Cases on Research Support Services in Academic Libraries: Peking University Library

Cases on Research Support Services in Academic Libraries: Peking University Library

Yong Tang (Peking University, China) and Chunhong Zhang (Peking University, China)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4546-1.ch011
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Abstract

Peking University Library (the Library) conducts organizational restructuring in 2019, and the Collaborative Service Center (CCS) is designated as the provider of research support services, which is operated in interaction with the talent training system and the process of comprehensive reform. A string of innovations in research support services are implemented by CCS's two teams in an overall manner. This chapter introduces status of research support services in China and the Library's practices in research support services. This chapter introduces the new framework of the research support services from four aspects—service object, service provider, service content, and service strategy—and outlines its plans and visions for further efforts in this regard.
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Introduction

With easier access to academic resources and more convenient academic exchanges, users are less dependent on libraries for traditional resources and services, so libraries are increasingly marginalized in universities. As a result, university libraries must identify a new focus of services, integrate into the core business of universities and increase their influence on university academic research. Research support services emerge in such a context.

With the development of information technology (IT), great changes have taken place in the environment facing university libraries in China. In January 2017, the State Council printed and issued the Measures for the Implementation of the Overall Plan for Building World-class Universities and First-class Disciplines (Provisional), making it a national strategy to push, a batch of high-level universities and disciplines to appear on or top the list of the world’s best universities. This is the general environment facing university libraries.

In December 2017, Peking University (PKU) officially released the Peking University Plan for First-Class University Construction (Compact Edition). In the overall context of the “Double First-class University” strategy, university libraries, as academic institutions that provide document information services for universities in talent training, scientific research, cultural inheritance and innovation & entrepreneurship, play an important role in providing disciplinary support. Developing into first-class libraries that can support the construction of “Double First-class” universities and provide first-class services has become an important task for university libraries at present. Users are confronting rapid development in science, technology and IT application, revolutionary changes in the way of acquiring and imparting knowledge and the teaching-learning relationship (Chen, 2018). Approaches to learning, models of teaching and research paradigms of researchers have undergone notable changes. How university libraries can support scientific research and engage in the historical process of scientific and technological progress is another crucial issue worth pondering. How university libraries can be integrated into the core business of corresponding universities and increase their influence on academic research becomes the main direction of their present and future development. Research support services are a new service product that libraries launch against this backdrop. University libraries in China have begun to pay more and more attention to research support services.

Peking University Library (the Library), as the most renowned and the largest university library in China, has explored the framework of research support services, offered such services and made positive headway since 2015. During 2016-2018, Peking University Library regularly completed and released multiple information products, including Reports on Subject Competitiveness of Peking University, Reports on Patent Competitiveness of Peking University, Reports on Research Frontiers of Peking University, and the Weiming Academic Bulletin. These reports have won recognition and praise from teacher researchers, research management and decision-making bodies of Peking University as well as from other libraries. The Library is a living organism. In response to the new changes of global, national, and local contexts,in 2019, the Library conducted a new round of business restructuring and upgrading and expanded and optimized the business in connection with research support services.

The Library includes two buildings. The Old Library Building of Peking University (the West Building) was completed in 1975, with an overall floor area of over 24,000m2 and 2,400 seats, and with a capacity for 3.6 million books. The New Library Building (East Building) was completed in 1998. It was impeccably connected to the old one, increasing the overall floor area to as large as 53,000m2, making Peking University Library the largest one among Asian universities, which served as a backbone for the university's effort to build the first-rate university in the world.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Reports on Patent Competitiveness of Peking University: The project is a decision support report, actively completed by Peking University Library and based on potential target customer demands. Relying on Innography and other patent databases, it sums up and analyzes the number of existing patents, number of high-strength patents, patent hotspots and patent commercialization of Peking University and its directly subordinate and affiliate teaching and research institutions. The results are compared with peer universities, in order to understand Peking University's patent ownership and its competitiveness among universities and to enable the Library to develop in advantageous directions.

Weiming Academic Bulletin: It is an information product independently edited and released by the research support centre (Collaborative Service Center now) to support scientific research. It aims to collect data from an objective perspective, show the academic achievements of Peking University, support academic research of scholars, and accompany Peking University to become a world-class university. As of December 2019, 17 issues have been published.

First-Class Discipline: In 2015, China launched the “Double First-Class Initiative”. The First-Class Discipline is the construction of first-class research-oriented disciplines.

Double First-Class: In 2015, China launched the “Double First-Class Initiative” to promote the development of higher education in China. Double First-class means the world-class universities and the first-class disciplines.

Reports on Research Frontiers of Peking University: This service came from the Library’s proactive services and reform needs. The goal was to analyze and publish the research frontiers of various disciplines at PKU, thus providing support for PKU’s disciplinary development.

Reports on Subject Competitiveness of Peking University: Co-authored by Office of Discipline Construction, the report series analyze the academic competitiveness of each subject of Peking University. It is based on subjects of Peking University and benchmarked against 18 comprehensive universities at home and abroad, thus providing bibliometric analysis and scientific evaluation indexes for subject development of Peking University.

World-Class University: In 2015, China launched the “Double First-Class Initiative”. First-Class University is the construction of first-class research-oriented universities.

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