Open Access: the Dutch Consortium – publishers deal

From Science Guide I found out that, as more contracts of the Dutch Consortium with their publishers were made public by Leo Waaijers in 2016, the resistance put up by Elsevier and Springer to the exposure of their individual contracts raised a question mark about their real intentions, especially related to the Open Access policy.

Two weeks ago, due to the leak of Elsevier’s contract, the publisher came under scrutiny because of the terms of its three years Open Access pilot (2016-2018) that seems set up to fail.

Image from Science Guide’s article “Leaked Elsevier contract reveals pushback”

Science Guide says that the deal shows restrictions imposed to the researchers, the raise of collective fees and the short range of publications from their portfolio where the researchers could publish Open Access – a rather “disheartening picture of the so called ‘Golden deal’ reached by the Dutch universities with their major publisher: Elsevier” [1].

Still, one has to look at a broader picture: the business case for these deals and the win-win situation for both universities and publishers.

The contracts’ descriptions are available – for anyone interested – on the openaccess website where, for every publisher, one can find listed the Terms & Conditions of their deal, links to the publishers’ websites with More information and, in four cases, details over their Workflow [2].

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Snapshot: A Cambridge user experience (UX) study

Snapshot is a very interesting and highly detailed user experience (UX) study conducted by Andy Priestner and David Marshall from the Futurelib innovation programme at the Cambridge University Library. The main objective of this project was to explore and uncover the research and information behavior of the postdocs and PhD students. The team used a ‘cultural probe’ as preferred UX technique for this study. During the two week long research period the participants were asked to complete a lot of different interactive and creative tasks like for example – completing a daily research diary, photo study, cognitive mapping and more.
This approach helped the Futurelib team to get better, holistic view of how the participants accessed information, about their routines, the choices they made and most importantly, what opportunities there were to improve their experience of library services.

Some of the key findings the team discovered were for example: the importance of immediate peer community and inter-disciplinary collaboration for the participants. Another important discovery was the need for better visibility of the library online services but also the type of support, expertise and assistance that the library staff can offer to the researchers.

This May, Andy will help bring existing UX practices to the next level at the TU Delft Library together with the Library R&D team.

You can read the full rapport here:

Source: Futurelib blog, Snapshot rapport


2017 Library Trends from the NMC Horizon Report

Last week, New Media Consortium published its annual Library Edition report [1].
See below the trends, challenges and developments related to the technology adoption in the academic libraries.

Image capture from page 3 of the NMC Horizon Report – 2017 Library Edition

While eager to read the details, don’t jump over the executive summary that identifies ten themes in the academic library’s landscape – wherein lays the foundation of the 18 topics presented above.

More in depth reading on the NMC website (or click on the image above).

For a quick introduction to the report you can watch the video summary on the NMC YouTube channel [2].



[1] NMC Horizon News,, accessed 31 March 2017
[2] NMC Horizon Report: 2017 Library Edition, YouTube,, accessed 31 March 2017

Content break-down and its impact

A month ago I came across an article that looked at content in a completely different way. Dominik Grau, the Chief Innovation Officer of Ebner Group, writes about the transformation of his company from a 200 old year “print-centric publisher into a content and services company with a large e-commerce engine as one of the bases of the future monetization”. [1] Dominik Grau draws a clear cut: “Ebner Group is not making magazines but content”. He says “we care deeply about excellent content. Formats and channels come second”. ​ He enumerates the channels: the paper, the website, the video’s, the books.

Well, nothing new for us here. What intrigued me was his “dissection” theory of the content in “Minimal Information Units” or MIUs and their allocation per article part (title, introduction, paragraph, photo, video, interview, infographic and list of facts) [2]. To each of these parts he gives a weight in MIU and distributes them on different delivery channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, etc.) for maximum impact. He sees the traffic of content to the user as a matrix and every touchpoint in the matrix counts to the total impact for an article.
He goes further than that and calculates the impact of an event if set up for exposure on the right channels: it is what he calls “an event package”.

With no further consideration, this model provides us, the library, with a simple mechanism to help researchers – both content producers and followers – maximise the impact of their work, be it a scientific article or not.

[1] Exclusive insights into the transformation of 200-year old Ebner Media Group, LinkedIn – Pulse, published 12 December 2016,
[2] How to maximise the impact of your content, FIPP, published on 13 December, 2016,

Piracy in science

So… do I dare google for Sci-Hub, to see for myself what it is all about? I know it is a site that illegally offers more than 60 million scientific papers, grabbed from behind the publisher’s paywalls and libraries’ authentication screens and offered to be downloaded for free. I also know that its founder Alexandra Elbakyan has been featured on as one of 10 people that mattered in 2016 [1]. If everyone’s using it or is at least checking it out, shouldn’t I be allowed a little peak? started in 2011 when Elbakyan decided to help others with her skills to circumvent legal access when she could not get or afford to pay for the articles she needed for her own research project. In 2015 she got sued by Elsevier which led to her losing the domain [2]. However, Elbakyan would not give up, motivated by weekly thank-you notes, some with financial support [1] and supportive tweets [3], she moves to other domains when necessary.

An online survey by Science Magazine last May, showed that only 12% of the more than 10,000 respondents thought it is wrong to download pirated papers and 59% of the respondents admitted to having done so a few times (33%) or even daily / weekly (26%) [4].  And it’s not just people who don’t have access. Even scholars who’s institutional or academic libraries pay heavy license fees to offer the content through their websites or Discovery systems, still seem to prefer the easy, hassle-free Sci-Hub, or simply want to support the pressure piracy sites put on publishers to move towards open-access business models.

I dare. The user interface is in Russian, but it’s so easy to use there is no need to translate. I copy-paste a DOI from an article (2016) related to a project I am working on and in less than a second, there it is. One click, no messy splash page. Just the content. OK, I get the appeal. The only English button asks me to donate with Bitcoin.

Screenshot 2017-01-25 10.54.15

One more example of how scientific readers are taking control is #ICanHazPDF a popular hashtag on Twitter. When you want an article you can’t access, you tweet the DOI or URL with this hashtag and wait for one of your followers to mail it to you. Then you are supposed to delete the tweet… [5]. This practise is not always piracy, as the article you get might be a preprint or the author’s version, legitimately published in green OA in an institutional repository. Or you might get it directly from the author, a common practise that is allowed by most publishers, see for example Elsevier’s Sharing Policy [6]

Open Access as a default, we are working hard to get there. Libraries will try to maintain a relevant collection for its patrons, but cannot afford to provide access to all scientific content that is wanted or needed. In the meantime: be open, publish open access yourself and if you cannot access what you need: try document delivery / Inter Library Loan. We do not promote piracy, but we need to be aware of what is happening globally and how that is affecting the scientific community. We’ll keep you informed.

[1] – 20-1-2017
[2] – – accessed 20-1-2017
[3] –– accessed 20-1-2017
[4] – – accessed 20-1-2017
[5] – – accessed 25-1-2017
[6] – 25-1-2017


Open Access articles rush: oaDOI and Google Scholar

Finding open access article versions of the ones behind the paywall seems pretty easy with Google Scholar. Yet, with a new identifier, the oaDOI (, Impact Story promises going beyond Google Scholar for articles with a DOI.

oaDOI.orgShort history: last summer Impact Story, one of the main players in altmetrics, challenged everyone to make a profile on their website and check out their “openness” by introducing a new OA badge.
In their effort to complete the profiles with open access output, Impact Story made a workaround Google Scholar in order to find any free full-text for a paper with a DOI. They search in specific sources like DOAJ, DataCite, CrossRef’s database and the BASE OA Search Engine and institutional  repositories, plus in their own list of DOI indexes and even in the articles page itself for a link to a free version [1].
In practice, after testing the oaDOI with multiple articles from behind the paywall, I found out it comes down to luck to find  an open access version which Google Scholar does not find.

We don’t know how long it will take Google Scholar to take over, but the great news about the oaDOI is that, unlike Google, it’s open: it has a versioned open API to build upon it.

oadoi widget Wayne State University Library
By now, Zotero is searching by oaDOI, Max Plank Digital Library is experimenting with its SFX lookup service for DOI using an oaDOI and Wayne State University Library has introduced a widget to search oaDOI [2].

Try it yourself at

See also and see the number of OA publications that someone has, with a percentage of “openness” added to his Impact Story profile.


[1] Introducing oaDOI: resolve a DOI straight to OA, accessed on 31st October 2016
[2] oaDOI API, accessed on 31st October 2016

Tools, tools en social media voor academia

Picture of different tools

image: Todd Quackenbush via Unsplash

Dat er voor wetenschappers veel handige tools en communities beschikbaar zijn, wisten we al uit het onderzoek van UKB collega’s Bianca Kramer en Jeroen Bosman. Zij hielden een wereldwijde enquete die uiteindelijk door meer dan 20,000 mensen werd ingevuld. De resultaten publiceerden ze in eerste instantie als 101 innovations in scholarly communication, maar later werd de 101 weggelaten (in Amerika staat 101 ook voor een introductie cursus, bv Math 101). Er werden door de respondenten wel meer dan 400 tools genoemd. De dataset is beschikbaar via Zenodo en is al zeer de moeite waard om er in Excel met te “spelen”: welke tekstverwerkers zijn het populairst onder al publicerende Engineering & Technology PhD candidates? Filter, filter, count: Word, LaTeX, Google Docs en dan een “Long Tail” met onder andere Authorea, Overleaf, Scrivener en Libre- of OpenOffice, maar ook veel waar ik nog nooit van had gehoord. Welke reference management tool wordt het meest gebruikt in Nederland, ongeacht discipline?
EndNote [1]. Enzovoort, enzovoort. Interessant om te weten, en zeker goed om een keer wat dieper in te duiken.

Kramer en Bosman gaan met de resultaten op zoek naar research workflows en willen ook de link gaan leggen met open science workflows. Zij richten zich specifiek op de volgende activiteiten in de research cycle: Discovery, Analysis, Writing, Publishing, Outreach en Assessment.

Andy Miah, hoofd wetenschapscommunicatie en future media van University of Salford, geeft een iets andere doorsnede van veel gebruikte tools die zeker ook interessant is. Hij maakte een alfabetische lijst van social media for academia. Social media is ruim geinterpreteerd: de lijst bevat ook handige hulpjes als en Doodle. Eigenlijk van alles wat het dagelijkse werk van een wetenschapper gemakkelijker maakt. Wat ik leuk vind aan deze lijst is dat Andy deze tools ook echt allemaal zelf heeft uitgeprobeerd. Achter sommige tools staat een link EXAMPLE naar zijn persoonlijke pagina of zijn account in de genoemde tool.

Loop er eens door heen en check hoeveel je er van naam kent, zelf weleens gebruikt (hebt) en ontdek nieuwe “gems”. Na de Z (voor Zotero) komt een lijst met gesneuvelde tools: oude bekenden? Zelf ken ik 59 van de 125 genoemde tools – net iets minder dan de helft – en gebruik ik er 52.

[1] Bosman, J., & Kramer, B. (2016). Innovations in scholarly communication – data of the global 2015-2016 survey [Data set]. Zenodo.

A Day in the Life of a (Serious) Researcher

How would you design a research library to respond to the preferences and needs of today’s researchers?” were the librarians of Cornell University asking, in their quest to envision the future Research Library.

To answer to this question, the librarians had to hear from researchers themselves. They realised they had to accept the evidence and understand what research means for a researcher. Finding the researchers’ work patterns and their main struggles could be the key to finding what kind of responsibilities could the future research library assume in order to serve its purpose.

With no precedent for such an approach, the librarians had considered the following:

The evidence: it was obvious that today’s researchers work differently than twenty years ago (for example) because of the “unpredictable change in the way information is created, stored, transmitted and used”. They had to look at their new practices, places & spaces, resources and tools, wires and equipments.
What research requires: the research library is expected to respond to the needs and pressures of three “stakeholdes”: the common good (the research partners and the society) – knowledge flow, the institution – role in the campus and budget distribution and the individual researcher – faculty members, graduate students and undergraduate students.
Towards the model of the Future Research Library: there are clear core practices that have to stay, like access to information – organised and findable and new services, like an increasing role in publishing or new specialties, like designing and developing new information technologies, all emerging for the library of the future.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 10.36.35The librarians interviewed 21 researchers and used a mapping and logging method for their study “A Day in the Life of a (Serious) Researcher”. They focused in the interviews on different aspects of a researcher’s professional life:

– academic activities
– seeking information
– library resources
– self management
– space
– circum-academic activities
– obstacles
– brainwork
– technology

The findings of their study and their insights bring us to one conclusion: there are so many ways the researchers do research that there is no way the library could serve all their individual needs. Instead, the analysis of all the work patterns resulted into three main spheres of practice:

  • the process of research
  • academic networking
  • managing self

The way Cornell University Library imagined they could approach the researchers needs in these spheres of practice and empower the researchers to achieve their academic research goals lead to a model of the future Research Library as an academic hub and an app store.

You can read all about it in A Day in the Life of a (Serious) Researcher – Envisioning the Future of the Research Library.


LEGO® in Libraries

Playing with LEGO is fun and a great way to reduce stress, but… there’s more! Buidling with the blocks and mini figures can boost creativity, build up problem solving skills and help explain ideas and concepts to others. LEGO has developed special “Serious Play” buidling kits and even a certification programme for facilitators. Less seriously, you can mix and match your own LEGO kits and just experiment and that is just what we are going to do at TU Delft Library (coming soon!).

We are not the first academic library to <3 LEGO. A few weeks ago, I met Christian Lauersen from the Royal Library / Copenhagen University Library in Denmark who did a  great stop motion Lego movie as a library introduction for new students. The movie is made with so much fun and love, that it shows and students really connect to that and to the library.

LEGO workshop at Next LibraryLast year at Next Library, I did a LEGO workshop session “Everything is awesome” which made me realise how easy and powerful it is to imagine while building and then share your thoughts with a group.

Then there is Megan Lotts, who introduced LEGO to the Art Library at Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA) and talks about her experiences and lessons learned and some other examples in a nice interview in Library Journal. She is all about connecting with students and LEGO helps her do that:

This is what libraries really want. We want to engage. For me the LEGO [bricks] have been brilliant because they’re the same skills that we use when we research—[they’re] creative thinking skills, problem solving skills. And I find that now my students are honing these with the LEGO [bricks] they’re more prepared to search for library resources.” [quote from the interview]. That says it all, don’t you think?

UXLib II conferentie; een kleine impressie

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 21.53.07

Eind juni heb ik de UXlibs (User eXperience in libraries) conferentie bezocht. Deze 2de editie van UXLib vond plaats in thestudio , een multi-purpose gebouw met prachtig ontworpen conferentieruimtes in het hartje Manchester (UK).

thestudio, manchester

Er waren ongeveer 150 collega’s uit verschillende landen aanwezig. De oprichter van deze conferentie is Andy Priestner. Hij werkt momenteel als manager van het Cambridge Library Futurelib innovatieprogramma en is ook trainer en consultant in het hoger onderwijs.

Het programma bestond uit keynotes van Donna Lanclos (Atkins library, UNC Charlotte) en Lawrie Philpps (JISC), praktische workshops, een Team Challenge, maar de belangrijkste focus lag op de sessies genaamd “Nailed, Failed, Derailed”, waar bibliotheek collega’s resultaten van hun UX onderzoek van afgelopen jaar met elkaar deelden.

cultural probe UXLibs
Cultural probe onderzoeksproject voor studenten

Het gebruik van UX (user experience) onderzoek in de bibliotheken is van groot belang. UX onderzoek kan ons helpen om veel problemen op te lossen en veel beter begrip van onze gebruikers te krijgen. De gebruiker wil niet leren hoe de bibliotheek werkt, hij wil de bibliotheek gebruiken. Het gebruik van UX methoden (oa etnografie, design thinking, human-centered design) stelt ons in staat om de kloof tussen de bibliotheek (en de diensten die wij aanbieden), en de gebruikers te dichten. UX betreft niet alleen survey of het aanbieden van goede klantenservice: alleen weten van onze gebruikers ze nodig hebben en willen is niet genoeg. Door observatie van hun gedrag krijgen we pas een volledig beeld. We moeten de resultaten van ons UX onderzoek gebruiken om nieuwe producten en diensten te creëren en niet alleen om rapporten te schrijven. Bibliotheken moeten deze resultaten delen met elkaar en blijven experimenteren. Ze moeten bestaan in een netwerk en niet losstaand van elkaar.

Als een rode draad tijdens de “Nailed, Failed, Derailed” sessies , de keynote’s en tijdens de hele conferentie in algemeen, werd gesproken over tegenvallers–mislukte projecten, mislukte onderzoeken. Het is niet erg als iets mislukt, leer van je fouten en probeer het vooral opnieuw.

Ik heb een aantal “Nailed, Failed, Derailed” sessies kunnen bezoeken:

  1. Paul-Jervis Heath (ModernHuman, Futurelib) – gaf een presentatie over hoe je UX succes kunt vergroten door op een veilige wijze je tegenvallers te omarmen tijdens het ontwerp proces.
  2. Eva-Christina Edinger (Universität Zürich) – gaf en presentatie over hoe bibliotheekruimtes soms op labryinths en gesloten gemeenschappen lijken;
    presentatie Eva UXLibs
    Links of rechts? Foto:Eva-Christina Edinger
  3. Josephine McRobbie & Andreas Orphanides (North Carolina State University) – hadden een gezamenlijke presentatie over hun uitdagingen om de communicatie kanalen (denk aan e-boards, mapen, borden) binnen hun gebouw te verbeteren.
  4. Phil Cheeseman & Karin Tusting (Lancaster University)– spraken over een innovatief project dat nog in ontwikkeling is. Ze wilden graag met behulp van beacons antwoord krijgen op de volgende vragen: hoe navigeren de studenten in de Library? Hoe maken de studenten gebruik van de studieruimtes? Het project mislukte bijna volgens Phil omdat het verwerken van de grote bulk data een uitdaging was, maar hij was ook optimistisch over het bereiken het uiteindelijke resultaat.

Opvallend tijdens de UXLib conferentie was dat er veel collega’s waren die geïnteresseerd waren in het gebruik van beacons in hun bibliotheken o.a. bovengenoemde Phil Cheesman , Paul-Jervies Heath. Toen ik hen vertelde dat wij vorige jaar onze beacon Library Tour hebben gelanceerd waren ze aangenaam verast en ze wilden graag kennis en informatie uitwisselen.

De Team Advocacy Challenge bestond uit 3 thema’s.

  • Marketing Upwards (promoten van de UX aan senior managers)
  • Collaboration (promoten van UX aan collega’s buiten je eigen team of bibliotheek)
  • Recruitment (rekruteren van gebruikers voor je UX research project)

Uit elk thema werd een winnende team gekozen. De uiteindelijke 3 winnende teams moesten hun pitch opnieuw presenteren voor de hele conferentie.

De winnende recruitment team aan het werk

Ik was zelf ingedeeld in de Recruitment team en we hebben gewonnen. Wij hebben een leuke (intrinsiek) manier bedacht om studenten te betrekken bij het ontwikkelen van een nieuwe ruimte in de bibliotheek.

Hetgeen hier boven beschreven staat is maar een kleine impressie van de conferentie. Het is onmogelijk om alles in een verslag weer te geven. Zeer inspirerend en interactief, UXLibs is een conferentie die je vooral persoonlijk moet ervaren.

Mocht je meer willen weten over de conferentie (of wil je ook een foto impressie zien van gerenoveerde Central Library of Manchester ;-)), neem contact met mij op. Ik heb veel informatie verzameld en praat je graag bij.



Wat je nu echt moet weten over Snapchat

Ik wist dat het bestond, natuurlijk. Maar opeens was het overal: Snapchat in nieuwbrieven, blogposts, op het OCLC congres, in de krant, in gesprekken. Meestal samen met Instagram genoemd in de context van “the next big thing” op het gebied van social media. Instagram kennen we inmiddels wel, al is het maar van de “vette” foto’s die tegenwoordig op de monitor bij de personeelsingang voorbij komen. Snapchat is hot & happening, dus een onderzoekje waard.

snapchat logos

Met Snapchat kan je foto’s of video’s van max 10 seconden naar één specifiek contact of naar al jouw volgers sturen. Je kan de beelden bewerken door er op te tekenen of er teksten en emoticons of stickers aan toe te voegen. Je kan ook foto’s en video’s bundelen in een verhaal (story). Wat maakt Snapchat uniek? De Snaps (stories, foto’s en video’s) die je stuurt worden na het bekijken gewist. Hebben de ontvangers of volgers de Snaps 24 uur na het publiceren nog steeds niet gezien? Pech. Na 24 uur verdwijnen je creaties in de cyber-prullenbak. En dat is eigenlijk best wel fijn, want dan ben jij al weer wat anders interessants aan het doen waar je over kan snapchatten. Naast het chatten met beelden, kan je ook “gewoon” met tekst chatten met je volgers zoals je bij WhatsApp doet.

Wat Snapchat naast het vluchtige karakter nog meer zo populair maakt, is dat je de foto’s en video’s in de app maakt, dus zonder de mogelijkheid gebruik te maken van editing tools, mooimakerij of professionele apparatuur. Het gaat bij Snapchat niet zoals bij Instagram om het mooie plaatje, maar om het moment. De tekenstift en stickers nodigen uit om jouw creativiteit te botvieren op een laagdrempelige manier: het mag er uit zien als een kleutertekening (maar het hoeft niet, je kan zelfs echte Snapchat-kunstenaars volgen!).

Inmiddels bestaat Snapchat al een jaar of vijf en na een tijdje vooral populair te zijn geweest onder jongeren, beginnen nu de marketingmachines van bedrijven en organisaties en ja, ook hogescholen en universiteiten (HvA en UT) met Snapchat om hun doelgroep te bereiken. Je kan ook het NOS journaal, Ajax, CNN, Rihanna, Lil’ Kleine en waarschijnlijk je neefje van 12 volgen. Inmiddels hebben meer dan 2 miljoen Nederlanders een account. Ik nu ook.

Mijn eigen ervaring? Snapchat kijkt – met toestemming – wie van jouw contacten ook een Snapchat account heeft. In mijn geval waren dat mijn tiener neefjes en nichtjes, jonge meiden van modern-jazz les en één collega. Ik heb wat crea-foto’s de wereld in geslingerd, maar moet duidelijk nog even wennen. Is er iemand in de Library die een Snapchat-experimentje met mij wil aangaan?

Geraadpleegde bronnen:

I am the content: how and why instructors discover and share course content

Early January, OCLC held a webinar about a study done by by Temple University Libraries (Philadelphia, US) on practises of instructors selecting, sharing and organising course content. I didn’t have time then, but when we started to discuss what we as a library can do for teachers in the context of Open Education, especially for “Enrich online learning”, I decided to watch part of the webinar and look in to the study to see what we might learn from our colleagues across the ocean.

You can find a presentation as well as the webinar online at OCLC. The study has been conducted by doing a structured interview with ten full time teaching staff at Temple University.  It has had a long run: from preparation in 2011 to presenting the results in 2015. The content in the study can be readings, video, images and other supporting materials other than the course syllabus.

So what are instructors doing and why? Some are creating home video’s and posting them on YouTube or streamed to Blackboard using Pdf’s of published articles are shared using Google Sites. Textbooks are carefully selected to be used for the long term, but supporting materials like links, images are on-the-fly selections. Teachers have accumulated this material, sometimes organised using tools like Dropbox, Delicious or EndNote. How do they discover these resources? “Well, that’s my job to know. I’m always aware of things, so if it appears to me, I’m gonna see it.” Also, teachers rely on their network: “…A social network is a little bit less cumbersome than doing a keyword search in [database name].”

Questions from the interview: how they decide what to share

Screenshot taken from the webinar’s presentation.

The take away for libraries is that the teachers said they rarely specifically search or “hunt” for course materials. What works at Temple is to weekly push content as an alert, such as an email with new book lists and/or relevant news from popular newspapers. What is necessary to be relevant is a good understanding of the appropriate level for the different target groups and a focus on quality.

According to Temple, to help teachers it might be more effective to “unbundle content” so instead of sending a link to an article or book, send a paragraph of chapter that is highly relevant. If I had been in the webinar, I would have asked: For all these (hundreds of) courses, how can the library have and maintain the knowledge to evaluate what is relevant and the right level for a specific course? They have library liaisons at the faculties at Temple, but I wonder if that is enough. Hey, let’s just send them an email!

Sources: webinar and pdf (slides).

Elsevier and Snowball Metrics


This gallery contains 2 photos.

Scopus has recently changed its metrics when displaying an article. Take a look at the extended metrics (fig. 1): you’ll see categories like Citation measurements, Scholarly Activity or Social Activity. The metrics themselves – read Engagement Highlingts – are enriched … Continue reading