Author Archives: ReadWriteLib

About ReadWriteLib

Metadata and ETD Coordinator at OhioLINK. UM SI grad. Loves librarianship, technology, and creativity. Enjoys cooking, traveling, reading, and knitting.

USETDA 2015 Austin: Day 3

Even though USETDA is a short conference of only three days, it has been one of these most jam-packed (in a good way) that I have attended. Many of the sessions are practical while even the more theoretical sessions had takeaways that could be put to use right away. It is clear that there are many commonalities in dealing with ETDs even though every institution’s program is at different stage. Concern about supplemental files, creative ETDs that are more than just text, embargoes, preservation, and accessibility are all universal topics.

To finish out the conference today, there were two final all-morning workshops offered. Nick Krabbenhoeft (Educopia Institute) held a workshop on the Lifecycle Management of ETDs (Abstract, PDF). He walked through the Lifecycle document that covers the entire process starting with setting up an ETD program through preservation and assessment, and provided additional insights. We also had several discussions of our different experiences with ETDs locally. The last portion of the workshop covered curation tools and brief demonstrations of a couple of them, including Hiberlink and PREMIS Event Service.

While I couldn’t make it to everything, I kept hearing about great sessions that others attended and thankfully all of the materials are shared on the conference proceedings page, which is where all of the abstract and PDFs links in my USETDA blog posts are from.

I enjoyed my first USETDA conference and look forward to helping host it next year in Columbus, OH. Hope to see you there!

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Posted by on October 2, 2015 in conference


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USETDA 2015 Austin: Day 1

First time in Texas and I have already had fried catfish as well as fried alligator, which is actually quite delicious. Keeping with other firsts, this is my first United States Electronic Theses and Dissertations (USETDA) Conference, too. USETDA celebrates it’s 5th annual conference this year and Austin is the perfect location.

 USETDA welcome sign 

The conference started off strong today, with many excellent presentations and workshops which made it difficult to chose between everything. I began my day at the morning-long ETDs heart ORCID workshop (Abstract) in which Gail Clement (Caltech) talked about the current ORCID landscape for ETDs both nationally and internationally. Next, Laura Paglione (ORCID) covered the basics of ORCID identifiers and their profiles, along with the different levels of ORCID integration. Katherine Johnson (Caltech) shared her experience with setting up an ORCID initiate on campus and plans to do more promotion this fall since it is an optional part of their submission process. Catalina Wilmers (ORCID) then demonstrated creating a new ORCID and filling out the profile, showing the search and link wizard that makes completing the profile even easier. Finally, Ryan Steans (Texas A&M) wrapped up the workshop by showcasing their open source submission system Vireo that is now use by many institutions outside of Texas. This workshop provided a great introduction to ORCID ids for beginners while giving lots of details about their use and the initiatives going on worldwide so that even I learned a lot from it even having worked with ORCID ids prior.

The afternoon was just as busy and packed with great sessions. Renee E. Babcock (UT Austin) presented One Size Does Not Fit All: ETD Submission of Creative Works (Abstract). On the whole, ETDs are still considered to be the electronic version of a printed work which stifles creativity in submissions. There was much discussion in the room about finding a balance between accepting anything as an ETD submission and having strict, traditional formatting for electronic items when some of it is not as relevant as it was for print submissions.

Continuing the trend of though-provoking presentations, Teri Green (University of Toledo) spoke about accessibility and ETDs. Her presentation Sudden Impact: The Changing Landscape of ETD Production and Dissemination under the American Disabilities Act (ADA) (Abstract) was a crash course in compliance and how ADA and Section 508 accessibility would work with ETDs. Currently, GVSU and CSU San Marcos require all students to submit accessible ETDs. Certainly, this could be a worthwhile endeavor among ETD professionals as more institutions tackle on-campus compliance more broadly.

In the last round of sessions for today, I presented with Tim Watson (Ohio State) about Fostering state-wide collaboration for open access ETDs: OhioLINK ETD Center and the ETD Center Advisory Council (Abstract, PDF). The ETD Center hit the milestone of 55,000+ ETDs recently and the newly formed ETD Council is working on various topics to create guidelines and policies as well as deciding on new enhancements and updates to the ETD Center.

Although it has been a busy day, I am looking forward to tomorrow’s presentations and the poster session.

Also, the conference proceedings contains links to abstracts and presentation slides or posters as they are made available. I linked to all available above at the time of this blog post but the rest should be added soon.

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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in conference


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TEDSIG 2015: Escaping eBook Purgatory

Every day, it seems, the number of eBooks exponentially grows and we as librarians are dealing with the multitude of records that are needed for providing access to our users. However, most records need at least some editing and enhancement before even loading into the system. What is the best way to deal with all of these records? What do they need for the best access? What are the benefits and concerns with demand driven acquisitions for eBooks? To address these topics and more TEDSIG created a workshop for dealing with the technical services side of eBooks.

On May 29th, 2015, OHIONET hosted the ALAO Technical, Electronic, Digital Services Interest Group (TEDSIG) workshop “Escaping eBook Purgatory” which looked at eBooks from the technical services point-of-view.

The morning began with 20-minute presentations. I started off the day by explaining how I catalog and provide OhioLINK record batches for our different vendors’ eBooks that are available to our members for local use. Next, Daphne Miller (Xavier University) shared her process and tips for vendor provided records, including what edits to consider making to them. Jeff Trimble (Youngstown State University) walked through the process of handling overlay records from multiple vendors. Wrapping up the morning session, Marty Jenkins (Wright State University) and Rich Wisneski (Cleveland State University) showed how to set up MarcEdit and pointed out several handy features including macros.

During lunch, each of the presenters held a Birds of a Feather discussion table. At my table, we circled back to some points brought up in the presentations and I answered further questions about the OhioLINK eBook process and how the discovery layers fit in.

The afternoon session began with a brief lightening round. Marty Jenkins (WSU) demonstrated how to manipulate a record batch in MarcEdit to find and remove unwanted records prior to loading into the system. Brittany Hayes (University of Akron) described what it is like being new to eBook loading and shared not only her advice for creating workflows and documentation but also passed around the room her color-coded tracking spreadsheet for loads. Jeff Trimble (YSU) talked about managing eBooks and technical services with a focus on demand driven acquisitions (DDA) of eBooks. Finally, Daphne Miller (Xavier) and I discussed considerations for planning and implementing DDA programs or projects.

To conclude the workshop, Frank Bove (University of Akron) joined all of the lightening round presenters on a questions-and-anwsers panel, which became an open discussion among everyone in the room with the panelists weighing in.

While it was a packed day that covered a lot of ground, everyone including the panelists learned something new from one another. At the end of the workshop, it was clear that if we are ever going to escape the eBook purgatory, it will certain be by working together to share our knowledge with each other.

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Ohio Electronic Theses and Dissertations Association (OETDA) Conference 2015

When it comes to electronic theses and dissertations, Ohio is unparalleled in its dedication to its students and their research. The OETDA Conference, held on March 6th, 2015, is proof. Though it is a smaller conference, the graduate school and library attendees were engaged and fostered discussion throughout the day, during sessions and breaks. The buzz in the room was palpable as people shared how they help their students and care for their research as ETDs after graduation.

The day began with exciting news of Ohio being selected as the next state to host the national USETDA Conference in 2016. The conference will be held in Columbus and is being hosted by OETDA, with supplemental help statewide as many schools want to be involved with planning. What a wonderful opportunity to show everyone our community supporting ETDs and put it to use.

Next, Austin McClean, Director of Dissertation Publishing at ProQuest, demoed the new Dissertations Dashboard which drills deep into the statistics of who uses your institution’s ETDs. Available to those who purchase PQDT Full Text or Global and the statistics can be broken down to outside of campus and on-campus as well as provide granular download trends, with the ability to compare your institution with its peers. In the works is an Authors Dashboard for people who have uploaded their ETD to ProQuest and Academic Genealogy that shows professors advising on dissertations and a family tree of researchers.

The keynote speaker unfortunately couldn’t make it to the conference itself due to a snow emergency but he was able to give his talk virtually. John Hagen, consultant/owner of Renaissance Scholarly Communications, discussed current and future ETDs trends, including ORCID, Vireo 3 release, security issues, open data, and publishing perils. Since we are in an age of great technology and interconnectedness, we must make the most of the tools and possibilities to support students and promote their ETDs and research to the best of our abilities.

After lunch, I provided a year-in-review for the OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Center which surpassed 52,000 ETDs this fall. A few of the OH-TECH developers, who make the ETD Center possible, attended and helped field questions with me.

Tim Watson, Director of Graduate School Graduation Services at The Ohio State University, discussed the formation of the OhioLINK ETD Council, his role as Chair, and the work the group has done thus far. Graduate and library staff from member institutions are on the council and serve as a liaison between the wider community and OhioLINK and the developers.

Susan Banoun, University of Cincinnati, lead a lightning round panel discussion about library and cataloging trends for ETDs. Emily Hicks, University of Dayton, Sevim McCutcheon, Kent State University, and Sean Crowe, University of Cincinnati, shared their workflows within the library and relationships with the graduate school when dealing with ETDs and providing records for each item into their local catalogs.

Next, Emily Shaw, The Ohio State University, briefly described their latest project of digitizing theses to upload into the ETD Center. Dissertations were done previously and were not nearly as many. Others around the US have done similar projects, including Oregon State, University of Florida, and Arizona State.

To wrap up the day, Lou Haines, University of Miami, shared her experience running a 3 Minute Theses (3MT) competition on campus and played the video of the winning talk. UM is the first school within the state and she encourages others to get involved, offering to help provide resources to get it started on other campuses, hoping to create a network for competitions like other regions in the US. The 2015 competition is underway now, with 27 total participants and 10 finalists who can be at any point in their research process, most from the sciences but several English PHDs are competing as well. This reminds me of Speech in high school and the weekend meets, although 3 minutes makes 8-9 seem like an eternity. What a great way to learn to hone your research to a digestible, brief synopsis, and possibly win some prizes in the process.

OETDA is a wonderful conference and opportunity to spend a day with a niche group who cares about their student and their ETDs. I can’t wait for next years!

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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Uncategorized


OCLC Developer House December 2014

During the first week of December, I participated in OCLC’s second Developer House with nine other academic librarians and library IT staff. We spent the week working with OCLC APIs, especially WorldCat Discovery API which is still in beta.

Our group of developers ranged in experience and technologies that complemented each other well for the various projects that we worked on. In addition, several OCLC staff spent the week with Dev House, offering support and knowledge whenever possible and many others were on call as needed. This provided us with the opportunity to dig into the projects and even create working demos with some functionality by the end of the week. Even with a team, it is a tough feat to pull off but fun none-the-less.

My team’s project searched the Discovery API information with third party information to generate relevant content that the library already owned. Our idea was to create a quick display of library material based on a particular topic, person, or place. After considering many third party sources, we selected DBpedia for its organized data and easy-of-use, then based the information on a date in history. This gave us a good amount of results and flexibility since dates are associated with many topics in a multitude of ways (birthdays, commemorations, releases, publications, etc.). Our group has a guest post on the OCLC Developer Network, if you’re interested to know more details and watch a short video demo of our project.

Trying to list off all of the things that I learned would make this post much too long, so let’s stick with the top three. First and foremost is SPARQL, an RDF query language that searches for and manipulates data and is customizable to allow for getting back desired information in a specific way. While learning and then mastering SPARQL queries well enough to use them took some time, figuring out what information was available and how we wanted the data was the main focus. Thankfully, OCLC has an SPARQL expert who helped us with this, which meant that we had the chance to create and hone several different queries to use in our application. Apache Jena is a good SPARQL tutorial and the SPARQL Explorer is great for trying out queries.

Second is GitHub, a website for sharing and collaborating on code. Before Dev House, I had signed up and looked at some of the tutorials to get started but it helped having a project with a time restriction to put GitHub to use. There are multiple ways to use GitHub for whichever you prefer: online on the website, through the client, or in a terminal. It reminds me of DropBox in that it keeps everyone’s code updated but it is more complex and offers much more functionality along with the ability to fork, or branch, a project.

Finally, there is an engaged community of library coders and it was exciting to spend a week with several of them. Even though we all are at different institutions, librarians still find to stay connected wether it be through OCLC Developer Network or Code4Lib Annual or Regional conferences, or other outlets. If you want to be involved more with coding and technology, just jump in. And there is bound to be another awesome OCLC DevHouse around the corner to apply for.

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Posted by on January 25, 2015 in Uncategorized


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