Social Sciences

Altman joins MIT Libraries as Director of Research

Posted January 24th, 2012 by Heather Denny

Director of Libraries, Ann Wolpert, recently announced the appointment of Dr. Micah Altman to the position of Director of Research, Head/Scientist, Program for Information Science in the MIT Libraries. Altman will be responsible for leading and growing the Libraries’ active research program in applied information science.

He joins MIT after 15 years in a variety of research positions at Harvard University, most recently as the Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Quantitative Social Science, the Archival Director for the Murray Research Archive, and the Associate Director (through 2009) of the Harvard-MIT Data Center.

“Micah has deep experience in a broad range of research-oriented activities in the areas of information science, research data management, digital preservation, and scholarly communication – all areas that have great importance to the MIT Libraries,” said Wolpert.

Altman earned his undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Ethics and Political Philosophy from Brown University, and his PhD in Social Sciences from the California Institute of Technology. He was awarded a post-doctoral research fellowship in the Department of Government at Harvard University. In addition to an extensive background in quantitative social science and computer science, Altman has notable expertise in archiving, librarianship, research methods, and scholarly communication through his professional roles at Harvard. He is widely recognized for his writing and presentations on topics that are of considerable relevance to research libraries. Altman’s appointment will begin in March 2012.

Presentation on Research Data Management Services at Johns Hopkins

Posted November 4th, 2011 by Katherine McNeill

Please join us for a presentation by Sayeed Choudhury on the development of research data management services provided to the Johns Hopkins University research community by the Sheridan Libraries (http://dmp.data.jhu.edu/).  This presentation is being hosted by the MIT Libraries’ Research Data Management Team, which provides support for managing research data created at MIT (http://libraries.mit.edu/data-management).

Date:  Monday, Nov. 7th
Time:  2-3pm
Place: 6-120

Bio: G. Sayeed Choudhury is the Associate Dean for Library Digital Programs and Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center at the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University. He is also the Director of Operations for the Institute of Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES) based at Johns Hopkins. He is the Principal Investigator for the Data Conservancy, one of the awards through NSF’s DataNet program. He has oversight for the digital library activities and services provided by the Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University.

Date: Monday, Nov. 7th

>Time: 2-3pm

>Place: 6-120

New York City Tax Lot Data Now Available

Posted October 25th, 2011 by Lisa Sweeney

NYC Parcels

Detailed tax lot data for New York City from 2002 – 2011 is available through the MIT Geodata Repository.  Attributes include ownership information, building characteristics (number of floors, total units, year built, etc.), valuations for tax purposes, and more. Easily find available datasets by using borough names, like Manhattan, to search.

President of SSRN to Speak on “The Scholarly Communication Collider”

Posted October 21st, 2011 by Ellen Duranceau

Gregg Gordon, President and CEO of The Social Science Research Network (SSRN), will offer a presentation at MIT during Open Access Week. All members of the MIT community are invited to attend his talk, “The Scholarly Communication Collider,” on Wednesday, October 26 from 11:30-12:30 in 3-270.

Using data from the SSRN and other sources, Gregg Gordon’s presentation will provide a brief history of how scholarly communications have changed in recent years; discuss the need for article level metrics to help identify what we don’t know we don’t know; and outline an approach for using online communities to produce innovative results.

Mr. Gordon will reflect on how searching and accessing the right content, in the right place at the right time, has become the primary issue in our era of overabundance of scholarly research, and on the need to increase the efficient use of scholarly content and provide user-focused search tools.

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is a leading multi-disciplinary online repository of working and accepted paper research in the social sciences and the humanities. The SSRN eLibrary has delivered 46 million downloads and grown to over 346,000 documents and 164,000 authors.

ESRI Business Analyst available through MIT GIS Services

Posted October 19th, 2011 by Lisa Sweeney
Business Analyst

Business analyst data for Boston's Back Bay neighborhood

This package combines detailed data about business, consumer spending, demographics, segmentations, and major shopping centers with tools for analyzing geographically.

 

Find out more about the data types available and its capabilities.

Business Analyst Desktop is available in the MIT GIS Lab for teaching and research purposes. Business Analyst Online is also available for teaching in MIT classes. Contact gishelp@mit.edu with questions or if you would like access to Business Analyst Online for a class.

Welcome back! Check out what the Libraries did over your summer vacation.

Posted September 22nd, 2011 by Heather Denny

The MIT Libraries have been working hard during your summer vacation. Here are some of the new things you can look forward to this fall:

New resources

Library hours & study space

Upcoming Events

View the What we did on your summer vacation flyer (pdf).

GIS workshops – Fall 2011 Series

Posted September 19th, 2011 by Lisa Sweeney

MIT GIS Services

Come learn about creating maps and doing geographic analysis!

Register for the Fall GIS workshop series.

Workshops include:

  • Introduction to GIS – Friday, Sept. 23, 1-3:30 pm or Tuesday, Sept. 27, 4-5:30 pm.  This session will introduce students to open source and proprietary GIS options.
  • Introduction to GIS for Architecture – Wednesday, Oct. 12, 12:30-2 pm
  • Discovering and Using US Census Data – Tuesday, Oct. 18, 1-3:30 pm
  • Exploring Spatial Patterns using ArcMap – Tuesday, Nov. 1, 1-3:30 pm
  • Introduction to Spatial Statistics Tools and Analysis in ArcMap – Tuesday, Nov. 8, 1-3:30 pm
  • Introduction to Regression Analysis in ArcMap – Tuesday, Nov. 15, 1-3:30 pm

Access to Bureau van Dijk’s Databases Orbis and Zephyr Canceled

Posted June 30th, 2011 by Katherine McNeill

The MIT Libraries is unable to renew its subscriptions to Orbis, a worldwide directory of company information, and Zephyr, a database of merger and acquisition deals, due to large unbudgeted price increases for these resources.

The cancellation also applies to subsets of Orbis, including the following databases: Amadeus (European companies), Icarus (US companies), Osiris (public companies worldwide), and Bankscope (banks worldwide).  Access to these databases ceased on June 30, 2011 via their native interfaces and also via the WRDS platform.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause MIT faculty, staff, and students who work with these resources.  However, their cost in FY2012 is double that of FY2010.  Such an unprecedented rate of increase would have required the cancellations of multiple other resources which are necessary to support research and teaching in management and social sciences and which are more fairly priced for academic customers such as MIT.  While regrettable, the cancellations of Orbis and Zephyr will enable us to continue to support a range of content in all disciplines, on reasonable terms, to the MIT community in the future.

Alternatives to Orbis and Zephyr

The MIT Libraries currently subscribe to other databases that provide content similar to Orbis and ZephyrHoovers Online provides profiles of over 80 million companies worldwide.  LexisNexis Company Dossier provides profiles of over 40 million companies worldwide and includes options for exporting data. SDC Platinum available at a workstation in Dewey Library and via client software, provides access to information on mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, joint ventures and other deals worldwide.  Other databases for company information and financial data are listed in the following research guides:

We will continue to evaluate new products for potential purchase to provide additional access to company and deals information worldwide.

For questions about the cancellation or for research assistance, please contact Alex Caracuzzo, MIT Sloan, Management, and Finance Librarian at alex3@mit.edu, or visit Ask Us!.

ESRI ArcGIS 10 Downloadable

Posted May 12th, 2011 by mit-admin

The latest version of the ESRI GIS software (including ArcGIS/ArcMap) and ESRI Data and Maps are now available to the MIT community via download from: http://ist.mit.edu/services/software/esri/10

Use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to make maps and analyze spatial information. Learn more about using GIS for your teaching at research at MIT GIS Services.

MIT GIS Services Globe

Digital library partnership gives MIT access to additional online resources

Posted April 20th, 2011 by Heather Denny

The MIT Libraries have recently joined HathiTrust, a partnership of over fifty academic libraries that share the ambitious goal of building a comprehensive digital library of their shared collections.

Started in 2008, the HathiTrust digital library currently contains over 8.5 million digitized volumes representing the collections of partner institutions. HathiTrust’s collections include both copyright and public domain materials digitized by Google, the Internet Archive, and Microsoft, as well as partner institutions.  Founded by twelve universities from the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the University of California system and the University of Virginia, the partnership has now grown to include fifty-five institutions.  MIT and Harvard are two of the most recent universities to join.

Through the HathiTrust website, the public can search the full-text of 8.4 million digitized volumes, and get full online access to 2.2 million volumes that are in the public domain.  With the MIT Libraries membership, the MIT community will have the added benefit of being able to download full volumes of public domain works in PDF format, and also build and share collections using the Collection Builder feature.  Access will be provided to MIT users, with authentication through Touchstone, later this year.

Joining HathiTrust is one of several steps the MIT Libraries have recently taken to expand access for MIT faculty and students to print or digitized resources beyond the holdings of MIT.  In January, the Libraries announced their membership in Borrow Direct, a partnership with Ivy Plus libraries that gives the MIT community access to nearly 50 million print items. In February, MIT and Harvard libraries jointly announced an expanded alliance to explore collaborations for sharing library materials, advancing digital preservation collections practice, and developing future off-site storage facilities and services.

“In today’s interdisciplinary learning environment, it’s essential for our faculty, students and researchers to have access to an even wider array of information resources than ever before.  By collaborating with other outstanding research libraries, we can offer the resources necessary to support the cutting edge research and education that is MIT’s hallmark,” said MIT Director of Libraries, Ann Wolpert.

Wolpert added that it is important for universities to take a leading role in shaping digital libraries. “Libraries have been stewards of the scholarly record for centuries,” she said.  “We’re committed to the long haul.”

The MIT Libraries are actively involved in open access initiatives that support MIT’s mission to make scholarly knowledge openly available to the world.  Partnering with HathiTrust, an organization committed to collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge, is in line with the Libraries principles of supporting the long-term curation of the cultural record, and furthering global scholarship and research.

GIS courses available online through ESRI Virtual Campus

Posted April 19th, 2011 by Lisa Sweeney

Want to learn about GIS online, on your own time? The MIT community has access to many virtual campus courses from ESRI. Courses can help students learn many skills including: using ArcGIS, working in 3D, raster analysis, programming with Python, and creating mobile GIS applications. The virtual campus addresses a variety of topics including getting started with the basics of GIS and working with HAZUS – using GIS technology to estimate physical, economic, and social impacts of disasters.

The MIT community can sign up for ESRI virtual campus courses for free by emailing gishelp@mit.edu. For a listing of available courses visit the MIT GIS Services website: http://libraries.mit.edu/gis/teach/esrivc.html

For updates about GIS related events, new GIS data and software, and more subscribe to mitgis@mit.edu by visiting: http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/mitgis

Learn Quantitative Methods at ICPSR

Posted April 7th, 2011 by Katherine McNeill

Need to expand your skills in statistical methods and quantitative analysis? Attend the ICPSR Summer Program! Each year, ICPSR provides a comprehensive, integrated program of studies in research design, statistics, data analysis, and social science methodology. Registration is now open for the 2011 session.  Note: while most courses take place at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, some do take place at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

For a listing of course offerings and application information, see the ICPSR Summer Program web site.  For further information, contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian, at mcneillh@mit.edu.

Harvard and MIT Libraries Explore Far-Reaching Alliance

Posted February 4th, 2011 by Heather Denny

Hayden Library, MIT

Widener Library, Harvard University

New agreement reflects physical proximity, cross-registration, joint programs, and research affinities

The Provosts of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have charged their respective library systems to explore expanded collaborations for sharing library materials, advancing digital preservation and collection, and developing future off-site storage facilities.

Both institutions have identified increased collaboration between and among their complementary libraries as an essential element in developing the research library of the 21st century. While an ambitious level of collaboration is anticipated, each library system will remain engaged with and guided by the respective missions and priorities of each university. While enhanced collaboration may serve to reduce prospective costs, the focus of the collaboration is on the future of 21st-century library services, technologies, and collections.

“No single library system can expect to meet the full intellectual needs of the academic and research communities of MIT and Harvard,” stated Harvard Provost Steven E. Hyman. “A wide-ranging exploration of all opportunities for collaboration is of great interest to both institutions.”

Both formal and informal relationships already exist between the MIT and Harvard libraries. MIT has shared in the use of the Harvard Depository since its inception in 1985. A 1995 agreement between Harvard College Library (HCL) and MIT brought reciprocal borrowing privileges to faculty, researchers, and graduate students in both institutions. An April 2010 pilot program extended those privileges to undergraduate students.

While traditional library materials have been the focus of prior agreements, digital materials are at the forefront of the new alliance.

“The increasing primacy of digital materials brings its own urgency to our collaboration, ” observed MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif.  “As new models of online information delivery emerge, Harvard and MIT can support joint programs for open-access as well as joint acquisition and licensing approaches that are appropriate for education and academic research.”

Under the agreement, the two libraries will develop a four-tiered action plan by the end of 2011.  The four tiers are:

Reciprocal access to circulating collections

By developing linked access between Harvard and MIT library catalogs and implementing reciprocal privileges that extend to Harvard’s graduate and professional school libraries, library patrons can anticipate full access to 20 million volumes that users will experience as a single collection.

Enhancing digital preservation and collection practices

MIT and Harvard have earned leadership roles through their open access programs and repositories and through their respective approaches to digital preservation. High priority areas for collaborative growth include digital archives of faculty papers and web-based publications.

Developing wider access to electronic information

Questions of electronic serials pricing, and the costs of building digital information management and delivery systems, point to opportunities for Harvard and MIT to investigate new models for licensing agreements, as well as alternative, open access forms of publication that reflect each institution’s commitment to the dissemination of new knowledge.

Envisioning joint off-site storage facilities for the future

Harvard and MIT have shared the Harvard Depository for high-density, non-browsable, off-site storage since 1985. Together, the two universities could effectively anticipate both a new service model and an additional facility for off-site storage.

“We’ve enjoyed a collaborative working relationship with Harvard’s libraries for many years,” said Ann Wolpert, Director of the MIT Libraries.  “This new agreement builds on our successes and underscores the commitment we share to provide our communities with the best and broadest range of resources possible, and to be at the forefront of advancing the digital preservation of scholarly work.”

“In several ways, the libraries of Harvard and MIT are already united by proximity and affinity,” said Helen Shenton, Executive Director of the Harvard Library. “Our new agreement supports the distinct priorities of two very singular universities. At the same time, it challenges us to collaborate on a sustainable information ecosystem for the 21st century.”

Changing Access to JSTOR

Posted January 10th, 2011 by Ellen Duranceau

Because JSTOR has recently reported excessive, systematic downloading of articles at MIT, we need to add a new layer of access control. This is the only way to prevent recurrence of the abuse and therefore the only way to ensure ongoing access to this valuable resource for the MIT Community.

How this affects your access:

  • Whether you are on- or off-campus, you must use either the shortcut URL for JSTOR (http://libraries.mit.edu/get/jstor) or use the JSTOR link in Vera in order to be recognized as a subscriber.
  • Your current MIT status will be verified as you are passed through to the JSTOR site.
  • This change will take effect by Wednesday, January 12, and as early as Monday, January 10.

If you find you have any problem with access, please email econtrol-lib@mit.edu.

The incidents that prompted this change involved the use of a robot, which is prohibited by JSTOR’s Terms and Conditions of Use . Additionally, these incidents violated MITnet Rules of Use. Continued access to JSTOR and other resources is dependent on the MIT Community complying with these policies.

Thank you,
Steve Gass
Associate Director for Research & Instructional Services
MIT Libraries

Library Locations Closed Over Christmas & New Year's Holiday Week

Posted December 2nd, 2010 by Melissa Feiden
MIT winter scene

photo by: Tom Pixton

All MIT Libraries locations, with the exception of the 24-hour study facilities in Hayden and Dewey libraries, will be closed Thursday, December 23, 2010 through Sunday, January 2, 2011, as a cost saving measure to meet Institute budget reductions.

During the closure, the Libraries’ website, Barton, Vera and access to electronic licensed resources will be available.  However, most library staff will be on furlough and will not be available to offer assistance. A small number of staff will be on-call to address any reported system outages; reasonable attempts will be made to bring systems back online as soon as possible.

While it will continue to be possible to make online requests for some MIT Libraries’ services or materials, these requests will not be acted upon until the Libraries reopen.  Due dates for materials on loan have been adjusted to reflect the closure – no items will be due during this period and fines will not accrue.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

Visit our library hours page for a complete list of individual library hours.

Please send questions, comments or concerns to budgetfeedback-lib@mit.edu.

Read Impulsively

Posted November 15th, 2010 by Jim Eggleston
Books from Impulse Borrowing Display

Impulse Borrowing Display titles

Dewey Library’s Impulse Borrowing Display of selected new books occupies the low shelves flanking the stair to the Lower Level.

Check the display out and you are (practically) guaranteed to find something that you will want to read and, with luck, that will give you new ideas to think about.

- Some recent examples from impulse borrowing -

Want to learn more about Facebook?  Check out these titles
The Accidental Billionaires, by Ben Mezrich – HM742.M49 2009

The Facebook Effect,by David Kirkpatrick – HD9696.8.U64.F335 2010

Come browse the Dewey Impulse Borrowing Display.  You may be surprised by what you find!

Peter Diamond's Books on Display in Dewey Library

Posted October 27th, 2010 by Katherine McNeill

Diamond photo

In honor of Peter Diamond’s receipt of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, the Libraries have put its collection of his books on display in the Dewey Library Impulse Borrowing Section.  Come see his work on pensions, social security, taxes, government expenditure, and more.

Interested in examining Diamond’s thesis?  Access it online via DSpace@MIT, along with the theses many of the students he has advised available in the MIT Theses Collection.

Learn Stata, SAS, and R in Upcoming Workshops on Statistical Software

Posted September 27th, 2010 by Katherine McNeill

Looking to gain skills in working with statistical analysis software packages?  The following classes will be taught by the Harvard-MIT Data Center (HMDC) Statistical Trainer starting this week.  Note: pre-registration required; also, there will be time at the end of each session for individual assistance, so feel free to bring your research questions.

Where: All workshops held in 1-115.

Stata logo

1. Introduction to Stata

This workshop is designed for individuals who have little or no experience using Stata software. You will learn how to navigate Stata’s graphical user interface, create log files, and import data from a variety of software packages. We will also share tips for getting started with Stata including the creation and organization of do-files, examining descriptive statistics, and managing data and value labels.

When: Thursday, September 30th, 1-4pm; Space is limited: pre-register online

2. Data Management in Stata

Topics covered include basic data manipulation commands such as: recoding variables, creating new variables, working with missing data, and generating variables based on complex selection criteria. Participants will be introduced to strategies for merging datasets (adding both variables and observations), and collapsing datasets. Prerequisite: a general familiarity with Stata (such as taking the Intro. workshop).

When: Thursday, October 14th, 1-4pm; Space is limited: pre-register online

3. Regression Using Stata

This hands-on class will provide a comprehensive introduction to estimating the linear regression model using ordinary least squares in Stata. Topics covered include: univariate and multiple regression, dummy variables, interaction effects, hypothesis tests, assumption testing, and strategies for organizing model testing. Prerequisites: General familiarity with Stata, including importing and managing datasets and data exploration (such as taking the Intro. workshop); knowledge of the linear regression model and ordinary least squares estimation.

When: Monday, October 25th, 1-4pm; Space is limited: pre-register online

4. Graphics in Stata

Graphs are a powerful and memorable means of communicating quantitative information. This hands-on class will provide a comprehensive introduction to graphics in Stata. Topics for the class include graphing principles, descriptive graphs, and post-estimation graphs. Prerequisite: a general familiarity with Stata (such as taking the Intro. workshop).

When: Thursday, November 4th, 1-4pm; Space is limited: pre-register online

5. Introduction to SAS

This course is intended for individuals with little to no experience using SAS, a powerful statistical software package available on Athena.  With hands-on exercises, explore SAS’s many features and learn how to import and manage your data in SAS. Novices welcome!

When: Monday, November 15th, 1-4pm; Space is limited: pre-register online

6. Introduction to R

Get an introduction to R, the open-source system for statistical computation and graphics available on Athena. With hands-on exercises, learn how to import and manage datasets, create R objects, and generate figures. Novices welcome!

When: Monday, December 6th, 1-4pm; Space is limited: pre-register online

————————————
Can’t make these times? MIT affiliates can alternatively attend these workshops at Harvard.

Questions? Contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services and Economics Librarian, mcneillh@mit.edu.

Discussion and Q&A with Gioia De Cari from "Truth Values"

Posted September 20th, 2010 by Heather Denny

Monday, Sept.20 at 3pm in Killian Hall (14W-111)

Join us for a lively discussion and Q&A with Gioia De Cari from “Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp though MIT’s Male Math Maze,” an autobiographical solo show in which she reflects with wit and wisdom on her experience at MIT, the world of elite mathematics and the role of women in science.  The discussion will be followed by refreshments and a chance to win tickets to “Truth Values!”

This event is sponsored by the MIT Libraries in conjunction with “Tell her to go to it” an exhibit on women’s experiences at MIT. For more information about the exhibit see the gallery website, or contact maihaugen-lib@mit.edu.

Citation software classes offered in October

Posted September 14th, 2010 by Heather Denny

Learn how to manage your articles and cite your references more effectively in these hands-on workshops.  Register now for October.

All workshops will take place in the Digital Instruction Resource Center (DIRC), 14N-132.

Managing Your References:   Overview of EndNote, RefWorks, and Zotero

WHEN:   Wednesday, October 6, 5 – 6pm

Citation management software is an important tool in today’s academic world.   These software packages allow users to search databases, retrieve relevant citations, and build a bibliography, to be added to a paper or thesis or stored for future reference.  But which software product should you use, and how do you get started?

This session will focus on Endnote, RefWorks, and Zotero, the three major options for citation software at MIT.  We will compare the three and introduce some of the basic concepts and functionality of each program.

Please pre-register for this session.   Contact Mat Willmott with questions.

EndNote Basics

WHEN:   Wednesday, October 13, 5 – 6pm

EndNote is a “personal bibliographic software” package that allows you to create and manage a database of bibliographic references.  Come to this hands-on workshop to learn how to use Endnote to manage your citations, create bibliographies and more.

Please pre-register for this session.   Contact Peter Cohn with any questions.

RefWorks Basics

WHEN:  Wednesday, October 20, 5 – 6pm

RefWorks is a web-based resource to help you organize references, create a bibliography, and easily cite references as you write your paper.  It allows you to create individual or group accounts.

Please pre-register for this session.  Contact Anita Perkins with any questions.

Zotero Basics

WHEN:  Wednesday, October 27, 5 – 6pm

Zotero is a free, open-source program for Firefox that helps you collect, manage, cite, and share your citations and files.  With one click, you can save PDFs and citations for most articles, then cite them in Word or OpenOffice.  Make a searchable PDF library and find out how to publish dynamic bibliographies and collaborate by using group collections.  In this hands-on session, learn tips and tricks on how to use Zotero more efficiently to save you time and energy.  Bring a laptop or use one of our computers.

Please pre-register for this session.  Contact Remlee Green with any questions.