Temporary Free Access to Academic Resources during COVID-19

In response to the pandemic, many vendors and publishers are making scholarly content temporarily available for free. IU Libraries have created a guide that aggregates academic resources that have been made freely available temporarily during the pandemic. This guide is intended to assist librarians, faculty, and researchers in finding resources to support teaching, learning, and discovery as classes have moved online for the foreseeable future.

The guide includes links to a number of community-built lists that are tracking free access to vendor resources. The International Coalition of Library Consortia, for instance, has created a list of information service providers who are offering expanded content access due to COVID-19. These lists cover a variety of free resources including textbook and monograph offerings, music, electronic resources, online learning services and platforms, as well as analytics platforms.

In addition, many publishers are providing temporary access to eBooks, scholarly journals, videos, and other media. Project Muse, for instance, is offering open access eBooks and journals from several distinguished university presses and scholarly societies. In an effort to support educators, the Association for Science Education has made its 2019 and 2020 journal content temporarily open access. Netflix has also made a selection of their documentary features available on the Netflix U.S. YouTube Channel. The IU resources guide provides links and descriptions for all of these resources.

Multiple publishers have made research specifically related to COVID-19 freely available. SAGE publishing, for instance, is providing researchers with access to all of their COVID-19 related content. For additional open access research specific to COVID-19, see the COVID-19 Research page in this guide.  Please note that a few of the research resources listed there are pre-print servers. That content is not vetted research as it has not been peer-reviewed.

The guide also includes a list of resources that are always open access. The benefit of these resources is that they are not only free to use, they can be openly used, edited, stored, and distributed. Additionally, many of these resources can be downloaded then accessed offline by students, even long after the end of a course. Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), for instance, organizes a wide range of cultural heritage resources that are free and immediately available in digital format. 

Finally, the Internet Archive is another extensive resource currently available. It holds millions of books, videos, audio files, and archived web pages on a wide range of topics.

Please note that access to many these resources is temporary, and a resource may be withdrawn without notice by the vendor. This guide will continue to be updated as we discover additional resources.

Black Lives Matter: IU Libraries Curates Resource List

With the rising awareness and discourse surrounding racial inequity in the United States, you may have noticed several resource lists curated to educate and inform the public. These include, but are not limited to, Black-authored revolutionary texts, histories of race relations in the United States, Anti-Racism toolkits, and tips for meaningful allyship. You may also have noticed that these resources often do not last long and are often modified or removed entirely. This may happen for a number of reasons, including the failure to obtain proper permissions to post and publicly disseminate the resources they used. To create a more stable collection of resources, IU Libraries’ Scholarly Communication Department has created a list of materials consisting entirely of either library licensed content for IU Bloomington affiliates or open access resources, meaning they are free and available for the public to use and disseminate. As an IUB affiliate, you can freely access all items on our Black Lives Matter resource list

Library Licensed Content

The Libraries’ collection contains many foundational Black revolutionary texts and other resources. All library licensed content (LLC) is available to  anyone with an IU Bloomington affiliation at no cost. This list contains a combination of e-resources, which can be accessed online with your CAS credentials, and print resources, which can be checked-out through the Libraries’ no-contact Paged Pickup. A few of the resources, while not normally available electronically, have been digitized through the Hathi Trust Emergency Temporary Access Service. These are marked by the Hathi Trust logo on the resources IUCAT page. To access these, click on the logo and login with your CAS credentials. Some highlights from the LLC resources are:

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander, e-book)
    • This book examines the relationship between systematic racism and incarceration, specifically among black males, and inequity which Alexander claims needs to be treated as both a racial justice and civil rights issue.
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou, autobiography)
    • Angelou’s autobiography serves as a coming of age story which details the author’s experiences and recovery from racism and its surrounding traumas.
  • Teaching to Transgress (bell hooks, book)
    • bell hooks’ pedagogical theory suggests teaching students to “transgress” against boundaries and biarnies of race, class, sex, etc. to achieve free and democratic thinking. 
  • The Racial Contract (Charles Mills, essay)
    • This foundational essay challenges white European-centered philosophical thinking, arguing that these philosophers create a “Racial Contract” that perpetuates (either implicitly or explicitly) white supremacy and the disclosure of black voices. 
  • Algorithms of Oppression (Safiya Noble, book)
    • Noble’s book demonstrates how seemingly innocuous tools, such as Google, maintain the white control of information and perpetuate racism. 

Open Access Resources

For those without an IU affiliation, the list also contains several open access resources. Open access resources are those which can be freely accessed by the public without restrictions. All resources marked with an “OA” are open and can be accessed anywhere and by anyone. Some highlights from the OA resources are:

  • Why The Coronavirus Is Hitting Black Communities Hardest (Code Switch; podcast)
    • This podcast discusses why marginalized communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
  • A Timeline of Racial Progress in the U.S., and the Lack of It, Through the Years by Dr. Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Chair, African American and African Diaspora Studies at IU Bloomington and Sam Hill, Newsweek contributor
    • This article features a timeline “Racial Progress in America: The Slow March Forward” which highlights the progress and setbacks in seeking racial justice in America
  • The Urgency of Intersectionality (Kimberlé Crenshaw, TED Talk)
    • This TED Talk expands on Crenshaw’s coined term “intersectionality” and the increased biases people face when their different identities (e.g., race, class, sex, sexual orientation, etc.) combine to create more severe forms of oppression.
  • Celeste Bartos Forum: Literacy, Libraries and Liberation (Angela Davis and Toni Morrison; interview with the New York Public Library)
    • A conversation between the New York Public Library, activist/scholar Angela Davis, and author Toni Morrison on racism in libraries. Both a recording and a transcript of the conversation are available. 
  • 13th (Ava DuVernay; documentary)
    • DuVernay’s documentary explores the history of racial inequity in the United States, focusing on the criminal justice system. 
  • Celebrating Black History Month (Poetry Foundation; online collection) 
    • This collection of poems from the Poetry Foundation celebrates and highlights the works of black poets, including Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, and Langston Hughs. 

This list is by no means comprehensive or finite, but it serves as a starting point for anyone to educate themselves and others about racial inequity. Please contact IUSW@indiana.edu for suggested additions to the resource list or with any questions. 

Data & Visual Literacy and the COVID-19 Infodemic

This post was contributed by Map & Spatial Data Librarian Theresa Quill.

Scholarly and scientific information is distributed in a variety of ways.  The COVID19 pandemic has spurred a large volume of scholarly literature, but also data sharing and data visualization to track the spread of this coronavirus and the impact of efforts to combat it. Some of this information is reliable and some of it is not.

Visual Literacy and Resources Librarian Jackie Fleming and Map & Spatial Data Librarian Theresa Quill were recently published in Digital Culture and Education, discussing their efforts to combat the COVID-19 infodemic.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the evolving situation surrounding COVID-19 is changing the world. This change includes the response and mission of academic libraries. Information about COVID-19 is being published every day in both textual and visual formats. One thing that all of this information has in common is that it is easily accessible to the public. As academic librarians, we believe that it is our job to guide our community to reliable information and teach them how to receive and interpret this information.

The democratization of data visualization and mapping tools over the past decade has meant that creating and sharing visualizations is no longer limited to the realm of experts. While this trend has been overall beneficial, it has also resulted in increased visibility for (mostly unintentionally) misleading or confusing maps and charts and places a greater burden of critically reading and evaluating visualizations on the reader.

The authors say –

“As the Map & Spatial Data Librarian and, Visual Literacy and Resources Librarian at Indiana University-Bloomington, we believed that it was our responsibility to address the surge of visual information being produced daily about COVID-19 cases. We decided that the best action to take was to create a Visual Literacy & Map LibGuide that specifically addressed data visualizations tracking COVID-19 cases. This guide lists reliable data visualizations to follow, tips for reading these visualizations, and general resources for spatial and visual literacy as well as, articles addressing COVID-19 data visualizations. Because COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation, we have been periodically adding information to this guide as we find it. We felt that creating this LibGuide was a good first step in developing our campus community’s visual literacy skills in the COVID-19 crisis.”

You can view the research guide here: https://guides.libraries.indiana.edu/visualliteracyandmaps

And the full article here: https://www.digitalcultureandeducation.com/reflections-on-covid19/visual-literacy-and-maps

 

ORCID requirement for NIH – 2nd deadline fast approaching

The National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have implemented the 1st phase of the new requirement for ORCID iDs for researchers supported by new training (T), fellowship (F), education, or career development (K) awards in fiscal year (FY) 2020. The requirement for ORCID identifiers was incorporated into the appointment process for trainees, scholars, and participants supported by institutional research training, career development, and research education awards that require new appointments through the xTrain system in October 2019At the time of appointment, the xTrain system will check whether appointees have ORCID iDs and appointments will be not be accepted for agency review unless an ORCID iD is linked to the individual’s eRA Commons Personal Profile.  

An ORCID iD is a single persistent numeric identifier that is unique to you. Researcher names are neither unique nor static. Many researchers may have the same name, and your name may change over time with life events. Using ORCID connects you with a trusted, verifiable record of your education and employment affiliation, grant funding, research, and work that you have contributed such as presentations or publications. This verification along with its data transfer capacity i.e. ORCID’s ability to move information through connected information systems designated by the user (via APIs or  Search & Link functions), makes ORCID a natural partner for integration into the eRA Commons PPF. 

Beginning with receipt dates on or after January 25, 2020, the requirement for ORCID identifiers will be enforced at the time of application for new individual fellowship and career development awards. The requirement does not apply to fellowship and mentored career development non-competing renewals, or to individuals supported via administrative supplements to enhance diversity.

Researchers must create an ORCID iD (Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier) and associate it with their eRA Commons Personal Profile. The eRA Commons is an online interface where grant applicants, grantees and federal staff at NIH and grantor agencies can access and share administrative information relating to research grants. The Personal Profile (PPF) in eRA Commons is the central repository of information on all registered users. It is designed so that individual eRA system users can hold and maintain ownership over the accuracy of their own profile information, and provides a single profile per person, regardless of the various roles they may hold throughout their relationship with the agency (e.g. trainee, graduate student, principal investigator, etc.), assuring data accuracy and integrity. Learn how to create and link your ORCID iD to the eRA Commons here.

At Indiana University, you can connect your ORCID iD with Digital Measures for annual reporting. 

You can also link your ORCID iD to other professional accounts such as PubMed, SciENcv, Web of Science, and ScholarOne.   Learn more about how to register for and use ORCID in our guide – ORCID@IU

Our New Scholarly Communication Librarian

Image 1: Photo of Sarah HareThe Scholarly Communication Department is delighted to announce the recent arrival of Sarah Crissinger, our new Scholarly Communication Librarian. Sarah will play a lead role in the implementation of IUB’s recently adopted Open Access Policy and oversee IU Libraries’ active journal publishing program. Look for future blog posts, programming, and outreach efforts by Sarah that highlight the Open Access Policy, student research, and the Office of Scholarly Publishing Journals, an open access publishing collaboration between IU Press and Scholarly Communication.

Sarah is a gifted teacher and communicator as well as a passionate advocate for Open Educational Resources (OER). Her research is focused on undergraduate scholarly communication outreach, critical open education practices, and LIS student development and agency. In her former position at Davidson College, she created open access programming and led two Open Educational Resource (OER) initiatives. She is currently co-authoring a chapter on inter-institutional collaborations to advance OER outreach for the forthcoming title, OER: A Field Guide for Academic Librarians. Sarah will also moderate a panel on OER for ACRL’s Science and Technology Section (STS) at ALA this June.

You can contact Sarah directly with questions, ideas, and/or suggestions by email, “scrissin at iu dot edu,” or through our contact form. More information about our team and the services provided by the Scholarly Communication department can be found at openscholarship.indiana.edu.

Open Access policy adopted by IU Bloomington faculty

Image 1: Open Access Logo

The Bloomington Faculty Council unanimously approved an Open Access policy today that ensures that faculty scholarship will be accessible and available to the public for future generations. Open Access means that scholarly articles are regarded as the fruits of research that authors give to the world for the sake of inquiry and knowledge without expectation of payment. Adopting such a policy reduces barriers to research and learning by making research available on the public internet to be downloaded and shared freely, making it possible for scholarship to be more widely read and cited than literature that appears in closed-access, licensed journal databases. The policy can be found at IUB’s VPFAA site and an FAQ has been posted to our website.

The Scholarly Communication staff will be available to help authors deposit their work — usually the final version of an article that has gone through peer review — in IUScholarWorks or another repository for archival purposes. Indeed, as Nazareth Pantaloni, Copyright Librarian for the IU LIbraries, observed: “The Indiana University Libraries are delighted that the Bloomington Faculty Council has joined the over 300 U.S. colleges and universities who have decided to make their faculty’s scholarship more freely available under an Open Access policy. We look forward to working with them to accomplish that goal.” Faculty members may also contact us to opt-out of the policy, a process that will be incorporated into a one-click form once the policy is fully implemented.

The policy adopted today is only the latest step in an ongoing process at IU Bloomington. The BFC adopted one of the first Open Access policies in the country in March of 2004. That policy was actually a resolution in which the BFC decried the rising costs of academic journals and databases — at the time, 70% of a $9.2 million annual budget — and called on the IU Libraries to adopt several strategies in response, including, among other things, “to promote open scholarly communication.” That resolution served as an impetus for the Libraries’ development of IUScholarWorks. Today, IU ScholarWorks hosts nearly 30 Open Access journals, primarily in the humanities and social sciences, and serves as the repository for nearly 8,000 items deposited by IU Bloomington faculty, students, and staff, including data sets, conference proceedings, out-of-print books recovered by faculty from their original publishers, doctoral dissertations from the Jacobs School of Music, Patten Lectures, and a wide array of journal articles, research reports, other scholarly literature, and even creative works of authorship. Current developments include improvements in the repository’s ability to host multimedia content and data.

Open Access policies are intended, in part, to provide an institutional mechanism for faculty authors to assert the retention of at least the minimum rights necessary in order not only to cooperate with their institutional OA policy, but also be able to reuse their work in other ways that could be beneficial to them, such as distributing their work via their own professional website, through social media, or simply to students in their classes.

Resources are available for faculty who are interested in learning more about the impact and implementation of the policy. Please direct questions to iusw@indiana.edu.

Image: CC-BY. Flickr user Open Access Button

Shareability vs. open access: A summary of the contention around Elsevier’s new sharing policy

Less than a month after the academic publisher Elsevier’s director of access and policy Dr. Alicia Wise posted the company’s new policies for sharing and hosting academic articles at every stage and on every platform, the Coalition of Open Access Repositories (COAR) countered with a statement backed by more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across the globe criticizing Elsevier for creating a policy that “represents a significant obstacle to the dissemination and use of research knowledge, and creates unnecessary barriers for Elsevier published authors in complying with funders’ open access policies,” which has sparked a very public back-and-forth with Dr. Alicia Wise.

COAR originally criticized Elsevier’s policy for masquerading as one to progress sharing capabilities, but instead working to accomplish the reverse. The policy forces embargoes of up to 48 months on some journals, requires authors to apply a “non-commercial and no derivative works” license for every article deposited into a repository, and applies to “all articles previously published and those published in the future.” The policy requires unacceptably long embargoes with 90% of the 286 journals having at least 12 month embargo period, reduces ‘re-use value’ of each article, and could put currently accessible articles under embargoes. The overall complaint was that the policy is a step in the exact opposite direction of the global movement towards open access, works to hinder any benefit of openly sharing research, and is posed as a solution for a policy that did not previously show any evidence of having a negative impact on publisher subscriptions.

Dr. Wise responded just a day later with a rebuttal that was aimed at clearing the air. The publishing company was “a little surprised that COAR has formed such a negative view and chosen not to feedback their concerns directly to us,” especially after Elsevier “received neutral-to-positive responses from research institutions and the wider research community” since the announcement of their new policy. Throughout the response article, Dr. Wise states that the embargo policies have been in place since or before 2004 when the last “refresh” came about and that the other changes have been made based on feedback by their authors and institutional partners. Many complaints in response to this rebuttal by commenters and COAR surround Elsevier’s lack of transparency about the feedback they received and the company’s use of share as a way to avoid the topic of true open access publishing.

COAR’s reply to Elsevier reiterates all of COAR’s original concerns, cites more evidence of the publishing company’s dance around being truly open access, and offers improvements that Elsevier can make to their policy:

  1. Elsevier should allow all authors to make their “author’s accepted manuscript” openly available immediately upon acceptance through an OA repository or other open access platform.
  2. Elsevier should allow authors to choose the type of open license (from CC-BY to other more restrictive licenses like the CC-BY-NC-ND) they want to attach to the content that they are depositing into an open access platform.
  3. Elsevier should not attempt to dictate author’s practices around individual sharing of articles. Individual sharing of journal articles is already a scholarly norm and is protected by fair use and other copyright exceptions. Elsevier cannot, and should not, dictate practices around individual sharing of articles.

The counter concludes with COAR offering to take Dr. Wise up on her ‘offer’ to meet with the company in order to help the publisher better understand what the research community desires, due to the many misperceptions that Elsevier believes are confusing the research community as to the real meaning of the new policy.

White House OTSP creates Open Access policy for federal agencies

OTSP Director John Holdren talks to President Obama in this undated White House photo.

One day after we posted big news about dual Open Access bills in the US and Illinois Senates, the Office of Technology and Science Policy issued a policy memorandum that will essentially enact an Open Access policy similar to the NIH Public Access policy for all federal agencies with more than $100 million in their R&D budget. This policy will not only affect publications, but also the data resulting from funded research.

Many in the Open Access advocacy community are celebrating the announcement as proof of the success of the #OAMonday/Access2Research movement and the resulting “We the People” petition, which solicited a positive (if long-overdue) response from Holdren.

Researcher Joe Hourcle, on the RDAP listserv, has distilled the policy into these essential points:

  • Must give a plan in 6 months on how they’re going to improve public access to publications & data
  • Can have an embargo after publication (baseline is 12 months)
  • No charges for access to the article metadata
  • Grants can include costs for data management & access

The Dryad repository blog explores in a bit more detail exactly what this might mean for data sharing and publication.

It remains to be seen how this surprising and groundbreaking new policy will take effect.

Two new Open Access bills generating buzz

A bill not unlike the NIH Public Access policy has been introduced in the United States Congress, laying a framework for increased access to science and technology research conducted with publicly-funded support.

From Library Journal:

The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was introduced on February 14 in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. If passed, FASTR would require government agencies with annual extramural research expenditures of more than $100 million make electronic manuscripts of peer-reviewed journal articles based on their research freely available on the Internet within six months of publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Major library advocacy organizations such as the ALA, ACRL, and SPARC (among others) have come out in support of the FASTR Act.

Commercial publishers’ response to the bill has, predictably, been cold. The American Association of Publishers (AAP) is arguing that the policy would be wasteful of taxpayers money, and that it would not serve the need of all scientific disciplines.

A day later, a more general bill that would mandate the creation of Open Access policies at public universities in Illinois was introduced to the Illinois State Legislature. Possible positive outcomes of this bill include:

  • Free online access to all research published at public universities and colleges in Illinois
  • Increased support for Open Access institutional repositories, which will inevitably become the infrastructure that supports the sharing and preservation of research created in Illinois
  • More awareness of, and support for, digital preservation at the university level

Areas for concern include:

  • The granting of “worldwide copyright license granted by the author to the public.” This provision will likely have faculty up in arms, as the bill calls for what is essentially a CC-BY license to be applied to all work produced by faculty–allowing others to use and share their work in nearly any way they see fit, even for commercial gain.
  • Blanket applicability to all disciplines even though there is more resistance to OA from arts and humanities scholars, who do not benefit from the practice in the same way that science researchers do.

Hopefully, at the very least these bills will both engender some much-needed debate in Congress about the mission of universities as creators of knowledge for the public good rather than profit.