Posts with the tag: digital scholarship

Love Data? We do! Learn about Love Data Week

Don’t we all love data? Love Data Week (Feb. 14-18) is an international celebration of data hosted by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Love Data Week is a project to raise awareness of the importance of data in our daily lives. This is an opportunity to engage the larger community through such topics as data analysis, preservation, curation, dissemination, sharing, and reuse. This year’s theme is “Data is for Everyone.” You can follow LDW on social media with the hashtag #LoveData22. Check out the events happening internationally. There are some useful website links on working with data at the end of this blog.

About the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

This is the second year that ICPSR is sponsoring Love Data Week. The ICPSR is an international consortium of more than 750 academic institutions and research organizations that provides “leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for the social science research community.” You can find data, share your data (for free!), use their resources to teach about data, and take courses in their summer program (Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research).

Adopt a Dataset

Part of the Love Data Week festivities is for participants to get involved in adopting a dataset. You can choose from a list of datasets curated by ICPSR. Some of the datasets include: Census of Governments, 1962 and 1967; Slave Sales and Appraisals, 1775-1865; Charleston Heart Study, Charleston, South Carolina, 1960-2000; Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS); COVID-19 Disruptions Disproportionately Affect Female Academics, Global, 2020; TransPop, United States, 2016-2018; Collaborative Multi-racial Post-election Survey (CMPS), United States, 2016; National Longitudinal Survey of Public Health Systems (NALSYS), [United States], 1998-2018; Latino National Surveys 2006; Dunham’s Data: Katherine Dunham and Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry, Everyday Itinerary, 1950-1953; Comprehensive Post-Acute Stroke Services (COMPASS), North Carolina 2016-2018; and The Gender and Multicultural Leadership Project: The Future of Governance.

Once you have found a dataset that interest you, fill out the Dataset Adoption Form. You can choose to download the dataset, analyze it online, or review the the summary information for it. Your task is to learn about the dataset and share your findings through email or social media. Participants will receive a certificate of completion.

For more information on managing data, take a look at Catholic University Libraries’ Digital Scholarship services.

Useful Links

The Open Data Handbook

Love Data Week – Brown University Library

Love Data Week @ JHU

U.S. Government (

Google Dataset Search


New Gale Database: Political Extremism and Radicalism

Catholic University Libraries has acquired a number of databases from Gale Cengage on social, political, historical, and health topics. Gale Primary Sources consist of large collections divided into case studies on critical, contemporary issues, each of which is backed with an accessible collection of hand-picked primary sources. In addition, each case study contains a bibliography and relevant discussion questions. All curated content has been chosen by an international expert who has reviewed the case studies for accuracy and teachability.

Political extremism has been on the rise across the world for many years. One particular collection the libraries have acquired is Political Extremism and Radicalism:

Liberal democracies of North America, Europe, and Australasia throughout the twentieth century have experienced a variety of forms of extremism and radicalism that have shaped mainstream political thinking as well as cultural norms. To comprehend modern governmental and societal systems researchers must understand the environment that created them, their origins, and their adversaries. (web site)

This series provides insight into fringe groups–the right and the left of the political spectrum–through rare, primary sources. Scholars and students will find these sources valuable in understanding the period and context when the documents were created. Scholars and students can answer questions on philosophical, social, political, and economic ideologies and address such issues “surrounding gender, sexuality, race, religion, civil rights, universal suffrage, and much more.”

From the FBI File on Charles Lindbergh (1939-1956)

Some of these collections include: Christian Identity and Far-Right Wing Politics (1923-1910); James Aho Collection (1960-2010); Social Documents Collection (1918-2000); FBI Files on Charles Lindbergh (1939-1956), Ezra Pound (1941-1971), Joseph McCarthy (1942-1974), and the Posse Comitatus (1973-1996); Walter Goldwater Radical Pamphlet Collection (1800-1999); The American Radicalism Collection; British Home Office Defence Regulation 18B Advisory Committee Papers and Registered Papers Regarding British Fascists; British Security Service Personal Files, Right-Wing Extremists; Fascists and Anti-Fascist Booklets; The Hall-Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda; Leaflets, Stickers, Posters, and Electoral Ephemera from Fascist and Anti-Fascist Organizations; Searchlight Magazine; and Searchlight Oral Histories Collection.


In addition to this fine resource, we have a smaller collection called “Political Extremism” which focuses on twelve case studies. The case studies cover the historical events, political actions, and social movements centers in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia from the 1900’s to the 2010’s. They include coverage on such disparate radical and extremist movements as the National Socialist Party of Australia, the Aryan Nations, the Ku Klux Klan, the British Union of Fascists, the UK National Front, the Black Panther Party, the Weather Underground and the Socialist Party USA.

THE BIRTH OF A NATION Poster for 1915 silent film by D.W.Griffith. (From the Marketing Hate module).


Each case study has curated primary source content that can be used to teach students how to use primary sources for analyzing social issues. Included is an introductory essay, annotated sources for students to examine and discussion questions linking themes in the case studies to today. The primary sources are written by international experts and presented so they are easily comprehended by students. These primary sources are unique in that they reveal “the internal debates about historical extremist activism and the sensitivities of dealing with radical and extremist actors.” This method sheds light on contemporary issues raised about such movements. In particular, the collection explores “the role of female activists within radical movements, the use of terrorism and political violence within extremist movements, how extremists and radicals use propaganda and marketing techniques to promote their ideas to mainstream audiences, and the effectiveness of state proscription when dealing with such movements.”

Additional information about the collections, archives, and document types can be found here.

Faculty Perspectives: Open Textbooks in the Classroom and Your Students

Join the Washington Research Library Consortium Textbook Affordability Working Group for a brief introduction to open textbooks and a panel discussion featuring four faculty members who teach with them. All teaching instructors attending will have the opportunity to earn a $200 stipend by posting a review of an open textbook!


Date: Friday, December 10th, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm


Welcome – Introduction to Open Textbooks and Faculty Funding Opportunity

    • Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship, Catholic University Libraries

Faculty Discussion Panel

    • Dr. Sen Chiao, Professor at Howard University’s Program in Atmospheric Science and Interdisciplinary Studies

    • Dr Sarah Fischer, Professor of Criminal Justice at Marymount University

    • Dr. Amanda Hinojosa, Professor at Howard University’s Business School

    • Jennifer Yang, Professor of Fashion Merchandising and Marketing, Marymount University


    • Angelique Carson, WRLC

    • Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship, Catholic University Libraries
    • Angelique Carson, WRLC

Register today! – (Zoom link will be sent the day before the event to registered attendees)

Learn more about the event and Open Textbooks at

Questions? Contact Kevin Gunn (, CU’s TAWG representative.

Open Access Week: It Matters How We Open Knowledge

The theme for this year’s International Open Access Week (October 25-31) is, “It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity.” The notion of structural equity is a dominant issue in today’s geopolitics. Open Access Week was created by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) for the academic and research community to “learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.”

A Quick Refresher: What is Open Access?

Open Access refers to “the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the right to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results—to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives.” (SPARC*). See this video for a fuller explanation:


Open Science

The theme of Open Knowledge focusing on structural equity coincides with UNESCO’s recent Recommendation on Open Science report. This report is the first framework for establishing global standards for OA. The goal is to have research that is truly open, to “embrace a diversity of knowledge, practices, workflows, languages, research outputs and research topics that support the needs and epistemic pluralism of the scientific community as a whole, diverse research communities and scholars, as well as the wider public and knowledge holders […].”

UNESCO will adopt this report in November 2021. Some salient quotes from the report underscore the importance of this document:

Open Science should embrace a diversity of knowledge, practices, workflows, languages, research outputs and research topics that support the needs and epistemic pluralism of the scientific community as a whole, diverse research communities and scholars, as well as the wider public and knowledge holders beyond the traditional scientific community, including Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and social actors from different countries and regions, as appropriate. 


Open Science should play a significant role in ensuring equity among researchers from developed and developing countries, enabling fair and reciprocal sharing of scientific inputs and outputs and equal access to scientific knowledge to both producers and consumers of knowledge regardless of location, nationality, race, age, gender, income, socio-economic circumstances, career stage, discipline, language, religion, disability, ethnicity or migratory status or any other grounds.

SPARC has been at the forefront of Open Access since 1998. In its 2021 Update: SPARC Landscape Analysis and Roadmap for Action, it argues for fostering equitable open science practices. SPARC gives one example that has been around for years but not known in the larger scientific community:

The weight accorded to leading journals because of their impact factors (IF) has given these journals the incentive to operate a covert science policy: publishers and editors have incentives to maintain or raise their IF, and this leads them to prioritize publishing articles that are likely to be widely cited. This means they will prefer to publish articles in areas that are “fashionable” and of wide interest, and this focus of the leading publishers in turn affects funding and the priorities of funding bodies…. Unfashionable disciplines and approaches (like those affecting rare diseases or people in disadvantaged communities) are structurally disadvantaged by these dynamics.

The report outlines trends—rising market concentration, increased bundling, and inclusive access—that limit student choices and widen the usage of monitoring technologies, and further demonstrate that OA is being fought on a number of fronts, including academic freedom. See the activities planned for Open Access Week 2021.


OASIS. Developed at SUNY Geneseo’s Milne Library, Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is a search tool for discovering open content. OASIS currently searches open content from 114 different sources (66 sources in 2018) and contains 440,269 records.

Open Science video. What is Open Science? See this video created by the Knowledge Network for University Libraries (The Netherlands).

The Company of Biologists. The Editors-in-Chief of Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology share their thoughts on Open Access publishing in this video.

UNESCO, Open Educational Resources (OER).

New Research Guide for Dissertations and Theses

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Trying to locate a dissertation or thesis? Start with our new research guide: Dissertations and Theses. This guide will assist graduate students in locating dissertations, and writing their own dissertation. The guide has information on:

  • specific instructions for locating dissertations at Catholic University of America
  • locating dissertations at other American institutions
  • locating foreign and open access dissertations
  • procedures for requesting dissertations through interlibrary loan
  • guidelines for writing and submitting your dissertation or thesis.

What is Fair Use Week?

This week is Fair Use Week (February 22 – 26, 2021). The mission of Fair Use Week is to celebrate “the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines.” Events are scheduled and the latest blog titled “We are All Fair Users Now” highlights the ways we have moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic. What is Fair Use? Check out the infographic below.

Other infographics include: Fair Use in a Day in the Life of a College Student; Fair Use Myths & Facts; Fair Use Promotes the Creation of New Knowledge; and How Fair Use Helps in Saving Software.

Enjoy the week!

What is Love Data Week?

Love Data Week (Feb. 8-12) is an international celebration of data hosted by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Love Data Week is a project to raise awareness of the importance of data in our daily lives and to build a community to engage on topics in data analysis, preservation, curation, dissemination, sharing, and reuse. This year’s theme is “Data: Delivering a Better Future.” You can follow LDW on social media with the hashtag #LoveData21. Check out the events happening internationally. There are some useful website links on working with data at the end of this blog.

About the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

This is the first year that ICPSR is sponsoring Love Data Week. The ICPSR is an international consortium of more than 780 academic institutions and research organizations that provides “leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for the social science research community.” You can find data, share your data (for free!), use their resources to teach about data, and take courses in their summer program.


Digital Scholarship Workshops

This semester, the Libraries are offering Digital Scholarship workshops with a focus on data. Our theme is “Working with Our Data.” Please RSVP through the Events page (the Nest) or email Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship.

Using OpenRefine for Cleaning Data          Wed., Feb. 17, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
When working with your dataset, have you wondered how to remove ‘null’ or ‘N/A’ from fields, handle different spellings of words, or determining whether a field name is ambiguous? For this workshop, we will use the open access software, OpenRefine, to clean, manipulate, and refine a dataset before analysis (

Basic Text Analysis using AntConc          Mon., March 1, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Computational analysis of textual data can aid in reading and interpreting large corpora. Exploring a large number of texts can uncover linguistic patterns for future exploratory analysis. Participants will gain hands-on experience analyzing textual data with AntConc ( No coding experience necessary.

Working with Tableau          Thur., April 1, 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Learn the basics of Tableau Public (free service) to create interactive visualizations of your data. This workshop will focus on the structure of the program and the terminology used. Students and faculty can download a one-year renewable license (

ArcGIS Basics          Wed., April 14, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Learn all about Geographical Information Systems by acquiring an understanding of the fundamentals of mapping your data using ArcGIS ( We will use ArcGIS public account and not ArcGIS Online.

Note: Each workshop will require the attendee to download and install the software before the workshop.

Register through the Events page at or email Kevin Gunn ( All workshops will take place on Zoom, recorded, and made available on the University Libraries’ web site or YouTube Channel.

Useful Links

The Open Data Handbook

List of File Formats

U.S. Government (

Google Dataset Search

Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications

University Research Day — Abstracts Needed

We encourage you to submit an abstract for The Catholic University of America’s sixth annual University Research Day (URD). The date for this year’s URD is Thursday April 15, 2021. Much more information and guidelines for submissions are available on the URD website (

To apply to present a paper or poster at URD 2021, please complete the abstract submission form available on the URD Abstract Submissions page. Abstracts must be received by 5 p.m. on Feb.19, 2021, to be considered. 

There will be a second URD Abstract Workshop Feb 2 at noon for students who need assistance in writing an effective abstract. Please see the announcement on the Nest:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact

We look forward to another exciting University Research Day!

The URD 2021 Planning Committee

Student Wellbeing

Every two years, the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee publishes in College & Research Libraries News an article on the top trends and issues affecting academic libraries and the change our institutions are experiencing. We will be highlighting some of these trends through a number of blog posts over the next few weeks.

“Academic librarians are natural connectors, guiding their users to not only resources, but also connecting them to people, services, and spaces that can provide assistance” – Ramsey & Aagard, 2018 

Endless rows of well-loved books. Physical space, digital resources, and information in droves. Scholarship and intellectual curiosity. These are all concepts readily associated with academic libraries. But what about wellness, mental health and holistic student support? These concepts might not first come to mind, but they are a vital part of academic libraries.

In a recent article in Library Journal, Steven Bell asserts that the opening of academic libraries to the larger local community has pushed mental health concerns to the forefront. His discussion centers around a new trend of employing social workers, who can provide mental health and community resources, in some public libraries. Academic libraries, often serving smaller and more specialized communities, have sometimes been seen in the library community as guarded from these conversations. While, yes, increased community access in academic libraries may increase focus on wellbeing and support, mental health should not be a new concept to any library.

Image and statistics sourced from Active Minds

1 in 5 adults (individuals age 18 and older) have a diagnosable mental illness. And 39% of college students experience a significant mental health issue during their time in school (Active Minds Statistics). While these statistics may seem discouraging, they also highlight the idea that no one struggles alone. We all have mental health and academic libraries can emphasize student wellbeing in an exceptional way. Libraries play a key role in providing current, accessible and free information. Information that can help someone dealing with a mental health issue. Additionally, the space and programming provided by libraries can support wellbeing on multiple levels. Students may be struggling with food insecurity, family responsibilities and sleep deprivation in addition to their academics. Moreover, COVID-19 is impacting the wellbeing of students, and everyone, as we cope with constant change and increased health concerns.

So, what exactly is wellbeing?

Merriam Webster defines wellbeing simply as “the state of being happy, healthy, and prosperous.” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.) But the concept goes much further than that. Wellbeing encompasses holistic student support, from traditional academic support to mental health awareness to emphasis on physical care.

Image sourced from CC0 Creative Commons

The goal of wellbeing is supporting a student with what they struggle with, allowing them to better cope, and ultimately succeed personally as well as professionally (Cox & Brewster, 2020). To some, connecting this idea of wellbeing to a library, may seem somewhat ephemeral. Sure, libraries provide books that provide a sense of joy, right? And depending on where someone is in their massive research project, that might not even be a certainty. But while books are a crux of all libraries, there is much more that libraries do. As community hubs, academic libraries connect students to resources, space and services that support physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Partnership and Programming

Academic libraries can provide a unique synergy when partnering with other university entities and student organizations. Albertsons Library at Boise State frequently partners with their Health Services team allotting space for them to interact with students in a new setting, the library. In a variety of events, the Health Services team brought in nutritionists to interact with students, provided flu shots and tips for stress management (Ramsey & Aagard, 2018). This collaboration between the library and other university organizations can reach new students who may not otherwise utilize university wellbeing services or, conversely, the library. It also allows students to access new resources and for multiple groups, to bring their own expertise to students.

Other examples of wellbeing initiatives include collection development of self-help books, libguides related to wellness and reading recommendations. More innovative, recent trends in programming include therapy-pet sessions, meditation rooms and designated nap spaces in libraries (Ramsey & Aagard, 2018). Worth noting, of course, is that a lot of these initiatives are suited for a pre-COVID 19 world. As libraries around the world shift services, finding new avenues to support wellbeing virtually is important.

Partnership can extend beyond the university community as well. Academic libraries could consider hosting mental health trainings or webinars with local groups, such as Mental Health First Aid or a local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter. Trainings like these educate students about their own wellbeing while also providing information on assisting others who may need support. Libraries are often perceived as a “safe” place and this environment can spark conversations about mental health that may not otherwise have the space to grow (Cox & Brewster, 2020).

Library Value

Reserve and Renew

The concept of wellbeing must always extend to library staff as well. Reserve and Renew is a zine that aims to open the conversation about mental health in the library field. Printed annually, the zines highlight stories and lived experiences from library and information science students as well as library professionals. In order to support student wellbeing, library staff must consider their wellbeing as being just as valuable.

Whether the library provides a moment of escapism, a needed resource, a place to study, a source of internet access, or even someone to talk to, librarians are here providing those services. As we all navigate through this year, libraries continue to provide services that impact communities in a myriad of ways. Our doors remain open for study space reservation by current students which can provide a space beyond the virtual world we all inhabit, what feels like 24/7. Additionally, University Libraries continue to provide book pick-up services. Our most up-to-date COVID-19 procedures and services can be viewed here, Libraries COVID-19 Information Guide.

Other resources for Catholic University students include the Counseling Center, the Cardinal Cupboard, and additional food resources in DC.                                                      

References and Additional Reading

Active Minds (2020). Statistics.

Bell, S. (2019). “Time for a new position in the academic library?” Library Journal. October 9.

Cox, A. & Brewster, L. (2020). “Library support for student mental health and well-being in the UK: Before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 46 (6).

Eberle, M. (2018). “Academic libraries and mental health.” Massachusetts Library System.

National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2020).

Mental Health First Aid. (2020).

Ramsey, Elizabeth and Aagard, Mary C. (2018) “Academic Libraries as Active Contributors to Student Wellness.” College & Undergraduate Libraries 25 (4): 328–34.

Reserve and Renew zine. (2020).