Month: October 2014

The Contested Future of the Book, Part 1

*This post is from Abby Scheel, one of our three humanities librarians.

A couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to represent FSU Libraries at two meetings near Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.  Both meetings dealt in different ways with one of the most contested issues for academic libraries and scholars: the scholarly monograph.  There is so much to share from both meetings that I’m going to break this report-back into two parts.  Today is the Association of Research Libraries Fall Forum: Wanted Dead or Alive – The Scholarly Monograph.

The ARL Fall Forum addressed the future of the book directly and with maximum controversy (see title above). Based on a title like that you might think this is yet another session extolling the demise of the book and the dawn of the age of all things digital. Yes and no. The scholarly monograph is still king in humanities disciplines because of its connection with promotion and tenure. But it’s time to stop privileging the monograph published in print by an academic press over other means of disseminating the “long-form argument.” How to and why do this? What are the ramifications of this move? This was what the presenters all addressed during the daylong forum that included points of view from all sides of the issue, from faculty, librarians, and publishers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Here are a few of the highlights of the day in my own words: (more…)

Introducing our Newest Librarians

Continuing the series, here are two more of our new librarians.

Renaine Julian – Data Research Librarian

Hi folks. My name is Renaine and I’m the Data Research Librarian at FSU. I’m a three time FSU alum and I couldn’t be happier to be back on campus! Before starting my current position, I worked for the Libraries for about five years as a student worker and, later, as a staff member before heading over to the state-wide library consortium, The Florida Virtual Campus.

The Data Research Librarian is a new position and I’m responsible for creating a new suite of services for students and faculty related to quantitative data as well as the management of research data. That being said, I can help you find data as well as figure out what to do with it once you have your hands on something useful. If you’re creating large datasets for your research, you’ll need a plan for managing that information and, in many cases, making it available to others. I’m working with other folks in the Libraries and around campus to develop data management consulting services to assist you in planning to keep your research intact, findable and usable.

I’m also the subject specialist for Economics, Geography, and Urban and Regional Planning. My research interests include: data management, data visualization, open data, emerging technologies and digital libraries. I work in the Scholars Commons which is located in Strozier’s basement. Please come by and say hello.

Contact Renaine – rjulian at fsu.edu

[Editors note – photo coming soon! That’s how new Stacey is!]

Hello! My name is Stacey Mantooth and I am a new addition to the library staff at Dirac Science Library. Before joining Florida State University, I earned my MSLS at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked at the EPA Library at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. While I’ve lived in several states around the Southeast and Midwest, this is my first time living in Florida, and I’m excited to see what Tallahassee has to offer.

As the liaison to the Chemistry and Biochemistry and Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science departments, I help students and faculty with research activities like finding journal articles, writing literature reviews, patent searching, or managing data. I also help make decisions about what materials the Libraries buy or keep for these subjects. In addition to my regular library and liaison work, I’m interested in doing research on the information needs of STEM faculty and students on campus. Studying which information researchers need, knowing how they go about getting it, and understanding how they view the research process could lead to improved University services and greater STEM success.

Contact Stacey – smantooth at fsu.edu

Open Access Week 2014

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Open access is the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research. It has direct and widespread implications for academia and society as a whole.

Open Access Week, October 20-26, is a global event now entering its eighth year, an opportunity for the academic and research community to learn about the benefits of open access and to inspire wider participation in helping to make open access the new norm in scholarship and research. This year’s theme for Open Access Week is Generation Open, a recognition of the changing and evolving nature of the academy as new researchers enter its ranks.

There are lots of ways to be involved:

STUDENTS

Part of a registered student organization? Invite representatives of the Libraries to come talk about open access with your group, and consider signing the Student Statement on the Right to Research. The Student Government Association, Congress of Graduate Students, and the American Library Association FSU Student Chapter led the way by endorsing the Statement last year. The Statement can be signed by individuals as well as organizations. (more…)

Getting to Know Florida State College for Women

Our Department of Special Collections and Archives has a great blog called Illuminations. We’ll periodically share posts from them here. Ever wondered about FSU’s history as a women’s college? Two of our Graduate Assistants write about exploring that history through archives in this post.

Illuminations

For our first project as graduate assistants, Katherine Hoarn and I have been given the unique opportunity to delve into the history and heritage of Florida State University.  From the years 1905 – 1947, Florida State University was Florida State College for Women, one of the largest women’s colleges in the country.  To explore this fascinating aspect of FSU’s past, Katherine and I are putting together an exhibit centered on the scrapbooks of the students of Florida State College for Women. In preparing for this exhibit, I’ve not only learned about proper handling of archival material, but about the heritage of Florida State University.

From the Scrapbook of Jewell Genevieve Cooper, c. 1925 (HP 2007-089) From the Scrapbook of Jewell Genevieve Cooper, 1925 (HP 2007-089).  See full description here

The first step in deciding how to approach the exhibit was to research the history of Florida State College for Women.  We consulted numerous resources, but my favorites were the primary sources themselves—the scrapbooks. As…

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What is a Census Research Data Center and Why Should You Care?

This semester, FSU became the newest consortial member of Atlanta’s Census Research Data Center. Funded primarily by the College of Social Sciences and the Office of Research, the Florida State community can now use Census micro-data without paying lab fees, which can range upwards of $15,000 per project.  There are currently 18 Census Research Data Centers in the United States, and outside of North Carolina’s Research Triangle the only one located in the southeastern United States is The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

So, what is a Census Research Data Center? The Center for Economic Studies defines Census Research Data Centers (RDCs) as U.S. Census Bureau facilities, staffed by a Census Bureau employee, which meet all physical and computer security requirements for access to restricted–use data. At RDCs, qualified researchers with approved projects receive restricted access to selected non–public Census Bureau data files.

Where do college graduates work? Visualization based on 2012 Census data.

Where do college graduates work? Visualization based on 2012 Census data.

To understand the true value of doing research with non-public data from the RDC, it’s important to note the difference between micro data and macro data, which is often referred to as aggregate data. When most of us use datasets for research or analysis, we’re looking at summary figures. For example, if you extract Census data for analysis, you’re typically looking at some sort of summary or aggregation for a specific geographic unit. These geographic units range from state, county, city as well as much smaller units such as census tracts and block groups. Regardless of unit of analysis, the data itself is a summarization of individual survey responses for participants in that specific area.

(more…)