Student Learning Outcomes using Wikipedia-based Assignments: Fall 2016 Research Report

Author: Zach McDowell

Abstract:“To better understand the types of skills students obtain from contributing to Wikipedia as a course assignment, the Wiki Education Foundation sponsored Dr. Zach McDowell, of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, to conduct a study of our program participants during the Fall 2016 term. After careful analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, the study found that Wikipedia-based assignments enhance students’ digital literacy and critical research skills, foster their ability to write for a public audience, promote collaboration, and motivate them more than traditional assignments. Students also gain a valuable understanding and appreciation for a source of information they use every day: Wikipedia.”  (Description from the Wikiedu blog)

Citation: McDowell, Z. (2017). Student learning outcomes using Wikipedia-based assignments: Fall 2016 research report. Wikimedia Commons.


What researchers want

Author: Martin Feijen

Abstract: A literature study aiming to understand how researchers currently handle research data storage and access, what problems they encounter, and what their needs are. Unlike many reports that address these issues from the library, institution, or other service provider’s perspective, this report outlines key findings about the motivations and interests of researchers, and provides guidance to libraries and universities about how to shape their services to meet the researchers where they are.

Citation: Feijen, Martin. What Researchers Want. SURF Foundation. Feb. 2011.


Report on offset agreements: evaluating current Jisc Collections deals. Year 1 – evaluating 2015 deals

Author: Stuart Lawson

Abstract: This report is the first of three annual evaluations of Jisc Collections offset agreements. The work has been sponsored by Jisc as part of the Jisc Collections Studentship Award at Birkbeck, University of London.


What do Italian Researchers think about Open Research Data?

Authors: Fava, I & Gargiulo, P

Abstract: From August to December 2012, the OpenAIRE Italian National Open Access Desk conducted a survey to find out what researchers and all the people involved with research in universities and research centres were doing with reference to research data archiving, management and access policies. The aim was to produce an overview of the state of the art of research data production, management and sharing in Italy, and to investigate researchers opinions and attitudes towards a potential National infrastructure for data storage, curation and preservation. The survey addressed more than 1240 directors of research departments in universities and research institutions, who where then requested to disseminate the survey among their researchers.

Fava, I & Gargiulo, P. (2013). What do Italian Researchers think about Open Research Data? [Report]



Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers

Authors: Laura Brown, Alex Humphreys, Matthew Loy, Ron Snyder, Christina Spencer


Abstract: Scholarly books are increasingly being made available in digital form, joining in the print-to-digital transition that scholarly journals began well over a decade ago. Ten years of innovation have produced tremendous benefits for authors and readers of journal literature, and certainly some of this innovation is applicable to the digital migration of monographs. But the long-form scholarly argument presents some very different challenges, and its online migration is still in many ways in its infancy. The platforms that make monographs available to users often offer little in the way of specialized functionality for the different ways that scholars and students use these books. The JSTOR Labs group, an experimental product development team at JSTOR, undertook a user research and design process in order to better understand the wide variety of needs, behaviors, frustrations, and ambitions users bring to the task of reading scholarly books online, and to explore possible new paths to unlocking the value of the long-form argument in a digital environment. This paper is intended to do three things. First, we discuss the kinds of uses that readers have for scholarly books, and the opportunities for improving the usefulness of books for those purposes in a digital environment. These emerged from ethnographic research we carried out with a variety of readers of digital monographs and with a small working group of scholars, publishers, librarians, engineers, data scientists and user experience designers that we convened in partnership with the Columbia University Libraries in late 2016. Second, we discuss the design thinking process that we used to explore the landscape, how the group identified problems to solve, and how together we selected one opportunity ripe for new feature development that the JSTOR Labs team could prototype. Third, we describe the process we used to develop that prototype, and introduce the tool that we built, which we are calling “Topicgraph.”


Citation: Brown, L, Humphreys, A, Loy, M, Snyder, R, Spencer, C. (2017) Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers, A JSTOR Labs Report – DRAFT FOR COMMENT




Finding the Principles of the Commons: A Report of the Force11 Scholarly Communications Working Group

Authors: Robin Champieux, Bianca Kramer, Jeroen Bosman, Ian Bruno, Amy Buckland, Sarah Callaghan, Chris Chapman, Stephanie Hagstrom, MaryAnn E. Martone, and Daniel Paul O’Donnell


Abstract: While the creation and exchange of scholarly and research information now takes place within digital environments and increasingly on the open web, traditional print-based workflows are recapitulated across the scholarly communication life-cycle, outmoded rewards systems hold strong, and crises of access, reproducibility, and reuse continue to be raised. In some respects, scholarly and scientific communication has not changed much since the establishment of the first scientific journal 350 years ago. But, what if we could start over? What kind of system could and should we build to harnesses the resources of the digital age to maximize the communication and use of new knowledge? These questions, posed by Dr. Sarah Callaghan at the Force2015 Conference as part of the 1K Challenge, inspired the creation of the FORCE11 Scholarly Commons Working Group.


Citation: Champieux, Robin; Kramer, Bianca; Bosman, Jeroen; Bruno, Ian; Buckland, Amy; Callaghan, Sarah; Chapman, Chris; Hagstrom, Stephanie; Martone, MaryAnn E.; and O’Donnell, Daniel Paul (2016) “Finding the Principles of the Commons: A Report of the Force11 Scholarly Communications Working Group,” Collaborative Librarianship: Vol. 8 : Iss. 2 , Article 5.
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Office of Scholarly Communication: Scope, Organizational Placement, and Planning in Ten Research Libraries

Author(s):  Marcum, D., Schonfeld, R. C., & Thomas, S.

Abstract: The phrase “scholarly communication” appears often in the description of library roles and responsibilities, but the function is still new enough that it takes different forms in different institutions. There is no common understanding of where it fits into the library’s organizational structure. This landscape review of offices of scholarly communication grows out of research originally conducted by Ithaka S+R for the Harvard Library.

Dr. Sarah Thomas, Vice President for the Harvard Library, University Librarian and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, asked Ithaka S+R to undertake a review of how peer institutions support the scholarly communication function in their libraries. Dr. Thomas wanted to understand the scope of activities, staff size, and budget of similar units in peer institutions.

The project was designed to gather basic information about these issues at some of the largest research-intensive university libraries. It finds categorical differences in the vision for the scholarly communications unit and its organizational placement, as well as associated differences in staffing and budget.

Citation: Marcum, D., Schonfeld, R. C., & Thomas, S. (2015, November 18). Office of Scholarly Communication: Scope, Organizational Placement, and Planning in Ten Research Libraries. Retrieved from


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Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences

A draft report to the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication, but relevant to the larger Open Access community.

Author(s): Solomon, David J; Laasko, Mikael; Björk, Bo-Christer

Abstract: This report identifies ways through which subscription-based scholarly journals have converted their publishing models to open access (OA). The major goal was to identify specific scenarios that have been used or proposed for transitioning subscription journals to OA so that these scenarios can provide options for others seeking to “flip” their journals to OA.

Citation: Solomon DJ, Laasko M & Björk BC. (2016). Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences. Draft report to the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication.


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