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Open Science

Open Science takes the principles of Open Access and applies them to the scientific process. Researchers working in the Open Science framework actively share their data, tools, results, and more. Going further, Open Science seeks to include and learn from groups that have traditionally been excluded from the publishing process. 

The six principles of open science are:

  • Open Methodology – Publicly sharing processes, procedures, and materials in detail so that others can analyze and reproduce your experiments faithfully.
  • Open Source – Developing and sharing open source software, making tools for recording and analyzing data more accessible. 
  • Open Data – Sharing your results allowing for reanalysis and comparison by others.
  • Open Access – Publishing your findings in ways that are accessible to the most people (i.e. not behind a paywall).
  • Open Peer Review – A review process with a wider community of reviewers, review reports published alongside the article, and known identities of those reviewers.
  • Open Educational Resources – Freely accessible teaching, learning, and research materials. 

Keeping data, tools, and results open means that others can freely reanalyze and recreate studies, which will either reinforce or question the results, meaning the science gets better. 

Open Science elements from the 2021 UNESCO presentation on Open Science

Celebrate Open Access Week!

This week we’ll be highlighting Open Access on the blog in celebration of Open Access Week!  Let’s start with the basics, what is Open Access? From our Scholarly Publishing LibGuide, “Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of learning materials, research, and creative work.” Open Access helps to remove barriers to people who are traditionally kept out of academic circles, making research more accessible and equal. The traditional publishing model places a lot of valuable research behind a paywall. As a student, you can go right through many of these paywalls because of the access granted to you by the University of Iowa, but for the majority of people, these resources are out of reach. Open Access takes down those paywalls, and with more people having more access to more information, more research and collaboration happen, which means science, math, art, and every other discipline improves. The University of Iowa Libraries supports Open Access through negotiating transformative agreements and publishing discounts, and other open access agreements. Your professors may also publish their own works in Open Access! Follow along this week as we explore Open Access, Open Science, and how it impacts you.

Feeling Hungry?

It’s getting chilly and I don’t know about you but I feeling like doing more cooking (mmmm, soup). You can learn more about food here in the Engineering Library! 

If you’re looking for recipes with science behind them, check out Cooking for Geeks: real science, great hacks, and good food by Jeff Potter. 

Want the science behind your food? You may be interested in Food: the chemistry of its components by T.P. Coultate, Food Science and Technology, edited by Geoffrey Campbell-Platt, or Color in Food: technological and psychophysical aspects, edited by Jose Luis Caivano. 

If you’re not sure what you’re doing in the kitchen you may like Kitchen Literacy: how we lost knowledge of where food comes from and why we need to get it back by Ann Vileisis or Food Alert! the ultimate sourcebook for food safety by Morton Satin.

Wondering if you should be in the kitchen at all? Read The Proof and the Pudding: what mathematicians, cooks, and you have in common by Jim Henle. 

If you feel like curling up with a good book about the history of food, check out Pasta and Noodles: a global history by Kantha Shelke, or Recipes for Respect: African American meals and meaning by Rafia Zafar (this one can be found in our Untold Stories in STEM Collection on the main floor of the library). 

Corn Monument Fan Favorite Tournament

If you’ve been in the library this week, you may have noticed the bracket on the wall between the stairs and the pods. Make sure to stop in often to keep an eye on our Corn Monument Fan Favorite Tournament! It’s a tournament-style format, and you can find info on the brackets and how to participate here 

What do you know about corn monuments? The corn monument, built by engineering students and placed on the Pentacrest, has been a University of Iowa Homecoming tradition dating back to 1913. We have found photos of 62 of these monuments and now you have a say on which one you like best! Each one is a snapshot into the current events on campus and around the world at the time they were created. Check out the corn monument history page for general history about fun facts about many of the monuments.

Voting for the first-round is already underway, and ends Monday, Oct. 10, at 8 a.m. A champion will be crowned at the start of Homecoming. Vote now and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date on the winner of each round! 

 Schedule for Voting:  

  • All 62 images: Voting ends Monday, Oct. 10 @ 8 a.m. 
  • Top 32: Monday, Oct. 10 @ Noon to Wednesday, Oct. 12 @ 8 a.m. 
  • Sweet 16: Wednesday, Oct. 12 @ Noon to Friday, Oct.14 @ 8 a.m. 
  • Elite 8: Friday, Oct. 14 @ Noon to Monday, Oct. 17. @ 8 a.m. 
  • Final 4: Monday, Oct. 17 @ Noon to Wednesday, Oct. 19 @ 8 a.m. 
  • Final 2: Wednesday, Oct. 19 @ Noon to Friday, Oct. 21 @ 8 a.m. 
  • Champion Announced Before Homecoming: Friday,Oct. 21 @ Noon 
  • 2022 Corn Monument will be placed on Pentacrest: Sunday, Oct. 23 (weather permitting) 

LEGO in the Engineering Library

Getting worn out by school? Take a break and talk LEGO with us! We have many (many many) LEGO books to help you build a variety of things.

If you’re just getting started and want to learn the terminology, tips, and tricks before you begin to build, check out The Unofficial LEGO Builder’s Guide by Allan Bedford

If you’ve been building with LEGO for a while, adding in more complicated components like motors, computers, and remote controls can really up your building. Try Practical LEGO Technics: bring your LEGO creations to life by Mark Rollins or Arduino and LEGO Projects by John Lazar.

If bringing your precious LEGO collection to your dorm doesn’t appeal to you, there are virtual options! Try Building with Virtual LEGO: getting started with LEGO Digital Designer, Ldraw, and Mecabricks by John Baichtal.

Check out some really cool and unique builds with Beautiful LEGO: Wild! by Mike DoyleExtreme Bricks: spectacular, record-breaking, and astounding LEGO projects from around the world by Sarah Herman, or The Art of LEGO Scale Modeling by Dennis Glaasker and Dennis Bosman.


If you don’t feel like building but are still interested in learning about LEGO, check out The Cult of LEGO by John Baichtal and Joe Meno. 

Now go get building!

E-Books on the Shelves!

If you go browsing through our shelves you might see something you’re not expecting – a VHS case! No, we did not start bringing videotapes into our collection, you’ve just found one of our physical e-books.

Physical e-books can be found on the shelves with other books

We’ve chosen a few of our most popular e-books to have physical representation on the shelves. This way, when you’re browsing for a subject you might run across a helpful e-book you wouldn’t seen before. Getting the book is very simple, just use your phone to scan the QR code!

QR Code is on the spine

 If you want to remember the book but don’t have time to read? Open the case and take a flyer! The flyers have information on the book along with a QR code so you can find it again when you have time. If you take the last flyer please let us know at the front desk so we can put more in. 

Flyers can be found inside the case

Check the shelves and try it for yourself!

Kicking off Creative Kick-Start!

Last weekend we kicked off football season, but now let’s kick off Creative Kick-Start! Creative Kick-Start is a program created by the Engineering Library and Engineering Technology Center that gives all engineering students a shot at some funding to bring their ideas to life. This year we will be awarding $750 to up to 10 projects. Ready to get started? Here’s the inside scoop:

  1. Come up with an idea. We don’t have any specific parameters, so get creative! It doesn’t need to solve all the problems in the world (but you can do that if you want). If you want some inspiration visit the Creative Kick-Start homepage where you can read about past winners. 
  2. Find a faculty or staff sponsor and have them sign off on your project. Try to find someone who has some experience or understanding in the type of project you’re taking on so you can get some guidance from them. 
  3. Fill out the application. Applications are due Friday, October 28.
  4. Wait. We won’t make you wait too long. Winners are announced soon after the deadline.
  5. Winners will pick up their Kick-Start RedBox and Funds. This box contains resources, contact information, and deadlines for the rest of the program.
  6. Get to making! You’ll need to turn in progress reports January 27th and March 10th to show what you’ve been up to. 
  7. Make a poster highlighting what you have learned. 
  8. Present your project and poster at the College of Engineering Annual Research Open House in Early April 2023. It’s not a problem if your end product doesn’t match your proposal, the goal of this program is to get you to try. If you were able to bring your whole idea into being, that’s great! If not, that’s also great! Either way, you’ll be presenting what you learned at the Research Open House. 

Time to get started! Find full details, past projects, and the application on the Creative Kick-Start Funding homepage

Find your textbooks on Course Reserve!

You’ve made it through your second week of classes – congrats! Did you know that you can check out most of your course textbooks here at the Engineering Library? There’s no need to carry your textbook across campus if you need to work through a few problems during a break in the Seamans Center. You can come in and check it out for up to two hours! Here’s a walkthrough of how to find your books using the example of finding a book for Dr. Murhammer’s class. 

The easiest way to find the book you’re looking for is to search by your professor’s last name in the InfoHawk+ 

You can narrow down your results on the left side of the next screen, including by course name, instructor, and course ID. Narrowing down like this can be helpful, especially if your professor is an author or if someone who shares their last name is.

If we have an item on the shelf for a course reserve, you’ll see a little purple icon that say’s “Course.” If you’ve refined your results by Course ID, then that means it’s for your class. If not, you can find the number, title of the class, and professor’s name above the icon.

If your book is on course reserve you can check it out by asking at the front desk. Just like when you look it up, it’s easiest if you know the professor’s name. You can check out course reserve materials for two hours at a time. 


Celebrate diverse stories with our Untold Stories in STEM Collection!

Welcome (or welcome back) to all students, faculty and staff! Over the summer we did a little bit of reorganizing. This includes a new addition to the remaining shelves on the main floor of the library. Last year these shelves were home to our bound journals collection, but now they hold our new Untold Stories in STEM Collection! In this collection you can find the stories of people who are members of communities who have been historically excluded from the narrative of scientific discoveries.

Some of these books are old favorites we have had in our library for years, like Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt, and Alan Turing: life and legacy of a great thinker by Christof Teuscher. You can also find new books, like Lab Girl by Hope Jahren and The Curie Society by Heather Einhorn and Adam Staffaroni (we think this graphic novel is really cool!) We did our best to gather stories from a wide range of groups, along with books on leadership and ways to improve the world. If you have suggestions on things we should add, please let us know. 

Want to come in and check it out? It’s easy to find! Just come in to the library, walk past the sandbox, take a left, and the shelf will be on your right. There’s a big sign on top, so you won’t miss it. Can’t make it in? That’s okay! Check out our Untold Stories in STEM LibGuide, which has links to the whole collection. You can request an item from the collection to be delivered to your office or closest library.