Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Open Access - What can I do now?

Open Access Button
Yesterday, Sean wrote about some of the basic ideas surrounding OA and also introduced some of the groups working toward greater access to research.

The Right to Research Coalition (R2RC) is one of these, and it is entirely student-driven! Focused on their statement as a call for action, the R2RC works to enhance student awareness, understanding, and support of the OA movement in scholarship and research. The basic principle is this: If you don't know the research is there, how can you build upon it to make progress in your work, or to be fully informed on an issue as you are assembling your arguments?

 To that end, another group of students in the UK developed the concept for the Open Access Button. This is a bookmarklet that allows you to track articles that you were not able to retrieve in the course of your research. It is designed to be compatible with any browser and uses HTTPS to provide privacy and security for you. The team behind the OA Button will email the author of a journal article or thesis on your behalf to ask for an open copy of the article that you wish to retrieve. This method is preferable to seeking access from others in another part of your academic community in a way that could violate terms of service or publishing agreements for the item, and thus unwittingly land you and your colleague in legal hot water.

And now for a little history....

A central figure in activism around issues of Open Access is Aaron Swartz. He is a figure important to the early Internet, having co-developed RSS, worked on the tenets of Creative Commons open licensing, and co-founded Reddit, all before the age of 19. Swartz moved from programming to political activism, notably campaigning against the passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

In 2011, he was arrested for downloading several million articles from JSTOR, the online humanities journal database, by connecting through MIT’s network and running a script to gather material continuously. In all, he retrieved 80% of their total content. In January 2013, at the age of 26, he committed suicide while facing trial on multiple felony counts associated with his actions. Though he returned the files to JSTOR, which then opposed the public prosecution, federal investigators continued to pursue the case against him. It is not known whether he took his life out of fear and exhaustion, or whether there were other circumstances surrounding his death. In any case, academics and activists alike continue to discuss his work, what it means to the Open Access movement, and celebrate his contributions to the cause.

Brian Knappenberger crowdsourced funding for a documentary about Swartz. It is available through Archive.org as a download. The Electronic Frontier Foundation also has information about how to organize a screening of the film, along with study guides and discussion questions here.

Diego Gomez is another individual who is in a similar position to Swartz, although his case involves the posting of a single article to Scribd for download by other researchers in his field who have difficulty accessing academic materials. The OA Button's availability makes a great difference to scholars in foreign countries that may not have the kind of ubiquitous access that we do in most academic communities in the US.

When looking for research materials to which we may not have access directly at Champlain, the Open Access Button and your library's interlibrary loan (ILL) departments are your best bets to avoid finding yourself on the wrong side of the law. That being said, there is a great push in the academic community, particularly among the sciences, to post articles to open access journals and databases, rather than in subscription-only services. Mike Lange will share his thoughts and experiences with OA scholarship tomorrow.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Welcome to Open Access Week at the MIC!

Welcome to Open Access Week! This week, the MIC will be celebrating Open Access (OA) and broadcasting the role OA plays in today’s research as well as the impact it can have for students and faculty.Throughout the week, we will be exploring the many issues surrounding this new paradigm for distributing and accessing scholarly research.

Research that is Open Access is made available for free and without (most) copyright and licensing restrictions. Peter Suber, Head of the Harvard Open Access Project and author Open Access (MIT Press, 2012), offers a clear and comprehensive overview. Open Access initiatives have been gaining a great deal of momentum in recent years, helped along by an array of stakeholders. Many major research institutions have implemented OA policies for their faculties, student groups have called for less costly access to scholarship, and a number of advocacy groups have cropped up to help further this movement's goals.

In the coming days, we are going to look in more depth at how students stand to gain from OA, how OA affects scholarly communication and faculty research, and what are the many resources currently available. We'd like to use today's post to highlight the groups fighting to make Open Access happen, the advocates who are helping to further the mission, and the many libraries, universities, and groups that are celebrating:

SPARC : SPARC is coalition of research and academic libraries whose aim is “to create a more open system of scholarly communication.” Consisting of many initiatives, SPARC is one of the most important advocate organizations for Open Access. SPARC’s “How Open Is It?” guide outlines the core components of Open Access.

R2RC: The Right to Research Coalition is a worldwide collection of student organization (numbering seven million members!) who believe that "no student should be denied access to the articles they need because their institution cannot afford the often high cost of access."

EFF: The Electronic Frontier Foundation champions users' rights and freedoms as technologies develop and gradually play a bigger role in daily life. Open Access is one of the many initiatives supported by the long-standing and well-respected group. This year, the EFF is using OA Week to promote the plight of Diego Gomez, a Colombian graduate student who faces jail time for posted research articles online.

OASIS: The Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook gives comprehensive coverage of of Open Access and "the concept, principlies, advantages, approaches, and means to achieving it." A great resource for librarians, educators, and a students.

COAPI: The Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions is committed to helping shape Open Access policies at a number of North American universities.

Open Access Movement: The story of Open Access... told through dance!

OA Meme Competition: Get involved and generate a meme!

Friday, October 17, 2014

VISIONARY LEADERS Exhibition On Display Through October 27

What do a calligrapher, typewriter salesman, co-owner of a family business, peace corps volunteer, and college professor have in common? They all went on to become president of Champlain College. Remarkably, only eight men have held the position in the 136 years of the College's existence. A new exhibit in the Tower Room of Miller Information Commons, Visionary Leaders: Champlain's Past Presidents, profiles the seven leaders who paved the way for Champlain's new President, Donald Laackman. Part of the festivities on campus celebrating President Laackman's Inauguration, the exhibit will be on display through October 27.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

DISPLAY: National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month!


In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month we have set up a display of books at the Miller Information Commons. If you have a chance come on over and check it out! Please check out the links below to find out more about Hispanic Heritage.



 Library of Congress

 Hispanic Heritage

Smithsonian Education

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October is Conflict Resolution Month in Vermont

Reach Out!

This year Conflict Resolution Month in Vermont is once again reaching out to leadership, professionals, students, and the public. All over the State of Vermont, through free workshops, book displays, speakers, proclamations, and public facilitations, Conflict Resolution is the conversation. Below are just some of the scheduled events for this October.  Please check our website for more details!  Here are some of the events taking place on the Champlain College Campus:

**photo and text courtesy the Vermont Conflict Resolution website**
October 13. "Meditating for Mediators and other Peace Makers," Champlain College, 6-8PM.

October 16. "Peace, the Justice System, Policing, and Community Response," Panel Discussion, Champlain College, time TBA.

October 17.  “Are You Listening?” An Improv Workshop for Mediators and Interested Professionals or Students, Champlain College, 12:00-1:30.

October 23. Michael Lang, One-Day Intensive Introductory Workshop on Reflective Practice for Conflict Resolution Practitioners, Champlain College, Morgan Room, 9:30-4:00.  Preregistration Required.
October 27. "The Biology of Conflict," Champlain College, time TBA.

Next time you're in the Library, check out our Conflict Resolution book display!  Other book displays are hosted at the University of Vermont, Phoenix Book Store, Peace and Justice Store, and the Fletcher Free Library.



Thursday, September 18, 2014


Monday, Sept. 22 through Friday, Sept. 26

Special Event: Banned Books Kick-Off during Roundtable 
with hosts Chuck Bashaw & Lindsey Rae
Monday, Sept. 22 at 12:15pm in Fireside Lounge

Greetings provocateurs, creative minds, and proponents of free-speech --

Every year, we join forces during Banned Books Week to celebrate the importance of the First Amendment and raise awareness of the ongoing dangers posed by censorship. Many of the books you love and have read for class are "banned" and have been removed from libraries and classrooms across the US. Books are "banned" or restricted when a person or group deems them "objectionable," for reasons like profanity, sexuality, and other topics that are considered "unpopular" or even "unorthodox." 

We invite you to raise awareness and appreciate your freedom to read this week. Check out our display on the first-floor featuring a number of banned books from our collection. We bet you'll be surprised by some of the titles you see there! Discuss censorship and show your support by picking up a button or bookmark when you stop by the library. 

Frequently banned & challenged titles to explore...

GoodReads, Banned Books: Lists of banned books compiled by and tagged as "banned" by readers. Lots of provocative and controversial books inside!

American Library Association, Frequently Challenged Books of the 21st Century: "Each year, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information."

tldr: Censorship is alive and well. Raise awareness. 
Love a banned book. Read freely!

Monday, September 15, 2014

DISPLAY: We Remember September 11,2001

In remembrance of the attacks on the United States on September 11,2001, a display was set up in the library.  For more information please visit the links below.

National September 11 Memorial &Museum

Grief and Celebration at the 9/11 Memorial

National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial