Evolutions in Scholarship

Charting the growth of our Open Access Fund

Monday, September 29, 2014 11:09 am


The above infographic charts the growth of the university’s Open Access Fund since its creation in 2008. To request funding for your OA publication, submit an Open Access Fund Application.


To view a larger version of the infographic, visit https://magic.piktochart.com/output/2458332-open-access-fund.

How the HathiTrust Ruling Aids Libraries

Friday, July 11, 2014 3:54 pm

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a ruling in the Authors Guild vs. HathiTrust case, loudly cheered by libraries for its affirmation of a lower court’s ruling that digitization for the HathiTrust Digital Library constitutes fair use. ARL Policy Notes posted a good synopsis of the ruling, and HathiTrust issued a statement and rounded up links to coverage, should you want to read more on the decision itself.

This week, Jonathan Band, noted intellectual property attorney and legal counsel for the Library Copyright Alliance, issued a paper addressing how libraries interested in mass digitization projects can look to the HathiTrust decision for guidance. It is a short but detailed analysis of the decision that, coupled with the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use, provides reassurance to libraries that, provided they meet certain standards, mass digitization projects may be permissible under fair use.

Power of Open Access at work

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 4:05 pm

Today, a faculty member made my day.

In August 2013, Dr. Peter D. Weigl, Research Professor of Biology, applied to our Open Access Fund, seeking support for an article on temperate mountain grasslands accepted for publication in Biological Reviews. He wanted to make is work available OA, as he knew that his research would be of interest to policy makers, conservationists, and others beyond the normal readership of the journal. His fund application met our criteria, and he was successfully funded by three departments at Wake Forest University: the Z. Smith Reynolds Library, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and the Department of Biology. His article, “Temperate mountain grasslands: a climate-herbivore hypothesis for origins and persistence,” co-authored with Travis W. Knowles, was first published online last October.

This morning, Dr. Weigl stopped by my office to let me know that his hopes in publishing his article OA were realized: because his article was openly accessible, he has made new research connections, and been invited to speak, including at a symposium in Oxford. He thanked me for the library’s and University’s commitment to Open Access, and to his research.

This is why OA works.

Confused about copyright? Coursera has a course for that

Monday, June 9, 2014 4:09 pm

This summer, three of my esteemed scholarly communication colleagues – Kevin Smith (Duke), Lisa Macklin (Emory), and Anne Gilliland (UNC) – will be teaching Copyright for Educators and Librarians. This course aims to provide an overview of U.S. copyright law “to empower teachers and librarians at all grade levels.” If you’ve ever wanted to know more about copyright, particularly if you’ve felt hampered in your teaching because you were fearful of copyright, I encourage you to sign up. I’m taking the course because I always learn something new when Kevin, Lisa, and Anne present, and because copyright is fun!

FYS: Nature, Environments, and Place in American Thought

Friday, April 11, 2014 10:25 am

For the Spring 2014 semester, Chelcie Rowell worked with Lisa Blee (Assistant Professor in the Department of History) to incorporate a digital exhibit and interactive map into the first year seminar, Nature, Environments, and Place in American Thought. Over the course of the semester, students in this course will develop place studies and photo essays that critically examine relationships between nature and the built environment in a particular location. This digital exhibit and mapping project is being implemented using Omeka and Neatline and is supported by ZSR’s Technology Team, with whom Chelcie liaises on Lisa’s behalf.

Chelcie and Lisa met throughout Fall 2013 in order to envision how a digital exhibit and interactive map would support the learning outcomes of the course, as well as how the platforms of Omeka and Neatline would structure the place studies and photo essays that students would create. During Spring 2014, Chelcie will provide multiple instruction sessions in the course in order to demonstrate how to use Omeka and Neatline and will be available to meet one-on-one with students. At the end of the semester, Lisa and Chelcie will present about their collaboration in a Spring 2014 series of presentations sponsored by Wake Forest’s Digital Humanities Initiative.

Humanities for the Environment

Friday, April 11, 2014 10:25 am

In August 2013 David Phillips (Associate Professor of Humanities) invited Chelcie to join the Web Team of the Humanities for the Environment project funded by the Mellon Foundation. The Humanities for the Environment project is animated by questions about the role of the humanities in the Age of the Anthropocene, a concept developed by scientist Paul Crutzen to identify a new era in which human activity is significantly reshaping the geological future of the planet. A major outcome of the project will be a portal that provides Web access to materials that engage questions related to the humanities and the environment in the Age of the Anthropocene — from syllabi and photographs to visualizations of ecological data. Chelcie’s role has been to consult about metadata as well as copyright and long-term preservation of materials contributed to the Humanities for the Environment portal. After the conclusion of the project, a selection of materials from the Web portal may be transferred to WakeSpace, the institutional repository of Wake Forest University.

Public access to funded research gets a big boost

Friday, January 17, 2014 2:27 pm

When the U.S. Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 this week, it included language tucked away in Sec. 527 that gives a huge boost to public access to Federally funded research. The bill requires all Federal agencies with research & development budgets of $100 million+ each year to provide free, online access to peer-reviewed articles stemming from Federal funds within 12 months of publication. The agencies impacted include the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services (which includes the National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other sub-agencies), and the Department of Labor. (more…)

Big win for fair use

Thursday, November 14, 2013 4:45 pm

This morning brought good news to Google, libraries, and all of us who rely on fair use: Google Books, and the scanning project to create it, is a fair use! U.S. District Judge Denny Chin issued a decision in the 8-year legal battle between the Authors Guild and Google, with Google being the decisive winner. Judge Chin specifically noted that the libraries who partnered with Google to have their holdings scanned for the Google Books corpus may also make use of those scans (the libraries got their own local copies of their scanned volumes, which is where the backbone of HathiTrust evolved). And because there was a decision rather than a settlement, it creates opportunities for others to make similar uses by looking to this ruling for guidance. Although the Authors Guild has expressed its intent to appeal (frustrating, but not surprising; it is also appealing last year’s summary judgement in its separate case against HathiTrust), this is yet another big win in the fair use column!

For more:
Ars Technica
New York Times

Myth-busting and a 6-year disembargo

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:27 am

Interesting news stories and projects usually come to light during Open Access Week, and this year proves no exception. I’ve seen libraries around the country host panels of faculty researchers, organize workshops for faculty and graduate students, offer outreach events for undergraduates, and post photos of displays demonstrating the true costs of accessing research. Lots of exciting engagement!

This morning, I call attention to two items that have caught my eye this week. The first is an article by Peter Suber, published on Monday in The Guardian. In his piece, Suber deconstructs 6 myths about open access. Those 6 myths are:

  1. The only way to provide open access to peer-reviewed journal articles is to publish in open access journals.
  2. All or most open access journals charge publication feesl
  3. Most author-side fees are paid by the authors themselves.
  4. Publishing in a conventional journal closes the door on making the same work open access.
  5. Open access journals are intrinsically low in quality.
  6. Open access mandates infringe academic freedom.

I strongly encourage you to go read the article, as Suber’s myth-busting is spot on.

The second item you should check out is Mark Sample’s Disembargo project. Sample is releasing from embargo his dissertation, one character at a time, over the course of 6 years. Earlier this year, the American Historical Association issued a statement strongly encouraging graduate students in history to embargo their dissertations for up to 6 years, claiming evidence – apparently, only anecdotal – that dissertations with shorter embargoes are less likely to be published as books, as publishers consider openly-available dissertations to be previously published. Many, including Sample, found this advice to be off the mark. As Sample explains in his ProfHacker blog post about his project, “Disembargo is an open access dissertation (my own), emerging from a self-imposed six-year embargo, one letter at a time. Every ten minutes Disembargo releases a single character—a letter, number, or space—from my final dissertation manuscript.” Sample goes on to share the questions that ran through his mind as he create his Disembargo project: “How does an academic embargo play out? Who benefits from an embargoed dissertation? How much value does withheld research accrue? And how long is six years when it comes to scholarly communication? To at least this last question Disembargo provides a satisfying answer: publishing six letters an hour is an excruciating pace that dramatizes the silence of a six-year embargo.” Indeed.

Take time to look at both of these items. Then mull over the implications of keeping research locked down and out-of-sight, thinking not of the challenges in changing the scholarly communication system as we now know it, but rather of the risks in not doing so.

Open Access Week 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013 8:50 am

ZSR Library is celebrating the sixth international Open Access Week, October 21-27, with three events to engage our campus community around this year’s theme, “Redefining Impact.”

Join us:
- Monday, Oct. 21 at 12pm for an informal, brown bag lunch conversation with colleagues. Ask questions about open access, and hear what others have to share.

- Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 4pm for a presentation on Altmetrics and Scholarly Impact, which will compare the emerging area of altmetrics with traditional impact measures (e.g., the Journal Impact Factor, Eigenfactor), and explore how altmetrics may be used.

- Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 2pm for an online discussion with Dr. Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Office of Scholarly Communications and the Harvard Open Access Project, who is an internationally-recognized leader of the open access movement.

Faculty, graduate students, research support staff, and undergraduate students are all encouraged to attend. For additional information about these events, or about open access generally, contact Molly Keener, Scholarly Communication Librarian.


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