Open Education Week 2018 at IU: A Recap

On Thursday March 8, the Office of Scholarly Publishing and UITS partnered to hold a day-long Driving Student Success through Affordable Course Material Symposium. The symposium featured three experts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each expert brought a unique  perspective and context to the conversation. Steel Wagstaff (Educational Technology Consultant), Kris Olds (Professor of Geography), and Carrie Nelson (Librarian and Director of Scholarly Communication) presented at morning workshops and participated in an afternoon panel.

Both faculty and staff attended with the symposium, with representatives from the Kelley School of Business, the School of Education, UITS, the Office of Financial Literacy, and the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs present. By the end of the day, at least one faculty member had switched from traditional course content to an affordable, digital eText! We’ve also already met with one faculty member interested in student-created OER and plan to have several follow up conversations in the coming months.

Participants chose one of two morning workshops: “Making Open Textbooks and Other Interactive Learning Activities with Pressbooks” with Steel Wagstaff or “Supporting Campus and Course-Level Adoption of Open Course Content” with Carrie Nelson and Kris Olds. These workshops were informative and informal, shaped by participants’ questions and centered on hands on application.

In Kris and Carrie’s session, we discussed the basics of open/ affordable and covered Creative Commons licensing, which then allowed us to have a more in-depth conversation about the process/ funding needed to create OER, governance and course material selection, student outreach, and the political economy of OER. Kris and Carrie also shared successful strategies for raising awareness about OER on their campus, which several participants felt was the most pressing barrier to more systematic adoption.

Robert McDonald, Associate Dean for Research and Technology Strategies, kicked off the afternoon panel with contextual information about the price of course materials at IUB and how these costs impact students. The panel then opened with an overview of current initiatives at IU Bloomington, presented by Michele Kelmer and Michael Regoli. The panel transitioned to  presentations from our UW-Madison guest experts. Each of the guest’s presentations demonstrated that UW-Madison is engaging in innovative work around Open Educational Resource (OER) creation and community building.

I was inspired by several parts of the panel, but there are two slides I’d like to highlight here as essential and foundational for shaping the Office of Scholarly Publishing’s outreach at IU Bloomington.

  • Steel’s guiding principles for his work:
    • Go anywhere
    • Talk to everyone
    • Say ‘yes… you can’
    • Find partners, champions, and enthusiasts
    • Build local capacity
  • Carrie’s argument that OER and affordable course material content work aligns with library values around:
    • Access
    • Confidentiality/Privacy
    • Democracy
    • Diversity
    • Education and Lifelong Learning
    • Intellectual Freedom
    • The Public Good
    • Preservation
    • Professionalism
    • Service
    • Social Responsibility

These points were both encouraging and motivating to me. The Scholarly Communication Department is invested in instructor agency and autonomy, student access, and building local expertise here at IUB. We hope to continue to find champions and enthusiasts that can partner with us to make these goals possible.

There were several goals for symposium: to build community around course material issues, to connect instructors and relevant staff from key offices on campus, to raise awareness about the spectrum of existing affordable course material work happening at IU Bloomington, and to guide the future of Office of Scholarly Publishing services. We know the conversation doesn’t end here! We look forward to continuing to work with instructors on affordable and open course material creation and adoption. We also hope to partner with librarians and instructors within the IU system, Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), and Unizin.


IU Libraries Diversity Resident Program

IU Libraries are new members of the ACRL Diversity Alliance and have developed a Diversity Resident Program modeled on successful programs managed at other Diversity Alliance institutions. The IU program aims to increase the inclusion and diversity of librarians at our institution as evinced in our Diversity Strategic Plan and to further the growth and development of academic librarians at Indiana University. Read the full program description here.


OSP and IU Open Journals: FAQ

This post was authored by Scholarly Communication Department Graduate Student Jenny Hoops. 

Founded in 2012 by Indiana University Provost Lauren Robel, the Office of Scholarly Publishing (OSP) is a collaboration between IU Press and the scholarly publishing activities at IU Libraries aimed at furthering the enterprise of scholarly publishing at IU and beyond. Within the OSP, IU Press members provide invaluable expertise in journal production, copyediting, and marketing, alongside IU Libraries representatives, who provide consultation on intellectual property matters, digital preservation of scholarly research, public outreach for publishing initiatives across campus, and encourage the utilization of open access publishing models. The Office of Scholarly Publishing serves as an essential venue for the publishing activities of faculty, students, and staff of Indiana University.

With the current migration to the latest Open Journal Systems (OJS) 3 update—the online journals hosting platform for IUScholarWorks and IU Press journals—we continue to receive questions about the Office of Scholarly Publishing and the services it provides. We hope to clarify these below, as well as offer information to those who are interested in the suite of  publishing services available to OSP journals and partners.  

What kind of content does the Office of Scholarly Publishing handle?

The Office of Scholarly Publishing primarily deals with open access journal content, but OSP representatives are available to consult with IU faculty and staff about the publication of other kinds of scholarly materials. Last fall, the OSP helped Kelley School of Business instructors create four different eTexts for their courses using the PressBooks platform, for example. Anyone affiliated with IU that is interested in open access publishing is encouraged to contact the OSP to discuss their project in more detail.

What is the difference between IU Open Journals and Office of Scholarly Publishing journals?

Both IU Open Journals and OSP journals utilize Open Journal Systems, an online journal publishing platform developed by the Public Knowledge Project. The IU Open Journals program offers a digital publishing platform for any editorial team associated with Indiana University. There are minimal restrictions to becoming an IU Open Journal as only an affiliation with IU and a regular publication schedule are necessary. Peer review is not required, and pieces of work not often found in academic journals—such as memos or experimental art/poetry—can find a place of publication with this program. Our IU Open Journal service is an excellent place for any serial publication, including more non-traditional forms of scholarship, to receive support and hosting in order to make publication possible.

In contrast, Office of Scholarly Publishing journals are a select set of journals that are more academically rigorous, usually exclusively faculty peer-reviewed and faculty-authored publications.  The OSP will assess journal candidates to determine if a new journal is a potential OSP journal. If it is, it will be supported by the OSP while IU Open Journals will receive support from IUScholarWorks and the Scholarly Communication Department at IU Libraries.

What services does the Office of Scholarly Publishing offer?

The Office of Scholarly Publishing offers assistance with new journal setup, editorial team education for journal workflow and website management, technical support with Open Journal Systems (OJS) software, increased user access and discoverability thorough indexing and metrics, and digital preservation of online content. OSP brokers copyediting, typesetting,  and on-demand printing services and its staff are able to consult with editorial teams on marketing and design needs.

I’m in interested in starting a new publication with Indiana University. How do I start this process?

Contact to start set-up for a potential new journal. We will work with you to figure out whether or not your publication should be supported by IU Open Journals or the Office of Scholarly Publishing, and then provide you with outreach and technical support for Open Journal Systems.

Driving Student Success through Affordable Course Material Symposium To Be Held on March 8

Indiana University Bloomington undergraduate students are estimated to pay $1,034 for course materials each academic year. Said another way, students must work 142 hours at a minimum wage job to purchase their course materials each year. Thus, high course material costs directly impact first generation, food-insecure, and low-income students and their ability to do well in class.

IU student estimate for course material

Image created by IU Press

A national survey of over 2,000 students found that if students cannot afford course materials, 65% of them will avoid renting or buying texts even though they know it may possibly impact their overall success in a course. Almost half of the students surveyed said that the cost of textbooks also “impacted how many/ which classes they took each semester,” potentially affecting student course loads and degree progression (pg. 5).

Affordable and open course materials offer a potential solution to this issue. Affordable course materials are offered to students at a reduced price, often at a fraction of what they would normally pay. IU’s eText program has helped IU instructors integrate affordable course material into their classrooms since 2010. Students play a reduced, flat fee for their eTexts and they are guaranteed access on the first day of the semester, increasing engagement for the entire class. Students retain access to eTexts throughout their time as an IU student.

Similarly, Open Educational Resources (OER) are course materials that are shared under an intellectual property license that explicitly allows others to use and revise them freely. Examples of OER include textbooks, videos, activities, syllabi, and lectures shared under a Creative Commons license. In addition to cost savings, OER have been connected to student retention and completion. A study at Virginia State University found that students who took courses that utilized OER “tended to have higher grades and lower failing and withdrawal rates.” Thus, affordable and open course materials save students money while also helping instructors improve learning outcomes.

Still, many faculty do not know how to find, evaluate, or create affordable and open course material. The Office of Scholarly Publishing and UITS have partnered to hold a day-long Driving Student Success through Affordable Course Material Symposium on March 8, which will explore the connection between course material costs and student success, progression, and retention. The symposium will feature three experts on affordable course material from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Steel Wagstaff (Educational Technology Consultant), Kris Olds (Professor of Geography), and Carrie Nelson (Librarian and Director of Scholarly Communication) will share their experience locating, creating, assessing, and integrating OER and affordable course material into courses in several disciplines.

Morning workshops will explore tools and repositories for finding and creating affordable course materials firsthand. The afternoon panel will provide an overview of current initiatives at IU and UW-Madison and address how course material costs impact students in more depth. The day will conclude with an informal reception, where attendees can meet one-on-one with IU experts to get started on adopting or creating affordable course material in their own courses.

All IU Bloomington instructors interested in course material creation, new forms of pedagogy, and tools for finding and evaluating affordable/ open content are welcome! Space is limited and registration is required by February 16, as lunch is provided.

Instructors interested in working with the Office of Scholarly Publishing to find or create either OER or eTexts can e-mail

The Importance of Undergraduate Student Research at IU

This semester I had the privilege of teaching “Academic Editing and Publishing,” a one-credit hour course for the Indiana University Journal of Undergraduate Research (IUJUR) student editorial board. I co-taught the course with a current undergraduate student and the former editor-in-chief of IUJUR, Sonali Mali. The purpose of the course was twofold: to give students a practical skillset for publishing a multidisciplinary undergraduate scholarly journal at Indiana University while also informing students of larger conceptual academic publishing issues.

Striking a balance between practical fundamentals—for example, learning the ins and outs of our publishing platform and evaluating submissions using IUJUR-specific rubrics—with larger concepts was sometimes challenging. Overall, I think that students appreciated the authentic learning experiences that resulted from using an active journal as a tangible example throughout the course.

I learned a lot about myself as an instructor and the importance of librarian perspectives in undergraduate publishing education. Library publishers are experts in ethical publishing practices, open access funding, and various peer review models. Students were most passionate when we discussed the cost of information, open access publishing, and new publishing innovations, including post-publication peer review, data publishing, and including 3D and media in traditional journal publishing. I was excited to talk about these developments in the context of the work that IU Libraries is pursuing and several of the case studies we discussed in class were pulled from work that the Office of Scholarly Publishing (OSP) and IU Press is currently engaged in. 

The Importance of Undergraduate Research

Throughout the course, I learned about the importance of undergraduate research and the integral role that IUJUR editors play as ambassadors for undergraduate research at Indiana University. I kicked off the first session of our course with asking students to articulate why undergraduate research was important. Students shared that IUJUR gave IU students a voice and presence on a research-intensive campus. They explained that an institutional commitment to undergraduate research provided space for all students to ask their own research questions and share their perspectives. They also noted that IUJUR gives student editors and authors access to faculty advisors, tangible career preparation, and opportunities to refine their voice and collaboration skills. Here were a few of my favorite responses from this activity:
undergrad research primes a generation of future researchers

prepares students for grad school and beyond

gives students the ability to take a proactive role in shaping the research climate on campus

These responses align with the growing body of literature that discusses how impactful and effective undergraduate research is. The Council on Undergraduate Research supports institutions of all sizes and missions that provide some kind of undergraduate research opportunity for faculty and students to collaborate on. They have a variety of publications, many of which are freely available to access. Some of the benefits of intensive undergraduate research that CUR has identified include:

Enhances student learning through mentoring relationships with faculty

Increases retention

Increases enrollment in graduate education and provides effective career preparation

Develops critical thinking, creativity, problem solving and intellectual independence

Develops an understanding of research methodology

Promotes an innovation-oriented culture

Similarly, undergraduate research has been called a “high-impact practice” or HIP. George Kuh wrote a landmark paper for the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) on high-impact educational practices in 2008. When researching why intensive undergraduate research, service learning, learning communities, and other learning opportunities were particularly effective, he found several similarities between HIPs (pgs. 14-17), including:

An extensive investment from students

Interaction and relationship building between peers and with faculty to solve “substantive” or real-world problems

Exposure to diverse perspectives and viewpoints

Consistent feedback to foster improvement and growth 

Kuh’s list applies to the intensive work that IUJUR authors and editors do to publish a multidisciplinary journal regularly.

Throughout the course I always tried to come back to our first session and the reasons that students identified for why undergraduate research is important. I can now articulate that the product–the final research output that others can read and cite–is only a piece of the puzzle. The process that IUJUR student editors and authors go through is just as fundamental. The process is where learning takes place. It’s where we train future researchers, scholars, and citizens to think critically about access to research and how we evaluate scholarship. It’s where we build relationships with students that transform their future career paths and broaden and enhance their existing interests. I am thankful to play a small part in the IUJUR student editors’ process and be part of a campus that prioritizes undergraduate research.

Additional resources:

Additional reading on undergraduate research journals:

  • Dawson, D. D., & Marken, L. (2017). Undergraduate Research Journals: Benefits and Good Practices of Involving Students in Content Creation and Other Scholarly Communication Activities. WILU 2017 Conference, University of Alberta.
  • Riehle, C. F. (2014). Collaborators in Course Design: A Librarian and Publisher at the Intersection of Information Literacy and Scholarly Communication. In 2014 LOEX Conference Proceedings.
  • Weiner, S., & Watkinson, C. (2014). What do students learn from participation in an undergraduate research journal? Results of an assessment. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 2(2).

Welcome Olivia Wikle and Alex Moon to our staff

We are happy to announce that two interns — Olivia Wikle and Alex Moon — will be joining our staff for the Spring 2018 semester.

Olivia WilkeOlivia has a background in digital humanities,
with a special interest in the intersection of literature and music in late eighteenth-century Britain. She will contribute to many of the different pieces that comprise the Scholarly Communication Department’s digital scholarship and publishing programs. Olivia received her M.A. in Musicology from The Ohio State University in 2016 and will complete her Master of Library Science with a specialization in Digital Humanities at Indiana University in May 2018. Olivia also serves as Treasurer of the American Library Association Student Chapter at IU.

Alex Moon headshot

Alex Moon will employ his considerable expertise and a diverse skillset to improve our assessment and analytics efforts. He is a second year masters student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at the IU School Education. Alex  has a background in English literature and dance, and is looking forward to pursuing an additional masters degree in Library and Information Science next year.

We are fortunate to have them aboard. Look for posts later in the semester reporting on their contributions to the work of the Department. Please contact us by email (iusw at indiana dot edu) if you are interested in a future internship with Scholarly Communication.


Hiring a Scholarly Communication Assistant

We are looking for an additional part-time assistant to join our dynamic and expanding team in Wells Library. To apply, please send Scholarly Communication Librarian, Sarah Hare (scrissin at indiana dot edu), your resume and a cover letter outlining your interest in this position.

Details of the Position

Description: Assist the Scholarly Communication department with various projects, including editing and creating library website pages, designing instructional materials, writing blog posts, and assisting the department with other outreach efforts related to open scholarship, copyright, and digital publishing.

Other duties may include digitizing material, writing documentation for the department’s digital publishing program, and securing copyright permissions from authors and publishers in order to deposit materials in the IUScholarWorks institutional repository.

Qualifications: Required: Excellent organizational and communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work independently. Currently enrolled as an IU student. Preferred: Experience with managing projects, creating documentation, and designing instructional and marketing material. Some interest or working knowledge in scholarly communication issues, digital publishing, or instruction is desirable but not necessary.

Classification/Pay Rate: Library Assistant ($10.15)
Hours Per Week: 8-10;
Evening/Weekends Required: No;
Open to Students Only: Yes

Our Year in Review

Last December, the Scholarly Communication Department carved time out of our annual retreat to reflect on our successes from 2017 and our goals for the coming year.

Greatest Accomplishments of 2017

Scholarly Communication Major Goals for 2018

  • Complete our implementation of the Open Access Policy to ensure that every IUB faculty member is able to effortlessly make open versions of their journal articles available. You can learn more about our implementation here.
  • Upgrade all the journals we host to the newest version of our publishing software, enabling more streamlined editorial processes and improved user interfaces.
  • Improve and expand website content to better meet user needs – including the development of video tutorials to demonstrate use of our services.
  • Work in collaboration with the OVPR to provide support for researchers publishing in Gold Open Access journals, which often charge article processing fees to authors.
  • Provide more robust support for campus’ data publishing needs
  • Continue to publish weekly blog posts and expand our engagement with the IU research community on social media platforms – starting in 2018 we are tweeting from @iulibraries
  • In partnership with UITS and the eText program, raise awareness about how course material costs affect students and encourage the adoption of affordable course materials

Frequently Asked Questions About the IUB Open Access Implementation

This FAQ is supplemental to the official Open Access Policy FAQ, available here

What do I need to do to comply with the IUB Open Access Policy?

  • Publish in an open access journal OR
  • Agree to archive an open access version of the article OR
  • Opt out of the policy

What kinds of publications are subject to the policy?

The policy only applies to scholarly journal articles authored by IU Bloomington faculty, published after February 21st, 2017.

I read that I can comply while completing my annual report. How can I do this?

Some faculty might not be able to publish in an OA journal. If that’s the case, you simply need to fill out your DMAI (annual report) as you would every year. We will check to see which version(s) you can create open access and then follow up with you to deposit that version. If you choose, you may opt out in the reporting system by selecting the opt out box for your article.

What will happen in the reporting system if I DO NOT opt out?

The Libraries will run a report in the reporting system that generates a dataset with citation information for articles subject to the open access policy. If a faculty member has not opted out, we will check the publisher’s self archiving policy. If the publishing agreement allows, we will deposit a PDF of the article in IUSW Open and send the faculty member a confirmation email. If the publishing agreement requires another version of the article or does not allow self archiving, we will be in touch by email with next steps.

What will happen in the reporting system if I DO opt out?

The Libraries will run a report in the reporting system that generates a dataset with citation information for articles subject to the open access policy. If a faculty member has opted out, we will generate a letter waiving the University’s license to the article. This article will be sent to the author by email.

What about my existing publishing agreements? How will I know if I need to opt out?

If you already know that you need to opt out for an article, you may do so while completing your annual report or using IUSW Open. Otherwise, we will do the rights checking for you and get in touch if you have an incompatible publishing agreement or if we cannot access your publishing agreement.

Do I need to manage all of my publishing contracts, waivers, and potential addenda myself?

Not by yourself. While we do recommend that faculty keep records of documents signed in the publishing process, the Libraries will keep track of the agreements we receive from faculty and publishers.

Can I apply a blanket opt out to all of my articles?

Blanket opt-outs are not possible. The BFC policy states that faculty must opt out for each article subject to the policy. If you wish to opt out for all of your articles, the easiest way to do so is to check the opt out box for the articles as you enter them in DMAI.

What if I make the wrong choice or need to opt out later?

The archival status of an article subject to the policy can be changed at any time and our systems accommodate this. Contact us at to make the change.

Who can I contact with questions?

You can contact us by email at or reach out to your liaison librarian. The website will connect you to open access guidance and instructions for depositing in IUSW Open. If you have further questions, the policy FAQ may also be helpful.


Copyright and Data Curation

Digital technologies have engendered new research methodologies that can render mass collections or assemblages of things as data and analyze them as such. Things such as images, the millions of books on Google Books, or commercial databases of scholarly research articles that were originally created to be viewed or read can now be mined for data, coded, and analyzed statistically.

These new technologies and research methods, like many technologies before them, raise concomitant copyright issues and questions. In addition, the advent of open data policies from the U.S. government, foundations, and other grant funders have also raised questions from researchers about who owns data; what, if any legal protections exist for data; and how other researchers may use such data? These questions arise throughout the life cycle of data, from its creation, to archiving it, and its possible licensing for use by other researchers.

Data and its curation clearly raise other legal issues as well, including privacy, cybersecurity, trade secrets, and patent law. In the context of copyright law, data implicates issues about the subject matter and ownership of copyright, or what is copyrightable, and who owns the copyright in copyrightable intellectual property.

Data v. Databases

By data, I mean the raw content of assembled, collected, or generated stuff to be subjected to statistical analysis and interpretation. Illustrations or representations of the analyzed data in tables, charts or graphs, present related but separate copyright issues.

By databases, I am referring to the organization of the data, its relationship to different data elements, or how the data is organized in a structured set of data, typically stored in a computer, and made accessible and manipulable by means of software applications.

Copyrightability of Data and Databases

U.S. copyright has very little to say, at least not directly, about either data or databases. Instead, copyright law provides a framework for establishing the subject matter of copyright – or what is copyrightable – and who owns copyrightable intellectual property once it has been created. Copyright law then provides certain protections for that copyrightable intellectual property in the form of specifically enumerated exclusive rights granted to copyright owners.

Under the law, copyright protection is granted to “…original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression…” A lot of data will not be copyrightable because it does not meet the first requirement for copyright protection, namely, originality. While many sources of data, such as images or texts in a database, are of course copyrightable, the data generated from those sources, as well as other data sets generally, does not constitute an “original work of authorship,” as described by the Copyright Act and litigated in numerous cases. This might not make sense to a lot of researchers: if a researcher designs an experiment or study, runs experiments or conducts surveys, collects and compiles the data, isn’t that original, and aren’t they the author of it? Yes, in a certain sense, but not in the sense that is important for copyright. Copyright is intended to incentivize the publication and distribution of creative works. Facts and data aren’t considered original works of authorship because they are not “created” so much as they are “engendered” by or are a result of a researcher’s methods. They are discovered and compiled, and copyright does not reward that effort.

Moreover, data is typically factual or informational, and U.S. copyright does not protect facts or information. It is not possible to copyright facts, ideas, procedures, processes, methods, systems, concepts, formulas, algorithms, principles or discoveries, although such things might be protectable by patent law.

Similarly, while U.S. copyright law does protect compilations, Congress has not seen fit to extend copyright protection to databases themselves. There could nevertheless be a thin layer of copyright protection in a database, premised on choices regarding what data to include in the database, the organization of the data, or defining the relationships between different data elements. Such creative decisions potentially meet the requirements for copyrightability and copyright protection.

Ownership and Protection of Data and Databases

Because of the varying degrees of copyrightability of databases and data content, and because copyright only protects copyrightable works, different strategies are required to manage the ownership and protection of data and databases. Copyright can govern the use of databases and some data content (that is “an original work of authorship”), but other mechanisms must be relied on to regulate access to and the use of data and databases, typically on the basis of access controls by means of authentication, and contracts and licensing agreements to restrict the extraction and reuse of the data, or other contents of a database.

Data Curation and Licensing

Ideally, repository collections of data will provide information regarding the terms of use for the database and its data content. The Open Data Commons group ( has developed three standard licenses based on copyright and contract principles. They are:
1. Public Domain Dedication and License (PDDL): This dedicates the database and its content to the public domain, free for everyone to use as they see fit.
2. Attribution License (ODC-By): Users are free to use the database and its content in new and different ways, provided they provide attribution to the source of the data and/or the database.
3. Open Database License (ODC-ODbL): ODbL stipulates that any subsequent use of the database must provide attribution, an unrestricted version of the new product must always be accessible, and any new products made using ODbL material must be distributed using the same terms. It is the most restrictive of all ODC licenses.