Summer goal-setting for academics

I like to share interesting and useful blog posts that I find, and this morning I read one that resonated with me because I’m gearing up to set goals for both the summer and the coming year. Chances are, you are, too! In higher ed, we tend to think of summer as “project time,” whether we’re gearing up to start researching for a new article or book, or finally turning our attention to something that’s been pushed to the back burner during the academic year. But so often, it seems like the summer’s over before we know it, and the projects haven’t gotten done. Kerry Ann Rockquemore writes a blog called “Career Advice” for Inside Higher Ed; her post this morning is “Support for Summer Writers: No More Post-Summer Regret.” Rockquemore offers useful advice on planning what she calls SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attractive, Realistic and Time-Framed. So, instead of your goal being “work on book,” it might be “complete first draft of chapter 2 by August 1st.” She advises that we look carefully at our calendars for the summer, making sure that time already committed to other things (vacation, conferences, etc.) is blocked out. Only then will we know exactly how much time we can devote to our summer goals and be able to make realistic plans. I know that I definitely work more effectively, and feel more of a sense of accomplishment, when I have a “to-do” list and can cross things off as they’re completed. But I do have a tendency to make those “work on book”-type goals that are vague and have no specific timeline, and now I can see that I’m setting myself up for failure by doing so. So, the first item on my to-do list for today is: “Look at calendar and determine specific schedule for working on summer projects.”

Researchers: Share your views on open access publishing

I received this announcement today on a listserv I belong to. The Study of Open Access Publishing (SOAP) seeks to gain insight into researchers’ views and experiences on open access publishing through your completion of a brief survey. Although sponsored by the European Commission, SOAP is seeking respondents from all parts of the world (and at all stages of their careers). Here is the message they sent:
The SOAP Project (*), funded by the European Commission, would like to announce the release of an online survey to assess researchers’ experiences with open access publishing. This survey aims to inform the most comprehensive analysis of attitudes to open access publishing to date and is seeking views from a wide a range of interested parties. It is primarily aimed at active researchers in public and private organizations, from all fields of the research in the sciences and humanities and focuses on publication of research articles in (open access) peer-reviewed journals. If you would like to contribute to shaping the public discourse on open access, please visit: http://surveymonkey.com/soap_survey_d It should take 10-15 minutes to complete. The survey outcome will be made public and the resulting insights as well as recommendations will be openly shared with the European Commission, publishers, research funding agencies, libraries and researchers. Thanks in advance, the SOAP Project Team info@project-soap.eu (*) Note: The SOAP consortium is coordinated by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. It represents key stakeholders in open access, such as publishers BioMed Central, SAGE and Springer; funding agencies (the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council) and libraries (the Max Planck Digital Library of the Max Planck Society). The project runs for two years, from March 2009 to February 2011.

Advice for new faculty: “Get out there and shake it!”

I just read a great blog post on Inside Higher Ed — “Get Out There and Shake It!” by Kerry Ann Rockquemore. It offers valuable advice to new faculty wanting to make connections at their institution, but I think it’s excellent reading for anyone wanting to improve their collegial relationships on campus. In a nutshell, Rockquemore’s advice is, don’t wait for people to come to you. Seeking out your colleagues (as the title suggests, getting out there and shaking hands) is a surefire way to make sure you’re on their radar as well as improving their impressions of you. It’s advice that I needed to hear — as Scholarly Communication Librarian, I definitely need to connect with faculty and help them connect with each other. (So, you can bet you’ll be hearing from me soon!)

Faculty as Authors, Faculty as Researchers: What You Need to Know About the Google Book Search Settlement

Note: This is a longer version of an article that appeared in the Libraries’ most recent faculty newsletter. Google Book Search started in 2004 as a project to digitize and make available online millions of books held by a group of major university libraries. The plan was to digitize everything but only make fully available those books that were in the public domain, that is, no longer protected by copyright law. The books that were still under copyright would be presented in “snippets” – a few sentences displaying a user’s search terms in context, but the entire work would not be made available online. Copyright holders would also be given the option of granting permission for their work to be made freely available in its entirety, or for a limited preview (more extensive than the “snippet” view) to be made available online. In 2008, a group of authors and publishers initiated a class action lawsuit against Google, who they claim violated their copyrights by scanning and digitizing published works without permission. Google denied any wrongdoing, claiming that its actions are covered by the concept of “fair use” in U.S. copyright law; however, it decided to offer a settlement to the group of authors and publishers rather than having the suit go to trial. If you are the author of a book published in the United States (or a chapter in such a book) before January 5, 2009, you need to know how the Google Book Search Settlement affects you. First, determine whether you or your publisher holds the copyright to your book. If you hold the copyright and want to receive payment for the inclusion of your work in Google Book Search, or exclude your work entirely from Google Book Search, then you must “claim” your work or works at the Google Book Search Settlement administration website by June 5, 2010. If your publisher owns the copyright to your book, then the publisher gets to decide if it will be included in Google Book Search, and it will be entitled to the rights holder’s financial compensation. Some argue that the Google Book Search settlement, if approved, sets a dangerous precedent in its handling of what are called “orphan works” – books still in copyright and for which the rights holders cannot be identified or located. The Department of Justice submitted a “statement of concern” that Google would have the potential to monopolize the commercial market for these works. Google submitted a revision of the proposed settlement on November 13, 2009, which contained provisions for an independent trustee to represent the missing rights holders and removing some of the barriers to other companies licensing content digitized by Google. However, the fact remains that access to these works may change over time. This affects you as a researcher, as do the provisions of the settlement that limit full-text access and printing capabilities. Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – but in the case of Google Book Search, just how that will happen is still uncertain. Recommended Reading “About Google Books” http://www.google.com/googlebooks/about.html “Google Book Search” http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/google_inc/google_book_search/index.html “Google Book Search and the Future of Books in Cyberspace” http://ssrn.com/abstract=1535067 “The Google Book Search Settlement: A New Orphan-Works Monopoly?” http://uchicagolaw.typepad.com/faculty/2009/04/the-google-book-search-settlement-a-new-orphanworks-monopoly.html “Google Book Settlement” http://www.googlebooksettlement.com/ “Google Books Settlement: Key Players Comment” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/23/google-books-settlement-k_n_361393.html “Will Your Book Be in Google?” http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/will-your-book-be-in-google-final.pdf

Librarian assumes new role in scholarly communication

Congratulations to Hillary Corbett on her movement to the new position of Scholarly Communication Librarian this past October!  She has chaired the Library’s Scholarly Communication Committee, which worked on outreach to faculty about issues affecting them as researchers and authors, since its inception. Corbett’s new full-time position is devoted to scholarly communication to advance the Library’s focus on supporting research and publishing on campus; to promote the value of IRis as a research repository and publishing tool; and to keep the university community informed about relevant issues such as open access. In addition to her responsibilities as committee chair, she was formerly the Assistant Head for Receipt and Resource Control. There she supervised the group responsible for receiving and cataloging print materials for the Library, managing print journal subscriptions, and the physical processing (labeling, binding, etc.) of all library materials. Hillary says she plans to use Snell Snippets, in addition to the feed already in place, to share information on scholarly communication.  Stay tuned!