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Paper about user feedback in digital libraries wins award

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The winners of the De Gruyter Saur IFLA Research Paper Award 2011 are Erin Thomas, Grace Costantino, Bianca Crowley and Rebecca Morin with their paper entitled “Heeding the Call: User Feedback Management and the Digital Library”. The first three authors are from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries and Rebecca Morin is from the California Academy of Sciences, all in the USA.

Using the example of the collaborative Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), the paper is said to give a timely view of how users’ views and feedback can be captured and integrated in order to improve the quality and comprehensiveness of digitisation projects.

As the authors write: ‘In adopting issue tracking software, a small, decentralized staff is able to leverage user feedback, transforming it into an essential component of daily workflow and empowering users to determine ongoing Biodiversity Heritage Library activities.’

The jury from IFLA was said to have been impressed by the quality of the paper and the insight it gave into an innovative approach to encourage and utilise user involvement in digital library collection development.