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FSU observes Open Access Week 2020 and celebrates a year of action

Happy Open Access Week! Open Access Week (Oct. 19 -25, 2020) is a time to celebrate open access, raise awareness and observe the work done to support OA year-round. The core principle of open access is that all published scholarship and research should be accessible to the general public. Those new to open access can learn more in this video from PhD Comics:  https://youtu.be/L5rVH1KGBCY.

The Open Access Week theme for 2020 is Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion

Universities around the world are supporting this principle in different ways. The Libraries’ Office of Digital Research and Scholarship created an anti-racism action plan, conducted research on the experiences of marginalized scholars and students interacting with open, and added cultural competency in teaching modules to the Canvas course for Alternative Textbook Grant recipients. Of course, this is only a start to building structural equity and inclusion into local open infrastructure at FSU.

This past year, Florida State has shown commitment to the principle of open access through several actions:

  1. Reinstating the Alternative Textbook Grant Program to support open and affordable materials, especially as students and instructors contend with remote courses and financial uncertainty.
  2. Continuing the Open Access Fund and developing the ‘Open Scholars Project’ to support an informal yet active community of practice around open access at FSU. Coming this spring!
  3. Hosting the Fall 2020 Road Scholars virtual event Friday, November 13, in partnership with the Road Scholars Committee, Faculty Senate, and the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement:

The annual FSU Road Scholars speaker series welcomes distinguished scholars from institutions within the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) to FSU during weeks that coincide with ACC athletic events. The Fall 2020 virtual event Friday, November 13 from 3:00pm – 4:30pm EST will feature Micah Vandegrift, Open Knowledge Librarian at North Carolina State University. He will be speaking about his project as a Fulbright-Schuman Research Fellow, titled “Open Scholarship Policies and Technologies: The European Research Library as a Model for Advancing Global Scholarly Communication”. The event will include an hour lecture and additional time for questions. Register here: https://fla.st/3nNEkat

Digital Book Display: Sex & Respect

Check out our digital book display created in collaboration with the Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness’s Sex and Respect Week. To view events associated with each subject, click on the hyperlinked section headings. Follow them on Instagram for more events!

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Trust Students, Suspect Algorithms

A Deep Dive into the Dubious Claims of Online Test Proctoring

By Adam Beauchamp

When universities across the United States reacted to the coronavirus pandemic by shifting to remote instruction last spring, many of us quickly adopted new technologies to keep our courses running. Now, as we prepare for another semester of remote instruction, we have an opportunity to reassess these tools and ask ourselves if they still meet our educational needs and comport with our values. In this time of heightened stress and trauma, I suggest that we abandon technologies or practices that create an adversarial relationship between teachers and students. These include plagiarism detection software, technologies that track students’ movements, and classroom policies that privilege compliance over learning, what Jeffrey Moro refers to colorfully and astutely as “cop shit.”

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7 LinkedIn Learning Skills to Master This Summer

Hi everyone, this is Courtney again, the STEM Libraries GA, along with Emily McClellan, the STEM Libraries Outreach Associate, to talk about ways we can continue our learning and professional development throughout what promises to be a unique semester. It’s often said that we should try to control how we react to the things we can’t control. While that’s a lot easier said than done, we wanted to share some opportunities that you may find helpful while continuing to learn and grow throughout the summer.  While the world is constantly shifting and changing around us, finding stability can be hard. If you’re looking for a professional goal you can achieve this summer, try a LinkedIn Learning training to keep you grounded and focused as we continue to work from home. 

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Getting to know your science librarians

My name is Courtney Evans, and I am a graduate assistant in the STEM Libraries department at FSU Libraries. I typically work with our subject librarians to provide research and learning support to STEM scholars. However, today, I wanted to take some time to introduce you to our science librarians while giving you some information about what types of services and resources are available to the STEM students, staff, faculty, and researchers in the FSU community. 

While our library buildings are currently closed due to concerns related to COVID-19, the FSU Libraries team is still available to help meet the teaching, learning and research needs of our scholars. We have extensive resources and services available to you from home. From research guides to consultations with subject librarians, we are still here for you. STEM librarians are available to support research and learning for students and faculty in STEM disciplines. Their names are Denise A. Wetzel, Dr. Nicholas Ruhs, and Kelly Grove, and they’re typically located in the Dirac Science Library when libraries are physically open. 

As a graduate assistant for the STEM Research and Learning Services Department, I took time to interview our subject librarians in order to learn more about some of the projects that they work on and the services that they continue to offer students. 

From left to right: Denise Wetzel, Nicholas Ruhs, and Kelly Grove
Your STEM librarians!

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Pop Lit E-Books for anxiety and stress during COVID-19

In this trying time, the FSU Libraries Pop Lit committee wanted to make a few titles available digitally that may be helpful or calming to our students and staff.
As always we hope everyone is happy and healthy and safe.
Please see our newly added ebooks below for a “Pop Lit COVID- 19 survival guide”! You can now find these titles in the catalog here.

If you would like more updates on what FSU Libraries are doing, you can check our COVID-19 updates here. And you can see Florida State University’s updates here.

Supporting Students Through Open and Affordable Course Materials

As we move forward to the semester ahead of fully online classes and the educational community responds to COVID-19, you may be receiving emails from vendors offering limited-time free access to their tools and platforms. We encourage instructors to explore open textbook or library-licensed e-book textbook alternatives during this transition to online teaching, which are always free or affordable. 

Please remember that students may be experiencing greater financial stress than usual if they’re not able to work due to the coronavirus. You might want to consider investing your time in trying resources and tools that will continue to be free to you and your students after the crisis is over. These options will increase first-day access to required course materials and save students time and money during this stressful time. According to our 2017 survey, 72% of FSU students do not purchase textbooks due to cost and 93% prefer a free online textbook over a traditional print option. 

Subject librarians are available to work with instructors to locate open or already licensed content in order to save students money and ease the pedagogical burdens of the current situation. If you are interested in adopting a library e-book for your course, please consult your subject librarian so we can check on the resource license as not all of our e-books are available for multi user simultaneous usage. 

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From Guilia Forsythe, Flickr

Open Educational Resources & Open Textbooks 

Open educational resources (OER) are freely-accessible, openly licensed textbooks, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching and learning. OER can be reused, customized, and widely shared by others. Many courses at FSU already utilize open textbooks including CHM1045. Our top suggestions for open textbooks include:

  • Openstax: Peer-reviewed, open textbooks on introductory topics. Students can buy print copies. See their blog post on Teaching online with OpenStax to support emerging social distancing requirements. OpenStax has quiz banks, slides, and other ancillaries freely available for instructors who sign up with them. OpenStax Allies offer competitively-priced homework platforms that work with OpenStax books, and many of them are waiving costs right now.
  • Open Textbook Library : Read peer reviews and access open textbooks being used across the world.
  • OER Commons: Public library of open educational resources wit platform for content authoring & remixing.
  • BC Campus OpenEd: Search for quality open textbooks offered in a variety of digital formats.
  •  Lumen Learning: Offers a wide array of open content that you can access for free. Their Waymaker and OHM modules are low-cost homework platforms that can be integrated with Canvas

Don’t use a standalone textbook? Many instructors chose to use a mix of open resources to support their curriculum instead of just one open textbook. Sources include TED Talks, online news articles from publications such as The Guardian, government information such as cdc.gov, and other high-quality information available online. Some instructors also use Open Scholarly Monographs as educational resources in their course, which carry the same open licenses.

  • Mason MetaFinder: Search engine that includes a variety of open materials for those looking to mix content and recently added 1.4 million + books from the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library.
  • OASIS: Search tool for open content from 97 different sources and contains 385,629 records of textbooks, modules, videos, podcasts, primary resources and more.

Library-licensed E-books, Articles, and Online Resources for the Classroom 

Library-licensed material expands the amount of materials available for higher-level coursework and complements other OER materials. Many faculty at FSU have opted to adopt e-books, journal articles, videos, images, and other digital resources from our collection. If you are interested in browsing our immense online collection for course materials, here are a couple of our search tools:

OneSearch: Search through many resources at once using our OneSearch tool. Whether you are looking for an e-book or searching broadly by subject or keyword, OneSearch is a great place to start your searching. OneSearch is also a good place to find items by citation – just paste the citation right into the search box.

Databases A-Z List: If you know which database you are looking for, use this list to find the specific database by title.

Databases by Subject List: Our subject librarians have selected the top databases for each subject in this list, helping identify the top resources for each subject.

Journal Search: This tool allows you to find journals by title or subject.

Streaming Media: Showing films in online courses requires some additional planning. We are happy to share that FSU Libraries provide access to multiple video platforms. If you are interested in using our streaming media resources in your online courses, please check out our Streaming Media in Your Course guide for tips on finding streaming resources and streaming models that best suit your course material needs.

FSU Libraries is committed to developing open and affordable solutions that will ease the burden of textbook costs. Affordable course materials are going to be more important to students than ever. Find out more about FSU Libraries Open and Affordable Textbook Initiative.

If interested in exploring open and affordable options for your course, please contact Camille Thomas at cthomas5@fsu.edu or Lindsey Wharton at lwharton@fsu.edu.