TREXLER LIBRARY SCUTTLEBUTT ARCHIVE: SPRING 2012

 

January 20   |   February 3   |   February 17   |   March 2

March 16   |   March 30   |   April 13   |   April 27


Trexler Library Scuttlebutt

A Bi-Weekly Update
1/20/12

Open Science: "Cracking Open the Scientific Process"

The New York Times recently reported on a movement underway to open up the process of scientific publishing. "Open science" advocates argue that traditional peer review and journal publication are vastly outmoded and prohibitively expensive. An open model, meanwhie, could take full advantage of the collaborative environment of the Web. Open science proponents contend that an open model would be self-screening: only those qualified would enter the discussion because the topics and vocabulary by their very nature assume a certain level of interest and expertise.

Here are some examples of open science already in place:

On the other hand, traditional journal publishers argue that "open science" sounds good in theory, but that in fact it fails to provide what many academics are looking for from academic publication: a means to tenure and promotion. For open science to succeed, it needs to come up with a new way to assess value and offer incentives, whether monetary or by advancing one's reputation. Traditional publishers contend that the peer review process alone is expensive, not to mention other publishing costs. Who will cover these costs?

Regardless of the points of disagreement, nearly everyone agrees on one thing: change is coming. But when, how, and how much remain to be seen.

New Books Added to the Library Collection in Fall 2011

The library collection has seen considerable growth over the last few months, thanks to faculty and staff working together. Here is a list of the new titles.

A Growing E-book Collection

In addition to excellent print titles, the library now offers Muhlenberg affiliates access to over 13,000 e-books through Ebscohost, the vendor of Academic Search Premier. These titles show up in searches in our library catalog (here is an example from a search on "digital medicine"). They can also be browsed by going directly to Ebooks on Ebscohost, listed under Databases A to Z.

Infomaniac Tip

Health Grades

Everyone is rating everything on the web these days, and that includes healthcare providers. Health Grades bills itself as "America's most trusted" source for rating hospitals and physicians. How does your provider rate?

Calendar

1/26 - Faculty Author Reception: Ezra Pound, by Alec Marsh (Fulford Room, 12:30-1:45 p.m.).

2/22 - Spring Trivia Night. Open to students, staff, and faculty. Teams can sign up at the circulation desk. Huge variety of questions! Fabulous prizes! (Level A Concourse, 7:00-9:00 p.m.).

***Questions? Reply to this email.***


Trexler Library Scuttlebutt

A Bi-Weekly Update
2/3/12

Ebscohost Dominates

A significant change has taken place in the database landscape over the past few weeks. And probably for the best. H.W. Wilson, the maker of time-honored Reader's Guide, Humanities Index, etc. has been bought out by Ebscohost. What this means for Muhlenberg College is that researchers who use Art Full Text and Omnifile formerly owned by H.W. Wilson, will now see an Ebscohost interface (the same interface employed in Academic Search Premier and Business Source Elite).

While occasionally waxing nostalgic for Wilson, the editors of this newsletter believe that Ebscohost dominates in journal databases for good reason. Ebscohost has been very responsive to the requests of its users. The Ebscohost interface is relatively user friendly. It gives the academic users what they want: lots of full text with the option to limit to peer review, easy links to interlibrary loan, and links to full text in other databases like JSTOR via the GET IT link.

Journal Boycott

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that some 1800 scholars have signed on to a boycott against Elsevier, a leading publisher of science journals. The scholars have agreed to bypass Elsevier and publish their work elsewhere, and agreed not to do any peer review work for Elsevier.

The boycott arises from frustration over the prices Elsevier charges for subscriptions to their journals, leading to a perceived inaccessibility to scientific research. The publisher counters that they offer one of the most reasonable pricing structures available on the market, and are an aid to access, not a hindrance.

It is unlikely that Elsevier and the boycotters will reach terms of agreement anytime soon. Nonetheless , the boycott points to growing academic and popular dissatisfaction with traditional subscription models, especially those with prohibitive pricing.

Infomaniac Tip

Will Cell Phone Numbers Go Public

You may have received emails in the past month or so telling you that your cell phone will be assaulted by telemarketers beginning in early 2012. Infomaniac did some investigating and found that (according to the Federal Trade Commission) this is not the case. The FTC welcomes any cell phone customer to add any number to the FTC Do Not Call registry, but it is not necessary to do so. The FTC claims never to have maintained a cell phone directory, nor has it provided such a list to telemarketers.

Calendar

2/9, 2/16, 2/23 - Meditation Group. Open to all Muhlenberg faculty, staff, and students. (Fulford Room, 5:00-6:00 p.m.).

2/22 - Spring Trivia Night. Open to students, staff, and faculty. Teams can sign up at the circulation desk. Huge variety of questions! Fabulous prizes! (Level A Concourse, 7:00-9:00 p.m.).

***Questions? Reply to this email.***


Trexler Library Scuttlebutt

A Bi-Weekly Update
2/17/12

Fair Use Best Practices for Libraries

Authoring best practices can be one means to reinvigorate fair use. For example, some of the longest standing fair use best practices, ones that have had considerable impact on music studies, are those compiled by the Music Library Association (MLA). The MLA best practices for several years now have allowed music faculty across the country to digitize and stream full-length music works in the classroom or in secure course management systems.

The beauty of fair use best practices is that they are compiled by representatives from many academic institutions, and as such, publishers are generally reluctant to challenge such practices.

The latest best practices to appear have been authored by the Association of Research Libraries in conjunction with the Center for Social Media and Washington College of Law's Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property. The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries (January 2012) articulates several practices that the authors feel are essential to the operation of libraries in higher education today. Areas addressed are:

  • teaching and learning with access to library materials via digital technologies
  • using selections from collection materials to publicize a library's activities, or to create physical and virtual exhibitions
  • digitizing to preserve at-risk items
  • creating digital collections of archival and special collections materials
  • reproducing material for use by disabled students, faculty, staff, and other appropriate users
  • maintaining the integrity of works deposited in institutional repositories
  • creating databases to facilitate non-consumptive research uses
  • collecting material posted on the world wide web and making it available

Refer to the full report to identify precisely what practices are promoted.

Infomaniac Tip

Is Facebook Using You?

In a recent New York Times opinion piece titled "Facebook is Using You," author Lori Andrews argues that Facebook is using it's vast data mine of personal information to make profits. It's hard to argue with Andrews' claim. Instead of an inventory of automobiles or packaged goods, Facebook has in its possession your daily activities, your behaviors, your preferences--everything you're willing to share with your Facebook friends. Preparing to go public as a company, Facebook it touting it's billion-dollar capacity to sell this mega-library of personal information to the highest bidder. As Andrews puts it, "The magnitude of online information Facebook has available about each of us for targeted marketing is stunning. In Europe, laws give people the right to know what data companies have about them, but that is not the case in the United States."

Feel used?

Calendar

2/22 - Spring Trivia Night. Open to students, staff, and faculty. Teams can sign up at the circulation desk. Huge variety of questions! Fabulous prizes! (Level A Concourse, 7:00-9:00 p.m.).

2/23, 3/1, 3/15, 3/22 - Meditation Group. Open to all Muhlenberg faculty, staff, and students. (Fulford Room, 5:00-6:00 p.m.).

3/22 - Faculty Author Reception: Vivian Walsh (Fulford Room, 12:30-1:45 p.m.).

***Questions? Reply to this email.***


Trexler Library Scuttlebutt

A Bi-Weekly Update
3/2/12

A Giant Yields

Big news on the journal publishing front. According to Inside Higher Ed, Reed Elsevier, a giant in the journal publishing business, yielded to academics who protested the publisher's support of a bill that would have stood in the way of government-mandated open access to the results of scientific research. This is not to say that Elsevier supports government-mandates for open access. Far from it. But Elsevier has withdrawn its backing of the controversial Research Works Act that directly opposed open access initiatives.

To see a big publisher like Elsevier change direction even slightly in response to academic protesters-- as Barbara McFadden Allen, executive director of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, said, "At the end of the day, it's extraordinary."

Credo Reference Continues to Grow

Have you or your students tried out Credo Reference? It's a library-subscribed collection of reference sources published by well-respected publishing houses like Oxford, Cambridge, and Routledge. Titles now number in the hundreds, encompassing all disciplines.

Here are a sampling of the newest titles, these added in the last month:

Aesthetics A-Z
Cambridge dictionary of Christian Theology
Dictionary of visual discourse: a dialectical lexicon of terms
Encyclopedia of African-American writing
Financial Times world desk reference
Key concepts and techniques in GIS
Key concepts and techniques in developmental psychology
Key concepts in ethnography
Key concepts in leisure studies

Key concepts in public relations

Key concepts in sports studies

Key concepts in teaching primary mathematics
Key concepts in urban geography

Infomaniac Tip

The Wikipedia Philosophy

Professor Timothy Messer-Kruse tried to update the Wikipedia page on the Haymarket riot of 1886 to correct a long-standing inaccurate claim. Even though he's written two books and numerous articles on the subject, his changes were instantly rejected.

Professor Messer-Kruse found that Wikipedia discourages primary sources for documentation. He reports to the Chronicle of Higher Education,

I tried to edit the page again. Within 10 seconds I was informed that my citations to the primary documents were insufficient, as Wikipedia requires its contributors to rely on secondary sources, or, as my critic informed me, "published books." Another editor cheerfully tutored me in what this means: "Wikipedia is not 'truth,' Wikipedia is 'verifiability' of reliable sources. Hence, if most secondary sources which are taken as reliable happen to repeat a flawed account or description of something, Wikipedia will echo that.

Verifiable but not the truth. Hmmmm.....

Calendar

3/15, 3/22 - Meditation Group. Open to all Muhlenberg faculty, staff, and students. (Fulford Room, 5:00-6:00 p.m.).

3/22 - Faculty Author Reception: Vivian Walsh (Fulford Room, 12:30-1:45 p.m.).

***Questions? Reply to this email.***


Trexler Library Scuttlebutt

A Bi-Weekly Update
3/16/12

Local Schools Visit Trexler Library

Thanks to the planning efforts of library staff and the Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement, some 200 elementary and secondary school students from inner city Allentown and surrounding areas will visit Trexler Library over the course of the 2011-2012 academic year.

For instance, Allen High AP English students visited the library in mid-March over two days, to be trained in college-level research skills. They then applied those skills to their own research projects. Emmaus High AP history students will come to the library at the end of March for a day of history research. Jefferson and Roosevelt Elementary students will visit the library as part of the Campus Connect program, to participate in an information scavenger hunt and web evaluation tutorial.

Libraries Take Charge of Their E-books

For our readers not immersed in the daily life of librarianship, it may come as a surprise that library e-books are a hotly contested issue. Libraries have long been frustrated by the inability to own e-books outright. Often vendors, the middle men, only offer the option of renting the books. When the lease is up, the books disappear, unless they are paid for again.

This is due to change. The Digital Shift reports that several libraries in California are joining forces to remove the middle man from the e-book process. Libraries will go directly to those publishers who will agree to let them "truly own, not rent" e-books.

This model is the brain-child of a small group of public libraries in Colorado. The model's adoption in California means attention being given it on a national scale. Lyrasis, the consortium that Muhlenberg College is part of, is now investigating the model.

Infomaniac Tip

Sign Up for Free NITLE Webinar

In honor of the annual Day of Digital Humanities, NITLE's next digital scholarship seminar,"Digital Pedagogy," will take place on the Day of DH, March 27, 2012 at 1 pm EDT. In this seminar, two experienced practitioners of Digital Pedagogy will share their experiences with digital teaching and learning and consider the implications for digital pedagogy. How do new digital tools and methodologies lead us to rethink learning outcomes, power dynamics, assessment, etc.? Where do we draw the line between digital pedagogy and digital humanities or should we? Panelists will include:

Please register online by Monday, March 26. Registration is free, however space is limited.

Details and registration are here: http://wwwnitle.org/digital_scholarship_seminar_registration.php

Calendar

3/22 - Faculty Author Reception: Vivian Walsh (Fulford Room, 12:45-1:45 p.m.).

3/22, 3/29, 4/5 - Meditation Group. Open to all Muhlenberg faculty, staff, and students. (Fulford Room, 5:00-6:00 p.m.).

3/29 - Muhlenberg Theatre Association Performance, one of several MTA-sponsored performances across campus in March and April. Plays are written and performed by Muhlenberg College students! (Periodicals Reading Room, level A, 12:30-1:30 p.m.).

***Questions? Reply to this email.***


Trexler Library Scuttlebutt

A Bi-Weekly Update
3/30/12

New York Times Reduces Free Access

The New York Times is revisiting how to strike a balance between for-free and for-fee. They are reducing free access to 10 articles a month, from the previous 20 per month. According to The Times:

We think 10 articles a month, plus free access to our home page, strikes a better balance between visiting and subscribing. Most of our readers will continue to enjoy their Times experience without interruption. At the same time, the change provides us with an opportunity to convince another segment of our audience that what The Times has to offer is worthy paying for.

New Arrivals at Trexler Library for FCT

Invigorate your pedagogy with ideas from these new titles, just added to the Faculty Center for Teaching Collection at Trexler Library:

Journal keeping: how to use reflective writing for learning, teaching, professional insight and positive change by Dannelle D. Stevens and Joanne E. Cooper

From brain to mind: using neuroscience to guide change in education by James E. Zull

Scholarship of teaching and learning reconsidered: institutional integration and impact by Pat Hutchings, Mary Taylor Huber and Anthony Ciccone

Transforming undergraduate education: theory that compels and practice that succeeds edited by Donald W. Harward

Understanding by design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe

(The Faculty Center for Teaching Collection is located in the Muhlenberg Room, to the left as you enter the library.)

Rising from the Ashes (of Defunding)

Many have mourned the loss of a reference standby, the Statistical Abstract of the United States. This source was the go-to for finding statistical data on everything from wages to leisure activities to education. But government funds dried up, and the Statistical Abstract has been threatened with extinction--until now. A commercial outfit, Proquest, the company that supplies several of our library databases, has decided to rescue the dying publication, beginning with the 2012 edition. According to a story in No Shelf Required, Proquest will make the publication available in "both print and digital formats." Bless you, Proquest!

Infomaniac Tip

Your iPhone As Scanner

Several inexpensive apps are available for use with iPhones that will transform your phone into a scanner. JotNot Scanner, TurboScan, Scanner Pro, and  JotNot Scanner Pro all work pretty much in the same fashion, and all cost next to nothing to download, ranging from free to $7 in price. Once in place, the app takes a picture of the page you want to scan, then crops it. The image is now ready to share with others.

The New York Times recently published reviews of each of these products.

Calendar

Easter Recess Library Hours - Library closes Thursday, April 5, at 5 p.m.; reopens Monday, April 9, at 6 p.m.

4/12, 19 - Meditation Group. Open to all Muhlenberg faculty, staff, and students. (Fulford Room, 5:00-6:00 p.m.).

4/12, 26 - Common hour events: Muhlenberg Theatre Association performances, two of several MTA-sponsored performances across campus in March and April. Plays are written and performed by Muhlenberg College students. (Periodicals Reading Room, level A, 12:30-1:15 p.m.).

5/4 - Trexler Library Annual Book Sale (in front of library, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.).

***Questions? Reply to this email.***


Trexler Library Scuttlebutt

A Bi-Weekly Update
4/13/12

Alternate Access to the New York Times

As reported in the last Scuttlebutt, the New York Times is reducing free access to 10 articles a month, from the previous 20 per month.

At this time, the New York Times does not offer institutional subscriptions to its website, nytimes.com. Trexler Library staff are hoping the NYT will alter its course on this point.

Nonetheless, you can still retrieve all NYT content with Trexler Library's present subscription coverage. The library has a print subscription to the newspaper. In addition, multiple online retrieval points are available through the library catalog entry for the New York Times online.

BBC Television Shakespeare

The BBC television productions of Shakespeare are now available to view online via library subscription.

To access, search in the library catalog for BBC Television Shakespeare. Once in the database, scroll down to just below the part that says Muhlenberg College Video Search and click on the link "BBC Shakespeare Plays," which will open a cascade of all the plays, act by act. Click "View" to watch a play in its entirety.

Free NITLE Webinar on Digital Humanities

"Undergraduates Collaborating in Digital Humanities Research," part of NITLE's Digital Scholarship Seminar Series, will take place on April 27 (3 - 4 p.m. Eastern). A panel of undergraduates will share their digital humanities research, goals, challenges, and lessons learned, followed by moderated discussion on undergraduate research in the digital humanities. Register online by Wednesday, April 25. Space is limited. For more information, contact Dr. Rebecca Frost Davis, NITLE's program officer for the humanities, at rdavis@nitle.org.

Infomaniac Tip

Privacy Week May 1-7, 2012

Privacy Week runs from May 1-7 this year and is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA). Privacy week is a campaign to increase awareness of best practices for protecting one's privacy , especially online.

The campaign promotes several best practices to maintain privacy of one's personal information, such as:

  • Avoid sharing compromising information about yourself, such as in social media. Your privacy is only as protected as your least reliable friend (with whom you share information) allows it to be.
  • Monitor privacy settings in applications such as Facebook.
  • Make passwords long and strong: a combination of capitals and lowercase, symbols and numbers.
  • Learn about apps before you download them (some require access to your personal information).
  • When in doubt, throw it out: press they delete key if something looks suspicious or too good to be true.
  • Log out when you are done.

Calendar

4/19, 26 - Meditation Group. Open to all Muhlenberg faculty, staff, and students. (Fulford Room, 5:00-6:00 p.m.).

4/26 - Common hour events: Muhlenberg Theatre Association performances, two of several MTA-sponsored performances across campus in March and April. Plays are written and performed by Muhlenberg College students. (Periodicals Reading Room, level A, 12:30-1:15 p.m.).

5/4 - Trexler Library Annual Book Sale (in front of library, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.).

***Questions? Reply to this email.***


Trexler Library Scuttlebutt

A Bi-Weekly Update
4/27/12

"Move Prestige to Open Access"

The Faculty Advisory Council to the Library at Harvard University has gone public with a statement on the "untenable" nature of the institution's subscriptions to high-priced research journals. The council states that the amount paid to a handful of providers approaches $3.75M, some 20 percent of all Harvard library periodical subscriptions. Some individual titles cost as much as $40,000 per year. The council contends that "the Library has never received anything close to full reimbursement for these expenditures from overhead collected by the University on grand and research funds." Led by the University librarian, the council urges the institution's faculty and librarians to "move prestige to open access" by:

  • depositing research articles to the institution's open-access repository whenever copyright and licensing allow
  • submitting to open-access or lower-cost journals
  • urging professional associations to develop library-friendly pricing structures

How Copyright "Makes Books Vanish"

A University of Illinois law professor has analyzed the effect of copyright on the availability of books through Amazon. Perhaps not surprisingly, because publishers look at continuing market value, books fairly quickly become out of print. By contrast, copyright on a book lasts for decades, so other publishers can't move in to publish new copies of those out-of-print titled. One way to change all this would be to dramatically shorten the copyright period, say to two decades, then charge a small fee to publishers to renew the copyright. Most publishers would never pursue that, and books would move more rapidly into the public domain where they could be printed again by multiple publishers without restriction: print-on-demand houses, e-book publishers, etc.

Infomaniac Tip

Zotero for All Your Citation Needs

Visit Zotero.org and download (using Firefox browser only) an amazing free citing and storage tool that will change your research life. Don't forget to download the MS Word plug-in that will automatically format citations from resources you've stored in Zotero as you're typing your paper. For directions on how to use Zotero, visit Trexler Library's Zotero guide.

Calendar

5/3 - Meditation Group. Open to all Muhlenberg faculty, staff, and students. (Fulford Room, 5:00-6:00 p.m.).

5/4 - Trexler Library Annual Book Sale (in front of the library, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.).

5/6-5/10 - Library open around the clock for Finals Week.

***Questions? Reply to this email.***