Library News and Events

20
Jul16

Snell Library staff adopt Open Access Policy

Posted by: Hillary Corbett

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On June 22, 2016, the staff of Snell Library adopted an Open Access Policy. By establishing this policy, Snell Library joins a growing group of academic libraries in the United States with similar policies, designed to ensure the greatest possible access to the research and scholarship produced by their staff members. It also joins a much larger community of research institutions and subunits of institutions (e.g. schools, colleges, departments) who have adopted Open Access policies—over 600 worldwide.

Snell Library’s policy is particularly timely, as the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has just issued its own Policy Statement on Open Access to Scholarship by Academic Librarians. While ACRL’s statement is limited specifically to librarians, the Snell Library policy applies to all full-time library staff. Snell’s staff includes a number of academic professionals who are non-librarians, as well as its support staff, who are active in creating output that should be shared with a wide audience.

The Open Access Policy requires library staff members to deposit into the Digital Repository Service (DRS) copies of their published articles as well as posters and presentation materials delivered at conferences, where they are not prohibited from doing so through prior agreements with publishers. Staff members may receive a waiver of the policy for any individual work; this ensures that staff retain the freedom to publish where they choose, regardless of publishers’ willingness to accept the policy. (Given the huge increase in faculty-driven open access policies across the U.S. and worldwide, though, many publishers are already very familiar with the requirements of these policies and have built accommodations for them into their own practices.)

Q & A

What is open access?

Open access literature is freely available online for anyone to read. Open access is provided to scholarly articles in a variety of ways. The most common models are:

  • Open access journals: all articles published in these publications are openly accessible. May or may not involve a fee for authors
  • “Hybrid” journals: subscription-based (“closed”) journals in which at the author’s request, and usually for an additional fee, individual articles are made openly accessible.
  • Article archiving: authors deposit a copy of their article (manuscript or final formatted version) in a repository, typically an institutional or discipline-based repository.

This policy is primarily aimed at facilitating the “article archiving” form of open access.

Why an open access policy?

The goals of this policy are to expand access to Snell Library staff research and scholarship, and to lead by example both at Northeastern University and in the profession. Like many libraries, Snell Library actively supports open access to research output and advocates for Northeastern faculty to make their work available open-access where possible, in order to provide greater access to research for those who are not able to pay subscription costs or charges for article access.

What are the public benefits of open access?

The most obvious public benefit of open access is that research results will be more accessible to more people in more locations. Currently, most individuals have very limited access to research publications—open access makes published results available to researchers and scholars affiliated with smaller institutions or non-profit organizations, and researchers and scholars in developing countries. This may spur additional scholarly progress or entrepreneurial innovation.

Even individuals who do currently have access to publications via subscription services may find benefits from open access, such as easier collaboration with colleagues at other institutions, more accessible and affordable course readings for students, or by enabling new forms of scholarship such as computational analysis.

How does this policy benefit authors?

A number of studies have shown that articles that are freely available online often have increased citation rates and impact, though these benefits seem to vary across disciplines. Open access articles are also more easily discovered by researchers using online tools such as Google Scholar, and are more easily linked to and discussed in public forums.

(Note: Q&A excerpted from an FAQ for library staff about the policy, which was adapted with permission from a similar document created at the University of Minnesota.)

Posted in: Library News and Events, Scholarly Communications

7
Mar16

2016 Call for Proposals: The DRS Project Toolkit

Posted by: Sarah Sweeney

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DRS Call for Proposals

 

The Digital Scholarship Group (DSG) is now accepting proposals for the next round of DRS Project Toolkit development. The DRS Project Toolkit is a user-friendly set of tools for building digital projects and publications using the Digital Repository Service (DRS). With the DRS Project Toolkit users can create exhibits, galleries, and playlists that draw digital materials dynamically from the DRS.

Development for DRS Project Toolkit will be a collaborative endeavor and a great opportunity to experiment with publishing your project’s materials. If you have a project idea, we’d love to hear from you! Just answer a few questions about your project to apply.

Examples of successful projects from the pilot phase of the DRS Project Toolkit include:

Accepted projects will partner with the DSG and DRS teams to use the DRS Project Toolkit to securely store their project materials in the DRS and create a customized WordPress site to publish those materials on the web.

If you have questions, the DSG staff are glad to meet and discuss project proposals before the deadline; please contact us at DSG@neu.edu to set up a meeting.

Please visit the DRS Resources page for more information about the DRS. If you don’t think the DRS Project Toolkit is right for your project, but you are still interested in securely storing project files in the DRS, contact Library-Repository-Team@neu.edu.

Posted in: Library News and Events

29
Feb16

Check out the New Homepage!

Posted by: Kaley Bachelder

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Have you heard? Our homepage has a new look! Check out all the great improvements we’ve made!

1.  No more hovering

Ever gone to our website on your phone and gotten stuck in the drop-down menus? I can’t be the only one. Now, our menus open when clicked (it used to be on hover) so you won’t be trapped in ‘News & Events’ forever!

Menu Screenshot

 

2. Pretty tiles

Our finding aides are much easier to…err…find. The most-used research aides now have fancy tiles right below the search bar, letting you start your research right from the homepage. Don’t know where to start? Check the Subject Guide for your topic! Crafted specifically for the Northeastern community by our subject librarians, Subject Guides offer an overview of over 80 subjects as well as links to relevant resources.

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3. news@Snell

There’s now a nifty box just for all the happenings coming up in the library! Get the scoop on all our events, from informal office hours to free workshops.

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4. Talk to us

Lastly, see what this button says?

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We really mean it! This new homepage is designed to make your library experience more rewarding. Something not working right? Let us know!

Posted in: Library News and Events, Serendipity, Staff Interests, Tech Alerts

21
Jan16

What’s New in Snell this Spring

Posted by: Jennie Robbiano

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Here’s what you need to know about the library this semester.

Archives and Special Collections Acquires The Boston Phoenix

Copies of The Boston Phoenix

In September 2015, Phoenix owner Stephen Mindich donated the paper’s archive as well as its sister publications to the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections. For nearly 50 years, The Boston Phoenix was Boston’s alter­na­tive newspaper of record, the first word on social jus­tice, pol­i­tics, as well as the arts and music scene.

The physical collection is available in the Archives for research and perusal.

 

New: GIS and Data Visualization Drop-in Hours

Photo of GIS and Data Visualization Specialists

This semester, Bahare Sanaie-Mohaved and Steven Braun will hold weekly, informal drop-in hours for students and faculty interested in Geographic Information Services and Data Visualization.  Whether you need help with specific projects or just want to know what GIS is, all are welcome. Walk-in hours are every Thursday afternoon from 2:00 to 3:30pm in CoLab D, on the first floor of Snell Library near Argo Tea.

Learn about GIS and Data Visualization here!

Follow Northeastern Data Visualization on Twitter!

Spring 2016 Events and Workshops

Photo from Meet the Author: Dr. Kristen Costa

From exploring the history of Boston’s neighborhoods, to introductory workshops in the 3D printing and recording studios, to a storytelling slam with Foundation Year students, this Spring’s events at Snell cover a range of topics.

Keep your eyes on our calendar and follow us on Twitter @ClubSnell for the most up to date information.

 

Support in Your Subject Area

Photo of Research help room

Did you know there’s a librarian who’s an expert in you subject? No research question is too small or too complicated for our subject librarians.

Find your subject librarian here to set up an appointment or find them at the Research Help desk on the first floor.

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Library News and Events, Research Guides by Subject, Serendipity

24
Nov15

Keeper of the Flame: Boston Phoenix owner gifts archives to Northeastern

Posted by: Jennie Robbiano

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Boston Phoenix owner Stephen Mindich decided in September to donate the paper’s archives to Snell Library. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Originally Published in News@Northeastern on November 24, 2015

By Noelle Shough

For nearly 50 years, The Boston Phoenix was Boston’s alter­na­tive newspaper of record, the first word on social jus­tice, pol­i­tics, as well as the arts and music scene. Its intrepid jour­nal­ists tackled issues from safe sex and AIDS aware­ness to gay rights, mar­riage equality, and the legal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana. Ads for room­mates, romantic mates, and band mates—one could find all these and more in the newspaper’s probing, irreverent, enter­taining pages.

It ceased pub­li­ca­tion in March 2013, but the Phoenix will be pre­served for posterity—thanks to owner Stephen Mindich’s deci­sion in Sep­tember to donate the paper’s archives to Northeastern’s Snell Library.

Snell’s Archives and Spe­cial Col­lec­tions already houses an impres­sive array of his­tor­ical records of Boston’s social move­ments, including civil and polit­ical rights, immi­grant rights, home­less­ness, and envi­ron­mental justice.

The Phoenix never shied away from cov­ering topics of neigh­bor­hood interest, sup­porting the rights of indi­vid­uals and groups,” says Will Wakeling, dean of Uni­ver­sity Libraries. “So it will form a per­fect complement to this growing collection.”

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The Boston Phoenix will be preserved in Snell Library’s Archives and Special Collections. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

The Boston Phoenix will be pre­served in Snell Library’s Archives and Spe­cial Col­lec­tions. Photo by Matthew Modoono/​Northeastern University

LOCAL HISTORY WRIT LARGE

Mindich’s gift encom­passes much more than The Boston Phoenix. The archives include sister pub­li­ca­tions in Worcester, Mass­a­chu­setts, Port­land, Maine, and Prov­i­dence; Boston After Dark; The Real Paper; the alter­na­tive pro­gram­ming of WFNX FM; and Stuff and Stuff at Night mag­a­zines. These sources, including a full Web archive of mate­rial not included in the print edi­tions, pro­vide a richly nuanced per­spec­tive on how people thought and put ideas into action when it came to social issues and social jus­tice from the 1960s to the near-​​present day. They are doc­u­men­ta­tion of the ways social change happens.

Our vision for the archives is dig­i­tizing all the print and making it fully text-​​searchable, so all that his­tory lives on,” says Dan Kennedy, asso­ciate pro­fessor at Northeastern’s School of Jour­nalism and a former Phoenix media colum­nist and nationally-​​known media commentator.

Adds Wakeling, “As the library works on the com­plex dig­i­tizing strategy, the archives will be made avail­able to the public.”

The Boston Phoenix not only reported on the news, it made the news. In 1987, during the height of the AIDS crisis, it dis­trib­uted 150,000 con­doms to readers. In 2001, Phoenix reporter Kristen Lom­bardi described trou­bling pat­terns in how Catholic Church leaders were trans­fer­ring priests accused of sex­u­ally abusing chil­dren to new parishes. The alter­na­tive weekly also fol­lowed the evolving rights of the LGBTQ community.

A great strength of the paper was also its arts cov­erage, which is also Stephen’s pas­sion,” notes Kennedy. In 1994, writer Lloyd Schwartz won the Pulitzer Prize for Crit­i­cism for his cov­erage of clas­sical music. Many former Phoenix writers—Susan Orlean, David Denby, Mark Lei­bovich, and Michael Rezendes among them—went on to illus­trious careers at top U.S. news­pa­pers and magazines.

Though Boston’s anti-​​establishment spirit has faded some­what over the years, Mindich’s dona­tion ensures that its his­tory never will. “Scholars and researchers in this area will be licking their lips in antic­i­pa­tion,” says Wakeling.

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Library News and Events, Serendipity