How many people does it take to build an institutional repository?: Part Two

DAC_LogoThis is a two part post to introduce you to the Dartmouth Academic Commons and the people involved in its development.

(Read Part One)

Working Groups to ensure DAC’s success

There are multiple working groups that address DAC’s diverse needs.  These groups allow both ITS and Library professionals to combine their knowledge in a structured way.

DAC Education, Outreach, and Public Relations Working Group (DACEOP):

DACEOP outlines and coordinates the broad messages and public relations materials for the multiple, related initiatives and components of the Dartmouth Academic Commons.

Workshops and other teaching opportunities are designed and facilitated by members of the group in collaboration with other working groups associated with DAC.  Library liaisons have a large role in DACEOPs goals as they share important information and updates about DAC and the Dartmouth Faculty Open Access policy with the faculty with whom they collaborate.

Cast of characters involved in promoting DAC:

  • Laura Barrett (Director of Education and Outreach), Baker-Berry Library
  • Barbara DeFelice (Director of the Scholarly Communication Program), Baker-Berry Library
  • Carole Meyers (Project Director), Information Technology Services
  • Library Liaisons—many many from across the Dartmouth disciplines

 Open Dartmouth Working Group (ODWG):

 ODWG works to engage, inform, and educate faculty, students, and administrators at Dartmouth on open access, public access, author rights, and copyright pertaining to publishing.  Topics like open access publication practices and public access requirements can vary greatly across disciplines, which means it is important for this group to include librarians across the Dartmouth College Library system (Kresge, Feldberg, Dana and Matthews-Fuller, and Baker-Berry) who can provide insight on specific questions and needs that arise across academic disciplines. The ODWG engages and educates Dartmouth through exhibits (Open Dartmouth), events (Open Access Week), and a variety of workshops offered in collaboration with the Education, Outreach, and Public Relations Working Group.

Cast of characters involved in supporting open access:

  • Jill Baron (Librarian for Romance Languages & Latin American Studies), Baker-Berry Library
  • Barbara DeFelice (Director of Scholarly Communication Program), Library
  • Jen Green (Scholarly Communication Program, Digital Scholarship Librarian), Library
  • Janifer Holt (Business and Engineering Librarian), Feldberg Library
  • Lora Leligdon (Physical Sciences Librarian), Kresge Library

DAC Workflow Group:

DAC Workflow Group addresses questions about workflow for acquisition and description of content submitted to DAC. DAC will be a system that ingests articles and other forms of scholarly content, and this is the group that makes decisions about what file formats can be accepted, how objects should be described, and the paths that the objects must follow through DAC for accurate processing and presentation. The DAC Workflow Group members will have the expertise to process DAC’s content in its various stages from ingest to preservation. Through their conversations, they can identify and address workflow, metadata, and structural challenges that arise when building a repository.

       Cast of characters addressing DAC workflow:

  • Shaun Akhtar (Metadata Librarian), Library
  • John Bell (Lead Developer), Information Technology Service, Library
  • Barbara DeFelice (Director of Scholarly Communication Program), Library
  • James Fein (Head of Acquisitions and Collection Assessment), Library
  • Jen Green (Scholarly Communication Program, Digital Scholarship Librarian), Library
  • Eliz Kirk (Associate Librarian for Information Services), Library
  • Carole Meyers (Project Director), Information Technology Services
  • Jenny Mullins (Digital Preservation Librarian)
  • Barb Sagraves (Head of Preservation Services), Library
  • Cecilia Tittemore (Head, Cataloging and Metadata Services),Library

Elements Sub-Group:

The Elements Sub-group is responsible for evaluating and making workflow recommendations for Elements, a system that will harvest scholarly citations and feed them into DAC. This work helps them understand how to best integrate the information from Elements into DAC. Elements, like other systems that will connect with DAC, has significant metadata, information management, and processing needs.  The sub-group evaluated those needs and will provide recommendations on who within the Library and ITS system has the expertise to manage Elements’ data and make sure that it interfaces smoothly with DAC. This sub-group may look at other integrating systems as DAC’s development progresses.

Cast of characters evaluating Elements:

  • John Bell (Lead Developer), Information Technology Services
  • James Fein, Head of Acquisitions and Collection Assessment, Library
  • Jen Green (Scholarly Communication Program, Digital Scholarship Librarian), Library
  • Janifer Holt (Business and Engineering Librarian), Feldberg Library
  • Heather Johnson, Research and Education Librarian, Biomedical Libraries
  • Tom Mead, Research and Education Librarian, Biomedical Libraries
  • Carole Meyers (Project Director), Information Technology Services
  • Becky Torrey (Acquisitions Services Supervisor), Library

The critical breadth and depth of expertise that Library and Information Technology staff contribute to bringing dreams of DAC into reality is clear, but DAC’s success is also dependent on the advice and input colleagues across Dartmouth’s campus.  The Council on Libraries, for example, plays an extremely significant role in advising Library and ITS staff on how to work with their faculty peers to utilize the Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy and encourage participation in DAC when it is available. The Council on Libraries also provides valuable perspective on the services that DAC should offer to best suit the needs of their peers. DAC and its integrated systems are compelling goals due to the contributions of these Dartmouth experts from across this vibrant institution.  Working to bring DAC to fruition is challenging, exciting, and daunting, but with the support of colleagues, DAC will help Dartmouth be a leader in the future of scholarly communication and access to open information.

Who can you contact about DAC and where can you find more information?  Check out the Scholarly Communication Lab blog for contacts, updates, events, and more.

 

How many people does it take to build an institutional repository?: Part One

DAC_Logo

This is a two part post to introduce you to the Dartmouth Academic Commons and the people involved in its development.

Part One:

The short answer is, many bright, driven, diverse, and collaboratively-minded individuals. The long answer can be best articulated by learning who is involved in building what aspects of Dartmouth’s repository, the Dartmouth Academic Commons (DAC).  The time and expertise of programmers, project managers, directors, librarians, catalogers, digital specialists, collection specialists, and faculty advisors spanning a variety of areas including Information Technology Services, the Dartmouth College Library, and Administrative units across the campus, is critical to an effective, innovative, and networked institutional repository for Dartmouth.

DAC will be a service provided by the Dartmouth College Library (DCL) and Information Technology Services.  It will fulfill the goal of implementing the Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy (described below) by making scholarly work available freely to a wider audience. DAC is currently in the design and development phases. It is intended to provide long-term access, storage, and preservation to a range of digital content created by members of the Dartmouth community, such as journal articles, theses and dissertations, and full books. DAC is comprised of a suite of management tools that include collection, description, organization, storage, and preservation of content. The materials deposited in DAC reflects the intellectual output of Dartmouth faculty, researchers, staff, and students, and is educational, scholarly, or research-oriented in nature.

There are many components to designing, structuring, and maintaining an institutional repository and its content, so it’s no wonder that many professionals from many backgrounds need to be involved. Let’s take a closer look at DAC’s components and the types of people that contribute to its creation.

Designing and building DAC:

The Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy is the primary reason for Dartmouth’s need for DAC. Proposed by faculty on the Council on the Libraries, such a policy provides a prior license to the final peer reviewed author’s manuscript of journal articles.  Librarians within the Scholarly Communication Program and the Library Administration worked with faculty on drafting a policy that would work best for Dartmouth faculty, while building on practices in other institutions. When the policy was approved by faculty in the Thayer School of Engineering, the Arts and Sciences, and the Geisel School of Medicine, the Dartmouth Library was charged with developing an implementation plan and infrastructure to fulfill the intent of the policy and to respond to long standing requests for such a resource. DAC is being built to be this resource.

Highly skilled programmers and ITS professionals are critical as we build DAC’s technical infrastructure and metadata frameworks.  DAC needs to be a system that will ingest, store, preserve and present content, while adhering to applicable policies and copyright.  As the programmers design and build the system, they will work closely with the Scholarly Communication Program to ensure that the system will follow standard library information management practices and fulfill the purposes for which it is being designed. In other words, design and construction of a system cannot happen in isolation.  Many experts come together to ensure that the system will facilitate a variety of needs for a variety of users.

Cast of characters involved in the Designing and Building a Repository:

  • John Bell (Lead Developer), Information Technology Services
  • Eric Bivona (Senior Programmer), Library
  • Barbara DeFelice (Scholarly Communication Program, Director), Library
  • Carla Galarza (Programmer), Library
  • Jen Green (Scholarly Communication Program, Digital Scholarship Librarian), Library
  • Eliz Kirk (Associate Librarian for Information Services and Project Leader), Library
  • Carole Meyers (Project Director), Information Technology Services

Read part two of How many people does it take to build an institutional repository?” where you will learn about people involved in working groups that ensure DAC’s success.

OpenCon: Early Career Researchers Pave the Way

OpenCon 2015 graphicPosted on behalf of Rachel Obbard, Assistant Professor of Engineering
Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth

Part 2 of 2 on what I learned at OpenCon 2015: Background and Open Access
(Read Part 1: Making Opportunities for Scholarship More Open: Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education)

Open Data

This is the second part of a two-part blog on the ideas I took away from OpenCon 2015. OpenCon is an annual conference where attendees work towards developing a more open system for sharing the world’s information — from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital data.

A major topic of OpenCon 2015 in November was the difficult area of open data.

Data is open when it is publicly available and structured so that it is fully accessible and usable. In the U.S. (and in many European nations) there is a federal governmental push toward open data practices. Here, the White House Open Government Initiative has already trickled down into agency initiatives (for example, see http://www.nsf.gov/data/), grant requirements, and proposal guidelines. The deliberate structuring of data to be discoverable and usable is as important as the accessibility of the data itself. Agencies, repositories, and scientific communities are all working on developing common metadata terms so that users can more efficiently find data.  If you are hosting datasets yourself, you may be interested in a service of the Dartmouth Library to enable you to have DOIs for your datasets, an important aspect of making a dataset public and citable.  Having well-documented open data is a major path towards making it easier for you to get credit for your research, too.

Some of the challenges of Open Data include:

  • The sheer volume and increasing rate of data being produced
  • The lack of infrastructure and funding, not only for collecting, processing, and archiving data, but for maintaining those archives
  • The difficulty of data discovery across different repositories/registries, platforms, and data sets. Data discovery systems are still overly simplistic and catalog/registry-based OR very heavy weight and top-down
  • Development of data access systems is divergent in terms of infrastructure, data standards and conventions, and format
  • The long tail of data. Some data is open, managed, and usable. Even more is open but poorly managed or requiring the original authors’ assistance to use, but the vast majority is not openly accessible, not managed. It is still in individuals’ notebooks, hard drives, and thumb drives!

Practical (and sometimes required) Steps

  1. What can we do? As individual scholars, we can make a point of uploading our data to our institutional repositories, as well as to discipline-specific ones.  Most of these are members of world data centers or network data centers, umbrella bodies representing groups of data stewardship organizations with search services across multiple repositories. Figuring out which repository to use can be daunting to new researchers, but a librarian can help you.
  1. If you are applying for funding from government agencies or private foundations, you will probably be required to describe how you will make data publicly available in a data management plan. At Dartmouth, the Library, the Office of Sponsored Projects, and ITS have collaborated on implementing the Data Management Plan Tool. This is a very useful resource for those of us writing research proposals, as it provides not only data management plan formats for many agencies, but actual sample data management plans as well.
  1. Familiarize yourself with and use Creative Commons designations, so the right to use and republish your data is unambiguous and users know how to do the right thing. For guidelines see https://creativecommons.org/. To embed Creative Commons licenses directly into Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents, see CC Word Add-in.
  1. Help spread the word. Many scholars are resistant to sharing data because of fears that they will be scooped, or that their data will be used without attribution or even misused. I can’t say this won’t happen; I’ve seen it. But chances are that the benefits to society of sharing your data will outweigh the disadvantages. You know your data far better than other people. Even with good annotation, it is difficult to use someone else’s data. If other scholars find something you missed, then you probably weren’t going to see it anyway. What’s more, they may have a way of using it that is completely orthogonal to your purpose and will generate new knowledge.
  1. Institutions and agencies can also proactively make data archiving and metadata creation easier for scientists, improve sharing and collaboration infrastructure, and provide funding for data curation.

Open Educational Resources

We all know how expensive textbooks can be! At community colleges, the books often cost students more than tuition. Many students cannot afford textbooks, or choose not to buy them, even when forgoing textbook purchases affects their learning. Student groups on some campuses (e.g., the University of British Columbia) are fighting back, pushing for open educational resources to be used wherever possible, and working with their administration, professors, and even their bookstores to make it happen.

Practical Steps

Professors can work with their subject area librarians to identify open access resources for their students, or even consider writing an open access textbook. Like open access journal publication, this is an idea waiting for proven economic models. My own informal survey at the recent American Geophysical Union conference turned up a range of responses from publishers, ranging from, “Yes! We offer this” (http://www.frontiersin.org/) to “We are waiting to see what others do” to “What is open access?”

Of course, providing open educational resources is just the beginning. What we really want is to develop communities of open practice. We want students learning to work in (and to create and contribute to) an open environment. Students need to be shown how to identify, and find value in, good open resources. Some ways for teachers to promote open practices in the classroom include:

  1. Explain and model a philosophy toward open educational resources and open access publishing
  2. Find and use Creative Commons licensed materials and license your own materials that way
  3. Try to design your class without a required textbook purchase. Use an open access textbook (I like http://www.motionmountain.net/project.html) or resources available online. Ask your subject area librarian for suggestions. See
    1. CCOER – lists of open textbooks in various fields
    2. OpenStax – publisher of open source textbooks
    3. BC Open Textbooks Project – mostly social sciences subjects
    4. OER Commons – open educational resources
  4. Use peer review and annotation as a teaching tool. Have students critique one another’s work (using Canvas or social networking tools such as WordPress, Tumblr, or Blogspot) for participation grades
  5. Have students create content for Wikipedia or put their work on Wikibooks for an assignment or a final project

Wondering how to navigate the copyright waters when planning your syllabus or assigning research papers?  Ask a librarian!  Attend a copyright workshop, invite a librarian to your class to discuss this with your students, and advise on their specific projects.

Making Opportunities for Scholarship More Open: Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education

OpenCon 2015 graphicPosted on behalf of Rachel Obbard, Assistant Professor of Engineering
Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth

Part 1 of 2 on what I learned at OpenCon 2015: Background and Open Access
(Read Part 2: OpenCon: Early Career Researchers Pave the Way)

Background

There is something extraordinary happening.  Lots of extraordinary things, actually, all benefits of the internet – improvements in our understanding and appreciation of other cultures, support for marginalized segments of the population, new economic models, international collaboration, alternatives to traditional schooling – the list goes on and on.  One of the most powerful of these in the scholarly context is the Open Movement, the trend towards more open sharing of data, scientific publications, and educational resources.

In November, I had the good fortune to attend OpenCon 2015, an annual conference where attendees work toward developing a more open system for sharing the world’s information — from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital data. OpenCon is more than a conference series; it is a community that aims to advance Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data. Once a year, its members come together from across the world to learn about the issues, develop critical skills, and return home ready to catalyze action.

Thanks to a travel scholarship provided by Dartmouth College Library, I was able to attend two days of talks, panels, and project presentations in Brussels, Belgium (November 14-16, 2015), and take part in workshops on specific problems, strategies, and tools of the Open Movement*, including Creating Open Content, Advocating Open Access on Campus, The Role of Open Content in the Classroom, and What can Funders Do to Incentivize Open Science?  I came away with ideas, resources, and contacts to a vibrant OpenCon community. I describe in two blog posts the key messages I took home from the conference, and some practical steps for students and educators who want to support the movement.

*Although the Open Movement is a distributed effort, there are a few influential individuals, such as Michael Eisen, early Open pioneer and Founder and Editor of PLOS, and some organizations, the biggest of which is SPARC® (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and its the Right to Research Coalition project, an international alliance of student organizations that advocate for and educate students about open methods of scholarly publishing (see http://www.sparc.arl.org/).  At Dartmouth, the Library’s Open Dartmouth Working Group provides educational programming and consulting for the Dartmouth community on these issues.

Open Access and Public Access

Open Access refers to making scholarly work available to everyone, not just those who can afford it or those who have the good fortune to work for institutions that can. In theory, the greater the access, the greater our collective productivity. The devil in the details here lies in developing economic models for open access journals. Someone needs to pay for the editorial staff and infrastructure required to compile, publish, and curate quality work. Currently many open access journals require paper processing fees, which shift the cost from reader to author but may simply replace one barrier with another. Within the Open Movement there is a growing sentiment that “We need to abandon [traditional] scientific journals, not reform them” (quote from an OpenCon speaker). There were even stickers putting down a popular, and notoriously heavy-handed, publisher.

I came away from OpenCon with ideas for things I could do in each of the Open focus areas. I include them here as suggestions for action.

Practical Steps

  1. Sign the Open Pledge (http://www.openaccesspledge.com/) and post it on your webpage.
    “I pledge to devote most of my reviewing and editing efforts to manuscripts destined for open access. For other manuscripts, I will restrict myself to one review by me for each review obtained for me by an outlet that is not open access. Here, manuscripts destined for open access mean those that the authors or journal post on institutional or university repositories, or those that are made open access by the publisher within 12 months. Because I believe that access to publicly funded research should be free, I will also support open access in other ways.”
  1. Publish more. Publish openly. Make your past publications accessible wherever possible.
    1. Publish pre-prints on your web pages when you can. Talk to the librarians in the Scholarly Communication, Copyright and Publishing Program about what you can post where. Publishing pre-prints is often permitted even by traditional journals. For guidelines on what is allowed, see the SHERPA/RoMEO database of publishers’ policies on copyright and self-archiving. You will be encouraged to deposit these in the Dartmouth Academic Commons, Dartmouth’s institutional repository,  as that develops.
    2. Publish negative data (data that doesn’t support your hypothesis, or is simply not being used).
    3. Be active on your scholarly or scientific journal editorial boards to effect change to a more open system in your field.
  2. The Directory of Open Access Journals is an online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. Dartmouth librarians can also help authors identify open access journals for their next papers.
  3. Apply for the Dartmouth Open Access Fund to cover article processing fees.
  4. On the institutional level, open access publishing could be enabled by changes in promotion and tenure guidelines that encourage open access publication. Many institutions are considering using this metric as well as impact factor or citations as proxies for impact, as open access publishing can lead to broader impact.

Climate Change Summit and Access to Knowledge-Free Texts

UNClimateChangeLogoThe United Nations Conference on Climate Change, known as COP21, brought world leaders and climate change scientists and activists from around the world together in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015. To forward the goals of broad engagement in this complex suite of issues, it is crucial that access to peer reviewed research, reviews of topics that are grounded in that research, and reliable background texts are all available broadly and openly. This second of 3 posts about access to information that informs citizens, policy makers, government officials and scientists alike highlights some useful texts that were made freely available in light of the significant meeting.  

  1. Climate Intervention, a 2 volume set, is available for free download from the National Academies Press (NAP).  The volumes are: Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration and Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth.  One of the first publishers to provide free PDF of the print books that are sold to cover costs, the NAP provides materials that connect science to policy.
  2. Knowledge Unlatched is an innovative open access book publishing model, where libraries contribute the to costs of production by academic presses and therefore make selected books openly available. Key titles relating to global climate change issues are Understanding the Global Energy Crisis, by Eugene D. Coyle and Richard A. Simmons, and published by Purdue University Press, and On Global Citizenship, by James Tully, published by Bloomsbury Academic Press.
  3. Climate Change Research from the publisher Routledge is a freely available book that includes sections from books that from the series Advances in Climate Change Research.
  4. Elsevier is making a “virtual special issues” of the Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability freely available, which includes 29 selected articles with commentary from the editors-in-chief.
  5. Many reports leading up to COP21 are freely available and licensed with a Creative Commons license, which retains usual copyright and attribution but allows for distribution and reuse.  The “Paris Agreement” , the shorthand name for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Paris 2015,  itself is freely available.  Other related reports include those from the UNFCC Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) and from other organizations such as the Green Alliance’s Paris 2015: Getting a Global Agreement on Climate Change.
  6. Groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists gathered experts together to weigh in on the issues in light of the U.S. presidential campaign underway, and sent a letter to the candidates urging consideration of the science.

These are just a sampling of the current materials freely available relating to this historic Climate Change Summit.

For more information about open access to texts of all kinds, contact Dartmouth’s Scholarly Communication Program librarians, Barbara DeFelice and Jen Green.

Climate Change Summit and Access to Knowledge-Data

UNClimateChangeLogoThe United Nations Conference on Climate Change, known as COP21, due to the full title of 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, brings world leaders and climate change scientists and activists from around the world together in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015. With an emphasis on civic engagement and empowerment at all levels, it is crucial that access to peer reviewed research, reviews of topics that are grounded in that research, and reliable data are all available broadly and openly. This first of 3 posts about access to information that informs citizens, policy makers, government officials and scientists alike highlights a couple of data sources.

The World Bank declared that the results of research, which includes articles, reports and data, be made open access.  To that end, the World Bank’s Climate Change site offers reports and data free to download and reuse.  See the Open Data in 60 Seconds toolkit to help with accessing and using World Bank Open Data.  To more easily interact with the relevant data, particularly C02 and the Human Development Index, download the World Bank Climate Change DataFinder 2.5 free app.  

Carbon emissions data can be overwhelming, and the concept of limiting global warming to an increase of 2°C difficult to conceptualize. This interactive map, Carbon Risk by Novethic, helps you visualize carbon emissions over time and space, and includes current objectives to meet that 2°C.

Public access to data is becoming a requirement of U.S. federal funding agencies, so we expect more open data on climate change to be available in the future. The National Center for Atmospheric Research, NCAR, has an open access policy for the results of research, including data as well as articles. Although geared more towards the expert, the NCAR/UCAR Climate Data Guide is source for key datasets.

U.S. federal government data is publicly available; see the GIS Data Finding Guide for sources.

The Dartmouth College Library and Dartmouth’s Office of Sponsored Projects collaborate on supporting the public access requirements of funding agencies though consultation on data management plans and options for data archiving. Start with the Data Management and Resources Sharing Plans site and the Library Research Guide on Data Management Plans.

The subject librarians can help you find sources of data, and please share your favorite sites for open data on climate change!

 

 

 

Dartmouth Open Access Publishing Fund

The Dartmouth Open Access Publishing Fund covers the processing fees for publishing scholarly and scientific articles in peer reviewed open access journals. These journals make the articles available to all readers worldwide regardless of ability to pay for these articles through subscriptions or individually. This increases the visibility and impact of the results of Dartmouth research and scholarship. It also helps fulfill the public access requirements of funding agencies.

Recently funded articles include:

Batsis, J., Zbehlik, A., Pidgeon, D. & Bartels, S. (2015). Dynapenic obesity and the effect on long-term physical function and quality of life: data from the osteoarthritis initiative. BMC Geriatrics. DOI: 10.1186/s12877-015-0118-9

Melin, A. D., & Dominy, N. J. (2015).
Do oxygen isotope values in collagen reflect the ecology and physiology of neotropical mammals? Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution: Paleoecology. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2015.00127

Micieli, J. & Tsui, E. (2015). Ophthalmology on social networking sites: an observational study of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Clinical Ophthalmology. DOI: 10.2147/OPTH.S79032

How do I apply for funding?

If you would like to publish your scholarly work in an open access journal, ask about the Dartmouth Open Access Fund for the journal(s) you are considering. Please contact us:

Barbara DeFelice, Program Director for Scholarly Communication, Copyright, and Publishing
Jen Green, Digital Scholarship Librarian
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/schcomm/

You may also visit the Dartmouth Open Access Publishing Fund webpage to access the application and more information.

“Almost Human” is Open Access: OA Publishing Provides Rapid & Broad Dissemination of Key Discovery

F9.mediumThe fascinating discovery presented by Professor Lee Berger at Dartmouth on November 16th, “Almost Human—the Discovery of Homo naledi”, is truly remarkable for many reasons. The significant new discovery of the Homo naledi skeletons in the Rising Star Cave, and the complex collaboration that brought this discovery to light, make a gripping story of exploration, bravery, and science. But this is also a story of a transformation in thinking about scholarly publishing that is needed to forward understanding of a new species. As noted in National Geographic, “In paleoanthropology, specimens are traditionally held close to the vest until they can be carefully analyzed and the results published, with full access to them granted only to the discoverer’s closest collaborators. By this protocol, answering the central mystery of the Rising Star find—What is it?—could take years, even decades. Berger wanted the work done and published by the end of the year. In his view everyone in the field should have access to important new information as quickly as possible.”

To this end, two of the scientific research papers resulting from this discovery have been published in the open access journal eLife. A new journal, eLife provides open peer review and rapid publishing services on a state of the art platform. It provides researchers with high quality publishing that reaches a broad audience, and is supported by a collaboration of funders and researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust.

The lead researcher, Lee Berger, and the others on this project, including Dartmouth’s Associate Professor of Anthropology Jeremy DeSilva, knew the skeletons in the Rising Star Cave constituted a very important discovery and wanted the work broadly available and published in the best journals. Through the open access eLife articles and public access to the specimen files on MorphoSource, anyone with a 3D printer can make and study the fossils! The two eLife papers have already been cited in the published literature, and the metrics for usage provided by the platform give insight into the rapid spread of knowledge of these papers through social media as well.

elife-identity-header The articles in eLife are:

Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa, by Lee Berger et al                DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09560 Published September 10, 2015 Cite as eLife 2015;4:e09560

Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa, by Paul HGM Dirks et al DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09561 Published September 10, 2015 Cite as eLife 2015;4:e09561

John Hawks, in his piece “Homo naledi fossil discovery a triumph for open access and education” in The Conversation September 28th 2015, describes why the open access approach is so important to education.

“Not only the public benefits from scientific open access; science itself benefits. Showing the process of science in action, we create better tools for educators to equip students with the scientific method.”

For information about support for open access, public access, and open education, see Dartmouth College Library’s Scholarly Publishing and Communication Research Guide.

Dartmouth College Library Publishes Special Issue of Journal of e-Media Studies

e-media_logo-2  A special issue of the Journal of e-Media Studies has just been published by the Dartmouth College Library’s Digital Publishing Program. Issue editors are Mary Desjardins, Associate Professor and Chair of Dartmouth’s Film and Media Studies Department, and Mary Beth Haralovich, Professor of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of Arizona.

The editors describe the scope of this special issue in the Introduction, “Reconsidering Gender, Genre, and Race in Broadcast Radio and Television.” They emphasize that “This special issue of Journal of e-Media Studies is focused on historical trends, shifts, and transformations in past and present broadcast television and radio, as understood through the categories of genre, gender, and race.”

The issue includes papers such as “Haphazard Archive: The Epistemological, Aesthetic, and Political Contradictions of Television” by Professor Lynne Joyrich of Brown University. As the editors note, “Employing a variety of archival sources and entries into history, these essays shift the field’s recent angles of inquiry and illustrate the importance of a continual re-consideration of broadcast media history.”

The Journal of e-Media Studies is a fully open access journal, so all of the materials in this issue are broadly accessible.

Open Dartmouth Exhibit during Open Access Week 2015

Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg“Open for Collaboration” is the Open Access Week 2015 theme. Starting on October 19th, find an “Open Dartmouth: Research, Data, Code and Ideas” exhibit near you to learn why Dartmouth researchers share their work!

 

  • This exhibit features posters of faculty who share their teaching and research openly and includes their individual insights into the ways broader access to their work impacts their research communities, their students, and the world.
  • The exhibit is located in a variety of places on campus and online too:
    • Baker-Berry Library, Main Street
    • Fairchild Physical Sciences Center, Lobby
    • MacLean Engineering Sciences Center, Atrium
    • Online at the ARTstor Shared Shelf Commons
  • See Open Dartmouth: Research, Data, Code, Ideas, a slideshow presentation
    • This presentation will run continuously throughout the day in all of the above-listed locations. It highlights Dartmouth faculty as well as how and where they choose to publish their work openly.
  • Pick up materials about ways to more broadly share your work!

More questions about Open Access Week and what’s happening at Dartmouth?

If you are publishing or sharing your work openly and would like to be included in our Open Dartmouth Exhibit, please contact either Barbara DeFelice or Jen Green within the Scholarly Communication, Copyright, and Publishing program.