access

UConn Celebrates Open Access Week, by Jean Nelson – cross post with Babbidge Library

Here at the UConn Library, one of the tenets of our Purposeful Path Forward is to engage in the driving of UConn’s ‘Scholarly Engine’, or the processes of research and knowledge creation. One of the core activities in our approach is educating our community on the importance of Open Access. Open Access (OA), as defined by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), refers to the “free, immediate, online availability of research articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.”

Why Open? Open changes the way we discover knowledge. It can turn ideas into reality,  break down barriers to learning, and lay the groundwork for breakthrough research.

This month we are embracing the challenge provided by the 2017 International Open Access Week by answering the question, “Open in order to…” through a series of programs and initiatives.

OpenCommons@UConn
The UConn Library is proud to announce the re-launch of the University’s institutional repository, OpenCommons@UConn, a showcase of the scholarship and creative works of the UConn community. The renaming of this services emphasizes the Library’s role in providing the tools to enable independent learning, research, and scholarship. By making the University’s diverse and unique resources openly accessible worldwide, we hope to inspire groundbreaking research and advance learning, teaching, and entrepreneurial thinking.
Open in order to…provide access to UConn’s scholarship

 

Open Educational Resources @ UConn Exhibit: published teaching and learning materials under an open license
October 18-31, 2017

HBL, Plaza Level
Open Access and Open Educational Resources (OER) are related but distinct, with the commonality of providing high quality learning materials at no cost. In an academic setting, the lines of Open Access publishing for research materials and Open Educational Resources for teaching and learning overlap in significant ways. UConn’s OER Initiative began only 2 years ago and to date has saved our undergraduates over $500,000 in textbook costs. View some OER textbooks and learn more about the faculty who are working towards making UConn more affordable.
Open in order to…save students money

 

Is this open access journal any good?
Thursday, October 19, 9:30-11:00am
Homer Babbidge Library, Collaborative Learning Classroom
Faculty often struggle to identify good quality open access journals in which to publish or to serve as an editor or reviewer. Many new open access journals exist now – some are good quality, some are exploitative, and some are in-between. This workshop will include a brief discussion of faculty concerns about identifying journals. The majority of the session will be devoted to identifying and demonstrating indicator web-based tools which can help faculty to appraise a journal’s quality.  Please register at http://cetl.uconn.edu/seminars
Open in order to…find quality teaching materials

 

Paywall: A Conversation about the Business of Scholarship with Filmmaker Jason Schmitt
Wednesday, October 25, 2:30-4:00pm

Konover Auditorium, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
Help us celebrate Open Access Week by joining award-winning filmmaker Jason Schmitt as we screen and discuss footage from his in-progress documentary Paywall: The Business of Scholarship. Schmitt will be accompanied in the discussion by a panel of UConn faculty who will share their views on making the results of academic research freely accessible online.  Co-sponsored by UConn Humanities Institute
Open in order to…talk about the business of scholarship
Flyer in pdf
Release in pdf

Open Data In Action
Thursday, October 26, 11:00am-2:00pm

Hartford Public Library Atrium
Open Data In Action brings together a wide range of researchers to showcase how their work has benefited from openly and freely accessible data. Presenters from the public, private, and academic sectors will discuss how open data, ranging from historical documents to statistical analyses, is being used to create projects, change policies, or conduct research and highlight the importance open data has on shaping the world around us.

Opening Remarks:
Tyler Kleykamp, Chief Data Officer, State of Connecticut

Presenters:

  • Steve Batt, UConn Hartford/CT State Data Center, Tableau Public and CT Census Data
  • Jason Cory Brunson, UConn Health Center, Modeling Incidence and Severity of Disease using Administrative Healthcare Data
  • Stephen Busemeyer, The Hartford Courant,Journalism and the Freedom of Information
  • Brett Flodine, GIS Project Leader, City of Hartford Open Data
  • Rachel Leventhal-Weiner, CT Data Collaborative, CT Data Academy
  • Anna Lindemann/Graham Stinnett, UConn/DM&D, & Archives, Teaching Motion Graphics with Human Rights Archives
  • Thomas Long, UConn Nursing, Dolan Collection Nursing History Blog
  • Tina Panik, Avon Public Library, World War II Newsletters from the CTDA
  • Jennifer Snow, UConn Library, Puerto Rico Citizenship Archives: Government Documents as Open Data
  • Rebecca Sterns, Korey Stringer Institute, Athlete Sudden Death Registry
  • Andrew Wolf, UConn Digital Media & Design, Omeka Everywhere

Co-sponsored by the Hartford Public Library
Open in order to…share data
Flyer in pdf

Introduction to Data Visualization using Tableau Public
Monday, October 30, 3:00-4:15pm
Homer Babbidge Library, Level 2 Electronic Classroom
Tableau Public is a free version of Tableau business intelligence / visual analytics software, which allows anyone to explore and present any quantitative information in compelling, interactive visualizations. In this hands-on session you will work with different prepared datasets to create online interactive bar graphs, scatterplots, thematic maps and much more, which can be linked to or embedded in blogs or on web sites. Please register at http://workshops.lib.uconn.edu/
Open in order to…visualize research

Digital Scholarship: Partnering for the Future
Joan K. Lippincott, Associate Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information

Tuesday, November 7, 2-3:30
Homer Babbidge Library, Heritage Room
Researchers in many disciplines are finding that they can ask new kinds of research questions as a result of the rapid growth in the availability of digital content and tools. In addition, the outputs of their research can include many more types of products such as data visualizations, geo-referenced representations, text augmented with images and audio, exhibits on the web, and virtual reality environments. Developing these projects takes a team of people who have a variety of skill sets. These individuals may come from academic departments, the library, the information technology unit, and other specialties. Graduate and undergraduate students are also often part of teams working on digital scholarship projects. In this presentation, Lippincott will provide an update on developments in digital scholarship and will describe existing programs and projects, discuss the importance of physical space, and encourage the development of a campus digital scholarship community.  Co-sponsored by UConn Humanities Institute
Open in order to…develop digital scholarship

The original blog post available here.

Digital Spaces and Designing for Access, by Gabriel Morrison

AccessThere has been a lot of talk about how digital humanities scholarship has the potential to be democratizing, and the internet allows for connectivity that extends across cultural, geographical, and institutional boundaries. DH scholarship can directly reach the public outside of academia, and digital spaces allow for collaborative enterprises that have seldom been attempted by humanities scholars. But are all things digital inherently more accessible, or do we simply imagine them to be so? Are we designing for access or just assuming that access is no longer an issue?

Tara McPherson points out that exclusionary practices and ideologies (based on class, gender, race, sexuality, language, or ability) are often built into software in ways that are not always immediately visible to privileged users. This limits not only who has access to and ownership of DH work but also how diverse users can develop their work. One of these exclusionary ideologies is what disability theorist Tobin Siebers has termed the ideology of ability. This ideology assumes able-bodiedness as a “default” state. It either elides difference or else assumes that the disabled body must find a way to be “accommodated” rather than acknowledging any responsibility for designers to create spaces and environments that are inclusive to the diverse range of human ability.

Just as physical spaces are often inaccessible by design (e.g., stairs and stairsdoorways that do not permit wheelchair access or loud, brightly lit public spaces that can result in sensory overload for persons with autism), there are many ways in which digital space is constructed to include only the able-bodied, including text fields with small or difficult-to-read fonts, videos without captioning, podcasts without transcripts, images without descriptions that can be read by screen readers, web spaces that cannot be manipulated by users, and so-called “accessible” software that is built for the able-bodied and only retrofitted to “accommodate” diverse users when they complain.

Those engaging in digital humanities scholarship cannot hope to dismantle oppressive ideologies (something which is part of the core work of the humanities) while uncritically using technology that reifies these same oppressive structures. We must realize that part of digital humanities scholarship involves critical and intentional design. In order to truly encourage access, digital scholarship should include principals of universal design.

How can we do this? While it’s true that no design can be said to be truly universal, the Web Accessibility Initiative offers important guidelines for more inclusive digital publishing, and Yergeau et al. lay out a theoretical groundwork for accessibility in digital and multimedia work. The National Center on Universal Design for Learning, CAST, and Jay Dolmage address concerns specific to integrating digital media and technology for access in the classroom, and Composing Access advises on how to prepare for conferences. Here are a few tips for more accessible design:

  • Think critically about the implicit ideologies coded into the platforms you use, and consider the affordances of your technology before using it. As Johanna Drucker and Patrik BO Svensson point out, middleware incorporates various rhetorical limitations—do these constraints limit access?
  • Aim for commensurability across modes. While multimodality can be a great way for users to interact with your text in different ways and with different senses, if information is not presented redundantly through different modes, it increases the chance that users may not be able to access your text. For instance, if a video delivers information both visually and aurally but doesn’t include captioning and description, then it becomes inaccessible for both blind and deaf users. And of course, delivering information through more than one mode helps all Captions, for example, allow hearing users to access the text in a noisy place, on an airplane with someone sleeping in the next seat, or on a device without audio capability.
  • Digital projects are more accessible when they are easily manipulable by users. For example, text that cannot be copied/pasted, as is the case in an image or some publishing platforms, might not be easily read with assistive technologies such as screen readers or braille pads.

Though digital media can present accessibility issues, when used critically and conscientiously, multimodal affordances open up the possibility of creating content that is more accessible to all users, regardless of level of ability.

Gabe Morrison is a first-year doctoral student in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Connecticut. His research interests include multimodal writing and graduate student writing instruction. You can contact him at gabriel.morrison@uconn.edu.