Participating in the Open Access Movement

How do you become a part of the open access movement?

What makes it [Open Access] possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.

From Peter Suber’s Very brief introduction to Open Access.

Fortunately, Information Services has the internet and sharing platform (Digital Commons) figured out for you. Determining the copyright-holder is a little more complicated. By default, you own the copyright to all your creative work as soon as it is recorded (online or in print). If your work was published in a journal, you needed to sign at least *some* of the copyright over to the publisher so they could distribute the work. Unfortunately, in many cases, authors actually transfer ALL rights associated with their work to the publisher, or certainly more rights than the publisher actually needs. Depending on the rights you granted the publisher, you may not be legally allowed to distribute your scholarship via Digital Commons or other online repositories like ResearchGate or Academia.edu, provide copies to colleagues or students(!), or reuse parts of it in upcoming publications (like books!).

How do you know?

If you signed a Copyright Transfer Agreement, read the document carefully and ask your publisher to clarify any language that you don’t understand. If you no longer have a copy of that agreement, we can use databases like Sherpa/Romeo to search for a journal and find “a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher’s copyright transfer agreement.

Attend our workshop today (4:15pm, Davis Classroom) where we will help you determine which articles, conference presentations, and other research can be made openly available in Digital Commons.

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Impact of Open Access

I’m a young researcher from Guatemala who has been asked by a national TV channel to talk about climate change and hurricanes in an interview. Having access to this highly relevant article gave me the chance to prepare for the interview and provide the most science-based information. Thanks!!

Director at a research institute in Guatemala, from MIT’s OA Stories

I work and do my PhD in a small institute, and even though it’s connected to a quite big university it’s often hard for me to find certain papers. So thank you for providing this service.

A student in the Czeck Republic, from MIT’s OA Stories

Inspiring stories about how OA has helped people across the world abound. Read stories from people around the world that used openly available articles made available through Harvard and MIT to achieve goals. Or peruse bePress’s 100 Stories of Impact report to learn about the impact of OA to institutions, authors, and readers.

At Connecticut College, faculty research in our institutional repository has been downloaded 33,332 times. Of those, 45% (or 14,890) downloads are from the United States, with the remaining downloads coming from 175 countries. Top countries include the UK, China, Canada, India, and Germany. 

Upload your work to Connecticut College’s digital repository, Digital Commons, and make your research available to a global audience. Our repository works directly with Google and other search engines to maximize the visibility of your work. Attend our workshop tomorrow at 4:15pm in the Davis Classroom and learn how we can help you contribute to this movement.

Open Access Week 2017

Happy Open Access Week 2017! Still not sure what we mean by Open Access, or how it relates to your research, teaching, or the college in general? Open Access is a complex issue and constantly in flux due to innovations and changes in technology, federal and state policies, grant funding agency requirements, for-profit and non-profit publishing stipulations, and the culture and expectations of the Academy. This week, through a series of posts, we will explain Open Access with special attention paid to our local environment at Connecticut College.

OA Defined

According to Peter Suber, “Open Access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.” Tomorrow’s post will discuss Suber’s last statement in more detail. In the meantime, this video does a nice job of summarizing the history of publishing and the need for Open Access.

Productive and Meaningful (Virtual) Class Discussions

My technology-fellows project involves setting up a platform for online discussions with collaborative responses. This endeavor is motivated by the practical goal of being able to hold productive class sessions when I am forced to be away from campus and the pedagogical goal of using digital technology to help students more deeply engage with course material.

Desk in my hotel room in Accra, Ghana

In fact, as I write this blog post, I am preparing for the launching of this assignment in a hotel room in Accra, Ghana. I have sent students the assignment’s instructions and rubric, and I have shared with their groups a Google Doc that provides them with the questions they have to discuss in the “virtual class.” Students will open to Google Doc at the start of class, connect with their group members on Google Hangout, and discuss the reading in two phases. First, they will broadly discuss the reading, responding in their Hangout to a set of prompts that I provide. Then, they will continue their discussion by addressing a second set of prompts. This second set includes more challenging thought questions, and requires students to build off of their initial discussion and collaborate on a set of written responses in paragraph form.

Students are encouraged (and, through the rubric, incentivized) to be inclusive; it is expected that all group members will contribute substantively. All group members will receive the same grade, hopefully making it clear that they should work as a team. Groups will be inviting me to their Hangout session, which will allow me to assess the degree to which discussions meet the criteria specified on the rubric. Typically, being invited to the Hangout sessions will allow me to “roam around,” much like I would do in a standard class setting in order to briefly listen to what groups are discussing.

Trying the assignment for the first time, I am not sure what I should expect. I hope to see thoughtful, thorough discussions with students engaging with each other and teaching each other when there are gaps in knowledge. I also hope to see collaborative answers that show mastery of the difficult concepts within this reading and a level of engagement with the reading that exceeds what I see in standard small-group discussion settings. But I am afraid that students will come to the discussion without having read critically, spend most of the time reviewing the surface details of the reading, and rush through the collaborative responses simply to get something written on the document. Stay tune for updates!

Maximizing the Visibility of Your Research Workshop

Map of download locations from Digital Commons @ Conn College

Let us help you get your research to the broadest audience possible! Institutional repositories like Digital Commons work directly with Google and other search engines to maximize the visibility of your work. Putting your published research in Digital Commons is an easy, effective way to increase access to your work by making it available to a worldwide community of researchers who might not otherwise have access to expensive databases. Bring a CV to this workshop and library staff will help you determine which articles, conference presentations, and other research can be made openly available in Digital Commons.

Join us on Wednesday, October 25, 4:15-5:00 in the Davis Classroom (main floor, Shain Library).  Register (recommended but not required) by filling out the registration form or by emailing Jessica McCullough.

New Interdisciplinary Image Content in ARTstor’s Digital Library

Connecticut College Libraries’ subscription to the ARTstor Digital Library provides the campus community with access to over two million downloadable images. Created to meet the image needs of art and art history departments, ARTstor has radically expanded its interdisciplinary content in recent years. Subject guides point users to content in more than 22 disciplines, including anthropology, women’s studies, American studies, Middle Eastern studies and other area studies. The recent addition of collections by Magnum Photos, Panos Pictures, and Condé Nast brings ARTstor’s photographic collection to over 350,000 pictures and extends the database’s coverage to include documentary photography of historical and recent events, such as political demonstrations worldwide and the ongoing refugee crisis.

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Once a database for art historical images, ARTstor now provides image content covering a wide range of topics across multiple disciplines, as well as subject guides and other teaching resources to help you make use of these interdisciplinary collections.

ARTstor’s webinar offerings provide training and ideas for using the Digital Library to teach with images in many disciplines. The platform’s image-group functionality allows you to create and share collections with your students and download PowerPoint presentations with captions included. If you have any questions about using ARTstor, contact Lyndsay Bratton, Connecticut College’s ARTstor administrator.

Need tech help? Want to learn something new?

Lynda logoLynda.com is available to all students, faculty and staff at Connecticut College. Recommend this resource of thousands of courses to students by sending them links to specific courses, or including it as a resource on your syllabus. You can also find courses related to skills you hope to develop, for personal or professional reasons. If you don’t have to time to watch the courses now, add them to a playlist to view at a later date (Fall break is coming up!). Here are some suggestions for how to take advantage of this amazing resource:

  • Take notes while you watch a course. The “Notebook” feature lets you type notes as you watch. Notes are linked to that point in the video, so you can easily find and re-watch those sections! You can even export your notes into a Word or Google Doc, a helpful strategy if you are summarizing points of a course and want to keep a record in your personal files.
  • Make playlists of courses. Create a playlist for a class. Or for yourself when you have a chance to learn something new. You can create as many playlists as you like!
  • Bookmark video clips for future reference. As you watch a course, click on the bookmark icon in the “Contents” area for those videos you want to return to. I watch the same 3 video clips on InDesign every semester, and bookmarks make it easy for me to find the parts I need quickly.
  • Subscribe to the email list. New courses are being added weekly, some in surprising areas. To keep updated, subscribe to the email notification. After logging in, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Manage email preferences.” I subscribe to every type of email notification and I rarely get more than one email a week.

Have questions? Feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to help you use lynda.com effectively!

Upcoming September Events

We hope to see you at some of our upcoming events this month. Beverages and snacks are provided, as well as friendly colleagues and interesting conversation! Feel free to register or just stop by as your schedule allows.

Thursday! Joint Session with the Center for Teaching & Learning 

Helping Students Read Effectively: In Print & Online – Email Tanya Schneider to Register
Thursday Sept 14, 8:45-10:15 AM| Hood Dining Room, Blaustein Humanities Center
Reading is a significant part of our students’ learning on campus, and much of this work takes place outside of class. How can we effectively guide their efforts to make sure that they are reading effectively and preparing well to reflect on their reading during class? How does reading online and in print differ, and how can we teach students to read carefully and critically in different media? This joint session with Instructional Technology will help us all consider methods that colleagues are already implementing and other approaches that we may want to share with our students.

Technologies for Teaching & Research Workshops

Reflect, Integrate, Demonstrate: Student Digital Portfolios – Register
Tuesday, September 19, 2:00 – 3:30 | Advanced Technology Lab
As we build a curriculum that asks students to reflect upon and integrate their coursework and co-curricular activities, several members of of our teaching and learning community are experimenting with digital portfolios as a space for this work. Through digital portfolios, students can archive artifacts that document and demonstrate their path through their education. Narrative explanations and curated examples make clear why they selected courses, a major or pathway, as well as what they learned and accomplished. We will demonstrate platform options and end with a discussion and leave with ideas for future implementations.

Media Literacy and Fake News – Register
Tuesday, September 26, 2:00 – 3:30 | Davis Classroom
Authorship, authority and credibility.  How do we help our students distinguish a more-credible resource from a less-credible one? What is media literacy and why do our students need to understand it? We will offer assignment ideas and class activities faculty can use to incorporate media literacy into their courses.

Reading Group

Debates in the Digital Humanities
Thursdays 2:30-3:30: September 21, October 26 & November 30
Advanced Technology Lab
Texts Available Online

Should liberal arts campuses do digital humanities? What is the role of teaching and learning in digital humanities? How are the digital humanities impacting your field? How do the digital humanities engage with, improve, and/or perpetuate problems of social justice? Debates in the Digital Humanities addresses these questions and many more. We will read some chapters together, and others of your choosing, based on your own interests.

Attend one session or all three! Please let Lyndsay Bratton know if you are interested in attending any of the meetings, so that planned readings can be communicated.

Videoconferencing for students in the elementary language classes

Image of students with conversation partner.

Videoconferencing is becoming an increasingly popular tool used by many instructors to enrich foreign language classrooms with authentic experiences. In his post, Luis Gonzales, for example, reports on the advantage and success of using videoconferencing in his 200-level course SPA 250, Spain: A journey through history and culture.

Spring semester 2017, I also decide to explore the benefits of using videoconferencing in my language classes in order to increase confidence and motivation towards Italian. Previous research has, in fact, shown that for language learners a positive experience associated with computer-mediated communication in general, and videoconferencing in particular, can increase students’ motivation. Unlike Prof. Gonzales’s students, my students were all elementary students with less than 50 contact hours in the language. Their task was to complete a 30 minute exchange with a native speaker on a topic of their choice about Italian culture.  In order to assure that they would be ready to undertake this challenging task successfully,  I scaffolded the project throughout the semester with each step intended to build a layer of support that would provide the proper background for the exchange. These steps included a number of writing assignments that were corrected for grammar and content (the main one being a report on the topic they wanted to discuss),  semantic word maps for vocabulary, questions that they wanted to ask and possible answers. Another important aspect  was also the choice of a reliable technology and conversation partners who would be patient and amicable. I decided to use Talkabroad, a videconferencing platform  which provides a reliable technology, trained native speakers, and  recordings of the conversations for later review. This was possible through a grant from the Student-faculty Engagement Fund and turned out to the perfect choice with my elementary language students.

At the end of the project, students completed a questionnaire to reflect on the experience. They were asked about their perspective on perceived success of the exchange, adequacy of preparation, and effects on motivation. 46 out of 52 students responded to the questionnaire as follows:

  • 91% had a positive experience and perceived the exchange as successful; only 9% of the students reported a negative experience due either to problems with the technology or inadequate language abilities for the task.
  • 55% felt adequately prepared; 32% somewhat prepared; 13% felt unprepared.
  • 71% reported  feeling more motivated because the positive experience made them more aware of their own abilities and boosted their confidence; 28% reported no change even if they had a positive experience; finally only 1% reported a decrease in motivation due to the inability to carry out the conversation.

From my point of view, this was a very successful and energizing project. I saw many students come to life both while preparing for it as well as while teleconferencing with the native speakers. Many students expressed excitement directly to me, and, although it was challenging for them, I was extremely pleased with their performances. I will definitely do this again next year, and I would encourage other colleagues teaching elementary language classes to include some type of computer-mediated  authentic experience for the students.

Debates in the Digital Humanities Reading Group, Fall 2017

 

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Should liberal arts campuses do digital humanities? What is the role of teaching and learning in digital humanities? How are the digital humanities impacting your field? How does DH engage with, improve, and/or perpetuate problems of social justice? Debates in the Digital Humanities addresses these questions and many more. In the reading group, we will read and discuss some essays together and others of your choosing, based on your own interests.

Attend one session or all three! Please let Lyndsay Bratton know if you are interested in attending any of the meetings, so that planned readings can be communicated.

Thursdays 2:30-3:30: September 21, October 26 & November 30
Advanced Technology Lab, Shain Library, Lower Level
Texts Available Online