2019-2020 Research Travel Grant!

Are you a researcher that needs very specific resources? Are you interested in working with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign library’s vast collections? You are in luck!

A call for applications for the 2019-2020 Research Travel Grant have just opened! If you are a scholar at the graduate and post-doctoral level, you have until may 1st, 2019, to apply!

You will need to send a project proposal (no more than three pages) which clearly highlights how the work at the UIUC Library is part of your ongoing or future research, along with an updated CV, and a letter of recommendation from a local scholar in a relevant academic department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

But what types of materials could researchers take advantage of through our library? Well, in our nearly 14-million volume collection, there is wide variety!

One of our featured collections is the Audubon Folio. This piece was originally bought for one thousand dollars, and is one of 134 that remain intact.  With the original standing three feet tall, and weighing fifty-pounds, pieces facsimile copy the university library owns is on display outside the Literature and Languages Library.

Plate 217, the Louisiana Heron

The International and Area Studies library also has an impressive collection of South Asian comics. More than 1,600 of these comics are from India, with the library’s comic collection reaching nearly 10,000 titles in more than a dozen languages.

Comic Cover from Indrajal Comics Online

And there are so many more collections at the library!

The James Collins Irish Collection is “devoted to Irish history and culture, and includes 139 volumes of bound pamphlets, as well as 2,500 unbound pieces”, entire works and pieces from 127 volumes of newspaper clippings, political cartoons, and more! The library has collection ranging from the Spanish Golden Age to American Wit and Humor.

We certainly hoped we’ve sparked your interest in our vast collection! And check out even more pieces of our distinct collections here!

Using an Art Museum’s Open Data

*Edits on original idea and original piece by C. Berman by Billy Tringali

As a former art history student, I’m incredibly interested in the how the study of art history can be aided by the digital humanities. More and more museums have started allowing the public to access a portion of their data. When it comes to open data, museums seem to be lagging a bit behind other cultural heritage institutions, but many are providing great open data for humanists.

For art museums, the range of data provided ranges. Some museums are going the extra mile to give a lot of their metadata to the public. Others are picking and choosing aspects of their collection, such as the Museum of Modern Art’s Exhibition and Staff Histories.

Many museums, especially those that collect modern and contemporary art, can have their hands tied by copyright laws when it comes to the data they present. A few of the data sets currently available from art museums are the Cooper Hewitt’s Collection Data, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts metadata, the Rijksmuseum API, the Tate Collection metadata, and the Getty Vocabularies.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has recently released all images of the museum’s public domain works under a Creative Commons Zero license.

More museum data can be found here!

Open Access Week News Round-Up

Photograph of President John F. Kennedy speaking at a rally in Fort Worth, Texas, 22 November 1963.

Photograph of President John F. Kennedy speaking at a rally in Fort Worth, Texas, 22 November 1963. Courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum.

In honor of Open Access week, graduate assistants at Scholarly Communications and Publishing compiled a round-up of some breaking news stories related to Open Access!


The​ ​remaining​ ​JFK​ ​Assassination​ ​Records​ ​will​ ​be​ ​made​ ​available​ ​this​ ​week.​​ ​On​ ​October 26,​ ​1992,​ ​the​ ​first​ ​President​ ​Bush​ ​signed​ ​the​ ​JFK​ ​Assassination​ ​Records​ ​Collection​ ​Act, stipulating​ ​that​ ​all​ ​withheld​ ​records​ ​should​ ​be​ ​released​ ​within​ ​25​ ​years.​ ​We’re​ ​coming​ ​up​ ​on​ ​that day.​ ​​See​ ​the​ ​records​ ​released​ ​so​ ​far​​ ​or​ ​​learn​ ​more​ ​about​ ​the​ ​records​​ ​from​ ​the​ ​National Archives.

Stephen​ ​Hawking’s​ ​doctoral​ ​thesis​ ​is​ ​now​ ​openly​ ​available​​ ​through​ ​the​ ​Cambridge University​ ​institutional​ ​repository,​ ​Apollo.​ ​​According​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Guardian​,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​already​ ​Apollo’s most-downloaded​ ​item.​ ​Read​ ​​Properties​ of​ Expanding​ Universes​​ ​yourself,​ ​or​ ​explore​ ​Illinois’ institutional​ ​repository,​ ​​IDEALS​,​ ​for​ ​more​ ​open-access​ ​scholarship.

Five​ ​German​ ​researchers​ ​have​ ​resigned​ ​from​ ​editorial​ ​positions​ ​at​ ​Elsevier​ ​journals​ ​over open​ ​access​ ​disputes.​​ ​​According​ ​to​ ​Science​,​ ​“The​ ​researchers​ ​want​ ​Elsevier​ ​to​ ​accept​ ​a​ ​new payment​ ​model​ ​that​ ​would​ ​make​ ​all​ ​papers​ ​authored​ ​by​ ​Germany-based​ ​researchers​ ​open access.”​ ​The​ ​leaders​ ​of​ ​Projekt​ ​DEAL,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​organizing​ ​the​ ​protest,​ ​expect​ ​the​ ​number​ ​to grow.​ ​See​ ​also​ ​​Elsevier’s​ ​guide​ ​to​ ​publishing​ ​open​ ​access​ ​in​ ​Elsevier​ ​journals​.​ ​IDEALS encourages​ ​authors​ ​to​ ​negotiate​ ​for​ ​the​ ​right​ ​to​ ​publish​ ​open​ ​access.

Learn more about Open Access at the University of Illinois.

The Scholarly Commons Has a New Website!

The Scholarly Commons website banner.

After months of work, we are excited to present our new website: www.library.illinois.edu/sc! We hope our new website is easy to navigate and useful to students and researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and beyond. We would like to invite you to take a look around the website and to let us know if you have any issues, comments, questions or concerns!

Interested in deep statistical methods training? Webinar on Monday!

For researchers who haven’t gotten the statistical knowledge they need from coursework, the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is preparing its 2017 Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research.  Intensive statistical methods courses last for four or eight weeks, with a few week long workshops.

On Monday, January 30th at 1:00pm CST, ICPSR is offering a free webinar to introduce the Summer Program, discuss the 2017 courses, explain the registration process, and explore ICPSR Scholarships and other funding opportunities to attend. More information, as well as a link to register for the webinar, can be found here: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/sumprog/.

Summer Research Programs for Undergraduates! DEADLINES COMING VERY SOON!

Are you a high achieving undergraduate interested in spending a summer conducting research under a faculty mentor and preparing for graduate school? Here are three places where you can find opportunities that you should apply for ASAP as deadlines are coming up soon:

1.Big Ten Summer Research Opportunities Program DUE FEBRUARY 10!

  • Must be an undergraduate with at least a 3.0 G.P.A., citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., and have completed two semesters of college with at least one more semester before graduation, interested in pursuing a PhD program. There are a wide variety of research opportunities available to students and students from all majors and backgrounds should be able to find a research experience that matches their interest.
  • The summer program at Illinois will be from May 30th to July 28th this year. However, Illinois is just one of many schools of the Big Ten Academic Alliance where you can conduct research! All program sites provide housing and a stipend to academic researchers with many covering costs of travel and meals as well.
  • To apply: complete the shared Big Ten application and any supplements depending on the school and program. Yes, this  is essentially a mini grad school application asking for a personal statement and research interests, recommendations, etc. but it is worth the effort as regardless of whether or not you are placed in a research opportunity, usually students who applied for this program can receive application fee waivers when applying to graduate schools in the alliance.

2. Leadership Alliance  Summer Research Early Identification Program DUE FEBRUARY 1ST!

  • Must be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior with at least a 3.0 G.P.A., a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., and have an interest in pursuing a PhD or MD/PhD program. There are a wide variety of research internships available for students, including humanities and social science majors specifically through the Mellon Initiative ! Students can apply to up to three research sites through the shared application though some schools require supplementary materials.
  • Every program runs for 8-10 weeks this summer and students will receive a stipend, housing, and assistance with travel expenses and present the research they’ve conducted under a faculty mentor at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium at the end of the summer.
  • To apply: complete the shared Leadership Alliance application and any supplemental material by February 1st. Yes  this is essentially a mini graduate school application.  Yes this is soon. But we at Scholarly Commons believe in you, undergraduate researchers.

3. National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates– VARIOUS DEADLINES TYPICALLY LATE JANUARY THROUGH EARLY MARCH!

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, these programs provide stipends for student researchers and oftentimes assistance with housing and travel.
  • There are a lot of different programs in a lot of different areas of science from anthropology to zoology both in the U.S. and abroad. It can be a bit overwhelming to go through, however, there are a lot of interesting opportunities out there.
  • To apply: follow instructions on the individual program site, expect to have to do the equivalent of a mini graduate school application, and at the very least write essays explaining your interest in participating in a particular research project and send a resume/CV.

Hope that this has inspired you to start thinking about summer research if you haven’t already and get to work completing your applications! Best of luck undergrads! And welcome back!

Event: “The Data Citizen: New Ways of Being in the World” Lecture by Geoffrey C. Bowker

Floor Replacement Project Continues August 8th and 9th

The floor replacement project continues. The Scholarly Commons will be closed Monday August 8th and Tuesday the 9th due to floor replacement outside of our space.  We will reopen on Wednesday the 10th at 1 pm.

If you would like a consultation, during this time, please feel free to contact us by email or consultation request form.

Intersession Hours: 1 – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
E-mail: sc@library.illinois.edu
Consultation request form
Phone: 217-244-1331

Those planning on visiting the Main Library or Undergraduate Library, and any individual spaces within these buildings, are encouraged to contact departmental libraries and units before their visit to make sure these spaces are accessible during the renovation projects. For a list of library locations and their contact information, visit www.library.illinois.edu.

Thanks for your patience and understanding as we work to make your experience more pleasurable in the fall. Enjoy your summer!

Travel Funds Available for Open Access Conference — OpenCon 2016

Dear Students and Earlier Career Researchers–

As you likely already know, the last academic year saw the passage of a Open Access policy here at the University of Illinois [more info]. Are you interested in the broader national and international conversations regarding open access to research and research data? Would you like an opportunity to network with other scholars and to learn more about present efforts and future developments in Open Educational Resources, funding mandates?

If so, consider applying to be a participant in OpenCon 2016 (link to application).

OpenCon is a three day event held (this November) in Washington, DC. In past years, it has drawn participants from 40 countries across five continents. OpenCon is also a vital community of researchers committed to maintaining the integrity of academic research while lowering the boundaries to robust scholarly communication. The conference is well-funded and travel scholarships are available for most participants.

The deadline is swiftly approaching (July 11 @ noon). If you’re not interested but know someone who might be, please pass this invitation along.