Research Commons

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Apply Now for Ohio Geography/Engineering Scholarship

Applications are currently being accepted for the Cliff Lovin Scholarship, awarded annually to a geography or engineering student attending college in Ohio. Woolpert generously established this scholarship to support the geospatial industry by helping students to further their education in the field.

Undergraduate students majoring in geography or engineering and currently enrolled at an Ohio university are eligible to apply for this award. Applications and an official transcript are due by September 1, 2017, and the recipient will be announced during the 2017 Ohio GIS Conference taking place September 25-27 in Columbus, Ohio. For additional information about the scholarship or to download an application form, please see the links below:

Cliff Lovin Scholarship Information

Cliff Lovin Scholarship Application

For additional information about the 2017 Ohio GIS Conference, visit the OGRIP Events page.

Reflecting on the 2017 Denman Undergraduate Research Forum

We are excited to share this guest post from our partners at the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry, written by David Barnes, Program Coordinator. 

I began working with the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry (formerly the Undergraduate Research Office) in December 2016. I was hired as the new Events Coordinator and my main role was to coordinate the office’s large-scale events. As such, one of my main responsibilities is to plan The Denman Undergraduate Research Forum. The 2017 Denman Forum was my first experience with the event.

When introducing myself to campus colleagues in the weeks following my arrival, I was met with the same reaction: “What made you take this job?” My answer to that question became clearer as the date (March 29, 2017) drew closer. As a Ohio State alumnus who spend much of my time as an undergraduate student planning events and programs in the Office of Student Life in the mid-2000s, I have grown to love a challenge. I enjoy the energy that surrounds a large scale event like the Denman.

More importantly, while interacting with presenters, advisors, judges, and all of the staff and volunteers who help put together the event, I began to see the unique and positive impact the Denman has on students and the campus community. It is a great privilege to provide students with an opportunity to present their research and academic efforts in an early part of their careers. For many, the Denman is their first stepping stone toward graduate school and academic professions. For many others, the Denman is an excellent practice in skills needed in their careers such as public speaking and presentation skills. What a humbling experience to be a part of students’ journeys in this way.

The Denman Undergraduate Research Forum is an event many in the Ohio State community look forward to each year. While there were a number of changes made in 2017’s event, the tradition of research excellence and Buckeye pride held strong. This year, 679 students and 450 judges gathered at the Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC) to discuss and celebrate the work being done in labs, libraries, and in the field. Approximately 650 research projects were represented, and this was the first year that students were able to give oral presentations in the form of slideshow demonstrations. Judges from our corporate sponsors, who are experts in their fields, traveled far and wide to engage with the campus community and speak with the bright minds and leaders of our future. Likewise, President Drake, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Denman, attended the event to congratulate students and their mentors as part of the research community at Ohio State University. 

Planning for next year is already underway and I look forward to what is in store for the future.

To learn more about the resources offered through the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry, visit their website:

Browser Extensions Help Find Open Versions of Research Articles

Two browser extensions, Unpaywall ( and the Open Access Button (, offer an easy way to discover open access content when you need it – while you are viewing an article’s information online. Once installed, Unpaywall automatically appears as a tab on the side of the browser when you are viewing a research article’s page. The tab is green if there is full-text available and gray if there is not. Unpaywall is a new feature from Impactstory, a nonprofit organization supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which claims that the extension will work on 65-85% of articles.

The Open Access Button, which has been around for a few years, requires you to click on it when viewing an article page to initiate a search for available open versions. (You can also use the search box on the webpage if you do not want to install the browser extension). If no open version is available, you are presented with the option to initiate a request to the author to make the article accessible. Open Access Button will search for and request datasets as well as articles.

Both extensions are free and simple to install and use. Neither is perfect. Unpaywall does not always display properly if you are already behind a paywall. For example, it showed a free version of a subscription article when I was off campus but showed that same article as not free when I was logged in through the proxy server, even though there really was a free version available. Also, since it uses the open or closed padlock symbol it can easily be confused with the similar symbols used on the journal webpages to indicated subscription access. Open Access Button does not do well searching for titles of articles and is not as instant as the web page would have you believe. Still, they are both worth using.

Both projects were recently highlighted in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Data Visualization Services Specialist Position in the Research Commons

The Research Commons is excited to announce we have a new position available for a Data Visualization Services Specialist. 

Excerpted from the job posting:

The data specialist will support the research agendas of faculty and students, enhance curricula, and encourage research innovation across the University related to data visualization and visual thinking; leveraging research software and technology resources to enhance course development and research innovation.

Applications for this position are being accepted through April 2nd, 2017.  Join the Research Commons team! Read the full job description and apply today!


Wikipedia Connection Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon

We are excited to share this guest post written by Kevin Payravi, President of Wikipedia Connection.

On March 3rd, the Research Commons hosted Wikipedia Connection’s second annual Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon. Wikipedia Connection, under the umbrella of the Ohio Wikimedians User Group, is an Ohio State student organization that hosts outreach events and help get Ohio State’s students and faculty involved with contributing to Wikipedia, the free global encyclopedia that contains millions of articles that anyone can edit. 

Art+Feminism is a global campaign that occurs during Women’s History Month every year with the goal of expanding Wikipedia’s coverage of women in the arts. The vast majority of Wikipedia’s editors are men, and as a result, the encyclopedia lacks coverage of notable women and related topics. Initiatives like Art+Feminism work to help combat the gender gap. Over the years, the initiative has resulted in hundreds of edit-a-thons that occur in dozens of locations around the world in cities such as New York, Boston, London, Galway, Tel Aviv – and as of 2016, Columbus. 

Undergraduates, graduates, and faculty editing Wikipedia in the Research Common’s flexible Brainstorming space.

It is expected that Art+Feminism events around the world will collectively attract thousands of volunteers through the month of March. This years’s Art+Feminism event at Ohio State attracted 34 participants who created 11 new articles and 5 new drafts, improved 24 existing articles, and added a total of over 10,700+ words. 

The results of Wikipedia Connection’s 2017 Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon at Ohio State.

When it comes to Wikipedia, its millions of articles are primarily written by volunteers who spend time doing research and compiling information. For students, editing Wikipedia is a great way to improve their own research and writing skills, an activity that aligns well with the goal of the Research Commons. 

In addition to Art+Feminism, Wikipedia Connection has hosted a variety of other events in the Research Commons over the past year, such as the group’s recent United Nations Day Edit-a-thon, as well as their weekly workshops. Kevin Payravi, President of Wikipedia Connection, comments, “As Wikipedia Connection continues to grow and engage Ohio State’s students and faculty, we’re delighted to have the Research Commons as our primary host and look forward to future events!” 

To learn more about Wikipedia Connection, visit their website: If you are interested in keeping up to date on Wikipedia Connection’s activities and events, you may sign up for their newsletter here.

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