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February 2024

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Issue No. 131
February 2024

Collection Spotlight — Open Access Publishing Agreements Doubled!

You may have heard of the term Transformative Agreements. TAs have grown in leaps and bounds for the past few years among research institutions worldwide, particularly in countries with funders’ open access mandates.

The essence of TA is that a library enters into agreements with publishers that encompass both Read and Publish components. Read means access to current journal content and Publish means built-in open access (OA) publishing rights for affiliated corresponding authors. It is envisaged that TAs can gradually shift the library subscription costs for paywalled content to OA publishing, driving down overall Read and Publish costs and boosting accessibility of research output.

The Cambridge University Press TA launched in 2021 was well received so far, a total of thirty-two papers were published OA, with substantial APC savings had these papers been paid at list prices. Since then, the Library has been working to deliver more OA publishing opportunities at no cost to HKUST authors. From 2024 the number of TAs has doubled from the previous year covering these publishers:

• American Institute of Mathematical Sciences
• American Society of Mechanical Engineers
• Cambridge University Press
• Company of Biologists
• IOP Publishing
• Microbiology Society
• Rockefeller University Press
• Royal Society
• Royal Society of Chemistry
• Springer Nature (excludes Nature-branded and BMC journals)
• Wiley

These are the fruits of hard negotiations with publishers, especially Springer Nature and Wiley. All eight UGC-funded universities participate in the Springer Nature TA consortium and seven joined the Wiley TA.

Most of these agreements come with unlimited article processing charges (APCs); a few do have APC quotas. Some support publishing in hybrid journals only while some cover both hybrid and gold journals. Each TA model has its own unique terms and conditions and hence these differences. Please refer to for details and do reach out to our Research Support team at for further enquiries.


Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Charging at our Library

Starting in January, HKUST implemented the government‘s Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Charging. In line with the “polluter-pays” principle, all waste is now charged based on quantity. The scheme aims to drive behavioural changes which requires concerted effort from all sectors and the general public.

Consumption of designated bags will be reviewed by CMO on a quarterly or half-yearly basis. Students should strategically dispose of their waste in allocated bins around the campus.

In our Library, the White & Green 2-compartment bins are for mixed recyclables and landfill, respectively. There are 33 such bins in library common areas, 1/F: 4 bins, G/F: 7 bins, LG1: 8 bins, LG3: 5 bins, LG4: 6 bins, and LG5: 3 bins. Blue bins are only for paper recycling. Smaller bins will no longer be placed in each group study room, so please dispose of waste in designed bins in library common areas.

Through this initiative, HKUST aims to reduce 75%of waste to landfill (according to the HKUST 2028 Sustainability challenge –

Starting from today, let’s join together in reducing waste and saving resources. Here are some tips on what you can do to Dump less, Save more & Recycle right”:
• Avoid disposing of uncleaned recyclables; wash them if necessary.
• Place clean recyclables in the White & Green 2-compartment recycling bins and blue paper bins.
• Do not leave waste on the ground, in group study rooms, or on library tables.

Contact us if the bins are overflowing (email: / hotline: 2358 6772).



Consolidated Service Model for IC

New arrangements for service and equipment in the Information Commons – The initial function of IC combined
information services and technologies to support learning beyond classroom lessons by providing an IC Help Desk, collaborative spaces, and workstations with advanced software tools. The IC was revitalized several times after its 2006 launch, with changes in study patterns and user expectations.

To surf the technology waves, in 2014 we added 3D Printing and Scanning services in a Modelling Space for you to explore ideas and make prototypes.

A decade later, our recent service review showed much lower demand for the Help Desk and for 3D Scanning. Instead, you asked for more space for discussion and presentations.

To help meet your needs, we made a few changes. The IC Help Desk has now been merged with the Circulation Counter to consolidate service and support. You can now go to the G/F Counter to borrow equipment, ask for venue set up, or for issues with the printers/copiers/scanners.

We have also retired the 3D scanning equipment to make more room in the Modelling Space. We plan to relocate the two 3D Printers to LG1 this month so that the Modelling Space can be converted into be a new discussion/meeting/seminar room.

Upcoming iTalks : Chinese Encoding, Silk Road Art, Work & DEI

Chinese Character Encoding Beyond Borders: A Story of Challenges and Solutions (February 22)

Encoding Chinese characters for computer systems is far more complex than it appears. Early systems were designed for statis alphabets and overlooked the complexity behind the seamless typing, searching, and reading of CJK (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean). Let’s all travel back three decades and discover the gradual transition from language-based computer platforms to the adoption of Unicode, a revolutionary system that unifies multiple languages on a single platform.

Professor QIN Lu ( will shed light on the main challenges faced in this remarkable journey:

• CJK characters, known as Han characters, are an open set, constantly expanding as they are used by various countries. Unlike closed-set alphabets like English, new characters require separate encoding under existing technology.

• The long history and evolution of CJK characters resulted in numerous variant forms. Balancing the need to eliminate variant “noise” for certain applications while preserving them for scholarly work was a big design and implementation challenge.

This talk will provide valuable insights into the evolution of CJK character encoding and its impact on our modern computerized environment.

Contemporary Art Jewels and the Silk Road (February 29)

Mr. Dickson Yewn ( is a renowned jewellery designer who integrates the essence of traditional Chinese culture and art into contemporary jewellery design. Join us as he describes his creative process, the insights he draws from rich Chinese material & non-material culture, and the symbolism behind his exquisite pieces.

Yewn : contemporary art jewels and the Silk Road by Juliet Weir-de La Rochefoucauld is available in the Library (

Work & DEI Initiatives of WEDO Global (March 21*)

Mr. Bosco Ng, Founder and Director of WEDO GLOBAL (, will share how they plan and arrange community tours, cultural workshops and training programmes to promote cultural diversity and social inclusion, and to enhance community involvement of ethnic minorities.

The date of the talk is significant, as United Nations General Assembly resolution 2142 (XXI), adopted on October 26, 1966, proclaimed March 21 to be the annual International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

From March 19 – April 1 the Library will have a concurrent Library Collection Highlights – Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (

Facts & Figures: Tech Items Kiosk

Usage of the Tech Items Kiosk has certainly justified the cost! Since its installation, not only has usage been broadly available overnight, even daytime loans have increased markedly – perhaps because it is so easy to do self-service rather than having to approach the staff.

There were almost 10,000 tech item loans in the Fall – a 47% increase over the previous year.

Most borrowers were UG students, followed by TPGs. The heaviest demand was for charging items – charging cables and USB chargers. Whiteboard kits unsurprisingly had high demand for study room use.

Going forward, we plan to adjust what is available to meet demand, and to expand the scope of service. Let us know what you need!

LG5 Arrives!

NOTE – the LG5 Entrance has been delayed, and will be ready in early March.

The Library LG5 entrance and space should be open by the time you read this – please let us know what you think of it, and how we can improve it.

You can now enter the Library from the far end of LG5 – at the end of the corridor next to McDonald’s and above the LG7 dining halls. There is a new Library entrance there, with a good sized study space and three more group study rooms. At the rear of LG5 are the entry and security gates with a stairwell up to the back of the Library’s LG4.

Please help us keep the new LG5 space as your study environment. Be considerate of fellow students: try to keep the noise down and don’t eat food there (especially no McDonald’s!).

Once it is ready and the A/V systems have been installed, some or all of the new LG5 space can be booked for talks, programs, or even classes – none of us are sure how this will work out so we will be experimenting with different options in the Spring. For some programs, the stairwell from LG4 may need to be blocked temporarily – we need to see how to manage this without causing trouble for you.

The space is very distinctive, with bold radial arms from a central pillar/hub. A variety of colorful sound absorbing panels have been incorporated in the ceiling design to try controlling acoustic noise whether used for study or events.

Except for six sofa chairs, all the furniture in the new LG5 space is movable and reconfigurable. This gives great flexibility. But it does mean none of the tables will have built-in power sockets (except in the study rooms). This is similar to the movable table zone behind the LC Help Desk on LG1, but with easier to move tables.

There is also another door opposite the entrance, leading to the large outdoor terrace on LG5. This is perfect for stepping out to use your phone, or just to get away into sunshine for a little while.

LibQUAL+ Results & Prizes

Do you remember the online survey called LibQUAL+ that the Library asked you to fill out in the Fall? We are thrilled to have received an overwhelming response. We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to all of you who took the time to participate.

As a token of our appreciation, we held a lucky draw with some fantastic prizes. The presentation ceremony was held on December 13. Congratulations to all the lucky winners!

A summary of the scores is now on our website (, and we are working hard to review all the written comments. It is a delight to read all the positive feedback and words of appreciation, and we are attentively taking note of the suggestions and constructive remarks, especially those on space, seating, and noise issues:

• Maybe staff can patrol more frequently to see if there are people occupying the seats with their stuff.
• It is good overall, but it would be better if there were more individual places to study.
• In general I like the service level
• Sufficient academic resources
• Help keep quiet in place where it should be quiet

Your feedback is crucial in helping us improve our services. We encourage you to continue to share your thoughts and opinions with us. If you have any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact at

We LISTEN and STRIVE to implement positive changes based on your inputs.

2023 LibQUAL Prize Presentation Ceremony

Facilities Updates

We have been busy recently making improvements all over the Library! Some are done, with others in process as we try our best to meet your needs!

• The Deep Quiet Room is back! The Exploration Lab section of the Map Exhibition closed on schedule and the carrels have been restored to the Deep Quiet Room from G/F

Study tables have been restored to the back hallway of 1/F

• The new LG5 space is now open (or it will be soon)

• Four more group study rooms are being added, one on LG1 and three on LG5

• The IC Help Desk has been closed, with service consolidated to the Circulation Counter and the LC Help Desk

3D Printing is being relocated from G/F to LG1 – so you will go to the Commons Office for assistance instead of the old IC Help Desk

• The LC Tutorial Spaces has had a furniture refresh for greater flexibility

• Additional study tables have been added to G/F, replacing some more book shelves

• Another book shelf on G/F has been converted for high-seat study

• The former Modeling Space is being converted into another IC Learning Space, bookable by Faculty and PG students.


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last modified 01 February 2024