Archive for November, 2012

Hayden Library open until 2am for finals week, December 12-20

Posted November 30th, 2012 by Melissa Feiden

Hayden Library (14S-100) will be open until 2am each night during finals week, Wednesday, December 12th through Thursday, December 20th.  The extended hours are for the MIT community only.

The 24 Hour Study Spaces in Hayden and Dewey Library (E53-100) will remain open as usual during this time.

Winter vacation library hours will begin on Friday, December 21st.

Have questions?  Ask Us!


MIT Libraries closed for remainder of evening, November 29

Posted November 29th, 2012 by Melissa Feiden

Due to the power outage in Cambridge and on the MIT campus, the Libraries will remain closed for the remainder of the evening.  Libraries will resume normal operating hours tomorrow morning.

New video released: a conversation with philosophers Richard Holton and Peter Suber on open access

Posted November 26th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

In a new video, two philosophers, Professor Richard Holton, Chair of the MIT Faculty Open Access Working Group, and Peter Suber, author of the MIT Press book Open Access, discuss the significance of open access to research, and the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy. The video captures a live discussion held at MIT during global open access week in October, sponsored by the MIT Libraries and the MIT Press, and moderated by Director of Libraries Ann Wolpert.

The philosophers reflected on whether their discipline has motivated their support of open access to research and scholarship. Professor Holton indicated that his role as a moral philosopher has highlighted the rare position academics enjoy with respect to their writing:

“we’re not like journalists, we’re not like novelists, or composers, who have to sell their stuff…we are in this incredibly privileged position, where we can give [our articles] away, and that only adds to the benefit to us.

Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Open Access Project, and a Faculty Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said his “primary motivation” in supporting open access is not linked specifically to philosophy, but rather to his desire to seize the opportunity the web holds for scholarly publishing.

Holton explored the possibilities open access offers for this kind of change in the scholarly publishing system, identifying the “strong monopoly position” of some publishers as a key motivator for the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy. The Policy, Holton said, addresses the “mess” the scholarly publishing market is in by offering a “freely available database” of MIT-authored articles that is “indexed through Google Scholar and other search engines.” After making an article available in this database under the Policy, the author can still “go on and publish…with a scholarly journal,” which provides the “very important task as a kind of quality control.” He notes that MIT has made “about a third” of articles openly available since the faculty Policy was put in place.

Both speakers addressed the role of publishers moving forward. In Suber’s view, we need to “persuade publishers [that] adapting to the world of open access publishing is better than resisting,” a task that is becoming easier given the increasing momentum of open access. Holton emphasized that working antagonistically is not necessary, that

“there is a way forward for both us and the publishers.”

Suber and Holton agreed that the recent approach to open access recommended in the UK could be counterproductive. “I love the ambition” of making all of the UK’s research open access, Suber said, but the UK should “tweak the policy” so that it emphasizes depositing manuscripts in repositories, in addition to the current focus on publication in open access journals. Holton had reservations as well. The UK plan is “not a good way to go,” he says, and will lead to “double dipping” by some publishers and to “entrench[ing] the monopolies of these journals.”

Both philosophers continue to devote their time and energy to supporting open access to research, working towards lasting cultural change that will make open access — and thus wider and more equitable access — the norm. They look to the day when, as Suber said, it will be “unheard of to write an article and not deposit it in a repository.”

More information:

Scholarly publishing website
Podcasts & videos on scholarly publishing and copyright

OA research in the news: SHASS faculty win awards

Posted November 21st, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

Two MIT School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences faculty members have won awards for their work. Economist Anna Mikusheva received the 2012 Elaine Bennett Research Prize from the American Economic Association. The prize honors outstanding women researchers at the beginning of their careers. Mikusheva, who has PhDs in both economics and mathematics, studies econometrics theory.

Anthropologist Stefan Helmreich has won the 2012 Rachel Carson Prize for his book Alien Ocean. The prize recognizes works of social or political relevance in science and technology. Helmreich’s book, which has won several awards, explores marine biologists’ study of microbes.

Explore Professor Mikusheva’s research and Professor Helmreich’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

Get the most out of the World Bank eLibrary: webinar November 29

Posted November 20th, 2012 by Katherine McNeill

eLibrary logo

This session will provide a quick overview of the World Bank eLibrary and show you how to take advantage of its many time-saving tools for researchers.  It also will provide an update on the development of the new eLibrary website coming in 2013!

Webinar: November 29, 2012 from 10–11 AM EST

Devika Levy, Sales Manager, World Bank
Shana Wagger, Lead, World Bank eLibrary and eProduct Development

Registration is required to attend this event.

The World Bank eLibrary is the World Bank’s full-text collection of 8,000+ ebooks, flagship reports, journals, and other publications on social and economic development.

For more information about World Bank and other economics resources, check out our guide to economics resources and contact Katherine McNeill, Economics Librarian, at

Undergraduates and master’s students: gain experience in data analysis with ICPSR and win a prize!

Posted November 20th, 2012 by Katherine McNeill

ICPSR logo

ICPSR Summer Internship Program

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) now is accepting applications for its 2013 summer internship program for undergraduates, an NSF-funded program.

  • Explore a research question from start to finish — including literature searches, data analyses, and creation of a conference-ready poster on your research findings
  • Work in small groups and with faculty mentors
  • Gain experience using statistical programs such as Stata, SAS, and SPSS
  • Stipend given

For an example, see a video of a past ICPSR intern presenting on his research project.

Applications are now being taken through an on-line application portal. Two letters of recommendation are required, and can also be sent over the Web.

Deadline for application is January 31, 2013.

For more information, see ICPSR’s page on the program or contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian, at

ICPSR Research Paper Competition for Undergraduate and Master’s Students

Using data from ICPSR for one of your classes?  Submit your paper to the ICPSR Research Paper Competition and get a chance to win a $1,000 cash prize.

ICPSR sponsors the competition to highlight the best undergraduate and master’s student research papers using quantitative data from ICPSR.  The objective is to encourage students to explore the social sciences by means of critical analysis of a topic supported by quantitative analysis of a dataset(s) held within the ICPSR archive and presented in written form.

Deadline for submission is January 31, 2013.

For details on the competition and for help finding data in the ICPSR archive, see ICPSR’s page on the competition or contact Katherine McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian, at

Hayden 24-hour study room closed tonight for maintenance

Posted November 20th, 2012 by Melissa Feiden

The Hayden 24-hour study room will be closed for maintenance from 12am-8am on Wednesday, Nov. 20th. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Additional 24 hour study space is available at Dewey Library (E53-100).

Have questions?  Ask us!

Libraries closed over Thanksgiving holiday

Posted November 16th, 2012 by Grace Mlady

All library locations will close early on Wednesday, November 21st, and will close for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 22nd and Friday, November 23rd.  Details are as follows:

  • Reduced hours for Wednesday, Nov. 21: All library locations will close at 5:00pm (with the exception of the Institute Archives & Special Collections, which will close at 4:00pm).
  • All library locations closed Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 23.
  • All libraries resume regular hours on Saturday, Nov. 24.

Visit our hours page for a complete list of library locations and hours.

The MIT Libraries web site, Barton catalog, Vera, and access to electronic licensed resources will continue to be available during the holiday closing.

Have questions? Ask Us!

6 best ways to access library resources anytime & anywhere

Posted November 13th, 2012 by Remlee Green
The holiday season is upon us, and that means many of you will be working on projects & assignments as you travel. These 6 tips will help you make library research easier whether you’re on-campus or jet-setting around the world:
Luggage sign

Tom Maglieri. "Suitcase." 8/25/09. Flickr.

1. Go Mobile
Get popular library services on your smart phone through MIT Mobile Web, iPhone app, or Android app!  Search for, request, and renew books; manage Your Account; ask questions and so much more.

2. Take us anywhere
Access electronic licensed library resources from just off campus, or the far corners of the globe.

3. Make it easy
Get seamless access to journal articles by downloading LibX or by adding MIT to your Google Scholar library link settings.

4. Can’t find it at MIT?
Get almost any book or article in existence!

5. Help yourself
Discover our comprehensive list of resources by topic. From Aeronautics to Zotero, these resources gather all different information sources on one topic in one place for you! Find the best tools for market research or compare different citation management tools.

6. Stay connected
Set up RSS feeds and email alerts to help you find out about new literature in your research field. Or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

OA research in the news: Ocean feeding strategies

Posted November 8th, 2012 by Katharine Dunn

Detailed computer simulation shows how a patch of nutrients gets distributed in turbulent water. Image courtesy of Roman Stocker and John Taylor

Scientists have long believed that ocean-dwelling microorganisms need not move to gather food because turbulence distributes nutrients uniformly. Using a computer model that simulates a turbulent sea, Civil and Environmental Engineering associate professor Roman Stocker and colleague John R. Taylor have shown that some bacteria swim for food and others don’t, and that there are advantages and disadvantages to both. The study, published in the journal Science last week, is the first to show how the ocean environment affects feeding strategy. “We’re working at the interface between microbiology and fluid dynamics,” Stocker told the MIT News.

Explore Professor Stocker’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world viaDSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

Veterans Day library hours: Monday, November 12

Posted November 6th, 2012 by Grace Mlady

On Monday, November 12, the following libraries will open at noon (12pm):

All other library locations will be closed. Libraries resume regular hours on Tuesday, November 13.

Have questions? Ask Us!

MIT Libraries’ research contributes to award-winning redistricting software, DistrictBuilder

Posted November 2nd, 2012 by Heather Denny

A map in DistrictBuilder

As Americans head to the polls, few will give much thought to how their voting district was created, and almost none will have had any direct input in defining its boundaries. Voting districts are often created and adjusted in a highly politicized process with little voter involvement. A software program known as DistrictBuilder hopes to change that by making the redistricting process more open and collaborative.

The open source software developed by the Public Mapping Project, with software engineering by Azavea, a geospatial analysis company, won the “Data for Social Impact” Award at last week’s 2012 Strata Data Innovation Awards.

“The drawing of electoral districts has been among the most easily manipulated and least transparent systems in democratic governance,” said Dr. Micah Altman, MIT Libraries’ Director of Research and a principal investigator with the project. “DistrictBuilder has demonstrated that the thoughtful application of information technology and open data can promote public commentary and discussion about redistricting; inform legislators, redistricting authorities, and courts as to the range of possible plans; can signal public preferences over redistricting plans; and can educate the public about the electoral process.”

DistrictBuilder has already been used to support redistricting efforts in the states of Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Virginia and others. And in Philadelphia it was used for the first citywide redistricting contest, “Fix Philly Districts.” The public’s participation in these efforts reveals that average citizens are invested in the redistricting process and are willing to spend time drawing high quality plans using the online resource.

The software allows users to create and edit district plans, display demographics and election data, and show additional reference map layers, like school districts and administrative boundaries, among other features.

Altman and co-principal investigator, Dr. Michael McDonald from George Mason University, set out to encourage civic engagement in redistricting efforts, and demonstrate that a non-partisan and open, public process based upon objective criteria can produce fair, legal legislative districts.

“We are optimistic that the continuing effort to make redistricting more transparent and participative will create, over time, a ‘market’ for plans that support political fairness and community representational goals,” Altman said.