Scholarly Commons Space Closed 6/14 Due to Library Renovations

The Scholarly Commons space will be inaccessible on Tuesday, June 14 due to this summer’s renovation project at the Main Library. It is possible that this closure may extend to Wednesday, June 15. For the most up to date information, you can call the Main Library at 217-333-2290.

Although our regular space will be inaccessible we are still available to provide expertise and consultations in alternate locations. You can set up a consultation through our consultation request form and address any questions to

We look forward to continuing to serve you during this work and throughout the summer! 


Illinois Research Connections web portal of Illinois researchers

Illinois Research Connections (IRC) is a new web portal which profiles the research of faculty and scholars at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This year I have served as the project manager for this joint effort of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) and the University Library. IRC was created to help researchers more easily discover and connect with potential collaborators and to reduce the time and effort needed to display Illinois research to local and external stakeholders.

IRC now includes more than 1,800 STEM and social science faculty and OVCR institute researcher profiles, and is populated with more than 101,000 publications indexed in Elsevier’s Scopus database, updated automatically on a weekly basis.

IRC is still in beta, and the currently available functionality is just the beginning. Our ultimate goal is to be as inclusive and representative of all disciplines on campus as possible. However, because of systemic challenges with humanities publications information, you will find faculty profiles in these departments are currently suppressed. The Library is currently working to pull publication information from other non-Scopus sources. In time, we will also be able to include grant and patent information. Users will soon be able to sync with their ORCID profiles.

How do you use Illinois Research Connections?

Visit the IRC site to search for potential collaborators, reviewers, or committee members by name, unit, or concept. Not only can you see publications associated with individual experts, you can also view these publications aggregated by university department or college.


Publications identified in the Scopus index are pre-populated in each researcher’s profile. These are also the source of each researcher’s (and unit’s) Fingerprint®: a list of relevant concept terms identified through text mining.

You can search by one or more Fingerprint terms, and you can even expand your search beyond the Illinois campus to include results from the “Experts Community” of research universities around the world.

Enhance your profile

Each profile currently includes researchers’ names, job titles, and Scopus-derived publications, but profile holders can log into their profiles and add additional content such as personal or laboratory web pages, a research statement, unrepresented publications, and additional keyword terms (especially if these weren’t captured through the Fingerprint engine). Researchers are encouraged to follow the lead of Juan Andrade, Assistant Professor of Food Science & Human Nutrition, and add a professional photograph, research summary, keywords, and web links. Profile holders can access a number of help resources from the top right corner of the IRC portal, including short FAQs to help them add publications, hide Fingerprint terms, import publications from Google Scholar, and assign a proxy to maintain their profiles. Have questions or comments? Just send us an email to

Much more to come

Our hope is that IRC will help you to discover potential collaborators and make the work of Illinois faculty and researchers more discoverable. If you have questions, please contact me, Rebecca Bryant, at

Posted on behalf of Rebecca Bryant, Visiting Project Manager, Research Information Systems.

Image of Research 2016: Semi-finalists announced!

Please join us in congratulating the semi-finalists for the 2016 Image of Research! Winners will be announced on Wednesday, April 6 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM at a reception in room 104 of the Illini Union. Attendees will be able to view the semi-finalists, speak with the researchers, and vote for the People’s Choice Award.


In the meantime check out the list of semi-finalists and view a full gallery of their work.Visit the Image of Research website for more information about the competition.

The Image of Research is organized by the Scholarly Commons and the Graduate College. It is supported by a generous gift to the Scholarly Commons from the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Undergraduate Research at the Scholarly Commons

While the research conducted by graduate students and faculty has been a trademark of the University of Illinois for over a century, undergraduate research is often overshadowed. Why is undergraduate research important? As the Office of Undergraduate Research explains, “Our [mission] is guided by the philosophy that all Illinois undergraduate students should learn about current disciplinary research, take part in research discussions, and be exposed to research experiences in their regular coursework.” Learning how to do research in a field is quickly becoming part of what it means to learn a field.

As a source for digital content creation and scholarly communication, the Scholarly Commons has built on this mission to provide a digital publishing base for these bright students through the Undergraduate Research Journals. These journals have the dual purpose of showcasing the work our undergraduates are doing while giving experience to students, both undergraduate and graduate, in running their own academic journals.

Through the open-access framework of Open Journal System, these journals present work from disciplines across campus ranging from English to Agricultural sciences. Some of these journals have had print runs in the past, or continue to print conventionally, while others are taking advantage of the online format to start new publishing opportunities.

The Illini Journal of International Security is one such journal. Through the Program in Arms Control & Domestic and International Security, IJOIS is a new journal publishing this year accepting cross-disciplinary approaches to international security issues.

Our Undergraduate Research Journals are a window into the exciting work being done by undergraduates across campus, and we encourage our readers to check each of the journals out at

-Posted on behalf of Dylan Burns

Ariel Waldman: The Hacker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Mark your calendars: Ariel Waldman will be visiting the University of Illinois campus on March 1 to give a lecture titled, “The Hacker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” The talk will take place in the Alice Campbell Alumni Center Ballroom at 4 PM, with a reception to follow. The event is free and open to the public.


Here’s an excerpt from her official bio:

Ariel Waldman makes “massively multiplayer science”, instigating unusual collaborations that spark clever creations for science and space exploration. She is the founder of, a directory of ways to participate in space exploration, and the global director of Science Hack Day, a 20-countries-and-growing grassroots endeavor to make things with science. She is the author of What’s It Like in Space?: Stories from Astronauts Who’ve Been There (Chronicle Books, 2016). Ariel is also the co-author of a congressionally-requested National Academy of Sciences study on the future of human spaceflight. She sits on the council for NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC), a program that nurtures radical, science fiction-like ideas that could transform future space missions. In 2013, Ariel received an honor from the White House for being a Champion of Change in citizen science.

Let your friends know you’re going with the Facebook event page! In the meantime, you can learn more about Ariel on her official website.

A guide to choosing the right statistical analysis

Often one of the most difficult parts of running a statistical analysis is figuring out which analysis to use. While data can be analyzed in a variety of legitimate ways, it is useful to have some general guidelines to use in getting started.

photo credit:

photo credit: Lendingmemo, CC BY 2.0

The Institute for Digital Research and Education at UCLA has put together a handy table to help you figure out which analysis to use based on the number and nature of the variables with which you are working.

After you have determined which test to run, take advantage of the links to tutorials that explain how to conduct the tests using SAS, Stata, SPSS, and R.

If you would like more assistance with statistical analysis, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Scholarly Commons.

Data Cite – Find, Identify, and Cite Datasets

Data Cite a non-profit organization created to establish easier access to research data,  increase acceptance of research data as legitimate, citable contributions to the scholarly record, and support data archiving.  This organization seeks to bring institutions, researchers and other interested groups together to address the challenges of making research data accessible and visible.  Through collaboration, researchers find support in locating, identifying, and citing research datasets with confidence.

Data Centers are provided persistent identifiers for datasets, plus workflows and standards for data publication. Journal publishers receive support to enable research articles to be linked with data.  Data Cite works with organizations, data centers, and libraries that host data in efforts to assign persistent identifiers to data sets.

Data citation is important for data re-use, verification and tracking.  Citable datasets become legitimate contributions to scholarly communication, paving the way for new metrics and publication models that recognize and reward data sharing. More information on  DataCite services, resources and events can be found


University Library joins “Annotating All Knowledge” effort

The University Library and more than 40 scholarly publishers, platforms, libraries and technology partners have joined the “Annotating All Knowledge” effort. Coalition members, some of the world’s largest and most important scholarly publishers and knowledge platforms, share the goal of building an open conversation layer over all knowledge, which encompasses books, articles, images, data, and other scholarly works. They will be working together to define, design, and implement a common framework for scholarly collaboration from peer-review through post-production discussion, all based on open standards.

“Libraries are hubs which bring users and information together,” said John Wilkin, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at Illinois. “Open Annotation is a compelling technology that can make our online resources more lively and valuable.”

For more information, visit

-Posted on behalf of the University of Illinois Libraries

Scholarly Commons offers reference collection in support of digital scholarship

The Scholarly Commons reference collection contains resources about a wide variety of topics in digital scholarship. Our collection is small enough for browsing by new learners and broad enough in scope to offer useful resources to researchers who need to brush up on various software packages.


Our collection contains books on the following topics, as well as many more:

  • Data visualization
  • GIS
  • Author Rights and Open Access
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • User experience and Usability Testing
  • SPSS
  • R
  • Photoshop
  • Bibliometrics
  • Data Mining

Our workstations are loaded with many of the software packages covered by our reference collection so that you can read up on software right as you are using it. We also have several comfortable reading chairs where you can study our books. Though reference collection items can’t be checked out, we have scanners on hand if you need to copy a few pages.

Come check out our reference collection for yourself in room 306 of the Main Library. We are open from 10 to 6, Monday through Friday.

Submissions are Open for Image of Research 2016

In conjunction with the Graduate College, the Scholarly Commons is pleased to announce the opening of the Image of Research competition for the 2015-2016 academic year!

The Image of Research is a celebration of the diversity and breadth of graduate student research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Graduate and professional students from all disciplines are invited to submit entries consisting of an image that represents their research (either concretely or abstractly) and a brief written narrative.

Submissions will be accepted through January 15, 2016, after which judges will select a list of semi-finalists. From the semi-finalists, the judges will award four prizes:

  • First Prize: $500
  • Second Prize: $300
  • Third Prize: $200
  • Honorable Mention: $100

Awards will be presented at a reception on April 6, 2016 in conjunction with the Annual Graduate Student Appreciation Week. Attendees of the reception will have the opportunity to vote for a semi-finalist to receive the People’s Choice Award ($100).

For more information about this year’s competition, or to submit an entry, visit the Image of Research website. Past entries and winners can be viewed in the online gallery and in IDEALS.