LLLotW 2023.11

Trusting Australia's Ability: Review of the Australian Research Council Act 2001

The long awaited ARC review was released yesterday and whilst the headline news was all about the recommendation that the federal Education Minister should no longer be allowed to veto grants to research they don't like, the recommendation of most interest to me was number 10 – the complete cessation of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) kabuki without replacing it with any metric-based process.

Federated Credential Management (FedCM)

This one will be a bit arcane for most readers but if your job involves managing authentication in library systems of any kind – especially interactions with third party platforms like journal publishers – you need to keep an eye on this project. Within the next couple of years it's quite possible everything most academic libraries use to seamlessly authenticate students and staff against paywalls will break. The irony of this is that the proposed changes are being made with the intention to improve the privacy of web users by making it harder to follow us around with super-cookies, but the effect on those wanting to access scholarly material will probably be the opposite, because it will make it harder to obfuscate the individual identities of scholars.

How to Stop a University

Something a bit different – this is a piece from the co-chairs of the Queen Mary University & College Union branch exploring the tactical and strategic factors favouring indefinite strike action over time-limited withdrawal of labour when the workplace is a university. An interesting read as negotiations over new agreements slowly roll out across Australia.

Libraries and Learning Links of the Week is published every Friday by Hugh Rundle.