(#9) Re-blog from The Scholarly Kitchen: The White House Calls for Information on Public Access to Publications and Data

I call your attention to this post by The Scholarly Kitchen – the blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing: The White House Calls for Information on Public Access to Publications and Data.

It is a good distillation of the issues and questions being raised by the federal government as they grapple with how to provide open access to certain types of content, namely: “…public access to journal articles from federally-funded research, and the tricky question of how to make the most of the raw data collected in those federally-funded experiments.”

Certainly, if you care to give your thoughts, I urge you to do so.  Please see the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Request for Information.

Specifically, you can read, in the Federal Register, the RFI on public access here (comments due Jan. 2, 2012) and the RFI on digital data here (comments due Jan. 12, 2012).

(#8) Teaching Scholarly Communication

I’ll be on research leave most of November to explore ways to teach and discuss scholarly communication issues with graduate students.  My plan is to develop a workshop that could be delivered in 2-4 hours with the help and support of colleagues such as academic department graduate student advisors, subject librarians, and staff in the IUScholarWorks department.

I will be working to develop lesson plans and exercises that will focus the workshop discussions on the following interconnected scholarly communication issues:

  • budgets
  • libraries
  • author rights
  • open access
  • labor
  • versions
  • digital content
  • preservation

The ultimate goal is to inform students about these issues and give them some tools to help them guide their path forward as authors.  They will have many decisions to make as they progress as researchers in their respective fields and I feel it is important that librarians be a part of their education on these matters.

I will also conduct a literature review and will refer to various projects being led by library colleagues around the United States who are developing similar approaches to teaching scholarly communications to students.

Please look for a progress report I will make in December, and I hope to see you in one of our future workshops.

(#7) A View From the GA, Part 1

IUScholarWorks has a Graduate Assistant, Carol Lubkowski, to help us with many aspects of our work.  Carol’s job description is basically “other duties as assigned.”  We thought it would be interesting and useful to see things from Carol’s point of view occasionally, so this is the first of her posts.  Welcome Carol!

Before coming to IU and joining IU ScholarWorks as a Graduate Assistant, my previous experience with the concept of a digital repository was in a corporate context, at a Boston-based biotech company. I was working in records management there and the term and concept of a digital repository were just getting introduced. However, it was not aligned with the company’s existing corporate library. Thus, when I started as the Graduate Assistant for IU ScholarWorks, I understood the basic concept of a digital repository, but had a lot to discover. Within the academic world, an institutional repository addresses a wide variety of concerns and needs for scholarly communication, reflecting the increasing importance of digital formats and sources both inside and outside of the library. I am particularly excited by the ways in which institutional repositories can help disseminate dissertations and theses, and by the services they provide to researchers and authors.
IU ScholarWorks is working on getting the dissertations of IU doctoral students into our repository, which has exciting potential for both disseminating research and for bringing new researchers into IU. It is often very difficult for researchers to access dissertations – very few of them are available in print format on library shelves. Some are available on microfilm, and many must be requested either through interlibrary loan or directly from the author. Expanded, easier access to dissertations will make the most recent research available to the wider scholarly community. Not only will this help researchers, it also has the potential to attract new researchers to IU through our graduate programs. By having access to recent graduate work, prospective students can get a clearer picture of what IU’s programs can offer them and whether a department’s focus and strengths match their own research interests.
As someone who has several friends in academia, I am also excited by the services an institutional repository can provide to authors and researchers. The repository provides a permanent digital home for their work, accessible via the internet with a stable and permanent URL. This also gives the authors the advantage of using a system and location backed up by established and robust IT services and infrastructure. The repository can thus provide a convenient and reliable way for authors to make their work widely and freely available without forgoing the aegis of official institutional support and authority.

(#6) Searching WorldCat for Open Access Publications

If you’re interested in using one source to find Open Access publications in repositories around the world, I invite you to check out WorldCat.

WorldCat is the world’s largest network of library content and services. Perform your searches for books, articles, photographic images, audio, video, etc. in WorldCat and discover materials in libraries worldwide.  You can also discover freely available digital materials found in repositories worldwide.  Repositories such as the HathiTrust, Internet Archive, and institutional repositories like IUScholarWorks.

How?
Once you’ve performed your search, use the refinement tools on the left navigation side bar to narrow your results to ‘Internet Resources.’  From here, you will notice that many of the records come from a database called ‘OAIster‘ (OA meaning Open Access) and have an orange ‘View Now’ link associated.  Certainly take a look at the full record by clicking on the item’s title, but the view now link takes you to a repository that is storing the material openly for the world to access.

Check it out and please ask us or your library’s reference staff for help if you have questions.  WorldCat is a remarkable search engine.  Be sure to take advantage of creating an account and managing your resources within WorldCat.

(#5) NSF Data Plan

Beginning January 18, 2011, proposals submitted to National Science Foundation (NSF) must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled “Data Management Plan”. This supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results.  For full policy implementation, see the Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II.C.2.j.

The IU Libraries have worked with University Information Technology Service (UITS) and the Pervasive Technology Institute to develop templates and suggestions for completing the data management plan.  For more information, see the knowledge base article here.

(#4) Student Statement on The Right to Research

The Student Statement on the Right to Research is a worthwhile read, whether you’re a student or not.  It is a statement from the Right to Research Coalition and it outlines the essential problem that those who need access to information – students, researchers, doctors, patients, entrepreneurs, the public, people in developing countries, and publishers – are often denied access because information lives behind closed doors and requires an outlay of money for the privilege to read, study and use information.

What?  This is crazy!  But it’s true and real opportunities to further ones studies and make valuable contributions to society are stifled.

Read about the problem and solutions at the Right to Research Coalition website. Engage in conversations with your peers, your professors and your librarians. Join the conversation.  We welcome your attention.

IUScholarWorks is a program that endeavors to alleviate these problems by offering alternative publishing solutions to IU Researchers.  Check out our Repository and the Journals we host.

(#3) Access to research and the role of libraries

Kevin Smith, author of the Scholarly Communications @ Duke blog (definitely check that one out!), recently pointed to a video that beautifully sums up the importance of capturing research for the public good, and the central role that libraries play in that mission.  As Smith says,

“In her four-minute speech Commissioner Kroes does two important things.  First, she succinctly states the case for public access to government-funded research, including the data that underlies research.  She provides a sterling example of a politician (she was in both the Dutch Parliament and its cabinet) who really understands the needs and difficulties of scholarly research, as well as the opportunities provided by the digital environment.  The second important part of Commissioner Kroes’ speech is her announcement that the European Commission will expand its public access mandate for funded research to include all research supported by the EC.  Time for the U.S. to follow suit, if we do not want to lose ground in innovation and economic development”

I was struck by the Commissioner’s support for libraries as a central partner in this endeavor.  Check out this video!

(#2) What is an institutional repository?

I’d like to introduce you to IUScholarWorks Repository and explain what it can do for you, the IU researcher.

A definition of institutional repository (IR) by Clifford Lynch, Director of the Coalition for Networked Information :

“a university-based institutional repository is a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members. It is most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution.” (2003; http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/br226ir.pdf)

IUScholarWorks Repository is an open access institutional repository and serves as a place to permanently archive research materials in any format such as:

  • Previously published materials (articles, book chapters, etc.)
  • Conference works and unpublished scholarly works
  • Lectures
  • Data files and databases

Understanding open access. Peter Suber, an  independent policy strategist for open access to research, provides a useful definition:

“Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.” (2004, revised 2010; http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/overview.htm)

How does a researcher get started with the IUScholarWorks Repository?
IU Researchers should contact the IUScholarWorks administrator (me, Jennifer Laherty) via email at iusw@indiana.edu or jlaherty@indiana.edu if you are interested in depositing your research materials.  Together and often with assistance from Sherri Michaels, the Intellectual Property Librarian at IU Bloomington, we will determine if you have the rights to deposit your research materials, or if we need to seek permission from the rightsholder in order to make the deposit.  For each item submitted to the repository, the rightsholder must agree to the non-exclusive IUScholarWorks Repository license.

Although it should seem that the author is the rightsholder to the material, this is not often the case for materials already published, such as articles and book chapters.  In most cases, an author transfers a cadre of copyrights to their publisher in a copyright transfer agreement.  It is important to understand which rights were transferred in order to determine if the author has the right to post their work to an open access institutional repository.  We can help navigate to answer this question.  For students desiring to deposit their research, it may be done with permission of their academic department.

Once the copyright situation is figured out, research may be deposited.  Here’s a very short list of some interesting materials in IUScholarWorks:

Some words about access and preservation
IUScholarWorks Repository makes your research freely and broadly available to a worldwide audience (open access); it uses technology (DSpace) and metadata standards (the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, OAI-PMH) to ensure your works are more findable on the Internet; and the Libraries take care to archive and preserve your works for future generations.  IUScholarWorks is privileged to have support from the IU Digital Library Program, a a collaborative effort of the IU Libraries and University Information Technology Services in its efforts to achieve its mission.

(#1) What is Scholarly Communication?

Welcome to the IU Libraries Scholarly Communication blog!  This blog will be a way to keep abreast of scholarly communications news and developments of interest to the IU community.  So what exactly is scholarly communication?  The Association of College and Research Libraries defines it as:

the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use. The system includes both formal means of communication, such as publication in peer-reviewed journals, and informal channels, such as electronic listservs.”
(http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/publications/whitepapers/principlesstrategies.cfm )

As you can see from this definition, we’ll be covering a wide-range of topics covering all stages of the research and dissemination process.  Since copyright plays an important role in this area, we’ll be throwing quite a bit of that in as well.  If you’re looking for more information about a particular topic, just let us know and we’ll try to cover it.  Welcome to the blog!