April 8: Preprint Repositories: Taking Control of Our Work

This event is April 8 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

The LACUNY Scholarly Communications Roundtable and Junior Faculty Research Roundtable would like to welcome all CUNY faculty, staff, and students to our joint event on community-owned preprint repositories! 

Illustration of the role of preprints

Preprint Repositories: Taking Control of Our Work
Date: Thursday, April 8, 2021
Time: 3:30-5:00pm

Public demand for scholarly research skyrocketed in 2020, as people sought reliable and readily available information on COVID-19. Much of this need was met by preprints, scholarly papers that are released publicly prior to peer review and publication in a scholarly journal.

Many major preprint services have been bought by large corporations and are no longer run by members of the scholarly community. In response to this trend, our speakers describe what it means to run a community-owned repository for preprints.

Juan Pablo Alperin is the Associate Faculty Director of Research for the Public Knowledge Project, an initiative developing open source software for scholarly publishing. He will discuss PKP’s new Open Preprint Systems software, which helps localized repository managers share preprints.

Vicky Rampin is a co-founder of LISSA, the LIS Scholarship Archive, a disciplinary repository for library and information science scholarship. She will discuss the archive’s recent departure from the Center for Open Science in favor of a platform supporting community-owned infrastructure.

Register for this event

Image by SciELO. Licensed under CC BY 4.0.

New preprint service from IEEE, TechRxiv

Did you know that there’s a preprint repository just for engineering? IEEE has launched TechRxiv, a preprint service for engineering. Authors in many disciplines uses preprint repositories to share early, pre-submission versions of their articles in order to 1) get feedback from other researchers in the same area and/or 2) stake their claim on their research publicly.

Physicists routinely put their work in their preprint repository, arXiv. They also avidly follow new content in arXiv in their specialities as well. arXiv includes computer science, electrical engineering, and other engineering areas. engrXiv is another major preprint service for engineering. Accordingly, you might find these sites current awareness since they allow browsing by engineering speciality. 

If you would like to learn more about TechRxiv, IEEE has created a video on their author tutorials page.

If you have any questions about preprints, please contact Monica Berger at mberger@citytech.cuny.edu.

Open Educational Resources

The COVID pandemic has affected City Tech faculty, staff, and students in many ways. At the City Tech library, one concern is how to best serve students who are currently unable to access our print resources. While our online databases and ebook collections are an incredible resource, many City Tech students traditionally rely on the library to borrow course textbooks. Reserve textbook collections at City Tech are by far our highest circulating materials because many students can’t afford the expense of buying their own. [The prices of textbooks are notoriously inflated.] 

This problem isn’t unique to City Tech. A recent article in Inside Higher Education (IHE) illustrates that even in academic libraries that have reopened, like the library at Roger Williams University—the small residential school profiled in this piece—librarians and students are frustrated because the demand for course reserves far exceeds the supply. According to the IHE article, “libraries that have built up print reserves of textbooks aren’t able to circulate those materials as they did before the pandemic, either because materials are being quarantined” or because library access is limited. Nicole Allen, an Open Education Resources advocate quoted in the article, notes, “the pandemic has intensified and exposed so many gaps and cracks in our society, and access to course materials is one of them…Students are struggling. So are faculty, and so are libraries.”

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that catching COVID-19 from a book is unlikely, but it still recommends quarantining returned books for at least 24 hours between loans. Since COVID can live on surfaces for 2-3 days, most libraries able to lend books are quarantining books for at least 72 hours to be safe. This means that students who cannot afford the high costs of buying their own textbooks can no longer rely on the library for help, even if their library has reopened. The lack of access to course reserves means many students are unable to do the assigned reading, complete homework, or study for exams. 

The challenges created by COVID have been a wake-up call for many issues, in many areas of our lives. The issue of access to course materials may not be as critical as access to decent healthcare, but it is still important, especially for students doing their best to learn under extraordinary circumstances. If students are going to succeed, faculty and librarians will need to be creative and work together on solutions to make sure students have access to the materials they need to complete their course work. 

One solution is to shift from the use of expensive textbooks to alternatives like Open Educational Resources (OER) and electronic material already licensed by the library.  Open educational resources are teaching and learning materials freely available for everyone to use. They are typically openly-licensed to allow for re-use and modification by instructors. Materials may consist of a complete course, course modules, assignments, tests, quizzes, textbooks, videos, etc.

To learn more about using OER and textbooks alternatives in your course, check out this guide to remote teaching resources for faculty created by City Tech librarians. City Tech also has an active project about developing OER and training faculty on their creation and use.  

If you have questions about library resources, open textbooks, or fair use for sharing materials with students, subject specialist librarians are available to help. Contact the library subject specialist for your department or program with any questions about library resources and services.

Getting Started: Open Textbook Library Workshop for Faculty

When: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 from 2:30 – 4, virtually

RSVP to: Joanna Thompson, jthompson@citytech.cuny.edu

Join a workshop about the Open Textbook Library, “a catalog of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks” developed at the University of Minnesota. Other topics will include: an introduction to Open Educational Resources (O.E.R.), and how to find openly-licensed resources in your field. Participants are encouraged to bring questions, and no level of familiarity with O.E.R. is required. A $250 stipend is available for faculty who complete a review of an openly-licensed textbook.

Get Support for Your Scholarship

Spring semester is complete. Grades have been submitted and now our energies are increasingly focused on scholarship.

Do you need help with any aspect of scholarly publishing? Our Scholarly Publishing Clinic is available for virtual consultations. Learn how to pick the best journal or publisher for your article or book, retain rights as an author, create a Google Scholar profile or search alert, use Academic Works and citation managers, and more. 

Email Prof. Monica Berger to schedule your consultation and discuss your preferences for shared communication. Use this form to give us advance notice of your question. Don’t forget that you can also reach out to your subject liaison in the library. Questions? Contact Prof. Monica Berger at mberger@citytech.cuny.edu

P.S. We’ll be offering our self-guided series Boost Your Scholarly Profile as usual this summer. Look for an all-faculty email soon.

Critiques of “Open”

Across higher education, “open” has gained traction as a buzzword, attached to many disparate and conceptual topics – Open Access, Open Educational Resources, Open Research, and more. Some have questioned the core ethos of the movement, and how the push towards openness can create new tensions around issues of sharing, privacy, research methods and more.

“Restless water” by Tomasz Baranowski is licensed under CC BY 2.0

David Gaertner, a member of the First Nations Studies Department at the University of British Columbia, writes compellingly of the historical lineage of Western research methods into Indigenous communities, and the relationship to language used in promoting Open Access (OA) scholarship.  For Gaertner and others, “OA has very real consequences for Indigenous peoples, insofar as it contributes to neo-Enlightenment ideologies of entitlement to knowledge.” As someone positioned within the field as “a non-Indigenous scholar who works with Indigenous communities,” Gaertner describes himself as familiar with the importance of recognizing community boundaries, and the flexibility/responsiveness required to do so.
Using the hashtags – #openforwho  #openforwhat – Gaertner asks us to question our own presumptions of access, and whether closure, in some cases, may actually serve as a “a path to openness.” For example, the concept of preserving the intention/spirit/context of an item by not allowing its public viewing, but intentionally restricting access to associated communities or groups.
In a response piece on her own blog, OER educator Christina Hendricks writes of the tensions between privacy and closure – and how the latter is arguably “more about respecting the appropriate boundaries of spaces, conversations, and knowledges given the context of what those are.” Considering these questions is critical to the developing path of OA, OER, and other developments under the wider umbrella of public scholarship.

Copyright workshop, 11/3/17, 12-1:30 PM

Copyright for Teaching, Scholarship, and OER FlyerWe’re doing a brand new workshop for faculty this Friday, November 3, Copyright for Teaching, Open Educational Resources and Scholarship!
Is it ethical to post an article to Blackboard if it’s not available online? Should you sign a restrictive author agreement with a publisher? Is it legal to show students a film in class?
As part of teaching and scholarly practices, we routinely confront (or ignore) the challenges introduced by copyright. This workshop will demystify copyright misconceptions and introduce practical solutions for the common copyright challenges you confront as a teacher and scholar.

Where: Library Modular Learning Space, A543
When: Friday, Nov. 3, 12:00-1:30 pm

Open to faculty. RSVP to Prof. Monica Berger, mberger@citytech.cuny.edu

Know Your Rights as an Author: A Workshop for Faculty 4/26/17

Don’t sign away your rights! Your decisions today regarding your scholarship can affect you in the future. Learn how to better understand publisher contracts and how you can keep key rights to your scholarship by using the SPARC Author Addendum, a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement.
Wine and cheese will be served!
Open to all City Tech Faculty
DATE: April 26, 2017
VENUE: Multimedia Projection Room, Atrium 432
TIME: 4-5:30
http://library.citytech.cuny.edu
RSVP to Prof. Monica Berger mberger@citytech.cuny.edu

Do academic social networks share academics’ interests?

Social networking services for academics are great for networking and getting feedback but at what cost to your privacy? How are these services monetizing you and your work? “Do academic social networks share academics’ interests?” in the Times Higher Education  is truly eyeopening! And don’t forget that Academia.edu is not an .edu and should be a .com.
There are many other ways to share your scholarship including depositing your work in Academic Works and subject pre-print repositories.

Airing dirty laundry for Open Access Week

I sat down in front of my work PC to post something about Open Access Week, and now all I can think about is the vulgar state of my desktop.
Exhibit Adesktop
I’m a librarian so…what do I have to say for myself? In my defense, it’s been a really busy semester! I got a little carried away and started cutting corners. Screen-casting images to the desktop here. Downloading files, and saving to the desktop there. At least 30 percent of these files are duplicate saves, and many are destined for the recycle bin, but I can’t be exactly sure. What I am certain of is this is no way to store and organize digital things! (FYI, my personal desktop is in less of a state.)
Continue reading “Airing dirty laundry for Open Access Week”