Data and Specialized Services: 2021/08 (Aug)

Featured question:

What have you done for fun this summer???

Rose & Orange wine sail in Portland, ME

Hand raising wineglass of orange rose, looking over boat railing at body of water

Mount Katahdin, Baxter Peak (Baxter State Park, ME)

Christine Malinowske & friends gathered around Mount Katahdin summit sign

Daniel: I practiced my SUP skills this summer:

Daniel Sheehan standup paddleboarding in silhouette agains rising/setting sun on large body of water. Coastline in distance.  Rising/setting sun over body of water, framed by trees in foreground..

Yes, Michigan!

3 photo montage: Amy Nurnberger standing on pier, backed by Lake Michigan and spit of land; Fresh baked blueberry pie; Shoreline of Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior

Ran into a Randi Shapiro (previously with the MIT Libraries) at the Berkeley Sailing Pavilion!

Also, we did some serious stuff:


  • A new round of Carpentries@MIT workshop with both a Python track and an R track took place in August 5-6 and 9-10.  It was co-taught by Ye Li, Ece Turnator, Madeline R Wrable, Daniel Sheehan, Christine Malinowski, Jennie Murack, and Phoebe Ayers, along with helpers  including LIRS, J-PAL colleagues, and graduate students who were past workshop participants. It is a demonstration of our growing instructor team and learning community. We were able to accommodate more registrants and reduce the size of the waiting list because of the larger helper pool and our additional effort in confirming earnest registration.The instructor team also made the collective effort to make the session more accessible for a visually impaired participant.


  • Wondering which repository to use for that shiny research data? DMS has you covered with an updated “Find a Data Repository” page . The DMS F.09 project is officially complete  (Christine Malinowski, Sadie Roosa)

Liaison, Instruction, & Reference Services: 2021/08 (Aug)

LIRS liaisons are already engaging with students in orientations and instruction.

  • The Libraries welcomed new graduate students with the webinar “Libraries 101,” presented by Tina Chan, Nina Davis-Millis, Jen Greenleaf, and Felicity Walsh.
  • LIRS re-entered the in-person classroom for the Technology and Policy Program (Jen Greenleaf), and EECS and IDSS new grad student orientations (Phoebe Ayers).
  • A new virtual workshop for UROP students in the Ideation Lab (Dept of Mechanical Engineering) resulted from a student request about best ways to integrate literature when ideating about design problems and  incorporating user-centered design in solutions to engineering problems. ( Elizabeth Soergel and Chris Sherratt).

On September 1, LIRS implements an appointment software that enables users to make an appointment directly on any participating liaison’s calendar.  Using the existing link for consultations, the user is guided to making an appointment which then updates in the librarian’s calendar. For staff who want to refer users to the appointment service, there are several ways:

  • The  link to consultations is available by the shortcut URL above and on the Ask Us page.
  • A QR code to the consultations page that Brigham created is available on posters in various library spaces.
  • Individual librarians can use a personal URL, generated within their settings, in email signatures or on libguides.

A new guide to Art in MIT Libraries, created by Kai Alexis-Smith, helps visitors to Hayden Library learn more about pieces in the library by BIPOC and LGBTQIA artists.   The work featured embraces diversity, acknowledging human experience, including both hardship and celebration. Visitors to Hayden are invited by QR codes to check out the Art Guide.

A new round of Carpentries@MIT workshops with both a Python track and an R track was co-taught by Ye Li, Ece Turnator, Madeline R Wrable, Daniel Sheehan, Christine Malinowski, Jennie Murack, and Phoebe Ayers, along with helpers from J-PAL and prior workshop participants. The larger helper pool enabled us to accommodate more registrants and reduce the waiting list. The instructor team collectively worked to make the session more accessible for visually impaired participants.

LIRSians are publishing:

  • Ye Li co-authored a peer-reviewed article on “Reducing open access publication costs for biomedical researchers in the U.S.A.” ( in MIT Science Policy Review (MIT-SPR) to highlight researchers’ perspectives on OA publishing. This journal, run by MIT graduate student, reaches researchers in the broader MIT community as well as policy makers.
  • Phoebe co-authored  “The Invisible Citation Commons” in Commonplace, an experimental journal hosted on PubPub by the Knowledge Futures group. The essay discusses the WikiCite project and open citations generally, which is a core but understudied part of the open access landscape. The essay is part of a collection (“The Business of Knowing“) about scholarly communication business models.
  • Nick and Elizabeth, along with Micah Altman, published their chapter titled “Data Literacy for Entrepreneurs: Exploring the Integration of Pedagogy, Practice & Research at MIT” in the book Teaching Critical Thinking with Numbers. The chapter looks at the use of data among students in 2.009: Product Engineering Processes, where student teams develop a specific product to meet an engineering need.

Discovery and PRIMO support continues to be a priority, as liaisons update language and links in libguides, help optimize results for commonly searched-for resources, and update documentation that supports public services.

TSOC hosted a meeting for teaching staff about library teaching spaces, highlighting the library  teaching spaces inventory, taking a walk through a service agreement, and hearing a bit about the Nexus and communications channels for teaching staff to stay up to date (on Slack, # instruction). Special thanks to Jennie Murack, Ola Mustapha, Olimpia Caceres-Brown and Nina Davis Millis!

Special mention for Rob Caplin, who is currently doing duty across several R&L units, for tackling a long “punch list” of tasks to help ready the offices and shared supplies and equipment in the Hayden Consultation Suite, among his other duties.

Research/CREOS: 2021/08 (Aug)

CREOS Updates for Aug 2021

Scholarly Communications & Collections Strategy: 2021/08 (Aug)

SCCS: 2021/08 (Aug)

  • Debbie: Keeping up with the requests to waive the Faculty OA Policy and OA outreach deposits.
  • Katharine: worked on RSC publication data for the brief summarizing the experience and development of the first Read & Publish agreement the MIT Libraries signed.
  • Deborah: Preparing for search committee work for the collection strategist position, collecting baseline data and developing a process to track Hayden 1st floor possible loss (compared to normal loss), preparing for restart of our Gobi autoship deliveries with New Urgency changes implemented. 
  • Sadie: Implemented first technical steps to efficiently process the backlog of OA articles in DSpace@MIT, presented Technical Demo of DSpace@MIT for Information Services Training, drafted reports on publisher’s statements about green vs. gold OA and comparing usage statistics between DSpace items and versions on publisher’s websites.
  • Eugenia: Continued Alma clean-up projects (deleting duplicate standalone portfolios for eresources titles; resolving DigProb questions related to clean-up issues), sent Jen Edwards title lists to set up EBA collections in Alma for completed EBA orders, sent first draft of CUP license to publisher with suggested edits, working with Katie on Alma licensing workflow. 
  • Courtney: working on odds and ends for Hayden reopening-Wellness collection & Collection Highlights pulled and shelved, added map signage to the basement; Attended 15th anniversary party for TRAIL and a few sessions of the NARTI conference; Reviewing KU STEM collections for OA wish list. Ongoing negotiations: T&F, Wiley, and SN. 
  • Laura: working on preparations for the Collection Budget Advisory Kickoff meeting in September, attended the National Anti-Racism Teach-in, coordinated the department’s contributions to the Collections Directorate Annual Report.

Research/CREOS: 2021/07 (July)

CREOS Updates for July 2021

  • CREOS advanced  preparation for the incoming postdoc cohort, developing an intake program evaluation
  • Philip Cohen and Micah Altman produced new revisions of their working papers on “Openness and Diversity in Journal Editorial Boards” and “The Scholarly Knowledge Ecosystem” — available on SocArxiv 
  • CREOS strategic planning

Scholarly Communications & Collections Strategy: 2021/07 (July)

SCCS: 2021/07 (July)

  • Sadie – Reorganized thesis collections in DSpace including landing page updates. Finished testing Automated Metadata Updates between Symplectic Elements and DSpace to help process OA Article deposit backlog. Started project with DLS to automate deposits of MIT-authored Wiley articles into DSpace.
  • Deborah: With the successful migration to Alma we are able to open the fiscal (FY open, allocations, reopening of Hayden and new collections on first floor) 
  • Courtney has been studying the new allocations, and pulling collections for displays in Hayden (wellness and Collection Highlights).
  • Sierra has been moving through the licenses, 575 records left to go through out of 1300. In the future new license terms will be found in Alma.  
  • Laura has been teaching a FSCI 2021 course with Katie and Ye. She recorded a presentation for the South African National Library and Information Consortium Conference, and will be virtually attending the conference the first week of August. She has also been working with Deborah to get the vacant Collection Strategist position posted. 
  • Debbie began updating our workflow documentation for processes involving Elements, DSpace, and Solenoid.
  • Katharine is working on creating a public facing libguide based on the OATF’s Recommendation 10 + incentive structures. She has been coordinating with ACM to correct some licenses on a couple of our MIT authored articles. And she also worked on a brief for the department on the Royal Society of Chemistry ahead of the next round of negotiations starting up with them in August.

Data and Specialized Services: 2021/07 (July)

Featured question:

I’m serving on a data governance/infrastructure committee for the Break Through Cancer Initiative. This effort is being led by Tyler Jacks and involves 5 different institutes (The Koch Institute, Dana Farber, MD Anderson, Sloan Kettering and Johns Hopkins). Our committee is charged with formulating a data management, infrastructure, governance, sharing plan that meets all the needs of the research projects while satisfying various institutional requirements…If possible, I’d love to have a zoom meeting with someone to discuss the topic.


  • We bid a fond farewell to Howard Silver as Head of Data & Specialized Services, and welcome Amy Nurnberger as Interim Head of DSS.



  • Initiated the Libraries’ client DOI-minting service implementation project. This service will provide support for the MIT research community and repositories across the Institute. It is aligned with Recommendations 7, 6, 10, and 11 from the Open Access Task Force report.
  • Kicked off the Digging into Data experience in partnership with LIRS. This is a scaffolded experience for learning about the types and roles of research data within a discipline, exploring research methodologies and tools, understanding current data management practices, and applying the perspectives of information professionals and DEI to assess and improve processes.
  • Summer workshops: Quick & dirty data management (Phoebe Ayers w/ Ece Turnator);  Open Refine (Christine Malinowski w/ Ye Li & Sadie Roosa); File Organization (Christine Malinowski w/ Joe Carrano); Data Management for Postdocs and Research Scientists (Ece Turnator & Phoebe Ayers)


  • Summer workshops: GIS Level 1 & 2 (Nick Albaugh, Jennie Murack, Daniel Sheehan, & Madeline Wrable);  Remote Sensing 1 & 2 (Madeline Wrable)

Data and Specialized Services: 2021/06(June)



  • Christine led the DMS team through a second accessible documents training session that focused on accessibility remediation in Adobe Acrobat. This is part of our larger initiative to make all publicly available DMS materials fully accessible.
  • DMS added an Accessible Materials statement to the DMS website.


  • Madeline and Jennie provided an hour long workshop for ESI fellows, which covered combined and overview of GIS and using census data.

Liaison, Instruction, & Reference Services: 2021/06 (June)

LIRSians completed their Primo and ALMA cohort training, assisted with some testing, and are now planning for resources to support users, as well as contributing to the future enhancements discussion.

Hayden-dwelling LIRSians began participatory work on norms for the Hayden Consultation Suite, in collaboration with SCCS.  They will keep in touch with the ADLIB team working on the kitchen norms which, although inside the Consultation Suite, is a space that will be used by all staff.  Laura Hanscom, Lisa Horowitz, and Karrie Peterson are coordinating.


LIRS has a new Teaching and Learning Team – Jen Greenleaf, Chris Sherratt and Jennie Murack, convened by Karrie. Besides planning user support resources for Primo, the team is helping to get teaching spaces ready for opening the libraries in the Fall in collaboration with Olimpia Caceres-Brown and Ola Mustapha, and reviewing other projects on the T&L Team workplan for bandwidth in coming months.

Elizabeth Soergel consulted on curriculum, our library “learning to learn” module, and a video on self-directed learning with a curriculum design expert from the School of Engineering’s NEET program (a program offering real-world, problem-based engineering curriculum to 3-year cohorts across 5 disciplines.)

The Teaching Spaces Oversight Committee (TSOC) is being reconstituted as a cross-departmental team to manage and oversee teaching spaces in the libraries, and to support and help ITS in managing these important spaces. 


LIRS has a new Reference Team – Tina Chan, Nick Albaugh, Phoebe Ayers and Shikha Sharma, led by Tina as program manager. The team will be working on updating user guides to Primo, working with ID&LA to develop a new service model for reference that will include making appointments, and other projects drawn from their workplan.

Teams and Projects

SSM (Social Sciences and Management) team has drafted a memo for R&L directorate leadership that aims to contribute to a more general discussion among all stakeholders of how best to select, acquire, present and manage datasets that are part of library collections.

Outreach & Research Support

Ece Turnator has joined the SHASS search committee for a landmark hire. Her immersion in a related class this past spring gives her perspective additional weight for this recruitment. With funding from the Provost’s Office, MIT has been authorized to hire a full-time, one-year visiting lecturer in Native American History (position in the History Department). The lecturer will teach the class on MIT’s Native and Indigenous History in partnership with MIT Libraries staff. 

To advance discovery for researchers taking part in the work around climate change, and support MIT’s Energy Initiative (MITEI), Chris Sherratt and Sadie Roosa collaborated to move the MIT Energy Lab papers (dating from 1972) out from one of the Lab’s intermediary names, the Laboratory for Energy and Environment (LFEE) and into the currently named community, MIT Energy Laboratory.

Publications/ Professional Contributions

Kai Alexis Smith co authored article “CSU Dreamin’: A Case Study of Collaboration Across the California State University System with Art, Architecture, and Performing Arts Librarians.” in ARLIS/NA’s June issue of Art Documentation. Read the article in Dspace here:

Research/CREOS: 2021/06 (June)

CREOS Updates for June 2021

  • CREOS extended job offers to three postdocs and all of them have been accepted. We look forward to the arrival of these postdoc associates in September.
  • CREOS is developing a curriculum and a mentoring program for the incoming postdocs. 
  • Philip Cohen and Micah Altman developed a working paper “Openness and Diversity in Journal Editorial Boards” and it will be available soon from SocArxiv
  • Some of Micah Altman’s outside work on designing technically-aware information privacy in law was published in JOSTL The research began as a grant within the Libraries, Harvard University Privacy Tools (2014-2019), and continues to involve collaborations with the original team.
  • The first meeting of the CREOS advisory committee was held.

Scholarly Communications & Collections Strategy: 2021/06 (June)

SCCS: 2021/06 (June)

  • Deborah placed the orders for the five approved Evidence Based Acquisition (EBA) proposals. She completed loading the 2019 and 2020 COUNTER data into the data warehouse improving our usage reporting capabilities, and has been working on the allocations for FY22. With Laura, she met with the Libraria stakeholders group and provided feedback on the group’s recent activities.
  • Courtney reviewed the Taylor & Francis (T&F) EBA for CRC overlap, worked on investigating place name issues with a geology bulletin, and reviewed China Research Gateway resource. The Negotiations team is still working on SpringerNature, T&F and Wiley, and discussed Academic Library economic climate issues with SciFinder as part of ongoing price transparency discussion.
  • Katharine updated some workflows for some of our OA agreements and is working with faculty member, John Lienhard, on an OA policy for internal grants.
  • Debbie finished the first part of updating the department’s workflow documentation for Elements, DSpace submissions, and Solenoid by cataloging our existing wiki pages. 
  • Sadie gave her presentation titled “Increasing the A in OA: How accessibility work in repositories should influence publisher agreements” at Open Repositories 2021. She has also been working closely with Emily Crawford on a OA Multiphase Metadata Production proposal that will help alleviate the backlog issue in the OA Collection in DSpace.
  • Laura has focused on helping the department set our goals for the next year, and working on performance reviews. She connected Katharine and Debbie with AIP for the R&P, and manuscript delivery components of the new agreement. And she, Erin, and Deborah met with the A&H CoP to learn more about the community and the specific challenges and opportunities they have.

Community Engagement: 2021/06 (June)

  • Preparations to go live with Hayden are proceeding!
  • The Community Engagement program will be responsible for general oversight of The Nexus (the new event space on the first floor of Hayden)
  • We’ll also be handling requests to hold events in the Building 14 Courtyard.
  • Procedures for requesting these spaces are in the works.  For now:
    • Requests to use either space or questions may be emailed to
    • All of this information will eventually be made available on the web site, and thanks for your patience – it’s a work in progress

Marketing & Communications: 2021/06 (June)

  • In the media for June
  • Recently completed: Digital Humanities & Libraries collaboration story, Libraries map
  • Current and upcoming projects: Hayden renovation communications and celebration team planning; Alma/Primo communications; Fall services communications planning; orientation materials

Data and Specialized Services: 2021/05 (May)

Featured question:

A community in Wilmington MA that has fought to bring attention to the toxic waste dumped in their community. The discovery of NDMA in the water which has been linked to elevated levels of childhood cancer in the town has got the site designated as a priority superfund site. The community has a trove of documents/letters about the history of the site. We think it is worth archiving and would love to talk to a librarian about: 1) If MIT could host this archive, 2) Help with organizing it. I have digitized most of the documents already. Thank you!



  • Christine Malinowski led the group through a LaTex/BibTex refresher, in response to these resources having a surge in requests from patrons lately.


  • The DMS team has finalized their FY22 projects.
  • Ye Li led two events for the American Chemical Society:
    • Making the “Preparing Chemical Data for Publishing and FAIR Sharing” Workshop (panel)
    • Cultivating Good Data Practices among Chemists (symposium)


  • Madeline Wrable and Nick Albaugh presented on GIS, RS, public repository, and private (Planet) repositories for the class 16.89: Space Systems Engineering.