Digital Scholarship @ CUA: On the Road to Research with Don Quixote and Sancho

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza 3 .Madrid. Detail of Monumento a Miguel de Cervantes by Kullo-Valera (1876 - 1932) by Vitold Muratov
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza 3 .Madrid. Detail of Monumento a Miguel de Cervantes by Kullo-Valera (1876 – 1932) Picture by Vitold Muratov

2015 is the four hundredth anniversary of the novel Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel Cervantes. This article by Arturo Conde (NBC News) Cervantes Don Quixote Has become a Handbook for Life likens Don Quixote to a superhero – “a man who created a new identity, made his own armored costume, and fought to change the world into a better place.”

Readers treat the novel like an “open book with blank pages” because depending on where they are in life, they can see themselves reflected in many ways.

Blank pages is an apt metaphor for the beginning of an academic year; a new life on a college campus for First Year students and new challenges for all undergraduates; a deeper dive into research and teaching for graduate students; and new students, conversations and opportunities for faculty.

Blank pages mean something entirely different to the librarians collaborating with researchers. Librarians abhor blank pages – whether they be print or digital. We want those pages filled with the essential research you need. For your research quest – your essential research needs –  reach out to your liaison librarian, not so much squires, as subject experts, all! Continue reading “Digital Scholarship @ CUA: On the Road to Research with Don Quixote and Sancho”

Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Public Good

Vannevar Bush AwardAt universities around the country, Fall 2015 is mere weeks away. At The Catholic University of America (CUA) Resident Assistants are moving in this week. Teaching Assistants will have a syllabus writing workshop this week. Next week, new faculty, graduate students and, best of all, the Class of 2019 will move onto to campus! The CUA Liaison Librarians are gearing up to collaborate with learning communities – from First Year Experience students; to Graduate Students; to  Distance Learners; and new and experienced Faculty facing new teaching opportunities.

Remembering my first graduate class in Library and Information Science, one of our first seminars included reading Dr. Vannevar Bush’s classic essay As We May Think. In 1945 Dr. Bush comments “The world has arrived at an age of cheap complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it.” Something did come of it, the Internet (originally envisioned as “memex” by Dr. Bush.) With the rise of the Internet, research universities have been instrumental collaborators in connecting and preserving knowledge. Continue reading “Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Public Good”

Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Impact Summer

IMPACTResearch metrics in the news!

In June 2015 Thomson Reuters Breaks New Ground in Journal Evaluation with Release of 40th Annual Journal Citation Reports.

In July 2015 JISC published a report The Metric Tide: Report of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management with key details reported in Data infrastructure key to the quality and impact of UK research.

This led to a review of the report with accompanying video here: Independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment.

This report has garnered a high level of interest and commentary, including this quote from Metrics: how to handle them responsibly:

According to the report, responsible metric use involves being transparent about the use of a range of robust metrics that are inclusive of all fields, while bearing in mind the potential wider effects of their use and “updating them in response”. Curry admits that this notion of responsibility is not a new one: it has already been pushed in recent declarations against the misuse of metrics, such as 2013’s San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment and 2015’s Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics.

How do you really measure impact?

And researchers this email seems to be making the rounds again this summer – Beware of Spam Email With Offers to Promote Your Research.



Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Summertime Learning

Where do you find your learning opportunities this summer? Online learning in the form of webinars, university courses, educational platforms or subscription services provide a myriad of ways to learn new skills and keep up with advances in software and digital tools.

Professional organizations  and universities

The State of E-Learning in Higher Education: An Eye Toward Growth and Increased Access

 Webinars in Higher Education

Coursera Courses 

Why not take advantage of the online learning video library at during the summer break? Hit the ground running in the fall with courses on graphic design, time management, presentation skills, and so much more. Visit our page to get started! Check out their Playlist Center, or view all subjects.

Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Learning Digitally

Next week we will share some ways we collaborate and learn digitally. Learning now happens at the desktop – even mobile – level with the use of webinars, MOOC’s and video tutorials.

This week, we suggest you try a podcast. This American Life and Chicago Public Media debuted the podcast in Serial with 12 episodes in the Fall of 2014 and reached a global audience. A podcast can breathe life into a subject as a passionate researcher explains and clarifies and tells a good story.

This podcast by David Weinberger, based on his paper The Rise, Fall, and Possible Rise of Open News Platforms: The Twisty Path towards a Net Ecosystem That Makes News More Discoverable, Reusable, and Relevant explores the news industry and the use of digital tools, API’s.

If you are interested in more on podcasts and higher education you might read: Lonn, S., & Teasley, S. D. (2009). Podcasting in higher education: what are the implications for teaching and learning?. The Internet and Higher Education, 12(2), 88-92.

Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Trending RX for Higher Ed

Trending reports from the New Media Consortium 2015 Higher Education edition Horizon Report and the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. OCLC’s The Evolving Scholarly Record remind us of the evolving world of information resources and services. This slide from Rick Erway (OCLC) sums up the changes. The most telling feature of this slide may be the words “the entire process.”

Other new reports focus on Digital Technology tools for higher education and research beyond the literature review – the meta-analysis of information resources.

Working with faculty and researchers it is clear that it is no longer enough to provide the right book or database or article. Complex research demands engagement with multiple sources and systems and tools.

RX = Researcher Experience

The fact is: Scholars today are becoming experts at traversing an ever-changing system of onramps onto the scholarly information superhighway. This RX reality means that we need to support the way research is really done (not the way we wish it would be done). From Guest Post: Lettie Conrad on Metadata Promiscuity and the Researcher Experience, June 30th, 2015

See also: Guest Post: Lettie Conrad on Understanding the Researcher Experience, Apr 21, 2015; and Blazing New Paths: Charting Advanced Researcher Patterns, ACRL 2013

Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Newly Published

DateSign_May15_June16Newly Published will periodically highlight research produced at The Catholic University of America. These entries are indexed from the Web of Science (Arts & Humanities Index; Social Science Index; and Science Citation Index.) The entries below were indexed from May 14 – June 16, 2015.

Continue reading “Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Newly Published”

Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Link Rot

Libraries care about “discovery” and usage statistics to justify the high costs of scholarly resources.  Libraries also deeply care that these scholarly resources can be discovered and used for generations to come. The Internet has made the art of curation much more complex. CUA Archivists have elegantly written about their new dark arts of digital curation:

Last week the topic here was persistent identifiers and all the players in the scholarly ecosystem. This week we reiterate why this is important, as we look at scholarly products. Continue reading “Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Link Rot”

Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Persistent Identifiers

Why we care and the cost of research
Water droplet with the earth in it
Image courtesy of Planeta Água

Libraries care about “discovery” and usage statistics to justify the high costs of scholarly resources. Researchers need to find sources that are available and use and attribute them ethically. Faculty researchers want to do their research, but need to get grants, publish research and be cited. In this age where “Google rules,”  student researchers want access to everything now. Government agencies and funders want to track return on investment for public funding of research. Businesses and citizens benefit from products of scholarly research. We all benefit from life saving drugs and procedures of medical research. We should all care about research. All of these entities are intertwined in our increasingly complex scholarly ecosystem.

The players

In this age of digital scholarship, the scholarly ecosystem involves players, systems and tools that need to be interoperable and machine-readable. Finding and accessing and reporting on research involves:

Understanding this ecosystem – and where researchers and librarians fit – is no easy task.

Persistent identifiers

If we think about a single scholarly article, the metadata that explains that piece of work and makes it discoverable and accessible and accountable may have identifiers that include the author(s), the format, the institution, the funder, the publisher, any restrictions to access, and the repository or web site where it resides. These pieces of metadata are all persistent identifiers of that piece of work.

This slide (provided from ORCID which is fast becoming a persistent name identifier for researchers and acts as a hub for all the other parts of the ecosystem) gives you a picture of how the interconnected players work in this ecosystem.

What is ORCID?
ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers. ORCID is unique in its ability to reach across disciplines, research sectors, and national boundaries and its cooperation with other identifier systems.

This blog post comes to you from

More on the importance and players of the scholarly ecosystem next week.


Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Wolfram Alpha – Not Just for Math!

Word Clod of song lyrics
Wolfram Alpha generates word clouds from song lyrics!

Next time you want to check Wikipedia for basics – try Wolfram Alpha to see how much more you get! Wolfram Alpha isn’t just for math anymore, it generates word clouds of song lyrics, and is pushing the limits of computation and art and music.

Summer is a good time to up your digital game –  try new things or re-visit digital tools you haven’t used lately. Our suggestion today is Wolfram Alpha and the new cool things it can do. Wolfram Alpha is NOT a search engine. Think of it as your geekiest librarian friend.

Wolfram Alpha is an engine for computing answers and providing knowledge. [Source]

In 21 Cool Non-Math Things You Can Do With Wolfram Alpha, Evan Dashevsky explains that if you are looking for numbers, Wolfram Alpha is the place for you; but it may aid writers and social scientists, too.  Especially helpful for our summer game playing will be the ability to get scrabble scores for words; it also analyzes for anagrams and rhymes. It can determine blood alcohol levels, translate into Morse code or ancient pictographs, generate nutrition labels and Wolfram Alpha has new capability with image detection. It is experimenting with Wolfram Tones for music creation. Continue reading “Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Wolfram Alpha – Not Just for Math!”