Archive for January, 2012

MIT Faculty Boycott Elsevier Journals

Posted January 27th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

Nearly twenty members of the MIT community have already signed a newly posted pledge to boycott Elsevier journals by refusing to publish, referee, or do editorial work “unless they radically change how they operate.”

The boycott was launched as a result a posting by Fields medal-winning mathematician Timothy Gowers in which he railed against Elsevier’s pricing practices and support of the Research Works Act. He suggested that a public website be created where others could join him in “refus(ing) to have anything to do with Elsevier journals from now on.”

Such a website now exists, and lists (as of the time of this writing) eighteen members of the MIT community, including Professors Scott Aaronson, Hal Abelson, Allan Adams, Hari Balakrishnan, Richard Holton, David Karger, Gerald Sussman, and Seth Teller as well graduate students Andrew Correa, John Hess, and Yarden Katz.

Professor Kai von Fintel also signed the boycott, and recently made a similar public statement on his web site.

Elsevier is one of the publishers pushing to repeal the NIH Public Access Policy through a bill, the Research Works Act and other legislation that, as the boycott website puts it: “aim(s) to restrict the free exchange of information.”

Everybody else loves LibX 2.0. Do you?

Posted January 25th, 2012 by Remlee Green

Thousands of MIT students, staff, and researchers have downloaded LibX.  6,303 of you, to be exact.  And we’re betting that thousands more will download the new version – LibX 2.0!

What is LibX?

LibX is a browser extension you can download for Firefox and Google Chrome.  LibX will give you easier access to MIT resources from anywhere and help you to:

  1. get access to journals easier and faster, especially from off-campus.
  2. search the Barton catalog, Vera, MIT’s WorldCat, and Google Scholar quicker – they’re only 1 click away from any web page.
  3. find out if books on Amazon (and other popular websites) are available to borrow from MIT Libraries.

What’s new with LibX 2.0?

The beta version of LibX 2.0 has just been released, and it works with Google Chrome and Firefox browsers.  The original LibX toolbar has evolved into a simple browser button, so the search bar won’t take up so much space on the screen.  It’s still easy to reload websites through the MIT proxy, and whether you’re on- or off-campus, you’ll be able to get to articles and other content supplied by the MIT Libraries quickly.

How do I get LibX 2.0?

Download the LibX 2.0 beta for Chrome and Firefox. After you download it, LibX will ask you to “select a LibX edition.”  Type “MIT,” select the “MIT Libraries” version, and you’re set!  See more info on installing LibX.

Questions or suggestions?

LibX 2.0 is still a beta, so if you hit any snags or have suggestions, contact betas-lib@mit.edu.

To test more new library tools, visit our Betas & Widgets page.

MIT Press First to Distance Itself from Publisher Association over Research Works Act

Posted January 25th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

MIT Press was the first publisher to publicly disavow the Association of American Publishers’ support of the Research Works Act, a bill which would make the NIH Public Access Policy, along with any other similar government effort to make taxpayer-funded research openly accessible to the public, illegal.

“The AAP’s press release on the Research Works Act does not reflect the position of the MIT Press; nor, I imagine, the position of many other scholarly presses whose mission is centrally focused on broad dissemination,” says Ellen Faran, Director of the MIT Press.

Many university presses are members of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and others have followed MIT Press in distancing themselves from the AAP’s action in recent days, including the University of California Press and Rockefeller University Press. Other publishers who are members of AAP have also spoken out against the bill, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Nature Publishing Group.

The Research Works Act “would forbid federal agencies to do anything that would result in the sharing of privately published research—even if that research is done with the help of taxpayer dollars—unless the publisher of the work agrees first” according to Jennifer Howard of the New York Times.

For more information:
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Who Gets to See Published Research?

New York Times: Research Bought, Then Paid For

The Guardian (UK): Academic publishers have become the enemies of science

Jazz in MIT oral history interviews, March 2

Posted January 25th, 2012 by Christie Moore
pomeroy

Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

Come hear interview excerpts of Herb Pomeroy, founding director of the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble (FJE), talking about the early days of the FJE, hiring Everett Longstreth to direct the MIT Concert Jazz Band, and recollections of notable alumni of these groups. Pomeroy was interviewed by Forrest Larson in 1999-2000 for the Music at MIT Oral History Project. Forrest will also play excerpts from interviews with Everett Longstreth and band alumni.

Friday, March 2, 2012, 1-2 pm
Lewis Music Library 14E-109
For more information: 617-253-5636

A Professor’s Personal Open Access Policy

Posted January 24th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

Kai von Fintel, Professor of Linguistics and Associate Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences has announced a personal open access policy. He sets requirements for openness for his journal articles, book chapters, and books.

For journals, he “will only publish in, review for, and serve on editorial boards for journals that allow authors to deposit at least the final manuscript version (“postprint”) in an open access repository (such as MIT’s Dspace or the Semantics Archive), without any embargo (such as having to wait for 24 months before making the OA version available).”

His publishing policy for book chapters is the same as for journals, but he “will consider reviewing books or book chapters that are not OA-friendly, because books are a different business from research journals,” though he “wish[es] that there was more movement towards OA books.”

As for books, Professor von Fintel will limit his publishing to books that “have a significant open access component, such as making at least the final manuscript freely available…”

Professor von Fintel has been taking action for more open access to research and scholarship for many years. In 2007, he launched an open access journal in his field, Semantics & Pragmatics, with a colleague, David Beaver. In 2009, he participated in the faculty committee that crafted the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy. He decided to post his personal open access policy publicly now because, as he tells it, “I had noticed that some of my publication and reviewing decisions were made in a rather unprincipled way that I later regretted. Having a clear personal policy will guide me towards making deliberate decisions in these matters.”

The passage of the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy makes it possible for faculty research to be shared openly on the web, von Fintel says, but a personal manifesto is still important because “faculty still have to make principled decisions such as choosing a journal that does not impose an embargo or exerts pressure to opt out of the OA Policy.”

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.

Notice something different? Homepage search box redesign

Posted January 18th, 2012 by Remlee Green

Have you noticed something different about the MIT Libraries homepage lately?  We recently changed a few things about the search box, based on usability testing with members of the MIT community.

redesigned search tabs

What’s different?

  • Search box tabs have been renamed to reflect the type of material you’re searching for, instead of the name of the search tool.  (For example, “Articles” instead of “Vera MultiSearch.”)
  • Two search box tabs have been merged – “Barton Catalog” and “MIT’s WorldCat” are now together on the “Books + Media” tab.
  • We added a new search box tab for “E-books.”
  • A new button answers, “What am I searching?

We realize that there are many different search boxes for finding material at the MIT Libraries, and we’re hoping that these changes will make finding things easier.  If you have ideas on the redesign, please send your comments to Tell Us!

Does something look strange about the page?  Or is something not working right?

Some users have reported that the homepage search box has some formatting issues or isn’t working properly.  If the homepage doesn’t look similar to the above image, or it isn’t searching correctly, you may need to clear your browser cache.  Eventually, your browser should clear the old page, but you can also clear your cache manually.

Follow instructions for clearing your cache in:  Firefox | Internet Explorer | Safari | Chrome

If those steps don’t help, please Ask Us!

Music author event Monday, Feb.13, noon

Posted January 18th, 2012 by Christie Moore

coverCome help celebrate the release of Dr. Frederick Harris’ new book, Seeking the Infinite: The Musical Life of Stanisław Skrowaczewski. The author will read excerpts from the book, show films of Skrowaczewski and play selections from his compositions. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Refreshments will be served.

Dr. Harris is music director of the MIT Wind Ensemble and Festival Jazz Ensemble. Listen to a Minnesota Public Radio interview,  see the book’s web site, or read a review.

Monday, February 13, 2012, noon
Lewis Music Library, 14E-109
For more information: 617-253-5636

Wikipedia announces 24-hour blackout to protest SOPA

Posted January 17th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

Wikipedia and other websites are going dark Wednesday January 18th to protest the legislation known as SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, H.R. 3261) and its Senate counterpart, PIPA, PROTECT IP Act (PIPA, S. 968).

SOPA is said to be drafted in a draconian manner that protects content providers while taking away reasonable “safe harbor” protections for internet site operators, with significant implications for universities and sites like Wikipedia and Facebook. The bill reportedly would shift liability for copyright piracy from the infringer to the host website and makes no provision for Fair Use.


In explaining the reason for the blackout, Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director, indicated that if passed, the legislation “would seriously damage the free and open Internet…. We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States — don’t advance the interests of the general public.”

For more information, see:
TED talk by Clay Shirky explaining the unintended consequences of SOPA and PIPA
Wikipedia article on the legislation
SOPA Strike
Video on PROTECT IP

Request & renew on the run – now for Android & iPhone!

Posted January 13th, 2012 by Remlee Green

iPhone app home screenHave a smartphone?  Many popular library services are available on the run through MIT Mobile!

Download the Android or iPhone app, or visit the MIT Mobile web site from your smartphone.  Then tap the “Libraries” icon to:

Find out more information.

What else would you like to see on the mobile web site? Give us your ideas!

Special thanks to the MIT Mobile Computing group for their help in developing the MIT Libraries’ mobile services.

 

MLK, Jr. Day Library Hours: Monday, January 16

Posted January 13th, 2012 by Grace Mlady

On Monday, January 16, 2012, the following libraries will open at noon (12pm):

All other library locations will be closed. Libraries resume IAP hours on Tuesday, January 17.

Have questions? Ask Us!

IAP hours begin Monday, January 9

Posted January 6th, 2012 by Grace Mlady

The MIT Libraries IAP hours begin this Monday, January 9.

Barker, Dewey, Hayden (Humanities & Science), Rotch
Monday-Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday-Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Lewis Music
Monday-Friday: 10am-6pm
Saturday-Sunday: 1pm-5pm

These hours will remain in effect through Sunday, February 5, 2012. The 24-hour study facilities in Hayden and Dewey libraries will remain open during IAP. For a complete list of library hours, visit our library hours page.

Have questions? Ask us!

IAP 2012: All Sessions for Week of January 30 – February 3

Posted January 3rd, 2012 by Mark Szarko

Check out all of the MIT Libraries IAP events for the week covering Monday, January 30 through Friday, February 3:

Alternate Reality Game (ARG) Creation Workshop
Mon Jan 30, 09am-01:00pm, 4-145
Tue Jan 31, Wed Feb 1, 10-11:00am, 4-145
Thu Feb 2, 10-11:00am, 4-265
Fri Feb 3, 10am-01:00pm, NE25-373
Register

Using Elevation Data and Hydrographic Tools in a GIS
Mon Jan 30, 02-04:00pm, 14N-132

MIT Libraries Bookmobile
Tue Jan 31, 11am-02:00pm, Bldg 32 (Stata)

Integrating Map APIs into your website and Using Google Fusion Tables
Tue Jan 31, 02-04:00pm, 14N-132

R and Statistics
Wed Feb 1, 09am-12:00pm, 1-115 Register

GIS Institute
Wed Feb 1, Thu Feb 2, Fri Feb 3, 10am-04:00pm, GIS Lab in Rotch Library 7-238

R Programming
Wed Feb 1, 01-04:00pm, 1-115 Register

Biotech Business Information for Engineers and Scientists
Wed Feb 1, 02-03:00pm, 14N-132 Register

Mendeley Basics
Wed Feb 1, 04-05:00pm, 14N-132 Register

Managing Your References: Overview of EndNote, RefWorks and Zotero
Thu Feb 2, 12-01:15pm, 14N-132 Register

Get the most from your “omics” analysis: GeneGo MetaCore Software Training
Thu Feb 2, 02-04:00pm, 14N-132 Register

Regression Using Stata
Fri Feb 3, 10am-12:00pm, 1-115 Register

Graphics in Stata
Fri Feb 3, 01-03:00pm, 1-115 Register

See the full list of IAP classes sponsored by the MIT Libraries for more details, including contact and sign-up information.

IAP 2012: All Sessions for Week of January 23 – 27

Posted January 3rd, 2012 by Mark Szarko

Check out all of the MIT Libraries IAP events for the week covering Monday, January 23 through Friday, January 27:

Practically Genomic
Mon Jan 23, Wed Jan 25, Fri Jan 27, 11am-1:00pm, 14N-132

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Mon Jan 23, 02-04:00pm, 14N-132

Introduction to Stata (Statistical Software)
Tue Jan 24, 09am-12:00pm, 1-115 Register

Big Docs in Word: Tips and Tricks to Format your Thesis
Tue Jan 24, 11am-12:30pm, 14N-132 Register

Introduction to R (Statistical Software)
Tue Jan 24, 01-04:00pm, 1-115 Register

GIS Level 2
Tue Jan 24, 02-04:00pm, 14N-132

Public Opinion Data Resources
Wed Jan 25, 10-11:00am, 14N-132 Register

Basics of Obtaining a Patent
Thu Jan 25, 12-1:30pm, 3-133 Register

Discovering and Using US Census Data
Wed Jan 25, 02-04:00pm, 14N-132

BIOBASE Knowledge Library and Explain Analysis System Training
Thu Jan 26, 11am-01:30pm, 14N-132 Register

Book Discussion: Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington
Thu Jan 26, 12-01:00pm, 14N-417 Register

VEGAS / VENICE: Cambridge-based Aerial Photographer Alex MacLean on their Beauty and Fragility from the Air
Thu Jan 26, 01-02:00pm, 4-237

Introduction to Spatial Statistics using GIS
Thu Jan 26, 02-04:00pm, 14N-132

Introduction to SAS (Statistical Software)
Fri Jan 27, 09am-12:00pm, 1-115 Register

Book Collecting as a Hobby: Embracing this Gentle Madness
Fri Jan 27, 10-11:30am, 14N-118 Register

Data Management in Stata
Fri Jan 27, 01-03:00pm, 1-115 Register

See the full list of IAP classes sponsored by the MIT Libraries for more details, including contact and sign-up information.

IAP 2012: All Sessions for Week of January 17 – 20

Posted January 3rd, 2012 by Mark Szarko

Check out all of the MIT Libraries IAP events for the week covering Tuesday, January 17 through Friday, January 20:

Arts and Culture Multimedia in the MIT Libraries
Tue Jan 17, 11am-12:00pm, 14N-132 Register

Managing Research Data 101
Tue Jan 17, 01-02:00pm, 14N-132 Register

Bioinformatics for Beginners
Tue Jan 17, 3:00-4:30pm, 14N-132 Register

Energy Information: Where to Go, What to Do
Wed Jan 18, 11am-12:00pm, 14N-132

Learn to use IPA during IAP
Wed Jan 18, 01-04:00pm, 14N-132 Register

Protocols and Methods: Recipes for Successful Research
Wed Jan 18, 05-06:00pm, 14N-132 Register

BrainNavigator: Hands-On Introduction and Demo
Thu Jan 19, 10-11:30am, 14N-132 Register

Apps for Academics: Mobile Web Sites & Apps for Your Academic Life
Thu Jan 19, 11am-12:15pm, 13-2137 Register

Fair Use and Electronic Reserves
Thu Jan 19, 12-01:00pm, 14N-132 Register

Patent Searching Fundamentals
Thu Jan 19, 01-02:00pm, 14N-132 Register

Energy Information: Industries and Statistics
Thu Jan 19, 03pm-04:00pm, 14N-132 Register

Energy Information: Maps and data to use with GIS
Thu Jan 19, 04-05:00pm, 14N-132 Register

Finding Research Datasets: ICPSR and the Harvard-MIT Data Center
Fri Jan 20, 10-11:30am, 14N-132 Register

Dear Diary — Before There Were Blogs
Fri Jan 20, 11am-12:30pm, 14N-118

RefWorks Basics
Fri Jan 20, 12-01:00pm, 14N-132 Register

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Fri Jan 20, 02-04:00pm, 14N-132

See the full list of IAP classes sponsored by the MIT Libraries for more details, including contact and sign-up information.

IAP 2012: All Sessions for Week of January 9 – 13

Posted January 3rd, 2012 by Mark Szarko

Check out all of the MIT Libraries IAP events for the week covering Monday, January 9 through Friday, January 13:

Archives.101
Mon Jan 9, 04-05:00pm, 14N-118

Make Your Own Decorative Paste Paper
Tue Jan 10, Wed Jan 11, 10am-12:00pm, 14-0513 Register

Bioinformatics for Beginners
Wed Jan 11, 10-11:30am, 14N-132 Register

Going beyond Google Scholar: Using the Web of Science and Other Citation Searching Resources to Discover Articles
Thu Jan 12, 12-01:00pm, 14N-132

The Revolution Will Be Well-Informed: Creating the Audre Lorde – Howard Zinn Library at Occupy Boston
Thu Jan 12, 01-02:00pm, 4-145

Weird Science: Finding the Unexpected in the Libraries’ Rare Book Collections
Fri Jan 13, 10:30am-12:00pm, 14N-118 Register

EndNote Basics
Fri Jan 13, 12-01:00pm, 14N-132 Register

See the full list of IAP classes sponsored by the MIT Libraries for more details, including contact and sign-up information.