by Eric Johnson, numeric and spatial data librarian
You cell phone tells you how to get to where you want to go. Google Maps can give you a picture of any place on earth. Your web searches sometimes seem to know where you are and give local results. All these are examples of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at work.
For your classes, you may want to give your research paper more punch by adding a map or graphic that illustrates a point. How can you do that?
Two resources for mapping provided by the Miami University Libraries are SimplyAnalytics maps and ArcMap software.
With SimplyAnalytics (available from the library website’s A-Z resources list), in a browser you simply click on the data you want to map and zoom to your desired location. The map is automatically created and can be downloaded for use in papers and reports. Data available includes all current census data as well as a large variety of marketing and lifestyle data.
A more sophisticated program that the library supports is ArcMap and its cloud-based cousin, ArcMap Online. With these programs, you can drag and drop spreadsheets of your data into the program and create dynamic geographic visualizations. If you want to plot a heat map by color-coding every house by distance from a fire station or shopping mall, it can be done in ArcMap. The process is somewhat more complicated than SimplyAnalytics, but Library staff are happy to help you with your project.
ArcMap is available on 67 library computers in B.E.S.T. and King Libraries. Additional computers with ArcMap are available at Shideler hall. You may install the student version for free on your own laptop.
Miami University also offers courses in creating geographic visualizations – GEO 242, 340, 441, 442, 443, 444, 445, 448, 451. The four hundred level courses are also cross-listed as graduate level courses. At least nine faculty in geography actively use GIS in their research. Faculty in biology and other disciples also use the GIS resources available at Miami University.
In partnership with Miami University Global Initiatives, the University Libraries have recently added DailyChatter, an international daily email newsletter, to its array of resources offered free of charge to students, faculty and staff.
Miamians can now enjoy a complimentary subscription to the newsletter, which curates some of the most interesting and important global developments and prepares a conversational, easy-to-read report designed to be read on a smartphone or any other digital device. Students, faculty and staff can sign up at DailyChatter.com/MiamiOH by entering their name and MiamiOH.edu email address, and the newsletter will start arriving the next weekday morning.
Should you decide you don't wish to receive DailyChatter any longer, simply unsubscribe with the link provided at the bottom of every edition.
DailyChatter further enhances the Libraries' free offerings to the Miami community. Students, faculty and staff can also receive free subscriptions to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal through the Libraries.
The Miami University Libraries invite you to celebrate Open Access Week 2018. Celebrated Oct. 22-28, Open Access Week promotes the creation and use of resources made accessible through the open sharing of research, scholarship and data.
You can learn more about Open Access during one of these events:
Wednesday, Oct. 24
Advocacy for Scholarly Communication
King Library Lobby
Scholarly Communications is increasingly important to academic institutions, and this session offers a basic exploration of the issues and how they impact libraries.
Friday, Oct. 26
Join us for a screening of the film Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, which explores the need for open access to research and science, and questions the rationale behind for-profit academic publishers and their $25.2 billion in annual profits. A facilitated discussion follows the screening, and refreshments will be served.
Questions about any of the University Libraries' Open Access Week events can be directed to Carla Myers, coordinator of scholarly communications, or Jennifer Bazeley, coordinator of collection access & acquisitions.
What is Open Access, and how do the Libraries support it?
Guest blog post by Jody Perkins, digital scholarship librarian and metadata specialist
According to SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) “Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.” Providing OA to research is achieved primarily via deposit of a preprint to an OA repository or through publication in an OA journal. OA journals are a rapidly growing segment of the scholarly publishing market covering research in nearly every discipline. Content is openly available without most of the financial or copyright restrictions of traditional publications.
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) currently includes entries for:
OA publishing can provide researchers with exposure to a large international audience that is beyond the scope of any single subscription based journal, increasing the impact of their work and advancing scholarship while also raising the research profile of the university. It also has the potential to provide students with unrestricted access to resources for their own research beyond the constraints of shrinking library budgets. In addition, it gives citizens timely access to research that was funded in whole or in part through tax dollars and which may also help community groups address pressing local issues.
How to get involved:
Sponsor an OA-related event in your department
Publish your research in an OA Journal
Deposit a copy of your research article or dataset in an OA repository
Start or sponsor an OA Journal
Schedule a consultation with a librarian in the Center for Digital Scholarship
The Center for Digital Scholarship at Miami University helps faculty and students collect, preserve and provide access to the intellectual output of the Miami University community as well as assist them with fair use and copyright retention. The Scholarly Commons repository includes faculty research articles, technical reports, honors theses and conference papers and proceedings. CDS can also assist faculty in developing and publishing open access e-books using open e-book standards like epub and mobi. Additionally, CDS can host, setup and manage an open access scholarly journal, with or without peer review, using the Open Journal system.
Open Access Journals published or hosted by Miami University Libraries
Miami University Libraries recently held a first-of-its-kind two-day conference exploring the intersection of copyright law and music. On Sept. 26 - 27, librarians, musicians, legal counsel, educators and administrators from across the country gathered in Shriver Center to discuss the unique challenges higher education institutions face in navigating music copyright law.
“We had 53 people from 17 states. We had a really broad perspective: the group was large enough to have some great discussions, but also small enough to have direct conversations about what we’re dealing with at our institutions,” said conference organizer and University Libraries’ coordinator of scholarly communications Carla Myers.
After hosting a more general copyright conference in 2017, the Libraries focused 2018’s conference specifically on music copyright, a topic many find difficult.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say that copyright law for music is their ‘kryptonite’ – it can be more complicated for people,” said Justin Bonfiglio, copyright specialist at the University of Michigan Library and conference attendee. “It’s very nice to talk to a community of people who grapple with the same layers of confusion that I grapple with on a daily basis.”
In addition to its complexity, music copyright law has far-reaching implications for libraries and higher education.
“This topic affects so many services that we as libraries provide our academic institutions: our music collections, musical performances on campus, student recitals, and even advertising and marketing if we have music playing in the background,” said Myers.
Conference presenters included Kenneth D. Crews, Kathleen DeLaurenti, Eric Harbeson, Nazareth Pantaloni, Carrie Russell, Maria Scheid and Ty Turley Trejo, bringing expertise from a diverse array of fields and experiences. Jason Sloan, a representative from the United States Copyright Office also joined the conference provide additional information and perspective.
“People either have deep expertise in music or deep expertise in the law, but there’s a small subset that has both, and a lot of the people that have those features are here,” said Bonfiglio.
Attendees heard presentations on a number of different topics, from ways in which music copyright law impacts libraries, to navigating music usage and licensing for campus events, teaching, recitals, entertainment and more. Other discussions centered around recent legislation that proposes significant revisions to music copyright law and its potential implications for higher education.
The conference represents the Libraries’ continued development of copyright consultation services to the Miami community. Myers has provided over 100 one-on-one consultations with students, faculty and staff since January 2017, and has taught several workshops on copyright. Through a number of different initiatives, such as supporting the adoption and development of open educational resources and providing guidance in applying Fair Use for copyrighted materials, the Libraries provide expertise to Miamians in navigating the ways in which higher education and copyright law interact.
The conference’s sponsors included Miami University Libraries, OhioNET, OhioLINK, the Music Library Association and the American Library Association.
The history of Miami University, Western College for Women and the Oxford community comes alive in October-November, as the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and Archives welcome a trio of Ohio Archives Month lectures to King Library.
Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 9, the annual series seeks to enhance public awareness of archival materials and archival centers through highlighting research and materials with broad appeal. This year’s lectures focus on the history of women’s baseball at Miami and Western College for Women (Oct. 9), a collection of historic envelopes and letters that cover more than a century of Oxford history (Oct. 25), and longtime Miami professor and historian Walter Havighurst (Nov. 2).
Each of the lectures takes place from noon-1 p.m. in King Library room 320. Those who cannot attend in-person can view the lectures live or recorded via Facebook Live on the University Libraries’ Facebook page. All lectures are free and open to the public.
“With motion full of gentle charm: Women’s baseball at Western College and Miami University” leads off the series on Tuesday, Oct. 9. The lecture, presented by Callie Batts Maddox, Ph.D., assistant professor in sports leadership and management, reveals early 20th century baseball as more than a men’s sport. Through stories of early college women athletes, the lecture draws important connections between sport, physical activity and gender in higher education.
On Thursday, Oct. 25, Richard Oertel, Ph.D., a local historian and retired Procter & Gamble chemist, presents some of his discoveries as a philatelist – one who collects and studies postage stamps.“Old Mail and Oxford’s Early Academic Community”focuses on a collection of envelopes that members of Oxford’s academic community sent or received between 1835 and 1940, including the sometimes surprising stories of students, faculty, administrators and benefactors of Miami University, Oxford College and Western College for Women.
Bill Modrow, head of Steward & Sustain within the University Libraries, closes out the series with “Walter E. Havighurst: A look at his life and legacy” on Friday, Nov. 2. The lecture explores the impact of the writer, historian and longtime Miami faculty member on Midwestern Culture as well as his connections to the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and Archives and Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies.
The Havighurst Special Collections include more than 95,000 volumes, including rare books, manuscripts and special subject collections. The Archives include manuscripts, photographs and publications from Miami University, Western College for Women and Oxford College.
BUS 101 adopts free open educational resource in place of traditional textbook
Written by Vince Frieden, Coordinator of Strategic Communications, University Libraries
Video by Nick Kneer, Communications Specialist, University Libraries
Carla Myers still remembers that sinking feeling she experienced each fall as an undergraduate leaving her campus bookstore.
“I put myself through college, and I remember working all these jobs during the summer to have enough money,” Myers recalled. “I’d pay my tuition bill with a little money left over, and then I’d leave the bookstore in tears because I didn't have enough to cover all my textbooks. It was frustrating and disappointing for someone who really wanted to be a good student.”
Now the coordinator of scholarly communications within the Miami University Libraries, Myers finds herself part of a collaborative effort – involving faculty, the Provost’s Office and counterparts in the University Libraries – to minimize the financial impact of textbooks and course materials on Miami’s students.
These efforts come at a time when families are struggling with the rising costs of higher education and as rampant inflation in the textbook industry is outpacing that of even medical care.
“In order to offer an extraordinary educational experience, we need a diverse array of learners who come from all backgrounds, including varying family incomes,” Associate Provost Carolyn Haynes noted. “To gain that diversity, we are committed to doing everything we can to reduce the overall cost of a college education. That includes reducing textbook costs, which have risen by 1,000 percent over the past four decades.”
Exploring affordable alternatives
Central to this focus is the promotion and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OERs), educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of OERs means that anyone can legally copy, use, adapt and re-share them at no cost.
To date, Miami’s textbook affordability efforts have included the formation of a faculty Open Educational Resource/Affordability Committee and the introduction of a series of grant-eligible OER faculty programs to inform, encourage and support faculty in exploring, implementing and even creating OER options.
Those efforts registered a signature achievement at the start of the fall semester when the BUS 101 Foundations of Business course – a First-Year Integrated Core course enrolling an estimated 600 students per semester – adopted an OER in place of a traditional textbook. Cindy Oakenfull, assistant lecturer within the Farmer School of Business and the faculty-lead for BUS 101, collaborated with Myers and business librarian Susan Hurst during the summer to identify and customize the OER.
“In selecting the textbook for Business 101 and realizing that the cost of those materials was going to affect 1,000-plus students, we were really challenged to think about how we could reduce that financial impact,” Oakenfull said. “The OER options available were equal if not superior to the ones I reviewed from various publishers. When you combine the quality of the material with the ability to customize it specifically for our needs and the cost savings, it was really an easy choice.”
A customized version of the OER, featuring only the chapters needed for the course, is available for students to download via the university’s Canvas platform. Students can read the text online, download and print it, or even have a version professionally printed at a fraction of the cost of a traditional textbook.
The concept is catching on. According to Haynes, faculty are utilizing OERs and related alternatives to eliminate or dramatically reduce course material costs in more than 20 courses. OERs are not an option for every course, and the Libraries also support alternatives:
Textbooks on Reserve: Textbooks for many of Miami’s most enrolled classes are available for checkout at University Libraries’ locations. This program is possible through a combination of faculty placing extra copies of their textbooks on reserve and #MoveInMiami donor support.
Course Pack Consultation Service: Supports faculty in replacing printed readings-based course packs with materials that are already freely accessible through Libraries' resources.
Alternate Textbook Program: Assists faculty in developing a reading list of resources freely available through the University Libraries’ purchased electronic collections, legal online resources and selections made in compliance with U.S. copyright law.
Regardless of the means, the outcome of an affordable, quality education matters to Miami students.
This past summer, the Associated Student Government co-presented the inaugural Affordable Education Leader Award to Andrew Paluch, assistant professor of chemical, paper and biomedical engineering, who created his own free, open resource textbook for a computational methods course. According to Paluch, the goal is about more than dollars and cents.
“My driving force in coming to Miami was the dedication to undergraduate education,” Paluch said. “My perspective is not necessarily that this is me saving students money. This is a resource or tool we can develop to improve the education of our students and ensure they have access to the resources they need ... I see Miami as a place where we can excel in this field and be national leaders. ”
To learn more about textbook and course material affordability options, contact Carla Myers, coordinator of scholarly communications, at myersc2@MiamiOH.edu or 513-529-3935.
For the first time, the Miami University Libraries are pleased to offer complimentary electronic memberships to The Wall Street Journal for all current students, faculty and staff.
With access to the world’s latest news, business insight, and expert commentary, every reader has the power to fuel their ambition with The Wall Street Journal. Each activated account comes with access to WSJ.com, the WSJ mobile app, curated newsletters, and WSJ+, an exclusive experience with access to special events, discounts, and travel destinations.
Miami students, faculty and staff can activate their complimentary membership by visiting WSJ.com/MiamiOH, logging into the school portal and creating an account on the registration page.
Those who currently pay for membership may call 1-800-JOURNAL, and mention they are switching to their membership provided by Miami University. Partial refunds will be dispersed.
4 reasons you should check out a Libraries Game Night
The University Libraries are opening up the games collection and supplying free food for five Library Game Nights this fall. Join in the fun with your fellow Miamians and choose from a large variety of board, tabletop, and card games from classic to contemporary. No experience is required, and all students, faculty, staff and families are welcome.
In case you need convincing, here are four reasons to check out a Library Game Night:
Game Nights travel to each Miami University library
Miami University is home to four library locations, all with their unique features and specialties. As you visit for a Game Night, you might end up finding your new favorite study spot.
There’s great – and free – food
Every proper game night features great food, and the Libraries’ Game Nights are no exception. To fuel your gaming session, we’re providing a variety of free food and snacks.
These laid-back events are great for both beginners and experienced players – just pull up a chair and join the fun. Libraries staff will be happy to help set up and explain games.
You can continue the fun after the night is over
If you find your new favorite game at a Game Night, chances are you can check it out from the Library. The Instructional Materials Center (IMC) in King Library maintains a collection of games available for checkout.
The Miami University Libraries posted another strong showing during the #MoveInMiami day-of-giving campaign, with preliminary numbers showing 70-plus donors contributing more than $9,000 to Libraries’ funding priorities.
Processing on the more than 4,400 gifts received during the overall #MoveInMiami effort continues, and the final Libraries total is expected to trend higher. Over the past four years, donors have contributed more than $30,000 to Libraries funds and initiatives during #MoveInMiami.
The bulk of this generosity has been dedicated to the Textbook Initiative, which purchases textbooks for high-enrollment courses and makes them available via checkout to students, and the Technology Support Fund, which enhances the technology resources the Libraries are able to make available to students.
“Each year I’m amazed at the contributions our donors are willing to step up and provide to the University Libraries,” said Jerome Conley, dean and university librarian. “We want to provide our students the opportunity to succeed in all their chosen fields of human endeavor, and thanks to your support, we are able to make those dreams come true.”
To learn more about #MoveInMiami and its university-wide impact, visit MoveInMiami.org.
By Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator, University Libraries
Congratulations to the Class of 2022 on your admission into Miami University and the start of what will be four tremendous years of learning, personal growth, and great friends and memories.
Of course, the transition to college and the intensity of college-level classes and coursework can be daunting at times. That’s why we are here – to serve you and ensure you have what you need to thrive academically and for the rest of your lives. We stand ready to meet you where you are and help guide you to where you want to be.
Start marking your calendars for the Libraries' fall workshop series. We're here to kick start your academic success with tips and resources on citing sources, avoiding plagiarism, spotting fake news and more.
In the meantime, prepare yourself with our first-year student LibGuide and these eight great ways the University Libraries can help you ace the next four years.
Your new best friend. You don’t have to be a research ninja to step into our dojo. We’ve got a librarian specializing in just about any subject you can imagine, and our famously friendly staff lives to connect you with the guidance and resources you need. All you’ve got to do is ASK US.
We offer a world of resources … literally. If we don’t have that book, article or other media you’re looking for within our catalog, we can track it down and get it to you. We’ve gone all the way to Australia to track down that hard-to-find article!
Not just brick and mortar. Our University Libraries are at your fingertips, wherever and whenever you are. In addition to the ability to chat online with our librarians, our website offers access to more than 500 online databases to enhance your research.
Before you buy that textbook …Textbooks for many of Miami’s most popular courses are available for in-library checkout. If buying that textbook is going to be a stretch financially, check with us first to see if we have it available.
A space that’s just right. From the energetic buzz of King Café’ to the quiet study areas in each of our four branch locations, there is a library space made for you. Need to get together on a group project? Reserve one of our study rooms.
Four great locations.King Library is, well … (you made it into Miami, so we’ll let you fill in the blank), but there are also three other great locations that offer our core library services and their own unique vibes and collections. King is there for you 24/7, but don’t let four years pass without checking out our other great locations.