scholarly communication


Screen shot of DP.LA Home page featuring Primary Resource Sets

DP.LA – Digital Public Library of America offers new curated Primary Resource sets (from over 11.5 million items)

An exciting new development in the growing treasures made available through the Digital Public Library of America.  DPLA, in conjunction with educators, librarians and historians, have started to develop curated sets of primary resources to help faculty encourage engagement with primary resources and cultural heritage items. Selected sets cover the Visual Art During the Harlem Renaissance, women in World War II, Transatlantic slave trade, and more.

“DPLA Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture through primary sources. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. “

Additionally, DPLA offers a video of their November 3rd Workshop “Using DPLA for Teaching and Learning” to help faculty and students in finding and curating collections that are pertinent to their own work.

From the folks who brought you the “way back machine” (the cache of old websites as they were) and the Internet Archive (an expanded digital archive of free books, movies, software, music , built in conjunction with libraries) comes an offer from Brewster Kahle to create new community-tools and a “call for feedback” from smaller communities who have collections that need digitization, and who want to deposit directly into the IA:

We are creating new tools to help every media-based community build their own collections on a long term platform that is available to the entire world for free. Collectors will be able to upload media, reference media from other collections, use tools to coordinate the activities of their community, and create a distinct Internet presence while also offering users the chance to explore diverse collections of other content.

In this future, communities and libraries will take the central role in building collections, leveraging the tools and storage of the Internet Archive.

Since Internet Archive is already a partner with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), it will be wonderful to see more collections discoverable through a federated search.

picture of 4 coin-operated video arcade games

Do you remember video arcade games?

And to keep it all fun (as well as exciting) they have opened up their latest experiment:  The Internet Arcade:  “a web-based library of arcade (coin-operated) video games from the 1970s through to the 1990s, emulated in JSMAME, part of the JSMESS software package.”

The 2013 Digital Humanities awards came out relatively recently, offering an array of amazing projects to peruse — some public, some academic, all worth a gander.  It is worth highlighting that the best InfoGraphic award covered statistics on why “Humanities Matter” [PDF]  — making the infographic a meta-DH project of sorts.

As a follow-up to the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities’ “Quantifying Digital Humanities” infographic from 2012 (PDF), The Humanities Matter! starts a more expansive effort by the Center and 4Humanities to gather statistics and create infographics about the humanities. The Humanities Matter! is part of the 4Humanities Humanities Infographics initiative, including Infographics Friday online posts.

Another DH-for-fun award went to Serendip-o-matic — which acts as a federated-serendipitous-search engine:  insert a block of text, and the applet finds related images culled from the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and Europeana digital Libraries.

If you are curious about Digital Humanities at St. John’s, the next CTL Interdisciplinary Roundtable discussion will focus on Digital Humanities, on Monday April 7th; where Jen Travis will facilitate discussions about “projects and pedagogies of this emerging field.”  If you are interested in learning more about creating infographics, or using them as an alternative research project, the University Libraries are hosting an edutech workshop on infographics on Wed. April 2nd.  Does unearthing the treasures of the DPLA sound appealing?  Does making your own a mash-up of the DPLA resource-data sound sound intriguing ?  If so, join us Wednesday, April 9th, for a workshop on DPLA and engage with new treasure trove of primary resources and the meta-data that makes it tick!

The plagiarism stories that get the most coverage in the news revolve around authors [e.g.: Markham, Viswanathan],  journalists [e.g.: Blair,  Marr] , politicians [e.g.: Senator BidenMinister Guttenberg ],  or academics [students to Harvard Professors]  — these cases seem especially newsworthy as they are folks who “should know better.”   Thus, it is more than a little disconcerting when the Chronicle features an article that essentially says we should give up on being “obsessed” with citation in academia.

While we may be familiar with publishing companies pulling novels after discovering plagiarized plot-lines and passages, or universities pulling degrees from plagiarized theses,  it is worth noting that it is often not the editors nor professors, but the reading public, who are “discovering” the plagiarism.  Of course plagiarism is not limited to the written word, but also to paintings, photos, music-sampling, methodologies, etc.  Web Search engines and software like Turnitin make it easy enough to discover these cases,  and the social web allows for quick dissemination of these accusations — whether list-servs, discussion boards, blogs, Facebook or twitter.  It seems that although we shouldn’t be obsessed with citation mechanics, the functions of proper citation are appreciated by the public at large…so let’s not give up on our StJ students quite yet.

The Libraries and the LEAD program have worked together on a plagiarism workshop in the “Academic track” of the LEAD program. Many student-leaders might struggle with their own academic writing, but they also co-ordinate their organization’s correspondence, write newsletters, update news on Facebook/twitter pages etc.  LEAD and the libraries try to help these students avoid the pitfalls of poor research, poor citation, and copyright infringement in a social-web world and to  “understand the impact that technology could have on organizational [and academic] communications, not only in terms of both the commission and the discovery of plagiarism, but in the quick dissemination of ill-researched information or mis-information. We also thought they also needed to be aware that the “re-mix/mashup” mentality among students could have ethical and legal ramifications for organizational leaders who have official publication venues” (Maio & Shaughnessy, 2012).

The LEAD plagiarism workshops are scheduled twice each semester, but if you would like to request a workshop for your department or club, we stand ready to help out anytime, with this topic, or to help you tailor a workshop session for your class/group.

For more information on the LEAD certificate program, visit their site.

For more information on the Libraries’ resources about plagiarism and citation consult our LibGuides on Plagiarism, Proper citation (why we cite) , RefWorks (how to cite), Turnitin (how unitinentional plagairism can be identified) the relationship between copyright and plagiarism, creative commons, and why plagiarism still makes news!

(Forthcoming 2011).   Maio, N and K.G. Shaughnessy. “Promoting Collaborative Leaders In The St. John’s University Community”  Libraries and student affairs in collaboration.  Hinchliffe, Lisa Janicke and Melissa Wong, eds.  Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries.

The recent  article from 8/31/2010 issue of CHE takes up a new wrinkle in the Google Books project.  The article “Google’s Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars” recounts the issues surrounding the big-buzz question “what will Google do with the books once scanned” and goes on to another practical question: “Can Google possibly live up to the professed goals of the ‘Google Books Library’ project?”  If Google scanned all the scholarly-library-donated-books in order to facilitate  discoverability of  lost treasures, the metadata needed to facilitate a scholarly search needs to be reliable and standardized enough (think library cataloging by subject specialists) to help the researcher find the relevant material across the database objects.

But to pose those [research-based] questions, you need reliable metadata about dates and categories, which is why it’s so disappointing that the book search’s metadata are a train wreck: a mishmash wrapped in a muddle wrapped in a mess.

Jon Orwant, the person responsible for metadata in the GoogleBooks project has posted his own thoughtful responses in the comments area of Nunberg’s  “illustrated” version of the article (and in keeping with web-2.0 publication vagaries, the illustrated version and comments are dated 8/29!)

Of course, while library catalogues and databases try to be slaves to consistent metadata, we often work with whatever we can get in order to make sure that our researchers have access to their needed information in as many venues as possible.  Thus, we note with some pleasure that the earlier Google Scholar project — which deals primarily with scholarly articles and citations from scholarly bibliographies — does not suffer as much on the metadata end, but this is because the basic-but-standard bibliographic metadata is generated by the authors themselves, and therefore tend to be more reliable (as reliable as scholars are careful!) .

Libraries have also worked with Google Scholar to facilitate Check for full text linking to a patron’s “home” university library for full-text access to cited articles (in the preferences options).  St. John’s Libraries and WorldCat are automatically added to  GoogleScholar results if you are using computers in the labs, but if you would like to add this “Check  for Full Text” feature to your work or home computer, and find a way to add GS citations to your RefWorks folder, use this tutorial.

Here’s hoping that the GoogleBooks efforts are fruitful and that we can look forward to Google’s transparency and co-operation with libraries and librarians — who have been their precursors and constant companions in the effort to  promote wider-access-to and reliable-metadata-for the information people seek to improve their research or their lives.

We noted in a prior blog entry that COPE Open Access Scholarship in the Humanities and Social sciences are gaining ground and are explicitly recognizing that access to scholarship shouldn’t be limited to those Universities which can pay increasingly prohibitive costs for access through publishers and vendors. We also have noted Good Cop/ Bad Cop issues with Harvard whose Business publisher is are “trying to charge Universities even more to deep-link to articles for which most University Libraries have already paid both high prices to the publisher and the vendor for access” And of course, we have been following the Google-Books courts cases with an eager eye.

If you are interested seeing how it all comes together, you might check out this week’s Publishers Weekly article:

While the high-profile Google settlement has captured the attention of the publishing industry at large, a contentious copyright infringement lawsuit filed in Atlanta in 2008 by academic publishers against four individuals at Georgia State University has quietly progressed. And while a New York court now considers whether to approve the sweeping Google deal, a court in Atlanta could yet deliver something that publishers expressly chose to avoid in their settlement with Google: a fair use ruling.

  • “A Failure to Communicate” Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly (June 14, 2010) by features editor: http://bit.ly/95SpB4

You might also find the following articles of interest for more background on the Georgia case from an academic library perspective.

  • “Implication of the Georgia State e-reserves case.” Barbara Fister, Library Journal, (April 1, 2010) http://bit.ly/cfxoLL

For more on how university libraries (including our own) have been dealing with the escalating costs of current scholarly publishing-and-distribution platforms — which basically require an academic library to pay for access to the same articles anywhere from two-to four separate times — check out our LIbLog “open movement” entries which work towards convincing Academic Communities that Open Access publishing is a wiser way to go.

While we offer a number of workshops regarding library research — including  the finding, evaluating, organizing, citing, and publishing of research  —  the issue of “plagiarism” rivals both “bad research” and “disinformation”  in terms of  academic and professional concerns.

The library is proud to work in conjunction with the LEAD program to offer workshops to student leaders who would like to more fully understand the issues behind plagiarism and the fallout of  plagiarism outside the university.*    Our next Joint  Library-LEAD session will be on March 23rd during Common Hour.  For more information and registration for this workshop, please click here.  

L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Education, And Development) is a non-credit program of individual and group training, workshops and overnight conferences dedicated to helping St. John’s University students interested in developing and enhancing their leadership skills. Sponsored by the Department of Student Life, L.E.A.D. complements the student’s education by teaching skills and providing students with the tools necessary for effective leadership.  Through the student’s involvement in L.E.A.D., he or she will begin to hone their knowledge and understanding of time management, decision-making, proper planning, critical thinking, oral presentation and much more.

For more information on LEAD, see their website)   For more information about the LEAD Student Leadership Program or Women In Leadership Program, contact Natalie Maio at (718) 990-2103 or LEAD@stjohns.edu.  For questions about the Servant Leadership Program, contact Maggie Bach at (718) 990-7681 or LEAD@stjohns.edu.

(* As noted in an earlier entry,  plagiarism is not the same as copyright violation, although one issue may “complicate” the other, inside or outside the university) .

One of the most frequent misunderstandings I encounter when I talk to students about plagiarism is that they think “plagiarism is the same as copyright infringement.”  Same as in “it is a legal issue” rather than an “ethical issue” or a “scholarly communication issue. ”  Same as in  “if it doesn’t have a copyright logo on it, like NBC or Elsiver — or if it isn’t on TV or in print,” it isn’t really “published.” So, they think, freely borrowing the material isn’t a problem…whatever comes from the web or from a friend’s paper isn’t citation-worthy.   Although we do talk about citation-trails in scholarly communication and talk a little about how/when something is copyrighted  (i.e. once a paper/poem/ assignment is in material or computer-readable format, it is automatically copyrighted) , trying to get across the overlaps and distinctions between plagiarism and copyright infringement can be a little tricky.  I am a fan of Venn diagrams, so I use the diagram below, and ask students to come up with examples for each part, and then ask them where a few “case studies” would fall.  For example: One can plagiarize a friend’s idea or a methodological approach without commiting copyright infringement.   One can give the full citation for a copyrighted piece of music, but, lacking permissions, can still be guilty of infringement.

* While there maybe some cases where using the copyrighted materials of others doesn’t infringe —  say, in  a comedy sketch or for  a classroom demo — sometimes publishing a class project on a blog or slideshare can blur the line.  (**Note to hybrid and distance learning faculty:  A student  and the “responsible faculty member” can be guilty of “contributory infringement” by allowing a course page to host a re/posting of  a YouTube clip that one has reason to believe was not uploaded by the original artist)

Best bets in class:  for images:   use “creative commons” materials in ;  for music be sure to get permissions or use “podsafe music” and abide by artists requests. Sources of podsafe music include:  http://podsafemusicnetwork.com/ and http://www.podsafeaudio.com/,  For Videos: look at the “more” section in a video platform to learn about the poster and gain an idea whether the poster has original rights ,  and above all — cite sources ethically.

open lockFollowing up on previous postings about the “open” movement in research and education, we refer you to a report in Library Journal’s (9/15/2009)  that five universities — Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, MIT, and UC Berkeley — have spearheaded a campaign to make OA publishing economically viable. They are the first to create and sign on to COPE: compact for open-access publishing equity. They are encouraging other universities to join in, and offering answers to “frequently asked questions about how/why to join.    Aside from the economic issues facing big institutional libraries, the OA model is a social justice issue, ensuring that timely, authoritative research is available to scholars in emerging nations.  The overview section of the COPE site briefly explains the need for such a compact:         

Universities subsidize the costs of subscription journals by subscribing to them. Universities and funding agencies can provide equitable support for the processing-fee business model for open-access journals — to place the subscription-fee and processing-fee models on a more level playing field — by subsidizing processing fees as well.

The compact for open-access publishing equity supports equity of the business models by committing each university to “the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds.”

A full account of the motivation for the compact can be found in the article “Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing” published in the open-access journal Public Library of Science Biology

Citations:

Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (2009). http://www.oacompact.org/ Accessed 9/18/2009.

Hadro J (2009) Five Universities Sign Open Access Funding Compact. Library Journal.com  (9/15/2009). Accessed 9/18/2009.

Shieber SM (2009) Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing. PLoS Biol 7(8): e1000165. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000165

We noted in a prior blog entry that Open Access Scholarship got a boon in early 2009, when Harvard faculty decided to make their scholarship available in Institutional Repositories.  It marked a point where one of the premiere US Institutions of higher learning explicitly recognized that access to scholarship shouldn’t be limited to those Universities which  can pay increasingly prohibitive costs for access through publishers and vendors.  Six months later, and on the other end of the access spectrum,  Harvard Business Publishing is trying to charge Universities even more to deep-link to articles for which most University Libraries have already paid both the publisher and the EBSCO vendor.

open lockAcademic librarians have long questioned the economically voracious model of publishing in academia — Cornell’s public break with Elseivier is probably the most widely known rallying point, and they in turn are vocal and active proponents of OA Scholarship.   The recent buzz around making NIH-funded research publically available helps bolster the argument for Open Access among academic publishers.  Like government-funded publications, most University research is  funded, at least partially, by the  University itself, in addition to private or public grants.  The traditional commercial publisher model charges that author’s University Library a large subscription rate to have print access and then works with vendors to charge libraries for the convenience of electronic access to that research. Generally a publisher justifies the price by saying that they add value through editing, through sponsoring the peer-review process, and through volume printing costs.  With OpenAccess publishing (along with Open Journal systems that can automate peer-review work-flows for scholarly presses), these “added values” are becoming less valued.  

The basis, if any, for charging more to have a deep-link to an article, when the professor can aways link to the Library’s vendor-provided abstract (with PDF link or full-text-search link)  is unclear.  While HBP’s desire to charge for deep-linking to the article in EBSCO doesn’t exactly parallel the motives behind another linking-suit filed  against Georgia State University by Oxford, Cambridge and Sage, it appears that they are both related to lost revenue on Course Packs.   In the latter suit, the 3 presses claimed that Georgia State University made electronic versions of articles available in  online course reserves without proper permission. Ostensibly, their suit was based on the fact that access was not behind a password protected course-page; however, in the course of subsequent statements, they questioned whether “Fair Use” extends to electronic copies hosted on CMS and Library e-reserves (which would both be behind password protections and could be linked to vendor-database links).

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