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Publish with IEEE for FREE!

We kicked the year off with an exciting new transformative agreement with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). With this agreement University of Iowa authors have full access to IEEE’s Xplore Digital Library and can publish open access articles in all IEEE journals for free. IEEE publishes journals with topics that range from electrical engineering, computer science, biomedical engineering, artificial intelligence and more. 

What is a transformative agreement?

Transformative agreements are negotiated by institutions to make it easier for their affiliated researchers to publish their work. Academic publishing often requires authors to pay article processing charges (APCs) and result in articles behind a paywall. With a transformative agreement, institutions negotiate for full access to a journal’s content as well as the rights to publish a certain number of open access articles under one fee. You can find the whole list of transformative agreements and publishing discounts here.

How do I publish under a transformative agreement?

Get in touch with our Engineering Librarians or Scholarly Impact Department.

Welcome Back!

Welcome to the Spring 2023 semester! Here’s just a bit of what you can expect from us in the next few months:

As a reminder, all of our workshops are FREE but registration is required!

Soldering Workshop Series

Did you make a resolution to learn a new skill this year? Give soldering a try! Soldering is one of the most fundamental skills needed to explore the world of electronics. With this simple skill, you will gain a better understanding of electronics and be better equipped to create your own. Throughout this series you’ll learn the two main types of soldering, and at the end you’ll be able to create your own light-up pendant from scratch! You aren’t required to attend every session but it is highly recommended. Click the title of the workshop to register.

Soldering Basics: Through Hole -Wednesday, January 1, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Engineering Library Creative Space (2001C SC)

Soldering Basics: Surface-Mount – Wednesday, February 8, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Engineering Library Creative Space (2001C SC)

Build Your Own: LED Pendants – Wednesday, February 15, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Engineering Library Creative Space (2001C SC)

Business Building Blocks

Get your business idea going with our new Business Building Blocks workshops! We will be offering each of these three workshops in three different locations (that’s 9 workshops total!). You can mix and match what works with your schedule and interests. Business Building Blocks workshops are presented by the University of Iowa Libraries and the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. Click on the title of the workshop to register.


Business Plan Basics – Tuesday, February 7, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Art Library DeCaso Room (ABW 235C)

Identifying Key Players in your Market: Introduction to Industry & Market Information Research – Tuesday, February 14, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Engineering Library Creative Space (2001C SC)

Protecting Your Ideas: Introduction to Patents, Trademarks & Intellectual Property – Tuesday, February 21, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Sciences Library 3rd floor


Protecting Your Ideas: Introduction to Patents, Trademarks & Intellectual Property – Tuesday, March 7, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Art Library DeCaso Room (ABW 235C)

Business Plan Basics – Tuesday, March 21, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Engineering Library Creative Space (2001C SC)

Identifying Key Players in your Market: Introduction to Industry & Market Information Research – Tuesday, March 28, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Sciences Library Third Floor


Identifying Key Players in your Market: Introduction to Industry & Market Information Research – Tuesday, April 4, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Art Library DeCaso Room (ABW 235C)

Protecting Your Ideas: Introduction to Patents, Trademarks & Intellectual Property – Tuesday, April 11, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Engineering Library Creative Space (2001C SC)

Other Workshops

Are you participating in the Research Open House this year? Learn think about the prospective audience, poster content, and design considerations that go into your poster layout in our Creating a Research Poster workshop, Tuesday, March 30, 3:30 pm – 4:20 pm in the Engineering Library Creative Space (2001C SC)

There will be more workshops and events coming up, so make sure to keep in the loop by following our Twitter and Instagram for the latest news!

Graduate Profile: Mary Kelly

We’re nearing the end of the semester (don’t panic) so we’re going to take the next two weeks to celebrate our graduating student workers!

Mary Kelly

Hometown: Des Moines, IA

Major: International Studies (Business and Global Resources Track)

How long have you been working at the Engineering Library: One semester, but I used to work at the Sciences Library!

What are your plans after graduation? Go to grad school eventually for something sustainability sciences related, and work.

Do you have any advice for new students? Talk to your professors during office hours. They’re cool.

What’s a fun fact about yourself? I was born on Christmas. My full name is Mary Noel because of that. 

Graduate Profile: Jake Santi

We’re nearing the end of the semester (don’t panic) so we’re going to take the next two weeks to celebrate our graduating student workers!

Jake Santi

Hometown: Western Springs, IL

Major: Engineering

How long have you worked at the Engineering Library? 1.5 years

What are your plans after graduation? Working at ComEd in their Engineer Rotational Program in the Chicagoland area.

Do you have any advice for new students? Time management is crucial for your academics  but just as important for your overall college experience. Whiteboards and planners are very helpful!

What’s a fun fact about yourself? My parents were going to name me Luke until a lost Great Dane named Jake woke my dad on a hammock. 

Good luck, Jake and thanks for all of your hard work!

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

Happy Native American Heritage Month! As a university that sits on the homelands of many tribes past and present, it is important to us to acknowledge the significant contributions that Native Americans have made to our culture and sciences. When creating our Untold Stories in STEM collection we wanted to include important stories of Native American scientists. 

Native American Scientists provides a short biography of the lives and work of Fred Begay, Wilfred F. Denetclaw Jr., Frank C. Dukepoo, Clifton Poodry, and Jerrel Yakel. 

Viewing the ancestors : perceptions of the Anaasází, Mokwič, and Hisatsinom combines the oral histories of several tribal cultures with the science of archaeology to build a more complete history of structures at Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, and Canyon de Chelly. 

Have you ever looked at the night sky and wondered who else has seen those same stars? In The Spirit and the Sky: Lakota visions of the Cosmos you can learn about the work done by Lakota astronomers in the 19th century, including how they named stars and constellations and explained the natural phenomena they saw.

In African American Cherokee Nurses in Appalachia learn how these groundbreaking women shaped the region and supported their communities.

Do you know other books about the impact that Native Americans have had in STEM fields? Let us know! We’re always looking for ideas to expand our Untold Stories in STEM collection.

Reminder: next week is Fall Break. We will be open Monday and Tuesday November 21 and 22 from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm then closed from Wednesday, November 23 through Sunday, November 27th. Regular hours will resume on the 28th.  

Engineering Origami

It’s World Origami Day! Did you know that the art of paper folding has applications in engineering? Biomedical engineering, robotics, space structures and more use techniques from origami.

Origami dates all the way back to Song Dynasty China (905-1125 CE), but you may not recognize it as the art form it is today. Many defining aspects of the practice including starting with a square piece of paper and a ban on cutting were part of European influence in the mid-nineteenth century. In fact, the activity of folding paper wasn’t known as origami until the late Showa Era in Japan (1926-1989).

Using origami techniques, engineers can solve problems, like fitting big things into small spaces. For example, in this video you can watch how folding techniques allowed for NASA engineers to fold the sunshield for the James Webb Telescope. The sunshield, at 60×46 ft., along with the massive mirror, which measures over 21 feet wide, are much too large to fit into any existing rockets, so engineers used origami-style folding to fit the telescope into the Ariane V Rocket. 

The James Webb Space Telescope with Safran on board! | Safran

Origami can be used to solve much more mundane earth-side problems as well. Architect Anton Willis moved into a new apartment and didn’t have enough space to store his kayak. He solved his problem by creating Oru Kayaks, fully functional and portable kayaks that fold up to be carried or stored. 

Oru Kayak Inlet: A Portable Origami Folding Kayak. by Oru Kayak —  Kickstarter

Biomedical engineering can also get involved! Because of the nature of origami-based design, products are scalable, so the same principles that fold up a tennis court-sized sunshade can also design a heart stent that can be deployed with minimally invasive surgery. 

Ready to explore more? We have several books in our collection that can get you started.

You may enjoy How To Fold It: the mathematics of linkages, origami, and polyhedra by Joseph O’Rourke to learn a basis of problem solving with origami.

Want to see how origami can change manufacturing? Check out Making It: manufacturing techniques for product design by Chris Lefteri.

If you want to use origami to make things very very tiny, read Nanotechnology: the future is tiny by Michael Berger.

Finally, if you want to stop reading and start doing, find a project in Paper Inventions: machines that move, drawings that light up, and wearables you can cut, fold, and roll by Kathy Ceceri.

Read more:

Meloni, Marco, et al. “Engineering Origami: A Comprehensive Review of Recent Applications, Design Methods, and Tools.” Advanced Science, vol. 8, no. 13, 13 May 2021,

Morrison, Jim. “How Origami Is Revolutionizing Industrial Design.”, Smithsonian Institution, 23 Apr. 2019,

How do I… Request an item?

If the University of Iowa Libraries do not have a book you’re looking for, or if it’s checked out, you can request the item and we’ll bring it to Iowa City for you for free! Here’s a quick walkthrough of the InterLibrary Loan (ILL) process:

1. Find the book you’re looking for. If the book you’re looking for is at one of our libraries, this is very simple. Just find it in our catalog log in, and click “Request Physical Item” or “Request PDF of a Single Chapter,” depending on your needs. For book chapter requests please note that all scan requests must be under 50 pages. If the item you’re looking for is on the shelf, simply use the drop down menu to choose the library where you want to pick up the book and we’ll get to work! You will get an email when it’s ready to be picked up. If the item is checked out, you’ll have the option to “Request this book through InterLibrary Loan.” See the next step for more information. 

2. If the book you’re looking for isn’t available through the University Libraries, you can request it through ILL. There are two main ways to get to the ILL form: The first one is through clicking the “Request this book by InterLibrary Loan” or “Request PDF of a Single Chapter” links on a book’s record. In the picture above they will be where the red box is. You can also find the form from any of our Libraries’ home pages, just hover over the “Services” tab and find “Borrowing From Another Library & Document Delivery.” Then click “Log In to Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery” to create a request.

3. You’re ready to create an ILL request. If you’ve arrived at the ILL form from an InfoHawk+ record, good news – much of the information has already been filled out for you! Scroll through and enter all of the required information, click submit, and you’ll be on your way. If you’re looking for a book that’s not in the University of Iowa Libraries catalog, hover over the “New Requests” tab, select the appropriate category, and fill out all of the required information. There’s no such thing as too much information when looking for a book, so be specific. This will help the librarians to find the right item for you. 

4. Now just sit back and wait. We work as quickly as possible to your items, but we can’t guarantee delivery times for anything (we are human!).You will get an email in your inbox as soon as your item is scanned at its pickup destination. You can also check on the status of your items under the History tab in the ILL system. 

When navigating to the ILL page you might have seen something called UBorrow. This is an ILL system exclusive to the Big Ten Academic Alliance that works much like our other ILL system. For information and video tutorials to use UBorrow, check out the LibGuide.

Open for Climate Justice

This year’s theme for Open Access Week is “Open for Climate Justice.” Yale Climate Connections assigns three key factors to climate justice:

  1. Climate justice begins with recognizing key groups are differently affected by climate change. While climate change is happening to everyone on the planet, some communities are more impacted than others. In addition, those most impacted by climate change generally have a small carbon output, specifically children and people in developing countries. 
  2. Climate impacts can exacerbate inequitable social conditions. More people are becoming “climate refugees,” including the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe of Louisiana who were forced to leave their home on Isles de Jean Charles due to rising sea levels and people who have left their homes in California and other Western states due to the increasing number of forest fires. Uprooting your life is an expensive and stressful situation that few people willingly undertake, but with additional factors like natural disasters exacerbated by climate change, many people do not have a choice. Climate refugees have to find new housing, jobs, and support structures. They may have difficulty selling their flood-prone homes or may rely on buyout programs that only pay a fraction of what the owners need to find a new home. For those who are able to stay in their climate change impacted homes, they may no longer have access to the stores, people, and resources that left with the climate refugees, or have to pay higher insurance premiums.
  3. Momentum is building for climate justice solutions. People of all walks of life are banding together to fight climate change. From climate pledges made by countries to grassroot groups and protests, people are highlighting the need for everyone to get involved to curb the effects of climate change. 

So what does Open Access have to do with climate justice? Everything. Everyone is impacted by climate change, so everyone should be able to freely access and contribute to the best scientific research. Iowa Research Online has gathered a collection of theses, articles, books, conference proceedings, and more that focus on climate change. You can find that collection here. Through reading, sharing, and discussing issues, we can make navigate climate change together.

Finding Open Access Materials

There are many reasons you may want to find Open Access materials – easy collaboration and access, you just like the spirit of Open Access publishing, or more. Here are a few ways you can find what you’re looking for: 

When searching InfoHawk+ you can filter results specifically for Open Access materials (a lot of library catalogs have this feature!).

You may also find Open Access materials scattered throughout your results, marked with the orange Open Access symbol

Check out the Engineering Library Division of the American Society for Engineering Education’s Open Textbooks for Engineering. These resources are broken down by discipline. The Directory of Open Access Journals can also be a helpful resource to find accessible journals. 

Institutional repositories are another great place to look for resources. Iowa Research Online is a collection of over 100,000 research papers, theses, dissertations, books, conference presentations, and more, written by University of Iowa. If you’ve submitted a thesis as part of your work here at the University of Iowa, you may find your own work on there! 

Publish for Free with Transformative Agreements

Open Access publishing comes in many forms, but they are most commonly broken down into Gold and Green Open Access. With Green Open Access, authors directly publish their work to a repository or a preprint server, like ArXiv. Doing this can help you quickly get feedback from peers, or even skip the traditional publishing process altogether. Gold Open Access is Open Access publishing that is facilitated by a traditional publisher. Depending on the process of that particular publisher, the costs of publishing may be taken on by the author, the publisher, or a combination of both. With transformative agreements, some or all of these costs may be covered by your institution.

Transformative agreements are contracts negotiated by academic libraries and institutions. In exchange for subscription to a journal, people connected to the paying institution (in this case, students and faculty at the University of Iowa) are able to publish their articles Open Access without paying article processing charges (APCs). In addition, the University of Iowa Libraries has negotiated discounts on those APCs with a few publishers.  For a full list of transformative agreements and APC discounts, visit the new Open Scholarship Toolkit. If you’re not sure if an agreement applies to you, get in touch with the Scholarly Impact Department or your liaison librarian for help. 

A primer on transformative agreements (Open Access Week) – Research  Kaleidoscope