publishing

Expanded Access to Online Research During COVID-19 Situation

While the COVID-19 virus has made completing the spring 2020 semester more complicated, including leading to the closure of the Snell Library building, Northeastern University Library’s staff is dedicated to continuing to provide quality research service and resources to students, faculty, and staff. Users can still get assistance from library specialists and can access our databases and electronic books, journals, and streaming videos online. For more information about accessing library services remotely, visit library.northeastern.edu/resilience.

In addition to the efforts of Northeastern University Library staff, many publishers of scholarly resources have attempted to ease the stress of this difficult situation by temporarily making their resources freely available. The library will be updating Scholar OneSearch to reflect this new access, and you can see the list of new resources below. This list will be updated as new resources become available.

5MinuteConsult

5MinuteConsult is a fully integrated digital resource to help guide clinical students and medical professionals in decision support, giving access to information needed to obtain diagnoses, treatment, and management for diseases. The content will be freely available through May 22. Northeastern University credentials required.

Academic Search Ultimate

Academic Search Complete is an interdisciplinary database containing newspaper, magazine, and academic peer-reviewed articles from leading publications and reference sources. EBSCO has increased coverage from Complete to Ultimate, increasing the number of available journal titles through June 15. Northeastern University credentials required.

AccessAnesthesiology

AccessAnesthesiology is an award-winning medical reference and teaching platform that delivers world-renowned, interdisciplinary content integrated with analytical teaching and learning tools. McGraw-Hill has made its AccessAnesthesiology collection available until September 14. Northeastern University credentials required.

AccessEngineering

AccessEngineering is an award-winning engineering reference and teaching platform that delivers world-renowned, interdisciplinary engineering content integrated with analytical teaching and learning tools. McGraw-Hill has made its AccessEngineering collection available until September 14. Northeastern University credentials required.

Acland's Video Atlas of Human Anatomy

Acland's Anatomy provides realistic, three-dimensional videos of the human anatomy. The content will be freely available through May 22. Northeastern University credentials required.

Annual Reviews

Annual Reviews provides definitive reviews in 37 scientific disciplines, focusing on biomedical, physical, and social sciences. It is an excellent source for finding overviews of new topics. Annual Reviews has made all journal content freely available until April 30.

Bates' Visual Guide

Bates' Visual Guide provides video tutorials on physical examination techniques for those in the health sciences. The content will be freely available through May 22. Northeastern University credentials required.

Business Source Ultimate

Business Source Ultimate contains scholarly articles related to business, marketing, management, MIS, POM, accounting, finance, and economics and is searchable by company and industry as well as keyword. EBSCO has increased coverage from Complete to Ultimate, increasing the number of available journal titles through June 15. Northeastern University credentials required.

Cambridge Textbooks

Cambridge Textbooks provides access to more than 700 textbooks in a wide variety of disciplines. Cambridge University Press has made access to these textbooks free until May 31.

eBook Academic Collection

EBSCO has opened its entire ebook collection for users through June 15. Northeastern University credentials required.

EBSCOhost eBook Collection

EBSCOhost eBook Collection provides access to mostly nonfiction ebooks from a variety of publishers. It contains both popular and academic ebooks on education, psychology, sports and fitness, technology, and business. Many EBSCOhost publishers have expanded their licenses to unlimited access through June 15, allowing faculty to assign books without concern that students will be denied access. Northeastern University credentials required.

Emerald Ebook Collection

Emerald has expanded ebook holdings to include the Business, Management, & Economics; Social Sciences; and Transport collections through May 15. Northeastern University credentials required.

Flipster

Flipster is a magazine browsing platform that EBSCO has made available through June 15. Northeastern University credentials required.

JoVE Science Education

JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) Science Education is a video database dedicated to teaching laboratory fundamentals through simple, easy-to-understand video demonstrations. Each video is paired with additional video resources for you to view practical applications of the technique and other complementary skills. JoVE has made all Science Education modules available through June 15. Northeastern University credentials required.

JSTOR Archival Journal Collections

JSTOR has opened additional journal collections for use, including Ecology & Botany II, Hebrew Journals, Jewish Studies, Ireland Collection, and Lives of Literature, through June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

JSTOR Ebooks

JSTOR and partnering publishers have made more than 30,000 of their ebooks available in a wide range of disciplines until June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

JSTOR Primary Source Collections

JSTOR has made the Global Plants, 19th Century British Pamphlets, Struggles for Freedom: Southern Africa, and World Heritage Sites: Africa primary source collections available until June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

JSTOR Public Health Journals

This set of  26 public health journals has been made freely available by JSTOR in collaboration with various publishers until June 30.

LitCovid

LitCovid is a curated literature hub for tracking up-to-date scientific information about the 2019 novel Coronavirus, compiled by the National Institutes of Health. It is the most comprehensive resource on the subject, providing a central access to more than 1000 relevant articles in PubMed. The articles are updated daily and are further categorized by different research topics and geographic locations for improved access.

LWW Health Library

The LWW Health Library contains textbooks, multimedia assets, and other resources related to medical, pharmacy, or health sciences programs. The content will be freely available through May 22. Northeastern University credentials required.

MIT Press Direct

MIT Press Direct contains ebooks on wide variety of subjects. MIT has made more than 3,000 of those titles freely available through May 31.

Oxford Handbooks / Oxford Very Short Introductions

Oxford Handbooks and Oxford Very Short Introductions provide overviews of topics and a critical survey of the current state of scholarship, creating an original conception of the field and setting the agenda for new research. Oxford has made both series available through June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

PolicyMap

PolicyMap is a mapping tool for accessing data on demographics, real estate, health, jobs, and more about communities across the U.S. to make better-informed decisions. It is freely available through June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

Project MUSE

Project MUSE provides access to articles from journals in the humanities, including religion, literature, philosophy, cultural studies, women’s studies, film, and the arts. Several Project MUSE publishers have made their ebooks freely available through at least May.

ProQuest Coronavirus Research Database

ProQuest has assembled a database of only available articles concerning coronavirus and related topics. All content is open, although Northeastern University credentials are required.

ProQuest Ebook Central

ProQuest Ebook Central contains more than 150,000 ebooks, mostly scholarly titles from leading academic and university presses. ProQuest has expanded all licenses to unlimited access through June 15, allowing faculty to assign books without concern that students will be denied access. Northeastern University credentials required.

SAGE Knowledge / SAGE Video

SAGE Knowledge contains ebooks, videos, and more that cover key social science disciplines. SAGE has made additional content freely available through June 15. 

ScienceDirect

ScienceDirect provides access to selected journal titles from the scholarly publisher Elsevier and its affiliates. Elsevier has also made a group of more than 240 textbooks available through at least June 15. Northeastern University credentials required.

University of California Press Journals

The University of California Press has made all of their journal content freely available through June.

University of Michigan Ebooks

The University of Michigan has made their ebook collection free to read online through April 30. Downloading is limited to open access titles.

University Press Scholarship Online

University Press Scholarship Online publishes books from a roster of contributing university presses. Publishers have made more than 30,000 ebooks available through June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

World Scientific Journals

World Scientific Journals provide access to scholarly research in a number of scientific fields. Publishers have made all content published after 2001 accessible through June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

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.

Affordable Textbooks 2012…Now, With Even More Options! [Updated]

It's been two years since I last posted about textbooks, and with classes starting this week, I thought it was a good time to write an update to that post. Since then, a few things have changed.

First, the Bad News...

The cost of textbooks just keeps going up. The New York Times article from October 2009 that I cited in my previous post estimated that college students spent, on average, between $700 and $1,000 each year on textbooks. Fast forward to August 2012... the Wall Street Journal just reported that the average student's textbook bill is now up to $1,213 a year. (Of course, you can always try selling a purchased textbook back to the bookstore at the end of the term, but, having stood in the buyback line myself recently, I know as well as you do that it's not exactly a money-making opportunity - if you're able to sell it back at all, that is. Textbook editions change so frequently that the copy you just bought may well be worthless in only a few months.)

Okay, How About Some Good News?

There now are more alternatives to paying the full amount for a new, hardcover textbook. Textbook rental programs have really taken off in the past couple of years - the NU bookstore has been offering a rental program since Fall 2010, with both print and e-textbooks available for rental. If you're taking ENGL 1102 this semester, for example, you can choose between buying a new or used copy of Ways of Reading, or rent a copy for about half the cost of buying a new one. Rental can be a good option when you can't picture yourself referring back to your dogeared copy after you're done with the course. Online rental companies are also popular - Chegg has been around for a while, and Amazon just got into the textbook rental market, too (although at least one blogger found their selection a bit "skimpy"). It seems like we've been hearing a lot about e-textbooks for a long time now, but the iPad has really helped that market take off in the last year. More publishers are working to convert their traditional textbooks into iPad apps, which allow for interactivity in ways that an e-book on, say, a Kindle doesn't offer. It looks like publishers are realizing that an e-textbook can be much more than a PDF. "Open" textbooks are also gaining traction, as more faculty choose to adopt them for their courses. Publishers like Flat World Knowledge and Boundless offer online learning materials that are free or available for purchase on a sliding scale. Individual faculty are creating open educational resources (OERs) as well - here at Northeastern, Dr. Albert-László Barabási's network science course website offers a great example of how OERs can be much more than static texts.

What's the Bottom Line?

This is a great time to start investigating alternatives to traditional printed textbooks - and as you can see, there are lots of options. Faculty - I encourage you to "think outside the shrinkwrap," if you're not already doing so. Students - investigate options and talk to your instructors. Let them know that you want to see textbooks become more affordable. And, if nothing else, ask them to put a desk copy of the textbook on reserve at the library! Update, 9/10/12: If you’re interested in learning about new developments in this area, I maintain an up-to-date list of links to news stories and blog posts on Delicious (also available as an RSS feed).  

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  

Scholars call for boycott of Elsevier over high prices and copyright maximalism [Updated]

Mega-publisher Elsevier has been garnering some negative publicity of late. Last month it was revealed that its political action group funded the re-election campaigns of Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), one of the authors of the controversial Research Works Act (H.R. 3699) that would prohibit open access to articles resulting from government-funded research. [Update: On 2/27/2012, Elsevier announced it no longer backed the Research Works Act, and the sponsoring legislators subsequently announced they will not pursue the bill further.] Now, thousands of scholars are signing an agreement to boycott Elsevier in protest of its high subscription prices, its practice of bundling journals (so libraries are forced to subscribe to titles they don't want), and its support of restrictive legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and the Research Works Act. Although members of the library community have protested such practices by Elsevier and other large publishers for years, this marks the first occasion that members of the research community--the people who write the articles and serve as peer reviewers or editors--have taken a large-scale stand. Timothy Gowers, a prominent mathematician, wrote a blog post on January 21, 2012, in which he discussed the issues outlined above and asked, "Why can’t we just tell Elsevier that we no longer wish to publish with them?" A reader took up the challenge and created a website where scholars could register their dissatisfaction and refusal to provide free labor for Elsevier in the form of research, peer review, and editorial duties. Within its first ten days of existence, the website has collected the signatures of over 2,700 scholars worldwide. The boycott has received a lot of media attention, perhaps especially because it has grown so exponentially in such a short period of time. And many writers are asking: because scholars are both producers and consumers of research journals, do they have the ability to disrupt the scholarly publishing system and effect lasting change? Further reading: