Global Feedback

For today’s blog, I thought I would share with everyone an email we recently received,

Here is an example of the many engineering publications, papers, reports and proceedings available in DR@ISU.

Here is an example of some of the many collections of engineering publications, papers, reports and proceedings available in DR@ISU.

An engineering student from India wrote to DR@ISU after recently coming across some very useful research in our repository. He said, ”I read so many article[s] which are so useful and helpful in [my] course study subject like production and planning, CAD/CAM, advance welding process and advance engineering materials, etc. Thanks for providing essential information.”

When we talk about DR@ISU with our staff and faculty, we often focus on the ways in which they will benefit by reaching a global audience, but it is really great to get feedback about how the research coming out of Iowa State is helping other people!

Happy Wednesday!

Hope

Challenges in Training

New Department, new co-workers and new students, which means we are all starting from scratch.  Training is a must and training helps everyone to stay on top of their work.  This insures you to keep organized, up to date and focused.  Challenges are always there and folks, we are no longer one or two steps ahead, thanks in part to our ever-changing technology.

There are some major challenges when starting a new department. Why, you ask?  Things are not in place, things are not organized, and things are not yet structured.  Where is this file on this author, what department is that author from, and when did this author submit this item?  How do I put this patent in again? What does the EU mean in front of this patent number? How do I link this again?  Questions and more questions and no one seems to have all the answers…YET!  TRAINING anyone?  We have a love-hate relationship folks with training around here.

First off, you got to have help; this means assembling a staff with a boss (Harrison), a supervisor (Hope) and the worker bees (a.k.a. Susan, myself and Sue).  Okay, step one was completed by the start of September 2014 when we finally had all of our full time staff officially in place. Moving on to step two, which was getting the office organized. This process actually began shortly after I started in May. I decided the best way to keep our paperwork organized was to come up with a basic filing system (organize files by department, then last name).  This allows us to maintain a better work flow and keep track of where each Author’s file is, where in the work flow each staff member is, and send the Author updates as needed.  Okay, time to move on to the actual training portion…there is that word again.

Step three means putting that staffing and organization to best use by creating some kind of instruction manual.  Instructions are important for all staff, and yes, that includes the bosses. Instructions ensure that there is a uniform process for the work that is being done, so that we end up with, you guessed it, a uniform product! Having an instruction manual in place is an ideal jumping off point in any training process, which is why I worked with Harrison to piece one together before the rest of our new staffers started in September. Since then, we have come to realize the inevitable step four…

Actually putting this all into practice. Having only been here a few months, I was charged with training my new supervisor, Hope. She would sit down with me in the morning, instruction manual and pen in hand, and try to make sense of what I was telling her. Then, that afternoon, she would sit down and train our other Library Assistant II, Sue Rappenwolf. It is a messy and hectic process that raised all sorts of questions I didn’t have the answers to. Training another employee really tested everything I thought I knew about repositories and forced me to put all my knowledge to the test.

If I could pass right by step four I would! It is this really long drawn out process and right when you think you’ve got it all figured out, someone comes along with a seemingly innocent question and makes you rethink the entire process. But that makes us stop and ask, “What are we training, for what?” For all those questions you have and are unable to locate the answer on your own. Training will aid you in getting your job done more efficiently, timely manner, and accurately.  Training does help you but like exercising you don’t want to get “started” doing it but feel so much better when it is over. You realized you got something out of it and you don’t want to admit it to anyone.  Well, at least I don’t!!!

Ultimately, what I’ve learned since joining this very new department is that training is a never ending journey. Next week, Hope will expand on this and describe the on-going challenge of trying to create a set of instructions for an ever-evolving process.

New Position for an Old Hand

I’d like to introduce myself, Susan Rappenwolf, Library Assistant II in the Digital Repository and I’ve been here since September 2014. I am so excited by the work being done by the DR—it gives me pride and energy to make this department the success it is and will be.Susan_actressI am an actress, singer, (used-to-be) dancer, director…if it has to do with theater and being on stage, I’ve been doing it since I was four years old. I started college as a music and theater major, but ended up majoring in English literature at Texas Wesleyan College. I earned my Master’s degree in Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Arlington because it was my personal challenge. I’ve done needlework and spinning and other arts and crafts. I love to travel anywhere with my spouse, Sue Wolf. And I have three Yorkshire terriers who make my life full.

I’ve been at Iowa State University’s Parks Library since November 2000 and worked in Interlibrary Loan for fourteen years. But I have been working in libraries just about my whole life. I started in junior high school and high school, working in the school libraries, checking books in and out and shelving books. My first college, Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois, has a world-famous work program and my job was in the library, maintaining the card catalog and lettering and prepping books for the shelves. I worked for ten years at the Fort Worth Public Library in Cataloging, Public Service, and Acquisitions and was a volunteer there for two years before being hired. I spent two years working at the tiny Boyce Ditto Library in Mineral Wells, Texas, in Circulation and Cataloging, and helping out with Adult Reference and Children’s Services. I worked for a few month at the Ames Public Library in Circulation and the Bookmobile before finally finding my home here at Iowa State University. I really tried to break away from library work, but I figure my destiny in this life is to be attached to libraries. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am in love with the Digital Repository. I so appreciate the philosophy of making research free and open to the world. I enjoy working with faculty and staff with all their varied interests and subjects on which they write. I’ve worked on articles about mosquito-vector-borne diseases, fashion merchandising, and condensed materials physics. I feel like a sponge soaking up all this wonderful research and teaching and then squeezing it out to the world in carefully packaged and crafted entries.

Yes, I’ve got the best job in the world right now.

Introducing our New Students!

DR@ISU is proud to introduce our two new student employees, Caleb Burt and Lance Durand. Caleb a sophomore Aerospace Engineering student enrolled in the concurrent B.S.-M.B.A. program, while Lance is a junior Marketing major. Currently, both students are getting acclimated to the DR workload by working through Sketch. As described in an earlier post by Lorrie, Sketch is an English journal produced by students here at Iowa State. When it came to training new students, we decided that Sketch would be a great way of exposing them to a wide variety of tasks that they will encountering while working with DR@ISU, including splitting PDFs, working with the Library’s Digital Initiatives Unit and uploading metadata into the repository.

As they become more confident and comfortable with the workload, we plan on giving them more specialized projects, comparable to the work that our current student Ben did with the SafePork project. We are excited to have them join our team and can’t wait to see how their progress.

Caleb is a sophomore majoring in Aerospace Engineering.

Caleb is a sophomore majoring in Aerospace Engineering.

Lance is a junior majoring in Marketing.

Lance is a junior majoring in Marketing.

Annual DC+GLUG Conference in Valparaiso, IN July 30th – August 1st 2014.

Susan Knippel and Lorrie Smith attended the Annual DC+GLUG Conference in Valparaiso, IN July 30th – August 1st 2014.  Here is a little insight in what we both learned at the Conference.

Susan’s Observations

Being a fairly new member of Digital Repository at Iowa State University, I went to the Annual Meeting feeling somewhat overwhelmed.  I did not fully understand all the issues with copyright compliance or why a Digital Repository was important to the university as a whole.  The following comments are some of the highlights that I took away from the Annual Meeting.

  1. Permissions arrive from multiple places (authors, publishers, etc.) and come in various formats (e-mail, word processing, etc.). How can we preserve these permissions digitally in Digital Commons? One suggestion was to keep a copy of the permission as a PDF and attach it as “Supplemental Content”, but leave the “Show” box unchecked, which is how we also currently preserve permissions in Digital Repository@ ISU.
  1. Digital Commons randomly selects a “Paper of the Day” and highlights it on the DR@ISU home page. In order to help with outreach and to encourage others to submit to the repository, we think it would be nice send an e-mail to the authors informing them their paper was chosen. Currently, we have not devised a way to automatically inform authors their paper was chosen. I have asked Digital Commons to consider this feature request.
  1. One of the things Digital Commons helps support is establishing a publishing program. There was a lot of talk at the conference about what are the risks and rewards in establishing library-led publishing services? This is a feature we have just started establishing within our own library. I think with more outreach and staffing, we could provide a valuable service to the university.
  1. How do we promote open access and growth in our institutional repository? At the conference it was generally agreed that meeting with faculty and academic departments is a good way.  When presentations and meetings are held, it was beneficial to use marketing tools like pens or coasters with logos to remind faculty of our services. Currently, we are working on setting up schedules for meeting with faculty to remind them of the benefits of submitting their vitas to our institutional repository.  We are also looking at marketing tools to see what best represents our services.
  1. Bepress has several new features offered. They include an image viewer with pan & zoom, Featured Collections, New Download Count Filtering, a Readership Activity Map and Readership Reports with things like how many publications are available, number of downloads in the past month, total number of downloads. These new features provide a lot of great new feedback and insight to our authors and really help to get faculty excited about DR@ISU.

Lorrie’s Observations

Attending this conference was so helpful because I have a lot to learn about digital repositories. While at the conference, I realized that working in repositories is an ongoing learning experience because the digital world is changing and facing new challenges each and every day.  How to educate our faculty on the importance of digital repositories, how to use our faculty to help spread the word about our digital repository to other faculty members, and how universities are trying to find more efficient ways of processing permissions. Here is a list of some of the major points I took away from the conference.

  1. Growth: Digital Repositories are constantly growing, some faster than others. Universities are trying hard to keep up with the demand of staff, equipment and space to house a department.  Some universities only have one person staff person and a student or two to help with the incoming vitas from their faculty. We are incredibly lucky to have such an active and supportive faculty.
  1. Scholarly Communications: would be more effective if all parties involved [everyone from Faculty to Library Staff] understood the importance of the “how and why” of the digital repository. Working closely with scholarly librarians is one way in which we can help to increase the presence and understanding of DR@ISU across campus.
  1. What about the General Public? Institutional repositories are funded by tax payers’ dollars. Why doesn’t anyone mention them and how they can benefit from this open access scholarship? How can we get the word out to the General Public or should we? This was far and away the most interesting thing I took away from the conference and it leads into my next point…
  1. Marketing Digital Repository @ Iowa State University: Some institutional repositories give out items like coasters, magnets, etc. to hand out after a meeting or conferences. This helps in reminding the faculty where the item came from and hopefully inspires them to talk to another member of their department, which in return helps us spread the word about our repository. Currently, I am working on putting together a marketing program for DR@ISU which includes promotional cards, items, and attendance at events that would target a broader public audience like alumni events or the Iowa State Fair.
  1. Working with Faculty: Harrison  spoke on this, “When you have a short amount of time to explain Digital Repository and its importance get on their level, don’t waste time trying to explain certain details of the Why and How of DR, but what it will do for them, the monthly reports they would get will show them who is using their materials and how often”. While it is important for our DR staff to understand all the intricacies of DR@ISU, this other information is what makes folks get excited. Seeing who is looking at their work, how often it is being used will help them to see the importance placing all their works into the repository and making it accessible.

SafePork Summer: Uploading the “International Conference on the Epidemiology & Control of Biological, Chemical and Physical Hazards in Pigs and Pork”

After two years of working for Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, I’ve undertaken many more projects since my first assignment for our department. To date, my greatest undertaking has been creating an Event Community for the “International Conference on the Epidemiology & Control of Biological, Chemical and Physical Hazards in Pigs and Pork” – or SafePork for short. The SafePork conference series began in 1996 to bring together international researchers, industry, and government agencies to discuss current Salmonella research and identify research needs pertaining to both pig and pork production. In subsequent years topics of research presented at these conferences expanded to include other chemical and biological hazards to pig and pork production. I began and completed this project over the summer, working with Dr. Annette O’Connor from the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic & Production Animal Medicine (VDPAM), who with several other Veterinary Medicine faculty members has been highly involved in presenting and facilitating these conferences. The details of my project consisted of acquiring, splitting, and organizing the PDFs of the conferences and uploading this information onto an event community within DR@ISU, which I worked in conjunction with Bepress to organize.

SafePork

Screenshot of the “International Conference on the Epidemiology & Control of Biological, Chemical and Physical Hazards in Pigs and Pork” event community in DR@ISU

While many of my previous projects had included uploading PDFs and manuscripts to DR@ISU, the SafePork project took these experiences and applied them to a whole new level. In this case, I was dealing with a conference series spanning almost two decades and published in ten volumes. Working with existing PDFs from the SafePork site, I set to work splitting the individual articles into separate files to be saved in our departmental drive. Given the sheer volume of files involved in this project, I created spreadsheets for each conference with the assistance of Bepress to upload the files and their accompanying metadata at one time. At the same time, I helped design the DR site by serving as a mediator between Bepress and the VDPAM faculty to ensure that the web-design met the expectations of our University’s faculty. Once the site was ready to go live, I worked with Harrison to upload the metadata spreadsheets and ensure that everything was accessible.

Since this event community’s publication, over 2,000 copies of articles have been downloaded, increasing public access to the research of our University’s faculty and other researchers around the world. This project marks the fourth conference series which DR@ISU has published, and the first of these to be published in full. As our department continues to grow, so will the accessibility of proceedings such as these, as well as a wider range of research and scholarship produced by our Iowa State Community. In these last two years, I have taken great pleasure in seeing the influence of our department grow, and I hope to continue assisting in projects like this one in my remaining semesters here. For this project and others, I’d like to extend special thanks to our department coordinator Harrison Inefuku, as well as Dr. Annette O’Connor of VDPAM and Dan Randlemon of Bepress Digital Commons.
drisu_12102014_2Benjamin Spick is a junior in Anthropology and Religious Studies. He began working with the Digital Repository in November 2012.

Who needs quality control?

Harrison:

Hilary Seo, the department head of Preservation, presents a cautionary tale about outsourced digitization projects and quality control.

Originally posted on Parks Library Preservation:

For those of you who do any sort of preservation reformatting or digitizing you know how time consuming the quality control process can be. Our best practice would be to check completeness and initial quality of the original, especially if we are sending them to a vendor, and then to quality control page-by-page or frame-by-frame the facsimile or digital version. Maybe over time, as we become more confident in our process or the vendor’s, we may choose to do some spot checking or sampling if we are doing a large project. This is the step that is often overlooked when planning a project and budgeting staff time. It seems like such a waste of resources, especially when there are no mistakes to be found.

Well, let me tell you a little story and provide a warning. Like many academic institutions, our dissertations were sent to UMI for microfilming dating back to…

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Introducing Hope: New Member of DR@ISU & Iowa’s Prostitution Historian

DSC_0001Introductions are probably in order, my name is Hope Mitchell and I am a new member of Digital Repository @ Iowa State University. I was hired as a Library Associate II and began working here in September. Like Lorrie, I am also responsible for permissions checking and uploading publications into DR@ISU, but I also help Harrison oversee the day to day running of the DR. Before joining the Digital Repository, I was a graduate student in the History Department here at Iowa State University.

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2010 and 2011 Where were you?

It has been just a little over a month since my last blog (ok, the first attempt) and it did not turn out so bad, so I figure what’s it going to hurt to type out another?  So, here I sit in front of my computer trying to figure out what I should blog about.

The second publication I was trained on was the ISU Daily.  I worked on a few months from 2010 and 2011.  These might be only a few years old, but what have we already forgotten from just those two years?

So what do you remember about 2010 or 2011?  Where were you? What were you doing back then?  School or work or just off seeing the world?  Me, well I know where I was and what I was doing.  I was living in Ames (just moved late 2009) and working here at Parks Library Storage Building 2010/2011 and spent the two summers biking on the bike trails and camping and fishing. Here are some highlights that I had forgotten.

May 2010: Did you know a CyRide Bus Driver made it into the top 10 in a national competition? The Driver placed 10th out of forty other drivers from all over the United States.  Pretty cool, if you ask me. I personally wouldn’t want to be a bus driver, so next time you ride the bus THANK that Driver for getting you safely to your stop and wish them a good day.

June 2010: Maybe you attended a show at the Theater? Helped with Cleanup at College Creek? Or saved a few bucks and took Perfect Games up on their ad and played a few free games of bowling to let off some steam from a long week of studying? Did you have an opinion on the talks about where ISU Cyclones would land in the Big 12 conference?

So let’s jump to 2011 and see what was happening then. In August, Ames was rated the 13th geekiest city in the U.S.  Now that seems interesting; did you even know someone decided to start rating cities to see which one is the “geekiest”?  Well, the National Science Foundation found that 10.7% of the city of Ames works in field related to science or engineering.  So I guess that means we are geeky, but I would look at it as we got some pretty smart folks.

Remember November 2011 and the ‘Perfect Storm’? ISU 37 OSU 31 (football for the non-sporties). The guys ‘Shock the World!’  It was quite the game if you missed it. The Clones’ had never beat a team ranked 6 or better before.  We were all wrong with thinking our guys would be lucky to make it off the field without being annihilated!  Our guys came out with their game faces on and made the country take a second look at ISU.  I was a proud Cyclone that night!

So make sure you don’t forgot to use the Digital Repository as a tool or just a fun way to look up fun facts about ISU from a CyRide Bus driver contest to the one of the best ISU football games ever!  We are preserving all types of information and want everyone to know what it is and here for all to use.

My First Blog…so here it goes

My name is Lorrie Smith and I began working with Digital Repository full time on July 2nd 2014.  From the start, I was very intrigued by the process of ultimately saving someone’s work “forever”.  Now, I figured we had already accomplished this by using paper and books, but times change and technology always seems to be a few steps ahead of us.  I am a total book lover and there is something about opening a book and smelling the paper, but as I said, times are always changing and we all seem to always change with it.

The Digital Repository @ISU is a way for students and faculty to keep their published work saved forever; it also allows for everyone to have free access to their works at a touch of button (or a click of the mouse).  Since I have begun this journey I have learned something new each day.  For example, I never knew about a journal called Sketch. Sketch started in 1934 and featured works by student writers and artists and it still continues today.  Sketch encourages all Iowa State students, regardless of year or major to submit works of artistic expression, written or visual. A couple of names you might recognize are noteworthy Iowans, Ted Kooser, former United States Poet Laureate, and Tom Harkin, United States Senator from Iowa, each had works published in Sketch during their undergraduate years.

Sketch was my first project to work on here in the DR@ISU. I learned how to split out an article in order to download it and then reload it into the Repository.  I began by working on years 1938 – 1941 and I read some of the articles listed while splitting them out.  Some of the short stories were about a time when my grandparents were young.  Some of the poems were touching and some just made me smile.  Most of these folks are no longer with us and as I read a few through the years I wondered what these folks were studying or where they ended up in life.  If their little stories can make someone 70 years later tear up or giggle just from their stories, poems, song lyrics it makes me wonder what I missed out on.  I wish I could have dinner with one of them for a night to hear more.

So I’d like to encourage everyone to take a moment and surf through a year in Sketch and see if you too find at least one that will make you stop and think, laugh or make you think of someone…then we are on the right track of saving their work forever.

Here is a link to Sketch if you are interested…http://sketch.eserver.org