Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp

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Annual reports

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ITM Library - Annual report 2013

This annual report will be published soon.


ITM Library - Annual report 2012

2012 turned out to be a fairly uneventful year for the library's information resources. The number of journals, books and dissertations increased at a normal rate, but no new large e-journals or e-books collections were acquired, nor major new databases - except for the institutional UpToDate subscription, mainly for the benefit of our clinicians. As for historical collections we received a substantial number of specialized books and journals from the family of the late Dr. Gustave Helderweirt, the pediatrician who for many years worked at ITM as an immuno-hematology expert. The discontinued Leuven documentation center ATOL donated us a collection of global health related books.

Curiously the document delivery service was solicited considerably less than in 2011. The number of internal document delivery requests (4,818) decreased with some 25%, external requests (846) with 20%. This downward trend in service demand may well be the result of researchers (and their assistants) increasingly finding their way by themselves in the ever expanding platform of scientific literature made available to them. External requests, mainly from Belgian universities, remained at about the same level (1,368).

Also the DGD Framework document requests (850) decreased with some 30%. But let us not forget that for this group of customers 2011 was an exceptionally busy year featuring a 50% increase compared to the previous year. The number of deliveries for 2012 was actually higher than for 2010. Our most active partners remain INHEM (Cuba), PUCE (Peru), CDS-INAS (Morocco) and IPH (India).

The library's home made Reference Manager databases now include 98,465 records. Registering and analyzing the institute's ever increasing published scientific output continues asking for a lot of the library's time and efforts, with permanent updates of the ITG Staff Publications database (14,550 records) and the TropMed Central Antwerp institutional open access repository (6,120 records) and various standard and ad hoc bibliometric analyses.

In February we welcomed Christina Van Dijk as a new library assistant replacing Els Mannaerts, and Mary Ann Jadem as an interim during the maternity leave of Noor Goemaere.

Institutional archives

The main tasks in 2012 were the finalization of the archives procedures and the improvement of English translations. At the end of the year most of the procedures were included in the institutional quality system.

Furthermore the introduction of a coordinated archives management was started with the appointment of an archives responsible and an initial version of a partial selection list for each of the supporting services. For 2013 a thorough archives questionnaire is planned that will result in custom made ordering plans and selection lists.

In general the preparations can be finished at earliest by the first quarter of 2015, after which an operational archives management can be introduced. An implementation plan for this has already been prepared.

Dirk Schoonbaert

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Books 
Acquisitions496
- Purchased392
- Donated104
Total number of books22483
Total number of individual e-books190
Total number of e-books in packagesca. 4100
Total number of CD-ROMs291
Total number of videos382
Total number of ITM dissertations2942
- Total number of digital master theses2134
Total number of PhD theses in collection882
- Total number of digital PhD theses29
  
Journals 
Print subscriptions331
- Volumes bound in 2007257
- Total number of volumesca. 36800
Online subscriptionsca. 4200
Online package subscriptions6
Useful open access journalsca. 8500
  
Databases 
Electronic Reference Library (ERL)  
- Number of databases ***12
- ITG Staff Publications: nr of records14550
- TropMed Central Antwerp: nr of records6120
- ERL logins2237
- Database logins10108
Other database subscriptions ****5
Major free online databases5
  
Document delivery 
Internal requests4818
Incoming requests1368
Outgoing requests846
Success rate91.6%
DGDC Framework requests850
Success rate95.1%
Photocopies & prints ****32488
  
User training 
Teaching hours38
  
* Individual e-book purchases (excl. open access)
** SpringerLink medical and biomedical collections 2005-2010
*** ISI Web of Knowledge (Thomson) + The Cochrane Library (Wiley) + UpToDate (Wolters Kluwer)

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Docdel team leader Noor Goemaere with a happy DocDel customer Prof.Dr. Mariano Bonet Gorbea, director of Cuba's INHEM.

Publication

  • Schoonbaert D, Rosenberg V. Personal bibliographic systems (PBS). In: Bates MJ, editor. Understanding information retrieval systems: management, types and standards. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2012: 545-558.

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ITM Library - Annual report 2011

At the start of 2011 the availability of online journals received a boost with the licencing of the CEBAM Digital Library for Health distributed by the Belgian Evidence-BAsed Medicine Center. Next to the individual journal subscriptions and large collections like Ebsco Medline with Full Text (1,500 journals) the Wiley Online Library (1,200 journals), the Mary Ann Liebert collection and the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) collection, now 700 additional biomedical Elsevier, over 1,000 Springer and 350 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins (LWW) journals can now be accessed directly by our patrons. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) currently lists some 7,400 free journals (but obviously a large part of them have no biomedical content).

With this substantially enhanced direct access potential, somewhat surprisingly the number of internal document delivery requests (6,444) still increased with 12%, but this year we were able to deliver more items from our own (mostly digital) resources and had to rely less on external providers (-32% compared to 2009). The overall success rate exceeded 95%. External requests, mainly from Belgian universities, remained at the same level (1,473). Individual books and e-books collections increased on a normal level, but the CEBAM DLH offers access to some 4,000 Ebrary e-books and lots of useful evidence based medicine resources.

The DGD Framework document delivery service handled 1,207 requests, i.e. some 50% more than in 2010, for partners in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia (mostly PUCE, INHEM, CDS-INAS, IPH, UPCH, NIMPE and IMTPK). In September Mouloud Ben Abbou, librarian of the Rabat Centre de Documentation en Sant‚ de l'Institut National d'Administration Sanitaire (CDS-INAS), attended a one weeks technical workshop at our library to explore optimal solutions for the planned conversion of the INAS Inmagic databases to the Reference Manager format. This project was concluded successfully.

The library's own Reference Manager databases now include 95,500 records. Keeping track of the institute's ever increasing scientific output asked for ever more of the library's time and efforts: permanent updates ITG Staff Publications database (13,830 records), and the TropMed Central Antwerp institutional open access repository (5,634 records); bibliometric report on the 2010 publications; preparation of the new PURE academic information system to be launched in 2012; creation of a new tool to calculate individual, unit and department output metrics based on journal impact factor (JIF) values.

Following Lenny Rhine's ITM seminar on Hinari: improving access to biomedical and health information for researchers and practitioners in developing countries last year, the library itself organized practical Hinari sessions for our masters students. Optional library tours and introductions to the available resources for information retrieval were included in ITM's new courses@work educational initiative.

Dirk Schoonbaert

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Books 
Acquisitions437
- Purchased344
- Donated93
Total number of books22087
Total number of individual e-books135
Total number of e-books in packagesca. 4100
Total number of CD-ROMs288
Total number of videos382
Total number of ITM dissertations2877
- Total number of digital master theses2056
Total number of PhD theses in collection851
- Total number of digital PhD theses21
  
Journals 
Print subscriptions331
- Volumes bound in 2007245
- Total number of volumesca. 36600
Online subscriptionsca. 4200
Online package subscriptions6
Useful open access journalsca. 7400
  
Databases 
Electronic Reference Library (ERL)  
- Number of databases ***12
- ITG Staff Publications: nr of records13830
- TropMed Central Antwerp: nr of records5616
- ERL logins3046
- Database logins15898
Other database subscriptions ****4
Major free online databases5
  
Document delivery 
Internal requests6444
Incoming requests1473
Outgoing requests1072
Success rate95.1%
DGDC Framework requests1207
Success rate97.0%
Photocopies & prints ****69971
Scans ****"27440"
  
User training 
Teaching hours38
  
* Individual e-book purchases (excl. open access)
** SpringerLink medical and biomedical collections 2005-2010
*** ISI Web of Knowledge (Thomson) + The Cochrane Library (Wiley)
**** 1 photocopy = 1 scan + 1 print; multiple photocopies = 1 scan + multiple prints

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ITM Library - Annual report 2010

Apart from a few additional titles, online journal subscriptions remained stable, with an overal availability range of over 8,000 online journals (including open access journals). But while e-journals have been outshining the traditional printed editions for more than a decade now, until recently e-books were relatively scarce in the library. In 2010 we acquired a substantial number of e-books, either on a title by title selection base (MyiLibrary, Elsevier Expert Consult, Books@ovid) or as part of large e-book package deals such as SpringerLink. Also, login options into the library network from outside ITM were enhanced substantially.

TropMed Central Antwerp (TMCA), the open access repository of ITM's scientific publications, was extended back to the year 1990 and now counts over 5,000 items, about 30% of these with full text in open access. Overall TMCA received 14,221 visits from 171 countries. In 2010 TMCA full text items were downloaded 153,671 times, 169 of which at least 200 times, 14 items over 500 times. As for internal access to ITM staff publications, with the additional e-journals and strategic retrospective digitization, over 90% of all 2000-2010 publications are now directly available from the database in PDF format.

In June Hafida Fakir and Rachida Cherqi, two colleagues from the Rabat Centre de Documentation en Sant‚ de l"Institut National d'Administration Sanitaire (CDS-INAS), received a two weeks training at our library. In August it was Maria del Carmen Hinojosa, librarian at the Instituto Nacional de Hygiene, Epidemiologia y Microbiologia (INHEM) in Havana who joined us for the same purposes. The DGCD Framework document delivery service handled some 25% more requests than in 2009, for partners in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

In October Lenny Rhine (Medical Library Association and Librarians Without Borders) was our guest. He presented an ITM seminar on Hinari: improving access to biomedical and health information for researchers and practitioners in developing countries for an auditorium filled with interested staff and foreign students, the latter being the obvious beneficiaries of WHO's Hinari program.

After 23 years of dedicated service, Veerle Demedts has now retired. Archives manager Kris Didden succeeded Veerle as assistant-librarian. Nele Verstraeten, an arts & musicology graduate with scientific library training, joined us in February to reinforce the library's much appreciated document delivery (DocDel) services.

2010 saw the creation of a new storage room as well as the transfer of several parts of the historical archives to the central archives room. As a precursor to the institutional policy, a set of procedures to describe the appraisal, storage and ownership of records in case of reorganisation was created. A draft appraisal list was compiled from legislation and guidelines applicable to the Institute's activities.

Dirk Schoonbaert

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Books 
Acquisitions367
- Purchased290
- Donated77
Total number of books21650
Total number of individual e-books75
Total number of e-books in packagesca. 4000
Total number of CD-ROMs279
Total number of videos382
Total number of ITM dissertations2810
- Total number of digital master theses1989
Total number of PhD theses in collection817
- Total number of digital PhD theses12
  
Journals 
Print subscriptions331
- Volumes bound in 2007270
- Total number of volumesca. 35800
Online subscriptionsca. 2700
Online package subscriptions5
Useful open access journalsca. 6000
  
Databases 
Electronic Reference Library (ERL)  
- Number of databases ***12
- ITG Staff Publications: nr of records13257
- TropMed Central Antwerp: nr of records5250
- ERL logins3008
- Database logins13674
Other database subscriptions ****4
Major free online databases5
  
Document delivery 
Internal requests5757
Incoming requests1464
Outgoing requests1385
Success rate97.3%
DGDC Framework requests809
Success rate93.5%
Photocopies & prints ****68960
Scans ****43959
  
User training 
Teaching hours31
  
* Individual e-book purchases (excl. open access)
** SpringerLink medical and biomedical collections 2005-2010
*** ISI Web of Knowledge (Thomson) + The Cochrane Library (Wiley)
**** 1 photocopy = 1 scan + 1 print; multiple photocopies = 1 scan + multiple prints

Photographs

ITM librarians with colleagues from INAS, Morocco
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ITM librarians with colleague from INHEM, Cuba
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ITM librarian with HINARI ambassador Lenny Rhine
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Publications

  1. Schoonbaert D, Rosenberg V. Personal bibliographic systems (PBS). In: Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science; 3rd ed. London: Taylor & Francis, 2010: 2127-2136.

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ITM Library - Annual report 2009

Print and online journal subscriptions remained stable, with an overal availability range of over 6,000 online journals (including open access journals). The EbscoHost Biomedical Reference Library was replaced by the larger Medline with Full Text (over 1,400 journals, but often with embargoes). There was more change regarding database access: the CABI databases Global Health and Veterinary Science are no longer available from the ERL platform but now have a radically new retrieval interface named OvidSP. The twelve ITM library databases, however, remain accessible with ERL's WebSpirs and WinSpirs interfaces, but from late 2009 onwards also in a Reference Manager version. ITM researchers and students can now easily download from the library databases to their own Reference Manager bibliographic systems.

In comparison to journals and databases, electronic books remain rather scarce in the library. Next to the various CD-ROM editions a number of online titles from publishers such as Elsevier and Springer were acquired and a trial of Ingram's MyiLibrary - a major e-books forum - was organized.

TropMed Central Antwerp (TMCA), the open access repository of ITM's scientific publications, now counting over 2,600 items, was promoted internally with a workshop, an ITGa-zet feature and appeals to ITM researchers. This resulted in hundreds of additional author pre- and post-prints, increasing the full-text ratio to over 30%. Externally, TMCA was incorporated in international harvesters such as Driver, OAIster and Base, resulting in 12,344 visits from 166 countries. In 2009 TMCA full text items were downloaded 40,655 times, 296 of which at least 50 times, 48 items over 100 times.

On the DGDC Framework front, collaboration with the Centre de Documentation en Santé de lInstitut National d'Administration Sanitaire (CDS-INAS) in Rabat, Morocco was intensified. In January the ITM librarian visited INAS and in June INAS librarian Mouloud Ben Abbou enjoyed a two weeks training at the ITM library.

As a large part of our core literature has become available online on a 24/7 basis and attendance during evening hours and on Saturday mornings has decreased substantially in recent years, from this autumn onwards library opening hours have been reduced to weekdays only, from 8.30 AM to 6 PM.

Dirk Schoonbaert

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Books 
Acquisitions410
- Purchased308
- Donated102
Total number of books21283
Total number of CD-ROMs269
Total number of videos382
Total number of ITM dissertations2739
- Total number of digital master theses1918
  
Journals 
Print subscriptions331
- Volumes bound in 2007401
- Total number of volumesca. 35500
Online subscriptionsca. 2200
Online package subscriptions3
Useful open access journalsca. 4600
  
Databases 
Electronic Reference Library (ERL)  
- Number of databases ***12
- ITG Staff Publications: nr of records12582
- TropMed Central Antwerp: nr of records2637
- ERL logins3880
- Database logins18997
Other database subscriptions ****4
Major free online databases5
  
Document delivery 
Internal requests5337
Incoming requests1532
Outgoing requests1576
Success rate96.9%
DGDC Framework requests643
Success rate97.5%
Photocopies & prints *****64980
Scans *****39039
  
User training 
Library tour - contact hours15
Information retrieval - contact hours20
  
* Complemented by hotspot wireless access
** 30 additional seats + 12 network connections
*** ERL subscriptions: SilverPlatter CABI databases replaced bu OvidSP versions
**** ISI Web of Knowledge (Thomson) + The Cochrane Library (Wiley)
***** 1 photocopy = 1 scan + 1 print; multiple photocopies = 1 scan + multiple prints

Publications

  1. Didden K. TropMed Central Antwerp: moving towards "access for all". ITGa-zet 2009; (4): 9.
  2. Schoonbaert D. Pubmed growth patterns and visibility of journals of sub-Saharan African origin [letter]. J Med Lib Assoc 2009; 97(4): 241-243.
  3. Schoonbaert D, Eyers AE, Eyers JE. Sources of information in tropical medicine. In: Cook GC, Zumla A, editors. Manson's tropical diseases; 22nd ed. [Philadelphia]: W.B. Saunders; 2009. p. 1783-1798.

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ITM Library - Annual report 2008

Next to monitoring an ever increasing number of open access journals, and the replacement of certain print subscriptions with online-only editions, the library acquired a few new behavior and public health related online titles and additional electronic archives for some of its core journals, such as Acta Tropica, American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (all the way back to 1921), Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene and Trends in Parasitology.

Worthwhile electronic book packages focusing on our patrons’ major interests remain hard to find, so only a handful of individual e-books were acquired. The publication of printed books, however, kept thriving and 30 additional meters of shelf space were installed to more adequately display them in the main reading room. Also ITGPress published 3 new books during the year 2008.

TropMed Central Antwerp, the open access repository of ITM’s scientific publications from 2000 onwards, was launched in early spring and by the end of this year it had reached a substantial volume of over 2200 bibliographic descriptions, over 25% of which also featuring digital full-text in PDF format. Increasing this ratio with author pre- and post-prints, and integrating our repository with international harvesters such as OAIster and Driver will become the major challenges for 2009.

After the departure of Sarah Buys-Devillé at the end of last year, Els Mannaerts, a romanic philology graduate with formal library training, joined us in January to reinforce the library’s highly appreciated document delivery (DocDel) services. Next to the training sessions for our students, a lot of time and energy was invested in the upgrade of the Organization of Health Care Organization in Developing Countries bibliography and a new 5-years cumulative edition of the bibliographic report of ITM’s scientific publications.

Apart from the reorganisation of the historical archival collections, which were consulted several times by researchers examining medicine in Belgium’s colonial era, the image archives also received further attention. An inquiry, sent to every unit in the Institute, will result in a series of appraisal lists that will guide every department and support service to a more efficient document management strategy.

The collaborative VOWB (Flemish council of scientific libraries) project for future perpetual accessibility of at least one physical copy of each biomedical journal collection presently available in Flemish university and research libraries made good progress. One of this year’s workgroup meetings was hosted by ITM.

Dirk Schoonbaert

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Infrastructure  
Open access surface600 m2
Seats50
User PCs *6
Group study rooms **4
Meters of shelving place2108
- in open access1308
- In closed storage800
- Available in historical archives95
- Processed so far in historical archives60
  
Books 
Acquisitions368
- Purchased306
- Donated62
Total number of books20873
Total number of CD-ROMs259
Total number of videos382
Total number of ITM dissertations2689
- Total number of digital master theses1868
  
Journals 
Print subscriptions208
- Volumes bound in 2007393
- Total number of volumesca. 35000
Online subscriptionsca. 1350
Online package subscriptions3
Useful open access journalsca. 3000
  
Databases 
Electronic Reference Library (ERL)  
- Number of databases ***14
- ITG Staff Publications: nr of records12018
- TropMed Central Antwerp: nr of records2222
- ERL logins5320
- Database logins23140
Other database subscriptions ****2
Major free online databases5
  
Document delivery 
Incoming requests1404
Outgoing requests2044
Success rate98.1%
DGDC Framework requests1195
Success rate97.1%
Photocopies & prints *****82927
Scans *****64511
  
User training 
Library tour - contact hours15
Information retrieval - contact hours22
  
* Complemented by hotspot wireless access
** 30 additional seats + 12 network connections
*** ERL subscriptions: SilverPlatter Medline discontinued
**** ISI Web of Knowledge (Thomson) + The Cochrane Library (Wiley)
***** 1 photocopy = 1 scan + 1 print; multiple photocopies = 1 scan + multiple prints

Photograph

The library staff outdoors on a sunny Belgian weekend. Left to right: Dirk Schoonbaert, Veerle Demedts, Kris Didden, Noor Goemaere and Els Mannaerts.

Publications

  1. Demedts V. Organization of health care in developing countries; selected publications (2000-2008). Antwerpen: Institute of Tropical Medicine, The Library, 2008: 208 pp.
  2. Schoonbaert D & Demedts V. Analysis of the leprosy literature indexed in Medline (1950-2007). Leprosy Rev 2008; 79: 387-400.

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ITM Library - Annual report 2007

During 2007 the library’s focus remained virtually unchanged: organizing easy access to adequate printed and digital content, complemented by speedy electronic document delivery and other end-user services. Some of the traditional print collections were definitively replaced by ‘online only’ access. On the other hand we joined a collaborative project for future perpetual accessibility of at least one physical copy of each scientific journal collection presently available in Flemish university and research libraries.

A lot of time and effort was invested in the preparation of an open access repository of ITM’s scientific publications, to be launched publicly in the spring of 2008. Also the organization of ITM’s historical archives received a lot of attention and the library staff contributed to the archiving of various image collections. In November Sarah Buys-Devillé, our colleague for 8 years, left ITM, looking for new adventures.

Dirk Schoonbaert

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Infrastructure  
Open access surface600 m2
Seats50
User PCs *6
Group study rooms **4
Meters of shelving place2078
- in open access1278
- In closed storage800
- Available in historical archives95
- Processed so far in historical archives60
  
Books 
Acquisitions413
- Purchased354
- Donated59
Total number of books20505
Total number of CD-ROMs254
Total number of videos382
Total number of ITM dissertations2613
- Total number of digital master theses1792
  
Journals 
Print subscriptions222
- Volumes bound in 2007363
- Total number of volumesca. 35000
Online subscriptionsca. 1300
Online package subscriptions3
Useful open access journalsca. 3000
  
Databases 
Electronic Reference Library (ERL)  
- Number of databases ***14
- ERL logins6295
- Database logins28306
Other database subscriptions ****2
Major free online databases5
  
Document delivery 
Incoming requests1642
Outgoing requests1641
Success rate98.1%
DGDC Framework requests894
Success rate96.7%
Photocopies & prints *****92039
Scans *****91377
  
User training 
Library tour - contact hours15
Information retrieval - contact hours26
  
* Complemented by hotspot wireless access
** 30 additional seats + 12 network connections
*** ERL subscriptions: SilverPlatter Medline discontinued
**** ISI Web of Knowledge (Thomson) + The Cochrane Library (Wiley)
***** 1 photocopy = 1 scan + 1 print; multiple photocopies = 1 scan + multiple prints

Bibliometrics 2006 & 2007

When looking at the output and impact of ITM’s scientific publications, 2006 and 2007 turn out to have been excellent years. Especially in 2007 ITM produced higher numbers of journal contributions than any other year during the last decade. It is encouraging to see that contributions in journals with impact factors, i.e. journals indexed in Thomson Scientific’s ISI Web of Knowledge, significantly outnumber those of previous years. The upward trend of the 2001-2004 period experienced a slight dip in 2005, but 2006 and 2007 more than make up for this.

ITM website

As for website management, 2007 was mainly a year of preparation for a major renovation. At the end of the year, librarian Dirk Schoonbaert, who had coordinated website activities since 2000, was relieved of these duties by ITM’s first full-time webmaster Nico Van Aerde.

Dirk Schoonbaert

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ITM Library - Annual report 2006

While the main aspirations of the library basically remain the same (e.g. collection development, document delivery, and user education - increasingly with a digital focus), during 2006 several practical action points received special attention. A lot of time and energy was invested in digitizing part of the collections and linking the resultant PDFs with the bibliographic databases. Next to thousands of recent tropical medicine related journal articles, all dissertations of the ITM master courses and 35 years of the Annales de la Société Belge de Médecine Tropicale (1960-1995) are by now available online.

The printed book collection grew by 595 new titles: 369 purchased and 226 obtained for free - 135 of these from the private collection of the late Honorary Director Prof. Dr. P. G. Janssens, graciously donated by his family. The total number of registered books now stands at 19,926. Book catalog records are now also being supplemented with electronic contents pages and cover pictures. In the course of 2006 the library's bibliographic databases were consulted 19,407 times in 6,219 separate sessions, which is roughly on the same level as last year.

The decline in document requests from other Belgian libraries in recent years was countered by a 15% increase during 2006. Of the 1,426 incoming requests, we supplied 97% in electronic format (as opposed to 79% in 2005). On the other hand, the external document requests launched by the library decreased a little. Of the 1,489 externally requested articles, 99% were received in electronic format (PDF) and forwarded as such to our internal customers - including our overseas partners. Again, about 2.5% of our external requests could not be fulfilled by any provider. The three library photocopiers together produced some 225,000 copies, which is slightly more than last year. Apparently the free fall of printed paper output has come to a halt.

After the exceptional 600% increase in 2005, this year the DocDel programme for electronic document delivery to overseas DGDC Framework partners processed 994 requests, a 23% decrease. During summer we were joined by Mrs. Luong Thi Phuong Mai, librarian of the National Institute of Malariology Parasitology and Entomology (NIMPE) of Hanoi, Vietnam. For two months she was trained in library management and information retrieval techniques. Mrs. Birgit Reynders of the Antwerp library school was a trainee for 6 weeks, part of which time she contributed substantially to the digitization projects. Again the Telemedicine Week, as an extension of the SCART course, included a DocDel training session.

The move of a.o. the Public Health Department to the new Rochus campus proved a good occasion to start building a central ITM archive that also encompasses the scientific documents of the departments. Since the autumn of 2006, Kris Didden is taking care of the practical organization of this first case study and producing a strategic policy and further development of the ITM archives.

As usual, the librarians made a bibliometric analysis of the published ITM scientific output of the previous year. The excellent results of 2004 have not been repeated, yet the 2005 values were clearly above the pre-2004 levels. Once more a large part of journal impact factor (JIF) based values were derived from letters and editorials. For 58% of all ITM publications the first author position was taken by ITM staff. Only a few items were published in the newer online only journals.

The 2003 bibliometric study by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of the Leiden University was upgraded to include the period 1991-2005. During these 15 years, ITM staff published 1,700 articles that are included in the Thomson ISI Web of Knowledge databases. By the end of 2006 these had received 22,462 citations. For the 10- and 5-year periods 1996-2005 and 2001-2005 the respective numbers are 1,267 A / 11,103 C and 657 A / 3,018 C. Evidently, the number of citations of the longer periods are substantially higher, as these publications have had much more time to gather citations. Actually the number of articles produced and citations received within the 3 consecutive 5-year periods consistently increase. But clearly the HIV research of the early 1990's has a large share in ITM's publications impact. In the most recent years output, and to a lesser extent impact, are on the rise again - yet evidently individual differences do exist.

During 2006 the ITM website was consulted 619,079 times, which compared to 2005, is again a remarkable increase of over 50%. This time October and November were the top months, with over 70,000 visitors during our major centennial festivities month. Apart from the homepage (367,975 hits) the travel health pages (with over 280,000 hits, general and country specific pages counted together) were once again the most popular pages, followed by the job vacancies (37,495 hits). 55% of the pages consulted were in English, 24.7% in Dutch, 13.5% in French and 6.7% in Spanish. This last number is remarkable, as this indicates that Spanish, and to a lesser extent French, are gaining on English, which still had 66% in 2005. In as far as could be registered, the large majority of visitors came from Belgium, followed by a number of European countries (e.g. 19,898 hits from The Netherlands, 5,254 from France)). From the other continents, USA, India, Peru, Canada, Niger, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Australia , Morocco and Brazil belong to the top 20 of international visitors, with over 500 sessions each.

Dirk Schoonbaert

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ITM Library - Annual report 2005

During 2005 the library has further consolidated the online availability of most of its journal subscriptions and the mapping of the most useful of the increasing array of free open access journals. Special attention was paid to interlinking our own Electronic Reference Library (ERL) databases with digital full-text editions - mostly in PDF format - where available. In this respect, we have also started digitizing and linking the dissertations of the master courses.

The printed book collection grew by 429 new titles, 321 of them purchased and 108 obtained for free. The unexpected bankruptcy of a major book supplier resulted in fewer acquisitons than in previous years. Yet the total number of registered books now exceeds 19,300.

As expected, the number of document requests from other Belgian libraries continued to decline, mainly because of the wide availability of electronic journals at universities and research institutes. Of the 1,240 incoming requests, we supplied 79% in electronic format, either through the VirLib circuit using Ariel, or directly by e-mail. On the other hand, external document requests launched by the library increased with over 50%. This remarkable increase is mainly due to requests on behalf of our overseas partners in the document delivery (DocDel) project (see below), the costs of which are fully recuperated. Of the 1,539 externally requested articles, we received 99% in electronic format (PDF) and these were forwarded as such to our internal customers – including overseas partners. About 2.6% of our external requests could not be fulfilled.

The three library photocopiers, which were replaced by new state-of-the-art machines this autumn, together produced about 120,000 copies. This is again less than in previous years, but a logical outcome of document requests increasingly being processed digitally, both by library staff and by end-user.

In the course of 2005, the ERL bibliographic databases were consulted 19,932 times in 6,715 separate sessions. This represents a slight increase compared to last year and indicates the continuing utility of customized databases in times of popular free web-based resources such as PubMed and Google Scholar. Interest in the videos and interactive multimedia programmes, however, remained disappointingly low. Nevertheless, in cooperation with the Graphics service we have started a program to convert the video collection to digital DVD format.

As for the library staff, 2005 saw more than one change: with library assistant Sarah Buys' one-year sabbatical and assistant-librarian Veerle Demedts' change to part-time regime, we welcomed Kris Didden and Tijl Vandersteene as new colleagues.

During 2005 the library staff increased the number of contact hours for introductory sessions on database and Internet searches: next to the masters and the short courses, now also the participants in the renewed tropical medicine course for doctors took part in these training sessions.

The DocDel programme for electronic document delivery to overseas DGDC Framework partners was a big success with 1,292 requests, a 600% increase. It is striking though, that this service is especially appreciated by our Latin American partners (almost 90% of requests), and far less so in Africa and Asia - excepting Cambodia. During spring we received two trainees of our partner institutions in Peru and Ecuador for a one week practical workshop on electronic document delivery, organized by the DocDel staff. Also the Telemedicine Week, an extension of the SCART course, included a DocDel training session.

As usual, the librarians made a bibliometric analysis of the published ITM scientific output of the previous year, and 2004 was clearly a fruitful year. On the whole, ITM researchers published 20% more papers as in previous years and average journal impact factor values increased with 40% - yet again a large part of these JIF points were derived from letters and editorials. This is especially striking for a high impact journal like The Lancet, which contains 13 ITM contributions, only 4 of which full length research papers. On a general level, it is remarkable that young journals like The Lancet Infectious Diseases and the open access flagship PLoS Biology received their first ever impact factor - and a high one - in 2004, but they contained very few ITM contributions. As for international activities, the librarian became an editorial advisor for the tropical medicine websites section of the Health Links project of the International Network for the Avability of Scientific Publications (INASP).

ITM website and intranet continued to be coordinated by the library staff. Major innovations during 2005 include the transition to resolution-independent full-screen format, automatic generation of printer-friendly pages, a vastly enhanced search engine and a module for optional personal pages for individual ITM staff.

The log module showed that the ITM website was consulted 402,376 times in 2005, which is a marked increase of over 60% compared to 2004. Part of this may be due to crawling indexing robots (e.g. from Google) or hostile virus attacks, though these were filtered out as much as was practically possible. September and October were top months, with over 50,000 visitors each. As usual, the travel health pages (over 250,000 hits, with general and country specific pages counted separately) were the most popular pages. Also the job vacancies (40,367 hits) proved to be quite popular, as well as the education pages (general: 11,068 hits; as a result of redesigning the course overview the different types of courses are no longer logged by the system). 66% of the pages consulted were in English (the default language!), 24.3% in Dutch, 8,9% in French and 0.8% in Spanish. In as far as could be registered, the large majority of visitors came from Belgium, followed by a number of European countries (e.g. 12,234 hits from The Netherlands). From the other continents, USA, Sao Tomé, the Philippines, India, Canada, Peru, Colombia and Mexico belong to the top 15 of international visitors.

Dirk Schoonbaert

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ITM Library - Annual report 2004

The library and information world were dominated in 2004 by the discussion about open access. Should all research results from now on be published in journals that are freely accessible to the readers and funded by the authors - or more accurately, their institutions? Should scientific institutions, either voluntarily or prompted by legislation, take up new responsibilities in building freely accessible electronic repositories harbouring all the published results issuing from their research efforts? Is allowing free viewing of articles a sufficient formal criterion for open access or is the complete abandonment of copyright limitations also a necessary condition? Will traditional players such as libraries and commercial publishers still have a place in such a fundamentally redesigned information landscape? Who will guarantee the long term archiving of electronic literature? And will this new (and currently heavily sponsored) paradigm prove to be aviable one in the long run?

Today the ITM library subscribes to more or less the same periodicals collections as last year. With a core collection of some 450 printed journals, electronic editions of the American Society for Microbiology journals, the Blackwell Science Collection, and the EbscoHost Biomedical Reference Collection, together with the many new open access journals, we can offer our patrons access to over 2,000 biomedial electronic journal editions. The optimization of access to the electronic journal literature remains one of our major objectives and this is achieved mainly with an up-to-date survey of the electronic resources available through two clickable linking lists ('http://lib.itg.be/journals.htm', complemented by 'http://atoz.ebsco.com'. Ovid"s SilverLinker technology now manages the direct link from a number of bibliographic databases to electronic full-text articles. We hope to expand this helpful feature soon to all our ERL databases. As for the more traditional library activities, the printed book collection grew by 526 new titles, 379 of them purchased and 147 obtained for free. The total number of registered books now exceeds 18,900.

As a logical consequence of the wide availability of electronic collections at universities and research institutes the number of document requests from other Belgian libraries continued to decline. Of the 2,191 incoming requests, we supplied 74% in electronic format, either through the VirLib circuit using Ariel, or directly by e-mail. Of the 962 articles we requested externally, we received 94% in electronic format (PDF) and these were forwarded as such to our internal customers. About 1% of our external requests could not be fulfilled. As a result of price increases at our major foreign supplier, average costs for document delivery increased substantially.

The three library photocopiers together produced about 140,000 copies (actually this number is an exaggeration, as it also includes the various computer printouts of the library staff) - again less than in previous years, partly as a logical outcome of requests increasingly being processed digitally.

In the course of 2004, the ERL bibliographic databases were consulted 18,687 times in 6,111 separate sessions. This also represents a decrease of some 25%, possibly as a result from the availability of popular alternatives (e.g. PubMed) or increased use of general web search engines. Interest in the video programmes remained low.

As before, the library staff taught introductory sessions on database and Internet searches in the masters and short courses. PowerPoint presentations and live demonstrations were now supplemented by hand-on training sessions in the computer room. The library hosted national and international trainees. The recently initiated programme for electronic document delivery (DocDel) to overseas DGDC Framework partners was centred mainly on Sihanouk Hospital Centre for HOPE (Cambodia), the Instituto de Nacional de Higiene, Epidemiologia y Microbiología (INHEM) and Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kouri (IPK), both in La Habana (Cuba), and the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Peru). Following the SCART course, representatives of 3 partner institutions took part in a practical workshop on electronic document delivery, organised by the DocDel staff. In September, the librarian visited INHEM and IPK, to promote the DocDel service. While in Havana, he also visited the Biblioteca Nacional de Medicina and the INFOMED webportal, which hosts an elaborate network of Cuban virtual health libraries (BVS), featuring both self-produced and licensed international databases. It is clear that Cuba has not missed the Internet information revolution and institutional cooperation may offer mutual benefits in this area.

As usual the librarians made a bibliometric analysis of the annual ITM scientific output. On the whole, ITM researchers published about the same amount of papers as in previous years and average journal impact factor values increased somewhat, but nearly 40% of these were derived from letters and editorials. On the other hand it should be borne in mind that these values suggest a slight underrepresentation of the publication potential, as some fine new journals, like e.g. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, with several ITM contributions, currently do not yet have an impact factor, but surely will get a substantial one soon. Publications in the newer ‘electronic only’ journals suffered from the same handicap.

As in previous years, the librarian acted as co-ordinator of the ITM website. Major innovations during 2004 include a new layout for the travel health module, the restructuring of the education pages, a renewed module for scientific project descriptions and separate pages for the 3 alumni groups of the Master courses. The editing tools have been revised and 15 website editors received a basic training. In June the librarian also took over the general coordination of the ITM Intranet. Next to a number of structural changes, the major developments regarding the Intranet were the redesigned editing tools and the training of over 30 Intranet editors, who can now easily add and change the pages concerning their services or departments in a secure fashion.

The log module showed that the ITM website was consulted 252,480 times in 2004, which is a decline of about 6% compared to the 2003. Besides the functional pages such as the home page, the search page (and sitemap) and the retrievable contact data, the travel health pages (over 120,000 hits) were the most popular pages. Also the job vacancies (18,081 hits) proved to be popular, as well as the education pages (general: 9,195 hits; master courses: 6,983 hits; short courses: 8,857 hits – but as noted the education module was redesigned so these figures are incomplete). 70, 2% of the pages consulted were in English (the default language!), 22, 4% in Dutch, 7, 2% in French and 0.3% in Spanish. In as far as could be registered, the large majority of visitors came from Belgium, followed by a number of European countries (e.g. 6,285 hits from The Netherlands). From the other continents, USA, India, Canada, Cambodia, Peru and Japan belong to the top 15 of international visitors.

Dirk Schoonbaert

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ITM Library - Annual report 2003

Electronic journals constitute a rich, diverse, but above all complex ecosystem. Some of the best thriving species still remain freely accessible to all, others offer the online edition as part of the standard subscription but they become available only after explicit registration, through automatic IP-computer address recognition or a user name/password combination. Others come at a considerable extra cost, sometimes exceeding the standard subscription price several times. Major publishers and subscription agents offer large package deals at a flat fee - often in the context of library consortia. Paradoxically, this online access to one specific journal may be more expensive than access to several hundreds of others combined. As the inherent value of a biomedical journal cannot easily be compared with just any other, what criteria determine what is a fair price for what content for which public? Are new initiatives like those of the open access movement - including Biomed Central and Public Library of Science journals - a blessing for all involved, when authors - and their institutions - need to pay a substantial publishing fee, and risk losing valuable impact factor points in the quest for bibliometric glory?

We endeavour to offer our patrons access to a broad range of electronic journals, and the acquisition of the EbscoHost Biomedical Reference Collection, featuring the full-text contents of several years of over 700 biomedical journals, was therefore a major enhancement of our electronic potential. Another new initiative was the replacement of our remaining American Society for Microbiology print journals by the full ASM journals collection in online-only format. As well as improving the ease of access within ITM, this experiment is certain to limit binding costs and alleviate the ever-growing physical storage problem. At the moment, however, it does not seem prudent to consider this a one-size-fits-all solution and cancel all print subscriptions. The ITM library now offers online access to 130 of the individual journals it subscribes to. However, taking into account the packages referred to above, including the Blackwell Science collection with its 400 titles, our patrons can access over 1,500 biomedial electronic journal editions.

Optimising access to the electronic journal literature was one of the major objectives of the library's action plan for 2003, which itself is an innovation in view of the new institutional quality control programme. A priority concern was trying to keep an up-to-date survey of the electronic resources available through a clickable linking list (http://lib.itg.be/journals.htm). This list and its sibling http://lib.itg.be/biblinks.htm for navigating towards useful websites received a warm recommendation in the latest edition of Manson's Tropical Diseases (1).

On the databases front, the most important innovation was gaining access to the ISI Web of Knowledge, featuring the (Social) Science Citation Index, the Journal Citation Reports (source of the illustrious journal impact factors and other bibliometric parameters) and Current Contents Connect. In this way, ITM finally became a full partner in the Elektron consortium of the association of Flemish academic and research libraries (VOWB). Other key elements in the 2003 action plan consisted of the expansion of our own bibliographic databases, especially the exhaustive Ebola & Marburg Virus Disease Literature database, and the installation of a security system for library materials, allowing our visitors to freely take their bags into the reading rooms.

Another major new initiative is a programme for document delivery and library support to our overseas partners as part of the institutional co-operation axis of ITM's framework agreement with DGDC. All partners received a short guide on where to find freely accessible literature on the Internet (e.g. using Hinari) and instructions on how to electronically request additional documents from the ITM library and, upon receipt, to manage these using a bibliographic database system. Representatives of three partner institutions took part in a practical workshop on electronic document delivery organised by the library staff.

As for the more traditional library activities, the core collection of printed journals remained at the same level, with some 450 current titles. The printed book collection grew by 465 new titles this year, 297 of them purchased and 168 obtained for free. The total number of registered books now exceeds 18,400 and the ITM Library Books and Documents catalogue now contains over 22,000 titles.

As a logical consequence of the wide availability of electronic collections at universities and research institutes the number of document requests from other libraries declined. We supplied 60% of the 2,324 incoming requests in electronic format, either through the Virtual Library (VirLib) circuit using Ariel, or directly by e-mail. Of the 1,005 articles we requested externally, we received 98% in electronic format (PDF) and these were forwarded in this form to our internal customers. In this category we mostly made use of a foreign library consortium supplying electronic articles at favourable rates. This makes document delivery more affordable than before - especially when compared to 'pay per view' options of commercial providers charging 25 Euro or more per individual article. Less than 1% of our external requests could not be fulfilled.

The three library photocopiers together produced over 178,000 copies (this number includes the printouts of the library staff) - again less than in previous years, but is a logical development as requests continue being processed increasingly in a digital fashion. The weekly literature current-awareness services have also largely been converted from sets of photocopies to custom made electronic bulletins called TOCAS (Table of Contents Alert Service).

In the course of 2003, the ERL databases were consulted 25,830 times in 7,548 separate sessions. Our 12 self-produced databases now contain some 70,000 bibliographic descriptions. The 250 different video programmes were consulted a mere 272 times, but the multimedia CD-ROMs are gaining in popularity as they are now pre-installed on the 6 public PCs, half of which were newly acquired.

As before, the introductory sessions on database and Internet searches for the Masters courses were supplemented with free weekly hands-on workshops. Library staff also taught several specific Internet introductions in the International Short Courses and in the new Short Course on Antiretroviral Treatment (SCART).

In view of the library's commitment to the Southern partners in the DGDC framework programme, we were happy to welcome Noor Goemaere, a classics graduate currently studying at the Antwerp library school, as a new part-time colleague. Meanwhile, Eefje Anthoni, a history graduate, managed to organise and catalogue the ITM archives.

In addition to the annual internal bibliometric analysis of the ITM scientific output, the librarian was also involved in the extensive citation analysis covering 10 years of scientific ITM publications and, as in previous years, he acted as co-ordinator of the ITM website. In June, a short tour of London libraries organised by the Flemish library association (VVBAD) gave him the opportunity to visit our colleagues at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

ITM scientific publications

The Center for Scientific and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University made a thorough analysis of 10 years of ITM scientific publications and their impact, using the citation databases of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) for 1991-2000. The number of citations (both with and without self-citations) was counted and compared to global field and journal category averages. The analysis was carried out on several levels of aggregation: per institution (all ITM publications combined), per department, and per unit (the latter only for the years 1996-2000). The major overall findings were that the 1,025 ITM publications thus identifiable in the citation databases were cited 10,052 times by other publications represented in ISI's databases and 'ITM publications are cited well above the level of world reference values' (2). Various standard indicators are calculated for the whole 10-year period, and for a time series of 4-year citation windows. In general, and over the whole period, there is an increase in output, but a decline in impact, though this remains above the world average. The portion of never-cited articles decreases, while self-citations increase, but on the whole do not reach an unusually high level. In particular, fields like (in order of output) infectious diseases, immunology, general medicine, virology, microbiology, veterinary sciences and dermatology receive marks significantly above average. Somewhat surprisingly, tropical medicine and parasitology (numbers 1 and 3 in output ranking) score below average. As for the different types of co-authoring, international co-operation (65% of the output) scores a high impact (1.42 times the world average), as does national co-operation (15%; 1.34), while 'ITM only' publications have far lower impact rates (20%; 0.69). The impact of non-ISI-source publications could not be taken into account, but from a sample this appears to be relatively unimportant, except for some units. Taking into account a number of unquantifiable factors, the report may highlight 'a slight underestimation of current research potential'.

There is still more good news from the bibliometric front. Independent from the specific ITM analysis, a major European Community report was published, including a chapter on bibliometric data of the European universities, research institutes and industry labs (3). This was also compiled by CWTS and based on the ISI citation databases for the years 1993-1999. Again, it features remarkably good results for the ITM. Obviously, the total number of ITM publications (702) is far lower than that of bigger institutions (i.e., not correlated to the actual manpower) when the average impact (citation based) per publication is compared. However, in the overall field average, ITM, with a 1.28 ratio, features in 15th place among European universities and research institutes. As the only smaller Belgian biomedical institute listed, ITM thus ranks above all other Flemish contenders, and from a national perspective it is only preceded (narrowly) by UCL (1.30).

The complete bibliographic database of all ITM staff publications is freely available on the library website (' http://lib.itg.be/datab.htm').

ITM website

Major innovations during 2003 included an overall restyling of the ITM website and the integration of the departmental module within a multidimensional menu for easy navigation. New sections were created for, e.g., the DGDC framework agreement, the Health Care for All (HCA) initiative, and ITM's annual colloquia. Also, several sub-websites were developed, such as Telemedicine (HIV therapy), Eurosupport (also HIV), and various short courses and events. Meanwhile, a completely renewed version of the ITM intranet was developed. As before, the more complex innovations were developed in close collaboration with our Information Technology department and our external partner All Directions.

The log module showed that the ITM website was consulted 269,055 times in 2003, i.e., about 800 times per weekday. The travel health pages (over 80,000 hits) were the most popular pages, besides the functional pages such as the home page, the search page (and sitemap) and the retrievable contact data. The job vacancies (11,428 hits), the educational pages (master courses: 8,908 hits; degree courses: 7,152; short courses: 5,266 hits) and 'new on this website' (5,422 hits) proved to be popular webpages. 69,8% of the 556,904 pages consulted were in English (the default language!), 22,5% in Dutch, 7,4% in French and 0.34% in Spanish. In so far as this could be registered, the majority of visitors came from Belgium, followed by a number of European countries (e.g., 4,714 hits from The Netherlands). The USA, India, Canada, Rwanda, Peru and Japan also belong to the top 15 international visitors.

Dirk Schoonbaert

References

  1. Eyers JE. Sources of information in tropical medicine. In: Cook GC & Zumla A, Manson's tropical diseases; 21st ed. Edinburgh, Saunders, 2003, 1807-1816.
  2. Van Leeuwen TN, Visser MS, van der Wurff LJ, van Raan AFJ. Bibliometric study of the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), Antwerp, Belgium, 1991-2000. Leiden, Center for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), 2003. 70 pp. + appendices.
  3. Scientific output and impact: Europe's leading role in world science. In: EC. Third European report on science & technology indicators 2003; towards a knowledge-based economy. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2003: 277-318.

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