Sharing Dissertations Beyond the PDF in IUScholarWorks

This blog already provides a summary of the benefits of making your dissertation available in IUScholarWorks as well as details on how to submit your dissertation to the repository. But what if your dissertation is more than a PDF file? What if it includes video, dynamic web content, or other interactive media? IUScholarWorks can still serve as a space for making your work available for anyone around the world to read, regardless of their affiliation. 

We generally call non-traditional, born-digital dissertations “digital dissertations.” Digital dissertations could be as simple as including an extra video or data file alongside a more traditional piece of scholarship or as complex as having a dissertation completely hosted on a dynamic web platform with accompanying text files. Digital dissertations are becoming more widespread as digital scholarship and digital humanities continue to gain momentum. Here are just a few examples and excerpts of what we’re calling digital dissertations: 

Digital dissertations might include capturing performances, integrating images and audio records, modeling concepts with 3D figures, sharing the underlying data behind the research reported in the dissertation, and building new web content that allows the author to organize information in a non-linear structure. 

It’s important to note that while IUScholarWorks is able to host several different types of content and file formats (PDFs, Word documents, text documents, Open Office, slide decks, image formats) and we have creative workarounds for capturing the content in digital dissertations, there are some limitations. Sometimes, particularly with dissertations that are built as websites, the navigation of content is just as important as the content itself and is considered part of the dissertation. While we will be unable to perfectly preserve the navigation and look/feel of a particular website, we can host a majority of the content through alternative methods. We can also capture the “pieces” of most sites, including videos (through Media Collections Online), data, and 3D objects. 

Interested in sharing your digital dissertation? 

 

How to Find a Journal Venue

The Scholarly Communication Department often helps graduate students find a journal for their work. Students come to us after they have reworked a course paper or thesis into an article manuscript. They need guidance on how to find journals that offer the readership and impact they’re interested in. In addition to helping students pinpoint venues, we help them understand and weigh the processes and policies of the journals we identify. This includes understanding journals’ peer review process and self-archiving policy. This post summarizes some common strategies and tools we recommend to graduate students, regardless of their discipline.

Find Journal Venues

Evaluate which journals you’re already citing

A quick and easy way to find journal venues is to look at your citation list! Which journals are you citing? Are there journals you seem to cite again and again?

Look at other scholars’ CVs and profiles  

Another strategy for finding journal venues is to look at where others in your subfield are publishing. It was be helpful to browse the CVs or Google Scholar profiles of your advisor, top scholars in your field, or scholars that you continually cite or follow. For example, if you were a scholar in scientometrics, Cassidy Sugimoto’s profile would be useful.

cassidy sugimoto's google scholar profile

Cassidy Sugimoto’s Google Scholar Profile

This strategy can be overwhelming as you have to sift through several journals, some of which are likely out of scope, but if you’d like to create a comprehensive list it can be useful.

Analyze current journal lists

Some disciplines maintain listings of top journals in a specific field. However, these can be difficult to find and sometimes it’s unclear how recently they were updated. The IU Libraries maintains a listing of electronic journals in each discipline. This list is limited, as coverage is limited to what the library has decided to purchase. Still, this strategy can be used as a “quick start” for finding titles. Be sure to navigate into a subfield (for example, “Painting” within Art & Architecture) in order to limit your search to a manageable number of results.

Ask your advisor and subject librarian

Your advisor is incredibly knowledgeable about publishing practices in your field. Don’t forget to consult with them! Faculty advisors can often name the top 5 journals for your specific work, giving you an excellent starting point and cutting down on the amount of research you’ll need to do to curate a list of potential journals. Similarly, subject librarians curate and purchase key journals in your field. Find your subject librarian by visiting the library website. 

Evaluate Journal Venues

You have a list of potential journals! Now, how do you evaluate them in order to select the most appropriate venue for your work? In addition to the readership the journal provides, the following considerations are important for authors to weigh before they submit their work. Most of this information can be found on the journal’s website- if not, details about potential tools you might utilize in order to find this information are provided.

Open access policy and article processing charges

If you submit your work to this journal will readers only be able to access it by paying a fee or subscription? Is there an option for making your work open access or openly available for anyone to read? If so, are authors required to pay a fee (often called an article processing charge or APC)?

APC for "scientific data" journal

An example of a journal’s APC information

Self-archiving policy

Even if the journal is “closed” or only available to readers with a subscription, does this journal allow authors to share a version of their work open access in a repository? Many journal won’t allow authors to share the final version but will allow authors to share a pre-print or postprint (defined below). If this is permitted, which version does the journal support?

description of pre/post/offprint

Definitions of Pre-Print, Postprint, and Version of Record

If this information isn’t explicit on the journal’s website, search for the journal in Sherpa ROMEO, a community database of publisher’s self-archiving policies.

Copyright policy

Does the journal provide the full-text of the copyright agreement they expect authors to sign? Sometimes this will be called the “author agreement” or it might fall under a larger heading entitled copyright policy. It’s important to understand if the journal requires authors to transfer their copyright before submission. If you can’t find this information, ask the editor! Remember that regardless of the policy, our Copyright Program helps authors negotiate these agreements.

Peer review model used

Journals employ different peer-review models: often either double-blind peer review, single-blind peer review, or open peer review. In double blind, authors and reviewers don’t know the identities of each other. In single blind, the reviewer knows the author’ identity but the author doesn’t know who the reviewer is. In open peer review, both the author and the reviewer know each other’s’ identities. Each model has limitations and benefits related to eliminating bias, increasing transparency, and facilitating constructive feedback. It’s important to remember that even within these models journal practices vary, making double-blind review at one journal a little different that double-blind review at another. Look for the peer review policy on the journal’s website. Scholarly Communication staff can help you find and understand details about the peer review process and weigh that process with your goals for having your work reviewed. If the peer review policy for the journal you’re examining seems unusual (for example they promise that double-blind peer review will take two weeks), review our guide on identifying and avoiding predatory publishers.  

Index and database coverage

Readership is so important when selecting a journal venue! One of the ways that scholars search for relevant articles when doing a literature review is by using library databases that “index” or include details (and sometimes the full text) of articles in their field. For example, if you’re a scholar in literature and languages you probably know about MLA Bibliography–it’s the place to start your research. In short, it’s important to consider where your potential journal venue is indexed as it will impact other scholars that look for your work in library databases.

A tool called Ulrichs provides this information (and many more details!) for thousands of journals. Simply search for a journal title, click on the title, and then select “Abstracting and Indexing.”

ulrichs details for nature

 

Databases and Indexes the journal Nature appears in

Metrics

Finally, if you’re interested in going into academia, metrics like journal impact factor can be important factors in selecting a journal. Journal impact factor calculates the average number of citations a particular journal has over a two year period, quantifying how much it is cited in other works. While these kinds of metrics have been heavily critiqued, search committees and tenure review committees commonly take these metrics into account when reviewing your work.

A tool called Journal Citation Reports (JCR) provides the impact factor and other citation information for thousands of journals, mostly in the sciences and social sciences. Simply search for the journal title and JCR will provide the impact factor.

JCR search

Impact factor and citation information for the Journal of Nutrition

This number doesn’t mean anything without context and impact factors vary significantly by discipline. You can also search for a listing of journals in your field and sort them by impact factor, which can be helpful for understanding what an average impact factor in your area is.

Important Tools

Below is a summary of the tools mentioned. Many are available through the library website!

  • Ulrichs: provides detailed information, including editorial board information, indexing/ database coverage, peer review status, and open access information for more than 164,000 serials published throughout the world
  • Sherpa ROMEO: a crowdsourced database of publisher self-archiving policies, including journals and book publishers
  • Predatory Publishers Guide: a guide with details about predatory publishing practices and tips for ensuring that a journal is legitimate
  • Journal Citation Reports (JCR): a database of citation data for 12,000 scholarly and technical journals from approximately 3,300 publishers. Coverage is heavily focused on the sciences and social sciences.

Still have questions? Schedule a consultation by e-mailing iusw@indiana.edu! We also always recommend that you meet with your faculty advisor as they are knowledgeable about publishing practices and norms within your discipline and area of interest.

Students Creating Open Educational Resources with Pressbooks: Redesigning L700

It’s Open Education Week again and we’re celebrating Open Educational Resources! In 2018, we hosted a “Driving Student Success through Affordable Course Material” Symposium. The symposium featured three guest speakers from University of Wisconsin-Madison and centered on a UITS-supported book publishing tool, Pressbooks. Lots has happened with OER at IU since then: UITS rolled out Pressbooks for everyone with IU credentials (now anyone can log in and create/ publish OER with Pressbooks) and the Libraries started to partner with CITL and UITS to create tailored OER outreach for instructors in STEM. We’re also hosting a Brown Bag on OER on Wednesday, March 6–join us in person or on Zoom!

One of the most important outcomes of the symposium, though, was a course redesign for an online, doctoral-level course in the School of Education, L700: Seminar in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education (LCLE). The instructor of the course, Beth Lewis Samuelson, attended the symposium and became interested in Pressbooks as a result. Pressbooks is a great tool for authoring course material content: you can import/ export in multiple formats, it’s easy to use and looks like WordPress, and has some added features like built-in plugins for student annotation and engagement with texts.

Beth had already been talking to Julie Marie Frye, Head of the Education Library, about how to redesign the course so that students’ important work could be shared publicly. A core assignment for the course is a group project that asks students to present an overview of a research methodology or theory. The assignment is intentionally designed to give students an opportunity to do a deep dive into a methodology or theory that might be of interest for their dissertation work. The course is required for doctoral students in LCLE and this assignment recognizes that it is impossible to provide a comprehensive overview of every methodology; instead, students explore what is of interest to them with the support of the instructor, colleagues, and librarians.

Our hope was that compiling students’ guides  into an OER would both a) make the assignment more meaningful and impactful and b) help other researchers interested in a comprehensive overview of a particular methodology find more information. Students creating OER is often called open pedagogy. Open pedagogy is pedagogy that:

  • moves past the “disposable assignment” (where students turn in an assignment, it is graded, and the work ends there) toward assignments that are immediately useful to wider publics
  • centers public and visible teaching and learning, expanding the boundaries of the classroom and giving students authentic experiences
  • recognizes students as expert, pushing back on narrow definitions of expertise and working from the understanding that student work is worth sharing

As Beth, Julie Marie, and I discussed student-created OER in more detail, we realized that students may need additional support in understanding openness (including Creative Commons) and mastering information literacy concepts related to evaluation, authoring, and entering the information ecosystem as not only readers, but also creators and authors. We also recognized that as doctoral students, it was an important exercise for students to read, understand, and sign a copyright agreement (and practice consulting with a co-author to agree on such an agreement) in order to contribute. Thus, we went with an “opt in” model, which is unique from other open pedagogy projects. Other projects will often be designed around an open class project with students opting out or completing alternative assignments if they don’t want to participate. There are pros and cons to each model but we intentionally chose this design in order to make publication processes and authorship more transparent.

We applied for and were awarded two grants to complete the redesign: a School of Education Teaching with Technology grant and an IU Libraries Information Literacy Course Grant [read our proposal]. These grants gave us funding and a support structure that made the redesign possible. For example, as a result of the grant we were able to hire a Pressbooks editor that kept track of author agreements, set up the Pressbook, collected contributions, and performed basic editing.

The grants also helped us expand the scope of the redesign in order to better support students and enhance their understanding of information literacy issues. As a result of the Teaching with Technology grant, we were able to hire an artist and videographer to create “chalk talks” that present concepts visually and inspire in-depth conversation about complex topics like authority and confidence as a new scholar. Chalk talks are educational videos where an instructor explains a concept verbally while a sketch presents information visually. One goal of shifting to a chalk talk model is that students see information presented in a variety of ways. For example, chalk talks often challenge instructors to illustrate concepts, often requiring that they use metaphors or analogies that help students make connections. The chalk talks also made a “flipped librarian” model possible, where the concepts covered in the talks didn’t also have to be covered in consultations.

We have several colleagues to thank for helping us draft this content. School of Education Professors Mitzi Lewison and Karen Wohlwend generously agreed to meet with us to discuss their research and publication processes. These interviews helped us craft and refine many of the scripts for the chalks talks. Additionally, as a result of the information literacy course grant, we were able to consult with Undergraduate Education Librarian Meggan Press on the chalk talk content, greatly improving how we presented concepts to students.

Four chalk talks were created on the following topics:

  • Credibility of Scholars: how scholars establish credibility
  • Acknowledgement of Authorities: best practices for acknowledging others’ work and building upon scholars before you
  • Challenging Authorities: the challenges of entering the scholarly conversation or information ecosystem as an author, particularly when pushing back on established work
  • Your Intellectual Property: how authors publish their work, including an overview of Creative Commons and copyright

a scene from the chalk talk on intellectual property depicts options for author rights: transfer, granting a license, or retaining

A scene from the chalk talk on intellectual property

All of these chalk talks will be openly licensed so that others can use them! 

Since L700 was online in Fall 2018, students were asked to answer a few questions about each chalk talk in order to engage with the content. For example, for the video on intellectual property, we asked students:

  • Have you ever had to sign a copyright agreement? If so, was it a transfer or did you grant a license to the publisher?
  • What excites you about sharing your work formally in the information ecosystem? What’s still intimidating or unclear about sharing your work?
  • Explore the Creative Commons License generator. Which license(s) align with how you want your work to be used by others?
  • What questions do you still have about copyright and your intellectual property?

Overall, we felt the redesign was successful. Discussions within Canvas about the chalk talks were thorough and engaging. Students had follow up questions about open access dissertations, which resulted in recording a short presentation on dissertations specifically. Each of the  Fall 2018 students agreed to contribute to the Pressbook via the contract we drafted in consultation with Copyright Librarian Naz Pantaloni. We are continuing to refine the Pressbook itself but hope to publish it (under a Creative Commons license!) soon. Additionally, L700 students from Spring 2018 and Spring 2019 are also contributing to the Pressbook. Thus, the book will span multiple course sections.

Still, there is work to be done. We continue to be involved in L700 and in mid-February, Julie Marie and I visited the course to facilitate a card sort activity, which asked students to reflect on how they evaluate and prioritize sources for their research. As an example, one of the criteria we discussed with students was cost, which prompted more in-depth conversations about open access than we had with previous iterations of the course. 

Table of contents of the pressbook, including chapters and sections

Short Guides in Education Research Methodologies Pressbook Table of Contents [on left] and sections of one of the research guides on Conversation Analysis [center]

We can’t wait to assess student learning by analyzing the Pressbook, discussion postings, and engagement with the chalk talks. This will help us better understand the redesign and how we could improve the curriculum and our pedagogy. Before our formal assessment we can still say that we learned some lessons along the way! Here are some tips for instructors considering a similar redesign:

  • Try to integrate conversations about open access throughout the course, not only when discussing OER. This should be a core component of conversations about finding literature and accessing resources. (This is something the Scholarly Communication department can help with!)
  • Try to have curriculum content created before the semester starts! We were creating content while the course was happening, which was a challenging balancing act.
  • Think through how design needs to change or adjust when teaching in person vs. online. Every redesign should consider this context and how presentation of content changes based on course makeup and setting.
  • Flesh out ways that students might explore different forms of critical annotation. In this assignment, students create a sort of annotated bibliography but using hypothes.is or a similar tool might lend itself to a different kind of engagement.

Are you interested in having your students create a textbook or other OER? Are you interested in better integrating digital literacy topics like curation, evaluation, and sharing intellectual property into your course? Wondering what Pressbooks is and how easy it would be for students to use?

Not sure where to start? We’re happy to help! E-mail iusw@indiana.edu to set up a consultation today.  

Two Year Anniversary of the Open Access Policy

This post was written by Scholarly Communication department student assistant Allison Nolan.

In February 2017, the Bloomington Faculty Council passed an Open Access policy. The policy provides a mechanism for making faculty-authored articles published after 2017 open access (unless faculty opt out of the policy for a particular article). Beyond making content open access, the policy asks faculty to reflect on how they would like their work to be used in perpetuity. IU Bloomington’s was the 56th faculty council in the world to unanimously pass an open access policy, joining Harvard, Duke, Princeton, Stanford, MIT and others.

In conjunction with the policy, the Scholarly Communication department launched a new institutional repository, IUScholarWorks Open, to accommodate articles made openly available as a result of the policy. IUSW Open acts as a seamless service point for faculty to deposit articles, opt out of the policy, or view their colleagues’ open access work. Over the last two years, the Scholarly Communication department has aligned the IU faculty annual reporting system, where most faculty already enter information about their research and creative activity, with the OA Policy. Department staff processed IUB faculty-authored scholarly articles across all disciplines while also encouraging faculty to submit their work to the repository directly through targeted outreach.

In the two years since the policy was instituted, over 500 items have been deposited to IUSW Open, all by various IU faculty authors and collaborators. SC department staff have been able to share the final versions (sometimes called the version of record) of over 200 articles and link over 150 open access versions of articles from authors across IUB. In addition to checking publisher policies for faculty-authored articles, Scholarly Communication staff consulted with individual faculty to share a version of their article open access.  

In addition to highlighting the quantity of articles made openly available, it’s important to showcase the range of scholarship faculty published and subsequently was made available. These highlights are obviously only a small subset of the articles made openly available but they illustrate that the diversity of topics represented within the repository is evident and mirrors the intellectual diversity of the IUB faculty. For example, Kylie Peppler’s “Advancing Arts Education in a Digital Age” discusses how instructors can utilize digital tools in order to help students become content creators, rather than simply rejecting technology as something that distracts from or changes the nature of content creation. Angela T. Maitner and others’ “The impact of culture and identity on emotional reactions to insults”  explores the ways in which people from different ethnic backgrounds react to insults related to an aspect of their cultural or religious identity, specifically in relationship to cultures that are rooted in concepts of honor and dignity. Kelly M. Moench and Cara L. Wellman examined the manner and speed of dendrite rebuilding in mice, particularly females, after periods of prolonged, chronic stress. The goal of the experiment was to determine the impact of stress on both male and female brains and it was concluded that the long-term effects of continued stress, rather than acute stress, were more likely to lead to detrimental outcomes in women. Each of these articles pose questions that are relevant to advancing their respective fields, and the interdisciplinary nature of IUScholarWorks Open allows all of these research outputs to exist in the same space.

In the last two years, IUB’s open access policy has helped to highlight faculty research and create critical discussions surrounding open access and the opportunities that it provides for academic scholarship. As an example, an Open Access Article Publishing Fund was recently established by the IU Libraries and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research to subsidize the cost of publishing gold open access. IUScholarWorks Open will inevitably grow as time goes on and faculty work continues to be processed. We hope that knowledge of the policy and IUSW Open, and ongoing educational efforts as to what exactly it means to make academic work open access, will increase faculty engagement on this important issue.

Jenny Hoops: Our New Open Access Publishing Manager

We’re very excited to share that Jenny Hoops will begin as the department’s new Open Access Publishing Manager on January 7, 2019. In this role, Jenny will provide user support for the department’s journal program and institutional repository. Jenny will also oversee the creation of documentation to support users and contribute feature requests to our development team in order to improve systems and workflows. Jenny will take over for Richard Higgins, who previously served as Open Access Publishing Manager. He joined the Library Technologies Unit in October 2018 as a Programmer/Analyst and continues to work closely with the department.

photo of jenny hoops

Previously, Jenny served as Digital Publishing Assistant in the Scholarly Communication Department, collaborating with SC staff to lead and assess several projects. Jenny is currently completing her Library Science degree. Her research interests include open publishing trends and digital accessibility/literacy. Before coming to IU, she completed a bachelor’s degree in history and gender/sexuality studies at Grinnell College. 

Please join me in welcoming Jenny to the Libraries!

The Scholarly Communication Department Welcomes Two New Graduate Students

Join us in welcoming two new graduate student assistants to the Scholarly Communication Department! We are thrilled to have Allison Nolan and Brian Watson join our team. Both Allison and Brian are new master’s students in the Information and Library Science (ILS) Program in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.

Image 1: Photo of Allison Nolan
Allison Nolan

Allison Nolan received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Humanities from Valparaiso University in 2017. She worked for three years in the Valparaiso University Christopher Center library as the Marketing Student Assistant. In addition to working with the IU Library Scholarly Communications Department, she is also the Center Supervisor for the Teter residence hall library.

Image 2: Photo of Brian Watson
Brian Watson

Brian Watson is a historian of sexuality and the book. After winning several awards for his MA thesis, he expanded it into a full-length monograph which was featured on Conan O’Brien and elsewhere. He is a moderator for the world’s largest academic history forum, AskHistorians, and an editor and host of its podcast. He plans to focus on the interactions of humanities, archives and the digital world throughout his time at IU. He is also currently working on his next book, which focuses on the historiography of sexuality research.

We look forward to working with Allison and Brian. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish during their time at IU!

Office of Scholarly Publishing in the News

This summer, the Office of Scholarly Publishing has been reflecting on the services we provide and the value we bring to IU’s campus and open access scholarly publishing broadly. Simultaneously, the Office of Scholarly Publishing (OSP) has been mentioned in several recent articles and news pieces on open access publishing and author rights. I believe that these pieces start to answer our questions about the value, perspective, and expertise that we contribute to the larger community.

Jason Jackson’s post, which discusses Museum Anthropology Review’s business and labor model, highlights the instrumental role library publishers play in the open access ecosystem. Jason states,

I am not able to quantify the financial investments that the IU Libraries have made in MAR via the IUSW program, but the investment is significant and important…. just as MAR tries to serve the field without charging fees for that service, IUSW tries to serve projects like MAR without charging fees for that service. It is certainly the case that economies of scale have been realized by having library-based publishing support services that can concurrently help a wide range of (mostly small) journal projects.

Another recent piece, “What Happened, or, Impasses and Future Horizons for an Open Anthropology of Work” grapples with the challenges of operationalizing open access in the field of anthropology. The editorial cites conversations with the Office of Scholarly Publishing to make an important anthropology title, Anthropology Work Review, open access. While the effort was not successful and we do not currently publish AWR, the piece is important for demonstrating the values that IU’s OSP is dedicated to. Conversations with AWR were also a reflective exercise for our team, as they forced us to reflect on and operationalize our values, which in turn led to a better understanding of our own mission and ethics.

Finally, a recent op ed (first presented as a keynote) discusses the 50th anniversary of the Liberian Studies Association and mentions the association’s journal, the Liberian Studies Journal. The OSP currently hosts the journal’s back issues and is in conversations to help the publication renew publication efforts.

When I think about what OSP is and what we aim to be, I envision a meaningful partnership between IU Press and IU Libraries Scholarly Communication staff that encourages cross-pollination, harnesses disparate publishing resources, and pools expertise strategically in order to transform scholarly publishing at IU by:

  1. Serving IU faculty and students, through journal publishing, open access book publishing, and course material publishing.
  2. Moving conversations on publishing innovations forward on campus and in the larger community. This includes, but isn’t limited to, conversations around experimental peer review, course material affordability, hybrid OA models, open source infrastructure, and new modes of scholarship, including 3D object and multi-media integration.  
  3. Educating the next generation of scholars, both through supporting the creation of student publishing projects and creating programming and hands-on experiences for students interested in publishing, open access, and scholarly career paths.
  4. Moving the national conversation on library publishing, library/press partnerships, and open access forward.

I’m excited to see that we are already making a significant impact in several of these areas, including number four. The pieces above demonstrate that we are both inspiring and contributing to important national conversations that will impact the future of open access publishing.

Applications for OpenCon 2018 Open

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

The fifth annual OpenCon 2018 will be held in Toronto this November 2-4. In coordination with SPARC and the Right to Research Coalition, as well as York University, Ryerson University, and the University of Toronto, OpenCon aims to educate and develop Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data around the world.

Logo Text: Empowering the Next Generation to Advance Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data

The two-day conference will feature a diverse set of panels, regional workshops,  and project presentations. The final day will also involve an innovative “Do-A-Thon” that will encourage content creation that will hopefully create resources and collaborations that will last long after the conference formally ends.

Image 2: Map showing origins of past OpenCon participants

Attendance at the meeting is by application only, and past participants have received full or partial travel scholarships. Students and early career professionals are particularly encouraged to apply. Apply at www.opencon2018.org/apply for a chance to network with other passionate advocates for a more Open world.

Exploring Open Journals: An Open Access Article Showcase on the Portrayal of Scientists in Children’s Books

This post was authored by Scholarly Communication Department student assistant Regine Vincent.

Through the Office of Scholarly Publishing (OSP), a partnership between the IU Libraries and the Indiana University Press, readers everywhere have access to 30+ scholarly  journals and scholarly publications free of charge. One of these journals is The Hoosier Science Teacher.

The Hoosier Science Teacher aims to “provide science educators in Pre-K-12 classrooms, informal education, home schools, and college classrooms with ideas and resources for teaching science…[and publish] content that may help support effective teaching of science and professional development for science educators.” First published in 1975 by The Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, Inc. (HASTI), The Hoosier Science Teacher published regularly in print until 2014. In 2017, publication of the Teacher resumed electronically.  All of the journal’s content is immediately accessible, as open access is core to its mission. The journal’s Managing Editor, Matthew J. Benus, is an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the IU Northwest School of Education and a Think Tank & Strategic Consultant for Science & Learning.

Published biannually, the most recent volume of the journal Volume 40 Issue 1 (2018) contains 7 articles covering a variety of topics from lessons and demonstrations and instructional insight to curriculum and learning environments. One of the articles in the current issue is entitled “How Scientists are Portrayed in NSTA Recommends Books” and is authored by Kevin D. Finson and Cecile Arquette of Bradley University and Donna Farland-Smith of The Ohio State University. Finson, Arquette, and Smith argue that while “there was much consistency in how scientists were portrayed in the books across the three years…there were also issues with appropriate numbers of representations of minorities, women, and age of scientists.”

The authors focus on how depictions of scientists in school books affect children’s “perceptions of scientists,” as such perceptions impact students’ “understanding about where scientists work and what they do,” students’ attitudes towards science, as well as students’ success in science learning. While determining exactly how students develop their view of scientists is not easy, they find that media sources have the largest influence or impact. Stereotypes of scientists as older, white males in children’s literature has implications for children that do not identify with these portrayals. Such portrayals can affect students’ “formation of science identity,” which affects “one’s perception that he/she can be a successful investigator in science contexts and is viewed by others as being competent in science.”

Seeing as depictions of scientists in school books have major impacts on students’ interactions with and views of the field of science, tackling the issue of stereotypical depictions is a must. The authors suggest that one way to address this issue is through  “the use of science trade books and picture books in instruction…[teacher-planned] student-centered activities that give [students] opportunities to explore their world and encourage them to think of themselves as scientists.”

The Hoosier Science Teacher’s commitment to open access and immediate availability makes it an immediately accessible and useful resource for teachers. According to Education Week Teacher, educators around the United States spend more than $1 billion dollars a year out-of-pocket on school supplies and resources for their students. This is particularly troubling for schools serving lower-income neighborhoods where, according to NPR, “teachers in high-poverty schools often find themselves digging even deeper into their own pockets.” Access to publications like The Hoosier Science Teacher may help educators to alleviate some of the out-of-pocket costs that they encounter when trying to access needed resources and literature on experimental approaches for their students and their teaching. 

The IU Libraries is committed to diverse collections and perspectives, as the Libraries Diversity Strategic Plan notes that “diversity is… essential to the intellectual vitality of the university.” The Scholarly Communication department shares this commitment and aims to highlight IU’s diversity through our journal publishing program and through supporting publications like The Hoosier Science Teacher.

Scholarly Communication Deparment Student Assistant Jenny Hoops Wins Award

Congratulations to Jenny Hoops, Scholarly Communication Department Student Assistant, on winning the IUB Libraries Student Employee Recognition Award! The purpose of the award is to recognize student employees who demonstrate outstanding performance and make exceptional contributions toward the achievement of the department’s goals and objectives.

Image 1: Photo of Jennifer Hoops

In my nomination of Jenny, I wrote the following:

Jenny has exceeded the expectations for her position, furthering the IU Libraries strategic goals and enabling the Scholarly Communication Department to successfully operationalize several key services….Her creativity and ability to problem solve independently have been assets for our team and for the library.

We’re thankful for Jenny’s initiative and excellent work over the last year and we’re thrilled that her work has been recognized through this important award. Jenny and three other recipients of the award will receive certificates and $100 cash awards.