Category: Event

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scarcity, publishers have taken hardline stances on the continual ownership of scholarly output, even if it is long out of date.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

Banned Books Read-Out with Pizza

mom have you seen my leather pants book coverThe Oviatt Library is hosting a Banned Books Week Read-Out on Wednesday, September 24 from 4-6 p.m. Pizza and refreshments will be served. CSUN students will be reading passages from banned books celebrating the freedom to read. We are also excited to have author Craig A. Williams join us as he will be reading banned book passages and from his novel Mom have you seen my leather pants? Please join us in the AS/RS Viewing Room, east wing of the Learning Commons for this fun event.
Why is Banned Books Week Celebrated?
Banned Books Week takes place every year in late September and reminds us all of our freedom to choose what we read. Librarians, professors, teachers, students and community members who participate in Banned Books Week activities, such as our Read-Out on the 24th, draw attention to the harm of removing or restricting books through censorship. Books that have been banned in the past are many and include the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Color Purple to name a few. Fortunately most books that have been banned at some point are still available. The Banned Books Week Read-Out on Wednesday, September 24 provides us all with an opportunity to join together and highlight our freedom to read.

Bookmark Artwork Contest at the Oviatt

ALA banned books week imageWelcome to the 2014 fall semester, Matadors! We are happy to see you and hope to provide you with assistance as you acclimate to the new school year. Oviatt librarians are available at our Reference Desk almost every hour we are open. Feel free to stop by; say hello; and get informational support.

We also are planning several fun activities at the Library during the upcoming weeks. The Cited at the Oviatt blog will continue to post about these events so stay tuned for information about an event in late September. However, this week we begin a Banned Books themed Bookmark Artwork Contest that will run until September 10. Current CSUN students have the opportunity to design a one-sided bookmark with a banned books theme. The winner’s design will be printed into bookmarks we will distribute later in September. Submission and guidelines details are listed below. We look forward to receiving your designs!

Rules & Submission Process for Banned Books Week artwork contest:

  • All contest entries to be considered must be submitted by noon, Wednesday, September 10, 2014.
  • Submissions will be accepted from currently enrolled CSUN students only.
  • Submissions will be accepted through an online submission form:
    http://form.jotform.us/form/42196656789171
  • Students may enter up to five submissions.
  • Artwork must have some kind of Banned/Censored books theme.
  • Artwork submitted in a format other than the required file types listed on the online submission form will not be considered.
  • Artwork submitted must be at least 300 DPI.
  • Students agree to allow editing of their artwork to fit on bookmark if necessary.
  • Should no submissions be received, no bookmarks will be printed.
  • Winner will be selected by Oviatt Library Outreach Committee.
  • The Oviatt Library Outreach Committee reserves the right to not select a winner.
  • Winner will be confirmed as a CSUN student.
  • Winner will be contacted by the Oviatt Library Outreach Committee.
  • Ten bookmarks will be set aside to be given to the winner.

A photo will be taken of the winning student with his or her bookmark for the Library blog and may be used digitally and in print for promotional purposes.

Contest questions can be addressed to: annaliese.fidgeon@csun.edu

- Coleen Martin

Research Therapy: Let the Library Help during Finals Week

Finals Are You Stressed ComicHow the Library Can Help ComicThere’s no need to worry, the Oviatt Library can help! The Oviatt is open 24/7 from Monday to Friday during finals week. We know that none of you would wait until the last minute to do your research, but just in case you did and you’re struggling, you can get help from a Librarian 24/7. Come see a librarian at the reference desk in the Learning Commons. During finals week from Monday to Thursday there will be a librarian at the desk from 8am to 9pm, on Friday from 8am to 4:45pm. You can also contact us online, via chat or email as well as text messaging, check out our Ask a Librarian page. You can also get help online with oour subject and course guides, including a guide for Citing Your Sources.

The Learning Resource Center is located on the 3rd floor of the library in the East wing; they offer tutoring, help with paper writing and citations. Check out their webpage for more information and be aware that their Writing Center closes Wednesday May 14th so make sure to call ASAP to make an appointment.

If you just need a place to study, don’t forget that you can reserve group and individual study rooms in the library. You can reserve these rooms in advance online, using our online booking system.

In case you need a break we have special events happening every day of Finals week. We’ll be handing out pillows all week along with special events like: arts & crafts, comedy movies, nap time and therapy dogs. Check out the flyer for dates and times of these events.

For more suggestions on how to de-stress, check out Pinterest page for tips on relaxation, motivational memes and cute photos of animals.

Just remember to keep calm and carry on and if you can’t do that, then scream, dance, or shake it out!!! http://youtu.be/WbN0nX61rIs

-Laurie Borchard

The Oviatt Helps CSUN Shine Brighter at this Year’s Faculty Retreat

CSUN flag

CSUN flag by alumnus Michael O'Meara

The Oviatt Library is looking forward to this year’s CSUN Faculty Retreat “Illuminating Pathways to Success” which will be held on campus January 14 and 15. Faculty members will have the opportunity to attend presentations and workshops to support an active start to the New Year and semester. The Oviatt is pleased to host several sessions at the event in order to share relevant resources and services with faculty members in an effort to meet the needs of specific classes as well as their research.

 The presentation “Scholar Spotlight: The Path to Open Access” presented by Andrew Weiss and Elizabeth Altman will focus on Scholar Spotlight, an ongoing program to gather and digitally preserve the scholarship and creative works of CSUN faculty and staff. Andrew and Elizabeth will demonstrate the impact the initial pilot for the program has had on those who participated. They will also focus on how ScholarWorks, CSUN’s institutional repository, can function as the heart of sustainable access and digital preservation through open-access (OA) journal publication. OA is currently mandated by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other Federal grant funders but could also help the Library and CSUN reduce costs significantly. Finally, they will explain how all faculty can participate in and benefit from the open access movement.

 Also not to miss are three Oviatt Library poster sessions Moving Online? Let the Library Come with You presented by Anna Fidgeon, Laurie Borchard and Danielle Skaggs; EndNote Web for Students – KIN 200: Foundations of Kinesiology Experiences Information Management to Improve Research and Citing Skills presented by Marcia Henry, Nick Galli and Erica Cosby; and Digital Darwinism: A Brief Survival Guide to Personal Information Management presented by Stephen Kutay. For more information and presentation times see the Faculty Retreat Program. Hope to see you there!

- Coleen Martin

“Drop In, Take Ten” Empowers Women in Science and Engineering at the Oviatt Library

women in scienceIt’s no secret, women’s professional progress in science, technology, engineering and mathematics has developed much more slowly when compared to the inroads that have been made in other careers such as medicine, business and law. Many social and environmental factors contribute to the disparity of women in these scientific fields and a peer-reviewed based report1 identifies recommendations in three major areas to counteract this phenomenon.

  • Cultivate girls’ achievements, interest, and persistence in science and engineering
  • Create college environments that support women in science and engineering
  • Counteract bias

You are invited to the Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room at the Oviatt Library on October 9 for a Women in Science and Engineering “Drop In, Take, Ten” Event to empower women to consider careers in the sciences. Please attend if you have an interest in such careers or in supporting more women in these fields. Professional engineers and scientists will speak one-on-one with students about their personal experiences and provide ‘real world’ examples about working within these disciplines. Meet and network with representatives from scientific and professional organizations from 3-5 p.m. There will also be an opportunity for candid conversations with industry professionals during speed mentoring sessions that will take place from 4-6 p.m. More information about the event can be found at “Drop In, Take Ten.” Hope to see you there!

 – Coleen Martin

1 American Association of University Women (AAUM) Report