Scholarly Communication Category


Iowa Research Online: Where Your Work Lasts Forever

By Michael S. Lewis-Beck, F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor of Political Science

As emeritus faculty, I’ve spent my career researching and writing about politics. I published my first academic paper in 1974. Then as it is today, having your academic work cited is critical. But now the methods of scholarly publishing are very different. Academic publishers and academic libraries alike are faced with financial challenges of changing technologies and greater demand for information.

Over the course of my career I’ve authored or co-authored more than 200 articles and books in comparative elections, election forecasting, political economy and quantitative methodology. I can’t hazard a guess as to how many students, researchers and others have read my ideas in the past 40 years.

Then three years ago, 24 of my articles and book chapters were uploaded into Iowa Research Online ( Now each month, I receive notification of how many times an article has been downloaded. It’s exciting to see those numbers grow. But what might be even more exhilarating is the fact that my work will be available to students and researchers in perpetuity.


The Practical Psychosomaticist on Open Access Week, October 22-28, 2012: Bring a Shovel

By James J. Amos, M.D.

When I was about 12 years old, I awoke to find a thick blanket of snow had covered our neighborhood. Initially I wanted to shovel a few walks for our elderly neighbors so they would have a path clear of ice and snow. Then I started thinking what I would charge my customers, imagining how much money I could make. As I calculated, I saw more and more dollar signs. Before long, the sun had gone down and it was too late to go out. No walks were shoveled and no money was made because I was too excited about the cash.

Thinking about open access publishing and copyright laws reminds me of that day in winter. Over the years I’ve had many opportunities to pick up that shovel to clear the path for others, but have been stymied by copyright. Recently a doctor from Poland requested a case report I’d published, but before I could send him the article I started worrying about who owned the copyright – me or the publisher. In the end I wasn’t at liberty to share the knowledge I’d gained to help another doctor improve the care he gives his patients.

And then there was the article I wrote that I wanted to share with all our residents. I couldn’t figure out how to without risking copyright infringement. I finally thumbtacked one of my complimentary copies to the residents’ bulletin board, which I think still has a clipping from the Eisenhower administration.

Finally, a colleague asked me if I would post his fine editorial that had been rejected by a journal on my open-access blog. I was more than happy to oblige, and I think the authors did me and my readers a remarkable service. I’m really shoveling now.

So to me, open access is all about sharing what I learn with other clinicians. The goal is improving patient care, in my book. That’s what my blog is all about. What you find there is free and open access. You can help.

Bring a shovel.


OA Publishing Platforms with Don Share, Sr. Editor of Poetry Magazine, Oct 29 at 3pm

Open access publishing’s place in the humanities is uncertain at the moment, and knowledge of it will be important going forward in resolving inequitable relationships between presses and authors, journal vendors and libraries, and publishers and readers. The University of Iowa Libraries has invited  Don Share, senior editor of Poetry magazine, to talk about open access publishing platforms and contemporary humanities literature and scholarship.

Monday, October 29th at 3pm
Illinois Room of the Iowa Memorial Union
(Share will also be giving a poetry reading at Prairie Lights in the evening, at 7 pm.)

In 2002, Ruth Lilly, heiress to the Lilly pharmaceutical fortune, left Poetry magazine 100 million dollars upon her death, and among the things Poetry has done with the Lilly bequest is go open access. Each month the magazine publishes a print issue, as it has been doing for 100 years, and since 2003 it has simultaneously made each issue’s contents freely available on its website (see Don Share was one of the principle architects of this initiative, and he is in a unique position to discuss how literature and humanities scholarship function on an open access platform.

Don Share is Senior Editor of Poetry magazine. His books include Squandermania (Salt Publishing), Union (Zoo Press), Seneca in English (Penguin Classics), and most recently a new book of poems, Wishbone (Black Sparrow), and Bunting’s Persia (Flood Editions); he has also edited a critical edition of Bunting’s work for Faber and Faber. His translations of Miguel Hernández, collected in I Have Lots of Heart (Bloodaxe Books) were awarded the Times Literary Supplement Translation Prize and Premio Valle Inclán, and will appear in a revised edition from NYRB Classics. He has been Poetry Editor of Harvard Review and Partisan Review, Editor of Literary Imagination, and curator of poetry at Harvard University. With Christian Wiman, he co-hosts the monthly Poetry magazine podcast and has co-editedThe Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine (University of Chicago Press). For his work at Poetry he has earned two National Magazine Awards for Editorial Excellence.

Praise for Don Share’s poems:

“Don Share’s work is compressed as a haiku, intent as a tanka, witty as a sonnet, witless as a song, relentless as an expose, patter without pretension . . . his elegant poetry, exposed as a haiku, expansive as a renga, boisterous as a bridge, happy as Delmore Schwartz with Lou Reed and vice versa, vivacious as the living day . . . built out of attention, music and sight.” -David Shapiro “Share is one of the more gifted craftsmen we have writing in America today.” -Erin Belieu, Boston Review

“Few poets manage such dexterous and fresh music.” -Alice Fulton Praise for The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine (University of Chicago Press)

“If readers would like to sample the genius and diversity of American poetry in the last century, there’s no better place to start than The Open Door.” (World Literature Today)

“A high-wire anthology of electric resonance. . . . The editors then arranged these redefining poems by poets of the pantheon and poets overlooked, underrated, or new in pairings and sequences of thrilling contrapuntal dynamics. Wiman’s opening essay is titled ‘Mastery and Mystery,’ and those are, indeed, the forces at work here, inducing readers to marvel anew at the strange impulse to write poetry and the profound effort required to do it well.” (Booklist)

“With this collection, Share and Wiman want only to promote the art of poetry, something they do exceedingly well. Highly recommended.” (Library Journal, starred review )

“A wonderful anthology. . . . In many ways this is a wonderfully democratic anthology–to get in, you don’t have to be famous, you just need to be good.” (National Post, Canada)


Open Access Week 2012

The University of Iowa Libraries joins thousands of other academic research libraries worldwide in celebration of International Open Access Week. To draw attention to this important issue facing faculty, students and librarians, we’re turning our website orange in recognition of open access.

“Open Access” to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole.

OA Week creates an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of open access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.

To participate in OA week, do one or more of the following:

  • Visit the University of Iowa’s Open Access web page and learn more about what OA is and how you can participate in making scholarship more freely available.
  • Look at a list of open access articles authored by UI faculty and staff.
  • Follow the Library News this week to hear what UI faculty and others think about OA and how they are becoming part of the solution.
  • Join us on Monday, October 29 at 3pm to hear Don Share, Senior Editor of Poetry Magazine talk about how one of the leading poetry magazines in the country went Open Access.
  • Take a few minutes to learn more about copyright and the importance of retaining rights to your published work.  What does the last publication agreement you signed allow you to do with your work?
  • Deposit pre-prints, post-prints and associated data files in Iowa’s institutional repository: Iowa Research Online (



Princeton University’s policy on Open Access

There are various types of “open access” policies that are expanding on college campuses. Now, Princeton University has taken a different view – they have “banned” their faculty from granting copyright to publishers. Read the full story through the link below.


A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access

by Peter Suber

Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.

OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance. Just as authors of journal articles donate their labor, so do most journal editors and referees participating in peer review.

OA literature is not free to produce, even if it is less expensive to produce than conventionally published literature. The question is not whether scholarly literature can be made costless, but whether there are better ways to pay the bills than by charging readers and creating access barriers. Business models for paying the bills depend on how OA is delivered.


New University of Iowa web resource maps the decline of a great American city

An interactive web project presenting a visualization of the political and social factors that led to the decline of one of America’s greatest cities has been released.

Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City ( )  represents University of Iowa History Professor Colin Gordon’s examination of how white flight, discriminatory zoning laws, and other factors resulted in the residential segregation that led to the decline of St. Louis’s urban core. The site combines conventional archival research with digital mapping technology and digitized historic artifacts to show users how a multitude of factors shaped the city over time.  The project builds on Gordon’s book by the same name published in 2008 by PennPress.

Enhanced by census data, property records, historical maps, and other primary source documents such as pamphlets, photographs, and city plans, the online maps tell the familiar story of urban decline in a new and compelling way.

The site is among the first in a growing collection of digital humanities projects hosted by the University of Iowa Libraries ( ). Funded in part by an Arts and Humanities Initiative grant from the UI Office of the Vice President for Research, the project involved input from GIS specialists, web programmers, and librarians from across the Iowa campus.


Thank you to all our OA authors.

As the cost of journal subscriptions continues to rise, we need more authors like you to publish their scholarly work in open access journals. We hope that you’ll encourage your colleagues to do the same. If you have other questions about open access publishing, please feel free to talk with the library liaison in your department.

Since it’s International Open Access Week (Oct 18-22), and we wanted to send a small token of our appreciation (a t-shirt from PLoS) to some lucky UI authors (we drew names) who have recently published in an open access journal in the Public Library of Science.

Congratulations to our winners!

  • Botond Banfi, associate professor in Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Kevin Bugge, staff member in Pediatrics
  • Karla Daniels, associate research scientist in Biology
  • Pamela Geyer, professor in Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Adam Hedberg-Buenz, graduate research assistant in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics; Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
  • Shihao Shen, graduate research assistant in Biostatistics
  • Diane Slusarski, professor in Biological Sciences
  • Anne Tye, undergraduate research assistant in Internal Medicine

Are you wondering who else among your peers is publishing in Open Access Journals?

Faculty across The University of Iowa are already publishing in Open Access journals. This is just the beginning; there is more you can do to become part of the solution.


Scientists are the ultimate remixers


Making the Web Work for Science

Science Commons designs strategies and tools for faster, more efficient web-enabled scientific research. We identify unnecessary barriers to research, craft policy guidelines and legal agreements to lower those barriers, and develop technology to make research, data and materials easier to find and use.

Our goal is to speed the translation of data into discovery — unlocking the value of research so more people can benefit from the work scientists are doing.


Open Access Video from SPARC


SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries (of which The University of Iowa Libraries is a member) working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries. Action by SPARC in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – builds on the unprecedented opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship. Leading academic organizations have endorsed SPARC.