Posts about Conference presentation summary

APLIC as a Community of Practice: How are we doing? What’s next?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
10:45 AM-12:00 PM


Julia Cleaver, Ipas
Sarah Burns, Pathfinder
Christopher Lindahl, EngenderHealth

Communities of Practice (COPs) are groups of people who share an interest (technical or professional) and share knowledge, information and experience in their group. This session was designed to give participants a stronger sense of community with their APLIC colleagues, and to come away understanding:

  • How APLIC can be an important professional community
  • How to engage outside of conferences and
  • What tools are available to support community engagement


Click here to view a PDF of the facilitators’ handout

During this session, participants were able to identify the roles that they were most likely to play in the APLIC CoP (participant vs. lurker, both of which have value in any CoP), identify a list of potential “tech buddies” (technical moderators) for APLIC virtual gatherings, and discuss topics for future monthly virtual gatherings.  These topics included:

  • Copyright and the RightFind tool
  • Citation software
  • Systematic collection of grey literature
  • Organizing one’s workflows: KanBan Flow
  • Web conferencing tools
  • ResearchGate
  • ILL

Participants also generated other ideas:

  • An APLIC book in celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary
  • “50 Stories” from APLIC
  • APLIC panel at 2017 Global Health Mini-University
  • APLIC flyer to disseminate at events
  • Form a consortium for subscriptions
  • Member welcomer
  • New member welcome packet


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“You did that with PowerPoint?!” Making fun and informative videos with simple, everyday tools

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
“Lightning Talk”

Speaker: Allison Long, Ipas

In this session, Allison Long demonstrated how anyone can use PowerPoint and other easy-to-use tools to create fun and informative videos for results dissemination, library services promotion, or anything else their heart desires.

Many thanks to Liz Nugent for sharing her notes, below:


Reports can often become tl;dr (too long; didn’t read)

Why use video?

  • “Video has quickly become one of the most impactful ways to speak to an audience.”
  • Research indicates that we absorb video content 60,000 times faster than if read.

Pro tips for creating great videos:

  • Keep it visual – less text, more images, use animations and transitions
  • Keep it short – 4 minutes or less
  • Make it pretty!
  • Free online tools: Piktochart, Jing (free program that allows you to cut images and make videos to insert into presentation, similar to Snippet)
  • Tools within PowerPoint: Insert/SmartArt; format painter/double click on format painter keeps format painter on; Arrange tools/selection pane, bring forward
    Transitions tab/crush/origami/page turn, etc. Pick one or two to use.
  • Make you PowerPoint presentation into movie: first record timings, then record audio, then save it as a movie.
  • View as a slide show, then record slide show (you can do one slide at a time). Insert audio (Google “royalty free music,” or use Set to “Play in background.”
    Make it into video (Fille ->Export -> make into video -> use MP4 format).  You can use Windows Movie Maker to format the video, which produces the correct size for YouTube, mobile viewing , etc.

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NIH Biosketch & Federal Public Access Policies

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
“Lightning Talk”

Speaker: Mary White, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

This session covered the NIH and other Federal Public Access Policies and their compliance requirements, including a hands-on tour of the bibliography management and compliance monitoring functions in My NCBI. The session also introduced the new NIH Biographical Sketch format requirements effective for NIH and AHRQ grant applications.



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Using Zotero for Managing Citations (and, optionally, your life)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
“Lightning Talk”

Speaker: Elana Broch, Princeton University

“I’ve come to embrace Zotero as a great bibliographic citation manager. It’s free and works on both Macs and PCs. You can sync across machines, save PDFs of full text, and photos. Its write-and-cite capability is very user friendly.”

Elana Broch offered a demonstration of Zotero and discussed many of the features that make it a usable and worthwhile citation management program for students and information professionals.

Many thanks to Liz Nugent for sharing her notes, below:


Click here to view a PDF of Ms. Broch’s handout

Some additional key points about Zotero:

  • At Princeton and other libraries, Zotero talks to the library and databases
  • Many people are moving from EndNote to Zotero
  • It is easy to transfer data from one citation system to Zotero
  • Zotero is open source, and is free
  • See costs of institutional storage plans here
  • Users can download photos, add notes

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Libraries Can Lead: Using SharePoint 2013

Monday, March 29, 2016
“Lightning Talk”

Speaker: LiMin Fields, PAI

This short demonstration of PAI’s intranet portal included a quick tour of the PAI homepage, professional development resource page, and the shared organizational calendar.  The portal was developed to support staff internal information needs and influence organizational behavior by documenting and communicating key business processes, policies and standards.

Many thanks to Liz Nugent for sharing her notes, below:



  • PAI’s intranet is referred to as their “Portal”
  • It was deliberately kept simple in design, and the staff’s most-used items were put up first
  • PAI’s Board has their own portal
  • The Portal is used as a work tool and tracker (e.g. finance forms), includes the Smartsheet (excel-like online tool used for strategic planning, etc.), and allows resource sharing
  • It was built between January and November 2014, and was launched in December 2014
  • It is maintained in-house with occasional vendor support
  • Everything on the Portal should have value added, be up to date, and cross-organizational
  • It includes links to everything the organization needs and uses; it is meant to be a one-stop shop
  • It also includes a staff directory, bios & birthdays, staff travel information , non-work Tips/Asks, new employee page, HR handbook and policies, Admin ZenDesk, PAI jargon, Email Web access, Egnite online file share, IT ZenDesk, and an archive of PAI pubs

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Developing New Services in Science Libraries

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
2:00 PM-3:00 PM

Speaker: Alvin Hutchinson, Smithsonian Libraries

Developing new services is key to the survival of science libraries in the future. Because much of the scientific literature is available directly to scientists online rather than going through the librarian as a broker, it will be additional services provided by librarians that define the library’s utility. Alvin Hutchinson will describe the life cycle of new service development and highlight several new services that are taking place in research libraries today.

Many thanks to Liz Nugent for sharing her notes, below:

Self-service in libraries most pronounced in science libraries, but the Internet provides opportunity for librarians to develop new services.

Publication Services:

  • Smithsonian used free bibliographic services (Pub med, Google Scholar, BioOne, etc.) to produce staff publication lists i- house vs. using more expensive outside vendors.
  • Signing up for e-alerts via Google Scholar is a great tool.
  • A staff publication list is good for the office of public affairs and development office. This is sent to the museum’s management with copy to the scientist with a link to the article. If the information is put in central database, it can be reused for many different purposes, including posting to website.

Repository Services:

  • The open access movement in the 1990s resulted in many repository services. Often these services were built, but not used.
  • The staff bibliography can (partially) populate the repository.
  • Copyright and embargo issues can be tracked (easier for federal employees).
  • Most repositories allow user to “darken” the entry.
  • Get repository content indexed by Google Scholar, adhering to metadata compliance. Authors are keen to integrate publications into the science publishing ecosystem.
  • Identifiers!  It’s important to have DOI, Cross Ref, and ORCID identifiers in repositories and in the organization’s press so different machine systems can talk to each other.

Additional Publishing Support:

  • Librarians can be advocates regarding predatory journals.
  • Scientific Data and Metadata – Data management plan now required by government-funded work. Smithsonian has work group that provides guidance to staff. Journal of EScience Librarianship.

Alt Metrics to track social media. Smithsonian has contracted to track activity by Smithsonian authors.

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Design Thinking in KM

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
10:45 AM-12:00 PM

Speaker: Arno Boersma, World Bank Group

At most organizations, managing knowledge is an ongoing challenge. Knowledge management is often not where we want it to be and some would say KM is grasping for its last breath. Design Thinking – a “human-centered” approach used to create new product or services solutions – could be its much-needed lifesaver. It has everything KM needs to survive and even thrive. By applying the fundamental characteristics of Design Thinking – experimental, collaborative, human-centered, and optimistic – to KM initiatives, a powerful combination emerges. The presentation will underline this much-needed combination by way of real life examples.

Interested in Knowledge Management since the 1990s, Arno Boersma has also been focusing on Design Thinking principles over the past few years. This requires a focus on more human, behavioral side of Knowledge Management. A Knowledge Designer designs knowledge so organizations perform better.

Many thanks to Liz Nugent for sharing her notes, below:


Click here to view a PDF of Mr. Boersma’s presentation.

To do KM well, you should pull from many disciplines: Information management, IT, HR, strategy management. KM is really about helping people get the ability to act.

Two things have changed KM: technology and neuroscience

There are five critical success factors to do KM well:

  • Ensure management commitment
  • Think big, then start small
  • Show quick, tangible results
  • Use what you have, before you invest
  • It’s about people, not technology

KM needs a jolt because too often the any of the five critical success factors are lacking:

  • Too abstract
  • No link to business
  • Too technology-driven
  • No owner
  • People don’t want to change
  • People don’t want to share
  • Not helping the end-user

Understanding people means understanding (Innovation professor Mathieu Weggeman):

  • K + I * ESA
  • Knowledge =Information (codified)* Experience, Skills, Attitude (tacit, sharing vs. door closed). Attitude is the biggest challenge. “It’s about chefs, not recipes.”

Understanding people means understanding neuroscience (neuroscientist David Eagleman):

  • We don’t always know what we know
  • Knowledge is never singular
  • “Encourage knowledge-sharing, connections and conversations” (make sure people meet others as often as possible)

Design thinking to the rescue!

  • Many organizations are still struggling with KM, and there are still a lot of unhappy people with the concept (because IT may have hijacked KM practice in an organization)
  • Design thinking has caught up with KM
  • Design thinking has gone mainstream (Harvard Business Review article, NY Times IBM article)
  • What is sweet spot between KM and DT?
  • DT is innovation inspired by people: experimental, collaborative (look at stakeholders you might not suspect; throw wide net as far as stakeholders), human-centric (make sure you know what people want), optimistic (have to believe you can create change)

Examples of application to KM

  • Experimentation – make it an iterative process, not linear process of roadmap with milestones
  • Collaboration – be more inclusive, larger stakeholder field, break silos in organization, including position of KM
  • Human centric end user focus, not tech or supply driven, see what they do, don’t just survey
  • Optimism – try things, learn and adjust, not afraid to fail, capture lessons learned

Case study: Knowlympics Competition

  • Objective: solicit great examples of KM for the field / operations
  • 160 field projects across World Bank – turned into a booklet that was made available to staff
  • Keynote given by Captain of Jamaican bobsled team

Case study: Global Knowledge Flows

  • Objective: ensure effective knowledge transfers across the globe
  • Interactive program of embedding knowledge transfer principles and policy among local staff based on in-depth cultural insights

Case study: Large-scale learning event

  • Objective: design learning events in ways that the knowledge and learnings are absorbed and applied
  • NOT: one-way lectures, death by PPT, large plenaries, panel talks, one-off moment. What you hear doesn’t stick – consider the forgetting curve (Donald Clark), which says that after one month, you retain about 20% of information provided
  • The event was collaborative, bite-sized, practical, staff-to-staff, small groups, bottom-up, long-term. Internal Wikipedia on lessons from event still being tapped.

Lessons from these examples, in short…

  • Do not just ask people to fill in a database, adopt a policy, or sit at event
  • Do not invest in a new program without knowing how your stakeholders will and want to benefit
  • Do not underestimate the fact that it’s the human factor that determines success or failure in our knowledge work. This is where KM programs usually fail.
  • Recommended app: “Poll anywhere” to immediately poll your audience and project live results
  • “No money, no problem” workshop – looked at free tools internally and externally (library is one big resource)

Recommended resource:

Q&A and other tips

  • Ask the same question three times to get the best response!
  • Where might a Knowledge Services Unit best sit within an organization? A high-level chief knowledge officer can serve as a connector that moves inside and outside the organization. The World Bank has no chief knowledge officer.
  • “Ask Me Anything” web session!
  • Institutional acronym list, central database of external contact names – examples of useful added value
  • Free social network analysis can provide a snapshot on a specific inquiry related to just people, used to examine how people were connected
  • Information audit involves more than just people

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APLIC’s 49th Annual Conference: Welcome, Networking, and Ice Breakers

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Julia Cleaver, Ipas
Sarah Burns, Pathfinder International
Alli Buehler, Ipas

This opening session was designed to allow conference attendees to get to know their colleagues better, connect with new members and long-time friends, and to discover common ground and sources of support from within the APLIC network.

NetworkingTim1           Networking1

Alli led us in a networking activity that allowed us to cycle through small group conversations based upon what we wanted to be asked by our peers.  We chose from questions ranging from, “Ask me about my biggest success this year” to “Ask me about my favorite website.”  Julia and Sarah then led the group in a give-and-get activity: each of us was encouraged to think about an area in which we were looking for more information or support.  All of our Asks  were posted around the room, and as we walked around the space, reading one another’s requests, we were able to write responses to those requests–how we might help, whether we were also interested in this topic.  Julia and Sarah planned to re-distribute these to us at the end of the conference.

As we looked at the areas of highest need among our participants, we noticed some themes, and possible topics for APLIC Lunch and Learn discussions this year:

  • Citation management software
  • Pluses and minuses of different software tools
  • Tips and tricks for webinar platforms; use of Google Hangout
  • Photo and video archiving and access
  • Downsizing of library spaces – implications for our work
  • Tools to share information in the field


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Case Studies of Knowledge Sharing via Communities of Practice

In this session we looked briefly at how EngenderHealth, FHI360 and Ipas have implemented CoPs, what’s working and what the challenges are. The session handout is replicated below :


Case Studies of Knowledge Sharing via Communities of Practice

Jill Leonard (bio), FHI360
Julia Cleaver (bio), Ipas
Christopher Lindahl (bio), EngenderHealth

Summary: Communities of Practice (CoPs) are groups of people who share an interest (technical or professional) and share knowledge, information and experience in their group. In this session, we look briefly at how EngenderHealth, FHI360 and Ipas have implemented CoPs, what’s working and what the challenges are. We then open the discussion to how we in the APLIC community might apply the lessons learned to enrich our own experiences, build a sense of belonging and add value to our practices.


What is a CoP?

  • “Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”[1]
    • Domain: The area of shared inquiry and of key issues.
    • Community: The relationships among members and the sense of belonging.
    • Practice: The body of knowledge, methods, stories, cases, tools, and documents.


Why CoPs?[2]

Facilitated introductions “Are you doing what I am doing? Who else is interested in this?”
Facilitated resource sharing “Have you seen this? Do you have what I need?”
Problem solving “Can we work on this design and brainstorm some ideas; I’m stuck.”
Requests for information “Where can I find the code to connect to the server?”
Seeking experience “Has anyone dealt with a customer in this situation?”
Reusing assets “I have a proposal for a local area network I wrote for a client last year. I can send it to you and you can easily tweak it for this new client.”
Coordination and synergy “Can we combine our purchases of solvent to achieve bulk discount?”
Discussing developments “What do you think of the new CAD system? Does it really help?”
Documentation projects “We have faced this problem five times now. Let us write it down once and for all.”
Visits “Can we come and see your after-school program? We need to establish one.”
Mapping knowledge and identifying gaps “Who knows what, and what are we missing? Who else should we connect with?”


EngenderHealth Experience

  • Developed and maintained external communities of practice through projects such as the Maternal Health Task Force and the RESPOND project
  • Currently establishing internal communities of practice
  • Staff survey identified gaps/challenges that CoPs could potentially address
  • Brought in graduate intern who had experience with CoPs at UNDP to do literature review, identify good practices, and talk to partner organizations about their experiences with CoPs
  • Launched Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research Community of Practice (MERCOP) in fall 2014
  • Allows staff working on M&E around the world to more easily interact with each other, share good practices, address issues, discuss tools and resources, and ask questions of their colleagues.
  • Creating sense of community among staff and getting them to know colleagues.
  • Currently exists as an email group, a page or two on our intranet and regular meetings using GoToMeeting.


FHI360 Experience

  • 30 or more CoPs on technical topics including Evaluation, Mobile Technology, etc.
  • Varying levels of engagement across them – some CoPs have created knowledge products, created databases of all staff with M & E experience, done group applications to conferences, shared announcements on funding, new developments, articles, webinars and observations on a conference or presentation
  • Model of facilitator vs Moderator- We find that a facilitator does not have to be an expert, but rather someone who partners with experts to host meetings, facilitate projects, take notes, post materials to corresponding intranets and invite and introduce new members
  • Each CoP is on MailList listservs, has a Yammer channel, and a Sharepoint page. We use Intercall and Adobe Connect for meetings and try to schedule meetings so that field staff can attend
  • Listservs show varying level of activity that wax and wane as do the groups and their activities
  • Overall we have found that staff like to feel part of groups in ever growing organizations where we are separated by offices and geography, but time to participate is biggest barrier
  • Getting to know other people and working together in groups have been the most tangible benefits
  • The CoPs must be continually nurtured, but they are a key tool in a knowledge sharing organization


Ipas Experience


  • Staff requested a platform that could be used to collaborate with partners outside Ipas. They need a way to host email lists and document libraries.
  • Ipas did not have technology to achieve this
  • Many of our partner organizations use the IBP Knowledge Gateway (KG) to host online communities. We had hoped that by joining IBP Consortium we would be able to use that technology. Unfortunately, we were told at a late date, that we cannot post abortion content on the KG as it is funded by USAID.
  • Paying a fee to have an Ipas Portal using this platform
  • The underlying platform of the KG is called CommunityCloud and is run by a man in Geneva called Damir Simunic. Working to create a connection between Dgroups, KG, and Ipas – User’s Group


  • 12 staff from 4 units formed a working group to inventory the potential communities and lead pilots
  • We wanted to start by using best practices. Hired Nancy White, co-author of the book Digital Communities, to provide a series of webinars and in-person training in the fall of 2014.
  • This helped us learn how to be leaders of effective networks and online communities, and to define scopes and purposes to move this work forward.

Next Steps

  • Learn to technically administer the portal
  • Brand the Ipas portal
  • Set up overall governance, roles and responsibilities and community norms
  • Pilot communities!

Activity: Variation of 25/10 Crowd Sourcing from Liberating Structures

Additional Resources

[1] Etienne Wenger, “Communities of practice a brief introduction.”

[2] Etienne Wenger, “Communities of practice a brief introduction.”

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APLIC Show and Tell

During the 2015 Annual Conference Jean Sack coordinated a session dedicated to sharing resources and lessons learned. Here’s her report:

Although 8 APLIC members had planned to share on topics below in 3 short 20 minute sessions, time of start precluded 6 of the presentations. The actual two breakout groups discussed citation software and NIH requirements for manuscript uploads into PMC for access to peer-reviewed journal articles written under federal government grants.

Lori Rosman, Nykia Perez, Lori Delaney are willing to give a Webinar to APLIC members on NIH requirements for biographies, researcher NCBI bibliographies and federal grant-funded peer-reviewed research journal articles to be uploaded in full-text (publishers’ permissions or final manuscript versions) into PMC with a PMC ID number.

Jean Sack will post a PPT on encouraging HINARI use with our developing country national partners, MOHs, and universities. (See link after the table.)

Debra Dickson shared her PPT handout on a free sharing software, Medium. (See link after the table.)

Laurie Calhoun invited those interested in Open Access to join her for lunch,

Others are willing to share insights via a CoP format being proposed.


Amanda Berry Reference citation software Ask questions of group & discuss advantages of commercial (ENDNOTE, Reference Manager, Refworks) vs free (Mendeley, Zotero)
Lori Delaney How the Public Access affects our colleagues in uploading full-text of their research papers Demonstrate submitting a manuscript to the NIH Manuscript Submission system.NIH Public Access PolicySee a webinar from California!
Debra Dickson K4Health’s use of Medium, a blog publishing platform, as a way to talk about KM in our publication called ‘The Exchange’.
Laurie Calhoun Lead discussion of experiences with Open Access, what Funders’ Require. Intro Open Access Tutorials from UNESCO Directory of Open Access journals
Nykia Perez new NIH Biosketch requirement
Lori Rosman My NBCI for researcher’s bibliography and other docsOther government agency requirements From Claire: researchers are now not limited to linking to *publications*. They can list other products like databases, etc. and, myNCBI’s my bibliography allows you to enter citations that are not in PubMed manually (Federally Funded Research)
Jean Sack HINARI – tool for partners’ collaboration connection or just demo on PPT?
Jill Leonard Altmetrics tracks social media hits of academic papers like impact factor but on social media) to the original Explorer is still free for academic librarians and repository managers, just email to request a login.)



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