Welcome Back!

Principal Skinner from Simpsons saying

Hello students, faculty, and everyone else who makes up the amazing community of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign! We hope the beginning of this new academic year has been an exciting and only-mildly-hectic time. The Scholarly Commons, your central hub for qualitative and quantitative research assistance, has officially resumed our extended hours.

That’s right, for the entirety of this beautiful fall semester we will be open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-6:00pm!

In addition to our expansive software and numerous scanners, the Scholarly Commons is here to provide you with access to both brand new and continued services

Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother asking

New additions to the Scholarly Commons this semester include two, new, high-powered computers featuring: 6-core processors, NVidia 1080 video cards, 32GB RAM, and solid-state drives. 

For the first time, we’ll also be offering REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) consultations to help you with data collection and database needs. Drop-in hours are available during this fall on Tuesdays, 9:00-11:00am in the Scholarly Commons.

CITL Statistical Consulting is back to help you with all your research involving R, Stata, SPSS, SAS, and more. Consultations can be requested through this form.
Drop-in hours are available with CITL Consultants:
Monday: 10:00am-4:00pm
Tuesday: 10:00am-4:00pm
Wednesday: 10:00am-1:00pm, 2:00-5:00pm
Thursday: 10:00am-4:00pm
Friday: 10:00am-4:00pm

Billy Mays saying

Once again our wonderful Data Analytics and Visualization Librarian, Megan Ozeran, is offering office hours every other Monday, 2:00-4:00pm (next Office Hours will be held 9/9). Feel free to stop by with your questions about data visualization!

And speaking of data visualization, the Scholarly Commons will be hosting the Data Viz Competition this fall. Undergraduate and graduate student submissions will be judged separately, and there will be first and second place awards for each. All awards will be announced at the finale event on Tuesday, October 22nd. Check out last year’s entries.  

As always, please reach out to the Scholarly Commons with any questions at sc@library.illinois.edu and best of luck in all your research this upcoming year!

Paywall: the Movie – A Conversation on Open Access

This is a guest blog by the amazing Kaylen Dwyer, a GA in Scholarly and Communication Publishing

Logo for Paywall movie

Help us celebrate Open Access Week by joining us for a free screening of Paywall: The Movie on October 24th at the Independent Media Center from 7 – 9 pm hosted by the Scholarly Communication and Publishing Unit at the University of Illinois Library. The screening will be followed by a discussion moderated by Sara Benson, the Copyright Librarian, with panelists Sheldon Jacobson, Andrew Suarez, David Rivier, and Maria Bonn.

Full information about the event is available at this web address!

Paywall’s director, Jason Schmitt, estimates that scholarly publishing is a US $25.2-billion-a-year industry, a figure bolstered by soaring profit margins of 33% (compared to Walmart’s 3%, as cited by the filmmaker). This for-profit publishing model is further complicated by the fact that while most academic research is funded by the public, the articles remain behind expensive paywalls.

Then, one minute and 58 seconds into the documentary, viewers are hit with a paywall that asks them to pay $39.95 to continue watching. Jarring and unexpected, a paywall in a documentary still irritates. Yet for many of us, the paywalls we encounter for articles are just part of the routine that says, “Find another way.”

Schmitt says, “This profit has an implication—it limits amount of individuals around the globe who can solve the world’s most complex problems, and that affects us all.” The film specifically looks at how paywalls impact the global south, as a 2001 World Health Organization (WHO) survey found that 56% of research institutions in low-income countries did not have any subscriptions to international scientific journals.

In response to his hopes for what Paywall will accomplish, Schmitt says, “Open access is important to accelerate innovation and growth in a worldwide community of scholars, scientists and practitioners…I feel this documentary could play a role in exciting a worldwide conversation about access to scholarship in a digital age.”

We look forward to the screening and we hope you will join us next Wednesday at the Independent Media Center!

About the Panelists:

Sheldon Jacobson is a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, applying research and advanced analytics to address societal issues facing our nation. His recent article, “Push Versus Pull,” in Communications of the ACM looks at some of the problems with open access publishing.

Andrew Suarez is an associate professor of Animal Biology at U of I, focusing on the social organization and developmental plasticity of insects to address the fundamental questions in ecology, evolution, and behavior. His article, “The Fallacy of Open Access,” in the Chronicle of Higher Education addresses solutions we should be seeking in addition to open access publishing.

David Rivier, associate professor of cell and developmental biology at U of I, brings expertise in bioinformatics and scholarly publishing within the sciences.

Maria Bonn, an associate professor at the ISchool, previously served as the associate university librarian for publishing at the University of Michigan Library and was responsible for initiatives in publishing and scholarly communication. Her research remains focused in that area as well as networked communication and the economics of information. Among her contributions to the open access conversation are, “Free exchange of ideas: Experimenting with the open access monograph” (College and Research Library News, 2010) and “Maximizing the benefits of open access: Strategies for enhancing the discovery of open access content” (College and Research Library News, 2015).

Beginning again!

Hello students, faculty, and the amazing people of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign! Your home for qualitative and quantitative research assistance, the Scholarly Commons, is re-opening with brand new hours!

That’s right, for the entirety of this beautiful fall semester we will be open from 8:30 am to 6 pm!

Will the Scholarly Commons still be hosting all its fantastic services this fall?

Why yes – yes they will!

The Scholarly Commons will be hosting:

Statistical Consulting :

Mondays: 10-4

Tuesdays: 10-4

Wednesdays: 10-1, 2-5

Thursdays: 10-4

Fridays: 10-4

The Survey Research Lab from 1-4 on Thursdays

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And GIS Consultations

Mondays 9-2

Tuesdays 12-4

Wednesdays 9-1

Thursdays 11-1

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The Scholarly Commons is hosting a Data Visualization Competition!

Make your data something beautiful – and you could win big!

We’re also hosting an Open House on October 9th!

Stop by Main Library 220 from 4-5:30!

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So much to see! So much to do!

We hope to see you all soon!

Edward Ayers: Twenty-Five Years in Digital History and Counting

Photograph of Edward Ayers.We are so excited to be hosting a talk by Edward Ayers next week! We hope you’ll join us on March 29, 2018 from 4-6 PM in 220 Main Library.

Edward Ayers has been named National Professor of the Year, received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama at the White House, won the Bancroft Prize and Beveridge Prize in American history, and was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He has collaborated on major digital history projects including the Valley of the Shadow, American Panorama, and Bunk, and is one of the co-hosts for BackStory, a popular podcast about American history. He is Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and president emeritus at the University of Richmond as well as former Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. His most recent book is The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America, published in 2017 by W. W. Norton.

His talk will be on “Twenty-Five Years in Digital History and Counting”.

Edward Ayers began a digital project just before the World Wide emerged and has been pursuing one project or several projects ever since. His current work focuses on the two poles of possibility in the medium: advanced projects in visualizing processes of history at the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond and a public-facing project in Bunk, curating representations of the American past for a popular audience.

See you there!

Project Forum: Meeting 1

A logo for the Scholarly Commons Project Forum.

On Monday, March 5, the Scholarly Commons Interns (Matt and Clay) hosted the first Project Forum Discussion. In order to address the variety of projects and scholarly backgrounds, we decided that our conversations should be organized around presentations of projects and related readings from other Digital Humanities scholars or related research.

We began by discussing some consistent topics or questions that are present in each of our Digital Humanities projects and how we conceptualize them. These questions will not only guide our reading discussion on this article, but also further conversations as we read work under the DH umbrella.

1. How does the article make its DH work legible to other scholars / fields?
2. How does the article display information?
3. What affordances or impact does the digital platform (artifact) have on the study?
4. How does the article conceptualize gaps in the data?

If you would like to participate in our next discussion, please join us Monday, March 26, at 2 pm in Library 220.

Survey Research Methods Webinars Spring 2018

The Survey Research Laboratory is offering two webinars on survey research methodology during the Spring 2018 semester. The webinars are free to University faculty, staff and students. All webinars begin at 12:00 p.m.

ADVANCE ONLINE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

You will receive a reminder about the webinar for which you have registered shortly before the date. Webinar notes will be available here shortly before the webinar.

Introduction to Survey Sampling
Wednesday, February 14, noon

Presenter: Linda Owens

This webinar will cover the basics of sampling methodology: the importance of using proper sampling techniques, determining the appropriate sampling methodology, and calculating necessary sample sizes. The discussion also will include simple random sampling, cluster sampling, stratified sampling, and multistage samples.

Introduction to Questionnaire Design
Wednesday, February 21, noon

Presenter: Allyson Holbrook

Designing a good questionnaire is a complicated process that includes decisions ranging from questionnaire format and question order to question wording and response categories. The design should aid respondent understanding of questions, recall, and judgment formation, and minimize response editing because of social desirability. This workshop will review basic strategies for achieving these goals.

Survey Response Rates: Uses and Misuses
Wednesday, February 28, noon

Presenter: Timothy Johnson

What is a “good” response rate, and why does it matter? These are common questions that we see at the Survey Research Laboratory. This webinar will provide a basic overview of survey response, cooperation and refusal rates, their uses, and why they are often imperfect indicators of survey quality and representativeness.

This Semester at the Scholarly Commons

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and it’s a new semester at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. And with that new semester come all of the happenings at the Scholarly Commons. We have some great things coming up!

Hours

We’re back to our normal hours. Come visit us from 9 AM – 6 PM, Monday – Friday. We hope to see you soon!

Survey Research Lab

Survey Research Lab open hours are back! Walk-ins are accepted from 2 – 5 PM every Thursday, or you can make an advance appointment by emailing Linda Owens and Karen Retzer (please copy both addresses on your email).

During Open Horus, the Survey Research Lab can look at sampling, questionnaire design, and analysis. Come in with questions about the dos and don’ts of survey wording, recommendations for designing a sampling strategy, or advice on drafting a questionnaire!

CITL Statistical Consulting

Starting January 8th and running through the end of the semester, CITL graduate students will provide free statistical consulting in the Scholarly Commons. CITL consulting will be 11 AM – 4 PM every Monday – Friday in office 306H. Consultants work with SPSS, ATLAS.ti, Stata, R, and SAS. Make an appointment for your consultation by emailing citl-data@illinois.edu.

Savvy Researcher Workshops

Our Savvy Researcher Workshop calendar is finally up! New offerings this semester include A Crash Course in Open Access and Publishing Your Research in OA, Topic Modeling Theory and Practice, Building Your Research Profile and Network, Creating Digital Books with PressBooks, Do You Know Your Fair Use Rights?, Choosing the Right Sources: Identifying Bias and Fallacies, Basics of Data Visualization, and Add Captions to Kaltura video with Automatic Speech Recognition.

Staff

The staff here at the Scholarly Commons is always ready to welcome you! Our Scholarly Commons interns, Matt Pitchford and Clay Alsup are back, as well as Megan Ozeran, our data analytics and visualization resident librarian! You can request a consultation with them or any other staff member on our Contact an Expert page.

Hope to see you soon!

Announcing Topic Modeling – Theory & Practice Workshops

An example of text from a topic modeling project.We’re happy to announce that Scholarly Commons intern Matt Pitchford is teaching a series of two Savvy Researcher Workshops on Topic Modeling. You may be following Matt’s posts on Studying Rhetorical Responses to Terrorism on Twitter or Preparing Your Data for Topic Modeling on Commons Knowledge, and now is your chance to learn the basics from the master! The workshops  will be held on Wednesday, December 6th and Friday, December 8th. See below for more details!

Topic Modeling, Part 1: Theory

  • Wednesday, December 6th, 11am-12pm
  • 314 Main Library
  • Topic models are a computational method of identifying and grouping interrelated words in any set of texts. In this workshop we will focus on how topic models work, what kinds of academic questions topic models can help answer, what they allow researchers to see, and what they can obfuscate. This will be a conversation about topic models as a tool and method for digital humanities research. In part 2, we will actually construct some topic models using MALLET.
  • To sign up for the class, see the Savvy Researcher calendar

Topic Modeling, Part 2: Practice

  • Friday, December 8th, 11am-12pm
  • 314 Main Library
  • In this workshop, we will use MALLET, a java based package, to construct and analyze a topic model. Topic models are a computational method of identifying and grouping interrelated words in any set of text. This workshop will focus on how to correctly set up the code, understand the output of the model, and how to refine the code for best results. No experience necessary. You do not need to have attended Part I in order to attend this workshop.
  • To sign up for this class, see the Savvy Researcher calendar

Save the Date: Edward Ayers Talk

Ayers_Edward_photo

We are so excited to be hosting a talk by Edward Ayers this coming March! Save the date on your calendars:

March 29, 2018 | 220 Main Library | 4-6 pm

Edward Ayers has been named National Professor of the Year, received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama at the White House, won the Bancroft Prize and Beveridge Prize in American history, and was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He has collaborated on major digital history projects including the Valley of the Shadow, American Panorama, and Bunk, and is one of the co-hosts for BackStory, a popular podcast about American history. He is Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and president emeritus at the University of Richmond as well as former Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. His most recent book is The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America, published in 2017 by W. W. Norton.

His talk will be on “Twenty-Five Years in Digital History and Counting”.

Edward Ayers began a digital project just before the World Wide emerged and has been pursuing one project or several projects ever since. His current work focuses on the two poles of possibility in the medium: advanced projects in visualizing processes of history at the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond and a public-facing project in Bunk, curating representations of the American past for a popular audience.

We hope you’ll be able to join us at his public talk in March!

Scholarly Commons Brownbag Discussion: Librarians Training in Digital Scholarship

On Tuesday, November 14, 2-3pm in 106 Main Library, Librarians Dan Tracy, David Morris, Antonio Sotomayor and Harriett Green will be speaking about their experiences at the inaugural Association for Research Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Institute. Held in June 2017 at Boston College, the Institute introduced librarians who are not currently involved in digital scholarship to the methodologies and tools for such work. This multi-institutional initiative, led in part by the University of Illinois, aims to facilitate broader transformations in academic libraries and create a strong community of practice around digital scholarship work. Harriett Green and Dan Tracy will speak about their involvement in organizing and teaching for the Digital Scholarship Institute, and Antonio Sotomayor and David Morris will share their experiences attending the first Institute.

Harriett Green, Head of Scholarly Communication and Publishing
David Morris, Classics Librarian, Research & Information Services Librarian
Antonio Sotomayor, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Librarian
Dan Tracy, Information Sciences and Digital Humanities Librarian

Hope to see you there!