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E1779e – What is “Current Awareness-E”? : Articles from 2013 to 2015

The original article published in Japanese ( )

Current Awareness-E No.300

17 March, 2016


What is “Current Awareness-E”? : Articles from 2013 to 2015


This paper reviews articles published in an email news magazine “Current Awareness-E” (CA-E) between 2013 and 2015.

About CA-E

CA-E reports diverse news about libraries as well as library and information science. When it was first published in 2002, one article was on average about 500 Japanese characters. Since then, CA-E has become a full news report with the introduction of news blog “Current Awareness-R” (CA-R) in 2006. Today, an article is about 1,500 to 2,000 Japanese characters long. While cooperating with the magazine “Current Awareness” (CA), CA-E differentiates itself by delivering concise and easy-to-read articles.

We have pursued ingenuity in publishing CA-E. For example, since 2011, we have published articles where editorial desk of “Current Awareness-E” (hereafter “editorial desk”) interviews people engaged in libraries. Furthermore, we began to focused on distributing information on disasters immediate after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Based on information that editorial desk collects and transmits as CA-R on a daily basis, CA-E articles have dealt with libraries in disaster-affected regions. Major articles include series of “Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake,” (see E1748 and others) which summarizes a few month worth of library activities related to the disaster.

Themes, Types of Libraries, and Countries/Regions that Appeared Most Frequently

During the past three years, the following themes have appeared most frequently: “distribution of academic information,” “digital archives,” “open access” (OA), and “disasters.” Public libraries and university libraries were the types of libraries that appeared most frequently, followed by national libraries. In terms of countries/regions, articles on Japan and the United States were by far the most frequent, followed by the United Kingdom.

Articles published in 2015 had a tendency to discuss topics of “open data”, “information literacy,” “institutional repository,” and “open science.” We also increased the number of articles that covered events hosted by libraries in Japan as well as symposiums and meetings that took place within Japan and abroad.

The Most Visited Articles

These are the top three articles that were visited most frequently during the past three years: 

  • “‘Our Libraries (われわれの館)’, Library that Supports Job-Seeking Librarians: An Interview with the Administrator” (see E1503)
  • Online Publication of Doctoral Dissertations: Amendment of Degree Regulations” (see E1418)
  • “Interview with Hata Aki, Songwriter of ‘Library Rocket (図書館ロケット)’”(see E1491

Discussed next are topics that received constant number of visits within a certain period of time.

On the topics of academic information, there were articles on adoption of OA policy at Kyoto University (see E1686), roadmap of Confederation of Open Access Repositories: COAR (see E1666), survey of current status on online publication of doctoral dissertations by Institutional Repositories Promotion Committee (see E1707).

Articles also covered library-related events as well as unique efforts and continuous activities at individual libraries. Examples of the former include events with the theme of “Sounds and Learnings at Libraries” and “Libraries in Aging Society” (see E1664, E1669).Example of the latter include articles on university libraries such as public relations using blackboard at Yoshida-South Library, Kyoto University (see E1602) and “Near-Future Library Series” of University of Tsukuba (see E1668).

Articles that discussed basic tasks of libraries such as reference services and preservation of materials also attracted the readers. These include articles on LibGuides of Springshare in the United States (see E1410), and the 25th Preservation Forum of the National Diet Library (NDL) (see E1642).

Lastly, there were articles on legal issues and topics of intellectual freedom, trends of which CA-R have followed (see E1424, E1459): Marrakesh Treaty enacted in June 2013 (see E1455), restriction on browsing the manga “Barefoot Gen (はだしのゲン)” in elementary and junior high schools reported in August 2013 (see E1472), partial amendment of School Library Law in 2014 (see E1597), and ruling on “right to be forgotten” at European Court of Justice of EU (see E1572, E1655).

While falling outside the time span of this article, visits to articles on “Dewey the Library Cat” a motif of the character of CA Portal, has not declined even 10 years after its publication, remaining high in access ranking (see E574).

Future of CA-E

This paper has reviewed recent articles that were frequently visited. We find that while news articles with a considerable influence on library society received attention, readers also frequently visited articles on surrounding issues of libraries, “people” engaged in libraries, and unique library efforts.

In order to diversify themes that CA-E articles cover, we have decreased the percentage of articles written within NDL since 2009. In 2015, over half (56%) of the articles were written by those outside NDL. We intend to publish articles on diverse news, efforts, events, and literature while including surrounding issues of libraries.

While topics of CA-E articles are decided based on information that editorial desk collects on a daily basis, we widely welcome contribution of articles and proposals. We send our gratitude to those who have cooperated with us, and we look forward to your future contributions.

Written by Research and Information Section
Library Support Division, Kansai-kan of the National Diet Library
Translated by Okada Aya