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Ohio IR Day Fall 2015: Open Access

The third Ohio Institutional Repository (IR) Day on Friday, October 23, 2015, focused on open access topics and was a great finish to Open Access Week.

The morning began with introductions around the room, with many new attendees, some of who are starting to set up IRs. It is always interesting to hear about concerns and questions from people beginning IRs. While some of it is technical, gaining support and driving use are crucial to success as well.

For the keynote, Dave Stout (Bepress) announced the new Ohio Research Commons, a free resource that complies all Ohio Bepress IRs into a single resource for searching. In addition to statewide collections, there are also legal resources, open educational resources (OER), and many other topics that Bepress is creating.

The lightening round presentations covered an array of open access topics, from advice from those just beginning to integrating an IR into other systems on campus. Alan Boyd (Oberlin College) began the round with his talk about Oberlin’s open access policy and how they were able to put it into place. Along with his advice, he acknowledged that every campus has a different culture which should factor into how schools wanting to discuss or set up such a policy must take into account.

Anne Davies, Michelle Early, and Alison Morgan (Xavier University) spoke about adding syllabi to their IR. While this might sound straight forward, they faced challenges with making them open access since it isn’t a true publication of the professors and many were cautious with having it freely available when they worked to make their courses unique. As a compromise, the syllabi are limited to campus access or by request for non-campus users.

Eric Johnson (Miami University) presented on their Scholar’s Portal, which serves as a bibliography page for their campus. Since the capabilities stretch beyond their IR, it took additional software and programming skills to set it up. Unveiled the week before, they are now promoting it and even have short how-to videos that explain how to create and populate a profile.

Amy Koshoffer (University of Cincinnati) discussed self-submission of researcher data into their IR. While convenient for those running the IR, they found that there needs to be education around how to submit so that their faculty enter their work with the most benefit to themselves, with complete description to help others find and use their work. Also, UC created short videos of their faculty proponents to promote the library’s preservation services with Scholars@UC.

Cindy Kristof (Kent State University) gave an overview of open access, the different types of OA and copyright. She even detailed specifics of copyright law and was a great review for those already familiar in addition to being a helpful introduction for those new to it.

The day wrapped up with birds of a feathers conversations, which are always interesting discussions. The six topics as focused on particular OA access aspects, from creating a campus policy to how public domain factors relates to OA.

Slides for all presentations are available in the WSU IR.

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2015 in conference

 

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Ohio IR Day: Librarians Fostering Digital Scholarship

The active librarian community in Ohio shouldn’t surprise me anymore, but it still does when I discover yet another local group or event dedicated to a niche aspect of libraries. Ohio IR Day on Friday, October 24, 2014 exemplified the communal desires of Ohio librarians. Even though this was the first time, there were over 30 participants for this all-day event, most from academic libraries with one from the Ohio History Connection (previously the Historical Society) and even a Kentucky librarian.

As a part of Open Access week, Ohio IR Day focused on institutional repositories (IRs), online collections of digital material which could include anything from text to photos to videos. To begin the day, Ann Connolly from Bepress enumerated the needs and the possible work of students and faculty that can be met and housed in an IR. For example, while everyone agrees that big data is important, smaller data also requires organization and preservation to remain useful. Connolly then showcased numerous creative, novel ways in which Ohio uses IRs to display and disseminate even non-published items. I will highlight my favorites, though they all were amazing. The University of Dayton’s IR has photos and videos of mineral samples so that students can view them online in addition to lab setting, offering more flexibility. Cedarville University posts student photography portfolios and exhibitions, a perfect way to extend the reach of beautiful and though-provoking images. Finally, the College of Wooster captures oral history of local farmers, recorded by students to bring the community and local history into the education process. Current uses of IRs demonstrate that librarians as well as scholars have a broader consideration for what is beneficial as digital material in an online collection.

The 10 lightning round speakers covered everything from set-up and servers to soliciting and scanning content. Again, I am only going to touch on a few speakers for this post. Lois Hamill from Northern Kentucky University discussed her process of gradually transitioning the University Photographer photo collection from single-computer access to a network to a website and now to an IR in order to better serve their users. It was interesting to hear about the different steps and the time it took to transition, since it is easy to take for granted online collections rather than consider how long and what it took to achieve the online presence. Elizabeth Shook from Wright State University discussed their innovative use of prepending EZProxy to their OpenURLs in the IR to allow for seamless use of material outside of it; the session even lasts beyond the first click so that users can easily traverse the IR and other resources without needing to login repeatedly. Marsha Miles from Cleveland State University shared her streamlining and automating their IR process, creating marcos and scripts and making use of Google Drive to help with batch processing and revision. The range of conceptual to technical talks provided a complex and overall complete survey of the various topics and aspects of IR. It was a great mix of speakers for such a day.

The day ended with birds of a feather, the small group discussion, of particular topics surrounding IRs. In the content recruitment group, we had a couple of people who were just starting IRs along with many who have worked with IRs for a while so there was a lot of information sharing and cross discussion. One fact that a few confirmed is that adding ETDs to IRs drives views and downloads, as they have a wider reach in content and for others’ research than local collections. All of the small groups seemed just as chatty, filling the room with a hearty buzz despite it being mid-afternoon. Everyone’s passion for IRs, their content, and users was apparent and made the day that much more fun.

As for takeaways from Ohio IR Day, the first that comes to mind is that the attendees of the event are wonderful resources themselves and willing to share what they know. The second is creativity abounds with infinite possibilities that IRs provide for sharing content and ideas, with many great examples shown throughout the day.

This fabulous event was put on by Jane Wildermuth, with help from Elizabeth Shook and Andrew Harris from Wright State University and held at the State Library of Ohio. Many thanks goes to them for planning such a great day for librarians to share their experiences with IRs. Everyone in attendance agreed that this should be a regular meeting, with volunteers willing to help. Again, active Ohio librarians unite! I certainly look forward to the next Ohio IR Day.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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