Digital Scholarship @ The Libraries

Inspiring innovative digital scholarship at the OSU Libraries and beyond

Month: May 2013

5th Annual Knowledge Bank Users Group Meeting

knowledge-bank-logoOn May 14, 2013, twenty-seven faculty and staff from around The Ohio State University joined the Knowledge Bank team in the Thompson Library for the Fifth Annual Knowledge Bank Users Group Meeting. Participants included long-standing and established partners as well as new partners of our institutional repository and publishing programs.

KBUG13-1This year’s meeting included updates on current projects by the Knowledge Bank team and large and small group discussions on the topic of open access. The presentation slides from the meeting are available via the Knowledge Bank.

KBUG13-2The Knowledge Bank team would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our partners for making this year’s event a huge success. The continued participation and input from our partners is invaluable to us and we appreciate the opportunity to gather as a group to talk about our goals and accomplishments.

If you have comments about this year’s meeting, or suggestions for next year, please let us know.

Jobs in digital scholarship at OSUL

Research and Education Faculty Librarian Cohort Search

The OSU Libraries are hiring a cohort of six faculty librarians in the Research and Education Division, all with responsibilities for supporting digital scholarship. They are: Head, Fine Arts Library; Head, Knowlton School of Architecture Library; Business Librarian; Geospatial Information Librarian; Digital Humanities Librarian; and Data Management Services Librarian.

Two of these jobs (the DH and Data Management positions) are totally new. The other four are re-conceptions of existing jobs. Taken together, they present a really exciting opportunity for the Libraries to advance digital scholarship at OSU. Please share these postings with colleagues, graduating students, and others who might be interested in working with wonderful people in a world-class research library.

Engaged Librarians Support Digital Scholarship

We continue to have many discussions in the Libraries at OSU about ways in which librarians can engage with scholars during various phrases of their work. The idea of engaging with various parts of the scholarly process–whether through bringing original source materials or data to the attention of faculty, assisting them with specialized tools that make the scholarly process more efficient, helping them connect with other scholars as a way of deepening collaboration, or showcasing the results of their work on library-sponsored web sites or in physical exhibits -engaged librarians find opportunities to offer their knowledge of collections, archives, exhibits (physical or virtual), software tools, and self-publishing opportunities to faculty (and more advanced students as well).

However, engaged librarians will refine this basic pattern of interaction with faculty (and students) through more finely attuned attention to scholarly methods that employ digital technologies. They will offer assistance (with other experts) in specialized software tools for geospatial and textual analysis, in order to understand patterns of meaning across space and time; they will build virtual spaces (blogs, portals) which allow collaboration among scholars and sharing of emerging research ideas; they will participate in virtual communities of practice and virtual research environments, offering suggestions about data sources and options for data mining; they will promote awareness of rights issues involved in repurposing digital objects found on the Web; and they will make scholars aware of specialized disciplinary and interdisciplinary repositories of digital materials. The touchstone is  competence with research methods made possible by digital technologies and information resources. More generally, it is the construction of a collaborative landscape of scholarly method and practice, specialized techniques, appropriate software tools, and curated content that marks a *programmatic approach* to digital scholarship for engaged librarians.  When a programmatic approach to supporting digital scholarship develops, individual librarians become more expert with the entire lifecycle of research and the tools and resources that support it, and are proactive in collaborating with colleagues within and beyond the library in creating a suite of services that match the needs of a faculty member working on a grant proposal, a group of faculty mentoring a student research team involved in a service learning project in the local community, or an interdisciplinary collaborative conducting geolocation studies of historical sites across a region.  “Engagement” can take many forms, but in supporting digital scholarship, it is always seeking to expand beyond the known collection, artifact, or practice into an accelerated, more integrated set of services.


Scholarly blogging – why do it?

“Academic blogging holds out the possibility of extending the role of the academic, rather than threatening its diminution. It allows for discoverability, less specialised communication, and a degree of space and freedom to extend beyond the realms of research.” – Mark Carrigan (LSE Impact of Social Sciences)

Image by Travelin' Librarian on flickr, CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

Image by Travelin’ Librarian on flickr, CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

Since I started this blog six months ago, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the act of blogging itself, and the role it plays in academia. I’ve found myself reading blogs by scholars across a variety of disciplines and asking questions like, “Why do some faculty members blog, and others don’t? What do they get out of it? How is it seen by their peers? How is it seen by the university? Who is blogging here at OSU?” Since blogging can be a form of digital scholarship, it seemed worth taking the time to read what other folks have said about these issues and share some thoughts here. This post is the kick-off for a new category on the blog – Scholarly blogging – and a series of posts on the topic.

One of the first things you notice when you start reading about scholarly blogging is that it is a polarizing activity. Those who do it frequently see it as vital to their work, while those who don’t often view it as incomprehensible at best, and a frivolous time sink at worst. Given the wide gap between these two points of view, I think it’s worth starting off this series with an exploration of the reasons scholars blog. In brief, those reasons are impact, engagement, freedom, and improvement.

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You want a conference paper? Let’s cross our fingers!

Oh here we go again.  Another person wants a conference paper.  Is it online?  Nope.  I’ll search the catalog to see if we have it.  Nope.  How about OhioLINK?  Nope.  Let’s try seeing if anyone else in the world might have it!  Yes, someone does!  Oh wait, there’s only one copy of the proceedings…and it’s in Brazil.  Well, maaaaaybe Interlibrary Services can get it.

Has anything like this ever happened to you?  This is one of the reference transactions I always dreaded.  Conference papers can be so good…and so hard to find.  Outside computer science, where we’re lucky enough to have papers from most of their major conferences via a few of our full-text databases, I usually fail in many conference paper quests.

To illustrate the importance some disciplines place on conference papers, Web of Knowledge has somewhat recently added citation indexes for conferences.  Obviously, these are seeing enough demand and use that data is being tracked.  Some disciplines use them very heavily.  Computer science has A LOT of conferences and the proceedings are pretty popular.

This is why one of my most common shticks when bringing up the Knowledge Bank (KB) is to mention conference papers.  I’m sure many OSU researchers have run into the same problem with getting these conference papers.  Some researchers may have even had someone in Brazil contact them for a copy of their paper.  Why not put it in the KB?  The same goes for researchers all across the globe – why not make those conference papers easier to access!  Find out more about the Libraries’ conference archiving and publishing services.

Editors’ Group summer meeting: Open Access

Image by The-Lane-Team on flickr. CC-BY-ND 2.0

Image by The-Lane-Team on flickr. CC-BY-ND 2.0

Would you like to learn more about open access? Are you interested in sustainable business models for journal publishing? Are you concerned about predatory open access publishers? If so, join the OSU Journal Editors’ Group for its spring meeting.

Friday, May 24th, 3:30-4:30pm
Thompson Library, room 150A
Topic: Open Access

The meeting will begin with a brief overview of the topic by the Digital Publishing Librarian, but will otherwise be discussion-based. RSVPs are not necessary, but are appreciated – please email Melanie Schlosser if you plan to attend.

The Editors’ Group is open to OSU faculty, staff, and students who edit journals, serve on editorial boards, or are otherwise involved in journal publishing.

Meet the OSU Libraries’ Digital Imaging Unit

Located in the Preservation & Reformatting Department on west campus, the Digital Imaging Unit digitizes the rare and distinctive items found in the Libraries’ collections. We typically handle objects that are difficult to scan or photograph, or that need something special: high-resolution close-up shots to reveal small details, for instance.  Often, the features that make rare books, manuscripts, and other cultural heritage objects so interesting are the same things that make creating digital images a challenge. They may be extremely fragile, very large, very small, faded from age, or encased in heavy and ornate bindings.

SmallBook     UnusualFeatures3

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Engineering Undergrad Posters – Headed Your Way

Ever go to an event and end up creating work for yourself – and others?  Well, just that happened to me just over a year ago.

I was invited to view the student posters for CETI (CERCS for Enterprise Transformation and Innovation) student projects.  These were some very interesting projects – one of which I even referred to a colleague in preservation.  Eventually, a thought popped into my head – “Knowledge Bank!”

Undergrads have been contributing items like honors theses to the KB for some time, and I thought these items would be great to put in there as well.  The posters show major research projects these students worked on.  They also highlight Ohio State’s work with industry (companies and government agencies) from around the world.  The students should be proud of this work and  may want to point to it for years to come.

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Journal publishing – new categories, new services

We’ve been busy here at the Libraries’ Publishing Program! In addition to rolling out our new conference publishing service, we have been devising a more robust strategy for journal publishing that divides publications into three ‘categories,’ depending on their needs. Read on or visit our newly revamped website for more information.

The Libraries have been offering journal publishing services to members of the OSU community for several years, through the Knowledge Bank and on our Open Journal Systems platform. The journals we support are a diverse bunch, but all of them are born-digital and open access – meaning they are freely available online to anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world. Continue reading