Grants, publishing, open access, and data management: How can the library help?

ENGS197_roomsetup2[5]This week Librarians from Feldberg Business and Engineering Library (Jim Fries and Janifer Holt) and the Scholarly Communication Program (that’s us!–Barbara DeFelice and Jen Green) met with PhD students enrolled in Professor Brian Pogue’s ENGS 197. This is a workshop-style course with the primary focus of preparing students for their professional lives.  This may include writing a powerful resume, publishing their research, or completing a competitive grant proposal. Professor Pogue invited us to talk about some of the resources students can access as they think about applying for grants, publishing their work, and making that work easily accessible to the public.

Jim and Janifer demonstrated a research guide they designed specifically for students in ENGS 197, which helps answer their questions about where to look for grants and how to support their funding request with authoritative literature through subscription databases.  The students had great followup questions such as “how can I find the impact factor of journals and articles in our databases?” Jim and Janifer were able to demonstrate how this works in the database Web of Science and also pointed out the additional tools for journal level metrics “Essential Science Indicators” and “Journal Citation Reports.”

Barbara and I talked about resources and services offered by the Scholarly Communication Program as well as important tools students should either use or be aware of as they publish their own research and apply for grants. One of those resources is ORCID, a registry of unique identifiers for researchers. There is a growing trend within publishing and funding communities to require that researchers have an ORCID iD to complete the submission process. Some of the students had published work and could speak to their experiences with this requirement. Barbara and I encouraged the students to create an ORCID ID, if they hadn’t already. It’s easy to do, and some of them did within minutes of hearing about ORCID from us. The students had questions about how open access journals are funded, which gave us the opportunity to mention the Dartmouth Open Access Publishing Fund. Open access journals are funded, in part, by publishing fees that authors are asked to pay either out-of-pocket our out of their grant. These fees can be quite high, but making research openly available is extremely important. The publishing fund helps support Dartmouth authors who wish to publish in qualifying open access journals.

We also talked about data management plans required by funding agencies. Data management plans enable access to data resulting from funded research. It’s a wonderful thing, but can be complicated and daunting for new researchers. Fortunately, Dartmouth offers its researchers access to the DMPTool, which provides templates and examples for researchers that help them structure their data management plan. The DMPTool offers a framework on how to communicate with researchers about the type of data they are working with, how it will be stored, and how and when it can be accessed. We’ve implemented it for Dartmouth along with our colleagues in OSP, who presented the big picture of funded research to the students.

The ENGS 197 students were engaged and interested in the resources and services we presented, but they were also clearly aware of issues surrounding the grant and publication process and the importance of open access publishing. It’s exciting to think about the research that will come from their access to authoritative literature and tools that will help them make their work widely available.

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