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Middle States Commission Standards Revision – Albany Town Hall Meeting, April 1, 2014

The Commission on Higher Education (CHE) for the Middle States Association (MSA) held the last of its town hall meetings in Albany, New York on April 1, 2014 to discuss the proposed revisions to the standards document, Characteristics of Excellence.

Library Concerns

Librarians became particularly interested in the revisions when it was learned shortly after the December 2013 conference of the Commission that the words “information literacy” and “library” no longer appeared anywhere in the standards.

Librarians quickly organized, posting blogs and urging colleagues to send comments to a CHE web site form and then through email or postal mail. CUNY librarians contacted professional library associations in the Middle States region and notified administration and faculty on their own campuses to review the proposed standards and to show their support for the work of librarians and their place in the Characteristics of Excellence.

It is reported that there was a strong library presence at the second-to-last town hall meetings on March 28, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Libraries were also well represented at the April 1 meeting in Albany.

Meeting Program

The official program lasted two hours and included an update on the work of the CHE, the specifics about writing the new draft of the Characteristics of Excellence and comments from the audience.

Update on the Work of the CHE

The president of the CHE, Elizabeth Sibolski noted that the Commission has recently become a separate corporation from the corporation that is the Middle States Association. The CHE used to be a sub-association of the MSA. The separation was necessary in order to protect the assets of the members. The commissions on elementary and secondary schools are still a part of MSA.

Dr. Sibolski spoke about her work in Washington as a lobbyist for higher education and of the many regulations that have come as a result of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. For example, clock-to-credit hours are being brought into alignment. Additionally, accrediting agencies are seen as not being aligned with each other. There are too many differences. All the accrediting bodies have come together to come up with a common vocabulary, especially related to sanctions, so that they will resemble each other more closely.

Dr. Sibolski noted that there is now a U. S. Senate-formed task force looking at higher education. They are focused on 12 major issues, including accreditation. Dr. Sweeny cautioned that the CHE and other commissions have faced some criticism as being irrelevant. CHE has insisted on the validity of the current accreditation process and how it reflects the importance of peer review.

Standards Revisions

The genesis of the standards revisions was then discussed. Sweeny noted that the Commission felt from the start that more than anything the standards should reflect that students and society are being well-served by their academic institutions. The new document is about continuity but not intended to include all the original standards. This document was built from scratch. Sweeny commented that because the range of educational institutions in the region is very diverse, it is hoped that accreditation does not interfere with the individuality of the mission of each institution.

The writing was shaped by four guiding principles. It was agreed that in the old standards, the student learning experience comes too far into the document. The revision makes this central. Additionally, it was agreed that the new standards need to be flexible enough to be supportive of innovation.

The current revision draft as available today is a result of five town hall meetings intended to “get down the big ideas.” Four thousand surveys had been sent to major stakeholders prior to crafting the revisions. Since the draft revisions were made public, CHE has gotten several hundred comments, more feedback than ever before on any document that have ever put forward.

Sweeny spoke about the themes that have emerged in the feedback to the revisions. In the early meetings prior to the writing of the draft, many had asked for a simplifying of standards. The CHE looked hard to see what were the fundamental elements and the historical context for the standards, but they kept returning to the centrality of the student learning experience. This is what drives the document. In reviewing an institution, questions to ask are, “how is the student learning experience supported? What are the expectations?” Sibolski added that there is more interest now than there was in the past on how you assess and use the outcomes of a review.

The final section on compliance is out of the control of the CHE. It was thought that including it as a separate part made the most sense. Nobody has asked for more standards. There have been, however, many comments on the precision of the language. Some have asked why faculty are not described in a separate section in the document. The CHE has worked to describe the role of faculty throughout the document. It will be a challenge to say more about the roles and responsibility of faculty as the document exists now.

Sweeny made a point of noting that the absence of a mention of information literacy was “an embarrassing omission.”

Governance is covered as one standard. The document honors the principle of shared governance within institutions and on multiple levels. The document strives to find the locus of decision making and speak to it. Many are concerned about what the document says about to assure quality. Some are looking for a checklist; others want room for unique institutional approaches. How specific should the standards be? There have also been issues about language. Should the document have a glossary? Accreditation will involve subjective judgment. Sweeny says that this is a good thing, and a glossary or a checklist might be too restrictive.

A vote from the membership on the new standards will come in the summer/early fall of 2014. There will be a three year roll out. The new standards will not apply to those in the midst of an evaluation the first year. In the second year, unless the institution chooses to use new standards, it can be evaluated according to the old standards. All institutions must comply with the new standards in the third year.

Audience Comments and Concerns – General

Attendees expressed concern about a number of issues. Among them:
• The eroding of the role of faculty and vagueness about qualifications; in response, Sweeny commented that some member institutions state that they have no faculty.
• The idea that accreditation examines non-degree offerings; the answer from CHE, if the institution offers them CHE has to review them.
• The resistance to including any sort of a check-list. Including a rubric was offered by an attendee as a reasonable alternative.
• The new S.2.7.B, a call for institutions to assure that students understand the cost of a college education. Who will judge institutional success in this area? Sweeny remarked that this is an issue that is totally new to the standards and one that may require some testing of appropriate application.
• The mission-appropriateness of some requirements. For example, S.4.1.d refers to the need for having a system in place to prepare students for transfer. Some schools would argue that very few of their students transfer out so why give it so much attention?
• Language choice in general. There is a lot of concern for phrases such as “as appropriate.” This is a term that can allow for perhaps too much bending and not enough regulation.

Audience Comments and Concerns – Library-specific

Library issues dominated the comments from the audience. Seven library advocates got up to speak, including Trudi Jacobson, Head of the Information Literacy department at the University Libraries, SUNY Albany, who reminded the CHE that MSA has been supportive of the ideas of information literacy for the past 20 years and should reinstate it as part of S.3.5.b covering general education. Beth Evans, Brooklyn College, CUNY, spoke about the need to use specific language in the document referring to libraries and information literacy, particularly at a time when many assume you can find any information you need on the internet. Anne Larsen, interim director of SUNY Sullivan County Community College Library (formerly of CUNY) noted from her long time experience working at the Board of Library Standards in Massachusetts that the standards need to employ strong language with teeth. Jeannie Galvin, Chief Librarian, Queensborough Community College, CUNY, noted that as important as it is to include information literacy in the document, the library as a physical and virtual space is essential to student learning; librarians and libraries are not just a resource. They are part of the academic discourse. Michelle Young, library director at Clarkson University and incoming President of the Board at NYSHEI spoke about how integral the library is to student learning. Jason Kramer, the executive director of NYSHEI cautioned that divorcing library resources from information literacy gives government the opportunity to see no reason to provide funds for buying needed resources. Steve Call, a history professor at Broome Community College, commented that there is a tendency to stampede to the latest way of doing things. Libraries, he feels, represent a trusted way of getting to information that should not be overlooked. The information superhighway has not replaced the brick and mortar library.

In response to the comments from librarians and library supporters, Dr. Sweeny remarked that there is no argument against including information literacy in the document; the challenge will be with the specific mention of libraries and resources. How do you fit these into a discussion of the student learning experience? Dr. Sobalski pointed out that there is a desire among accreditors to move away from the counting of things. In particular, the example of counting books in the library is often cited when finding fault with an accrediting system that focuses on counting.

The Albany town hall meeting was a partial victory for libraries and librarians serving the Middle States region. The CHE was contrite about omitting information literacy from the revised standards document and has given assurance that the concept will be integrated back into the document. Nonetheless, a pronounced resistance, in fact a refusal, on the part of the Commission to include identifiably specific, countable objects (some as small as a library book and some as large as a library building) in the new Characteristics of Excellence leaves us with a document that is ripe for misuse. Some institutions that fail to provide the very real, concrete pedagogical infrastructure that is needed to educate (everything from libraries to laboratories, from teaching faculty to advisors) might see in what is missing from the documents an avenue for claiming to be an institution of higher education without offering students any of the tools critical to achieving such an education.


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Ithaka Sustainable Scholarship 2013

ITHAKA Sustainable Scholarship 2013

Day 1

I.JSTOR: Can Users Find Your Content Anymore?
Academic content is increasingly published online and then purchased or licensed by libraries. Still, the content is often less visible to patrons than it was in print. As users turn to commercial search engines and other web-scale discovery tools, it remains unclear if they are bettered served, and if the goals of libraries and publishers are being met. How do we consider this challenge together? What practical steps can we take? Learn about our research on JSTOR’s traffic sources, and how these trends have evolved over time. We will look at changing linking patterns related to discovery services, commercial search engines, and different device types. We’ll also preview a multi-institution research project, helping us focalize the impact of web-scale discovery services at a range of institutions.

  • Michael Levine-Clark, Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication and Collections, University of Denver
  • Bruce Heterick, Vice President, Outreach and Participation Services, ITHAKA

Speaker 1: Levine-Clark

A study to see if discovery tools increase use of e-content, specifically bundled e-journals

NB: Presenter noted that for Charleston Conference and UKSG, more in depth work will be done in this study.

This UKSG Invitation to Tender, “Assessing the Impact of Library Discovery Technology on Content Usage ” maybe what is behind the study.  I don’t think Levine-Clark mentioned this as the motivation, but he did mention presenting for UKSG:

We make the assumption that if curriculum and the number of students stays the same, the number of searches will remain the same.
Some observations going into the study: Discovery search will draw students away from other searches; productivity will change because of this. This will also cause searchers to see different versions of articles.

Study examined 24 libraries in US, UK, NZ and Canada using Summon, Worldcat, Primo and Ebsco (six libraries for each tool); libraries of varying sizes with different sized collections; all implemented discovery between 2010 and 2012

Different tools vary with number of titles they offer;  number of titles range between 5800 and 23,000+

Of the 4 tools, three showed increase in journal title use

Variations by publisher within each tool
Variations by institution within each tool
Some publishers are net winners, some are net losers
Some results flip (increase vs. decrease) depending on the tool, at different institutions

Speaker 2: Bruce Heterick

Most JSTOR use starts at JSTOR (33%)
Least use, 5%, comes from Serials Solutions; 11% from institutions, 11% from google scholar, 13% from google, 12% self referrer, 13% from link resolver
Google’s algorithm has changed; they now promote free content first
From 2011-2013, JSTOR use has dropped as much as 50% when comparing same month/different year
JSTOR went out to get customer lists from vendors to see if implementation of discovery from 4 major providers played a role
Wanted to see stats before and after implementation
Usage of JSTOR dropped for all 4 discovery tool using institutions – from 1.5-40%
How libraries set admin modules of the discovery tool may be causing this drop of JSTOR use
JSTOR hopes to come up with tip sheets to help libraries set things up (make link resolvers work, turn off newspapers, etc.) effectively
Some findings on what affects findability – subject metadata is important (JSTOR doesn’t have much subject metadata); libraries need to configure the discovery systems (70% leave system at default in the admin – involving the link resolver is really important); JSTOR needs to send its data out to discovery tools more often and discovery tool providers need to index more often. KBART files (which show what an institution has) need to be in good shape

Questions to ask
What are libraries trying to do by implementing discovery tools?
Are libraries doing enough to evaluate these tools?
Is there a good ROI by having these tools?

Is the problem of vendors not sharing metadata at the heart of the problem (e.g., EBSCO won’t give PRIMO data)?

What about other factors? Consider placement on web site, library instruction, etc.

Usefulness and use of discovery tools may vary by discipline

II. JSTOR: Experimental Purchasing Models for Journals

Right now, JSTOR provides access to the current issues of more than 200 journals. Though user demand continues for both new and existing titles, libraries and publishers are increasingly limited in their budgets for new content. How are both of these communities finding new ways to meet demand for journal access? In this session, we will explore the environments in which new experiments are arising, and will dive into two examples—one library using the Copyright Clearance Center “Get It Now” program, and another employing the article service ReadCube—to help us explore what these programs are, and how they function in libraries today.

  • Rick Anderson, Associate Dean for Scholarly Resources & Collections, University of Utah
  • Cyril Oberlander, Library Director, SUNY Geneseo
  • Bruce Heterick, Vice President, Outreach and Participation Services, ITHAKA

Price inelasticity
40% of libraries spending 50% serials budget to pay for big deal pkgs from three publishers
Society and non-profit Publishers reaction – coming out of packages, increase prices

Speaker 1: Cyril Oberlander, SUNY Geneseo

10% of what researchers want is on open web
What happens when cost is too high? Researchers and librarians usually give up on getting the article
Get it Now, a service from the Copyright Clearance Center, is a way to get content your library does not own (
IDS partnered with Get it Now which offers two models: unmediated – end user can get needed articles from CCC for about $30; mediated by library – iiliad identifies if library owns the item or if “buy it option” should be offered (library makes the decision to purchase). Very speedy – 98% of articles from Get it Now received within 2 hours.
190 libraries participate in Get it Now.
<4% of requests from participating libraries are being filled this way
Libraries want more publishers to participate
Since ILL costs money (lending charges and royalty charges after 5th request), Get it Now can be cheaper
Users surveyed and have said if library has to pay more than $20 for an article, then forget it
Future – publishers and libraries should collaborate

Speaker 2: Rick Anderson – U of Utah

How do we bring articles into the PDA model?
Document delivery is an expensive model of article PDA
A journal subscription is like a “big deal” for getting articles
Utah doing pilot with ReadCube (
ReadCube like Medeley, organizes users articles, and can gather articles; has an online version, Web Reader, in beta, ReadCube Access
At Utah in pilot all of Nature (including unsubscribed access – they subscribe to 78 of 105 titles) articles are available for rental (48 hour read only $3) or purchase (permanant access using ReadCube platform on a single device for $8)
Users of pilot like immediacy of delivery (compared to ILL), but found that device dedication of download was not good (this will change with web-based ReadCube Access). Search limits to Google Scholar and Pubmed a problem.
Usage was lower than expected 1320 invited and 102 registered, only 41 articles purchased, 2 articles rented

Nature Climate Change (subscription would have been $5000)
3 ILL requests cost $16; 12 RC requests $96

Another title (subs. to buy would have been about $4000)
30 ILL ($982)
25 RC ($195)


ReadCube doesn’t build a collection
Helps the individual but doesn’t create access for other users (article purchased is only available to the one user on one device)
Read-only access a problem
Undermines ILL rights

Will publishers consider disaggregating articles from a journal issue and let libraries buy articles? This might dilute the brand of the journal title.

III. JSTOR and Data Mining

It seems that every day a new digital humanities center opens, or a university posts new faculty or librarian positions to support this evolving area of study. Now and into the future, humanists must be able to work with text and data in ways that are constantly evolving. JSTOR’s Data for Research service is now seeing up to 700 datasets downloaded each month, and we work with increasing numbers of scholars on larger, more complex projects that involve the text in the JSTOR archive. Come and learn more about our service—why it is vital to humanists, and what challenges still exist.

  • Bob Scott, Head, Digital Humanities Center, Columbia University Libraries
  • Kristen Garlock, Associate Director of Outreach & Education, JSTOR
  • Nancy Maron, Program Director, Sustainability and Scholarly Communications, Ithaka S+R
  • Ronald Snyder, Director of Advanced Technology, JSTOR

JSTOR has a site called Data for Research (
They work directly with researchers (e.g. Mapping networks among authors)
You can request datasets on the fly
Accounts are free for all; affiliation required to see articles
DFR site mirrors regular JSTOR site
Caps at 1000 datasets
Works well as a discovery tool

Speaker 1: Bob Scott, Columbia U

Projects – charting cheers and booing at English parliament over years related to Ottoman Empire
Growing interest in news and press analysis projects
Network analysis projects

Declassified Documents project – What are Feds hiding?
Chartex – discovering spatial descriptions and relationships in medieval charters
Open Syllabus Project

Why do this in the library?
We give access to the resources
New gen librarians are researchers and can work with researchers
New vision of librarianship
Neutral space
Good place to remix

Librarian roles
Advisor about resources

In the future
Clarity of data

Speaker 2: Nancy Maron, Ithaka

195 DH centers
See Melissa Terras’ Infographic “Quantifying Digital Humanities”

JSTOR findings
Many faculty engaged in DH, using collections and tools
They want support and resources and training

See DH Now (, DH commons (

IV. What’s on the Horizon?

Over the past decade, Ithaka S+R has completed more than 70 research reports and has engaged with librarians, publishers, faculty, and administrators on a wide range of consulting projects to help shape the future direction of their institutions and products. Over the past year, we have expanded our range of services to include a new training program and several data gathering and analysis services for individual libraries and publishers. We invite you to learn about what is next on our near-term agenda, and to share your ideas about the research and services that would be most helpful to your organizations.

  • Rebecca Griffiths, Program Director, Online Learning, Ithaka S+R
  • Deanna Marcum, Managing Director, Ithaka S+R
  • Nancy Maron, Program Director, Sustainability and Scholarly Communications, Ithaka S+R
  • Roger C. Schonfeld, Program Director for Libraries, Users, and Scholarly Practices, Ithaka S+R

This session was a combination of presentations and e-polling on the spot of audience
Audience questioned about do we see lots of changes in publishing coming down the line? Partnerships with libraries and presses? New types of DH projects taking off?

New surveys from Ithaka targeting students
Looking at user-centric design and needs assessment
Work on collections – what to retain, what to withdraw
The future of the monograph
What does it mean to have a research collection?

When queried separately, librarians were more likely than publishers to see a digital-only future for monographs but most see a mixed environment.

Online Learning
Ithaka interested in evaluating new methods, not in advocating a rush into these new technologies
Interested in consumption of new technology (not so much interested in creation of these (MOOCS, for example))
Big barrier to faculty adaptation they want their own mark to be on their courses

Day 2


David Pakman – a former drummer; worked at Apple and founded Myplay (music in the cloud), worked with Eplay and now is at Venrock (a VC) and on Ithaka board

Where is tech today?
Asynchronous access
Pakman used to think computers were computing devices but they are really communication devices
Everything is social – brands have to adapt to social
Conversation with consumer must be two way
Apps vs Web – “phone is now the remote control for our lives”

Language issue:
80% of web is US/English in origin but 81% of users are outside of US and English is not the language of the majority of web users

3-D printers – soon will allow embedding electronics during manufacture
CNC machines make pre-fab parts for a house, etc.
Consumer participates in the manufacture (e.g., Nike lets you build your own sneaker and it costs them the same)
Sensor proliferation – devices figure out when to do whatever is needed

Examples of how some industries have adapted to shift
Music – unbundling led to shrinking of the industry; people are buying less, only the songs they want. Bundle puts an artificial value on things
Unbundling in newspapers and other industries

Bundles in higher education – hard to make an argument that these are needed to stay as bundles for any other reasons other than economic
Research and Teaching
Scholarly Journals

Always a loser when things are unbundled.

They are about aggregation and distribution
In an unbundled world, distribution changes
Content discovery shifting to users/social

What is their value?
conferring authority

Do old stalwarts of industry attract the talent to move into the digital world?
Example of Apple’s thermostat the Nest ( took on Honeywell

Users confer it by spreading what they like

How to anticipate change
Watch user/consumer behavior
Incumbents start suing when upstarts are gaining ground

In higher ed
Some will unbundle
Physical attendance not required
Publishers will unbundle
Will libraries continue to be brokers of data?
Peer communities will bestow authority

HTML 5 may allow web pages to act like apps and re-open the web

Audience member suggests that the interest in convenience over quality. (Mp3 instead of LP) should not mean that we no longer offer the quality option

Audience member says education is a public good, music is not, so the analogy is not good. Convenient models (low quality) of education will harm society in the end

Day 2 Programs
I. Supporting Lifelong Learners

How can libraries and publishers support individuals who participate in online-learning courses, but who are not affiliated with an institution? Can libraries offer physical spaces where MOOC participants can meet and engage with online courses together? What responsibilities do institutions (as well as libraries and publishers) have with so-called “lifelong learners”?

  • Leah Clapman, Managing Editor, Education, PBS News Hours
  • David Ferriero, 10th Archivist of the United States (Pamela Wright spoke instead)
  • Deborah Howes, Director of Digital Learning, Department of Education, MoMA
  • Philipp Schmidt, Executive Director, P2PU and at MIT

Speaker 1: Philipp Schmidt
German educated; he feels government in Germany is more responsive to users
Electro-thermal graph of cognitive activity shows students are least engaged when sitting in class, and more engaged when learning online
Learning Creative Learning ( is a course about how students learn

Speaker 2: Leah Clapman
Newshour has been unbundled
Community input high
Creating curriculum support
Public “listen to me” videos created based on issues and meant to inform candidates

Speaker 3: Deborah Howes

Educating HS students and seniors on Google-Hangout
Online courses – enrollees from 61 countries; some courses present material that would be hard to show in the physical galleries (e.g., pouring water to music of Flow artists)
Alumni have formed online communities
Invited by Coursera to work with them in teacher training

Speaker 4: Pamela Wright

Citizen archivist initiative (
Their web site provides a dashboard
Tagging and transcribing projects
They use a wikipedian
Encourage user to uoad photos

Q & A
Is online delivery increasing access?
No, according to Schmidt, MOOC stats show most users are educated white males
But online communities lead to users forming real world bonds and meeting off-line
PBS worked with libraries offering badges for after school programs that have students looking at their content; google hangout connects students across different public libraries

II. Course Redesign

This session explores the implications of course redesign for faculty, students, libraries, publishers, and institutions. How are faculty members redesigning courses for the digital environment? What institutional and network-level resources are needed to improve course redesign planning? How can libraries and publishers support faculty members as they adapt their courses for use online? What impact does course redesign have on students?

  • Barbara Anne Bichelmeyer,Interim Chancellor, Indiana University Southeast (also has a background in instructional design
  • M.J. Bishop, Director, Center for Learning and Excellence in Learning and Teaching, University System of Maryland
  • Marguerite Weber, Director, Student Academic Affairs and Academic Initiatives, University of Baltimore

Speaker 1: Barbara Anne Bichekmeyer
History of learning – it has always been just in time, just in place, just as needed (e.g., caves, Socrates, guilds)
Higher ed was originally a conservatory model and came along with a huge infrastructure

Now everyone is interested in accountability

Impact of internet
conservatory is now in the cloud

Education the ability to do something you haven’t done before; lecture format doesn’t necessarily do this; interactivity is the core to learning. Net encourages interactivity.

New definitions of expertise. Customization of programs.
More competition among programs

Internet is disaggregating teaching from certification

MOOC is textbook of 21st century

Education should be building of bridges not being gate keepers

Speaker 2: MJ Bishop

The Faculty Experience
Faculty feel pressured and that they may be replaced
Mentions E.M. Rogers, 2013 diffusion of innovations theory

Five Factors that determine adaption (does the new method offer an advantage, is it compatible, is it complex or simple, is it trialable, observable?)

Episodic vs. Sustainable change

3 dimensions of Sustainability
Look at economic, social and the environmental factors

In education, these are productivity, learning experience and learning community

Speaker 3: Marguerite Weber
Academic transformation from Student perspective
Design thinking – viability (business needs) desirability (human factors), feasibility (technical issues) – where these overlap is innovation

Course-centered academic innovations
Face to Face – learn with students, team-based learning

Baltimore online learning communities for low-achieving students; students have 3 online courses from UB and then a hard MOOC from Duke on argumentation; students get coaching in how to learn with a MOOC
See chart (slide 9) on what makes innovation worth it; compares cost of each method

III. Digital Humanities in Higher Education

How has the creation of large-scale digital humanities projects changed the way we do our work? This panel brings together those who have created, managed, and used digital resources to share their experiences, and discuss the implications for teaching, research, and librarianship.

  Karen Calhoun (moderator), AUL Organizational Development and Assessment, University of Pittsburgh

  Mark LeBlanc, Professor of Computer Science, Meneely Chair, Wheaton College

  Josh Sosin, Associate Professor of Classical Studies and History, Duke University

  Jennifer Vinopal, Librarian for Digital Scholarship Initiatives, New York University

Panelists gave brief intro of themselves and then answered questions from moderator

Sosin, a classicist, particularly interested in inscribed stone; runs center for digital computing; “doing very new things with new tools on very old things”
Leblanc – developed course in computing for poets which is paired with a course in anglo-saxon lit; students learn text mining. Tools are going non-English centric; has students use MOOC to learn coding (
Vinopal – various projects; digital library tries to involve more users as producers
Digital scholar services – assess project needs, select new services, advice on project planning and management; avoid offering too much customization; discern whom you can support, you can’t support them all

New way of looking at familiar things. Libraries uniquely have expertise to work with these scholars.
Digital Humanities can be very disruptive.

Sustainability and scalable –

We have to anticipate a DH landscape with not much D and lots of H

Solitary scholar model is not workable in DH. Scholarship done mostly in “teams” not individuals.

Class section length is not appropriate for what needs to be taught

A problem – libraries are not funded to do research

IV. Libraries as Publisher

As libraries begin to take on the work of publishers, many new questions arise about the relationship between these two industries. Are academic publishers being absorbed into libraries? How are the two groups working together? What value does each group add in respect to scholarly communication? Are libraries focusing on publishing special collections material?

  • Rebecca Kennison (moderator), Director, Center for Digital Research and Scholarship
  • James Mullins, Dean of Libraries and Esther Ellis Norton Professor, Purdue University
  • David Seaman, Associate Librarian for Information Management, Dartmouth College
  • Susan Skomal, President and Chief Executive Officer, BioOne
  • Charles Watkinson, Director, Purdue University Press, Purdue University

Two examples where a pre-existing press joined with a campus library (one was affiliated with the campus, the other was not).  For examples of libraries that are publishers as well, see:

Example 1:
Purdue University
2008 PU Press a financial mess; Charles Watkinson brought in, moves press into library
PU has two platforms, PUP – formal publications aligned with mission of host institutions; SPS – scholarly publishing services – conference proceedings, OA journals, repository, lots of tech reports from local institution
Benefit of alliance with library – more financial security allows for experimentation, better digital capacity, closer connection to campus
Challenges – maintain a business-like perspective, avoiding over commitment to new opportunities, retaining editorial independence
Challenges for library – expenses/gains
Editorial decisions – what areas to cover
A little tricky – as a library pricing books that libraries will buy

Example 2:

Elemental – ( partnership between BioOne and Dartmouth Library. Aims to maximize access to critical research (OA author fee journal); publish research articles, commentaries and datasets in a rapid and continuous publication model. Publish in many formats: xml, html 5, json, pdf, epub3, kindle. Launch Nov 2013. First epub journal to be archived in Portica. Covers 6 subject areas
Benefits of being with library – lends credibility with scholars, bring digital library and preservation expertise. Looking for opportunities in new open-source technical infrastructure
Cultural differences between business and scholarly views of the world
Business Sustainability
Keeping author fees low; big investment in marketing; constant investment in development needed
Uses PLOS platform Ambra
If library goes after a press, it should not be a power grab

V. Learning Analytics

How are people using learning analytics to improve pedagogical techniques? Whose responsibility is it to collect and analyze these data? What role can the non-profit sector have in encouraging the use of learning analytics?

  Ryan Baker, Visiting Associate Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University

  Alfred Essa, Vice President of Research & Development and Analytics, Digital Platform Group, McGraw-Hill Education

  Philip Long, Chief Information Officer (retired), Yale University

  Wendy Pradt Lougee, University Librarian and McKnight Presidential Professor, University of Minnesota-

Speaker 1: Wendy Pradt Lougee
Did library workflow analysis
Looked at content, access and services to see group and indiv data
Use the data on library users to push out recommended resources based on peers
Examined GPA and student library use
(13 types of library use)
APLUS System captures info on about 1000 students a day

Speaker 2: Alfred Essa
Looks at economic cost to public and the individual of 50% of college students dropping out
Using analytics to identify at-risk students
Poor and minority students tend to either not go to college or if they go to college they tend to be over-qualified for where they do go

Speaker 3: Ryan Baker
Learning analytics for predictions
Games, etc. Collect data on students
Information about student behavior while learning online can be mined to determine these factors and make adjustments to improve the learning mechanism: gaming system, off-task behavior, carelessness, inexplicable WTF behavior, boredom, frustration
Things can be predicted based on student behavior data

Q & A

Privacy – disclosure needed; students may be ok with data collection if it will be used to help them (intervention); private info must be stripped if data is published

most CMS’s are set up to collect data

Blackboard includes a learning module. Data on success of the course.

A lot of concern from audience about what is done with the data. Does university give it to someone else? What if outsiders are gathering data about our students? If we don’t gather data, others will. Coursera is growing fast because they collect lots of data.

VII. Closing Remarks
We are going from paper to people (e.g. MOOCs are videos of people; people sharing and getting interpersonal in the new media).

There shouldn’t be a sense that the new is in competition with the old

Leaders in libraries need to work with the new stuff the right way

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OCLC Research Presents MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?

Hall of Flags, Perelman Quadrangle, University of Pennsylvania

March 18-19, 2013

The conference ran for two half days and consisted of five panels with time for Q & A and a wrap up discussion in small groups with feedback.


In the spirit of MOOCs, the conference included a live panel with an audience, but those tuning in online were encouraged to ask questions and comment through Twitter, on the conference web site or through texting.

  Opening Panel

  • Welcome from the University of Pennsylvania Libraries
    Carton Rogers, University of Pennsylvania
  • Why MOOCs, Why Penn, Why Now?
    Ed Rock, Senior Advisor to the President and Provost and Director of Open Course InitiativesSenior Advisor to the President and Provost and Director of Open Course InitiativesSenior Advisor to the President and Provost and Director of Open Course InitiativesSenior Advisor to the President and the Provost and Director of Open Course Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania
  • MOOCs and Libraries, An Overview of the Landscape
    Jim Michalko, Vice President OCLC Research
    Merrilee Proffitt, Senior Program Officer, OCLC Research

Ed Rock’s title and position demonstrate the commitment the University of Pennsylvania has made to MOOCs. Penn uses the Coursera platform.  Coursera has grown to include 62 university partnerships. Each University can handle its use of the platform differently. Penn asked itself, what is the place of open learning in the overall mission of the school? The Internet is a place of learning but they also care a lot about their students on campus. Everyone who has taught with Coursera has found that his or her own live teaching is changed by it. Many are now flipping their classrooms and having students at Penn view the recorded course content in advance of class meetings and then using the freed up in-class time for discussions. The faculty ask themselves, how best to use the class time now?

Penn’s courses are show cased here:

Penn is proud to offer a variety of courses.  Many institutions with MOOCs, such as Stamford, favor broadcasting computer science courses.  Penn faculty who have offered courses feel there is something about the course content that makes it ideal for such wide dissemination. For example, the course on vaccine science is designed to be an intervention in the public discussion on vaccines and to point out the public health risks of any collective effort to avoid vaccinating children. The intention of some courses is to form community, often of disparate participants.  For example, Senator Dick Durbin took the Modern and Contemporary Poetry course along with nursing home residents and autistic children. Faculty have shown remarkable talent using tools such as PowerPoint to create lively, animated videos (see Robert Grist’s Calculus course). Some courses have  been approved for credit from proper accrediting bodies. For these courses, the issue of identity fraud is handled through a biometric signature check in place and live proctoring of the final exam. Students who take for-credit courses may transfer them the Penn for $200 per course. The pre-existing guidelines that the university has in place for accepting advanced placement credit have worked well with accepting credit for MOOCs.

Jim Michalko quoted Nicholas Carr in comparing MOOCs to correspondence courses.  He noted a number of other precursors, including Ted Talks, Khan U, University of Phoenix, OER Commons, Google in education, etc. Why have these models emerged? It may be a response to a broken university business model. Some literature to consider includes William Bowen’s The Cost Disease in Higher Education: Is Technology the Answer? And Clayton Christiansen’s Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail.

The question is, where is the library in all this?
Merrilee Proffitt conducted a three month investigation on MOOCs. She saw Coursera triple in the number of participating institutions, the non-profit Edx increased six-fold. Futurelearn is a platform that has libraries embedded.
Responses to MOOCs from librarian have varied. Many librarians do not want to get involved, some seek new roles. They see opportunities for partnerships, instruction, copyright consulting, and repository work.

It was emphasized that the three areas most appropriate for librarians for involvement with MOOCS  are Copyright, Licensing and Open Access. As courses are being offered online to a diverse and geographically distributed audience, what are the challenges for licensing and clearing copyright for materials used in courses? Are there opportunities for advancing the conversation on open access with faculty?ImageMajor MOOC providers

Panel 2

Copyright, Licensing, Open Access
As courses are being offered online to a diverse and geographically distributed audience, what are the challenges for licensing and clearing copyright for materials used in courses? Are there opportunities for advancing the conversation on open access with faculty?

  • Brandon Butler, Director of Public Policy Initiatives, Association of Research Libraries, moderator
  • Kevin Smith, Scholarly Communications Officer, Duke University
  • Kenny Crews, Director, Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia University
  • Kyle K. Courtney, Manager of Faculty Research and Scholarship, Harvard Law School

Kevin Smith said we need to look at what we have relied on for face to face teaching and now consider what are to options with MOOCs.  When can we claim fair use? When must we get permission? Can we get a license designed for a MOOC? He advises that our fair use interpretation be conservative. In response to a faculty member who wanted to use a full Monty Python movie he recommended giving a link to full movie on YouTube but also use three 20 second clips for content most germane to the teaching. Be careful about telling faculty that they cannot do something without getting permission. It is a real downer.  Don’t be reluctant to ask for permission if necessary.  It might work out in your favor.  Suggest to a publisher that using their materials might help with sales of a book. Most of the time when Duke has asked for permission they have gotten no response. One permission the college rejected would have cost them $20,000.  The issue came up as to whether a MOOC could be considered a work for hire. Keep in mind that law suits are usually over commercial use; take down notice usually come before a lawsuit.

Ken Crews encouraged librarians and course developers to think fair use first.  Look for material in the public domain or provided by the government. Link link link. Remember, the amount of content matters, so use less. Who owns MOOC content? Get on top of this from the beginning with agreements before the content is created. It could be a work made for hire. Academics may not see it this way but the university would argue otherwise. Write clear policy. Long term reuse is ideal but otherwise get long term archiving.

Kyle Courtney reiterated that course creators use only the portion of a work that is needed. Avoid using images you may put up just for laughs since these cannot be justified in the transformative use argument. Copyright talk should lead to alternative resource options. Harvard will never use material if payment is required.  They do not like to set this precedent.
Sometimes instructors get the ok to use a lesser quality version of a textbook.

Q and A
Commercial provider (Coursera) vs. nonprofit Edx should not make a difference when making fair use claims (Courtney)’ but Crews says it will matter a little more

International boundaries – what about content going over as fair use in one country but not another? Where is the server usually is first question.

Panel 3

Production & Pedagogy
How libraries and academic support offices contribute to MOOC-related course production options—a view on how technology helps and hinders, and how pedagogy may need to shift in a new environment. What are we learning about teaching, what works, and what doesn’t?

  • Bruce Lenthall, Director of Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Pennsylvania, moderator
  • Christian Terwiesch, Wharton School Faculty, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jackie Candido, Online Learning & Digital Engagement, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania
  • Amy Bennett, Penn Open Learning, University of Pennsylvania
  • Anna Delaney, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Christian Terwiesch offered an Introduction to Operations Management MOOC at Wharton. 90,oop signed up, 7700 completed. Makes use of user generated content. Faculty needs help orchestrating the MOOC systems. Libraries can help here. MOOCS generate content. Decentralized production. Opportunities for libraries to create and bundle learning experience. Don’t think that completion is the measure of success. Do it yourself reflects professor’s passion and will make a better course. An exit survey of non completers would be helpful; in video components of the course, the Qs are easy to see if you are awake. HW Qs harder and test hardest. If you want to complete the course, you work harder to do that. Imagines library type support would be through a package of licensed material. Despite huge volume of questions users help each other.


Does paying tuition necessarily translate to productivity?


User content feeds the class.

Amy Bennett – think about marketing, six month build up before launch is ideal but may not be enough time and may not be available.

Jackie Candido – rethink about how you communicate, think about the objectives of your course and support you might need to increase quality. Why do people quit? Depends on why they took it. One guy took the course to impress a girl. Life gets in the way. Some keep returning for the community. Talk to faculty about how you think your course will make a difference in the world. Being in front of camera has been a challenge for some faculty. No Penn archive. Relying on Coursera for this. Library support for non-Coursera online courses but not in Coursera courses. Support is info literacy in nature.

Anna Delaney – think about the behind the scenes stuff, consider content that is appropriate for the MOOC platform. Success has come from separate teams who work overtime. Costs college $6-8000 per cost. Thinking about the audience is hard for some faculty. They have to realize it is a less vested audience. Vaccine course led to 4000 emails after first day. Yikes! Also, a stalker was on the course. FBI got involved.

Panel 4

New Opportunities for Librarians: What Happens When You Go Behind the Lines in a MOOC?As we learn about new platforms and new modes of working, librarians are going into the trenches to see for themselves how MOOCs work. How do library resources and research skills fit into MOOCs and other online learning environments? Where do library collections and service fit? How can we use the experience gained in MOOCs to think about the future of the library in an evolved teaching environment?

  • Marjorie Hassen, Director of Teaching, Research, and Learning Services, University of Pennsylvania Libraries, moderator
  • Sarah Bordac, Head, Instructional Design, Brown University
  • Jennifer Dorner, Head, Instruction and User Services, University of California Berkeley
  • Lynne O’Brien, Director of Academic Technology and Instructional Services, Duke University

Lynne O’Brien – MOOCs took off at Duke at amazing rate. How they are delivered does not match w everything we have held true about online education. Not just for CIS.  Start date not standard e.g. Astronomy course started on day of a big sky event. Calendar may not be 14 weeks if that is not ideal. Expect special issues from international students in developing nations. Library role – tech support from Center for Instructional Technology, provost funding, use of a scholarly communications intern. Student feedback important.  They have found kids may take courses with a parent.  MOOCs are a tool for recruitment.
HS teachers getting ideas for their own teaching from the MOOCs. Most faculty will repeat. Faculty feel their teaching has improved, online students tend to be critical – this is the cost benefit. Duke is offering for-credit courses through 2U.  We are seeing the end of boundaries between course, textbook, library.  Reminder not to be bullied by publishers, be advocates for different types of licensing models, accelerate our role advocating OA and pushing faculty to us IR.


Where are the Duke MOOC students?

Sarah Bordac – a librarian but has a background in media production. Brown U started offering courses online with pre-college. Coursera courses in archeology, computer science and comp lit. All bring different reasons for teaching the course so library roles will be different. Multi- disciplinary team: Center for Teaching, Continuing Ed, Library and Media Production. Librarian’s role – copyright questions, negotiations with publishers, public domain images in a lib guide, digital production services, teaching spaces. Embedding has been uneven, only worked with the archeology course but archeology librarian is also faculty in archeology department. Created separate module for licensed resources – example of recommending how to structure class. Brown is not currently designing the classes for the “unknown MOOC student.”


Brown has moved into online teaching first through pre-college courses and now through a number of other options including MOOCs.

Jennifer Dorner -BerkleyX – joined Edx July 2012
Most courses are CIS and stats. Lack of coordination and centralization. Challenges for library – some courses do not have a library objective. Harvard and MIT libraries reached out to them and began a conversation about how libraries could be involved – two working groups of EdX users – content accessibility and research skills. We ask ourselves – are we supporting the faculty or the students? Supporting faculty similar regardless of the learning environment, but supporting MOOC students is very different. Cost diminishes because a lot of students are learning from each other.

Q and A
How can libraries lead? How can libraries partner? Will libraries be cut out because of inability to provide access to licensed resources? An opportunity to encourage faculty to push to retain their own rights to the content they create. EdX model of lib support group is good. Could it be extended?

Drexel librarian comments on – do we know the students ? What is their motivation? These students are not going for a credential. How can we justify expense? This has been the public library challenge for years.

Panel 5

 Who Are the Masses? A View of the Audience
MOOCs are drawing thousands and even hundreds of thousands of attendees. What do we know about these learners? What might we discover? How might we change as a result?

  • Howard Lurie, Vice President, Content Development, EdX
  • Deirdre Woods, Interim Executive Director, Open Learning Initiative, University of Pennsylvania
  • Margaret Donnellan Todd, County Librarian, County of Los Angeles Public Library

Howard Lurie, EdX
Open source platform. Who are the students? International students and challenges, blocked content, lack of broadband. Some are young, located remotely and brilliant. Most students in US, but a lot in India, UK, Russia, Brazil. Most students in the complex CIS courses have some background. Weekends busiest times, students look at content multiple times.


Where are we on this graph?


Completion numbers.


Student performance

Deidre Woods – What to do with the data? They have collected a lot. Want to create dashboards for faculty to see what is going on with their courses.

Margaret Todd – Also serves on Education Reform Board for the LA Department for Probation. MOOCs could be a way to address dropout rates. Futurist says that in 30 years education will not look like what we know. Community college not a place for people who need to catch up. They are more about being feeders to four year colleges or for AS completers. MOOthC in public library can fill the void community colleges have left and can address issue of the high cost of college. Courses tailored to adult learners, resume writing, computer use skills. They use Ed2Go.

Final Discussion’

Next step will be to see how this will proceed in institutions that don’t have a lot of resources.

I asked: What is OCLC’s role. They say that they see MOOCs as something on the horizon
. We are libraries, we won’t exist if you don’t exist so we want to know where you all are on this. It is that simple.

Focus on reforming license negotiations.  It takes 380 hours to work out a license – this is ridiculous! We need to cut down the time. Tackle vendors at a level above the single course.

Librarians should look at MOOCs in beta and find the points that are relevant to us.

How about a trigger point where Qs come in often enough to indicate that a librarian’s help is needed.

Librarians could be involved in platform critique and development.

Strategic moves:
Jump right in
Librarians should get involved in discussions about licenses that will work
Librarians will also have a job helping the university as consumer, not producer of MOOC
How about offering a physical space for local MOOC takers?


From Merilee Proffitt:

A discussion group for MOOCs and Libraries has formed on Google Groups – you can sign up to continue the conversation there:

  • · There’s a proposal on ALA Connect for an “ALA Conversation Starter” on MOOC, Online Education and Libraries – here the focus is specifically on “scaling information literacy” and not on library support of MOOCs, but the session hopes to draw together all types of libraries. You can log in and comment on the session proposal and if it gets enough votes, it may get on the program!

Gerry McKiernan has an active blog devoted to MOOCs and libraries.

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by | March 23, 2013 · 9:45 pm

ITHAKA Sustainable Scholarship 2012 – Librarian Pre-Conference

Ithaka Sustainable Scholarship 2012 was held October 15-16, 2012 at the New York Hilton.  The first day pre-conferences included a librarian and a publisher track.  The second day included a number of speaker panels with Ithaka and non-Ithaka presenters. About 50 librarians and 25 publishers attended the first day.  About 200 people attended the second day.

On the first day  I attended the librarian track and learned about Ithaka developments with books, journals and platform updates at JSTOR, Primary Sources, Ithaka S+R (Scholarship and Research) and Ithaka preservation.

Books at JSTOR

Frank Smith, Director, Books at JSTOR ( and John Lenahan, Associate Vice President, Institutional Participation and Strategic Partnerships discussed Books at JSTOR.

Launching November 2012, Books at JSTOR will offer more than 15,000 titles from 30 publishers.  JSTOR has been encouraging publishers to include titles that bring in the most revenue through print sales.  JSTOR hopes to use the data to show publishers reasons to liberalize their policies and make more monographs available electronically.

The pricing is set by publishers, not by JSTOR. The speakers noted that backlists actually cost more but offer higher discounts for multi-volume sales. Pricing is tiered by JSTOR classification and includes volume level discounts.

Pricing reflects two user models, a multi- user model and an unlimited simultaneous user model.  This slide shows an example of how tiered pricing works.

Originally JSTOR began e-book sales with only a single user model.  This model allows unlimited online reading, chapter downloads, and no restrictions on printing.  Thirty chapters of a single book may be downloaded per year under the single user model.  The title page and table of contents are seen as a chapter.  With the single user model, currently a second user will not get a message if book is in use.  JSTOR is working on this

Additionally, 43% of JSTOR e-books are available for multiple simultaneous users.   These books allow unlimited DRM-free downloads.

DRM download restricted titles use fileopen (which requires a plugin).  This prevents copying.   Chapters can be downloaded on up to three devices. Downloaded chapters do not expire. Libraries can set up pay-per-use for additional chapter downloads, or buy packs of 30. Libraries can buy up to three copies of a book (per college in a consortia).

If you bought a book single user and you decide to go to multi-user you can get credit from the original purchase.

Audience was very interested in getting the e-books they may buy from JSTOR into other platforms. JSTOR is talking to Coutts and Yankee Book Peddler but they not there yet.  Additionally, such an approach would increase the price libraries pay for the books.  Nonetheless, libraries  really want to see the e-books on their standard platforms to avoid buying duplicates.  JSTOR says it will run holdings comparisons.

Note that the JSTOR book tab will show up even if a library does not subscribe to any of the e-books. When a library has both journals and e-books, they show up together in search results.  The quick view of search results displays the opening sentences of the book retrieved.

JSTOR also offers demand driven acquisitions. As with other patron driven models, a library sets up a deposit and selects titles. Triggers to purchase are three chapters downloads or five chapter views.

The home page for books will link to book reviews in JSTOR.

Current and Archival Journals in JSTOR

Bruce Heterick, Vice President, Outreach and Participation and  John Lenahan, Associate Vice President, Institutional Participation and Strategic Partnerships discussed JSTOR journals.

This session provided an overview of the latest and planned archive collections launching, and covered the Current Scholarship Program for the 2013 subscription year. The speakers also outlined the new participation fee option that was introduced with Arts & Sciences XI.

JSTOR journals break down into 12 muti- disciplinary collections and 11 disciplinary collections.  They cover 59 disciplines.  JSTOR pricing shows a 0% price inc over the last 15 yrs but content has grown so the cost per page is going down. Archive capital and annual access fees have gone down. Presenters showed a chart comparing JSTOR per use price vs. other publishers.  For example, Elsevier per use price was about $7.57 whereas the per-use price for a JSTOR article is about $ .70.

One of their new collections is the Jewish Studies Collection which includes 40+ titles in English, German, French, Italian and Hebrew.

Libraries have complained that recurring access fees are a burden.  In response, with the introduction of the Arts and Sciences XI collection there will be only a one-time payment for pre-existing customers (no on-going access fee will be charged).

A new development is the JSTOR advisory group.  It includes world-wide representatives.

In November 2012 JSTOR will launch its alumni access program.  Libraries may sign up beginning January 2013.  JSTOR piloted the program with 60 institutions.  To participate, libraries will need to pay an additional 10% on their access fees.  The library must segregate alumni users for data collection.

JSTOR reminds us that Early Journal Content (public domain) is now available free and is well used.  Additionally, the Register & Read program includes 70 titles from 30 publishers.  The program launched after the Early Journal Content became available.  It allows unaffiliated users limited, free and for-a-fee access to articles in both early and more current journal issues.

The site offers an institutional finder which works as a proxy re-direct.  Users not linking from a library web site can be redirected to their college library so they will have access to owned content. Brooklyn College has done the administrative work needed to make this work for our users.

The presenters shared some interesting data about how users access JSTOR including:

50% starts at JSTOR

40% starts at Google

6% starts through vendor linking

4% starts at a library web site

JSTOR reminds us that we are investing a lot in discovery services, but these will only be useful if our users start their searches with a library web site.

There was discussion about the current scholarship program. Data has shown a 119% inc in use of these titles over their use in prior platforms.  The program offers flexible subscription options. Discounts on single title as well as discounts on packages run as high as 33% (U chicago press). See data on current collection turn away to evaluate purchasing current titles. Libraries are concerned about what to do if they have the older runs of a title through JSTOR but the current runs of the same title through another provider.  JSTOR currently does not work as a source in link resolving.

JSTOR acknowledges that publishers not in the big deal packages are not so likely to be picked up by libraries.

JSTOR likes the idea of pay per view for its current titles and suggests that libraries assume a per article licensing fee. Libraries can also have deposit accounts.

Some interesting JSTOR stats:

JSTOR Plant Science and Primary Sources

Javanica Curry, Director, Participation Strategy and Deirdre Ryan, Director, Primary Sources discussed JSTOR Plant Science and Primary Sources

JSTOR has rich primary source collections ranging from Geographic Image Systems (GIS) to British Pamphlets.  Content includes samples collected by Charles Darwin while on the Beagle and those found at medieval historical sites in Tanzania, Kenya, and Timbuktu.

In the initial stages of developing Primary Sources, Ithaka took opportunities that came up to gather primary source material.
The focus in 2011 was on developing the British pamphlets collection, the collection on African cultural heritage, and the collection on struggles for freedom.

Interestingly, the developers of the Ithaka database Plant Science ( were eager to get conversation going among their scientist users, but they were adamant that they did not want to use Facebook.  So they settled on  a widget through DISQUS.

When mellon funding ends in 2013 Ithaka will start to charg for its primary sources on a sliding scale.

An overview of JSTOR archival collections:

JSTOR Platform Updates

Jeremy Stynes, Associate Vice President and Creative Director discussed platform updates.  He pointed out that the web site employs resposive web design, an approach that is probably better than having an app since it is device agnostic.

The topic search is new on the JSTOR site.  Users should be aware that search boosts favors words in title.

Ithaka S+R Updates
Deanna Marcum, Ithaka S+R Managing Director, Rebecca Griffiths, Program Director, Teaching & Learning, Nancy Maron, Program Director, Sustainability & Publishing and Roger Schonfeld, Program Director, Libraries & Scholarly Practices discussed Ithaka S+R (Scholarship and Research).

Schonfeld noted that Ithaka is doing a faculty survey and a second project that focuses on the needs of specific disciplines.  Maron discussed an interest in sustaining digitized special collections. She has surveyed ARL directors, done case studies of digital collections on campuses and observed that digitization is happening all over the campus.  She is also looking to learn what are the sources of revenue used for digitization projects. Griffiths has done a study of hybrid statistics courses and compared them to tradtional course.  She has also studied ( massive open online courses) MOOCS.

During the Q&A Ithaka asked for directions they should take their research.

ITHAKA Preservation Approach

Laura Brown, Executive Vice President, JSTOR Managing Director, Deanna Marcum, Ithaka S+R Managing Director and
Kate Wittenberg, Portico Managing Director discussed preservation approaches.

Wittenberg said that Portico’s emphasis is on moving to e-books.   They are working with Columbia and Cornell in the 2CUL initiative to figure out what to do about 85% of journals not being preserved. They are looking at emerging preservation needs of the community, working with JSTOR and Ithaka to explore how to leverage strengths of both on behalf of portico, working hard on eliminating their backfile (they got an outside vendor to help them keep up) and they are looking to have publishers use formats that make the preservation process faster.  As they note, Portico is asking pubs to do the same things places like amazon are asking.

Brown noted that the historical impetus behind JSTOR was to allow libraries to clear off shelf space;  now, after 15 years that is happening.  JSTOR is looking at the preservation for new types of scholarship.

Marcum raised a number of questions related to preservation.
What about shared collections? Who makes preservation decisions?What about things like blogs?  Who will preserve them?
In the past, major research libraries were expected to take on responsibility for preservation. What about now, with so much digital content being produced on local campuses?

Someone in the audience asked: does everything have to be saved?
Marcum argues that technology allows us to save cultural artifacts easily so why not save broadly?

A final point was that creation and preservation is happening almost simultaneously; therefore establishing standards is important.

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Information Ethics Roundtable, 2012 @ Hunter College

The Information Ethics Roundtable (IER) conference focused on “Privacy and the Challenge of Technology.” The conference was scheduled for a full day April 27, 2012 and a half a day April 28, 2012.  I attended the first day.  The full conference program appears here:

The IER is equally comprised of philosophers and librarians.   The librarians are more often, it seems, faculty teaching in schools of library and information studies, rather than practicing librarians.   Nonetheless, CUNY’s own Tony Doyle (Hunter College) has been instrumental in the establishment of the group, hosted this year’s conference and is both an working librarian and an ABD, teaching philosopher.

The conference format proceeded with multiple sessions of two paired speakers, a response speaker and then a brief time for Q & A following each session.  The keynote speaker was Helen Nissenbaum, (Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU), author of Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life (Stanford Law, 2010).  Lucinda Zoe, Associate Provost and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Hunter College, and herself a former chief librarian at Hostos Community College, introduced Nissenbaum.  Nissenbaum’s talk focused on “The Value of Privacy in Context.”

Nissenbaum began by noting that as recently as February 23, 2012, the White House, through the Department of Commerce, issued the “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” (   The third principle of the seven outlined in the Bill denotes a “Respect for Context,” and this is where Nissenbaum focused her talk.  She discussed the various forms of technology mediation that act as threats to privacy: GPS,  RFID, biometrics, cookies, web 2.0, etc.  She suggested that the public sees the solution as transparency (notice) and choice, and that what bothers most people about their information being out there is not so much about their own loss of control over their information but rather the inappropriateness of how the information may be used.  She described what would be an appropriate flow of private information and called this “contextual integrity.”  Nissenbaum elaborated then on what she sees as context, that is, the structured spheres of social life.    She then described what we see as informational norms – e.g. and interviewer cannot ask an interviewee’s religion, citizens have to report to the IRS their incomes, etc.

In discussing information norms, Nissenbaum lays out who are the actors involved, what type of information is involved, and what are the transmission principles (how the information was passed on – consent, buy, warrent, etc.).  Contextual integrity is breached when actions or practices veer from information norms. Technology disrupts information flow norms. Why information norms matter – in order to sustain general moral and political values, to prevent harm and risk, and to limit unfair discrimination.  Maintaining contextual integrity is not just about protecting the individual but is also about protecting context specific values (e.g. – protecting the privacy of an individual when voting also protects democracy; protecting privacy about health information encourages people to be more forth-coming with health care providers about their own health information and therefore  protects public health when others may be at risk).

Nissenbaum is aware of her challengers who say she should examine privacy more as an issue of control, some who criticize her contexts as ill-defined, and others who suggest that digital media breeds novel contexts.

One interesting observation from the audience suggested that it may be the reaction of people that defines whether or not something is a violation of social information norms.  Nissenbaum countered that majority opinion may not always be the best-thought-out opinion. Another point made was that culture also defines norms (e.g. – photos are routinely included in job application in China).  Additionally, someone noted that economic considerations will often affect people’s idea of how much they want to control their own information.  People may not care that google is tracking them, but when they hear that google is making money off of tracking them, then they want to halt the process.

In addition to Nissenbaum speaker, the Friday conference was a forum for four pairs of speakers.

Sarah Shik Lamdan, CUNY Law, who has also worked as a law librarian, spoke about “Protecting the FOIA Requestor: Privacy for Information Seekers.”  Lamdan raises the interesting point that information about those who request information through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is logged and these logs become public record.  One can, in fact, request to see these logs because of FOIA, and interpretations of actions and intentions might be made using this information.  Lamdan contrasted this to the analogous situation of libraries keeping patron requests confidential.  She recommends that library privacy ethics be incorporated into FOIA requestor policies.  A useful bit of knowledge I learned is that some information from the government can only be obtained through a FOIA request, but government agencies also support electronic reading rooms where a lot of information is readily available.  This is one example: Additionally, I learned that only American citizens can make a FOIA request, but the online reading rooms can be accessed by anyone.

Paired with Lamdan was Adam Moore, iSchool and Philosophy, University of Washington who spoke about “Privacy and Government Surveillance: WikiLeaks and the New Accountability.”
Moore says that the public is often encouraged to see that in giving up privacy it is achieving security.  Additionally, we are told simply to trust the government.  Moore notes that there are
many examples of the government’s being corrupt when it is handling information.  For example, there was the case of the FBI trying to blackmail MLK Jr.  Moore tears down the “If you have nothing to hide why do you care about who looks at your information” argument.  This argument creates a chilling effect on behavior.  Additionally, the government itself may become a threat to security.  Furthermore, do the efforts to increase security that are in place already even help prevent every possible attack? Moore  proposes that there should be rules constraining security providers.  These would include probable cause, judicial discretion, and accountability.  Moore concluded that the idea of what wikileaks has accomplished has been a game changer.  He says,  “now, just like the rest of us, governments are information targets with little control over private information.”

During the Q & A following Lamdan’s and Moore’s talks, someone raised the point of the need to consider non-government corporations getting access to information.  Someone also noted that the public has access to public employee salaries.  Is the public’s right to know an invasion of privacy?  A good suggestion would be to publish salaries without names.  There is an emerging view suggesting that just because information is publicly available does not mean it is not private.

The first of the next pair of speakers included John Buschman, Georgetown University Library, who discussed “Privacy vs. Anonymity: When is Anonymity an Unethical Power Move in the Educative Information Professions?”  Buschman noted that there are debates that rage in academic blogs where posters hurl criticism against named opponents, but do so anonymously.  Library blogs are not exception.  In fact Library Journal supports such a practice with its anonymous column “The Annoyed Librarian.”  Buschman warns that anonymity allows shielding of those making serious threats.  Those who support anonymity argue that pseudonyms are part of a literary tradition and protect one’s job.  Buschman counters that the dangers to speaking out are not what they once were, and that there are mechanisms in place that will protect one in a job if he speaks out.  He goes on to say that anonymity in the blogosphere is more about secrecy than privacy. Anonymity distorts healthy discourse.  It’s more of a power move and lessens accountability.

Michael Zimmer, School of Information Studies and the Center for Policy Research, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee spoke next on “Library Privacy in the ‘2.0’ Era: Avoiding a Faustian Bargain.”  With heavy references to Rory Litwin, (  Zimmer examined the tension between the two values libraries extol, providing access and protecting privacy.  Librarians have become quite fond of using Web 2.0 tools, but unfortunately these tools keep user personal information.

Marc Meola, Library, The College of New Jersey provided a reasoned wrap up.  He suggested that the idea of professional anonymous blogging is sort of oxymoronic and what is the purpose? It reduces credibility. There’s an inequality – you attack a named person but you do not name yourself.  There may be a middle path with library 2.0 – strip out personal data or provide a forum for free-wheeling discussion. Unfortunately, librarians may not be able to educate about anononymity since it’s not really clear what 2.0 services do know about us.

<!–[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]–>The next speaker was James Stacey Taylor, Philosophy, The College of New Jersey who discussed
“Queen Christiana’s Hermaphroditism: Why the Dead Have No Right to Privacy.”
Taylor began by saying that wronging and harming are different things.
If you think that privacy continues after death can you be harmed if information comes out about you after your death? Most philosophers say that the dead have a right to privacy, but there is little philosophical argument that the dead can be wronged.  In one argument, Nelson Lande says the dead could be wronged; people deserve their good name and therefore have a right to it. Taylor argues that the problem of speaking of the dead as being harmed is backward causation – something that is happening now is affecting someone who lived in the past.  Others have argued that this is not backwards causation. Taylor says, however, we cannot claim inconclusively that a person can be harmed after dead, so therefore we cannot know that the dead have a right to privacy.

Christopher Sula, Information and Library Science, Pratt Institute, was the second speaker in this pairing.  Sula spoke about “Adapting to Digital Environments: Evolutionary Ethics and the Challenge of Privacy.”  Sula asks:  Can evolutionary facts bear on ethical situations? How will theory of our ancient origins inform contemporary times?  Nearly 200,000 years of early human development suggest that anything that occurred in this time period is more deeply ingrained in us than what has happened more recently.  According to Robin Dunbar,  early human socialization shows people can handle being close to about 150 people.  Interestingly, on Facebook, most people average about 150 friends.  The significant difference, though, between a friendship network of real friends and a friends network on Facebook is that in FB your small network of friends makes it look like you are in a small network, affording personal interactions, but under the hood Facebook is a massive network. Sula recommends that FB needs to communicate how your data is used, provide opt-in options for data, and give users more ways to deal with the information they get from friends.  Sula also was quick to say that he was not arguing for return to small groups with the negatives it offers, following a question from the audience.

One question raised following Taylor’s and Sula’s talks was that privacy is perhaps being seen too broadly. It was suggested that public people have no right to expect their information to be kept from the public.  Related to Taylor’s talk, another audience member drew the audience’s attention to the web site

The last two presentations on Friday opened with Brian Roux, Computer Science, University of New Orleans & Law, Tulane University Law School speaking about “Extended Cognition and the Privacy of Smart Devices,” a paper he wrote with Michael Falgoust, Philosophy, Tulane University.  Roux said we should consider using external devices (mobile electronics) as an extension of the mind.  As such, to be deprived of these devices is experienced as akin to a personal violation.  For example, during international border searches,  devices are observed and seized.  This is encouraging alternate use of data (e.g. – clouds).   The outcome of the loss of a device puts a person in a position of being unable to communicate.  Roux asks if any interest is served by border seizer? Information will get through anyway, privacy was violated and corporate interest may be hurt.  Further, Roux argues, it is not a good idea to say everyone should just adopt circumvention to avoid having devices seized.  The younger generation is bringing their own devices to work.  How can employer regulate these devices and the data on these devices if they do not own the devices, but own the data on the devices?  Another issue is social networking at work and employer forced-friending.  One final issue considered is that in the normal parent/child relationship, there should be a diminishing curve of parental interest in child’ private life, but with social networks parents stay increasingly aware of their children’s private activities.  Arguments can be made either way as to whether this is potentially harmful or helpful for the child.

Alan Rubel, School of Library and Information Studies and the Program in Legal Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison spoke next about “Privacy, Technology, and Varieties of Freedom.”  He asked the question, how is privacy related to intellectual freedom? He considered two examples of information seeking and retrieval in libraries where standard library procedures for protesting privacy cannot be kept in place:  personalized research retrieval interfaces (e.g., an ebsco acct) and kindle lending.

I’m hopeful someone who attended Saturday’s presentations will summarize the talks.

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My Challenging Introduction to Open Access, Scholarly Communication and Copyright.

Posting for Jess Gafkowitz, our newest BCL intern.

On Friday, June 3rd I attended the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Workshop, “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics” hosted by City University of New York, Brooklyn College. As a recent college graduate with an interest in academic librarianship, I was eager to be part of the conversation on open access. The concept of open access is brilliant in that it ensures materials are available online and for free.

The workshop was an attempt to educate faculty and academic librarians about open access and how it benefits writers, publishers, students and the general public. Peter Suber, an independent policy strategist at Earlham College, was quoted in the second presentation for providing an all-encompassing definition of the concept, “Open access is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.”

After breakfast the first workshop, given by Lee Van Orsdel, Dean of the University Libraries at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, began with a lecture and discussion on scholarly communications and economics. Ms. Orsdel discussed the scholarly communications system which maintains other systems such as higher education, publishing, scholarly societies and academic libraries, places where research findings and scholarly pursuits are cultivated. Orsdel addressed the life cycle of scholarship and a highly controversial idea, access. In this portion of the presentation she effortlessly articulated the ways in which access is complicated by the rise in prices and number of participants. Linked to this debate on accessibility is the Open Movement, a strong belief in the “power of open.” A main argument in favor of the movement is that it provides authors with greater exposure and universities with the ability  to create knowledge that can improve society.

The next major topic of the conference was the economics of scholarly communication. Publishers are taking over peer reviewed journals, of which there are at minimum 24,000. Nearly 1.5 million articles are published each year yet fewer than 1,500 scholarly publishers are in existence. It is these publishers who make the greatest profit in the industry. Orsdel explained the cyclical system that takes place that forces authors to pay publishers to publish their article and libraries to retrieve access to the journals. The publisher is paid twice while the author loses rights to their intellectual property and the library gains limited rights to the same property, after it has been purchased. Authors often look to publish in well-known journals to gain prestige, grants and exposure. Being aware of this, publishers often take advantage of the authors and charge them thousands of dollars to do so. However, once the articles are published accessibility is minimal due to the imposed charges. Ms. Orsdel argues the system is unfair and inefficient and in response, she presented a fascinating alternative — let the community determine what information is valuable.

The “Copyright and Intellectual Property” presentation was very helpful and informative in its articulation of the basics of copyright. The creator holds copyright. They have the right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, and prepare derivatives of their work. Creators who hold copyright also have the ability to license any of these rights to a third party. However when work is created for a company, the company holds copyright. Similarly, publishers holds copyright of a work they publish. Orsdel explained, from the moment of creation to 70 years after the creator’s death the creator holds copyright. It is “automatic from inception.” To hold copyright however, a work must be creative, tangible and original. This work could be but not limited to a piece of writing, visual art, a film or an architectural work. Orphan works are a large concern because they lack a copyright holder. Previously unbeknownst to me, millions of works are orphan works. I also did not know a published work requires publishers to hold copyright of the first publication. Orsdel concludes the presentation by urging authors to hold copyright. Apparently many authors make the grave mistake of signing copyright away to their publisher. She also urged authors to not be afraid to negotiate contracts with their publisher to ensure they have more control over their work(s).

The final presentation discussed faculty and institutional engagement which I found to be less interesting. All in all, I significantly enjoyed the workshop however, my limited experience and knowledge of these concept made it difficult for me to entirely grasp and respond to them. By attending the ACRL Workshop: “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics” I now have a greater understanding of what open access is, the benefits it provides, the basic economics of scholarly publishing and the importance of creators/authors holding copyright of their intellectual property.

I look forward to exploring these issues while pursuing my library science degree in the future, so that I can more actively contribute to the conversation.

Jess Gafkowitz recently graduated from Brooklyn College with a BA in Women, Gender and LGBTQ studies. 

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Holding Up The Mirror: Authenticity and Adaptation in Shakespeare Today

On Friday April 22 — just a day before the Bard’s birthday — the Theatre Library Association held a daylong symposium for librarians as well as practitioners interested in the works of William Shakespeare. The event, called Holding Up the Mirror: Authenticity and Adaptation in Shakespeare Today, brought together writers, directors, producers and designers who have worked to bring excitement and vitality to modern Shakespearean productions. Interestingly enough for a library symposium, the discussion of Shakespeare in libraries and archives was limited: the focus here was on Shakespeare in performance.

  • Performing Shakespeare in 2011 — Why? How? For Whom?
         Oskar Eustis, director of New York’s Public Theater (responsible for the annual Shakespeare in the Park productions at the Delacorte), gave a charismatic keynote address early in the day. Eustis discussed why Shakespeare is a cultural touchstone for our society, and why continued production of his works is a vitally important goal. Though many have the idea “that Shakespeare is an elevating force — make the savages one of us,” Eustis offered an alternate philosophy: “By inviting Shakespeare, you are inviting a larger cultural conversation.”
         Eustis also connected Shakespeare to the world of libraries, reminding the audience that the Public Theater’s downtown home is the former location of the Astor Free Library.
  • A Mirror of Our Times: Uncovering Connections Between Shakespeare and Our World
         A producer, designer and director for Theatre for a New Audience, a modern Shakespearean theater company based in New York, presented the first panel discussion of the day. Artistic director Jeffrey Horowitz presented a history of TFANA’s development, from being told in 1979 not to bother creating a company, since “Joe Papp ‘owned’ Shakespeare,” to the company’s current project of building a new theatre in Brooklyn. He also presented a series of photographs of TFANA productions such as Macbeth and Othello, explaining in depth why specific choices were made in terms of design and direction.
         The panel members also discussed TFANA’s outreach efforts: “Nothing is watered down or shortened,” they noted, with the exception of eliminating nudity in production. Kids don’t read the plays before coming to see them; rather, they play games related to the production themes and act out certain scenes. The goal is to teach kids “Shakespeare as performance, not literature.”
  • The Mirror Image: Shakespeare in Authentic Style
         The most entertaining discussion of the day might well have been the first session after lunch, a presentation from the American Shakespeare Center. The American Shakespeare Center is a touring and repertory troupe based in Staunton, Virginia, who has been performing classic dramas in the Elizabeth style (read: with the house lights on) in their Blackfriars Playhouse since 2001. Ralph Allen Cohen, director of Mission at ASC, noted that the goal here is to “explore early modern staging conditions for a better understanding of plays written with those conditions in mind.” With house lights on, audience members are more apt to be distracted, but Cohen argued (through a series of humorous paintings through time) that this is a longstanding theatrical tradition. “I am no longer afraid fo the inattentive audience member,” he said. Director Paul Menzer and fight choreographer Colleen Kelly also discussed the challenges of creating vibrant theatre in a space unlike most American playhouses.
  • Through the Looking Glass: Shakespeare in Contemporary Adaptation
         Diane Paulus, artistic director of Boston’s American Repertory Theatre, joined Shakespeare scholar Marjorie Garber and actress Careena Melia in a discussion of Shakespeare Exploded, a festival presented in 2009-2010 of works based on Shakespearean plays. Though the three plays presented — Sleep No More (currently in production in New York City), The Donkey Show and The Best of Both Worlds — don’t feature any of Shakespeare’s text, they are deeply inspired by his works. Paulus said that she looks to explore new relationships between audience and production, which is why The Donkey Show and Sleep No More are such highly interactive theatrical events.

The day closed with remarks from Francesca Marini, the Archives Director at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Marini tied together many of the themes discussed throughout the symposium as well as her work at the Stratford Festival archives. Best of all, she showed terrific footage of productions throughout Stratford’s fifty-year history.

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