Libraries

October is Open Access Month!

Open Access Month header

 

In October the Library celebrates Open Access Month—a time to highlight the importance of making research and information more accessible without cost. Events throughout the month will showcase many ways in which people here at Northeastern and around the world are working to make Open Access a reality, including projects in which you can participate! 

Open Access Month: Schedule of Events

Download a PDF schedule!   Zotero in 30 Minutes Tuesday, October 4, 2:00-2:30 DSC Media Lounge Learn about using Zotero, one of the most well-known free, open source citation management tools, to organize your research. Track and gather all of your research in one place and automatically format citations and bibliographies—bring your laptop to get started right away. DH Open Office Hours Wednesday, October 5, 12:30-1:30 DSC Media Lounge Understanding copyright and fair use in the Digital Humanities will be the focus of this week’s regularly scheduled DH Open Office Hours. Citizen Science in Action with Zooniverse Thursday, October 6, 4:00-7:00 DSC Media Lounge Want to see how easy it is to contribute to citizen science research?  Drop in for a hack-a-thon style session and work with us on a Zooniverse project!  No prior experience is necessary. We’ll provide guidance (and pizza!), just bring a laptop or tablet to participate. More info available here! Refreshments will be served. Wikipedia Edit-a-thon Wednesday, October 12, 4:00-7:00 DSC Media Lounge 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. You do not need any prior experience with Wikipedia to participate. We’ll provide guidance, just bring a laptop or tablet to participate. Refreshments will be served. Managing Your Research Output for STEM Graduate Students Thursday, October 13, 11:00-12:00 422 SL Learn how and why to share your conference posters, presentation slides, codebase, and other products of your graduate research. Bring your questions about author rights, copyright, theses/dissertations, and anything else relevant to managing your output! We’ll provide info on resources available for you at the Library and elsewhere on campus. DSG/NULab Fall Welcome Event Monday, October 17, 3:00-6:30 90 SL Join the DSG and NULab at 3:00 for a keynote by Dan Cohen, Founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America. This event will also feature lightning talks by Northeastern students, staff, and faculty about their recent work in digital scholarship, from 4:00-5:15. It will end with an informal reception where you can continue the conversation with area colleagues. Because space is limited, please register at bit.ly/DSGNULab2016 by October 10. Refreshments will be served. Decoding the Dragon Wednesday, October 19, 12:00-2:00 DSC Seminar Space Learn to read Northeastern University’s only medieval manuscript with faculty member Erika Boeckeler. Write Gothic letters with quills, tweet using medieval texting (aka abbreviationes), get a parchment souvenir and a Gothic henna tattoo. Level up through activities to become a "scribe" and contribute original research that will integrate into the manuscript's website. We’ll provide guidance (and pizza!), just bring a laptop or tablet to participate. Refreshments will be served. Sourcing Multimedia for Your Course Thursday, October 20, 10:30-12:00 140 SL The Internet offers a variety of public domain and Creative Commons images, movies, and documents that may be used to support teaching and learning. Learn strategies for finding relevant media and crediting the media appropriately. Hosted by Academic Technology Services Creating Interactive Open Educational Resources Friday, October 21, 1:00-3:00 140 SL This course will show you the basics of using Storyline to create interactive educational resources. You’ll learn how to incorporate open source multimedia, create your own text, audio, and image content, and create interactive features. Finally, we’ll discuss options for publishing on the web and posting to open educational resource aggregator sites. Hosted by Academic Technology Services Storing and Sharing Files Using the Digital Repository Service Monday, October 24, 2:00-3:00 DSC Media Lounge Did you know the library can help you preserve your project and research materials, while also making those materials accessible on the web? This session will introduce faculty, staff, and students to the Digital Repository Service, the library's trusted resource for storing digital materials created or acquired by the Northeastern community. Data Management Plans and the DRS Tuesday, October 25, 12:30-1:30 DSC Media Lounge How can you effectively share and preserve research data while fulfilling grant requirements?  This session will describe the library’s support for research data management, including the DMPTool as an option to generate data management plans, and the Digital Repository Service as an option for preserving and sharing research data. Refreshments will be served. Film Screening & Discussion: The Internet’s Own Boy Tuesday, October 25, 4:00-6:00 90 SL Join us for a screening of a special one-hour edit of this documentary about programmer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz. An audience-guided discussion will follow the film. Refreshments will be served. Archival Collections Transcribe-a-thon Wednesday, October 26, 4:00-7:00 DSC Media Lounge Digitized collections of manuscripts and ephemera need help from human eyes to be more useful to readers and researchers. We’ll highlight several major archives where anyone can participate in transcribing digitized materials online and get you started on some of these fascinating projects, which range from historical restaurant menus to explorers’ logbooks to anthropologists’ field notes. Drop in at any point during the session and bring a laptop or tablet to participate. More info available here! Refreshments will be served. Hypothes.is in 30 Minutes Friday, October 28, 11:00-11:30 DSC Media Lounge We’ll go over the basics of how to use this open-source annotation tool in your research and teaching! For more information and to sign up for an account in advance, visit hypothes.is.

Harvard open memo says major journal publishers’ prices are “untenable”

On April 17, 2012, Harvard University's Faculty Advisory Council on the Library issued an open memo to the Harvard community stating that "major periodical subscriptions cannot be sustained" due to high prices and unreasonable publisher practices. If this topic sounds familiar, it's because it's already been in the news recently - in January, mathematician Timothy Gowers-Lee blogged about these issues specifically as they relate to publishing giant Elsevier. In February, a website was created where scholars could sign on to a boycott of Elsevier; as of today over 10,000 signatures have been gathered. The Harvard memo avoids mentioning specific companies, instead  referring to "certain publishers" that receive close to $3.75 million per year from Harvard for its subscriptions to their journals. Harvard's expenses for online journal content from just two major providers has increased 145% over the past six years. The memo states, "The Faculty Advisory Council to the Library, representing university faculty in all schools and in consultation with the Harvard Library leadership,  reached this conclusion: major periodical subscriptions, especially to electronic journals published by historically key providers, cannot be sustained: continuing these subscriptions on their current footing is financially untenable. Doing so would seriously erode collection efforts in many other areas, already compromised." Harvard University is certainly not alone in struggling with rising subscription costs - it's been discussed in the professional literature since the 1990s, when publishers introduced the "big deal" pricing model of requiring libraries to subscribe to less important journals along with their subscriptions to essential titles. Only recently, though, have the mainstream media begun reporting on publishers' questionable practices. Although it's too soon to say whether the Harvard memo will have any direct impact on the industry, it's definitely increasing public awareness of an issue that  not only affects Harvard but is jeopardizing the financial sustainability of academia as a whole. Recommended reading: ⇒ Full text of the Faculty Advisory Council Memorandum on Journal Pricing ⇒ "Harvard Now Spending Nearly $3.75 Million on Academic Journal Bundles," The Atlantic, April 23, 2012 ⇒ "The wealthiest university on Earth can’t afford its academic journal subscriptions," io9.com, April 24, 2012 ⇒ "If Harvard Can’t Afford Academic Journal Subscriptions, Maybe It’s Time for an Open Access Model," Time, April 26, 2012 ⇒ "Harvard panel pushes benefits of free journals," The Boston Globe, April 28, 2012  

Open Access Week: October 24-30, 2011

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its fifth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research. Open access to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole. During the week of October 24-30, the Northeastern University Libraries will host a series of events to celebrate Open Access. The events will cover a range of topics:
  • open collaboration in the sciences
  • the effects of Wikipedia and social networking on student research
  • open access works by Northeastern faculty
  • free and open college textbooks
  • data gathering and storage needs of grad students
Click here to view the full schedule of events for Open Access Week. The Library has supported Open Access in the Northeastern community since 2006 in the form of the University’s digital archive, IRis. The goal of IRis is to collect, manage, preserve, and share the intellectual output and historical record of Northeastern University. IRis provides open access to NU researchers who want to promote and preserve their materials, to NU students who require digital storage and promotion of their dissertations and theses, to NU administrators who need to save important university records, and to anyone who is seeking information on the intellectual productivity of the Northeastern community. Since its start, IRis has expanded to hold 531 faculty publications and approximately 600 dissertations and master’s theses. And since January 1, 2010, there have been over 230,000 downloads of full-text items from IRis, which include scholarly content as well as university archival content. Building upon the success of IRis, the Library will soon offer a robust digital repository and preservation service to the campus for digital collections, images, media, and data, as well as accompanying metadata and consulting help.

A Snapshot of Snell's 20th Anniversary

After all the hard work and planning that our library staff put into the 20th Anniversary Celebration, it is good to reflect on such a successful event. Here are some photo memories for your viewing pleasure: [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="A large crowd showed up for Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero's talk in Snell's lobby."][/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The audience was able to ask questions."][/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="As our featured speaker of the afternoon, David Ferriero was presented with a gift by Dean of Libraries Will Wakeling."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3551" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="After the talk, there was delicious cake available for students who needed a break from studying for their finals."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3552" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The VIP guests at the event were invited upstairs to a reception."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3553" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="President Aoun led everyone in a toast..."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3554" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="...and also cut the celebratory cake with Nancy Caruso (David Ferriero's co-op advisor), Provost Stephen Director, David Ferriero, and Dean Will Wakeling."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3563" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="A group of Snell Library's major donors in attendance at the event."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3555" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Past co-op students Jordan Hellman and Steven Olimpio gave speeches on their experiences working at Snell."][/caption] For more information on Snell Library's 20th Anniversary visit www.lib.neu.edu/20th Photos taken by Mary Knox Merrill

Your Rental Dog Is Now Overdue: The Library as Physical Place

This morning I read two articles that got me thinking about the role of the academic library today, both in terms of its physical space and the services it can/should provide. The first article is written by our own president, Joseph Aoun, and it appeared today in the Chronicle of Higher Education online: "Learning Today: The Lasting Value of Place." President Aoun posits that despite the increasing role that online learning plays in higher education, the experiences we have on a physical campus cannot be replicated online. I couldn't agree more -- something that has been coming up in the "library literature" for at least a decade is the concept of how libraries can remain at the heart of campus when their physical presence seems to matter less and less. When I look around Snell Library and see every seat at every table filled, students practicing their American Sign Language together, and users getting help at the Research Assistance desk, I think exactly what President Aoun writes, that "the range of human interactions inherent in place-based education [cannot] be fully replicated in a virtual environment." The second article I read has to do with libraries expanding their services beyond what many would consider traditional and maybe even appropriate. Perhaps you read a couple of months ago that the Yale Law Library was piloting a program in which students could "check out" a therapy dog for a half-hour session of stress relief. Now, Cornell University has started a bike rental program through its library, called Big Red Bikes. What do you think about libraries getting into the business of bike rentals and dog borrowing? Is it too far from the academic mission of a university library, or is it a clever idea to keep libraries centered in the physical campus? Phil Davis, a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell who writes on the blog Scholarly Kitchen, feels that these services "start diluting the brand of the academic library" ("Bike Sharing Comes to the Academic Library"). But we've been there before: perhaps you recall when Snell Library opened the Cyber Cafe 10 years ago -- at the time, it was kind of an outrageous concept... serving food and drinks, in the library? Quelle horreur! But now it seems like no big deal. Ten years from now, will we happily embrace the concept of an academic library whose services include dogs, bikes, and beyond? Whether or not this catches on as a mainstream trend, one thing I know is that libraries, physical and digital, will still be found at the heart of their campuses.