Monthly Archives: October 2014

Research Therapy: Online Privacy in a Big Data World

It is important to think about where your information comes from and how it is presented to you as well as knowing what you can do to protect your privacy. These days it is next to impossible to function without providing some amount of personal information online. Although it might seem futile to worry about online privacy, there are ways to protect yourself by using the tools that are available to help block organizations from collecting your information and by critically thinking about the information you are being asked to give up online. This session of Research Therapy discusses who is collecting your information, ways to monitor the information about you that ends up online, and what you can do to protect your privacy.

Research Therapy video

Of course, free websites or internet browsers such as Google Chrome have to make money somehow. You might already know about cookies and other tracking devices that are used to collect your information and search habits to sell to advertisers. But your online habits shape more than the ad space on social media sites. In the Ted Talk below, Eli Pariser describes what he calls the Filter Bubble– where most of your online activity is shaped by what you have done in the past.

Filter Bubbles talk video

Even though cookies and online tracking do give you the convenience of not having to remember all your passwords, and allowing for easier use of the websites you use most often, there are times when you might want to take advantage of your privacy options. For example, if you are on a public computer such as the ones on campus. Below are some privacy tips you can use while using certain internet browsers or websites.

How to Turn on Private Browsing in Internet Browsers:

Google Chrome

Menu> New Incognito Window (or Ctrl + Shift + N)

Chrome privacy settings

Safari

Apple: Safari> Private Browsing

Safari privacy settings

PC: Settings>Private Browsing

PC privacy settings

Firefox

Menu>New Private Window (or Ctrl + Shift + P)

Firefox privacy settings

Right click on a link> Open Link in New Private Window

Right click on link

Internet Explorer

Settings> Safety> InPrivate Browsing (or Ctrl + Shift + P)

IE privacy settings

Settings>Internet Options> Privacy>Low, Medium, High

Internet options

IE privacy options

Stop Facebook From Tracking You:

Disable Facebook tracking with the free Facebook Disconnect App:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/facebook-disconnect/ejpepffjfmamnambagiibghpglaidiec

Lifehacker’s Always Up To Date Guide to Managing Your Facebook Privacy:

http://lifehacker.com/5813990/the-always-up-to-date-guide-to-managing-your-facebook-privacy

 

Check Yourself Out Online

Note: these sites may also request fees for their services.

 

pipl

 

 

https://pipl.com/

 

spokeo

 

http://www.spokeo.com/

 

webmii

 

 

http://webmii.com/

 

URLs from the video:

 Google Alerts:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Google’s Manage Your Online Reputation:

https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/1228138?hl=en

 Infographic: How Employers Use Social Media to Hire and Fire (The Atlantic):

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/08/infographic-how-employers-use-social-media-to-hire-and-fire/243599/

 Pew Research Internet Project: Reputation Management and Social Media:

http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/05/26/reputation-management-and-social-media/

 WikiHow’s Disable Cookies Tutorial:

http://www.wikihow.com/Disable-Cookies

– Anna Fidgeon

Open Access Week 2014: A State of the Movement Address

“When the world is running down…”

Lately in library-land there’s been quite a lot of belt-tightening as stagnant budgets are confronted with rising journal and database subscription costs. Although libraries are reaching more people with more content than ever before, the feeling is that this is fiscally unsustainable. Cracks have appeared in the current “big deal” agreements – much like the bundles cable consumers are offered – libraries have entered into with large aggregate database publishers. As a result, libraries have had to cut subscriptions to journals and whole databases. Even Harvard, one of the best-funded universities in the United States, in 2012 publicly decried the situation and has felt the need to weigh in on the rising costs.

open access logo

The internet itself has been a boon and a bane — a disruption-slash-copy machine — that provides new models while destroying old ones and places a strain on a copyright law that is woefully behind the times.

Traditional industries that dealt primarily with the amalgam of content and containers – i.e. print book and print journal publishers, music producers and distributors (mostly as LPs, CDs, and cassettes), film producers and distributors (mostly as features, VHS, and DVDs), have all altered their business models as new digital media have decoupled the content from the container. The result is e-books, PDFs, mp3s, and various online streaming services that now dominate the web in terms of popularity as well as actual volume of data transferred.

Yet this decoupling of content and container is a double-edged sword as well. The journal publishers were the first to truly test this model of decoupling content and container through the online journal databases that were developed in the 1990s and 2000s. This experiment in removing the container has resulted in both widespread distribution (for subscribers) and widespread content restriction. Restriction has occurred in various ways, including the curtailing of readers rights (i.e. pay per view), copyrights (i.e. publishers assume control of the author’s rights), posting rights (authors can’t publish their drafts), and the like. The irony is that we are often looking upon a feast that’s stuck behind glass walls.

Additionally, to ensure the necessary scarcity, publishers have taken hardline stances on the continual ownership of scholarly output, even if it is long out of date. The result of the uneven relationship between scholars and publishers has been the large-scale transferal of intellectual property from individual scholars and the tax-paying users who ultimately fund their universities into the hands of specific private enterprises. This transfer occurs at the expense of the public good and the original intent of copyright law as written in the US Constitution, which is “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

Open access provides a much-needed antidote to these developments. While copyright law provides the necessary protections for creators, its overall history of expansion shows instead that distributors gain the most from longer and stricter copyright regulations and enforcement.

As Paul Heald has demonstrated in his studies, the hole in our culture has also provided us with a world that may be running down in terms of an individual’s ability to create new works and access fairly recently published ones. More works in various editions are available from 1914 than are available from 1964. We are now a society that denies itself access to its own culture. Open access may be one of the few avenues left to reclaim it especially while the public domain remains frozen for the next several years. Shamefully, no new works will enter the public domain in the United States until 2019.

“…You make the best of what’s still around”

California contributes to the OA Movement

The state of California has helped to lead the way in the open access movement for the past several years. The most recent development in open access occurred just a few weeks ago. The California legislature passed Assembly Bill 609 entitled the California Taxpayer access to publicly funded research Legislation. This bill stipulates requires that any published research funded by the California Department of Public Health be available to the public within 12 months of its publication.

Open access has become adopted widely across the California higher education system as well. The CSU Council Of Library Directors recently provided their public support for AB 609 http://libraries.calstate.edu/open-access/.

Additionally, the entire University of California system in the summer of 2013 agreed to a system-wide open access mandate that requires UC faculty to submit open access versions of their works into the UC’s institutional repository.

Closer to home, CSUN’s president Dianne Harrison in August 2013 became a signatory to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access, an international agreement among numerous European and American Universities and organizations. Later, in November 2013, CSUN’s faculty senate passed a resolution (PDF) recommending CSUN faculty to publish their scholarship in open access. Though this is purely an opt-in (i.e. voluntary) approach to open access, nearly 70 faculty members at CSUN have already agreed to have their scholarship submitted to CSUN ScholarWorks Open Access Repository (SOAR). While there are approximately 850 full-time, tenured or tenure track faculty at CSUN, we believe this represents a good first step toward increased participation.

Open Access week (10/20-10/26/2014, everywhere!) & the first CSUN Open Access Award

To help foster greater participation in open access the Oviatt library is also proud to announce its very first Open Access Award. The presentation will be held on October 23, 2014, and will be awarded to Professor Susan Auerbach for her work in helping to pass the CSUN resolution. We also have a special guest speaker from the Public Library of Science (PLOS), Donna Okubo, who will provide information on the open access movement, OA publishing, and her role in guiding the supporting coalitions for AB 609.

bird with the word soar

Where we go from here: “SOAR with us.”

The ScholarWorks Open Access Repository (SOAR) is dedicated to improving access to CSUN-related scholarship by attempting to remove the price and access barriers to academic publishing. There are multiple ways in which the movement is branching out toward increased open access. The first is recruiting content from the creators themselves: the faculty. SOAR’s Scholar Spotlight program focuses on the scholarship created by CSUN faculty. Our staff examine faculty CVs to determine if a publication can be added into ScholarWorks. Once we receive the proper clearance, copies of a work are deposited into SOAR. The faculty profile collections permanent links to the works provide a solid digital preservation as well as ensure perpetual access.

CSUN Open Access Journals

Another significant development is the creation of new scholarship. While the Scholar Spotlight program focuses on past and external work, CSUN Open Journals project focuses on developing new content. New journals and new knowledge are the future for the open access movement. Focusing on the direct open access publication of new works will likely be the best step toward a more sustainable and widespread open access movement.

While it is certainly a goal to make sure that all public-funded and supported scholarships be available to the public, the obstacles are incredibly high. The restriction of rights by the copyright owners – not usually the writer, but often multi-national corporations – remains one of the main obstacles to full open access. Additionally, the agreements that faculty enter into, especially tenure-track faculty with a lot at stake, need to be reevaluated at not only department levels but also at campus-wide and even system-wide levels. This will take much time. However, there is strength in numbers. The more faculty members who are able to assert their rights to retain copyright, the healthier the relationship will become.

All Roads (Gold / Green / Platinum) Lead To OA

Multiple paths lead to open access. The most first and most common has been the Gold road to OA, aka open access journal publishing, which is funded partly by Article Processing Charges (APCs). Most of these charges can be covered through grant funding, especially if a grant funder (such as the NIH, NSF) requires open access publication. There are notable open access journals that are leading the way within specific disciplines. Currently, the so-called “hard sciences” are the leaders in this movement. Several journals and publishers cater to these disciplines. To find more, visit the Directory of Open Access Journals.

So how open is it, really?

For more information about the openness of journals, be sure to examine PLOS’s How Open Is it? Open Access Spectrum (OAS) guide. This examines the various factors that determine a journal’s openness. Some journals which purport to be open access are really just hybrids existing somewhere in between true open access and restricted access.

– Andrew Weiss

Join us for an Open Access Discussion and Award

Open AccessThe Oviatt Library will be hosting an event to discuss Open Access and to present CSUN Professor Susan Auerbach with the very first Oviatt Library Open Access Award on October 23 at 9 a.m. Professor Auerbach has been instrumental in helping to pass the CSUN Faculty Senate Open Access Resolution.

The issue of Open Access is important in that it “allows users to access content in perpetuity without having to worry about whether the works can or can’t be used. Copyright restrictions still will generally apply (i.e. you can’t wholesale copy and paste the work and then try to resell it), but for the sake of academic disciplines, scholars allow their work to be read and re-used. This increases the likelihood of their being cited, and further increases their impact factor.” (Weiss, 2013) For more information about Open Access see The Copyright Conundrum and the Need for Open Access.

We are also very excited to welcome Donna Okubo, Senior Advocacy Manager from the Public Library of Science as our guest speaker at the event. She will be discussing the basics of Open Access, the Public Library of Science and the passing of California State Assembly Bill 609 (concerning Open Access). For more information about the bill see California Open Access Legislation Clears Latest Hurdle.

The event will be held in the Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room in the Oviatt Library. Registration and refreshments will begin at 9 a.m. The session will run from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome (RSVP for the Event). We hope to see you there.

Coleen Martin