Can Accessibility Liberate The “Lost Ark” of Scholarly Work?: University Library Institutional Repositories Are “Places of Public Accommodation”

Authors : Raizel Liebler, Gregory Cunningham

For any body of knowledge – an ark of power or a corpus of scholarship – to be studied and used by people, it needs to be accessible to those seeking information. Universities, through their libraries, now aim to make more of the scholarship produced available for free to all through institutional repositories.

However, the goal of being truly open for an institutional repository is more than the traditional definition of open access. It also means openness in a more general sense. Creating a scholarship-based online space also needs to take into consideration potential barriers for people with disabilities.

This article addresses the interaction between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and university academic library based institutional repositories. This article concludes that institutional repositories have an obligation to comply with the ADA to make scholarly works available to potential users with disabilities.

For managers of institutional repositories, following the law is an opportunity to make scholarship even more widely available. University open access institutional repositories need to be accessible to existing and potential disabled users. However, there are no specific rules that university institutional repositories must follow to be compliant with the ADA’s “public accommodation” standard.

Accessibility is a changeable, moveable wall, consistently and constantly needing to be additionally inclusive of more – more technology and more users, regardless of disability or limitations.

Institutional repositories should not become the crated Ark of the Covenant with their secrets locked inside; instead, they should be as open as possible to all, sharing the scholarship inside.

URL : https://repository.jmls.edu/lawreview/vol52/iss2/2/

Raising Visibility in the Digital Humanities Landscape: Academic Engagement and the Question of the Library’s Role

Authors : Kathleen Kasten-Mutkus, Laura Costello, Darren Chase

Academic libraries have an important role to play in supporting digital humanities projects in their communities. Librarians at Stony Brook University Libraries host Open Mic events for digital humanities researchers, teachers, and students on campus.

 Inspired by a desire to better serve digital humanists with existing projects, this event was initially organized to increase the visibility of scholars and students with nascent projects and connect these digital humanists to library supported resources and to one another.

For the Libraries, the Open Mic was an opportunity to understand the scope and practices of the digital humanities community at Stony Brook, and to identify ways to make meaningful interventions.

An open mic is a uniquely suitable event format in that it embodies a dynamic, permissive, multidisciplinary presentation space that is as much for exercising new and ongoing research (and technologies) as it is for making discoveries and connections.

The success of these events can be measured in the establishment of the University Libraries as a nexus for digital humanities work, consultations, instruction, workshops, and community on a campus without a designated digital humanities center.

The digital humanities Open Mic event at Stony Brook University locates the digital humanities within the library’s repertoire, while signaling that the library is — in a number of essential ways — open.

URL : http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/13/2/000420/000420.html

The Development of the Journal Evaluation Tool to Evaluate the Credibility of Publication Venues

Authors : Nataly Blas, Shilpa Rele, Marie R. Kennedy

INTRODUCTION

A shared concern among librarians who work in an academic environment is finding effective mechanisms to help faculty identify suitable publication venues. Determining the suitability is now also complicated by the need to determine the credibility of the venue itself, to ensure that faculty select a venue that is held in esteem.

DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT

At Loyola Marymount University (LMU), a medium-sized, private institution in the United States, three librarians developed a tool to assist faculty in determining the credibility of a publication venue, specifically for open access journals.

This article outlines the development of a tool to evaluate journals, the pilot testing process, and some of the measures taken for the promotion, outreach, and implementation of the tool. The goal of the tool is to inform publishing decisions using an objective measure of credibility and to empower authors to make publishing decisions for themselves.

NEXT STEPS

The authors have released the tool with a Creative Commons CC-BY license in order to enable the broad dissemination, use, and enhancement of it by anyone interested in using or developing the tool further.

It will be valuable to understand the adapted use cases of the tool and learn about experiences from other librarians using this tool at their institutions.

URL : The Development of the Journal Evaluation Tool to Evaluate the Credibility of Publication Venues

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2250

The complex nature of research dissemination practices among public health faculty researchers

Authors : Rosie Hanneke, Jeanne M. Link

Objective

This study explores the variety of information formats used and audiences targeted by public health faculty in the process of disseminating research.

Methods

The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with twelve faculty members in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, asking them about their research practices, habits, and preferences.

Results

Faculty scholars disseminate their research findings in a variety of formats intended for multiple audiences, including not only their peers in academia, but also public health practitioners, policymakers, government and other agencies, and community partners.

Conclusion

Librarians who serve public health faculty should bear in mind the diversity of faculty’s information needs when designing and improving library services and resources, particularly those related to research dissemination and knowledge translation.

Promising areas for growth in health sciences libraries include supporting data visualization, measuring the impact of non-scholarly publications, and promoting institutional repositories for dissemination of research.

URL : The complex nature of research dissemination practices among public health faculty researchers

Alternative location : http://jmla.pitt.edu/ojs/jmla/article/view/524

A model for initiating research data management services at academic libraries

Authors : Kevin B. Read, Jessica Koos, Rebekah S. Miller, Cathryn F. Miller, Gesina A. Phillips, Laurel Scheinfeld, Alisa Surkis

Background

Librarians developed a pilot program to provide training, resources, strategies, and support for medical libraries seeking to establish research data management (RDM) services. Participants were required to complete eight educational modules to provide the necessary background in RDM.

Each participating institution was then required to use two of the following three elements: (1) a template and strategies for data interviews, (2) a teaching tool kit to teach an introductory RDM class, or (3) strategies for hosting a data class series.

Case Presentation

Six libraries participated in the pilot, with between two and eight librarians participating from each institution. Librarians from each institution completed the online training modules.

Each institution conducted between six and fifteen data interviews, which helped build connections with researchers, and taught between one and five introductory RDM classes.

All classes received very positive evaluations from attendees. Two libraries conducted a data series, with one bringing in instructors from outside the library.

Conclusion

The pilot program proved successful in helping participating librarians learn about and engage with their research communities, jump-start their teaching of RDM, and develop institutional partnerships around RDM services.

The practical, hands-on approach of this pilot proved to be successful in helping libraries with different environments establish RDM services.

The success of this pilot provides a proven path forward for libraries that are developing data services at their own institutions.

URL : A model for initiating research data management services at academic libraries

Alternative location : http://jmla.pitt.edu/ojs/jmla/article/view/545

Library Subscriptions and Open Access: Highlights from the University of California Negotiations with Elsevier

Authors : Cory Tucker, Andrea Wirth, Annette Day

On February 28, 2019, the University of California (UC) System announced the cancellation of their $50 million journal subscription deal with Elsevier. The impetus behind the UC decision comes from two issues.

Firstly, the increasing costs of journal subscriptions in a landscape where library budgets remain flat. Secondly, the effort to shift the journal publishing model away from subscriptions to a sustainable open access model.

The following paper will provide background on issues with the scholarly communication process, academic library budgets and open access initiatives. Additional information will focus on the impact of journal subscription deals with large commercial publishers (including Elsevier) and highlight UNLV efforts to support open access.

URL : https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/lib_articles/653/

OER: Lessons from the Field

Authors : Roy Kaufman, Andrew Campana

As open educational resources (OER) expand in the US and elsewhere, attention should be paid to the challenges of implementing OER and solutions to those challenges. OER currently hold great promise for instructing students in K-12 (secondary) and primary school classrooms, because – unlike traditional curriculum materials – OER content can legally and freely be copied, used, adapted and reshared by anyone.

Notwithstanding the benefits, OER developers have not yet worked out certain structural issues that can make it difficult for teachers and students to use OER, impeding the adoption and broader acceptance of even the best designed OER curricula.

Links which disappear over time, device management, data and privacy concerns, quality, scope, sequence and alignment challenges, copyright issues and sustainability of OER curricula are all challenges that advocates of OER and curriculum designers often miss, ignore or avoid.

These challenges, however, can be overcome through thoughtful planning and partnerships, as has been done in the US with the successful Louisiana Guidebooks and other OER course materials.

URL : OER: Lessons from the Field

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.464