Guidelines for contributions
This guide can be used for all contributions (see Call for abstracts) for the EAHIL 2023 Workshop. The guidelines are made to support authors, particularly those new to EAHIL, and the guidelines are therefore general in nature. The International Program Committee (IPC) hopes that this will make it easier to send in good quality abstracts. The IPC has also provided example abstracts that can be used as a template.
Content of abstract
The content of the abstract should contain the following information:
- a clear statement of purpose
- a brief explanation of the current state of affairs on your topic, for instance a short summary of the literature or current practice in order to “set the stage” for your contribution
- a brief summary of your contribution/ main points
- an overview of the activities or techniques you plan on using if your abstract is for a workshop or continuing education course
Structure of abstract
Your abstract should be in either the Purpose-Background-Summary format or the IMRAD (Introduction-Methods-Results-and-Discussion) format as illustrated in the examples below.
There is a word limit of 600 words to the abstract. This includes the reference list, but excludes title. The word limit for the title is set to 30 words. You can see this information in the submission portal.
- Does your abstract relate to the theme of the conference?
- Have you decided on what subtheme your abstract falls under?
- Have you made sure that you have stayed within the word limit?
- Does your abstract contain a clear statement of purpose, a short summary of the current state of the literature or practice in your field, a summary of your main points and activities in the correct format?
When you can check all the boxes on your checklist you are ready to submit your abstract, so feel free to head over to the submission system.
In the Call for abstracts, we invite you to send in abstracts in one of the following categories:
- Oral presentations
- Continuing Education Courses
Oral presentations are the standard presentations you will find in almost any conference. It usually consists of a presentation of a research project, best practice or a summary of something you have done or are in the middle of doing plus time for questions from the audience.
A teachmeet can be organised in several ways. The format we are looking for is a very short presentation where you focus on the most basic points you want to make. It is usually about sharing useful tips, ideas or sharing best practice. The presenters in the teachmeet will be seated at a table each in a room where the delegates move from table to table. The presenters must therefore be prepared to give their short presentation several times over an hour. The presenters may share more information on handouts etc. for more in-depth knowledge on the topic, but the presentation should be short and snappy. It is an opportunity for the delegates to get a lot of tips in a short period of time, and for the presenters to share something in a flash.
Workshops encourage delegates to get involved. It is usually a mix of presentation and hands-on activity, and what we are looking for here is content that challenges the delegates to adopt new skills, knowledge or mindsets in an active manner.
Continuing education courses (CECs) have a particular focus on professional development. We all have to learn new things and get new ideas to be able to keep our libraries current and attractive partners. A CEC should give the delegates the opportunity to develop as professionals.
If you don’t know which contribution type you should choose, you can contact the IPC Chair. It is also possible to just choose the contribution type you prefer, and if the IPC feels like your contribution is better suited in another category, they will notify you when the review is underway. You should only submit your abstract once.
There will not be poster presentations at this workshop. There are several reasons why the program committee chose to abstain from posters this time. Firstly, the quality is hard to assess before the actual poster is produced, and experience shows that the finished posters varies in quality. Secondly, the poster presentations tend to be less regarded and less visited than oral presentations etc. and it can be difficult for the presenters to reach out to delegates as the format dictates that you only speak to a very small group at the time.
We are aware that some may not be able to travel unless they are presenting, but we hope that the teachmeet can be a better way to present best practice or small projects in an energetic and short way while getting many listeners at the same time.
Examples of abstracts
Below you can find examples of abstracts, that might be extra helpful for those who are new to sending in abstracts.
Example 1 (Purpose-Background-Summary)
Title: Micro-activism in the academic library
Statement of purpose:
The purpose of this teachmeet contribution is to give a brief overview of micro-activism as a concept and to provide two recent best-practice examples of micro-activism in the library; one from an information literacy session and one from an exhibition.
Librarians in general want libraries to be inclusive, open, diverse knowledge hubs where patrons can study and learn, but also hang out with friends, feel safe and to feel like they belong (Smith, 2019). However, merely to provide the space and collections was not enough for the staff at Imagination University Library. We observed, during a traffic tracking over 3 months, that 77 percent of the students using the library’s study spaces were white, despite only making up 56 percent of the student body. Only 25 percent of the total number of observed students were visibly categorized as women on the forms, despite women making up 65 percent of the student population. Library staff followed up with a qualitative study (Berg and Hanson, 2022) that showed that the lack of diversity in exhibitions, promo material for the library, and the predominantly white library staff had created the image of the library as a white domain. This represents a major problem, and it goes directly against the library platform statement (Imagination Unversity Library, 2015). There are many new initiatives being worked out within the library and university leadership these days to find what deep and lasting changes that must be done, but the library staff wanted to get started with some small initiatives right away.
There is no single definition of micro-activism, but we chose to define it as: “small, easy-to-implement, ideas and actions with the scope of improving social equality and equity” (Imagination University Library, 2022, p.3). The social events librarian initiated a series of “Research Relay”, where researchers of colour were invited to give brief research summaries from their fields, five researchers got five minutes each on each of the four events that were held. The teaching team decided on a few sets of search examples that they could use when teaching database searching to classes. The example sets delt with themes such as the Black Lives Matter and MeeToo movements, Asian internment during WW2 and working conditions of factory workers in Europe. The acquisitions team put up several exhibitions, for example featuring authors of African descent during Black History Month and of LBGTQ+ authors for Pride Month.
Summary and activities:
The micro-activism strategy the library undertook cannot solve the problem we discovered in our studies of the library space, but it was a way of addressing some of the issues while the larger strategies were being planned. During the teachmeet, we hope to present two of the initiatives of micro-activism that we used in the hope of inspiring others to do the same.
At the end of the teachmeet session, participants will be given a handout of useful resources and possible activities to implement, as well as a link to a questionnaire we hope to use in our further investigations. Contact information will also be given out so that participants can contact us directly if they want to learn more about our efforts.
Example 2 (IMRAD)
Entered under subtheme 4: “Open learning in physical and digital libraries”
Category: Oral presentation
Title: Is there a culture for lesson plan sharing in the virtual library?
When the Covid-19 pandemic caused a nation-wide lockdown in the spring of 2020, the academic libraries all over the country were looking for ways of supporting students and staff with their home learning and teaching. At Imagination University, the library staff were inspired by Narnia College (Peters, 2021), who had set up a Zoom room, to set up a new virtual library service on Zoom. The virtual library became a platform for teaching and research support in addition to the information desk that was initially planned. The teaching librarians were quick to embrace the virtual library as a teaching platform, but there was some hesitation as to sharing lesson plans and presentations. We were curious to find out why this hesitation to share was so present and what we could do to change this.
A questionnaire was sent out to all teaching librarians. The questions were mostly open-ended to allow for robust feedback in the forms. 78 percent of the library teaching staff responded. A random draw of names within sections provided us with ten names, where eight was willing to take part in informal interviews. Semi-structured interviews were made during the spring of 2021, and the interviews were coded with the NVivo software.
The initial results from the questionnaire showed that 62 percent of the respondents were willing to share lesson plans, but that the hesitations stemmed from insecurity. 32 percent stated that they felt insecure about sharing due to possible “judgement” from other teaching librarians, and they expressed a feeling of inadequacy. 30 percent expressed that they were uneasy about sharing because it might lead to push-back from managers or a demand for full revision. 35 percent of the respondents had no reservations on sharing while 12 percent would not be willing to share under any circumstance. No formal reason was given for the refusal, but one of the interviewees expressed that the lesson plans s/he had used were so specialized to the subject area s/he served that there would be no use in sharing. Another stated that the refusal to share was simply due to the lesson plan being used in another current research project.
Trust and psychologic safety are imperative for good teamwork, Edmonton (2019) says. Psychologic safety is about creating a climate for open discussions, that people feel they can have opinions and speak freely without fear of repercussions and that their expressions are valued by team members. From what we could see in our project, there was a certain lack of trust between the teaching librarians that influenced the culture for sharing lesson plans and presentations. The was a variety of reasons given for the hesitation to share, but fear of not being considered “good enough” by colleagues or a certain level of impostor syndrome were present in both the questionnaire and the interviews.
The Imagination University Library has started a new pedagogy program for teaching librarians. This was done in order to support librarians who feel a lack of confidence in teaching skills and to create an arena for open discussions on how we teach. The University Library has also started small reading circles to inspire reading new information literacy literature – and these groups are also forums of discussion that we hope will strengthen collaboration and trust in the longer run. Sharing lesson plans and presentations remain a completely voluntary opportunity that can be used as an efficiency tool, but also a learning opportunity.
Example 3 (Purpose-Background-Summary)
Entered under subtheme 4: “Open learning in physical and digital libraries”
Title: How to run a Wikipedia edit-a-thon
The main objective of this session is to give participants experience of editing Wikipedia and build confidence using Wikipedia as part of the learning experience for students and others. Edit-a-thons are valuable opportunities for collaborating with subject experts, and to involve students and the public. Good quality Wikipedia articles contribute importantly to the body of openly available information – particularly relevant for improving health information literacy. Poor access to information contributes to negative health outcomes globally. (5) There are many ways in which EAHIL’s international community can contribute – for example, WikiProject Medicine (6) are working to publish articles in as many languages as possible.
For some time, Wikipedia has been shown to be a resource to engage with, rather than avoid. (1) Wikipedia is heavily used for medical information by students and health professionals (2) – and the fact that it is openly available has been crucial, notably during the Ebola crisis when it was used for finding reliable information. (3) Writing for Wikipedia brings together the development of skills of relevance to medical students, clinicians as well as the general public: information literacy, digital skills, and communication skills. For students in particular, all of these skills contribute to good academic and clinical practice, and a call has been made for greater engagement by medical schools with writing for Wikipedia. (4)
Summary and activities:
In advance of the session, delegates will be asked to do a small amount of preparation, including creating a Wikipedia account, following an initial online tutorial, and identifying a topic of interest for working on during the session.
During the session, a short training period will allow delegates to experience a demonstration of training in an edit-a-thon. A short editing practical with support from tutors will give delegates experience of editing Wikipedia articles. A wrap-up and action-building discussion will allow delegates to share experiences, reflect on their own learning, and identify actions that they can take at home to run Wikipedia edit-a-thons at their own institutions.
At each stage – in advance, during and follow-up – delegates will be made aware of what the organisers are doing, so that all the steps and processes of running a Wikipedia edit-a-thon are transparent and may be more easily adapted or adopted for delegates’ local context.
As a result of the session, delegates will:
- Know the key steps involved in designing, preparing and delivering a collaborative Wikipedia edit-a-thon
- Have basic Wikipedia editing skills
- Know the principles of creating a good-quality Wikipedia article
Have exchanged experiences with others and gained ideas for application in their own context
Example 4 (IMRAD)
Entered under subtheme 6: “UN sustainability goals/ sustainability issues”
Title: Sustainable libraries: a wake-up call
Sustainability has become a major topic in almost all parts of society. In 2015 the UN formally agreed on 17 Sustainable development goals as a call of action to end poverty, improve education and healthcare, and to protect the planet (UN, 2016). This also has relevance for libraries in all sectors. The Sustainable Libraries Initiative (2021) is one example of an organizational promotion of sustainability. The XX Library joined this initiative in 2020, and we have taken action to minimize our carbon footprint. Our library was certified in the Sustainable Libraries Certification Program in late 2021. In this CEC we want to share our experiences with this process and to help our attendees to start their own certification process.
The XX Library held various events, presented ideas at the local campus level to get leaders involved, gave out prizes for best student ideas, got the local government involved to help with practical issues, such as waste collection and energy preservation.
In our CEC, we will use a variation of presentations, quizzes and reflection groups to discuss sustainability issues as well as practical, hands-on exercises in our CEC. Links to pre-recorded videos and tutorials will be given to each attendee to help further learning.
The XX Library’s efforts resulted in an action plan and broad involvement from the local students and staff at the Y Campus. The action plan was initiated in 2020 and in early 2021. In the energy crisis and rising prices of 2022, our initiative saved the library from having to cut spending on collections and events. Not only did we save energy and improved waste collection etc., this initiative also improved our relationship with many of our engineering students. The students who participated in the project were not regular library users before this project, but afterwards, the students started coming to the library on a regular basis.
By the end of the CEC, attendees will have an overview of what sustainable libraries entail, what our goals for these initiatives can be and how to start their own sustainability certification process. The attendees will also be given a start kit with relevant documents, forms etc. to take home to their own libraries.
Discussion and conclusion:
Sustainability is an issue that has become a vital part of the university’s plans and mission statement, as well as in the society as a whole. The library’s emphasis on sustainability issues, and joining the Sustainable Libraries Initiative, not only gave us opportunities to save money and minimize our carbon footprint, it also helped us form new relationships with leaders and students. Aligning the library’s practice to the university’s mission, helped leaders see our role in the university in a clearer light, and it helped us get closer to our students.
In our CEC, we plan on helping attendees see their own options and possibilities on sustainability, by discussing, presenting and reflecting on our roles within our institutions and the society as a whole.