Future of Big Rivers Colloquium Series

The Future of Big Rivers: Form, Flux, Ecology and Management” is a colloquium series organized by Faculty Fellow Jim Best of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC).  Five presentations are scheduled over the coming months, and the first takes place this week on the University of Illinois campus:

Professor Phil Ashworth
University of Brighton, United Kingdom,
“Why are the World’s Big Rivers so Different?”
Wednesday, October 8, 5pm
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign,
Digital Computer Lab
(DCL), 1304 West Springfield Avenue
ROOM 1320

NGRREC is a partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Illinois Natural History Survey and Lewis and Clark Community College, and is
“dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them.”

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Preview the New Library Gateway

The University Library is updating its gateway page, and you are invited to preview it.    The new site is more compatible with mobile devices, and offers quick access to a wide range of library resources and services.  From the project team:

“Over the next week, we will be accepting comments and making final changes to the page.  If all goes according to plan, we will enable the page as a replacement for the current gateway on Monday, October 6.”

Posted in INHS, ISAS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Prairie Research Institute, Web sites | 1 Comment

How you can use IDEALS and why you should

ideals-logo_339x70Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS) is our institutional repository, which “collects, disseminates, and provides persistent and reliable access to the research and scholarship of faculty, staff, and students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.”  IDEALS was initiated in 2004, based upon recommendations from from CITES and the University Library.  The first file deposits were made in September 2005.  There are currently more than 50,000 works in IDEALS.  IDEALS is part of the University Library‘s holistic digital preservation program.

The Prairie Research Institute has a community in IDEALS which holds our in-house publications and reports.  There are currently more than 3,700 works in our growing community, which is one of the largest departmental communities in IDEALS.  There were more than 10,000 downloads of Prairie Research Institute content this month alone.  IDEALS is not just for departments, however.  IDEALS is available for all students, staff, and faculty to use as an archive of their work.  Guidelines for deposit into IDEALS are below, and are presented in detail on the IDEALS website:

  • Work to be deposited should be “wholly or in part produced or sponsored by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty, researchers, staff, or students.”
  • Work should be “finished;” that is, you should not intend to edit files once deposited.
  • Work should comply with the IDEALS copyright and intellectual property policy.
  • Files of all types are accepted, but note that certain formats are more amenable to long-term preservation in IDEALS.

Services provided by IDEALS include persistent URLs (handles) for deposited works, long-term preservation of files, high visibility in web searches, full text searching, and download monitoring for deposited works.  Although open sharing of deposited content is recommended, it is permissible to restrict access completely, to specific user groups, or for a specified “embargo” period.

Here are some ways you can use IDEALS, and reasons to do so:

  • Archive your presentations.  You can share your presentation with colleagues immediately and in perpetuity by depositing slides and text into IDEALS.

Why do this?  Some conference or workshop proceedings are never published, or are published only partially or temporarily.  Archiving and sharing from IDEALS insures a permanent home and persistent link for your presentation files.

  • Archive your data.  IDEALS is not limited to text documents only.  You can archive research data as well.  While IDEALS cannot host complex relational databases and user interfaces, it is possible to archive preservation copies of data, along with descriptive and technical metadata to facilitate sharing and re-use.

Why do this?  Many funding agencies now require plans for sharing and long-term preservation of data for the projects they fund.  Depositing your data into IDEALS can satisfy both of these objectives.   Archiving data in IDEALS ensures it will be available to you and other researchers in perpetuity.  Even if your data are constantly updated and rely on a complex interface for user access from your website, IDEALS offers a home for preservation copies of your data as insurance against loss or corruption of locally maintained files.

  • Archive your manuscripts.  Most publishers do not allow authors to post the final published version of their own articles on their websites or networking tools such as ResearchGate (see Can you post your article on your profile?).   Many publishers do, however, allow authors to deposit accepted, post-review, corrected manuscripts into institutional or disciplinary repositories.  You can check publisher policies on institutional repository deposit and other author rights matters in the SHERPA/RoMEO directory, and by carefully reviewing publisher copyright transfer agreements, preferably before signing your rights away.

Why do this?  Depositing  is one way authors can legally provide open access to their work without paying additional fees to the publisher, where the publisher allows it.   The IDEALS record can include a link to the final published version of the article, but the manuscript in IDEALS allows any researcher at any institution to access your work, even if they do not have access to the journal.

  • Link to your work in IDEALS from your online vita or website.  Use IDEALS links to provide access to your work from your own web pages rather than storing files locally.

Why do this?  The IDEALS record has a persistent URL, so you will never need to update the link.   Using the IDEALS infrastructure, which is supported at the campus level, saves local server space and maintenance cost.

  • Request an IDEALS community for your research program. Related works can be gathered into communities and collections, and your librarian can help you with organization and deposit strategies.  Ask your librarian to create a community to gather the work from your research program into one place in IDEALS.

Why do this? Gathering your program output into one community provides a single place for users to access your research, and it allows you to track downloads of all program work in aggregate.

If you are a Prairie Research Institute researcher who would like assistance with IDEALS deposits and making the most of IDEALS, please contact us.

Further reading and resources:

Posted in Data Management, Digital Collections, INHS, ISAS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Open access, Prairie Research Institute, Scholarly publishing, Tools, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Celebrate Geologic Map Day October 17th

The third annual Geologic Map Day is Friday, October 17th as part of the Earth Science Week. It’s time to celebrate the important tool that geologic maps provide to society and recognize the geologists that make them!

Posted in Education, Environmental education, Maps | Leave a comment

Not lost and gone forever: Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine

Impermanence is a concern for most web content.   Commitments change, projects and funding end, institutional priorities shift, organizations  dissolve, and any of this can lead to the ‘unpublishing’ of web pages or entire sites, often without warning.  When a website you use–or one on which your work was once published–disappears, there is hope.

The Wayback Machine has archived 430 billion web pages from 1996 to the present, and allows you to see web pages as they were at multiple points in the past.  Web pages and other digital objects (e.g., pdf files) from sites it has crawled can be accessed from the archive.

To find a lost page or site:

  1. Enter the old web address for the site into the search box.
    (You do need to know the web address.)
  2. The Wayback Machine will return a calendar highlighting the dates on which the site was crawled and archived.  (See this sample search result for a listing of symposium proceedings which can no longer be found on the original host’s website.)
  3. Click on a date to see that website or page as it appeared that date.

Archive on demand.  “Save Page Now” allows you to archive a web page you are citing on demand via the Wayback Machine to ensure that information you cite is preserved (as you viewed it)–even if the hosting organization later edits the page or deletes it entirely.  The feature provides a persistent link to the archived page in the Wayback Machine.

Limitations.  Content that is restricted by publishers is excluded.  Pages that do not allow crawlers are excluded.  The functionality of interactive databases is not preserved.

Internet Archive.  The Wayback Machine is part of the Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose purposes include “offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.”   In addition to the Wayback Machine, the Internet Archive offers open access collections of digital documents and media.   Learn more about the effort of the Internet Archive to “change the content of the Internet from ephemera to enduring artifacts of our political and cultural lives.”

Posted in INHS, ISAS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Prairie Research Institute, Tools, Web sites | Leave a comment

Oak Street Storage Facility Reading Room Now Open to Patrons

The Reading Room provides a space for patrons to use Library materials housed in Oak Street High Density Storage. This is particularly useful when a patron needs to consult a large number of books, such as multi-volume sets. Unless materials are building-use only, patrons can take items home. Alternatively, they can request that items be set aside for them to use in the Reading Room.  more…

Initially, the Reading Room will be open 2pm-4pm Monday-Friday, though they hope to expand their hours soon.  See hours and location.


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H2Info: U.S. Water Partnership Resource Portal

From the web site:

H2infO provides a single entry point for access to quality U.S.-based water-related resources that contribute to solutions for global water challenges. This web portal shares a broad range of resources developed by U.S. Water Partnership members that can be used by stakeholders around the world. The Web Portal serves as a water resource librarian – directing users to the resources they need.

The site is organized into four themes:

  •  Water, Sanitation, Hygiene
  •  Governance
  •  Productivity and Efficiency
  •  Integrated Water Resource Management

Users have the option of creating an account to save resources to their personal libraries.

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Copyright and authorship

Today’s mass email on copyright from Interim Chief Privacy and Security Officer Joe Barnes serves as a reminder that just as copyright limits what you can legally do with content owned by others, your own rights as a researcher and author are valuable and should be handled with care.

When submitting work for publication, authors are often asked to sign their rights over to publishers, which can limit what they are allowed to do with their own work later.  How can you retain your rights?  The Scholarly Commons’ Savvy Researcher series offers a workshop for that.

Practical Copyright: Considerations for Teaching and Research
Tuesday September 16, 11:00-11:50am, Room 314, Main Library
presented by:
Sarah Shreeves
, IDEALS Coordinator and Scholarly Commons Co-Coordinator
Workshop details

Also see…

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Steven Chu on Energy and Climate Challenge, September 10

Steven Chu will be speaking Wednesday September 10 at 4pm as the Nelson J. Leonard Distinguished Lecturer for 2014, presented by the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  The presentation, entitled “The Energy and Climate Challenge:  We Need a Few Good Chemists” will take place in the Alice Campbell Alumni Center Ballroom.

Poster of 2014 Nelson Leonard Lecture with Steven Chu

Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Humanities & Sciences and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University, and served as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy, where her oversaw expanded deployment of renewable energy.

Posted in Climate change, Energy, Events, INHS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Prairie Research Institute | Leave a comment

Should scientists handle retractions differently?

Read the full post from MIT.

It is one of the highest-profile cases of scientific fraud in memory: In 2005, South Korean researcher Woo-Suk Hwang and colleagues made international news by claiming that they had produced embryonic stem cells from a cloned human embryo using nuclear transfer. But within a year, the work had been debunked, soon followed by findings of fraud. South Korea put a moratorium on stem-cell research funding. Some scientists abandoned or reduced their work in the field.

But the case is not so simple: By 2007, other stem-cell researchers had found that the debunked research contained a few solid findings amid the false claims. While prior stem-cell findings remained intact, it took time to rebuild support for the field.

Now a study by MIT scholars quantifies the fallout for scientists whose fields suffer high-profile retractions, with a twist: Even valid older research, when intellectually related to a retracted study, loses credibility — especially if the retracted paper involves malfeasance. The fallout from a retraction does not land solely on the scientists who are at fault, but on people in the field more broadly.


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