open access

Open Access Week: Data Management and Sharing

OA Week Today I’m blogging from UMass Amherst, where I came to attend three events being held as part of Open Access Week. I just came from the second event, which was a focus group with grad students on their data management needs. Data management is of increasing interest on university campuses — researchers are generating more data than ever before, and while we’re able to store more information in smaller physical spaces, it still seems like a challenge to keep up with the demand for more space. What I learned from the students at this session is that different disciplines have their own ways of managing data, and methods for doing so might differ between grad students and their advisors within a single lab or research group. They want their data to be accessible from anywhere in the world, and many find their current arrangements for managing and sharing data to be unsatisfactory. (E-mailing data to themselves or each other or transferring data on USB sticks is common.) And yes — they want more! space! One grad student estimated that his lab produces multiple terabytes of data on a weekly basis. Students are also concerned about the NSF’s new requirement that a data management plan be included in grant applications. And they would love someone to come and consult with their departments on data management. Many of them would be happy to share their raw data with other researchers. Does any of this sound familiar? Do you have other, different concerns about your data? At Snell, we are very interested in talking with you and your research colleagues, whether you are students or faculty. Attending this focus group really emphasized to me that we need to begin reaching out to researchers on campus to learn what your needs are. Feel free to get in touch with me about your data management concerns!

Welcome to Open Access Week!

"OA Open Access Week is a global event that highlights the movement to provide worldwide access to scholarly literature without the need for expensive journal subscriptions. You’ve probably heard of “think globally, act locally” in regard to environmentalism, but this way of thinking can also be applied to open access. By promoting a worldwide event like OA Week, we hope to inspire members of the Northeastern community to adopt an open access mindset where possible in their research, teaching, and campus activities. I’ll be writing a new blog post each day this week highlighting some of the work we’re doing here at Northeastern to support open access as well as the amazing things that are going on at other colleges and universities. I hope you’ll get inspired to learn more about how open access can dramatically improve the availability of information to everyone. IRis First, you probably know about IRis, our digital archive of scholarship, publishing, and preservation. (And if you don’t know about it, now’s the time to find out!) But did you know that IRis contains over 1,700 items, from doctoral dissertations to undergraduate capstone projects to Faculty Senate meeting minutes? It’s like a time capsule for the university that keeps getting more and more comprehensive each week. And all the materials in IRis are intended to be openly accessible to the entire world — so it’s not like one of those databases that asks you to sign in with your myNEU username and password from off-campus. That means we — well, you, since it’s your material in IRis — get visitors to IRis from all over the world. It’s a fantastic way to showcase your research to a global audience, and anyone at Northeastern can participate. Visitors to IRis in 2010 In a previous blog post, I highlighted the impact IRis can have — an article on Wired.com cited an undergraduate engineering capstone project, bringing the student group 300 downloads of their project in a single month!

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.

Mechanical Engineering students’ capstone project cited in Wired.com article

On March 9, 2010, the popular website Wired.com published an article titled “Mile-High Mega Kites Could Pull Giant, Floating Power Plants,” by author Alexis Madrigal. Madrigal cited the work of six NU students, and included a link to their capstone project, which had been published in IRis, Northeastern’s digital archive of scholarship. In the past 2 months, their capstone project, “Hydroelectric Power Generator: Technical Design Report,” which the students created in the course MIME1501 in May 2002, has been viewed 350 times by readers of the Wired article. Congratulations to student authors Anthony Chesna, Tony DiBella, Tim Hutchins, Saralyn Kropf, Jeff Lesica, and Jim Mahoney! Want to increase your citation rate? Submit your work to IRis!

New Scholarly Communication Resource

“Scholarly communication” may not sound like all that exciting of a topic, but there’s actually so many interesting ways in which it affects all of us in academia, whether we’re students, faculty, or staff. A committee here at Snell Library has been working really hard to assemble a resource for the NU community on scholarly communication. This website provides news and information about topics related to this issue, such as academic publishing, copyright issues, and open access. Be sure to check out this great new site if you’re interested in any of these areas!