Brown Bag Session #3 Full Notes

Brown Bag Session #3, Wed. Jan 25, 2017

Session Notes

Wed, Jan 25: Institutional Publishing (MIT Recommendations 1, 4): Becoming a trusted vehicle for disseminating Mines’ research to the world.


11 guests attended this session, including three students, one campus architect, three faculty members, the CIO, the Sr. VP for Research and Technology Transfer, one CASA staff member, and one additional unidentified attendee.

Major Takeaways


  • Many questions about ORCID iD; awareness building is needed but the support and interest is there
  • There is a recognized need for copyright compliance support on campus. The need for expertise, the time requirements involved, and legal concerns were all mentioned. Role seen for library in facilitating copyright compliance.
  • Attendees see value in the opportunity to more comprehensively disseminate research
  • Some faculty maintain Google Scholar profiles, but not all. Faculty recognize the problems and limitations of Google Scholar. Faculty see value in a comprehensive approach managed and controlled by our own institution.
  • Recognition that this is not just about disseminating research and connecting scholars. It’s also about marketing
  • The idea of storytelling as a marketing component resonated strongly with the group. Role seen for library. Stories need to be short.
  • Criticism of Mines web site, but a new one is coming soon
  • Concern about interoperability of various systems (Mines website; library site; institutional repository; future expert system)
  • Students need to better understand importance of keywords to discoverability and access and how to craft appropriate keywords. Library has role.



Introduction by Ye Li

  • Today’s them is institutional publishing. By this, we do not mean:
    1. A CSM press
    2. Administrative publications
  • Today’s discussion centers on
    1. An open platform for global research and learning
    2. A trusted vehicle for disseminating mines research to the world
    3. Enhancing the impact of research at Mines
  • Can’t rely on publishers
  • Need to overcome the complexity of research info ecosystem in the digital era – great variety of scholarly output
  • Publishing involves both the record (metadata) and the actual content
  • Think broadly about content: social media, data, media reports, etc.
  • Publishing is a life cycle, not just a one-time event
  • Examples of institutional publishing:
  1. Showcase researcher profile and enable researcher collaboration
  2. Institutional repository: Access to mines’ scholarly output
  3. ORCID iD – unique, persistent id for researchers and scholars
  4. Integrating scholarly storytelling – reach a broader audience



Detailed Discussion Notes:


Faculty: How many faculty/researchers on campus are part of ORCID?


Ye: Don’t know. Did workshop for Chemistry Dept. last semester. Tried to search School of Mines in orchid database. Wasn’t a perfect search but only found 30-40 results and not all Mines researchers captured by the search. IEEE, ACS and others now require it, so list should now be longer. Hope Mines will become an institutional member this year – will help with statistics.


Faculty: How important to build other examples you gave? If we have a good presence on ORCID, will it help build the rest of infrastructure?


Ye: ORCID is just a number. The power of ORCID is that individuals can populate their profile themselves. Can add your own work with own justification. Sometimes researchers don’t want some info shared. You have control with ORCID. Usefulness will depend on how well researchers keep their profile up to date. If up to date and complete, then other tools will prove richer and more effective. Provides a solid base for a correct publication/project list. Depends on the human effort. All systems can harvest via ORCID iD.


Faculty: Has an ORCID iD but purposefully left it empty. No fields are required.


Ye: Publisher at this time includes ORCID iD with articles. They know it’s yours. Useful to identify authors. That is original purpose. But only applies to future publications, not earlier ones. You have to add that history back in. Good tools in place to help you do so easily.


Ye Q: How much effort is bearable to maintain such a record?


Faculty: Google Scholar is very simple. I don’t have to do anything. Anything else is more intensive.


Ye: Your name is a unique one, but for others with common names, Google Scholar is not so good.


Office of Research: Regarding dissemination of information: ResearchGate is popular. About once per week, Office of Research and Technology Transfer receives request from someone who wants an article. Makes him nervous re copyright, etc. Useful to have a resource. Needs copyright assistance. Doesn’t have time to address fully and properly, suspects same situation for others. We want to get the information out but don’t want legal compliance issues with Elsevier.


Ye: That is the ultimate goal – the accessibility of our own info on our own platform. We can negotiate with publishers; it has been done before. Depends on publisher policies. Policies differ. As an institution, we could negotiate and say, give us all our articles and batch load. Then ResearchGate can’t compete with us.


Office of Research: This is the best possible scenario: A publication is accepted. Send an email to someone on campus and say, “You take care of it.”


Ye: Even better if the publisher automatically sends it to us. If we need to contact a researcher at Mines, we will. More streamlined approach. But we are far from that ideal.
Office of Research: This would be enormously helpful, a great way to let the rest of the world know about our work. Right now it’s just scattershot.


Carol: It does involve a financial commitment by Mines.


Ye: And a human resource commitment.


Faculty: Regarding Google Scholar: Even many faculty here don’t have a Google Scholar profile so it’s hard to know productivity of colleagues. There is a financial burden of building our own institutional platform. What is the best order of actions? Start with ORCID iD and push people to do it so will be easier?


Ye: Thanks for asking. If people start to populate ORCID profile, this will help make building our future expert system much easier. We are creating a new working group to explore expert system options and are putting out an RFP.


Faculty: The problem with Google Scholar is you have to maintain it. It’s often hopelessly out of date.


Ye: Yes, this is always a problem. With an expert system, we can do some of this screening ourselves.


Faculty: IS Google Scholar connected to ORCID?


Ye: No. ORCID is nonprofit. Google can harvest if they want to because the API from ORCID is free, but I don’t think they currently do. But they will. And that’s a good thing. We want access to be as broad as possible. There is an advantage to having our own system as well as having other external systems.


Ye: Let’s focus on students now. Slides, posters, blogs, portfolios are all student content we could disseminate. Any thoughts?


Student: The goal is to disseminate to the world. But to whom and how do you target these audiences? There are two ways of looking at things: Intracampus (connecting Mines scholars) and intercampus (external dissemination). Also, another point of view is graduate student recruitment: We want to be able to advertise broadly the research done on this campus. Not to read publications, perhaps – they may be too technical – but to share broader message, broader communication to impact our scholarly arm and advertise what Mines tax $$ accomplish. Marketing. Which of these purposes is our first priority?


Ye: Building up our research profiles is priority #1. Then we can add teaching components, like you said – tech transfer components. And most important – the storytelling component. It’s just a platform. The content is what is important.  We can enrich it together.


Student: From the student perspective: Can we look at articles for free on this? (ORCID) on our institutional repository? So we can see what we’ve published. We can see if it was deposited.


Ye: Yes. Our shared institutional repository is intended to be open access and so far it is, so everyone should have access. It’s a requirement.


Student: Regarding stories – It might be good idea for the library to work with a professor or students to create those stories.


Ye: Yes. Partnership. Forming a team to find out how to approach that.


Faculty: what about security: Who decides what can be put in the institutional repository?


Ye: If it’s a formal publication, the copyright holder (the author) can set these terms. For your own work, you have the right to set terms when you publish. If it’s your work, you decide, we facilitate. We will create paths to facilitate this.
The repository is hosted by other institutions. We’re still working on the ability for authors to self-deposit. For now, you have to give it to us to upload. For students, this is one of our major challenges. They’re here then they leave, so how long will they be affiliated with Mines? While they’re still here with us, we have to ask their professors to determine if their work is worthy of addition to the repository.


Brianna: Penn is putting student senior design projects into their repository. But if student is working for client, may be an issue. Mines is hosting a graduate conference, hoping to have a collection from it.


Carol: Some schools put student portfolios on a separate platform. Need to distinguish between true scholarly contributions and student work.


Office of Research: (returning to discussion about stories): A typical abstract can be pretty obtuse for a layperson to understand. They often recommend that your summary should be simple enough to be understood by a legislator. They’re a nice addition and are often just a paragraph or two. The word “story” is a bit concerning. A story could be long and open ended. But a mini-story is great.


Ye: Yes. And our marketing department is probably already doing some of this so we need to partner with them.


Lisa Dunn: Repositories have policies. They don’t accept just anything.


Faculty:  Going back to the ORCID iD- do we connect with you and then the other professor?


Ye: Your choice. With ORCID iD, you can communicate with the library directly, or just go to the other researcher’s ORCID iD and then connect directly him. It facilitates collaboration so we can connect directly with each other. ORCID just provides a means for other providers to draw from. You can go to the ORCID site to see a profile, but you can also go to the future Mines expert system. It’s entirely up to you if you want to contact the researcher. There’s a comment area where can communicate with them.


Carol: Expert systems do help you discover and connect with other scholars with shared interests.


Ye: You can also connect with other expert systems around the world via a shared ontology (if you are connected). And once you do, you can discover experts around the world.


An expert system and institutional repository aren’t the only means for us to better disseminate research.


Faculty: Where are we at with enhancing the Mines website? We hear lots of talk.


CCIT: We are moving from CMS to a hosted Word press site. It is a joint project with CCIT and the Office of Communications (Jake Kupiec). We will be starting to migrate in the next 90 days, then we will begin facilitating the move of department pages, non-administration pages.


Faculty: But the migration won’t change the design?


CCIT: Jake has designed new themes, layout, color, etc. so the site will be more engaging. Different themes for top level vs. college level pages. Jake is responsible for the overall design, while CCIT will help facilitate the content migration.


Faculty: Many faculty find they can never find anything on the website. It’s a mystery to faculty.


Ye: If we go for the expert system, what will be the challenge from an IT perspective with integrating with the Mines website?


CCIT: Can’t answer as doesn’t yet know much about it.
Office of Research: Let’s say a student hypothetically wants to know about water. They come in to the Mines website and searches on water. Will there be an opportunity for them to link into the repository to see research results? How connected will all these platforms be?


Ye: This is where ontologies will come into play. It will be easier to show you. Demonstrates Northwestern Scholars page as an example.


Office of Research:  Positive response.


Brianna: That’s the beauty – you just share a simple link with another researcher. We get clicks when they link via the doi. Everyone on campus benefits.


Lisa Dunn: Metrics are easier to collect in this connected, interoperable environment.


Ye: There is a growing importance of author and user-supplied keywords vs. formal subject terms assigned by indexers.


Office of Research: Students need to pay increasing attention to keywords. Need expert advice in terms of what is the appropriate level of depth to go to with keywords.


Lisa: Librarians can advise on this.


Faculty: Students don’t understand importance of keywords to support discovery and access. Need education and awareness on this.


Office of Research: Are we looking at moving forward with expert systems – are we forming a team to look at this?


CCIT: And are we looking at how this impacts and integrates with the institutional?


Ye: We also need to look at the usability of system as well as how well they integrate with each other. No decision yet. Just an RFP at this time. CCIT’s input will be important.


Faculty: It’s important to take this to the departments. At the beginning of each semester, they look for people to come and talk to them. Ye is going to EE next week, will talk with him about visiting his department.


Next week’s topic is open access!