Category: Libraries

Best Practices in Social Media for Academic Libraries


From CUNY Academic Commons

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Create a social media policy

Social media is key to 21st century communication with library users, and enables the academic library to pursue its mission and goals online, while promoting library resources and services. As Johnson and Burclaff note in their 2013 ACRL conference paper, “Making Social Media Meaningful: Connecting Missions and Policies”, 94% of academic libraries have a social media presence, mainly on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, but only 2% of those surveyed have a library-specific policy for social media (402). They also stress the importance of linking the academic library social media policy to the library’s mission statement, stating, “Mission-based goals and actions are particularly valuable in areas of rapid change, like social media… The library mission should drive the library’s activities and should therefore be present in these guiding policies.” (404)

Implementing a social media policy will streamline responsibility for the management of various platforms and provide guidelines for posts and interactions online with library patrons and the public. A written policy will also define the purpose of engaging in social media, moving past what content you share and how you share it to why the library is using social media at all. In his blog post, “Why does my library use social media?“, Brian Mathews writes, “It’s not about promoting the library, this is about building brand loyalty. It’s not about posting library news for students, but about building an ambassadors program, a network of friends and allies. The goal is a transition patrons from being library users to library advocates.”

Examples of academic library-specific policies

Many academic libraries rely upon the social media policy for their university, but there are several organizations that have made the effort to design a policy that reflects the needs of the library.

  • Drexel University Queen Lane Library Social Media Policy
    • all exchanges on social media are considered extensions of Circulation/Reference Desk interactions, staff members respond to all comments and messages
  • Oregon State University Libraries Social Media Policy
    • states that the library reserves the right to use comments and stories shared/posted by users in promotional materials for the library
    • offers a web form for non-library individuals to submit ideas or suggestions for posts
  • University of Baltimore Langsdale Library Social Media Policy
    • asks librarians and library staff to consider the ALA Code of Ethics when using social media
  • Walden University Library Social Networking Policy
    • emphasizes that by ‘liking’ or ‘friending’ the library users agree to receive communication via a particular social media channel
  • Washington State University Libraries Social Media Policy
    • assigns a responsible administrator to each social media account

Key themes

Johnson and Burclaff identify the following themes as key to both a mission statement and a social media policy for the academic library:

  • Encourages knowledge creation
  • Improves institutional outcomes
  • Integrates print and electronic resources
  • Provides access
  • Provides space
  • Supports curriculum
  • Teaches information skills

Reflection question

  • Why does your library use social media at all?
Library Why we use social media
Brooklyn College Library edit me!
Hunter College Library edit me!
Queens College Library edit me!
add your library! edit me!


Determine how social media will be used

There are many social networks to choose from, with Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter being the most popular platforms used by academic libraries (Johnson and Burclaff 2013, 402). According to the Summer 2013 issue of ALA Tips and Trends, academic libraries use these three platforms, as well as blogs, for outreach and to share information about events, services, or resources (2). The authors, Sheila Stoeckel and Caroline Sinkinson, also identify ways that librarians are using social media channels as tools for instruction, particularly online collaboration, curation and sharing, and practicing inquiry (2-3).

Examples of how academic libraries use social media

  • Yale University Library ~6,500 likes, posts events, news, links, pictures, and highlights special collection:
    • 10/26/2013 After the Red Sox won game 1 of the 2013 World Series, the library shared a photo of the team from their special collection, and mentioned another item in their possession – the first known printed account of baseball.
    • 10/28/2013 The library posted the image of a flyer for a talk taking place in a library space, cosponsored by the library and the campus health department, focused on fact, fiction, and folklore related to the prostate.
  • NYU Libraries ~1,500 likes, posts events, news, links, and points users toward library resources and authoritative sources of information:


  • University of North Carolina Library ~50 subscribers, 25 videos, video tours of the website, instructional videos, library promotion, past events and conference speakers:
    • A 3 minute video explaining how to use the library’s mobile web site has 750+ views.
    • A UNC librarian collaborated with peers at two other academic libraries on an animated video that explains the nuances of the Georgia State University Copyright case, the video has 80+ views.
  • Harvard College Library: ~100 subscribers, 20 videos, includes videos for library instruction, and marketing
    • 03/25/2010 A video about how to locate e-resources using keywords and subjects has 600+ views.
    • 01/07/2011 A fifth year graduate student has gotten 1,600+ views for a video that explains the top ten things graduate students should know about using the academic library.

  • UCLA Powell Library ~1,500 followers, current and historic images of the library, pictures of patrons using the facility, covers of books in the library’s collection, event flyers
  • Rutgers University Libraries


  • American University in Cairo used this platform to teach database concepts (this is a link to the full text article on Eric)
  • Cornell University Library holds a contest where students are encouraged to remix historic photo images from their Flickr stream, and post their artistic creations on Flickr, with the tag ‘CULRemix’

Reflection question

  • How does your library use social media networks?
Library How we use social media
Brooklyn College Library edit me!
Hunter College Library edit me!
Queens College Library edit me!
add your library! edit me!


Provide content that facilitates literacy

Information literacy is a familiar term, and, as noted above, it is a theme in academic library mission statements. However, there are several new definitions for literacy that have emerged related to the use of web 2.0 functions and social media channels.

New types of literacy

The main thrust of the new terminology for types of literacy has to do with web 2.0 functionality, and users learning in the process of making or contributing knowledge – process over product. According to David Lee King, it is important to ensure that “everything you do includes some type of “ask”… make sure to provide customers with some next steps, and actually invite them to take that next step”. In order to facilitate this, academic libraries can let users contribute to an appropriate knowledge base, setting up opportunities on social media platforms for patrons to learn through doing – through means such as clicking on links, uploading content, commenting on items, and tagging digital objects. This is in line with the constructivist teaching theory, as Greg Bobish discusses in his article “Participation and Pedagogy: Connecting the Social Web to ACRL Learning Outcomes“, where he states, “Instruction designed to take advantage of the tools’ capabilities on their own terms, however, will prepare students to directly apply information literacy skills as these technologies are increasingly encountered in daily life.” Two current terms being used to describe this learning process and the relevant skill set are the following:


Metaliterate ideas for social media interactions

  • Let patrons assist in the creation of knowledge bases
  • Let users tag items in the library catalog
  • Provide special collections photographs on a platform where users can comment
  • Have users micro-blog research questions and thesis statements
  • Ask students to use a social bookmarking tool to aggregate resources, tagging them as primary or secondary, along with other metadata
  • Create a wiki for popular research topics, where users can contribute research questions, get ideas on how to narrow their focus, and add links to relevant blogs and podcasts
  • Create a wiki for trending topics, where students can add citations for primary sources and links to raw data
  • Have students create a blog post (YouTube playlist) where they annotate video, audio, and/or images
  • After completing an assignment, ask students to blog about the process – where they found information, obstacles they encountered, and the quality or their sources
  • Have students compare RSS feeds for scholarly blogs to search alerts in subscription databases
  • Ask students to take pictures of where they found resources in different parts of the library and tag them with call numbers
  • Get students to post a source in their Facebook status, so that others can ‘like’ it and discuss it in the comment section
  • Have students pose their research questions to Facebook or Twitter
  • Release content under the Creative Commons license and ask students to remix it

Reflection question

  • What does your library do with social media that enables metaliteracy?
Library What we do on social media that enables metaliteracy
Brooklyn College Library edit me!
Hunter College Library edit me!
Queens College Library edit me!
add your library! edit me!


Checklist for social media posts

Ann Handley, of Mashable, offers these tips for posting to Facebook, Twitter, and blogs:

  1. Keep the Goal of Your Post Top of Mind – WHY are you posting this??
  2. Write Compelling Headlines – precise and/or funny
  3. Lead with the Good Stuff – give a solid overview in first phrase
  4. Make Every Word Count – do NOT abbreviate
  5. Keep it simple – less is more, link to the full story
  6. Provide context – use keywords and hashtags
  7. Graphics expand the story – visually describe your headline, scan an image or take a picture if necessary
  8. People make things interesting – use a conversational tone
  9. Consider the reader – respect your audience and think twice before you post

Finally, to take your social media post from transliterate to metaliterate, make sure to provide next steps (a question or instructions)!


Brooklyn College Library meeting notes

December 4, 2013 – “Let’s Get Social”

  • What makes sense for us to be doing?
    • posts delivered on set days in certain topical areas, for example Science Fridays, Search Smart Saturdays, Tech Tuesdays
    • schedule of things that are posted every term, set the timing with Hootsuite
    • target specific audiences through social media?
      • use sub-lists on Facebook to organize who sees your posts
      • create lots of Facebook pages, for each department or librarian
    • “being in the soup of it all has value”
  • Social currency
    • leave our page being “in the know”
  • How do we want to proceed?
    • We need conversations, and procedures
    • We need an implementation subgroup
  • Who are our followers/students?
  • What are our procedures for posting? for removing posts?
    • Things related to information literacy should be posted by librarians – what about interns, CA’s, AIT staff?
    • Are we vetting every post? Bringing them to a group to discuss?
  • Set up an ad-hoc social media implementation committee, experiment with someone else’s social media policy, and practice with a pilot program – then review?
    • Miriam, Mariana, Nick, Courtney, Neil, Beth, Howard, (Deimosa): committee!




Bobish, G. (2011). Participation and Pedagogy: Connecting the Social Web to ACRL Learning Outcomes. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 37(1), 54–63. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2010.10.007

Handley, A. (2013, October 9). Social Media Writing Tips. The Ohio State University – Section of Communications and Technology. Retrieved from Ipri, T. (2010). Introducing transliteracy: What does it mean to academic libraries? College & Research Libraries News, 71(10), 532–567.

Johnson, C., & Burclaff, N. (2013b). Making Social Media Meaningful: Connecting Missions and Policies. In Imagine, Innovate, Inspire (pp. 399–405). Indianapolis, IN: American Library Association. Retrieved from

King, D. L. (2013, January 08). Five Tips to Reshape your Social Media Plan in 2013. Retrieved from

Mackey, T., & Jacobson, T. E. (2013, April 23). ACRL 2013 Metaliteracy. Education. Retrieved from

Mackey, T., Jacobson, T., Hecker, J., Loney, T., & Allain, N. (2013). What is Metaliteracy. Metaliteracy MOOC. MOOC. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from

Mackey, T. R., & Jacobson, T. E. (2011). Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy. College & Research Libraries, 72(1), 62–78.

Mathews, B. (2011, July 6). Why does my library use social media? The Ubiquitous Librarian. Retrieved from

Stoeckel, S., & Sinkinson, C. (2013). Tips and Trends. Instruction, (Summer). Retrieved from

Thomas, S., Joseph, C., Laccetti, J., Mason, B., Mills, S., Perril, S., & Pullinger, K. (2007). Transliteracy: Crossing divides. First Monday, 12(12). Retrieved from

Witek, D. (2013, April 18). “I Found it on Facebook”: Social Media and the ACRL Information Lit… Business & Mgmt. Retrieved from

CUNY Library List


From CUNY Academic Commons

Main list: CUNY Campus Libraries

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Additional resources


updated 6-7-2013 … 20130607062938

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Information Literacy Resources @ CUNY

From CUNY Academic Commons

With 20 libraries throughout the university, it’s not surprising that CUNY library faculty have created a wide variety of tutorials and guides for research, library materials, and information literacy. Here’s a sampling of the wonderful tools and resources available for faculty and student use in all disciplines, compiled by LILAC, the Library Information Literacy Advisory Committee. Please feel free to add to this list!


Getting Started with College Research This City Tech tutorial is a textual, click through introduction to starting the research process: reading about a subject, choosing a topic, identifying keywords, constructing a concept map, getting help from a librarian. As its name indicates, it’s strictly about “getting started,” and does not address how to take what you’ve learned and apply it to searching library resources.

Formulating a Search Strategy This is an excellent 5 + minute tutorial, (slides w/audio presentation) about how to create a search strategy using keyword concepts and Boolean connectors. It is clear and includes an 8-question quiz and a printable summary of the lesson.


Find a Book by Author in the Library Catalog A short (two minutes, no audio) Hunter College video tutorial about how to start at the library’s homepage and look up a book in the catalog by author. The tutorial is Hunter-specific, but could be used by any CUNY school, once inside the CUNY Library Catalog the directions are useful no matter which CUNY school you attend.

The LOOP The LOOP (Library Online Orientation Program) website provides a comprehensive introduction to the Brooklyn College Library. While much content is BC-specific, the Books and Articles pages in the Doing Research section contains tutorials relevant to all researchers. (A quiz is included, though it is only available to Brooklyn College students.)

Finding a Book on the Shelf Using the Call Number This clear and straightforward one-page guide from LaGuardia Community College uses images and text to explain how to use Library of Congress call numbers to find books in the CUNY libraries.


Guide to Research for Oral Presentations This Baruch College tutorial is a text-based introduction on how to use databases to find articles, how to evaluate sources, and how to cite them in oral presentations. With additional links to other resources, such as how to create oral presentations, steps of the research process, Boolean searching, etc.

Beginner’s Guide to Business Research This Baruch College video tutorial is an introduction to doing business research. It covers how to find information from two major sources: company websites and business databases. It also addresses the disadvantages of relying on the free web for company information. Includes a short quiz to test your business research skills.

Introduction to Mutual Funds This 30 minute video tutorial from Baruch College provides an introduction to mutual funds, including definitions, how and why to buy, and how to track mutual fund performance.


MLA Citation Guide This online guide to MLA Style for Students (7th edition) from LaGuardia Community College offers explanation of the elements of each citation type as well as detailed common abbreviations and in-text citation guides. What will prove helpful for users is the notation of the rule upon which each example is based from the MLA handbook should users require additional reference.

APA Citation Guide This online guide to the revised APA style manual from LaGuardia Community College offers a list with examples of all media, electronic, and print citation formats. It also includes a detailed guide to in-text citations and abbreviations. Each example is accompanied by reference and page to the source from the APA manual.

Libraries and Library Issues on the Commons

From CUNY Academic Commons

see also: CUNY Library List on this Wiki

This page is a compilation of links to stuff librarians are posting on the Commons. Please feel free to add, expand and otherwise modify its contents so that the work of CUNY librarians can be shared. Stuff includes: blog posts & pages, wiki pages, groups links, forums thread, BP Docs, and whatever.

Blogs on the Commons:

Groups on the Commons:

Some groups have restrictions on membership.

Selected Links for Librarians on the Commons Wiki

Other Links

Open Source Movement

From CUNY Academic Commons



Three acronyms,
(Open Source Software),
(Free Software Movement) and
(Free Open Source Software), and the term “
software libre
,” have been used to describe the open source software movement, which is widely believed to have started in 1983 when Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman

founded the GNU Project and formulated and implemented his “GNU Public License” that defined the rights of users to review source code, make changes to it, and redistribute it, either in the original or modified versions, at no cost (von Krogh & von Hippel, 2003, p. 3). In 1985, Stallman created the
Free Software Foundation
, and he is still the acting president of this “copy-left” movement set up to protect the rights of software users. (Stallman, 1983, para. 1-4).

Roots of the Open Source Movement

But as von Krogh & von Hippel (2003) note, the OSS movement had earlier roots. The “communal hacker culture” of the 1960s and 1970s, especially prevalent around MIT and in ARPANET, was based on the free exchange of software. Stallman was a part of this culture, and when he saw proprietary software packages starting to be developed, he found it “morally” wrong (p. 4). The term he used was “software hoarding.” (Williams, 2002).

Open Access Initiative

Logo courtesy of OAI

In contrast to FSF, the
Open Source Initiative
(OSI) was founded in 1998, and differs from FSF in that it is less political and confrontational, and focuses instead on the superiority of open source software. (
History of the OSI
, para. 16-18). While the two groups have similar goals and work together on many projects, OSI focuses on the “practical benefits” of the various licensing agreements that have subsequently evolved (von Krogh & von Hippel, 2003, p. 4).
(1999) notes how this has lead to many different offshoots, including some that might be “anathema” to members of FSF, such as the “gated open-source community” model, which licenses out software rights only to its large (paying) user base, and reaps benefits from it users’ modifications, documentation and defect resolution. Another model is to freely distribute source code, and allow modifications and redistribution for noncommercial use, but when used commercially, a different license is required. This is the model which Sun’s Java project follows (p. 36).

OSI’s Ten Criteria for Open Source

In its website, the OSI lists ten criteria which software must comply in order to be considered open source. These are:

  1. “Free Redistribution” – no restrictions on the sale or sharing can be stipulated in the license;
  2. “Source Code” – the source code must be included so that everyone can read and modify it;
  3. “Derived Works” – any modifications to the source code can be distributed under the same terms of the license;
  4. “Integrity of The Author’s Source Code” – a license may be constructed to restrict modifications only if it “allows the distribution of ‘patch files’ with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code.” Also, a license may require that the modified versions be named differently from the original;
  5. “No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups” – license cannot discriminate;
  6. “No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor” – license cannot restrict the use of the software to a certain field;
  7. “Distribution of License” – additional licenses are not necessary when the program is redistributed;
  8. “License Must Not Be Specific to a Product” – if the program is part of a larger distribution, the license should guarantee the right to extract and use as desired;
  9. “License Must Not Restrict Other Software” – license cannot “insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software”; and
  10. “License Must Be Technology-Neutral” – license cannot require that the software be used with a specific technology (The Open Source Definition, n.d., para. 1-10).

Open Source Development Model

Logo courtesy of LibrePlanet

(1999) notes, giving programmers access to source code and the right to create derivations allows them “to help themselves, and encourages natural product evolution as well as preplanned product design.” He sees this methodology as clearly superior when creating customized software (p. 34). Coders are encouraged to look under the hood, find bugs and fix them. They are invited to add on to the code, create extensions or plug-ins, or take the code base and re-tool it into something new.

The Open Source Community

OSS is thoroughly dependent upon a development community. The “key determinants of a project’s success” is not the product itself, but rather the support of the user community. The project must attract a “passionate core of users” who are anxious to expand and extend it, and who are willing to devote their time and energy, often with little or no financial compensation. The “glue” that holds a development community together is cooperation rather than money (O’Reilly, 1999, p.36-37). 


Related Pages

  • Freedom in the Cloud – cited by Matt Gold in Why I Left Facebook, from his The Lapland Chronicles Blog.

OA Journals in Library and Information Science

From CUNY Academic Commons


List of American/Canadian LIS OA journals

(PR = peer-reviewed)

Semi OA

Journals that aren’t OA, but either allow authors to self-archive and/or have a short term embargo. Here are some to get us started:

Related Articles

Related Journals

Related Pages

Open Access Publishing

From CUNY Academic Commons


The Right To Research

Open Access publishing aims to free readers and libraries from the subscription costs of scholarly journals. Emphasizing “free availability and unrestricted use” (PLoS, 2009), Open Access (OA) relies on the collaboration of authors, sponsors and institutions to absorb publishing costs. Its peer-reviewed journals are distributed freely on the Web. Repositories and archives are established on university campuses, and preservation tasks are shared.

Also known as “royalty free literature” (Suber, 2007, para. 5), OA literature is primarily scientific and medical in nature, although many social science journals can be found in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Largely free of most copyright and licensing restrictions, OA literature can be read, downloaded, copied, crawled through for indexing purposes, and passed as data to software programs (Suber, 2006, para 2). The Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002 concluded that no “financial, legal or technical barriers” should restrict this literature’s use. It may be distributed and reproduced freely and “the only role for copyright … should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.” (para. 3).

Besides addressing the Serials Pricing Crisis, and making scholarly literature available to researchers worldwide, OA publishing allows researchers and institutions to show what they do with their funding. Research funded by institutions or taxpayers should be freely visible to the public (Shulenburger, 2008)

SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resource Coalition, plays a key role in the coordination of OA in research libraries and institutions. SPARC’s student brochure, The Right to Research, clearly explains the need for OA publishing, and reinforces the notion that everyone benefits when research is openly shared. SPARC is a founder of the Alliance of Taxpayer Access, a group composed of taxpayers, patients, doctors, and researchers who support open access to tax-funded research, and advocate for the public’s right to freely access research.

Types of OA Publishing

Many permutations of OA Publishing currently exist. Suber (2007) breaks them down into two models, Gold OA and Green OA:

  • Gold OA – journals in this category do peer reviews, and allow the author to retain copyright. Some are for profit, some are not. They charge a fee to publish each article (paid by the author, or the sponsor of the research, or the university). These journals may run advertisements or priced “add-on” articles to help defray the costs of publishing.
  • Green OA – refers primarily to archives and repositories, often hosted by universities committed to long-term preservation. Peer review is not necessary, as articles in this category have already gone through their initial publishing process. The repositories are typically organized by discipline.
  • A cross between Gold and Green is what Suber calls the “delayed open access journal” which allows OA to begin after an embargo period (i.e. a set period of time after publication).

There is also the situation of articles previously published in non-OA journals. As the copyright holders, the publishers may or may not allow OA archiving. But, as Suber points out, there are actually three versions of an article: (1) the pre-print version; (2) the post-print version (after peer review, but before copy-editing), and (3) the final version. The author typically holds the copyright for the pre-print version. And according to Suber, 70% of journals allow for post-print archiving. So in essence, an author can often decide the extent of an article to expose in an archive (para. 6).

OA Publishing “by the Numbers”

According to the OAD website (2009), hosted by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, there are currently around 4,344 Open Access journals. Its page “OA by the numbers” provides many useful statistics and links to their sources, including breakdowns by Gold and Green OA.

Prerequisites for OA Publishing

The advent of the World Wide Web made OA publishing possible. Shulenburger (2008) points out the obvious: OA is just not possible in a print world. Publication, indexing and distribution costs are just too high. But what else enables this model to thrive? First is a group of authors who do not publish for profit, and who, in fact may actually pay to have their articles published. The third is dedicated group of scholars whose collaborative spirit of scholarship.

  • online material
  • academic journals
  • authors who do not get paid
  • authors who need immediate access to research
  • metadata
  • preservation
  • funding (college, public, private, personal)
  • Content Management System with searchable front end


Digital repositories are very effective ways to publicly distribute information. Shulenburger (2008) notes that taxpayers are “eager” to see the results of the research they fund, and correctly feel that the “right information” at the “right time” can benefit them enormously. But he concludes that universities do a rather “lousy job” of promoting the availability of digital collections, and fail to inform current and future funders of the fruits of their scholarship. Academia needs to break out of the historically closed feeling that its scholarship for its students only.

OA depends on repositories set up by institutional unit (i.e. a university, a foundation, a governmental agency) that provide access to its scholarly work. These repositories are accessed through the institution’s portal not just by members of that institution, but by the public at large. In many cases OA provides proof of its scholarly work, a justification for the tax payer monies, or grants.

Each repository uses a content management system (CMS) to organize its information. Metadata may also be created to enable searching across portals, to truly provide open access. OAI-PMH is a Dublin Core based XML schema that is used to enable harvesting of metadata.

Benefits for Faculty and Researchers

In the traditional scholarly publishing model researchers give up the copyright on articles they’ve written, and the journal publisher retains copyright. In addition, faculty volunteer (unpaid) service as peer-reviewers and editors for subscription-funded scholarly journals. OA journals allow researchers to keep the copyright to their work, and, by extension, to reproduce the work wherever they see fit, for example, an institutional repository or distribution to students.

By removing the paid subscription barrier from scholarly publishing, OA journals increase access to scholarship for faculty, researchers, students and the general public. Academic work can be found more easily on the internet, making our research more visible. Faculty can have greater access to scholarship in their field, as do unaffiliated scholars or those at institutions that cannot afford to pay high subscription prices for traditionally-published academic journals.

There are many high-quality, well-respected, peer-reviewed open access journals across the full spectrum of academic disciplines and subjects. The process of peer review is similar to subscription-based journals, double-blind and rigorous. Additionally, applications like Open Journal Systems include a built-in process to facilitate submission of articles, reviews and revisions.

Implications for Librarians

OASIS (2009) provides an entire tab in its website to describe how libarians can use OA to extend their mission: Open Access is an answer to the “Serials Pricing Crisis”. Scholarly output has doubled since the mid 1980’s and shows no signs of stopping and the current publishing model is not sustainable. Funding is just not available to purchase the number of journals scholars now require.

Shulenburger (2008) suggests seven steps to take to encourage OA publishing, and though he does not assign them to any particular group, academic librarians should surely be aware of his suggestions, as paraphrased below:

      1. Ensure a digital repository is available on campus for faculty to deposit research.
      2. Ensure faculty and administration are aware of the “real benefits of broadening distribution of scholarly product”.
      3. Arrange workshops with faculty and administration to discuss intellectual property policies and OA’s implications.
      4. Advertise public access and set up policies for all funding agencies and foundations.
      5. Win the support of everyone on campus. Demonstrate how OA will benefit all.
      6. Work with departments and faculty to develop habits of depositing into digital repository.
      7. “Brand” information from your repository. Engage public relations staff to spread the word: come here first for quality information.

Indexing, Retrieval and Preservation

Open Access Journals are typically accessed from their institutions’ portals or through the Directory of Open Access Journals or DOAJ.

OpenDoar is another directory of repositories.

In addition, the metada of OA articles can be stored OAI-PMH and then harvested by aggregators such as OAISTER OAI_PMH protocol was established in 1999 and allows metadata harvesting of archives across repositories making them searchable and interoperable.

Archiving and Preservation of OA Journals

Related to Open Access Publishing, the Open Archives Initiative attempts to provide a common framework for the archival of all digital information (not just OA journals) through the use of OAI metadata standards. OAISTER is a remarkable front-end retrieval system that harvests metadata from institions world-wide, and makes it searchable.


Recommended Links

This list is presented in an order that will hopefully make sense to the OA novice:

  1. Peter Suber’s Open Access Overview is an excellent place to begin learning about Open Access. Suber is a researcher for SPARC and compiled ths digest for those unfamiliar with OA.
  2. Simmons College has an excellent wiki called OAD (Open Access Directory) that provides current information about Open Access. It is hosted by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and has on its board of supervisors many key players in OA. Check out its Table of Contents that provides easy access to OA information.
  3. Open Access Videos – there are 19 of them
  4. DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) lists OA journals, and provides a user interface to search them. DOAJ
  5. The Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook or OASIS
  6. LOCKSS – is short for “Lots of copies keep stuff safe.” In this wiki, you can find out ways institutions are colloborating to preserve each others repositories by using disk space on older computers.
  7. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) is integral to OA. This is thick reading though, and a resource that should perhaps be used after some of the others listed here. Peter Suber is one of researchers for SPARC, and his Digest, is concise and perfect for OA novices.
  8. The Public Library of Science is a great resource … Known as PLos, The Public Library of Science is a key player in the OA field


Intellectual Property Considerations

From CUNY Academic Commons


Subject Matter Coordinators


This page and related pages contain information and links to resources relevant to the use of copyrighted materials in unrestricted, publicly accessible environments as well as in academic, teaching & learning settings (where access to content may be restricted to faculty, staff and students).


Lessig – Free Culture, Copyright and the Future of Ideas

Creative Commons founder and Stanford professor Lawrence Lessig is giving his final presentation on Free Culture, Copyright and the future of ideas. After 10 years of enlightening and inspiring audiences around the world with multi-media presentations that inspired the Free Culture movement, Professor Lessig is moving on from the copyright debate and setting his sites on corruption in Washington.

History of Mashups

A work-in-progress clip from, a collaborative documentary project to create a feature film about copyright in the digital age.


CUNY Materials


TEACH (“Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act” ) says it is not copyright infringement for teachers and students at an accredited, nonprofit educational institution to transmit performances and displays of copyrighted works as part of a course if certain conditions are met. If these conditions are not or cannot be met, use of the material will have to qualify as a fair use or permission from the copyright holder(s) must be obtained. Links to toolkits, checklists and additional commentary on the TEACH Act can be found here.

Fair Use

Fair use is a doctrine in U.S. copyright law that places limitations on the exclusive rights of copyright holders under certain conditions. An overview, additional information on what fair use is, what constitutes a fair use of copyrighted material and guidelines can be found here at the Copyright Clearance Center, Consortium of College and University Media Centers and at the U.S. Copyright Office.

Creative Commons

The Creative Commons organization, in their words, “… provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use [Creative Commons licensing] to change your copyright terms from “All Rights Reserved” to “Some Rights Reserved.” Click here for more information. See also: Creative Commons: A New Tool for Schools, Howard Pitler


Cool Stuff for Teachers

From CUNY Academic Commons


  • The Forum Network provides a collection of talks and lectures PBS and NPR have decided to make freely available.
  • 99 Awesome Firefox Add-ons for Educators comes courtesy of, for those interested in extensions to the browser most of us use.
  • Zotero is a bibliographic tool for collecting and citing the sources you meet with on the Web. (It’s #22 of the above 99 but is good enough to merit its own entry.)
  • Evernote isa way to clip, annotate, and collect almost anything you come across in the digital world.
  • EtherPad isa web-based word processor that allows people to work together in real time.
  • Mendeley is a pdf management and bibliographic tool that allows you to organize, share, and discover research papers. 
  • WolframAlpha is a “computational knowledge engine” that will answer your math questions, do your calculations, and much more.
  • citeulike is a combination of social bookmarking tools that allows you to do (possibly annotated) bibliographies and reading lists that link right to the sources.
  • VoiceThread allows you to upload images in a slideshow format, including narration or text for each slide, and also allows text or voice comments from any user.
  • 10 sites for sharpening critical thinking is a compendium brought to you by Jeff Cobb’s Mission to Learn blog.
  • AcaWiki bills itself as a “‘Wikipedia for academic research’ designed to allow” students and teachers “to share summaries and discuss academic papers online.”
  • Hot Potatoes is free quiz generation software.
  • Free Online OCR (optical character recognition) analyzes the text in any image file (like a scanned document), then that into text that you can easily edit on your computer.
  • Gizmoz is an app that lets you create, customize and animate 3D characters that talk — e.g., from a photo you have of yourself (or a historical personage, or what/whomever).
  • Top 100 Tools for Learning 2009 as put together by Jane Hart, a “social learning consultant.”
  • Educational Videos on the Internet– a listing of vidos available on the web for use with instruction in various academic areas
  • {Please add your own favorites}

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