FYI News and Opinion of Interest



‘The Shrinking Mega-Journal’

Fewer researchers are publishing their work in PLOS ONE, the world’s largest scholarly journal, as the open access publishing world continues to grow and evolve, Inside Higher Ed reports this month. Last year the mega-journal published 22,054 articles, a 22 percent drop from 2015.

Increasing competition and cost are cited as likely factors in the drop for PLOS ONE, which is produced by the nonprofit Public Library of Science. In 2016, the journal raised the publication fee it charges authors to $1,495 per article from $1,350, according to Inside Higher Ed.

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Monitoring the OER Revolution

University Business magazine takes a look at colleges and universities around the nation that are making extensive use of open educational resources to lower the cost of higher education.

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MIT makes a ‘moon shot for libraries’

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is inviting librarians, researchers and others to review and even comment on its preliminary report on the “future of libraries.” The document is the result of a yearlong collaboration between faculty members, staffers, and students to determine "how the MIT libraries ought to evolve to best advance the creation, dissemination and preservation of knowledge; and to serve as a leader in the reinvention of research libraries," according to the institute. 

Speaking with Inside Higher Ed, MIT Director of Libraries Chris Bourg called this ambitious project a “moon shot for libraries.”

Find Inside Higher Ed’s recent article on the report here.

Links to the Future of Libraries Task Force Preliminary Report are available here.



New Version of Scholarly Communication Toolkit Released

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) has released a new version of its popular Scholarly Communication Toolkit. The Toolkit has been updated with new and revised content and is now hosted through Springshare's LibGuides. The Toolkit, developed and maintained by the ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee (ReSEC), continues to provide content and context on a wide range of scholarly communications topics and offers resources and tools for the practitioner. ACRL and ReSEC enlisted Christine Fruin, Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of Florida, to completely revise and redesign the Toolkit and migrate it to ACRL's LibGuides. The new Toolkit features sections on topics such as fair use, public access mandates, and library publishing in addition to more fully developed sections on open access publishing and repositories. The ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit is freely available online and licensed through Creative Commons.


USF Libraries Form Digital Scholarship Services Unit

A Digital Scholarship Services unit was recently established at the University of South Florida Libraries to focus on providing research materials in an open access format for researchers worldwide, ACRL’s College & Research Libraries News reports. “USF has a universe of remarkable collections, and now they will be accessible without the need to come to our building in person to dig for them,” said Carol Ann Borchert, the newly appointed Director of the DSS unit.

The Digital Scholarship Services unit was one result of a yearlong collaborative strategic planning exercise conducted at USF Libraries under the leadership of Dean of Libraries Todd Chavez.



Freedom to information! Marking Open Access Week

What’s the impact of thoughtful, insightful writing if only a handful of people ever read it?

With an eye to seeing more scholarly publications freely shared, several institutions in the state university system will observe Open Access Week, Oct. 24-30, with events for faculty and students.

OAW logoThe theme for this year’s week is “Open in Action,” and it’s “all about taking concrete steps to open up research and scholarship and encouraging others to do the same,” an event web page explains. 

Traditionally, scholarly literature has been published in costly journals, its distribution limited by highly restrictive copyrights. For more than a decade, however, advocates of open access have been working to change that model. They urge the publication of works that are “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions," to quote a leading proponent, author and scholar Peter Suber.

Because scholarly journals in most fields have not traditionally paid authors, the model does not cost scholars income. Faculty members who publish materials as open access also do not give up all copyrights. For more details on how open access works, along with information on finding open resources, see the online guide maintained by George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida.

The annual Open Access Week is sponsored by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), the “global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education.” Through open sharing, SPARC aims to “democratize access to knowledge, accelerate discovery, and increase the return on our investment in research and education.”

In Florida

The University of Central Florida is promoting a fun approach to Open Access Week and open educational resources with a pirate-themed web page of events headlined, “If you’re going to be a pirate, be a legal pirate.” The university plans pirate-themed games at the library along with three workshops related to open access and resources.

Other state institutions marking the week include:

  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida State University
  • Florida Gulf Coast University, whose library is promoting events such as an Open Access Week Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, which “aims to strengthen the content of existing Wikipedia articles by adding citations to Open Access research,” on Facebook


FALSC isn’t planning any fun events for Open Access Week, but open educational resources (OER) and open access are priorities for our organization and the colleges and universities it serves. A task force made up of FALSC staff and representatives from state institutions recently issued a report on the subject, “An Action Plan for Building a Statewide Infrastructure to Support OER in Florida’s Public Institutions of Higher Education.”

FALSC also provides platforms for open access publishing, including the Florida Online Journals platform for journal publishing and Islandora for digital library publishing. State university and college libraries can request more information by contacting



Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute Graduates

Seven college and university staff graduated from the yearlong Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute (SSLLI) program in July. SSLLI, a program of the State Library of Florida, offers library staff opportunities to learn new leadership skills and apply them in a seminal project. Each participant is paired with a mentor, many of whom come from the academic library sector. Participants meet monthly with their class and instructors. The program is competitive and open to staff from all types of libraries. Now in its 13th year, SSLLI was started by Elizabeth Curry, Library Dean at University of North Florida.

Here’s a brief look at each graduate’s SSLLI project:

Robin Etter (Lake-Sumter State College) created a six-part nutrition series entitled "What's Cookin' at the College?" Presenters included college faculty, as well as nutritionists from area hospitals. The project successfully combines the resources of the college, the public library and the local community health agencies. The series was so successful that it will be followed by additional series each semester, covering a wide range of topics.

Ingrid Purrenhage (Pasco-Hernando State College) created a library referral system for faculty to use to refer specific students to the PHSC libraries for individual help. This system will work across all five campuses and serve both face-to-face and online students and faculty.

Nora Rackley (Lake-Sumter State College) developed a myriad of fun, engaging outreach activities to attract students to the library. Among the activities: A “blind date with a book” event, a presentation on how to be an informed voter (which coincided with Florida’s presidential primary election), and a cookbook club where participants chose a recipe, prepared it at home, and brought it to the event.

Kristin Sakmar (University of South Florida) provided and promoted training to faculty and staff on the author identification system, ORCID, to make it easier to locate/identify faculty publications and research at USF.

Cat Silvers (University of North Florida) revamped the new student orientation tours at UNF libraries.

Heather Snapp (Florida Gulf Coast University) implemented a highly successful library-student ambassador program, where students partnered with librarians to provide reference services, assisted with teaching, and developed and participated in special projects and events in an effort to reach more students.

Melissa VandeBurgt (Florida Gulf Coast University) managed the initial pilot of ORCID. The ORCID initiative is a primary step in the library’s strategic plan to create a robust scholarly communications program at FGCU.




MAY 2016

National Faculty Survey

Ithaka S+R’s latest national faculty survey reveals the intersection of institutional performance goals to improve student success rates and faculty concerns about students' ability to search for and evaluate information accurately. Academic libraries play a critical role. More about this study can be found online.


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