Think Tank Review 5

W piątym zeszycie serii Think Tank Review (TTR) opracowanym przez Bibliotekę Rady Unii Europejskiej zamieszczono abstrakty i łącza do wersji pełnotekstowej prawie 70 opracowań analitycznych. Przygotowując kompilację, oprócz angielskiego i francuskiego pod uwagę zostały wzięte także ekspertyzy, które ukazały się w języku niderlandzkim, portugalskim, niemieckim i polskim, oczywiście uzupełnione abstraktem w języku angielskim. Poszerzony został również zasięg geograficzny i do grupy międzynarodowych oraz brukselskich think tanków dołączyły ośrodki ze Szwecji, Litwy, Niemiec, Finlandii oraz Brazylii. Wcześniejsze zeszyty dostępne są tutaj. Zdecydowanie warto przejrzeć.

A poniżej komentarz szefa komitetu redakcyjnego TTR nadesłany wraz z najnowszym zeszytem.

-----Original Message-----
From: MARZOCCHI Carlo [mailto:Carlo.Marzocchi@consilium.europa.eu] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 6:36 PM
To: POZNIAK Wiktor
Cc: CHERKEZOVA Darina (Stagiaire); POMPER Krisztina; PAUSCH Katharina; SCHOEMAKER Hans; MOLA ARIZO Andres; LIAO Lino; TUONONEN Heli
Subject: RE: Review of Think Tank publications on EU affairs

Dear colleague,

Many thanks for making our Think Tank Review highly visible on your website, and for the appreciative review at http://biblioteka-w-natolinie.blogspot.be/2013/04/think-tank-review.html. Let me take the opportunity of the publication of issue 5 (attached) to go back to some of your comments - which I have read in an English translation. Feel free to share my comments on your blog if you deem appropriate. 

We are flattered by your comment that we "cover more think tanks/institutions than even the most expert reader can take in". Indeed, our list is growing and we now manage to monitor around 180 think tanks -  the credit for that goes to a small but dedicated and well-organized team. At the moment we monitor seven Polish organizations (see list attached), selected on the basis of existing directories and other input. We are always ready to add to or change our list, so feel free to make suggestions based on your local expertise and networks. Ultimately, the limits of our selection are dictated by the following factors:

- a rather strict notion of "think tank": for example we exclude - with a few exceptions - university departments, trade associations, public affairs companies - although it would be interesting to monitor their publications;

- an idea of "quality": we tend to select - again with a few exceptions - papers with a research perspective: hypotheses, data, a method, a good argumentation, or at the very least a respected author, rather than loosely argued opinion;

- our human resources and language skills. 

The latter is also the reason why the TTR may seem biased towards publications in English. In fact, as I explain in this month's editorial, most of the organizations we monitor do publish in English rather than, or in addition to the language of their home country - including French ones. But we are trying to widen the language coverage, challenging our readers to read, for example, the English abstract of a paper in Polish or in  Dutch, in the hope that they will then find ways to gain some understanding of the full paper too - this should not be too difficult, at least anywhere a multilingual crowd of Europeans meets and mixes.

I fully agree that think tank publications deserve a more organized dissemination - this is the reason why we launched the TTR in the first place, as this fitted well with our view of the library as a broker, rather than a warehouse, on the market-place of ideas. EU institutional libraries are well placed for such a role, precisely because they have the required subject knowledge to lead the reader through the information jungle, and because their place in institutions exposes them almost automatically to this and other types of grey literature. And indeed EUROLIB is tackling the issue.

That said, you are right in pointing out that we need to think about consolidation according to library standards: the first issues were mainly a tool to make our library known to an outside readership, but by now we almost have an archive of past issues, which will need to be available and searchable at the deepest possible level. We are looking into efficient ways to do this, either in the form of a yearly index, through our catalogue or in external repositories, and we welcome your suggestions.

Thanks again for your feedback and support.

Best regards

Carlo Marzocchi

General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union
DG F - Communication and Transparency 
Head of Sector - Central Library
Rue de la Loi 175, B - 1048 Brussels
Tel. + 32 (0)2 281 5108 -  Fax +32 (0)2 281 8174

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