Sixth week

It is sixth week now and six weeks to go. We are in the middle of our stay here in Australia. The rest of the trip always goes faster than beginning and I’m a pit worried if I manage to do all I meant to do. That’s why I made a list of tasks and tomorrow I deal the days remaining (26 workdays) on the tasks. Then I don’t need to worry anymore. I just follow the list and that’s it!

Semantic interoperability

Semantic interoperability is the concept sometimes hard to explain. Wikipedia definition is:

“Semantic interoperability is the ability of computer systems to exchange data with unambiguous [=clear], shared meaning. Semantic interoperability is a requirement to enable machine computable logic, inferencing [=reasoning], knowledge discovery, and data federation [=connections] between information systems.”

[ ] = added by the editor MEK

Semantic interoperability is also needed in a real life communication between people. If you want to change information with someone, it’s easier if you are familiar with that person’s meaning, logic, reasoning and connections.

Because I’m foreign here, my meaning, logic, reasoning and connections are not familiar to others (and I don’t always understand them as well). So I need to explain things more than usually.


  • No, I don’t think weather is cold. (12-15⁰C is not cold. I think the weather is cold when temperature is under 0⁰C, if even then.)
  • No, in Finland there is not cold inside the houses. There is about 22⁰C during whole year in every room of the house. We don’t need warm water bottles or electric blankets. (The summer cottages are sometimes exceptions.)
  • We often wear work shoes in the work place in Helsinki Univ library. Yes, we change shoes when we come to work. (Outdoor shoes are too warm to wear inside.) That’s why I change shoes, I’m so used to it.
  • I thought blue milk is low fat and red milk more fat. Because in Finland that’s the way.. here just the opposite.

But it’s not a bad thing that you need to think that others may not understand you. It makes me think things I normally take for granted. Other people can’t read my mind anyway or anywhere, so better to explain a pit more.

So I decided to explain…

Who are the customers of library research services?

To whom we provide research services? Easy answer is: for the researchers. But how to to define researchers. If I say they make research, I end up the real circular reasoning.

I trust you know who is a researcher and what is research, but there are other customer groups we serve.

  • Research administration (publication reporting, research outcome evaluation, etc).
  • Students (before and after graduation) when they make research type tasks.
  • Teachers when they design courses including research tasks.
  • Clinicians when they need information to make or update practice guidelines, etc.
  • Clinicians when they need information to help them decide how to cure/help patients.

Research services are for those who make research, learn or teach how to make research and those how use research outcomes (literature, information, data) to make decisions.

It’s sometimes not easy to draw a line. Some of you may add patients (when they need to find information of health) to this list. Quite right, but in my mind patients are a somewhat different. I think they often need other type information than these other groups. My semantics is somehow linked to information needs, information sources and information practices. And those need to be “the research type” to make a library customer to the customer of library research services.

Australian nature

Australians are easy going people by nature and they are very polite. So polite that  Australian funders don’t want to ask researchers to write research data plans as a part of grant applications, because they think researchers are not ready for that.


This was an explanation I heard in an seminar organized by ANDS a couple of weeks ago ( Drivers of the research data management are different here than in Europe because of this. It’s not a bad thing, however it’s a difference I need to assimilate.

Australian nature

The Australian nature is very beautiful! We enjoyed some sights this weekend. Here is one picture of our trip on the Great Ocean Road. It was a nice adventure!


Best regards,

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