regarding resource linking (University Writing
Center, 2017) and collaboration.
For more background on writing centers and libraries, see Cooke & Bledsoe (2008), Elmborg &
Hook (2005), Heller-Künz & Mayer (2016), Jackson (2016), James & Nowacek (2015), and O’Kelly
et al. (2015).
In individual consultations with students, the author makes no distinction between in-person or
virtual mentoring and has found the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Comments on
Faculty Mentoring document to be of utmost value (Stein, n.d.).
If our campus partners have support units for student life issues, the author does guide learners to
existing support units. However, in certain areas (e.g., diversity issues), support units are not yet in
place on our campus. The author is following the NAS mentoring guidelines when, for example,
assisting international students impacted by geopolitical “schizophrenia” (Deleuze & Guattari,
1983).
4 Discussion
While the offerings described above were tailored to local needs and in response to local demands,
the collaborations do encompass several areas of broader interest.
4.1 Flexibility Means Power
It may still be revolutionary to consider flexible, collaborative organizational structures within
academic libraries, but our experience with these courses illustrates the very real power of agile
staffing responses which enable us to respond quickly to what our patrons really need. Pilots can
easily be created, implemented, and evaluated by committed staff members open to continual
improvement. It is easy, particularly for non-credit courses, to modify course content formatand
even stop courses if needed based on feedback and if staff are hired knowing their workload and
course instructional palette will necessarily change over time. This, of course, requires a high level
of frankness throughout the hiring process and in performance evaluation discussions. It also
requires hiring practices which proactively seek out flexible, creative team members committed to
academic excellence. For this, traditional full-time, traditional in-office work situations are perhaps
limiting; in our case, flexibility in terms of working hours and combining with other obligations was
more important to our recent new hires than salary alone.
Importantly, flexibility in our case comes with a concurrent sense of stability: our part-time team
members are real employees with full benefits rather than adjuncts without employee protections.
This “flexible stability” provides the right mix for us in recruiting staff interested in creating a
life/work (or: multiple job) balance.
In terms of library instruction, our experience illustrates that courses taught by collaborative teams
of experts can work, even when instructors are recruited on a volunteer/academic service basis
even remotely (Seadle, 2016). Our concept is to harness the power of existing non-library expertise
instead of requiring library staff to become experts or “Jacks/Jills of all trades, though we still
require all library services staff to be aware of specialist activities and to become experts in certain
areas (e.g., scholarly publishing and research methods).
4.2 No Fear
Perhaps related to flexibility is the concept of forging ahead on developing new services which
clearly support professors and students rather than waiting for our institutions to adapt to ever-
changing environmental situations; NAE has called this “the application of invention—the fusion of
new developments and new approaches to solve real problems” (National Academy of
Engineering, 2005, p. 44). Change is possible even in environments which are inherentlyeven
openlyhostile to it, and the author of this paper argues that losing our fear about (though not
sensitivities to) local political outcomes is worth it, both at a personal level andmost importantly
in terms of providing leadership examples to our colleagues and students.
In this way, the library can function as a neutral but active facilitator or catalyst to the improvement
of the educational process, rather than an observer of events happening around the library on a
campus. In our services team, we are informally referring to this process as “beyond embedding”
(Skenderija et al., 2017), incorporating NAE’s Design Principles to Expand Higher Education
Capacity: institutional leadership (across campus), targeted recruitment (investing in K12), personal
attention, peer support, enriched learning (beyond-the-classroom hands-on opportunities and
internships), bridging to the next level (helping learners envision pathways to future career
development), and continuous evaluation (National Academy of Engineering, 2005, p. 43).
Support from the Department of Mechanics has been essential to the efforts described in this case
study, helping smooth feathers for those concerned with blurring of traditional boundaries.
4.3 Different Packaging for Information Literacy Concepts: Real-Life Tasks?
Although we touch upon most areas of the Information Literacy Standards for Science and
Engineering/Technology Standards in our courses (The ALA/ACRL/STS Task Force on Information
Literacy for Science and Technology, 2017), the author has found it quite difficult to use library-
specific terms with course participants and has been experimenting with various different ways of
repackaging concepts to better match language and ideas which resonate with collaborators and
students. By no means have these efforts yet been completely successful, especially in one-off
sessions; our discursive experiments are outlined in Skenderija et al. (2017).
Mapping our course curricula directly to the level of granularity provided in the information literacy
standards cannot be easily achieved (Appendix C), and early doctoral students may not yet have
been exposed to all aspects of the research lifecycle. In other words, learners might not yet be able
to “build links between abstract concepts and real-life tasks” (National Academy of Engineering,
2005, p. 90).
Therefore, working with students and researchers individually is the ultimate goal of our current
efforts, because even our full semester courses do not provide us with the ability to cover the
expansive territory of the information literacy standards in depth and we do not yet have the ability
to map our efforts to university curricula systematically. In individual consultation sessions, we can
and are making real breakthroughs in assisting learners in all areas touching upon information
literacy concepts, because we are working with them in the context of specific real-life writing and
research tasks.
4.4 Mushrooming v. Collaboration
All of our courses were purposefully envisioned as meeting places for advanced students and
researchers conducting work in different disciplines, because much campus activity currently takes
place at the departmental level. The author has personally witnessed the great benefits provided to
course participants in meeting peers from different research areas, particularly in the context of the
presentation course setting.
The temptation is always there to duplicate similar courses at the departmental level, but the author
would advocate a more strategic, coordinated future approach in order to avoid a “mushroomed”
situation in which many concurrent courses are run, all slightly different but neatly fitting into
campus organizational structures. However, this is a decision which must be made at the university
(or cross-university level), and administrators might wish to ask themselves if they would like to
foster the development of a “CTU doctoral student experience.” The library, as a seasoned and
experienced partner, could assist in these efforts and systematically take the lead in such efforts
for CTU or other institutions across the Czech Republic.
Here, the author will transition into the first person: I would like to present readers with a quote from
the great American higher education leader, William G. Bowen, in an article entitled New Times
Always; Old Time We Cannot Keep: “It is important to avoid being trapped by too much institutional
hubris and too much institutional competition (Bowen, 2005).
I believe we owe it to our students to do better in preparing them for the demands of doctoral
education, and this includes providing positive examples to our students in our ability to collaborate
with and help one another. IATUL is setting a terrific cross-library collaboration example in this
regard.
5 Conclusion
I recently re-read the groundbreaking ethnographic study Laboratory Life: The Construction of
Scientific Facts (Latour & Woolgar, 1986). The book presents a fascinating journey through the
Salk Institute from the perspective of a French philosopher/anthropologist and presents a rare
glimpse into the inner workings of a high-caliber research institution as a kind of factory for written
documents:
How is it that the costly apparatus, animals, chemicals, and activities of the bench space
combine to produce a written document, and why are these documents so highly valued by
participants? After several further excursions into the bench space, it strikes our observer
that its members are compulsive and almost manic writers (Latour & Woolgar, 1986, p. 48).
Reading and writing well, readers of the book will discover, are the essential keys to unlocking the
world of the best research grants, the best journals, the best institutional rankings. Fame and
scientific glory.
Without superior reading and writing skills, our students face serious competitive disadvantages.
Every effort any of us make in changing thiswithin or beyond the borders of our institutions
makes it more likely they will succeed in whatever it is they dream (even if only some of them
become writing maniacs).
Acknowledgements
This paper is dedicated to Milan Jirásek and Jan Zeman, Czech Technical University in Prague, as
well as to their students and colleagues. The author also extends heartfelt gratitude to all those
who have supported the development of our activities over the past three years.
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15. doi: 10.1187/cbe.13-12-0241
University Writing Center, Texas A&M University (2015). Writing & speaking guides. Retrieved
from:
http://writingcenter.tamu.edu/Students/Writing-Speaking-Guides
QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited (2017). QS world university rankings by subject 2016 -
Engineering
- Civil & Structural. Retrieved from https://www.topuniversities.com/university-
rankings/university-subject-rankings/2016/engineering-civil-structural
Appendix A: Current Scientific Writing Syllabus
Copyright © 2017 by Milan Jirásek and Anna Jirásková. This work is made available under the
terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
Week
Topic
Reading/Homework
1
Introductions
Language focus: Common mistakes
made by non-native authors
Strunk, W., White, E.B., Angell, R. (2014).
Elements of style. Harlow: Pearson.
Elementary rules of usage
Homework: Pre-test
2
Publishing focus: Structure of a scientific
paper, abstract
Language focus: Sentence structure and
word order, user of tenses in different
parts of a paper
Glasman-Deal, H. (2010). Science research
writing for non-native speakers of English.
London: Imperial College Press. “Writing the
abstract
3
Guest speaker: Writing in Architecture
Publishing focus: Title and introduction
Language focus: Reporting verbs,
capitalization
Cargill, M. & O’Çonnor, P. (2013). Writing
scientific research articles: Strategies and
steps. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. “Writing
the introduction
Schimel, J. (2012). How to write papers that
get cited and proposals that get funded.
New York: Oxford University Press.
Writing introductions: The opening, the
funnel, and the challenge”
4
Publishing focus: Materials and methods
Language focus: Articles
Quirk, R., Greenbaum, S., Leech, G.,
Svartvik, J. (1985). Comprehensive
grammar of the English language. London:
Longman. “The use of articles with common
nouns”
Homework: Exercises, course to date
5
Publishing focus: Results
Turabian, K. (2013). A manual for writers of
research papers, theses, and dissertations:
Chicago style for students and researchers.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Day, R. A. & Gastel, B. (2012). How to write
and publish a scientific paper. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
“Use and Misuse of English”
Exercise: punctuation
6
Information skills focus: Who, what to
trust?
View full presentation
7
Publishing focus: Discussion and
conclusion
Language focus: Modality, passive
versus active voice
Schimel, J. (2012). How to write papers that
get cited and proposals that get funded.
New York: Oxford University Press.
“The Resolution”
Glasman-Deal, H. (2010). Science research
writing for non-native speakers of English.
London: Imperial College Press. “Writing the
discussion/conclusion”
8
Publishing focus: Assessment of
journals, researchers, and institutions
Information skills focus: Research
integrity
Alley, M. (1996). The craft of scientific
writing. New York: Springer. “Being Precise”
+ “Being Forthright”
View full Research Integrity presentation
9
Publishing focus: Citations, references,
acknowledgements; technical writing,
typesetting of scientific papers
(equations, elementary typographic
rules, brief intro to LaTeX)
Knuth, D.E., Larrabee, T., & Roberts, P. M.
(1987). Mathematical writing. Retrieved
from: http://www-cs-
faculty.stanford.edu/~uno/papers/cs1193.pdf
10
Publishing focus: Homework feedback
Language focus: prepositions
Alley, M. (1996). The craft of scientific
writing. New York: Springer. “Being Clear +
Being Precise”
11
Language focus: Style clarity, formality,
redundancy, ambiguity
Alley, M. (1996). The craft of scientific
writing. New York: Springer. “Being Familiar”
12
Language focus: style energizing
writing, fluidity
Alley, M. (1996). The craft of scientific
writing. New York: Springer. “Being Fluid”
Schimel, J. (2012). How to write papers that
get cited and proposals that get funded.
New York: Oxford University Press.
Homework: Feedback form
13
Guest speaker: Successful project
writing
Homework: Final test
14
Review and discussion
Appendix B: Initial Gaining Confidence Presenting in English Syllabus, 2016
Topic
Assignment
Introductions (or: Tell Me About
Yourself)
Come to class prepared to introduce yourself to your
colleagues.
Audience Awareness
Please take three ORIGINAL pictures or screenshots (that
is, that you take yourself - not from pre-existing websites,
etc.; no clip art!) that represent:
1. Who you are: Your faculty or research group
2. Who you are: Your research space (even if this is just a
computer)
3. What you do: Your research (be as creative as you
would like to be in this)
Then put the three pictures in PowerPoint or similar
presentation software of choice (but please: no Prezi;
sample for me, attached).
Introducing Colleagues
Please pick a researcher you really admire (a favorite
professor, a famous scientist [living or dead], Nobel Prize
winner, etc.). The only requirement is that the person has
to be doing/has done academic research of some kind...it
doesn't have to be in your field.
1. Who they are/were: Name of the person and a little
about the institution or research group they're most known
for
2. Why you admire this person?
3. What they do/did: Describe a specific research area. It
can be short, but you should say enough so that it's clear
to everyone in class
Talking about Research Methods
For next week's homework, please prepare to speak for
five minutes in more detail about your research
methodology (send to me by midnight Nov 8).
To get us all used to the idea of video in a couple of
weeks, I will take a still picture or two of each person while
they are presenting. This will also simulate real life, where
at conferences they sometimes have photographers
roaming around.
I will give you your photos individually by email after the
class...it's to get used to seeing yourself in action; please
do not worry or be shy to come to class next week
because of this.
Talking about a Research Problem
The homework for next week will be to create and present
3-5 slides on *a problem* you are having/have had with
your research.
Tell Me More About YourselfTell
Me More About Yourself
The homework for next week's class will be 1-3 slides
regarding your history/life (as a break from talking about
research). You can be as creative as you'd like.
About Myself: Job/Research
Likes/Dislikes
Please create 3-5 slides describing EITHER your favorite
job/research activity OR your least favorite job/research
activity, throughout your life so far.
Small Talk: Celebrating the
Holidays
Please create 3-5 slides about how you like to celebrate
the year-end holidays, nowadays or in your life past.
Research Data
Present data you are using for a current project (e.g., your
data, how you store it, how you interpret it)
Pulling It All Together: Final Class
Create a presentation re-introducing your research project
to the audience based on what you have learned during
the semester. I will find more audience members for this
final class.
Appendix C: An Experiment in Linking Information Literacy Concepts to
Course Content and Real-Life Tasks
Information Literacy
Performance Indicator (The
information literate
student…)
Curricular Area
Sample Real-Life Task or
Assignment, Early Doctoral
Student
Defines and articulate the
need for information (research
topic, hypothesis, general
sources and key terms)
Writing course: Title,
introduction, abstract
Writing course: Who, what to
trust?
Write your dissertation
abstract in English, including
keywords
Write a summary of your
dissertation topic.
Identifies a variety of types
and formats of potential
sources for information (types
of sources, formats, data,
provider of information)
Writing course: Who, what to
trust?
Write an annotated list of
twenty key resources you will
use in your doctoral thesis.
Has a working knowledge of
the literature in the field and
how it is produced (discipline-
specific sources, professional
associations, interdisciplinary
sources, archiving)
Writing course: Who, what to
trust?; Research integrity;
Assessment of journals,
researchers, and institutions
Write an essay about your
five-year career plans.
Considers the costs and
benefits of acquiring the
needed information (ILL,
tradeoffs, organizational plan,
competitive information,
across languages)
Writing course, full cycle
Find and order one book the
library does not have for your
dissertation via ILL.
Selects the most appropriate
investigative methods or
information retrieval systems
for assessing the needed
information (research method,
approaches for accessing
systems)
Writing course: Materials and
methods; Who, what to trust?
Confidence course: Talking
about research methods
Create three slides describing
the methodology of your
current project.
Constructs and implements
effectively designed search
strategies (keywords, input
strategies, search strategies,
citation following)
Writing course: Who, what to
trust?
Write down your strategy for
finding articles for your
dissertation.
Retrieves information using a
variety of methods (including
talking to humans, research
techniques quantitative or
qualitative)
Writing course: Materials and
methods
Presenting courses, full cycle
Create three slides describing
a problem you have had with
your research to date.
Refines the search strategy if
necessary (assesses
information and revises
strategy intelligently)
Writing course: Who, what to
trust?
Find your Master thesis and
write one paragraph about
how you plan to improve the
literature review in your
dissertation.
Extracts, records, transfers,
and manages the information
(with appropriate technology,
systematic approach to
organization, citation
management)
Writing course: Citations, list
of references; Research
integrity
Confidence course: Research
data
Present data you are using for
a current project.
Summarizes the main ideas to
be extracted from the
information gathered
(structure of scientific paper,
critical analysis of information)
Full cycle, writing course
Full cycle, presenting courses
Write a one-page essay
summarizing a new article in a
top journal from your field.
Synthesizes main ideas to
construct new concepts
(synthesis of ideas, new
hypotheses)
Full cycle, writing course
Full cycle, presenting courses
Write a one-page essay
comparing two recent articles
in your field.
Compares new knowledge
with prior knowledge to
determine the value added,
contradictions, or other unique
characteristics of the
information (tests theories,
balanced viewpoint)
Full cycle, writing course
Create an annotated
bibliography with proper
citations which illustrates the
originality in your dissertation
topic.
Validates understanding and
interpretation of the
information through discourse
Full cycle, presenting courses
Read this article and come to
class prepared to discuss its
original contribution to its field.
with other individuals, small
groups or teams, subject-area
experts, and/or practitioners
(participates in discussions,
works effectively in small
groups or teams, seeks expert
opinion)
Planned future journal and
research discussion groups
Determines whether the initial
query should be revised
Writing course: Who, what to
trust
Write a paragraph analyzing a
systematic review query.
Evaluates the procured
information and the entire
process (applies
improvements to subsequent
practice)
Full cycle, writing course
Confidence course: Putting it
all together
Create three slides re-
introducing your research
topic.
Understand many of the
ethical, legal, and socio-
economic issues surrounding
information and technology
(privacy, censorship,
intellectual property)
Writing course: Research
integrity
Write an essay which
illustrates how your
dissertation topic fits into a
broader societal context.
Follows laws, regulations,
institutional policies, and
etiquette related to the access
and use of information
resources
Writing course: Research
integrity
Write a one-page essay
describing the strengths and
weaknesses of Scopus, Web
of Science, and Google
Scholar.
Acknowledges the use of
information sources in
communicating the product or
performance (appropriate
documentation style,
acknowledgements)
Writing course: Citations, list
of references,
acknowledgements
Look up the author guide for a
journal you wish to publish in
and write an
acknowledgement statement
based on the author guide.
Applies creativity in the use of
information for a particular
product or performance
Full cycle, presenting courses
Create three slides
demonstrating how your
dissertation research is
original.
Evaluates the final product or
performance and revises the
development process used as
necessary
Full cycle, writing course
Full cycle, presenting courses
Write a one-page essay
describing the strengths and
weaknesses of a product or
software your department has
developed.
Communicates the product or
performance effectively to
others
Full cycle, writing course
Full cycle, presenting courses
Create three slides describing
a piece of equipment or
software crucial to your
research.
Recognizes the value of
ongoing assimilation and
preservation of knowledge in
the field
Writing course: Who, what to
trust and research integrity
Write a one-page essay
describing how you manage
data for your dissertation.
Uses a variety of methods and
emerging technologies for
keeping current in the field
Full cycle, writing course
Write a one-page essay
describing how you organize
and read articles about new
developments in your field.
... V první části článku je proto popsán rozvoj informační podpory NTK od roku 2013 a v druhé pak dva konkrétní příklady současného formátu a fungování naších konzultačních a instruktážních služeb pro studenty vysokých a středních škol. Podrobnosti o podpoře vyučujících a studentů doktorandských programů jsou k dispozici v samostatném příspěvku (Krueger, 2017). ...
... Už se nám tak stalo, že jsme na základě našich zjištění vytvořili a nabídli služby, které si až zpětně hledaly své uživatele, postupně vytvářely "poptávku" a přitáhly další uživatele a akademické partnery. Tento proces, interně nazývaný "beyond embedded" (viz Krueger, 2017), souzní také s motem našeho referenčního týmu -"inspirovat a demystifikovat". ...
Article
Full-text available
Případová studie z Národní technické knihovny v Praze popisuje vývoj informační podpory založené na uživatel-sky orientovaném přístupu. Její podobu ukazuje na příkladu dvou konkrétních služeb; individuálních konzulta-cích a informační podpory pro střední školy. Národní technická knihovna, sídlící od roku 2009 uprostřed kampusu technických vysokých škol v pražských Dejvicích, slouží uživatelům z řad studentů, vyučujících i široké veřejnosti a zároveň funguje jako akademická knihovna Vysoké školy che-micko-technologické (VŠCHT) a specializovaná knihovna Ústavu organické chemie a biochemie (ÚOCHB). Ročně budovu NTK navštíví více než 600 000 uživatelů, z čehož 70 % tvoří studenti, mezi nimi více než 30 % studenti zahraniční. Krom speciali-zovaných zdrojů a studijních prostor nabízíme řadu informačních a instruktážních služeb, jejichž hlavním cílem je přispět k aka-demickému a odbornému úspěchu studentů, pedagogů a výzkumníků, zejména z oblasti technických a aplikovaných přírodních věd. Namísto referenčních služeb, jak jsou tradičně chápány knihovnickou komunitou v českém prostředí (Švejda, 2003), se přikláníme k šířeji pojaté akademické informační podpoře zakotvené v mezinárodních standardech, doporučeních (např. Bopp a kol., 2011; ALA/RUSA, 2003; ALA/ACRL/STS, 2006) a neustále uzpůsobované individuálním potřebám našich uživatelů. Naše metoda odvozena z mota NTK "Knihovna je služba" (NTK, 2017b) by se dala shrnout větou "Poznej svého (potenciál-ního) uživatele!". Tento imperativ se projevuje nejen v podobě a organizaci služeb, ale také v personální politice a parame-trech interního vzdělávání. Ačkoliv se nám a hlavně naším uživatelům dnes takový přístup jeví jako samozřejmost, cesta k němu nebyla přímá ani snadná. V první části článku je proto popsán rozvoj informační podpory NTK od roku 2013 a v druhé pak dva konkrétní příklady současného formátu a fungování naších konzultačních a instruktážních služeb pro studenty vyso-kých a středních škol. Podrobnosti o podpoře vyučujících a studentů doktorandských programů jsou k dispozici v samostat-ném příspěvku (Krueger, 2017). Cesta k uživatelsky orientovanému přístupu V roce 2009 se NTK po více než 50 letech vrátila ke svému původnímu poslání sloužit akademické obci přímo v kampusu vy-sokých škol (NTK, 2017b). Integrací s knihovnou VŠCHT (2013) a později s knihovnou ÚOCHB (2014) byla zahájena také transformace referenčních služeb. Ačkoliv sloučení provozů, procesů a fondů všech zapojených institucí proběhlo hladce (Ko-žuchová, 2014), u referenčních služeb jsme se od počátku potýkali se vzájemným neporozuměním. Nesoulad se projevoval obtížemi s formulací "zadání" ze strany partnerů 1 , ale především naší neschopností opustit "narativ a způsoby" tradičních kni-hovníků a knihovnictví, jak je popisují Skenderija a kol. (2017). Impulsem k celkové změně přístupu se stal redesign webu NTK na přelomu let 2013-2014 a pilotní kurz Scientific Writing určený studentům doktorandských programů. Realizace obou projektů byla založená na studiu uživatelských potřeb specifické akademické komunity a řízená v souladu s principy tzv. agilního vývoje (více viz Krueger, 2014; 2017). Průzkumy uživatel-ského chování a průběžné vyhodnocování zpětné vazby se staly základem pro revizi, přestavbu a další rozvoj veškerých slu-žeb, včetně pokročilé informační podpory. Vzhledem k tomu, že se nám výsledky kvantitativních průzkumů a dotazníkových šetření uživatelů neosvědčily pro naše účely jako dostatečně vypovídající a směrodatné, zaměřili jsme se na kvalitativní a smíšené průzkumy zaměřené také na "neuživatele" knihovny. V letech 2014-2016 byla realizována dvě mystery visitingová šetření (Sudová, 2014; Orlová a kol., 2016), etnografický průzkum informačního chování vědců (Krueger, 2016) a etnogra-fický průzkum bakalářských studentů techniky (Chodounská, 2016). Nálezy a doporučení vyplývající z těchto průzkumů při-spěly k artikulaci strategie rozvoje služeb NTK (Chodounská a Skenderija, 2017). referenční tým Hlavním předpokladem pro práci referenčního knihovníka v NTK se postupně stalo zejména porozumění (potenciálním) aka-demickým uživatelům, jejich prostředí spolu s jejich informačními a studijními potřebami a návyky. Expertní znalosti infor-mačních zdrojů a služeb knihovny zůstaly důležitou součástí kompetencí s tím, že jsme je začali odvozovat od přímo zjištěných, nikoli předpokládaných nebo tradičním knihovnickým přístupem "uchopitelných", potřeb uživatelů. V souladu s požadavky vy-sokých škol bylo také pozastaveno poskytování rešeršních služeb všem studentům bakalářských a magisterských programů. Namísto toho jsme se začali soustředit na zdokonalování konzultačních služeb. Informační potřeby studentů a vědců z jejich vlastní perspektivy, vědecká komunikace a studium uživatelského chování se vzápětí staly tematickými pilíři nově založeného interního kompetenčního kurzu NTK YoUniversity, povinného pro všechny referenční knihovníky (podrobněji Chodounská a Krueger, 2016). Změna směřování referenčních služeb i nově formulované nároky na pracovníky byly podrobně diskutovány se zaměstnanci i vedením knihovny (NTK, 2015). Ve snaze co nejvíce přiblížit referenční knihovníky k uživatelům bylo rozhodnuto prolnout pracovní agendy referenčních a asistovaných služeb a zrušit referenční oddělení ve smyslu organizačního útvaru. Referenční knihovníky se však nepodařilo přesvědčit o nutnosti prováděných změn a v průběhu roku 2015 postupně všichni opustili nově vzniklé oddělení služeb. Při následném výběru nových pracovníků dostali přednost uživatelsky orientovaní uchazeči nikoli knihovnického, ale technického či aplikovaně-vědeckého zaměření nebo sociálně-humanitního s mezioborovým přesahem 1 Na naši otázku, co jim můžeme nabídnout na podporu studia a výzkumu v jejich institucích, odpovídali "zatím nás nic nenapadá, my si výukou a výzkumem vystačíme sami, na to máme vlastní kompetentní a zkušené lidi."
... Which brings me finally to the paradox I encountered after I completed this research project. While, as indicated, findings from the original project cannot be used to make theoretical generalizations because of the small, non-random study cohort, the study paradoxically enabled the creation of popular services for early career researchers in a real-world setting, an academic library primarily serving STEM Krueger (2014) and Krueger (2017) provide descriptions of services improved using the knowledge I gained from this project. Here, I will only provide brief reflections about my experiences which may be of interest to researchers and practitioners alike. ...
Article
Online full-text at YOUNG INFORMATION SCIENTIST (ISSN 2518-6892...journal name not in RG system), https://yis.univie.ac.at/index.php/yis/article/view/1924 ***Objective - To critically describe and evaluate an exploratory research project conducted by the author from 2012-2016. The project examined the academic search patterns of six scientists in four geographical locations who were observed using several qualitative methods, including visual ethnographic techniques. Methods - This reflexive discussion, in case study form, provides insight into decision making about techniques researchers can use to observe people's interactions within networked environments. It also provides a glimpse into the real-world service design process at a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) library. Results - Touching only briefly on theory, the article highlights how visual ethnographic techniques are useful, as an alternative to log or trace data, for observing interactions of individuals within the global networked academic environment (GNAE). Screenshots taken by research participants for this project were rich data sources and provided 'snapshots' of how scientists in the study conducted academic search in real-world settings. Conclusions - While findings from the original research project cannot be used to make theoretical generalizations because of the small, non-random study cohort, the study-perhaps paradoxically enabled the creation of popular services for early career researchers in a real-world setting. This paradox raises provocative questions about goal-setting in library and information science (LIS) research and ties between theory and practice. Keywords - global networked academic environment, academic search, screenshots, visual ethnography, trace ethnography »Was sein könnte«: Überlegungen zu einer qualitativen Studie des wissenschaftlichen Suchverhaltens Zielsetzung - Der Beitrag beschreibt und bewertet ein exploratives Forschungsprojekt, das von 2012 bis 2016 von der Autorin durchgeführt wurde. Dieses Projekt untersuchte die Recherchege-wohnheiten von sechs in vier geographischen Regionen tätigen Naturwissenschaftlern mit Hilfe mehrerer qualitativer Methoden, inklusive visueller ethnographischer Techniken. Forschungsmethoden - Die vorliegende reflektierende Diskussion mit Fallstudiencharakter vermit-telt Einblicke in Techniken der Entscheidungsfindung, die ein/e Forscher/in anwenden kann, um menschliche Interaktionen in vernetzten Umgebungen zu beobachten. Sie ermöglicht auch einen Blick in den realen Prozess des Dienstleistungsentwurfs in einer Bibliothek mit Ausrichtung auf Naturwissenschaft, Technik, Ingenieurwesen und Mathematik (STEM). Ergebnisse - Während theoretische Aspekte nur gestreift werden, zeigt der Artikel hauptsächlich, wie visuelle ethnographische Techniken als Alternative zu Log-oder Trace-Daten bei der Beobachtung von Interaktionen von Individuen innerhalb des globalen vernetzten akademischen Umfeldes (GNAE) nutzbringend eingesetzt werden können. Von den Teilnehmern der Studie angefertigte Bildschirmkopien erwiesen sich als reichhaltige Datenquellen und lieferten »Schnappschüsse« davon, wie Wissenschaftler in einer realen Umgebung akademische Suchen durchführten.
Article
Full-text available
Becoming a researcher is one of the roads travelled in the emotional, social, and intellectual process of PhD journeys. As such, developing a researcher identity during doctoral study is a social undertaking. This paper explores instances and practices where doctoral students identify as becoming researchers. Based on interviews with 30 PhD students from two Australian metropolitan universities, this paper presents students' experiences of moments when they feel like researchers. The paper finds identification as a researcher occurs early on in the PhD, and such instances are underpinned by external and internal validation of the student as a researcher. Validation is gained through research outputs (mainly publications), doing research, and talking about research. Such experiences are often mundane, occur daily, and constitute personal, social, informal, and formal learning opportunities for researcher development. Supervisors are largely absent as students draw on multiple individuals on and off campus in assuming a researcher identity.
Article
Full-text available
While emphasis is often placed on assessing students' conceptual knowledge, less has been placed on investigating affective aspects of student biology learning. In this paper, we explore self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and science identity, as well as emerging assessment tools to monitor these dimensions of students' learning.
Article
In the university environment, libraries and writing centers often operate as separate entities, but they provide similar services to students. The placement of the writing center inside the library may provide opportunities for partnership. At Florida Gulf Coast University, the Humanities Librarian and the Writing Center Director decided to take advantage of their close proximity and observe each other's service desks. The authors identify five challenges common to librarians and writing consultants as well as cooperative solutions. Furthermore, an exploration of how other libraries and writing centers around the country are working together inspired additional avenues for collaboration.
New times always; Old time we cannot keep
  • W G Bowen
Bowen, W.G. (2005). "New times always; Old time we cannot keep." Remarks at Annual Meeting of the Association of Research Libraries, October 26, 2005. Retrieved from http://www.portico.org/digital-preservation/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Bowen_ARL.pdf
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