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NCSU Libraries use tweets to collect history

NCSU Libraries have recently collected more than 1.2 million tweets from more than 380,000 Twitter accounts as part of its “New Voices and Fresh Perspectives: Collecting Social Media” initiative.
This type of archiving can be used to supplement traditional data collection methods. With standard practices, a historian might use personal notes, correspondence or intellectual papers to generate a historical perspective of that time’s events. With the focus on social media, the research team hopes to supplement these traditional forms of data with data that may be more relevant in today’s society. 
“People aren’t writing formal letters anymore,” said Jason Casden, interim associate head of Digital Library Initiatives.

From NCSU Libraries use tweets to collect history - Technician: Features

Scholars and activists stand in solidarity with shuttered research-sharing sites

This week, the scholarly publishing giant Elsevier filed suit against Sci-Hub and Library Genesis, two sites where academics and researchers practiced civil disobedience by sharing the academic papers that Elsevier claims -- despite having acquired the papers for free from researchers, and despite having had them refereed and overseen by editorial boards staffed by more volunteering academics.

This is the latest salvo in a long-simmering battle between people who value scholarly and scientific knowledge as a commons that must be shared to be valuable, and multinational corporations that see returns to shareholders as their first duty, with academic advancement and knowledge creation taking a back-seat.

From Scholars and activists stand in solidarity with shuttered research-sharing sites / Boing Boing

Journal Impact Factor Shapes Scientists’ Reward Signal in the Prospect of Publication

The incentive structure of a scientist’s life is increasingly mimicking economic principles. While intensely criticized, the journal impact factor (JIF) has taken a role as the new currency for scientists. Successful goal-directed behavior in academia thus requires knowledge about the JIF. Using functional neuroimaging we examined how the JIF, as a powerful incentive in academia, has shaped the behavior of scientists and the reward signal in the striatum. We demonstrate that the reward signal in the nucleus accumbens increases with higher JIF during the anticipation of a publication and found a positive correlation with the personal publication record (pJIF) supporting the notion that scientists have incorporated the predominant reward principle of the scientific community in their reward system. The implications of this behavioral adaptation within the ecological niche of the scientist’s habitat remain unknown, but may also have effects which were not intended by the community.

From PLOS ONE: Journal Impact Factor Shapes Scientists’ Reward Signal in the Prospect of Publication

Video: Campus Libraries Rethink Focus as Materials Go Digital

Sari Feldman, president of the American Library Association, sees a coming transformation of academic libraries thanks to technology. She says they are taking on greater roles in creating teaching materials and scholarship — and preserving tweets as well as books.

From Video: Campus Libraries Rethink Focus as Materials Go Digital - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Paperscape: A map of 1,089,837 scientific papers from the arXiv

A map of 1,089,837 scientific papers from the arXiv

Paperscape is a tool to visualise the arXiv, an open, online repository for scientific research papers. The Paperscape map currently includes all (non-withdrawn) papers from the arXiv and is updated daily.

Each paper in the map is represented by a circle, with the area of the circle proportional to the number of citations that paper has. In laying out the map, an N-body algorithm is run to determine positions based on references between the papers. There are two “forces” involved in the N-body calculation: each paper is repelled from all other papers using an anti-gravity inverse-distance force, and each paper is attracted to all of its references using a spring modelled by Hooke’s law. We further demand that there is no overlap of the papers.

From Paperscape

The Glacial Pace of Scientific Publishing: Why It Hurts Everyone and What We Can Do To Fix It

In fact, the situation with extreme delays in scientific publication is likely to be even worse than it appears from this informal and nonscientific survey. It is common practice at many journals to discard the date of initial submission and reset the submission counter to the final submission prior to a positive decision. Add to this the reality that many manuscripts are subjected to serial submission, rejection, and resubmission at multiple journals. This means that years not months can elapse between the initial submission at the first journal until the ultimate publication of the same paper at the final journal that accepts and publishes the work.

From The Glacial Pace of Scientific Publishing: Why It Hurts Everyone and What We Can Do To Fix It

How to hijack a journal

Even by the standards of Internet scams, the scheme is brazen. According to a tip sent to Science, fraudsters are snatching entire Web addresses, known as Internet domains, right out from under academic publishers, erecting fake versions of their sites, and hijacking their journals, along with their Web traffic.

From Feature: How to hijack a journal | Science/AAAS | News

Elsevier stopped me doing my research

Full disclosure, I downloaded approximately 30GB of data from Sciencedirect in approximately 10 days. This boils down to a server load of 35KB/s, 0.0021GB/min, 0.125GB/h, 3GB/day.

Approximately two weeks after I started downloading psychology research papers, Elsevier notified my university that this was a violation of the access contract, that this could be considered stealing of content, and that they wanted it to stop. My librarian explicitly instructed me to stop downloading (which I did immediately), otherwise Elsevier would cut all access to Sciencedirect for my university.

From Chris H.J. Hartgerink's Notebook

What Open-Access Publishing Actually Costs

Mr. Eve sees open access as a way to make publishing cheaper by spreading the costs across a large number of institutions. For organizations that aren’t motivated by profit, he thinks the model will work. As universities have faced budget cuts, he said, traditional publishers have continued to collect large amounts of revenue.

"They may have a different idea, in the mind of shareholders, as to what 'sustainable' actually means," Mr. Eve said.

From What Open-Access Publishing Actually Costs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

A digital portrait of Colonial life

Launched Monday, the website of the Colonial North American Project so far includes 150,000 images of diaries, journals, notebooks, and other rare documents from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Part of the University’s endeavor to digitize all its collections and make them available free of charge, the Colonial North American Project is unique because of its scale. According to a 2011 survey, the material is scattered through 12 repositories — from Houghton Library to the Harvard University Archives to Loeb Music Library.

From A digital portrait of Colonial life | Harvard Gazette

The Samuelson Clinic releases "Is it in the Public Domain?" handbook - Berkeley Law

The Samuelson Clinic is excited to provide a
handbook, “Is it in the Public Domain?,” and accompanying
visuals. These educational tools help users to evaluate the
copyright status of a work created in the United States between
January 1, 1923 and December 31, 1977—those works that were
created before today’s 1976 Copyright Act. Many important
works—from archival materials to family photos and movies—were created during this time, and it can be
difficult to tell whether they are still under copyright.

The handbook walks readers though a series of
questions—illustrated by accompanying charts—to help readers
explore whether a copyrighted work from that time is in the
public domain, and therefore free to be used without
permission from a copyright owner.  Knowing whether a work
is in the public domain or protected by copyright is an
important first step in any decision regarding whether or
how to make use of a work.

From The Samuelson Clinic releases "Is it in the Public Domain?" handbook - Berkeley Law

Novelist warns Stanford audience against utilitarian trends in higher education

In the 2015 Presidential Lecture in the Arts and Humanities, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson argued that if the American higher education system continues to shift priorities towards training instead of educating, students will be ill-equipped to participate as citizens of a democratic society.

From Novelist warns Stanford audience against utilitarian trends in higher education

LAM Education Needs Assessments: Bridging the Gaps

LAM Education Needs Assessments: Bridging the Gaps

Authored by Christina Drummond, Tom Clareson, Laurie Arp Gemmil, and Katherine Skinner, this publication aims to introduce guiding principles and practices for CE/PD needs assessments from beyond the LAM sphere of reference. A literature review section highlights needs assessment research from other fields (e.g., higher education, nonprofit training, etc.), drawing attention to models that could inform LAM practice. Existing LAM CE/PD needs assessment efforts are then contextualized against these models to inform future cross-sector CE/PD collaborations.

From Mapping the Landscapes | Educopia

How eBay's CSS Framework Helps Enforce Accessibility

A user interface control not only needs to look like a certain control, it must be described as that control too. Take for example a button, one of the simplest of controls. There are many ways you can create something that looks like a button, but unless you use the actual button tag (or button role – more on roles later), it will not be described as a button.

Why does it need to be described as a button? Users of AT (assistive technology), such as a screen reader, may not be able to see what the control looks like visually; therefore it is the job of the screen reader to describe it aurally. A screen reader, such as VoiceOver for Mac OSX and iOS, can do this job only if we, the developers, ensure the correct semantics are present in our HTML code.

From How Our CSS Framework Helps Enforce Accessibility | eBay Tech Blog

Addressing the resignation of the Lingua editorial board

Addressing the resignation of the Lingua editorial board
We regret the board’s decision to resign, but more so the misunderstandings that have accompanied it. We hope to clarify some of them here

From Addressing the resignation of the Lingua editorial board

What DO students and parents think a library is? Reddit : Libraries

I'm never quite sure what incoming undergraduates expect from university libraries. I know that when they walk in they may realize that it is the largest library that they have ever been inside. Maybe, the students try to picture how comfortable they would be studying here and assess the current environment on whatever given day their tour comes through. I just want to know what they think a "library" is and what exactly they expect from it.

From an interesting post at Reddit What DO students and parents think a library is? : Libraries

Entire editorial staff of Elsevier journal Lingua resigns over high price, lack of open access

The entire editorial staff of the prestigious academic title Lingua have resigned in protest over the high cost of subscribing to the journal, and the refusal of the journal's publisher, Elsevier, to convert the title completely to open access. The open access model allows anyone, whether an academic or not, to read a journal online for free. Currently, most academic journals are funded by subscriber payments; with open access journals, the model is flipped around, with institutions paying to publish their papers.

From Entire editorial staff of Elsevier journal Lingua resigns over high price, lack of open access | Ars Technica UK

Following Restructuring Harvard Libraries Report Large Savings

Harvard’s library system has reduced spending by $25 million in aggregate since 2009, largely due to a multi-year restructuring effort completed in 2012, according to an update distributed to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences prior to its meeting on Tuesday.

From Following Restructuring, Libraries Report Large Savings | News | The Harvard Crimson

What’s so special about Special Collections?

Patrons of modern libraries likewise expect the instant gratification of online viewing rather than having to pull print copies off the shelves, let alone jumping through the hoops necessary to obtain more restricted content. Having a pre-Carnegie access model in the age of Google Books is increasingly alienating to potential users.

From What’s so special about Special Collections? — Medium

Learning to Read. Again.

What does reverse outlining have to do with text mining? He might not realize it, but Aaron Hamburger, in a nice Opinionator essay that enumerates the virtues of outlining in reverse for creative writing, has made a fantastic justification for new research techniques of the digital humanities. Using his piece as a springboard, I argue here that historians would be well served to expand their notion of what it means to read—as oppose to analyze—a text or set of texts with digital methods.

From Learning to Read. Again.

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