Digital Scholarship @ The Libraries

Inspiring innovative digital scholarship at the OSU Libraries and beyond

Month: June 2013

The Academic Blog Project (link)

Calling All Academic Bloggers!

Attention faculty, staff, and students – if you blog, or regularly read academic blogs, or want a way to find blogs in your area, make sure to check out this post by Lee Skallerup on College Ready Writing (Inside Higher Ed). Dr. Skallerup has kicked off The Academic Blog Project by issuing a call for academic bloggers to contribute feeds to a mega-directory. The directory currently takes the form of a Google spreadsheet, but it is also being developed into a PressForward site, which will allow for more curation and highlighting of interesting content. It can also be forked to develop separate directories for individual disciplines. Fill out the form to add your blog or one that you read, and keep an eye on the project as it develops.

(There’s also a brief credit to yours truly for identifying an appropriate discipline/subject structure for the project. It’s always good to have a librarian on board!)

From group blogs to open lab notebooks: Types of scholarly blogs

This is the third post in a series about scholarly blogging. The first post looked at the reasons scholars choose to blog, and the second examined some arguments against it. This one delves a little deeper into the subject by looking at some of the different types of scholarly blogs out there. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and the categories I point out here are not mutually exclusive – for example, it’s possible to have a group blog that serves as an open lab notebook. However, it should give a flavor of the huge variety in scholarly blogs.

In a sense, there are as many types of scholarly blogs as there are reasons for blogging. To make it a little more accessible, I have decided to divide them by number of contributors and raw materials vs. polished thoughts. To wind up, I’ll throw in some thoughts on microblogging.

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Conservation and Digital Imaging–Part 1

The Digital Imaging unit has been a part of the OSU Libraries since November 2005.  I’ve always felt lucky that it was established within the Preservation department, which is also home to the Conservation unit. Conservators repair,  stabilize, rebuild, and restore books, manuscripts, artifacts and other cultural heritage materials.  Although it might not be obvious at first, physical conservation of objects is often crucial to successful digitization.

Conservation treatment enables long-term preservation of items.  It also makes access to the items easier, including digital access.  For instance, producing a readable digital version of this newspaper from 1929 would be impossible in its initial state.  But after repair with Japanese heat-set tissue, it can be digitized and shared online.

before

after

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The Future of Creative Commons (link)

The Future of Creative Commons (PDF)

Creative Commons (CC) is one of the major providers of standard licenses for copyright holders who want to allow certain kinds of reuse of their content. The Libraries makes it easy for OSU faculty, staff, and students to apply CC licenses to their content archived in the Knowledge Bank, or published through the publishing program, and our own faculty and staff make use of CC-licensed materials in our writings, presentations, and classes.

If you want to learn more about CC licensing, I suggest checking out their recently released report, “The Future of Creative Commons,” linked above. It does a nice job summarizing why and how Creative Commons works, and provides a glimpse into the organization’s future. There is also a wealth of information and resources available through the main Creative Commons website, including videos, FAQs, more detailed background information, and a tool for searching CC-licensed content.

Arguments against scholarly blogging

This is the second post in a series about scholarly blogging. The first post explored the reasons why scholars choose to share their work via blogs. This one is looking at some common arguments against it. Those arguments can be summed up as: overloadstealing and scooping, nothing to say, and exposure.

Image by GrungeTextures on flickr, CC-BY-NC

Image by GrungeTextures on flickr, CC-BY-NC

Disclaimer: I’m biased. I think that scholarly blogging is a good thing, and that more academics should do it. I’m bringing up some arguments against blogging partly so I can refute them. That said, it’s important to think about the possible downsides of so public an activity. Some of them can be avoided; the ones that can’t…well, at least you were warned.

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