Snell Library

Snell Library staff adopt Open Access Policy

On June 22, 2016, the staff of Snell Library adopted an Open Access Policy. By establishing this policy, Snell Library joins a growing group of academic libraries in the United States with similar policies, designed to ensure the greatest possible access to the research and scholarship produced by their staff members. It also joins a much larger community of research institutions and subunits of institutions (e.g. schools, colleges, departments) who have adopted Open Access policies—over 600 worldwide. Snell Library’s policy is particularly timely, as the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has just issued its own Policy Statement on Open Access to Scholarship by Academic Librarians. While ACRL’s statement is limited specifically to librarians, the Snell Library policy applies to all full-time library staff. Snell’s staff includes a number of academic professionals who are non-librarians, as well as its support staff, who are active in creating output that should be shared with a wide audience. The Open Access Policy requires library staff members to deposit into the Digital Repository Service (DRS) copies of their published articles as well as posters and presentation materials delivered at conferences, where they are not prohibited from doing so through prior agreements with publishers. Staff members may receive a waiver of the policy for any individual work; this ensures that staff retain the freedom to publish where they choose, regardless of publishers’ willingness to accept the policy. (Given the huge increase in faculty-driven open access policies across the U.S. and worldwide, though, many publishers are already very familiar with the requirements of these policies and have built accommodations for them into their own practices.)

Q & A

What is open access?

Open access literature is freely available online for anyone to read. Open access is provided to scholarly articles in a variety of ways. The most common models are:
  • Open access journals: all articles published in these publications are openly accessible. May or may not involve a fee for authors
  • “Hybrid” journals: subscription-based (“closed”) journals in which at the author’s request, and usually for an additional fee, individual articles are made openly accessible.
  • Article archiving: authors deposit a copy of their article (manuscript or final formatted version) in a repository, typically an institutional or discipline-based repository.
This policy is primarily aimed at facilitating the “article archiving” form of open access.

Why an open access policy?

The goals of this policy are to expand access to Snell Library staff research and scholarship, and to lead by example both at Northeastern University and in the profession. Like many libraries, Snell Library actively supports open access to research output and advocates for Northeastern faculty to make their work available open-access where possible, in order to provide greater access to research for those who are not able to pay subscription costs or charges for article access.

What are the public benefits of open access?

The most obvious public benefit of open access is that research results will be more accessible to more people in more locations. Currently, most individuals have very limited access to research publications—open access makes published results available to researchers and scholars affiliated with smaller institutions or non-profit organizations, and researchers and scholars in developing countries. This may spur additional scholarly progress or entrepreneurial innovation. Even individuals who do currently have access to publications via subscription services may find benefits from open access, such as easier collaboration with colleagues at other institutions, more accessible and affordable course readings for students, or by enabling new forms of scholarship such as computational analysis.

How does this policy benefit authors?

A number of studies have shown that articles that are freely available online often have increased citation rates and impact, though these benefits seem to vary across disciplines. Open access articles are also more easily discovered by researchers using online tools such as Google Scholar, and are more easily linked to and discussed in public forums. (Note: Q&A excerpted from an FAQ for library staff about the policy, which was adapted with permission from a similar document created at the University of Minnesota.)

A Room Full of Sisters: The Boston Coalition of Black Women and Female Empowerment from the Ground Up

A Room Full of Sisters, 1993

A Room Full of Sisters, 1993 By Paul Goodnight 4’x5′ Mixed Media Commissioned by the Boston Coalition Of Black Women Inspired by Mona Lake Jones’s poem of the same name.

The celebration of Women’s History Month in America has only been around since 1987 (between 1981 and 1986, there was a Women’s History Week, before that…well it’s History). Despite this, women have been making history long before the 1980s and will continue to do so. Some in ways that garner national or international attention, and some that are closer to home but no less amazing. The Boston Coalition of Black Women began in 1991 as the Boston Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and became formally independent in 1998 with a mission to “provide leadership and resources that empower our members to advance our community through education, social, economic and civic action.” The Coalition achieved this goal through its various sponsored programs, talks and events. Its mentoring program “Sister-to-Sister” saw itself as a networking group to help Black women at every stage of the job market, from helping a woman get her GED to connecting them to the all-too-few black female c-level executives.  “Succeeding Sisters” was a program designed to help acclimate women returning to the workforce after a long absence. When those Sisters did succeed there was always a place and community for them to celebrate with. The Coalition’s “Rites of Passage” program celebrated those in the “Sister-to-Sister” program who graduated and events like the “Salute to Boston Police Women of Color.” The list of members reads like a who’s who of Female Black Excellence in Boston — Vivian Beard, a Massachusetts policy maker for 20 years; Joan Wallace Benjamin, CEO of The Home for Little Wanderers; Callie Crossley, journalist; Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard, Executive Director of Boston Lawyers Group; Karen Holmes Ward, WCVB Director of Public Affairs and Producer of CityLine; Deborah Jackson, Former CEO of Red Cross of Massachusetts and Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries; and Sarah Ann Shaw, the first African-American TV journalist in Boston — and that is just to name a few. The Boston Coalition of Black Women provided the kind of networking important for women in the workplace, not just for employment success, but for the community. As Roxane Gay says, “If you and your friend(s) are in the same field and you can collaborate or help each other, do this, without shame. It’s not your fault your friends are awesome.” While the Coalition is no longer active, the women who were involved are still out there changing the world, one life at a time creating a chain that cannot be broken. The Boston Coalition of Black Women Collection is just one of several archival collections Northeastern University holds that preserve the history of small organizations in the Boston area that made a huge impact in the day-to-day lives of ordinary people. As the quote from Margaret Mead, that appears on the Coalition’s annual reports, reminds us, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Celebrate Open Access Week With Us! Oct. 20-26, 2014

Open Access Week Are you: …a scientist hoping to maximize the audience for your research? …a student who’s tried to access a journal article through Google and hit a paywall? …an early career researcher concerned about establishing your scholarly reputation? …a taxpayer who wants to be able to access government-funded health research? If so, then Open Access is relevant to you! This week, Snell Library is celebrating International Open Access Week, which highlights the importance of expanding access to research on a global scale. Open Access Week is an international event now in its eighth year – its purpose is to raise awareness about inequities in access to information and promote change in the publishing industry. Traditionally, researchers access information they need through a personal subscription, buying a book, or accessing information through a library. But what if your library doesn’t have a subscription? Or, what happens when you graduate? Or, what about researchers in developing countries where the costs of access are out of reach? (Journal subscriptions can cost thousands of dollars.) These are some of the reasons why opening access to research is important. The theme of International Open Access Week this year is “Generation Open” – highlighting the importance of students and early career researchers as advocates for change. Snell Library has several events planned to celebrate OA Week; given the theme this year, I’m very pleased that for the first time, one of our events features a Northeastern student’s work! And be sure to stop by our table in the lobby of Snell every day this week (11:30-1:30) to learn more and pick up a totebag, laser-cut bookmark, or pen! Schedule of Events Monday, October 20 3:00 pm-4:30 pm 90 SL Webcast: “Generation Open” Panel Discussion Speakers will discuss the importance of students and early career researchers in the transition to Open Access and explore how changes in scholarly publishing affect scholars and researchers at different stages of their careers. Refreshments will be served. Wednesday, October 22 3:30 pm-8:30 pm Digital Scholarship Commons (211 SL) Wikipedia Edit-a-thon Join us to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of under-represented groups in Massachusetts and U.S. history. This hack-a-thon style session will focus on editing and updating Wikipedia pages in a group setting. Participants do not need any prior experience with Wikipedia, just bring a laptop and a power supply. Refreshments will be served. Thursday, October 23 12:00 pm-1:00 pm DMC 3D Printing Studio 3D Printing Presentation: Andreas Aghamianz Northeastern student Andreas Aghamianz (COE ’18) will discuss the process of fabricating and assembling his open-sourced inMoov robotic hand. Thursday, October 23 2:00 pm-3:00 pm 90 SL Webcast: The Right Metrics for Generation Open Stacy Konkiel of Impactstory presents a guide to getting credit for practicing open science. Refreshments will be served.

Open Access Week: Monday, October 22

This week is the sixth International Open Access Week – a global event highlighting the importance of open access to information. We’re offering four events this week that focus on different aspects of Open Access. Today’s event is a webcast cosponsored by SPARC and the World Bank – it’s a 90-minute panel and Q&A moderated by Heather Joseph, the Executive Director of SPARC. The World Bank recently was named a SPARC Innovator for its open access policy and launch of an open data repository. The panelists are:
  • Michael Carroll, Professor of Law, American University and founding Board Member, Creative Commons
  • Matt Cooper, President, The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students
  • Maricel Kann, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland and member, PubMed Central National Advisory Committee, NIH.
  • Carlos Rossel, Publisher, The World Bank
  • Neil Thakur, Special Assistant to the Deputy Director, Extramural Research, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
We’ll be streaming the webcast in the DMC AV Circle #1 (the one with the puzzle-piece wall); refreshments will be served. It’s a 90-minute event, from 4:00-5:30 pm. You’ll also see a table set up in the lobby all week at lunchtime (11:30-1:30), staffed by me and some of our liaison librarians – stop by for lots of information about Open Access and free giveaways! Information about the full week is on our website at http://library.northeastern.edu/openaccess.

Snell gets a permanent upgrade!

In addition to the already available group study rooms located throughout Snell, four new media:scape tables were recently installed on the first floor for all members of the University to use. These high-tech tables are an efficient, modern approach to increase effective group interaction by allowing all students to engage in the project and freely share their ideas. So how exactly do these media:scape tables work? Each station is equipped with one or two monitors which students can use to display their laptop screens by simply plugging it into a central outlet. With a stylish layout of tables and chairs, students can both relax and communicate with one another while their group work is projected on the large monitor. Through these new media:scape tables, information is now easier to convey and display to group mates all while students are sitting in one of the comfortable ergonomic seats. What is so unique about the new media:scape tables is that they are a direct result of what Northeastern students requested! Last fall, Snell sampled a table for about three months to observe how often students used it, if at all. The feedback that Snell Library received was overwhelmingly positive, confirming that the media:scape tables would definitely be a worthwhile investment. These new media:scape tables offer students an innovative, learning environment, which is what the Library aspires to create. Currently, the Library and University is eager to explore more ways to utilize its study space and equipment, but these permanent stations have definitely put us on the right path to do so. If you’ve used one of our tables, let us know about your experience by filling out our data collection survey! Click here to fill it out. For more information about the media:scape stations, please visit here!