As part of our exploration of new models of scholarly communication, the Virginia Tech Libraries and the Graduate School will host a series of free presentations and workshops Oct 15-19, the sixth annual global Open Access Week, to raise awareness of “OA” and options Virginia Tech scholars have for providing the widest possible access to their research and scholarship.
Cameron Neylon, Director of Advocacy for the Public Library of Science, will serve as our OA Week keynote speaker and this year’s Distinguished Innovator in Residence.
His public lecture, “Network enabled research: The challenge for institutions,” is scheduled for Monday, Oct 15, 5:30-6:30pm, in the Graduate Life Center auditorium.
- Positioning Virginia Tech in the OA landscape, Monday, Oct 15, 6:45-7:45pm, GLC Auditorium
- Introduction to VTechWorks (FDI session — requires registration), Monday, Oct 15, 3-4:45pm, Torg 3080 (following our OA-relevant FDI workshop on research data management plans)
- Introduction to Open Access (FDI session — requires registration), Tuesday, Oct 16, 10-11:45am, Torg 3060
- Faculty panel, Open access: Opening the doors to scholarship for all, Wednesday, Oct 17, 5:30-6:30pm, Torg 3080
- Graduate student panel, Open access: Opening the doors to scholarship for all, Wednesday, Oct 17, 6:45-7:45pm, Torg 3080
- Knowledge Drive to register members to the university in the VTechWorks institutional repository: Monday-Friday, October 15-19, 11am-1pm in the lobbies of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute, the Graduate Life Center, and in Newman Library’s (4th floor) Port Research Commons.
I’m still waiting word from the organizers about how the programs might be made available to grad students and faculty in the Natioral Capital Region and other extended-campus locations.
At its simplest, OA provides an additional mean for making your scholarly outputs — including work in nontraditional media — available to larger audiences than traditional academic journals can provide.
In instances where journal aggregators like Ebsco make titles affordable to us at the cost of delayed (“embargoed”) access, OA makes your work available while it’s freshest. Similarly, when publishers yank journals from aggregators, as Taylor & Francis did with hundreds of titles once in Ebsco databases in late summer — without either party deigning to advise librarians — OA offers a kind of insurance policy.
OA can be as simple as putting versions of your publications in VTechWorks, our digital institutional repository — which some government funders here and abroad now mandate — where we will curate your work for you, preserve it across technological changes, and provide consistent exposure to public search engines. This is the “green” OA model.
Moreover, if you wish to publish in journals with author-pays (“gold”) OA policies, we are now partners with the office of the provost and office of research in an OA publication subvention fund.
The Open Access movement in scholarly communications arose as an alternative publication model to dependence commercial journal publishers (Elsevier, Wiley, Springer, Taylor & Francis [Routledge], Sage, ) and some scholarly societies (notably the American Chemical Society) whose subscription prices have long grown faster than libraries’ ability to justify. (See postscri[pt, below). Most discussion in libraries and among policymakers about alternatives to subscription pricing has been grounded sci-tech publishing, which is of course the in which publication costs can be incorporated.
Use the Open Access Week events to let us know how your scholarship could be affected. Don’t let the STEM-centered approach to OA box you in, whether in campus policies or your own publication choices. Look at the American Historical Association’s statement about the journal business from last month, invoking other humanities and social science societies.
And beware of predatory OA publishers, which may be little more than vanity presses. Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado-Denver, produces a watch list problematic OA publishers.
The ProQuest Congressional database is our primary resource for federal legislative history, congressional hearings, reports to Congress, reports by congressional committees, and the like. It has shifted to a new interface, completing its migration from being a LexisNexis product. Links and bookmarks you may have for the old version may not work.
I find the new version more useful overall than any Lexis interface, though it doesn’t match the new interface ProQuest imposed on most of its other databases over the summer.
Don’t overlook the congressional information included in our CQPress Electronic Library (including CQ Weekly and CQ Almanac for 1945-2011), Congressional Research Service Reports, and HeinOnline databases.
Trial access to Book Review Index Online Plus will run through October 22. We have several online book review products already, as well as a print subscription to Book Review Index. If there’s much interest in this product we can pursue switching the print to online.
In exploring our new (and intriguing) Sage Research Methods database subscription, I discovered that Sage offers free access to its content through October. We already subscribe to many, though not all Sage journal packages as well as some of the ebooks in the Sage Knowledge platform. The promotion requires individual registration for each product: < http://www.sagepub.com/freetrial2012/>.
When you use a trial, whether we set it up or the vendor makes it available to you, please share your thoughts with us about how well it could serve the research and teaching missions of our university .
As other units across campus, the latest library strategic plan goes to the provost soon, aligned with the university long-range plan approved by the BOV in the spring. It offers a broad map of the changes you are already seeing in the library’s services, collections, and physical environments.
Software available in campus labs (“CILS”) will be accessible in Newman library workstations on Oct 15, when the campus Learning Technologies unit takes over management of the public computers throughout the building. Library branches will probably be included later.
This change will not affect computers in the new Port Research Commons, which is intended to be a place to explore both high-priced commercial applications (including GIS and CAD as well as statistical and digital-humanities applications) and their open-source alternatives, nor the computers in either library classroom.
New self-checkout machines and book returns are installed — rather inconspicuously — near the cafe and Bridge entrances to Newman Library.
The signage is sparse but the process is straightforward: use the handheld scanner on your ID card and the library barcode and print your receipt. Help phones directly to the circulation desk are installed at each self-check station.
The entrance to the first floor by the main elevators is being rebuilt.
Events hosted by the Virginia Tech Libraries:
- Banned Book Week “Virtual Read-Out” Friday at 9 am in the cafe space
- LGBT awareness and Hispanic/Latino heritage displays of highlights of the collection
- Hispanic/Latino heritage concert, Tuesday, Oct 11, 7-930 pm, in the cafe space
- “An Inestimable Jewel: Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Era Constitutional Amendments.” Talk by Thomas Mackey, University of Louisville, Oct. 8. in Torgersen 3100, 7:30 p.m.
- Lincoln and the Constitution exhibit in the learning commons ends Oct 16.
- Corinne Noirot-Maquire, foreign languages and literatures, will be the next CLAHS-Libraries Visible Scholarship Initiative speaker, some time in early November.
Postscript: Journal economics
If you’re interested in data about the costs of journal subscriptions: