From time to time, I like to feature an object in IRis, our digital archive of research and scholarship at Northeastern, that’s been getting a lot of hits. I get a weekly report e-mailed to me of the most frequently accessed content in IRis, and there’s one honors project that’s been appearing near the top of that weekly list for quite a while now. “Profiling Pros and Cons: An Evaluation of Contemporary Criminal Profiling Methods” was submitted by Theresa M. Young in fulfillment of the Honors Program’s Junior/Senior Project requirement in 2006. In the past year, it’s been accessed 546 times, making it the second most-accessed document in IRis! We use Google Analytics to track usage of both the library website and IRis, and there’s a lot of fascinating information to be found in those metrics. For example, almost 81% of visitors found Theresa’s project through Google searches; the most commonly searched phrase that brought them to her project was “criminal profiling pros and cons,” where it’s the top result. Although the majority of visitors came from the United States, people in a total of 18 countries accessed Theresa’s project. I found it particularly noteworthy that of the 5 visits from Iraq, 3 of them came via the Department of Defense. Is Theresa’s research having an impact on criminal justice in Iraq? Regardless of how it’s being used, the popularity and relevance of her work, both in the US and around the world, is undeniable. (After graduating from Northeastern in 2006, Theresa Young went on to law school at the University of Richmond. While there, she served as Executive Editor of the Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest.)
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On December 2nd, 1970 (40 years ago!) the EPA began daily operations under Richard Nixon (one of few things he got right). This organization is responsible for researching and educating the public on environmental issues, as well as setting and enforcing environment-related legislation. Key programs you may be familiar with are vehicle emission standards, Clean Water Acts, and the Endangered Species Acts. As a part of NU Libraries’ Federal Depository program, we have government-issued reports available in print and online that explore various EPA related topics in detail. You can take out a print article from our government stacks on the oversight of recent EPA decisions, or you can read an online article on the EPA lifecycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions. There is much to choose from, so celebrate 40 years by taking a look at these resources. To view the library’s entire EPA collection, keyword search “EPA” in NUCat.
As usual, Snell is keeping up with the times and mobile technology is an area we wouldn’t want to miss out on. So don’t be surprised if you start seeing some of these little numbers popping up around Snell or elsewhere on campus. If you have a barcode scanner on your smartphone, try this QR code out and let us know what you think! (Of course, you can also access our mobile website at this address: http://www.lib.neu.edu/m)
The Directory of Open Access Journals lists 5,553 journals produced worldwide that are fully open access. But did you know that one of those journals is produced here at Northeastern University? In 2007, faculty members Geoffrey Davies and Elham Ghabbour began publishing the Annals of Environmental Science, a peer-reviewed, open access international journal for the environmental sciences. It’s now publishing its fourth volume! Some of our faculty authors have chosen to publish their research in open access journals — for example, Biology professor Kim Lewis has been published in the prestigious Public Library of Science journals PLoS Biology and PLoS Genetics. Why not try publishing open-access yourself?
The Right to Research Coalition asserts that access to research is a student right. They’re working to redefine the current system of scholarly communication — in which access to published research is limited to those at institutions that can afford to subscribe to expensive journals and databases. The huge expense of traditional subscription-based information is another issue driving the open access movement — why should that information be limited to those who can afford it? And it’s not cheap, either — check out the introductory animation on RRC’s homepage. You might be surprised that a subscription to ONE journal can be equal to or greater than a year’s worth of tuition at Northeastern! (See Sticker Shock: The Price of Library Resources for some price comparisons between journal subscriptions and big-ticket consumer items.) To celebrate Open Access Week, the Right to Research Coalition is presenting a webcast tonight (Thursday, 10/21) at 7:00 pm Eastern time, in conjunction with UC Berkeley. You can find out more about it here: http://www.righttoresearch.org/blog/open-access-week-2010.shtml.