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DLF Contribute Series

Three Questions on IRUS-USA

For this special edition of DLF Contribute, we explore IRUS-USA (Institutional Repository Usage Statistics USA), an experimental collaboration between Jisc and the Digital Library Federation (DLF) at CLIR.  Jo Lambert manages services and projects at Jisc, a UK registered charity that champions the use of digital technologies in education and research. Paul Needham is the Research and Innovation Manager at Kings Norton Library, Cranfield University. Santi Thompson is the Head of Digital Research Services at the University of Houston (UH) Libraries and a co-leader of the DLF Assessment Interest Group (AIG). Jo and Paul, could you tell us a bit about IRUS-UK? What has been Jisc’s motivation for developing and investing in a system like this? Jo and Paul: 15 years ago, institutional repositories (IRs) were the new in-thing. Higher education institutions, just about everywhere, were setting up institutional repositories. Money was being spent, time and effort were being expended . . . but there was no way to reliably demonstrate the usage and impact of those repositories. Sure, statistics were being generated—but everyone was doing it differently, applying their own rules to processing data, and many figures produced were vastly inflated by search engine and robotic usage. We were trying to compare apples and oranges. The statistics lacked credibility. So that’s why we started IRUS-UK—the first service to enable IRs to expose and share usage statistics based on a global standard—COUNTER. The COUNTER standard is the one that traditional scholarly publishers and aggregators like Elsevier, Springer, EBSCO, etc. all adhere to when producing usage statistics. We all follow the same rules and usage data are filtered to remove robots and double clicks, so the statistics are reliable, trustworthy, authoritative, and comparable. IRs use IRUS to monitor and benchmark usage of their research against similar organisations in a meaningful way. It provides Jisc with a view of UK repository use to demonstrate the value and impact of IRs. And it provides a UK-wide launch pad for collaborating with other national and international initiatives, projects, and services. We were really interested to hear about DLF AIG work and as our conversations developed our common interests became more and more apparent. A mutual interest in tools to measure impact, develop benchmarks, and share ideas and good practice prompted the collaboration that has since morphed into IRUS-USA. Santi, as co-chair of the DLF Assessment Interest Group (AIG), what DLF AIG connections and research interest led you to recommending our current IRUS-USA pilot project? Santi: The JISC-funded Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (IRUS) aggregation project excited me for several reasons. First, I have found difficulty in gaining access to standardized usage statistics for scholarly works repositories. While many systems offer built-in statistics features, they often lack documentation that offers details on how they work, including what they do (and do not) count. With the COUNTER standard acting as the foundation for the aggregation service, IRUS draws upon standardized practices to deliver usage statistics across a shared community, giving managers access to a diverse range of data. The ability to query the usage statistics by formats and benchmark against other member institutions offers repository managers collection development tools often lacking in institutional repository environments. The work of IRUS also intersects nicely with current and former projects sponsored by the DLF AIG. A former working group, the Web Analytics Working Group, focused a large portion of their efforts on compiling information on various analytic tools and services that could aid in assessing repositories. In 2015 the group published a white paper on the use of Google Analytics in Digital Libraries. The group followed up this work in 2016-2017 by developing an annotated bibliography on how libraries use web analytics to assess their programs, collaborate with other institutions, and make decisions. There work provides a great overview of the world of usage analytics. Another AIG group, the Content Reuse subgroup of the User Studies Working Group, is currently investigating how best to assess the reuse of digital objects. With funding from IMLS (Developing a Framework for Measuring Reuse of Digital Objects [LG-73-17-0002-17]), the group is aiming to expand upon standardized usage statistics to better understand how users utilize or transform unique materials from library-hosted digital collections. The team believes that leveraging usage statistics, like the kind provided by IRUS, and reuse information will provide practitioners with a richer set of data in which to highlight the value of digital repositories and cultural heritage organizations. What are all three of you geeking out on? (Or, what is the most interesting thing you’ve learned through this IRUS-USA initiative?) Santi: My participation in projects like the IRUS-USA pilot program and the Measuring Reuse grant program have me obsessed with better understanding digital library users and reuses. The deep dive that I and my colleagues have taken on who uses digital library materials and for what purposes has allowed me to see how digital libraries are just as much of a “public good” or “public service” as they are a scholarly resource. There are countless anecdotes of how “everyday” people are using digital library objects for a variety of purposes—personal research, genealogy and family history, artistic expression and creation among others. However, I am not sure how well we, as a profession, have embraced the “public good” aspects of digital libraries and think that more attention can be given to the relationship between digital libraries and the “everyday” user. I will continue to collaborate with colleagues to explore this relationship. Jo and Paul: After several years of developing IRUS within the UK, we’re geeking out on seeing a growing appetite for an international family of services that can interoperate with one another to provide a global picture of IR and OA usage. We developed IRUS-UK by working with universities to understand what they need and then delivering a service to meet that need, so we’re hyped to have a US dimension to IRUS through the IRUS-USA pilot project, and excited about the potential for international measurement and benchmarking. Working with CLIR and DLF AIG folks has given us a greater insight into work in the US right now around use Read More

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Building Collaboration between Wikipedia and West Virginia University Libraries

In this special edition of #DLFcontribute, we’re working with the Wikimedia Foundation’s #1lib1ref (1 librarian, 1 reference) campaign to highlight how librarians use Wikipedia to fill in public knowledge gaps about local and marginalized knowledge. Running from January 15 to February 3, the #1Lib1Ref campaign encourages librarians around the world to all add one citation to Wikipedia. Kelly Doyle is the Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity at West Virginia University Libraries and is a current grantee of the Wikimedia Foundation. She works to raise awareness about the editor and content-based gender gap on Wikipedia and helps connect Wikipedians, faculty, and students. Find her on Wikipedia at User:KellyDoyle or on Twitter @WiR_at_WVU. Ashleigh D. Coren is the Special Collections Librarian for Teaching and Learning at the University of Maryland, College Park. Ms. Coren’s research interests include critical pedagogy and the assessment of library residency programs. She has held previous positions at West Virginia University and Emerson College and is a 2018 ALA Emerging Leader. n 2016, we saw an opportunity to create a collaborative model for outreach within West Virginia University Libraries (where Ashleigh was then a resident librarian), focusing on student groups and organizations of color. Our collaboration highlighted the many ways librarians can leverage their partnerships in various campus units to assist Wikipedians with outreach and curriculum building, and how Wikipedia can be a new way for librarians to engage our students in conversations about power and access.  Wikipedia literacy and editing helps students understand the building blocks of source development and to be more discerning of content online. Discussions about editor and content gaps on Wikipedia highlight why students need to be critical of content or the absence of information, and the importance of continuing to do research. These discussions empower students to use library resources and create notable content if it doesn’t exist. Wikipedia literacy can easily be incorporated into library instruction courses, and we’ve begun to incorporate this into our courses at WVU Libraries to positive student and instructor feedback. Wikipedia’s gender gap is quite stark, with less than 10{bb7ae5a4074bbb86d7a2b0662a6ef1be757ca6eb099937a5cf8614c660845351} of editors identifying as female and less than 18{bb7ae5a4074bbb86d7a2b0662a6ef1be757ca6eb099937a5cf8614c660845351} of biographies on Wikipedia English about women. Wikipedia also has a well documented diversity problem. We designed two of our discussion and training events as spaces for students of color to learn about the racial and gender dynamics of Wikipedia and to receive service credits as required by the university or their Greek organizations on campus. The events were developed in partnership with the Center for Black Culture and Research, our NAACP student group, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Ashleigh had connections to the Center and a student in the Deltas and thought they would be interested in sponsoring a Wiki event. This was a great way for Kelly to expand her service learning model and to explore partnerships with librarians and non-academic units on campus. Before the event, Kelly created an event dashboard page (which helps track participation) and Ashleigh assisted with locating redlinked or missing articles. We wanted to challenge our participants’ preconceived notions about the value and legitimacy of Wikipedia, and encourage them to add to the collective knowledge of the African diaspora. Each event was split into three parts: Kelly provided an overview on Wikipedia and the gender and racial gaps on the site, and Ashleigh continued the conversation on Wikipedia’s assessment of articles and used the pageview analysis tool to highlight how traffic to pages and content gaps can hurt  public understanding of a topic. We used two examples, TaNehisi Coates vs. Lena Dunham, and the Black Panther Party vs. the Ku Klux Klan, to get our audience to think about intentionality and purpose: How is the information organized in each article? What do editors find “notable” about these subjects? How many people are editing these pages, and how many people are accessing these pages? After the initial discussion, we helped the students create accounts and directed them to relevant databases and periodicals to use as sources. During our first event, Kelly arranged for the founder of AfroCROWD, Alice Backer, to speak to the students about their work and opportunities to volunteer. We found that when students understood the content gaps on Wikipedia, they felt motivated to contribute. Librarians and students can use their unique skills, along with their knowledge of content gaps, to help Wikipedia in its aim to contain the sum of all human knowledge. Global events like #1Lib1Ref are a great opportunity for librarians to engage with Wikipedia, and especially for academic librarians to engage with their student populations who are undoubtedly consulting Wikipedia on a regular basis. Furthermore, hosting events like #1Lib1Ref can allow librarians to gauge interest at their library for additional Wikipedia events or a Wikipedian in Residence role at their institution. Wikipedia needs librarians to continue to add content and citations, and students need librarians to help them navigate all of the sources they will encounter as they conduct research. Hopefully, partnerships like ours can grow at other libraries; engagement with #1Lib1Ref events provide an easy introduction to editing Wikipedia and possibilities for future partnerships.

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Three Questions with Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros and Elizabeth L. Black

On this special edition of #DLFcontribute, we’re working with the Wikimedia Foundation’s #1lib1ref (1 librarian, 1 reference) campaign to highlight how librarians use Wikipedia to fill in public knowledge gaps about local and marginalized knowledge. Running from January 15 to February 3, the #1Lib1Ref campaign encourages librarians around the world to all add one citation to Wikipedia. This post comes to us from Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros and Elizabeth “Beth” L. Black. Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros is Assistant Professor and Latin American Studies Librarian at The Ohio State University. She was the recipient of a Fulbright Garcia Robles Binational Business Fellowship to Mexico City, Mexico (2010-2011) and holds an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University. Elizabeth Black is the Undergraduate Engagement Librarian and an associate professor at The Ohio State University. Black’s research explores integrating information resources into online educational settings and the library’s contribution to student success. She has a master’s degree in library and information science from Kent State University and a bachelor of arts in history and bachelors of science in education from Miami University. 1. Could you talk about your International Studies course on global information? What does the partnership with the OSU Wikipedia Connection student association as well as work on Wikipedia’s Art + Feminism campaign entail? The Ohio State University’s Understanding the Global Information in Society course intersects international studies and global information literacy. Originally designed by area studies librarians, the course critically examines global information flows and knowledge equity. Through themes drawn from international studies and information sciences, the course engages students to critically assess information creation, dissemination, and distribution in the 21st century’s global information landscape in order to prepare students to work productively and creatively in our information rich world. Course content includes copyright, authority, access, censorship, and power in the context of existing and new information mediums such as Wikipedia, big data, data visualization, and even cartoons. The course intentionally promotes global citizenship dispositions and competencies by exploring themes through distinct multinational perspectives. As a part of this course, each student follows the news and information flow of a particular country throughout the semester. The assigned country is the focus of several assignments; in addition students are expected to explore class themes through the context and perspective of their assigned country. An example, is the Wikipedia Assignment. We partner with the OSU Wikipedia Connection student association to design an assignment that gives students the opportunity to contribute in a practical way to the knowledge creation process. Students are asked to complete the Wikipedia Adventure, read the Notability Policy of Wikipedia, and prepare to identify two sources that can be used to create or edit a Wikipedia page about a notable woman from their assigned country. This information is provided to the OSU Wikipedia Connection for use during their Art & Feminism Edit-a-thon. Students are offered extra credit for participating in this or another editing event sponsored by the OSU Wikipedia Connection. We developed this assignment in conjunction with Kevin Payravi, a former OSU student and co-founder of the OSU Wikipedia Connection student organization. To prepare students for this assignment, one or two members of OSU’s Wikipedia Connection are invited as guest speakers to discuss Wikipedia’s global reach and international community. The OSU Wikipedia Connection students present on their involvement with Wikipedia, explain the basics of contributing to Wikipedia, and demonstrate editing through a “live edit”. This guest speaker and related assignment is one example of how we aim to showcase practitioners from the field that are applying concepts and theory from the course. 2. What suggestions would you offer folks from the DLF community interested in integrating Wikipedia to their pedagogy? Recognize that while most students regularly use Wikipedia, most do not know how it came to be. This includes not knowing the basics of what constitutes an encyclopedia or the rules and policies governing Wikipedia. A teacher or librarian also has most likely told them that Wikipedia is bad and that they should not be using it. Therefore, we suggest that you integrate uncovering and clarifying common misconceptions of Wikipedia as part of your plans. Also, editing Wikipedia will feel very risky for many students. That is why our assignment requires that students learn how to edit through the Wikipedia Adventure tutorial but does not require actually editing an article. We do award extra credit points for those who edit as part of an OSU Wikipedia Connection event, at which students will have knowledgeable support. Ultimately, uses of Wikipedia in pedagogy needs to align with the learning goals and objectives of the educational context (course, workshop, etc.). In the case of our global information course, the Wikipedia assignment provides a tangible way for students to enhance knowledge equity and representation from around the world. 3. What are the most interesting things that you’re currently preoccupied with from teaching this course, or, alternatively, what are you currently geeking out on, as a result? Two things on our minds are 1) the importance of integrating relevant global and international perspectives to examine contemporary global issues and 2) supporting students in moving from consumers to producers of information especially in new information formats. We redesigned some of the key assignments for the current semester to emphasize these points and we are eager to see how they work. A key revision was changing the assignment where students create an information network about their country from a single assignment to one that is done in three steps. This ensures that students get feedback on the sources they are selecting, with an emphasis on diversity of perspectives (i.e. local, national and international) and formats, and an opportunity to use that feedback in the next iteration.

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Three Questions with The Black Lunch Table

On this special edition of #DLFcontribute, we’re working with the Wikimedia Foundation’s #1lib1ref (1 librarian, 1 reference) campaign to highlight how librarians use Wikipedia to fill in public knowledge gaps about local and marginalized knowledge. Running from January 15 to February 3, the #1Lib1Ref campaign encourages librarians around the world to all add one citation to Wikipedia. This post comes to us from The Black Lunch Table (BLT), an ongoing nomadic collaboration between artist and UNC Assistant Professor of Art Jina Valentine and New York-based public artist Heather Hart. The BLT has since taken the form of oral archiving sessions, salons, peer teaching workshops, meetups and Wikipedia edit-a-thons. Hart received her MFA from Rutgers University with studies at Princeton University, and Valentine received her MFA from Stanford University 1. The Black Lunch Table has been active for more than ten years. How has BLT morphed into its most recent iteration of Wikipedia edit-a-thons and what are the aims of these events? Black Lunch Table (BLT) has always mobilized a democratic rewriting of contemporary art and cultural history by animating discourse around and among the people living it. Our aim is to fill gaps in our historical records and to unpack, expose, and shift the power behind authorship. Our roundtable discussions and their documentation on our online audio archive (currently under construction) will always remain the heart of our project, but Wikipedia fits perfectly into our scope. Our first attempt at Wikipedia group editing was at our event in Chicago at the Black Artists Retreat in 2014. We had one computer and no trainers. We had no idea there was an actual system to do these things and had no idea there was so much help available to anyone wanting to organize edit-a-thons. So, when we found Alice Backer to speak at our next event at Studio Museum in Harlem and WikiNYC joined us, our plans became much clearer. Our project has grown so quickly and profoundly since then. While Wikipedia is an open source social network, wherein anyone has an equal voice in writing and editing historical records, currently 85{bb7ae5a4074bbb86d7a2b0662a6ef1be757ca6eb099937a5cf8614c660845351} of Wikipedia editors are male and 77{bb7ae5a4074bbb86d7a2b0662a6ef1be757ca6eb099937a5cf8614c660845351} are white. We seek to shift this demographic by hosting events focused on improving or creating pages for black visual artists. We are actively cultivating a more diverse editorship, in addition to encouraging editors in the majority demographic to focus on this often marginalized or omitted subject matter. Therefore, although our task lists are always site-specific visual artists of the African Diaspora, we encourage everyone who attends to do the work they think needs help. Through our edit-a-thons we also intend to challenge Wikipedia’s antiquated citation and notability standards. Many significant black artists are omitted from dominant art historical narratives and receive insufficient attention from the cultural medias, making it difficult or impossible to prove they’re significant enough for inclusion on Wikipedia. Such restrictive policies such as “notability standards” fail to take into account systemic bias in art criticism and art historical writing: Wikipedia risks mimicking the same system it was built to disrupt. Our long-term goal to challenge this is to establish our archive as a reputable source that may be used for citations. 2. Your edit-a-thons are held at libraries, rec centers, living rooms, museums, and many other kinds of community spaces. Some edit-a-thons have been held in conjunction with events like unconferences and fairs. How do these partnerships emerge? (And how might folks from the DLF community get involved?) Both of us come from the art world with our own relationships and seasoning. It is important to the project to remain nomadic and site-specific. We are both “crazy artists,” so maybe it’s in our nature to find boundaries to push a bit. And beginning from outside the traditional hackathon or library systems might just naturally mix things up a bit. We always propose the inclusion of BLT edit-a-thons when we book an exhibition or invitation for our own work. So we have found ourselves exploring site and context a lot—this has encouraged us to pair civic sites with academic or institutional engagements, so we might diversify the demographic. That leads us to research, relationship-building, and some cold-calling to find potential hosts. We would LOVE to collaborate with the DLF community, message us! And if that’s not possible, we encourage all of the DLF community to reach out to an unexpected collaborative partner or two. 3. What are the most interesting things that you’re currently preoccupied with from holding these edit-a-thons, or, alternatively, what are you currently geeking out on, as a result? Oh, man, the fractals of information on Wikipedia! So many people are missing from it! When you begin a new article, you find someone or something that was crucial in the article’s story and in history, who also doesn’t have a page. Heather has a small list in her phone of all the pages she wants to personally begin: Alex Harsley, Dr. Charles Smith, Brian Keith Jackson, Cacy Forgenie, Vandorn Hinnant, Tionna McFadden, Kori Newkirk, Pat Mautloa, and Sam Buti! But I think our current collective geeking in the Wiki world might be the notability guidelines we mentioned earlier. Changing the structure of the institution to counter bias (in media, historical authorship…) is a critical part of BLT’s overall project.

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Repository Analytics & Metrics Portal (RAMP)

This post was contributed by Kenning Arlitsch, Dean, Montana State University Library, with input from Patrick OBrien (Semantic Web Research Director, Montana State University), Jeff Mixter (Software Engineer, OCLC), Jonathan Wheeler (Data Cura…

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