Athenaeum21's Dr Christine Madsen presented "The Future of Finding at the University of Oxford" at December's Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) meeting in Washington, DC, along with Catriona Cannon, Deputy Librarian & Keeper of Collections at the Bodleian Libraries, of the University of Oxford.
Dr Madsen works at the intersection of cultural heritage and technology and is expert in building large-scale systems that use technology to connect researchers, teachers, and students with library and learning resources. She is co-founder and principal of Athenaeum21 Consulting, where she works with libraries and museums around the world on digital strategy and innovation.
Good resource discovery tools are not simply about making research easier and faster, but about facilitating the creation, preservation and discovery of knowledge by enabling new modes of research, especially across disciplines. In 2014 the University of Oxford began a program of activities to improve discovery of and access to its intellectual assets.
With over 100 libraries, five museums, botanic gardens and an arboretum at the University, Oxford has been working to find world-leading solutions for connecting students and researchers at Oxford (and abroad) with the collections that are available to them. The University also aimed to make its resources more findable by the wider community, to increase engagement with its world-class collections and research.
A year-long research study revealed the nuances of why incoming researchers and students struggle to find relevant collections and found that simply providing better search tools across existing metadata will not improve the situation. Therefore, the University has set out to scope entirely new approaches to discovery, exploring new tools and techniques to enable students and researchers at Oxford and abroad to understand the scope of collections held by the University and to find them quickly and efficiently.
The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) is dedicated to supporting the transformative promise of digital information technology for the advancement of scholarly communication and the enrichment of intellectual productivity. Representatives from CNI member organizations, including the University of Oxford, gather twice annually to explore new technologies, content, and applications; to further collaboration; to analyze technology policy issues; and to catalyze the development and deployment of new projects.
View Dr Madsen and Catriona Cannon's slides are here.