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© CSIR 2008 Elephantom or prerequisite for successful African repositories? Martie van Deventer 01 April 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "© CSIR 2008 Elephantom or prerequisite for successful African repositories? Martie van Deventer 01 April 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 © CSIR 2008 Elephantom or prerequisite for successful African repositories? Martie van Deventer 01 April 2009

2 © CSIR 2008 Let’s see what’s to come … Elephantoms Healthy herds (collaborative trusting behaviour) Mammoths (consequences of mistrust in collaboration) Knowing where the water is (advantages of collaboration in developing IRs) Rogue elephants (disadvantages of collaboration) Elephant graveyards Final word on being an elephant (what it really takes to collaborate)

3 © CSIR 2008 Elephantoms Legend has it that elephant phantoms roam the African interior and have done so since the beginning of time. These phantoms are found on river banks, in the bushes and even in the forests of Knysna... Elephant and man have shared the same space for as long as elephants can remember … Question: is the need for collaboration a scary ghost story or a prerequisite for success?

4 © CSIR 2008 Healthy herds – the behaviour Information is shared openly Mistakes are tolerated Innovative and creative culture is created Loyalty – even in absence Real issues are confronted Real communication & collaboration

5 © CSIR 2008 Healthy herds … 2 Few meetings Transparency is created & valued People are candid & authentic High degree of accountability Positive momentum is palpable Covey, 2006:237

6 © CSIR 2008 Healthy herds … 3 Mean what you say – be straight without hidden agendas Show respect Fix what has gone wrong Show loyalty Deliver results Improve continuously

7 © CSIR 2008 Healthy herds … 4 Confront reality Clarify expectations Practice accountability Listen first, speak later Keep commitments Extend trust Covey, 2006:125-229

8 © CSIR 2008 Mammoths – causes of extinction Unnecessary duplication Bureaucracy Playing politics & delaying tactics Disengagement Turnover Loss in stakeholder trust Dishonesty & deception Covey, 2006:250

9 © CSIR 2008 Knowing where the water is … advantages of collaboration Facilitates communication between professionals Enhances efficiency … continuously working smarter Provides a framework for ongoing interaction and learning Enables us to provide better & more durable quality of service

10 © CSIR 2008 Knowing where the water is … advantages 2 Allows the library-network of relationships to interact with the software development network as well as with subject experts ‘New’ network (multi-disciplinary) enhances the probability of identifying, developing and adopting functionality which will serve the stakeholder community (researchers) better

11 © CSIR 2008 Knowing where the water is … advantages 3 NB … Adopting common standards: –allows networked collections; –Which increases the value of the super-collection as well as the individual collections; –reduces the costs of establishing a collection; and –fast tracks collection development. Based upon: Crabtree & Donakowski: 2007

12 © CSIR 2008 Rogue elephants … disadvantages Investment in time, resources and effort is often misunderstood or misinterpreted. Charity cases, hangers on, poor cousins and couch potatoes … efficiency drains. Playing perpetual catch-up... Feelings of inadequacy. Politics! Working across disciplines means you have to understand so much more. Much patience and time is needed when knowledge is ‘action’ transferred – often when it is least available! Interaction needs to be planned and manage or the teaching process could become all consuming! Essential expertise is often not core to the team … If one allows ICT infrastructure and/or software to be stumbling blocks … they will be. Built around key people. Personal knowledge transfer and personal networks remain key to ensuring successful collaborative partnerships. When they leave …

13 © CSIR 2008 When the end comes … Alexander passed on – 09 Feb 2009 Friend helped as long as he could – protected the carcass from vultures & hyenas Accepted death Moved on Source: Beeld (see,,3-975_2467012,00.html),,3-975_2467012,00.html

14 © CSIR 2008 Back to the $m question … Collaboration … phantom or prerequisite for success? There is space for lone bull elephants … but be aware of the implications of your choice! I prefer that the CSIR remains part of the herd … but I too need to take note of the implications of that choice!

15 © CSIR 2008 On being an elephant … Focus on South Africa and Africa. Keep the individuality of your own institution in mind. Value your personal contribution. Know the requirements of the ‘digital age’ in which we are living and working. It’s the IR content that matters … not the repository software or its functionalities or the supporting documentation! Collaboration is amongst ourselves but also with the discipline/ subject experts in your own institution.

16 © CSIR 2008 Thank you Questions?

17 © CSIR 2008 Acknowledgements Crabtree,J. & Donakowski, D. 2007. Building relationships project 2007. Journal of digital information. Available: Covey, SMR. The speed of trust: the one thing that changes everything. Simon & Schuster: NY Pienaar, H. & Van Deventer, M. 2007. Capturing knowledge in institutional repositories: playing leapfrog with giraffes. IFLA KM workshop. Durban. Van Deventer, M.J. & Pienaar, H. 2008. South African repositories: bridging knowledge divides. ARIADNE Watson, L. 2003. Elephantoms: tracking the elephant. Penguin Books SA: Rosebank Mariaan Myburgh – creating the graphics for my presentation

18 © CSIR 2008 The Legend of an Elephant Graveyard May Be True by Dirk Vander Ploeg, UFODigest, Elephant, Keith Levit, Fine art print, 3/posters.htm?TNID=1&ui=C69CAAFA817F4E469E15557508E59A68 Tusk, Ridder, Fine art print, 4/posters.htm?TNID=1&ui=C69CAAFA817F4E469E15557508E59A68 The Eye of an Elephant,,

19 © CSIR 2008 Gentle Giants, Ruane Manning, Fine art print 1976/Elephants.htm?ui=6AAEBC343F3D45FEA9B1FBB3B7C6087D Protective care, Ruane Manning, Fine art print 1976/Elephants.htm?ui=6AAEBC343F3D45FEA9B1FBB3B7C6087D Elephant Walking with Calf, wall poster 1976/Elephants.htm?ui=6AAEBC343F3D45FEA9B1FBB3B7C6087D Touch of Security, Ruane Manning, Fine art print,]

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