5
Dec13

Looking for Statistics?

Posted by: Julie Jersyk

Gravatar

“ …Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” So the saying goes. But used carefully, statistics can be powerful allies in backing up an assertion or strengthening an argument. With that in mind, the library’s social sciences team has created a Guide to Social Science Statistics. The guide points the way to facts and figures collected by government, commercial and private entities arranged under topics such as demographics, health, business/economics, education, sports, energy/environment and more. The guide strives to include all major sources of statistical information, but if you don’t find the number you are looking for, ask a librarian.

Posted in: Research Online

21
Nov13

Faculty: Submit Your Reserve Requests for Winter and Spring Terms!

Posted by: Anita Bennett

Gravatar

Attention faculty! The Winter and Spring terms are fast approaching; please submit course reserve requests and personal copies soon so that they can be processed in time for the start of the semester. Please plan to have your requests in no later than Friday, December 6, 2013.

To place a request:

  • Go to myNEU.
  • Select the “Library” tab
  • Click on “Course Reserves”
  • Consult the library catalog through Scholar OneSearch to identify library-owned materials.
  • Forward personal copies (or desk copies from the publisher) along with your printed request to the Help & Information Desk, 1st floor, Snell Library.

Keep in mind that we process requests in the order that they are received. Some items that you request may need to be ordered or recalled and there may be a delay between the time requests are submitted and the time the material is available for student use. For more information about reserves and to submit your request, see the library’s webpage on Course Reserves.

For journal articles available within the NU Libraries’ electronic subscription packages, we encourage faculty to create links in Blackboard. Learn how to link to articles online here.

For assistance with course reserves, please contact:
Anita Bennett, Reserves Coordinator
617-373-4646
a.bennett@neu.edu

Posted in: Library News and Events

15
Nov13

Google Wins Fair Use Argument in Book Search Lawsuit

Posted by: Hillary Corbett

Gravatar

On Thursday, November 14, 2013, eight years after the Authors Guild sued that Google Book Search violated the rights of authors, Judge Denny Chin finally handed down his decision (PDF) on the lawsuit. The Internet giant’s project to scan millions of books held by academic libraries was found to “[advance] the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders.”

Advocates of fair use are applauding Judge Chin’s decision. Brandon Butler, formerly Director of Public Policy Initiatives at the Association of Research Libraries (and a co-facilitator in the development of the ARL’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries), calls the decision “a powerful affirmation of the value of research libraries.” The Library Copyright Alliance, which last year issued an amicus brief in the case, quoted leaders of library organizations in a press release issued yesterday:

“ALA applauds the decision to dismiss the long running Google Books case. This ruling furthers the purpose of copyright by recognizing that Google’s Book search is a transformative fair use that advances research and learning.” – Barbara Stripling, president of the American Library Association
____
“This decision, along with the decision by Judge Baer in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, makes clear that fair use permits mass digitization of books for purposes that advance the arts and sciences, such as search, preservation, and access for the print-disabled.” – Carol Pitts Diedrichs, president of the Association of Research Libraries
____
“I echo the comments of my colleagues that this ruling, that strongly supports fair use principles, enables the discovery of a wealth of resources by researchers and scholars. Google Book search also makes searchable literally millions of books by students and others with visual disabilities. This is a tremendous opportunity for all our communities.” – Trevor A. Dawes, president of the Association of College & Research Libraries

Inevitably, the Authors Guild has already announced its plan to appeal the decision. And some critics, while perhaps not siding with the Authors Guild, have questioned Google’s motives in embarking on the project – readers’ privacy is uncertain, for example. Google has also been criticized for providing low-quality or sometimes just incorrect metadata for the books it has scanned. But having access to such an enormous textual corpus, despite its flaws, is a boon for researchers working in the field of natural language processing — Brandon Butler lauds the decision as “a victory…for transformative, non-consumptive search” — as well as for the visually disabled.

Posted in: Information and Society, Research Online, Scholarly Communications

25
Oct13

3D Printing Week @ Snell Library

Posted by: Elizabeth Alverson

Gravatar

3D Printing Week @ Snell Library

Join Snell Library to celebrate the opening of the 3D Printing Studio! Learn about the 3D technologies available and see exciting cross-disciplinary 3D projects.

November 4 – 8, 2013
Digtal Media Commons, Snell Library’s Second Floor

EVENTS

3Spark @ 3D Printing Studio Open House
Digital Media Commons, Snell Library Level 2
Monday, 3 – 5pm

Meet the creators of 3Spark, a finalist in the MassChallenge 2013 startup competition, and recipient of the Northeastern Center for Research Innovation Catalyst Grant 2012-2013; learn about other 3D projects on campus, and see the 3D printing studio in action.

 

3D Studio Drop-in Hours
3D Printing Studio, DMC
Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 2 – 4pm

Stop by and learn about how you can scan, print, and develop your own 3D projects! Students can meet with the library’s 3D printing specialist and see demonstrations of 3D projects; faculty can learn about integrating 3D technology into their courses.

 

ANA @ 3D Printing Studio Open House
3D Printing Studio, DMC
Thursday, 5:30 – 6:30pm

Learn about “ANA: Alpha Numeric Avatars,” a project that brings together 3D encoded text, encryption, and physical information storage. Meet the creators of this project, see demonstrations of this and other student work, and find out how 3D technologies are making their way into Northeastern University classrooms.

Posted in: Library News and Events

23
Oct13

IRis, Northeastern’s Digital Archive, Reaches Milestone: 1 Million Downloads!

Posted by: Hillary Corbett

Gravatar

When the Northeastern University Libraries launched IRis in 2006, the idea of an “institutional repository” was still fairly new. Universities were starting repositories to share their intellectual and administrative output – faculty-authored articles, dissertations and theses, student-run publications, university-created reports, and other documents. Seven years later, many more colleges and universities around the world have digital repositories of open access materials created by their faculty, students, and staff. These repositories often also host open-access journals and other publications – at Northeastern, IRis has hosted the Annals of Environmental Science since 2007, and also provides access to faculty-authored and -edited books.

IRis began with only a few collections in 2006, but has grown exponentially since then. Today, IRis contains over 6,000 items, and as of Tuesday, October 15, 2013, these items have been downloaded one million times!

Although it’s not possible to determine which one item received the lucky one-millionth download, we know that on that day, 649 items were downloaded 1147 times. Here’s a breakdown of the types of materials downloaded that day:

Here are top downloads in each category, for October 15, 2013:

As you can see, slightly more than half of the items downloaded were dissertations or master’s theses. An important contributor to the growth of IRis has been the university’s transition to an Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) program in the 2007-2008 academic year – instead of depositing print copies of dissertations and master’s theses in the library’s archives, graduate students now submit their ETDs to ProQuest and an open-access copy is made available through IRis. Both undergraduate and graduate research output is very popular in IRis – in fact, almost every month our most highly accessed collection is the Honors Junior/Senior Projects!

In the coming months, we will be expanding on the success of IRis with DRS – Northeastern University’s Digital Repository Service. The DRS will offer even more functionality for users and depositors, such as more flexible sharing options, the ability to manage permissions, and options for curated and noncurated collections.

Posted in: Library News and Events, Research Online, Scholarly Communications, Serendipity