By Rachel Howard
Most peer-reviewed academic journals are subscription-based: some require high fees from academic libraries and their institutions, while others charge authors directly if they want to make their content freely available to other scholars and researchers through open access. The University of Louisville recently launched its own open access, peer-reviewed journal, The Journal of Respiratory Infections, using ThinkIR, the University of Louisville’s institutional repository in University Libraries.
Released on January 30, the new journal is one of several open access journals planned for hosting in ThinkIR that will serve the needs of scholars and researchers worldwide regardless of their means and without toll barriers.
Left to right: Rachel Howard, Sarah Frankel, and Jessica Petrey of University Libraries; Dr. Julio Ramirez, Dr. Bill Mattingly, Kimberley Buckner, and Matt Grassman of Division of Infectious Diseases.
Doctors in UofL’s Division of Infectious Diseases approached their Clinical Librarian, Kornhauser Library’s Jessica Petrey, last year about their idea to publish two open access journals: one focused on respiratory infections and the other on refugee and global health. They had thought through the aims and scope of these journals, and identified who within the division and the field they wanted to be involved, but they needed the Libraries’ help with hosting it and providing digital preservation of journal content – a prerequisite to getting it listed in PubMed.
Jessica put them in touch with Rachel Howard, Digital Initiatives Librarian, whose work involves digital preservation as well as open access. As a result of the work of Rachel, Sarah Frankel, the Libraries’ Open Access and Repository Coordinator, Dwayne K. Buttler, the Evelyn G. Schneider Endowed Chair for Scholarly Communication at UofL, and the Scholarly Communication and Data Management Work Group, the Libraries developed policies, procedures, and agreements to support the Division of Infectious Diseases as a pilot project for a new phase of repository development. Jessica expanded her support of the Division by serving as copy editor of the journal.
On January 30, 2017, the Division of Infectious Diseases celebrated the launch of Journal of Respiratory Infections Volume 1, Issue 1, with a party at MedCenterOne. Petrey, Howard, and Frankel were in attendance, where they were warmly thanked by Division of Infectious Diseases Chief Dr. Julio Ramirez.
Heads up! Changes ahead.
The University Libraries are making some big changes to improve the user experience of our web site. We are in the process of moving our site entirely into the LibGuides content management system and making changes that we hope will make your time on our website more efficient and enjoyable.
What’s changing? These major areas:
- Library site design
- Room reservations – including reservable group study spaces!
- Appointments with librarians
- Request forms
Starting August 1st you’ll see changes in the site. The pages for the Art Library, Music Library, room reservations, hours, and request forms as well as the Research Guides will be in a new design. The rest of the site will be following and we will release the next batch to the public site over the winter break. As the pages move into the new system there will be a number of URL changes. For example, the Music Library’s URL will change from http://louisville.edu/library/music to http://library.louisville.edu/music/home.
The new design includes:
- A more consistent experience of what we formerly called “Research Guides” and now call “Subject Guides.” Each subject will open to a page that very concisely lists
- the most recommended databases for that subject,
- a list of the related subject and course guides, and
- a picture and contact info for the subject librarian
- Throughout the site a tab appears on the right side of the page with buttons that:
- provide contact info for the librarian most relevant to the page you’re on
- open to a site search function
- open to an “email this page” function
- bring the user to the top or bottom of the page
- A new font custom-made for its readability online called Merriweather.
The rooms in our libraries are scheduled for many purposes from library instruction sessions to lectures by prominent leaders, authors, and scholars. In the past there have been multiple systems for reserving the different types of rooms, starting in the fall we hope to make this a lot easier for our patrons.
We’ll be using a new booking system called LibCal. People who want to schedule a room can look at the calendar, see what times are available, click on the time(s) they want, and make their request. It’s that simple. This system will be available to reserve rooms in Ekstrom Library, the Bridwell Art Library, and the Dwight Anderson Memorial Music Library.
In the fall semester we’ll also be doing a pilot program to test using LibCal to allow students to reserve group study rooms. They’ll be able to go online and make a reservation for one of several group study rooms on the first floor of Ekstrom Library.
Research Appointments with Librarians
Our research librarians will begin using the LibCal system to schedule appointments online. We’re hoping this will reduce the amount of time between when a student/researcher makes a request and when they can see the librarian. Each librarian will enter his/her available times into LibCal and when a student wants to make an appointment they can just choose an available time that works for them. Easy peasy!
Our users may notice that forms are a little easier to use in the Fall. Some design changes will mean less scrolling, plus there will be fewer forms to choose from which we hope will make it easier to find the form you want. The new system allows us to ask “conditional” questions. When a conditional question is answered it provides different information depending on which option was chosen. This allows us to have a single form where multiple forms may have existed previously. For example, now there is one form for holds – regardless of which library has the item or whether the item is a book or video. If a person chooses book, for example, the form automatically shows just the questions related to getting a book.
So, yes, this is a lot of changes! We hope you find the new site fun and easy to use. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask – just Contact Us.
When they need help with their writing, most UofL students know to contact the Writing Center, located in Ekstrom Library’s Learning Commons.
But what about the meat and bones of their papers: research, i.e., finding, evaluating and citing sources? For this equally challenging and unwieldy task, students have an excellent resource in the librarians in Research Assistance and Instruction (RAI), also located in Ekstrom’s Learning Commons.
A phone call or appointment made online will get students a face-to-face meeting with a research librarian, who can help them find relevant sources and learn better methods of research to benefit their future scholarship.
UofL sophomore Christian Bush is a recent convert to the benefits of research assistance. He thought such help was only available to students in higher grades.
“Students at all levels and at all times need this help, and don’t realize such a resource is available,” said Bush, a History and Asian Studies major. “When you first enter college, you have an impression that research appointments are sacrosanct; that only seniors working on their senior papers can get help.”
But after a savvy History professor suggested Bush reach out to RAI for help with his research, Bush found he could access the services himself. Required to create an archeological site profile for his class, History 341, Introduction to Egypt, Bush “did what most students do, I googled. But I couldn’t find any information on Google at all,” he said.
In particular, he needed a specific site profile from 1911 that was nowhere to be found. Exasperated, he set up an appointment with RAI online, after which the response was “lightning quick,” Bush said. “They called the next day.”
At the research appointment, RAI Librarian Sue Finley showed Bush not only the original excavation report he needed, but subsequent ones, up to modern-era excavation where ground-penetrating radar helps archeologists explore underground tombs.
“I got a wealth of information,” Bush said. “More than enough to write my paper, and then some.”
But beyond helping with his immediate needs, Finley “took me through her methodology for locating the sources. She spent a good amount of time showing me how to use databases and work with sources, the nitty-gritty of the research.”
“If I hadn’t been able to meet with her I wouldn’t have had such a strong research base and it would have made the profile much less substantial,” he continued. “The fact that she taught me how to research and how to go through sources and then use the sources within sources; that’s benefited me outside that project.”
“A paper is only as strong as your writing skills and your research; if you don’t have solid research, there’s only so much you can do.”
The short-term results were important to Bush, too: “I got an A on the paper,” he said, smiling.
Libraries staff who reached their 10th, 15th, 25th or 30th year of employment anniversaries in 2015 were honored at a luncheon last Friday, September 25th. The following individuals were recognized for their dedication and service to the libraries and university over the long haul.
- Colleen Eubank: 10 Years
- Sarah Frankel: 10 Years
- Christopher Poche: 10 Years
- Angela Ren: 10 Years
- Jason Friedman: 10 Years
- Ren Hinshaw: 15 Years
- Tammy Sexton: 15 Years
- Sherri Pawson: 25 Years
- Joan Nailon (ret.): 30 Years
The group enjoyed lunch at the Brown and Williamson Club at Papa John’s Stadium and were recognized by President Ramsey. Congratulations and sincere thanks to this year’s honorees for their many contributions.
Throughout the 1st Floor East renovation at Ekstrom, the Library will keep as many resources available as possible. Some items have moved to new locations.
Current available resources and locations within Ekstrom Library:
- Tulip Tree Café: 8 public computers
- Tulip Tree Café: 1 public printer
- Current Periodicals on 2nd floor: 3 computers
- Access and User Services desk: 15 MacBooks and 25 Laptops (Undergrads, Graduate students, Staff, and Faculty only)
What we have labeled “Library Catalog” on the University Library’s webpage http://louisville.edu/library is really far more than a catalog of books or even books UofL owns. If you have used it, you probably have discovered all kinds of other materials: videos, government documents, archival documents, magazine and journal articles, and more. You probably have also realized that your search results may also include items not available at UofL but at other libraries around the world which show up in the WorldCat Local database.
In addition, the database changes daily due to additions from libraries around the world as well as updates from database providers such as Medline. So, your search results today won’t necessarily match your search results from yesterday.
While you may have searched the Library Catalog/WorldCat Local, you may not have had time to really play with it. Below are some search tips that will allow you to dig deeper into the contents of the database and have more precision with your searches. If you would like more information on searching WorldCat Local, please contact a librarian!
Having trouble looking for the title of something? Try adding ti: to the beginning of your search.
Example ti: Immunology
This is especially helpful for one-word titles or titles which have lots of words in common with other titles.
If you know the author, you can create an even more powerful search by adding au: author’s name
Example ti: Shiver au:stiefvater
Just like in Google, quotation marks can be used to search adjoining words as a phrase.
Example “The Sun Also Rises”
Want to search for variations on words?
You can use the * to find variations of a word ending or # to replace a specific character.
There are MANY more fields you can search specifically such as Library of Congress subject headings (hl:) or MESH (hm:). See the full list here: http://www.oclc.org/support/services/worldcat-local/documentation/expert_examples_WorldCat_Local.en.html
Are you a real library geek who enjoys using Boolean operators? You can use them in WCL too, but keep in mind there are still other factors that affect the results set such as whether we own the item. Generally, the Boolean logic seems to apply well in some cases but not others due to the complexity of the search algorithm.
The default operator is AND, so any words you enter will be joined using AND unless you use one of the other two operators OR and NOT. You can also use the | or – signs if you prefer.
Example moon OR stars
Example moon | stars
Example moon NOT stars
Example moon -stars
Use of the facets on the lefthand side can be used to sift through the abundance of results when your search returns more than you anticipated. So for example, if you are looking for a book, often book reviews of the book will show up in your results. You can remove these by using the Book facet on the left.
Some limits can be added to the search before you complete it by using the Advanced Search link.
In this area, you can add or remove additional databases to broaden or narrow your search. Unfortunately, some databases such as Medline, ERIC, GPO, and British Library Serials cannot be removed. They are a part of the OCLC WorldCat Local database.
In the Advanced Search, you can search for a date range, something you cannot do post-search with the date facets.
For a step-by-step tutorial on Advanced Search in WCL, see http://www5.oclc.org/downloads/tutorials/worldcatlocal/advnsrch/default.htm
After all, everything is available online and students can simply Google anything they need, right? Well, evidently not. Demand for library instruction is growing, and surveys indicate both students and faculty value the help they receive from UofL Libraries.
During the 2013-2014 academic year, librarians in Ekstrom Library’s reference department taught 255 class sessions involving 5030 students. While almost half were introductory level classes in English, Communication, Campus Culture, and the like, about a third were associated with upper level classes in Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, and Social Work. The remainder involved graduate students in the same colleges. A few students may have attended more than one class, but generally there is little overlap. We estimate that in a single school year roughly 40% of UofL underclassmen and about 20% of upperclassmen and graduate students participate in at least one class session led by a librarian.
Over the past two years, the number of students attending library class sessions has increased by 34% and the number of sessions has increased 16%. The largest gain has been in upper level undergraduate classes, particularly in Arts & Sciences and Social Work. Our librarians now work with more than 70 professors to tailor class sessions and/or research guides to specific upper level and graduate classes.
Last academic year reference department librarians also met with over 225 students and faculty in scheduled research appointments involving 1 to 5 people. Unfortunately we only have comparable statistics for the last nine months of the 2011-2012 school year, but they show that research appointments have increased by about 56% over the past two years.
We believe the growing number of requests is the best indication that professors and students think library sessions are good investments of their time. This is supported by several recent assessments. In UofL Libraries Spring 2014 tracking study, almost two-thirds of undergraduates and about three-quarters of graduate students and faculty who responded to a class instruction question said they were very or somewhat satisfied with classes at Ekstrom Library. Similarly, 72-84% said they were very/somewhat satisfied with “research assistance from a librarian.”
Earlier this year our Information Literacy group also sent an assessment survey to professors and instructors who scheduled classes with librarians in Fall 2013 or Spring 2014. Seventy-two percent of respondents rated “the overall quality of the library and research sessions offered at Ekstrom Library” as excellent on a five-point poor to excellent scale. In addition, 75% strongly agreed that “the library session was relevant to my students’ needs.”
So even in a world where students have the Internet in their pockets and backpacks, and are able to access ebooks, online databases, and countless facts with their fingertips, both students and faculty appear to appreciate the role librarians can play in helping them locate, evaluate, and effectively use information in college level research. If you would like to schedule a library class session, please contact your subject specialist, call Josh Whitacre at 852-8699, or complete our class request form. If you want to schedule a research appointment, please submit your request here.