Saturday, August 10, 2013

Digital Commons Great Lakes User Group Meeting

August 8-9, 2013, held at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL

Jacklyn Rander & Sarah Beaubien of GVSU, Sarah Shreeves
of Univ. of IL Champaign-Urbana and Stephanie
Davis-Kahl of Illinois Wesleyan University
About 30 Digital Commons users from eight states gathered in the Ames Library for this useful exchange of ideas. Dave Stout, our area sales manager from bepress was there to greet us as one of the most active groups of DC users. There are now 322 DC customers, up from 50 six years ago, with 69 new sites in 2012. There are 1.3 items in all the repositories, with almost 70% full text that have been downloaded 145 million times with an average download of 162 times per object.

Stephanie Davis-Kahl was the local organizer (I met her at the repository manager certification), while Sarah Beaubian of Grand Valley had organized the program. Stephanie mentioned a great list of things that had happened with open access this year alone, including the federal and other funding agencies requiring open access to work done with their monies and the White House Open Data Policy.

Since next year’s focus for ScholarWorks will be on faculty publications, my new ScholarWorks grad assitant and I were happy to see sessions that focused on getting faculty publications into the repository. Margaret Heller form Loyala University in Chicago talked about searching for current faculty article publications, importing them into RefWorks, exporting the file into Excel, using OpenRefine and JSON to check Sherpa Romeo, and getting liaisons to help contact faculty to get permissions and post-prints. I like the idea of concentrating on most recent publications across campus. I did a quick search of WMU publications in Web of Science in 2013 and came up with 155 hits. Margaret also suggested using OpenRefine and JSON on CV’s. I am not familiar with these tools, but it looks like they can save a lot of time. Looks like even book chapters can be posted, if the right permission is received. Another interesting idea was to celebrate faculty publications with a wine and cheese event at the library.

Joshua Neds-Fox and Damecia Donahue of Wayne State University had some great ideas on working with faculty, understanding their hesitations, concerns and misunderstandings about open access, showing them the impact of open access in their field. We talked about the fact that open access differs across disciplines, but in general the impact is positive, as OA leads to more readers and more potential citers of one’s work. They also made the distinction very clear between gold and green open access - gold OA is given by the publisher, who may charge an author a fee, while green OA is given post publication by the copyright holder. The presenters felt that green OA was the better way to go, as long as you can get your hands on the post prints, but that is easier, if it becomes part of the publishing flow. They took us through a four step process that they use when talking with departments: 1) Research the OA advantage in the field, 2) Get a list of high impact journals in the field, 3) Run the journals through Sherpa Romeo (usually a high percentage allow post-prints or publisher PDFs), and 4) Present these findings to faculty with graphs and pie charts and citations to articles proving your point. Wayne State also uses the „do it for me” argument, where faculty love to hear that you will do something for them. They encourage faculty to add an author addendum to the agreements they sign with publishers, allowing for the right to deposit their article in the IR.

I was interested in hearing Kim Myers from The College at Brockport (SUNY), as I had seen her impressive annual report and project management workflow at a previous training session. She is not a librarian, but comes from business, so has more of a „return on investment” approach to her IR. She talked about the importance of a communication plan that is a project management document, looks at the different stakeholders and what needs to be communicated to each group. Kim talked of various tools such as software to create infographics, which can communicate numbers effectively; using emails to communicate with authors about their posted works; and using annual reports as a tool. She mentioned various ways to tell if the IR has had an impact and to show that it helps to enchance the reputation of the college, attracts students and funding, etc. She has been able to engage 65% of the library staff in the repository.

I had the opportunity to ask Dave Stout from bepress about the relationship between Digital Commons and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses before I had to lead the round table discussion about ETDs. ProQuest used to market Digital Commons and as an added benefit, they offered schools a way of importing ETDs from ProQuest to their DC repository. The schools that came on board during this era have that feature grandfathered in. Now you have to purchase the backfiles from ProQuest (I heard a huge range of prices) and then do some coding to bring the metadata and files into your own DC repository. Iowa State University offered to help with the coding. At the round table discussion we shared ideas, practices and frustrations. Some no longer submit to ProQuest and just have their ETDs in the IR. Others are already using the ProQuest ETD Administrator, where students submit directly to ProQuest. Not everyone has a centralized grad college that acts as a gateway for their ETDs, and some have to beg each department for the work of their students. I believe everyone I talked to had moved away from print copies, some even liquidating their print copies. One comment heard was that they were unhappy with the quality of the digitized copies received from ProQuest of older materials, which were probably digitized versions of the microfilms.

The last session of the user group meeting was especially valuable to me, as it was about providing data management planning services, presented by Sarah Shreeves from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With all the funding agencies now asking for data management plans, as they want to see data reused, verified, replicated for a broader impact. Almost all of the sites and tools shown by Sarah were unfamiliar to me. Here are a few:

Sarah was encouraging all of us liaisons to become familiar with the data management world, so we can properly advise our faculty. We need to be aware of options available on campus, security issues, open access, DOIs and to be involved with the conversation on campus that includes OVPR, the Graduate College, and departments. We need to help people to cite data sources properly.

Ames Library - Illinois Wesleyan University - Bloomington, IL

Here's another example. Illinois Wesleyan University has a student population of 2100. The library was build 10 years ago and contains 16 group study rooms and 6 project rooms, which contain projection and other equipment and need to be reserved. Students are asking for even more rooms.

The first floor contains almost no books. I talked to a librarian and he explained that they had recently cleared the books from the floor to provide more space for students. They were not able to afford more nice furniture like what they bought when they first built the library, but they got some donated from State Farm, which has its corporate headquarters in Bloomington. The first floor does still have the current periodical collection and Popular Reading. The rest of the space has a reference desk (no open reference collection), computers, comfy seating, tables and group rooms. The computer lab is open for student use, if there is no class scheduled. Some people like to study in an enclosed space. In the middle of the first floor there is a rotunda with a display of Native American pottery gathered by John Wesley Powell and his students in the late 1800's. I do have to note that they do not have a cafe.

The lower level has an auditorium, which we used and I found to be very nice, but I understand it is underused.