News & Notes

By: yuj on: December 09, 2011 1:47 pm | yuj

I was fortunate to be invited as a guest speaker for several sections of IMS (Interactive Media Studies) 201 this semester. My presentation "How to Find, Use and Evaluation Numeric Data" introduced information in numeric format such as censuses and survey data to students.

An idea came to me when I was preparing for the presentation this year - There is a growing interest in the IT industry about data visualization and there are lot of free web-based application such as Google Chart Tools, Google Maps and Sourcemap [link] that can be used to present numeric data in a more informative way. Therefore I decided to come up with an in-class exercise that invites the students to explore both the world of numeric information and ways to present it. The topic I decided to use for this exercise was "Campus Safety in Public Universities in Ohio." I felt that was a topic that relates to student life and they can use the information they find both in and outside of the classroom. The students searched and compiled crime statistics from public universities in Ohio and present the findings on the map below. Each red dot represent an university and users can click on the dot to view detail information.

[Note: Data presented on this map was gathered collectively by students for an in-class exercise. The accuracy of the data was not cross-checked.]

The Penn State sex abuse scandal has stirred up a lot of discussion lately. Postsecondary institutions are required by law (the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act) to report numbers of criminal offenses, hate crimes, arrests, disciplinary actions and fire incidents to the Department of Education. Postsecondary institutions are also required to make campus safety information available to the public. For example, Miami University has a Campus Safety and Security page [link] that shares information on crime statistics, emergency procedures, etc.. However, considering how "attractive" this type of statistics might be, they are often hard to find on universities and colleges' website (most definitely never linked directly from homepages). Which prompted me to share the data resources that IMS 201 students used to collect data on campus safety in Ohio public universities.

  • College Navigator [link]
    Maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), College Navigator can be used to search for information such as enrollment, tuition and campus safety on nearly 7,000 colleges and universities.
  • The Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool [link]
    Maintained by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the Department of Education, this online tool can be used to generate customized reports based on crime statistics and fire statistics. For example, click here [link] to see the statistics for Penn State.

    It is also worth mentioning that the California Postsecondary Education Commission [link] created a separate web-based tool for crime statistics for all California institutions. This tool allows users to produce graphs and to limit searches to a geographic region or county. However, the data available from this tool will no longer be updated due to the fact that the California Postsecondary Education Commission has closed because budget cuts.

    If you are interested to find more information about the topic of campus safety and security in postsecondary education, you should visit the Campus Security page [link] on the U.S. Department of Education website.

By: hartsea on: November 21, 2011 9:56 am | hartsea

Our second book discussion for the Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War* series will be Part Two: Choosing Sides from the anthology American's War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries edited by Edward L. Ayers. We will discuss this section of the anthology on December 8th at 4:00pm in King Library 320. Martha Schoolman, Assistant Professor of English, will be helping lead our discussion. If you would like to join the discussion, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (hartsea@muohio.edu) or Kim Tully (tullykk@muohio.edu). They will register you for the discussion and arrange for you to get a free copy of the book.

If you are interested in thinking more about some of the issues that we'll be discussing, you may want to check out some relevant websites:

New York Times Civil War Blog

Hidden Patterns of the Civil War

An American Turning Point, The Civil War in Virginia

Frederick Douglass - National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

John Brown the Ablolitionist and His Legacy

Please check out our website for more information. You'll find details about the readings for Part Two: Choosing Sides, more information about the other upcoming book discussions, and links to a variety of resources.

*The Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War is a national series supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Check out the twitter hashtag #letstalkcw to find out about other programs at other libraries!

By: yuj on: November 09, 2011 2:25 pm | yuj

The Ohio General Election was held yesterday, November 8, 2011. A total of 3,545,539 registered voters went to polling locations and decided on 3 statewide issues and 1,734 local issues. The voter turnout was 46% (or 45.99%) and the turnout was considered to be high for an odd-year election. It makes me wonder where and how users can locate data about elections in Ohio in particular historical data.

You can view Ohio election results from 1940 to present via Ohio Secretary of State website [link]. You can also access historical (18th century to present) data about voter turnout and elected officials on the same site. The Ohio Secretary of State also released voter turnout from yesterday by county [link]. I am excited to see that they provide a downloadable spreadsheet version [link] which helps users to conduct further analysis or create data visualization on their own.

I've also created a Google Spreadsheet that lists General Election voter turnout in Ohio from 1978 to the election yesterday [download].

If you wish to find out more historical data on Ohio elections, there are some print resources in King Library Reference collection that you might find interesting:

  • A statistical history of the American electorate. [King Reference, JK1967 .R87 2001]
  • State and national voting in Federal elections, 1910-1970. [King Reference, JK1965 .C59]
By: hartsea on: November 03, 2011 3:16 pm | hartsea

Our first book for the Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War* book discussion will be March by Geraldine Brooks. We will discuss this book on November 10th at 4:00 in King Library 320. If you would like to join the discussion, please contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (hartsea@muohio.edu) or Kim Tully (tullykk@muohio.edu). They will register you for the discussion and arrange for you to get a free copy of the book. The book is relatively short, but you'll still want to make sure you get a copy ASAP.

If you are interested in some background for this book, here are a couple of articles you might be like to read:

" 'March': Pictures From a Peculiar Institution" New York Times Review by Thomas Mallon. Published March 27, 2005.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Discusses Work. Interview with Geraldine Brooks shortly after she won the Pulitzer Prize. PBS NewsHour April 18, 2006.

Orpheus at the Plough: The father of “Little Women” An essay by Geraldine Brooks published in the New Yorker Jan 10, 2005.

Please check out our website for more information. You'll find details about this book, more information about the other upcoming book discussions, and links to a variety of resources.

*The Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War is a national series supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Check out the twitter hashtag #letstalkcw to find out about other programs at other libraries!

By: millarj on: October 28, 2011 10:41 am | millarj

So, you want to support open access and highlight your work at the same time? Consider creating a personalized faculty profile and contributing your scholarly work to Scholarly Commons, Miami's portal to faculty scholarship.

Don't have a lot of free time? No problem. The new Scholars Portal is easy and quick to setup. Here's a step by step guide:

Step 1: Point your web browser to http://scholars.muohio.edu and click on "Create/Edit your Profile"

Step 2: Login with your Miami uniqued and password

Step 3: Edit your information (include a candid or formal photo if you want)

Step 4: Press the "Submit Changes" button.

That's it! Four short steps and your profile is complete.

Once you're ready to contribute your work, simply choose the "Create/Edit your profile" and then click the big red "Get Started Button".

If you have questions about getting your work ready for submission, feel free to email commons@lib.muohio.edu or talk to your library liaison.

By: bazelejw on: October 27, 2011 11:21 am | bazelejw @@jwbazeley

Currently, there is a dizzying array of open access resources available to students and scholars online, and it is often difficult to determine the quality of these resources. In order to make users aware of quality open access resources, the library has identified specific resources and added entries and links for these resources to our website and catalog.

In the Databases A to Z list, there are links to a number of high quality sources of open access materials:

ArXiv is a repository hosted by Cornell University which includes open access to more than 700,000 e-prints in physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, and statistics.

The Directory of Open Access Journals is an aggregation of over 7,000 online journals across all subjects which are peer reviewed or have editorial quality control.

ProQuest’s Dissertations and Theses Open provides the full text of open access dissertations and theses free of charge (the authors of these theses and dissertations have opted to publish as open access).

Additional freely available full-text dissertations can be found at the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, where numerous participating institutions deposit dissertations.

At the FDSYS site, you’ll find open access to authenticated information directly from the United States Government through the Government Printing Office.

If you’re interested in electronic books, the National Academies Press has recently made PDFs of the majority of its publications (over 4,000 monographs) freely available at their website. These monographs consist of reports published by various government academies, including the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the National Research Council. Registration is free and required before your first download from the site.

In our Journals A to Z list, you will find links for many open access journals, identifiable by the presence of a small globe icon and the text “Open Access”.

If you are browsing the library’s online catalog, a keyword search on “open access” under the Journal Titles tab will bring up entries for numerous open access journals available online.

By: wallerjl on: October 26, 2011 10:32 am | wallerjl @@jenniferwaller

We know the Internet is transforming music publishing, newspaper publishing, and scholarly journal publishing. The Internet gives us an environment where it's easy to share knowledge. It gives us a platform where we can let our ideas loose, disseminate our work more quickly, and get feedback from others quickly. As a scholar, you want to share your work; you want people to access it, and you want others to acknowledge it.

So did you know that the publication agreement you sign when you submit to a journal actually prevents broad dissemination of your work? In traditional publication agreements all rights – including copyright to your own work – go to the journal. These agreements may prevent you from using sections of your article in later works, distributing it among your colleagues, uploading it to a repository, or even using your own work in course packs.

Managing your copyright and protecting your rights as an author is one of the most effective ways to ensure access to your work. The Author Addendum is a widely recognized tool that allows you to keep key rights to your articles while still transferring necessary rights to the journal publisher.

Value the copyright in your intellectual property! To read more about the Author Addendum and how it can work for you, download the PDF at http://sc.lib.muohio.edu/author_rights.pdf. You can also request a hardcopy of the Author Rights brochure by emailing Jen Waller at jenwaller@muohio.edu.

By: messnekr on: October 25, 2011 11:00 am | messnekr

“Open Data” is a principle that some kinds of scientific and scholarly data should be freely available to anyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright or other limits. Open Data is distinct, but related in spirit, to the Open Access to scholarly publications movement.

The argument for Open Data often focuses on the source of funding for research, stating that when public/governmental funding is used to support research, that research is properly owned by the public at large and should be made publicly available. Consistent with the Open Data notion, U.S. Federal law has long upheld that raw facts are not copyrightable (though the means of expression -- styled papers, tables, charts, and other containers presenting the data -- are).

Open Data is a de facto standard for data in some scientific fields, notably molecular biology. Molecular biologists wishing to publish articles on newly sequenced DNA or other biomolecules have long been required to deposit those sequences in archival databases at the National Center for Biotechnology Information. This allows other researchers, once the publication and data is released, to view the new sequences and make use of them in their own work; the broad availability of this data has been widely recognized as being critical in advances in modern biology.

Recently the National Science Foundation implemented a policy requiring grant applicants to incorporate a data management plan into their grant proposals. While the NSF policy does not endorse or require Open Data per se, it is hoped the requirement will encourage researchers to carefully consider the long-term accessibility of their research products, which is the fundamental concern of the Open Data movement. The University Libraries Scholarly Commons is available as an open archive for research materials produced by Miami researchers.

By: revellaa on: October 23, 2011 7:35 pm | revellaa

What is Open Access
"Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder."
Peter Suber
A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access
Why Open Access
Cost

  • Academic Journals have a 10-year inflation rate of 180%
  • This fact when coupled with shrinking library budgets is limiting access to scholarly research

Access

  • Authors are not paid by scholarly journals. Their compensation is the dissemination of their work and the resulting citations
  • If access is reduced by growing costs, interested parties cannot read and cite their work
  • Open Access makes scholarly work available to any interested party, including policy makers, industry and the public at large

What Can You Do?
Faculty

Students

By: hartsea on: October 12, 2011 10:56 am | hartsea

The libraries will be co-sponsoring (along with the Miami University Humanities Center) a symposium called The American Civil War: Why Does It Still Matter? on October 22nd from 9:00-12:30 in King 320. This program is part of a series of civil war related programming this year funded by an American Library Association/National Endowment for the Arts grant.

We’ve got a great list of speakers from different Miami University departments lined up. Andrew Cayton will be giving our keynote address. We have two breakout sessions. One session is called “From Civil War to Civil Rights: The Politics of New Freedom” and will feature W. Sherman Jackson, Martin Johnson, and Nishani Frazier. The second session is called “Culture, Social Life, and Customs of Civil War America” and will feature Sara Butler, Jack White, and Kimberly Hamlin. We’ll also have presentations on local history and local resources related to the civil war. We will have a librarian from the Smith Library, a Miami University Art Museum staff member, and several Miami University librarians.

We will also have a walking tour of civil war sites on campus starting at 2:00.

You can find out more details on our website.

To coincide with this symposium our Special Collections has a fall exhibit called "The Deadliest that Ever Darkened Earth: Voices from the Civil War". We will also have a display of civil war materials on the first floor of King in the foyer starting on October 17th.

If you have any questions, you can contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy at hartsea@muohio.edu