Heiner Stuckenschmidt
Applied Research as a Basis for High Quality Information Services - a CIO's Perspective

University libraries often find themselves in a situation where they have to deal with different, often conflicting expectations: on the one hand, they serve as infrastructure institutions with the duty to deliver professional services and guarantee a certain level of quality. On the other hand, university libraries often do have the ambition to test new concepts and technologies both as a means to deliver better services and also out of scientific interest. In the face of limited resources, this is often perceived as a conflict by decision makers and sometimes ambitions in this direction are even obstructed with the argument that libraries should focus on infrastructure services.

Mannheim University tries to go a different way. In my talk I will argue that applied research and technological leadership is an important prerequisite for high quality infrastructure services and that in particular research on semantic technologies for improving information access is a very promising area. I will outline a general strategy for encouraging applied research as a means for improving information services and give some examples of past and current research projects along with the expected benefits for the university as such.

Bielefeld University Library - last update: 29/02/2012