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Guest Post: Walt Whitman Quarterly Review – an OA Journal

During the month of Open Access week (October 24-30, 2016) we will be highlighting a number of guest posts from University of Iowa Faculty and Staff who have personal experience making work Open Access.  We appreciate their contributions. folsom

The fourth guest post is by Ed Folsom, the Roy J. Carver Professor of English at The University of Iowa. He is the editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, co-director of the Whitman Archive , and editor of the Whitman Series at The University of Iowa Press. He is the author or editor of numerous books and essays on Whitman and other American writers.

The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review (WWQR) is now in its second year as an online open-access journal, and we could not be more pleased with our new format and open distribution. We are reaching a wider audience than ever before, since scholars, students, and the general public can now freely access the entire thirty-three-year run of the journal. Our third online-only issue, published last fall, was a testament to (and a test of) our new open-access platform. We published the complete book-length text of Whitman’s newly discovered Manly Health and Training along with an introduction by Zachary Turpin, who made the find. The discovery received front-page coverage in the New York Times and was the subject of feature articles in The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, The Observer, and over a hundred other newspapers and websites around the country and around the world. Interviews about the discovery were broadcast on NPR, BBC, and CBC. Most outlets that reported on the find linked to the WWQR website, where readers and listeners could (and still can!) freely access the complete text of Whitman’s journalistic series. There were over 20,000 downloads of Manly Health during the first weekend following the Friday New York Times story. This meant we had thousands of first-time visitors to WWQR, and we hope many of those folks will return often to check out the latest work on Whitman. The journal is always free and open, and we welcome our new readers from every continent. Our website offers a daily map of downloads from WWQR, which demonstrates that our readers do indeed come from around the world.


While not every issue of WWQR contains a new book by Whitman, every issue contains important new discoveries and readings. The online open-access format of the journal has now allowed us to enhance articles by including high-quality scans of Whitman manuscripts. We are working now to add an HTML version of each new issue along with the PDF format. Our ability to publish longer works, like Manly Health, is a tremendous advantage, and WWQR has another major surprise in store for our forthcoming winter/spring 2017 issue—a discovery that will again generate international media coverage. The details are a secret for now, but everyone should be watching for another dose of big Whitman news this coming February.


One more interesting development resulting from last fall’s publication of Manly Health is worth mentioning. While WWQR offered PDF, Kindle, and eBook versions of the complete text of Whitman’s newly discovered journalistic series, print publishers sensed that there was still a market for a commercial edition of the find—in fact, our 20+ thousand downloads indicated that there were probably many readers who would welcome a print edition of Manly Health for their personal libraries. Regan Arts, a New York publisher, approached WWQR about publishing Manly Health as a book, enhanced with illustrations from nineteenth-century newspapers and periodicals. Stefan Schoeberlein, WWQR’s managing editor, and Stephanie Blalock, Digital Humanities Librarian and Associate Editor of the Walt Whitman Archive, joined Zachary Turpin and me in selecting illustrations. The book will be published in December, and WWQR will receive a modest royalty from the publisher, which will help support the journal, now that we no longer have paying subscribers. The evolving interactions between the new online open-access WWQR and the world of print publishing are fascinating and unpredictable. It’s an exciting new era we have entered into, and we remain optimistic about next thirty years of the journal.


Guest Post: Leonardo Marchini on Open Access

During the month of Open Access week (October 24-30, 2016) we will be highlighting a number of guest posts from University of Iowa Faculty and Staff who have personal experience making their work Open Access.  We appreciate their contributions.marchini_leo_051716_200x300_0

The third guest post is by Leonardo Marchini, DDS, MSD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Preventative and Community Dentistry.

See his Iowa Research Online deposited publications here.

I consider open access publishing a better way to share research findings, since by removing the financial barrier to access it allows for a larger audience to read and use the findings worldwide. It also allows for authors to share their publications more widely, by promoting it in research oriented social media and e-mailing it to groups of researchers in the same field, allowing for even more exposure.

However, most journals in my research field are not open access. In a recent work with a broader focus, I searched for a journal capable of reaching a larger audience and then selected an open access Journal with a higher than average impact factor in my field. The submission process happened as usual, and the peer review was intense, but the manuscript was accepted after a couple review rounds.

However, the publication fees for this journal would be a problem if I was not supported by the UI Libraries Open Access Fund. My experience with the Open Access Fund was amazing! I applied and got funded really fast!

Since then the article has been published and received great attention from the scientific community in many countries, as we had a lot of comments and requests for additional information through channels that would not be available for non-open access articles, like researcher networks. I hope it will reflect in more citations in the near future.


Watch the Presidential Debates!

myvote-my-voicePlease join the Libraries in collaboration with the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights and the Communication Studies program in the Main Library this evening for the third & final Presidential Debate!

We’ve got pizza, popcorn, buttons, and cookies and plenty of activities for anyone who might need a break from studying (or from the debate)! We’ll be viewing the debate live in the Food for Thought Café so please join us, even for a few minutes!


Guest Post: Open access journals, a valuable resource for researchers

During the month of Open Access week (October 24-30, 2016) we will be highlighting a number of guest posts from University of Iowa Faculty and Staff who have personal experience making their work Open Access.  We appreciate their contributions.Leone~Jose

The second guest post is by Jose Pablo Leone, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology.

See his Iowa Research Online deposited publications here.

My name is Jose Pablo Leone, I am Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Iowa. I have used the University of Iowa Libraries’ OA Fund a number of times and it has been a great resource. The staff at the Library is extremely helpful, they have helped me identify target journals and search the literature several times. Publishing articles in open access journals in my experience has been very gratifying. It allows for a much broader reception of the manuscript, many more researchers around the world are able to read it, making for a wider audience, and as a result of these you become more acknowledged by these researchers. In addition, I have found the free access and the self archiving features very valuable, this allows you to easily share your articles with your peers and collaborators. Researchers often struggle when they cannot access an important manuscript due to non-open access policies. In this regard, the opportunity to publish your work in open access allows creating potential collaborations with researchers that are focusing on your same topic in different countries. I have had the pleasure of being contacted by researchers about some of the articles I published open access and it has been a great experience. Another advantage of open access journals is that as your article gets more reads, it could also get more citations, making the impact of your manuscript stronger. Most journals also offer very user friendly tools to track the reception of your article, such as number of reads, downloads, citations, social media, etc. Finally, there are many misconceptions about open access journals that I would like to mention, for example, many people have the wrong concept that an open access article will not be cited in public databases such as PubMed, this is not true and depends on the journal rather than the open access policy or not. Some researchers believe that the open access journal will not have an impact factor, this is not correct, many open access journals do have established impact factors, however it is important to check this with each journal, as many of the newer journals will not have an impact factor yet. Lastly, some authors do not consider open access journals under the wrong impression that the article will not be peer reviewed, the reality is that submissions to open access journals do undergo a full peer review process and in addition, quite often the timing of this process is faster in open access journals.


Guest Post: Open

During the month of Open Access week (October 24-30, 2016) we will be highlighting a number of guest posts from University of Iowa Faculty and Staff who have personal experience making their work Open Access.  We appreciate their contributions.

The first guest post is by Chioma M. Okeoma, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Microbiology.  okeoma

See her Iowa Research Online deposited publications here.

Open access (OA) literally means making literature available to researchers, teachers, journalists, policy makers, and the general public without barriers. Without the open access mechanism, readers or consumers of scientific findings would face price and permission barriers for the use of research findings.

For authors like me, OA provides unlimited access to our work to anyone regardless of their geographic location. The benefits are optimal dissemination of intellectual findings, rigorous peer and public discourse, and increased citations. Above all, OA provides an author maximum visibility and impact for research findings. As authors benefit from publishing OA, so do institutions.

Of course OA publishing is not without a cost to authors because OA publishers charge fees to cover costs. However, the cost of publishing may be covered by grants to authors, or by government and/or institutional subsidies depending on the country and institution. For example, the University of Iowa is a huge proponent of OA publishing. The University through the Office of the Provost and University Libraries provides funds to cover the fees for OA publishing; So when next you think of publishing, think OA. Try it and you will find being “OPEN” truly rewarding.

Chioma M. Okeoma, Ph.D


UI Libraries awards 2016-17 Student Employee Scholarships

The UI Libraries is pleased to announce the first two winners of the Libraries’ Student Employee Scholarship.  The selection committed was delighted to have such a strong candidate pool for the scholarship and found the final decision extremely difficult.  The winners are:

  • Stacy Garrard – Stacy Garrard is a freshman majoring in speech and hearing sciences. Garrard works in Special Collections where she enjoys looking at the historical pieces of art, literature, and letters, as well as assisting patrons with general inquiries and in-depth research.
  • Ghyas Zeidieh – Ghyas Zeidieh is a graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree in musical arts in cello performance. He has been working at the Rita Benton Music Library for nearly three years and enjoys sparking students’ interest through conversation and opening windows to their research.

Thank you to the scholarship committee for their assistance with this process:  Beth Stone, Rijn Templeton, Marianne Mason, H Pedelty, Pam Kacena, and Michelle Dralle.

Finally, sincere thanks to all UI Libraries staff who generously contributed to this student scholarship fund during the 2015 We Are Phil campaign. Your support provides direct assistance for our students here at the University of Iowa.


Find James Alan McPherson’s work at the UI Libraries

James-Alan-McPhersonWEBWriter James Alan McPherson, professor in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and winner of the Pulitzer, MacArthur, and Guggenheim, died July 27, 2016. He was 72.

Find these McPherson works at the UI Libraries:


UI Librarians Serving the Iowa Library Association

2016Q&A with Duncan Stewart

ILA’s past president and UI special collections catalog librarian

Q: How long have you been an active member of ILA?

A: I joined ILA in 1998 when I got my first professional library job as a cataloger at the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City. I joined ILA because ALA was not affordable or vital to my job as a state librarian.

Q: List any positions or projects you’ve worked on for ILA

A:  When I joined, I volunteered to be a member of ILA Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC). I was a member for several years, assisting with ILA Lobbying Day at the State Capitol in the Law Library. Then I became chair of GAC and held that position for several years, working closely with ILA leadership and ILA professional lobbyists in Des Moines. ILA actually has a fairly powerful lobbying voice in the state legislature. Over the years, I have served on the ILA-ACRL board, as a member of the ILA Executive board, and as vice president, president, and now past president of ILA.

Q: How would you describe what ILA is and how it serves Iowa/Iowans?

A: ILA serves Iowa librarians, libraries, and librarians as the organized voice of the library community in the state. With 1500 members from every county of Iowa, we combine all types of librarians (teacher librarians, public librarians, academics, special librarians) into one strong group. This works well in Iowa because we are a small state and separate groups for every type of librarian would be impractical, though ILA does have subdivisions where like-minded librarians gather for professional development. ILA serves Iowa by explaining the need for and huge impact of state assistance to Iowa libraries through the State Library of Iowa. ILA has partnered with the State Library to ask for state financial aid for Inter Library Loan, making books much more available to participating libraries. ILA has worked to support and shape the State Library and the services it provides. But the best example of ILA benefiting Iowans is the statewide contract for Ebsco Host, the database of journal articles and news stories—the State Library, with ILA’s ongoing assistance, uses this contract to provide access (paid) to every library in the state. ILA has also been instrumental in garnering legislative support for ongoing access to Learning Express, which is a database of professional tests and educational materials available to all Iowa libraries.

Q: Please explain why, as a University of Iowa librarian, you joined and participate in ILA

A: I continued my membership in ILA, even though I also became active with ALA after being hired at UIL in 2002. I did this because I had seen the positive effects that ILA had on Iowa libraries, I enjoyed working with librarians from across the state and from many kinds of libraries, and because I am convinced that membership and participation in ILA is one way for UI librarians to fulfill the mission of the library and the university to serve the people of Iowa. UI librarians have had strong support for ongoing membership in ILA and have served at every level from committee member to president (I was ILA president in 2015). ILA benefits greatly from the commitment and energy of UI Librarians and would not be the same organization without us.

Q: What is something you learned through participating in ILA that you might not have learned at another conference or on-the-job?

A:  The most basic thing I learned as a member of ILA is the strength and diversity of the library community in Iowa and our power when we all work together. ILA includes para-professional staff members, state certified librarians without MLS, as well as MLS librarians. Together we span the spectrum of libraries in the state and cooperate to improve all library services. I learned that it is not only possible, but highly powerful to work with people of greatly differing backgrounds, job experience, and training. ILA taught me that there is strength in cooperation and numbers.

Q: What do you value most about your participation in ILA?

A: The thing I value most about ILA is the chance to meet, work with, and celebrate successes with librarians from across Iowa and from every kind of library. ILA is, at heart, the center of the Iowa library community. And I see my work in ILA as a direct contribution to serving the people of Iowa. ILA allows you to meet the citizens and librarians of Iowa that we are here to serve. ILA unites librarians, government, and library users into a force for library support.


CloydPortraitWEBQ&A with Brett Cloyd

Active in ILA leadership and UI government information librarian

Q: How long have you been an active member of ILA?

A; I joined ILA as a student in the UI School of Library and Information Science in 1996.

Q: List any positions or projects you’ve worked on for ILA

A: I have been active in the Iowa chapter of the Government Documents Round Table (I’ve held all of the executive board positions) and the Iowa chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries (I’ve chaired the Spring Conference Planning Committee and held the office of President).  I am currently an Executive Board Member of ILA. I am also the ILA Membership Committee Chair for 2016. I have been able to gain leadership experience and make an impact on improving Iowa libraries.

Q: How would you describe what ILA is and how it serves Iowa/Iowans?

A: ILA provides learning and engagement opportunities for Iowa libraries and Iowa library staff.  We share best practices, inspiration as well as challenges via on-line communication channels, personal connections, and conferences. ILA advocates for Iowa libraries by way of its lobbyists and special events like the ILA Legislative Reception at the state capitol..

Q: Please explain why, as a University of Iowa librarian, you joined and participate in ILA

A: I felt that I could make a direct impact by way of my participation. It was very easy for me to become involved in the organization and I saw the benefits of gaining leadership opportunities and working with librarians from across the state. Service to the state has been important part of my work with a public university.

Q: What is something you learned through participating in ILA that you might not have learned at another conference or on-the-job?

A: I really appreciate my contacts with the State Library of Iowa. I see their dedicated staff at ILA events and I am able to learn about their interesting projects and share their work with students and faculty on campus.

Q: What do you value most about your participation in ILA? 

A: I really value my friendships with members of ILA. This is my 20th year as an ILA member. I appreciate the variety of people I have met over the years. ILA has helped me expand my views of Iowa by meeting people from across the state.


SaraScheibWEBQ&A with Sara Scheib

Current ILA/ACRL president and UI Sciences librarian

Sara Scheib and ILA/ACRL

Q: How long have you been an active member of ILA?

A: I joined ILA as a SLIS student in 2006. I knew I wanted to get a job in a library in Iowa, so I wanted an opportunity to attend the conference and network with other Iowa librarians. Plus, ILA membership is free for full-time students, so it was a bit of a no-brainer. I joined the ILA/ACRL subdivision in 2008 when I got my first professional job as the Emerging Technologies Librarian at Kirkwood Community College.

Q: List any positions or projects you’ve worked on for ILA.

A: I was fresh out of library school and working in a community college library when I joined. I knew I had a lot to learn, so I joined the Community College Roundtable and the Iowa chapter of ACRL. Iowa ACRL was looking for volunteers for committees, so I volunteered for the Electronic Communications Committee. It was ideal for a first committee because it helped me stay on top of the subdivision’s activities and all our business was conducted electronically, so I didn’t have to miss work to attend lots of meetings.

The following year, Kirkwood was slated to host the subdivision’s annual conference, so I volunteered to work on the local arrangements for the Spring Conference Planning Committee. The same year, I was recruited to chair the Electronic Communications Committee. This gave me a vote on the Executive Board, which was an excellent group of librarians who really helped to mentor me. It was my first real leadership position, and I enjoyed my work.

After a brief hiatus while I worked in a rural public library, I knew I wanted to get involved again, so I returned to the Executive Board as chair of the Electronic Communications Committee in 2013. In 2014, I was nominated to be Vice President/President-Elect of ILA/ACRL. It’s a three-year commitment (1st year – chair of Nominations Committee; 2nd year – President; 3rd year – chair of Awards Committee), so it’s not something I undertook lightly, but I knew it was time to step up and take a stronger leadership role in the group. I was elected in 2014 and spent my first year as Nominations Chair picking my team for the following year. This year, I’m serving as President. It’s a lot of work, but I have great team on the Executive Board and they make my job much easier. Next year, I’ll be the Awards Chair. That involves selecting the winners for scholarships and other awards, which should be lots of fun.

I’m also the Advisor to the Student Subdivision of ILA, which allows me to help library school students as they build careers of their own.

Q: How would you describe what ILA is and how it serves Iowa/Iowans?

A: ILA and ILA/ACRL serves Iowa/Iowans as a state-level advocate for libraries of all sizes and types. We help to make sure there’s a library staffed by a qualified teacher librarian in your child’s school. We help libraries conserve their limited budgets by making it more affordable for them to borrow books and other materials from one another. We provide access to valuable news, research, and job training materials to all Iowans by making sure every library has access to high quality databases like EBSCOHost and Learning Express. Finally, we are the primary professional development organization for librarians working in all kinds of libraries all over the state. We learn from one another so we can serve you better.

Q: Please explain why, as a University of Iowa librarian, you joined and participate in ILA?

A: I participate in ILA and ILA/ACRL because I recognize the excellent work my colleagues are doing at all kinds of libraries across the state and I want to learn from their experiences. And as I develop my own areas of expertise, I have a responsibility to share that knowledge and give back to the Iowa library community.

Q: What is something you learned through participating in ILA that you might not have learned at another conference or on-the-job?

A: While extremely valuable, the national-level conferences I attend as a science librarian tend to be very specialized and have a narrow focus. Sometimes, it’s important to get out of the corner you’ve painted yourself into and see what others are working on. I get some of my best programming ideas from public librarians. And my colleagues at small liberal arts colleges have some of the most engaging and innovative teaching methods. Plus, I get to meet and develop relationships with some of the most passionate, smart, and funny people in the state.

Q: What do you value most about your participation in ILA?

A: I graduated from library school less than 10 years ago. ILA/ACRL has given me the extraordinary opportunity to take on a leadership role very early in my career. By giving presentations, working on committees, planning conferences, and leading meetings, I have gained the skills and confidence I need to become more active within my own department and on the national level. This has been very advantageous to my career and I did it all while working to provide more opportunities to the citizens of my home state!

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: I encourage all librarians working in Iowa to get involved in ILA in some form. No matter what your interests or skills are, you can find your niche in ILA. It will be hard work at times, but the benefits you’ll receive and the relationships you’ll build will be worth it.



Study in the UI Libraries for finals

Blue room homepage featureHit your study stride for finals in the UI Libraries

The UI Libraries offers great places to concentrate on final exam prep, with extended hours, free coffee, and activities for short study breaks.

Studies indicate that students who take short, fairly frequent breaks during their study time are more productive. Give your brain a break by taking a walk or doing a mind-clearing activity to make your study time more productive.

In the Main Library Learning Commons, students can take advantage of activity stations featuring puzzles, colored pencils, and postcard making.

Get the complete list of all UI Libraries’ hours during finals.


An Evening with Filmmaker Nicholas Meyer


Photo credit: Nicholas Meyer on set with Leonard Nimoy during the shooting of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The photo is archived in the University of Iowa Libraries’ Special Collections as part of a collection donated by Nicholas Meyer.

The UI Libraries is pleased to host Nicholas Meyer, who will make an appearance as a guest speaker in conjunction with the Main Library Gallery exhibition 50 Years of Star Trek.

The event is free and open to the public. RSVPs are appreciated.

Meyer, who is an alumnus of the University of Iowa, directed the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and contributed to the shooting script for that film (uncredited). He wrote portions of the screenplay for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) and went on to direct Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), for which he also co-wrote the screenplay.

A long-time Sherlockian, Meyer’s writing prowess led to a best-selling novel, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D.  The novel, crafted by Meyer in a style faithful to the original series, follows Holmes through cocaine addiction and recovery.  Meyer received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay of the novel.

Meyer will deliver a brief talk, titled The Last Man To Understand Anything. There will be a Q&A session afterward.