Retweets, Shares, and Likes: Increasing the Impact of Research Through the Preservation and Sharing of Data

Justine Allen, Derya Akkaynak (from http://news.brown.edu/articles/2017/05/cuttlefish)

Last week, an article co-authored by Dr. Justine Allen appeared in the scientific journal The American Naturalist. Dr. Allen received her Ph.D. from Brown University in 2014, completing her graduate work under Professor Roger Hanlon at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. The article describes the behaviors of two male cuttlefish fighting over a female mate, behaviors that were recorded on video and in photographs taken by the authors while on a dive off the coast of Turkey. The video has since been seen tens of thousands of times, demonstrating the impact of research through the preservation and sharing of data.

To view Dr. Allen and her co-authors’ data in the BDR please visit:

Akkaynak, Derya, and Allen, Justine J., “Dramatic fighting by male cuttlefish for a female mate” (2011). Data for Publications. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.https://doi.org/10.7301/Z0PR7SX4.

In order to analyze the recorded behaviors, the researchers created a scoring guide to document the types and characteristics of the organisms involved and their actions and the duration of the actions at certain timestamps in the film footage and on each still image. Before Dr. Allen and her co-authors submitted their manuscript for peer review and publication, they reached out to Hope Lappen, Biomedical and Life Sciences Librarian, and Andrew Creamer, Scientific Data Management Librarian, to get help with their questions about copyright and licenses for publishing and distributing their data, and for assistance with curating and depositing the files (the video, images, and analysis data underlying their paper’s findings) into an online collection in the Library’s Brown Digital Repository (BDR).

The BDR is the Library’s platform for making digital collections available online. The BDR has a collection called “Data for Publications,” which is an online gallery for Brown researchers to preserve the supplementary materials accompanying their published articles or the data underlying their results and conclusions. The BDR also allows researchers to cite these materials and data in their publications and to make these files available to other researchers and the public online.

Andrew worked with Ann Caldwell, the Library’s Metadata Librarian and Head of Digital Production Services, to plan out the descriptive information for each catalog record associated with their data set and the minimum documentation necessary to interpret the data. This process is iterative and involves collaborating with the authors to collect these details and create their records in the BDR with the aim of facilitating search, discovery, access, and citation of these materials online. Ann’s staff also helped to convert the film and image file formats into ones that are appropriate for long-term preservation.

Upon deposit of the files in the Library’s BDR, Andrew and Ann work with Joseph Rhoads, the BDR’s Manager, and Ben Cail, the BDR’s programmer, to display the files according to the wishes of the researchers. For the cuttlefish paper, the authors wanted to be able to not only preserve the original video and image files in the BDR, but also to stream the video so that readers could view the video from its record the BDR.  After files are uploaded, Joseph and Ben provide the researchers with a URL and a unique identifier, called a digital object identifier (DOI), that they can use to cite these materials within their article so that reviewers of their paper or interested readers can have access to them. By depositing the data in the BDR and citing the data within the paper, the authors allow readers to learn more about the science and judge the rigor and validity of their published findings. This transparency can help move science forward.

So what is the big deal about making these materials public? In short, the answer is impact. Scientists want to spread knowledge and know that their research can resonate with the public. By depositing their video with the Library and citing and sharing their video, Dr. Allen and her co-authors were able to reach more people than they would have through the publication of their article alone. How many more people? One week after publication of the article, their cuttlefish video had been viewed by over 140,000 people online! In addition, the video had been reported on the websites and social media feeds of the New York Times, National Geographic, and Science and reported on the websites and on the Facebook and Twitter and similar social media feeds of media outlets in several countries, including Germany’s Der Spiegel. These posts have been shared, liked, and retweeted by people fascinated with the dramatic events the research team captured on film.

Dr. Allen and her co-authors are not alone. A team of Brown undergraduates led by Dean Adetunji, Associate Dean of the College for Undergraduate Research and Inclusive Science, have deposited the file of a video in the Library’s BDR on the science of seeing color that has also has had over 100,000 views. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the National Science Foundation including broader and societal impact among the review criteria it uses to evaluate grant proposals submitted by researchers. The Library’s BDR plays a crucial role in helping to preserve and disseminate the digital outputs of Brown’s research community, including their broader impact materials that they have created for educating students or the public about their research. Videos, images, software, and documents that could easily be lost after the publication of an article now get cataloged by the Library and put online and discovered, accessed, and cited by other researchers and the public.

Research Consultations at the Writing Center

The Library and the Writing Center are teaming up to help you jump start your research project!

You can drop into the Writing Center on the 5th Floor of the SciLi on these
Fridays from 12 – 3 p.m.:

  • April 21
  • April 28
  • May 5
You can talk about your work, ask questions, and get advice from librarians and writing associates. No appointment is necessary. Consultations are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dissertation Writing Retreat January 9-13 from the Writing Center, Graduate School and University Library (Deadline 12/28)

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Advanced PhD students are invited to apply now to participate in a Dissertation Writing Retreat in January 2017. The writing-intensive retreat, to be held January 9-13, will provide 16 participants with space, time and encouragement to make progress on their dissertations. Stacy Kastner, Associate Director of the Writing Center, will lead the retreat, which pools the resources and support of the Graduate School, Sheridan Center and Libraries.

The deadline for submitting the electronic form is Wednesday, December 28, 2016. See details, including eligibility, here.

During the retreat, students will meet in the morning to set writing goals over coffee and tea, spend two hours writing, and then break for an informal lunch talk peppered with energizing advice and anecdotes about how to successfully navigate the dissertation writing process. In the afternoon, they will spend another three hours writing, with one-on-one support available from Writing Associates and Research Librarians. The group will close the day at 4 p.m., regrouping to check-in about writing goals and to celebrate progress made.

This offering is a response to the Graduate Student Council’s request for increased writing support for graduate students.

Blind Date with a Book

Blind Date with a BookCelebrate this chilly weekend by going on a blind date with a book. Check out the books wrapped in brown paper on the first floor bookshelves in the Sorenson Reading Room of the Rock. The books are a random selection from the Brown Library’s literature collection. The message on each book hints at its contents. Pick one out, check it out, and enjoy! Anyone can check out these books, but hurry because soon they will be spirited back to their homes in the stacks.

Ebsco eBooks Mobile App Now Available

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The EBSCO eBooks app is now available!

This new app enables easy discovery and simple download capabilities from the Library collection to any mobile device, and a best-in-class reading experience.

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Available 24/7−− now the library comes to you

Quick access to intuitive app features
Place holds on best-selling titles and new releases
Adjust font size, margin, contrast and more
Sync libraries, bookmarks and recent positions in the same titles across mobile devices

The EBSCO eBooks app is available for:

iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) from the iTunes app store
Android devices from Google Play
Kindle Fire and Nook devices from this FAQ
For more information, click here

Fernando Birri: Mi Patria Son Mis Zapatos

Fernando Birri by Wilhelm Reinke

Photo by Wilhelm Reinke

The John Hay Library takes great pleasure in announcing the opening of the Fernando Birri Archive of Multimedia Arts.  It is an extraordinary collection documenting the long and continuing career of Fernando Birri, a celebrated and influential film maker, poet, writer, educator, artist, and theoretician.

Fernando Birri was born in Santa Fe, Argentina in 1925 and is honored as the Father of the new Latin American film movement, described as a form of revolutionary or Third Cinema.  He has been a creative force in 43 films either as the director, actor, or subject. His most well-known films are Tire dié, ORG, and Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes. He was instrumental in the founding of 3 film schools: Instituto de Cinematografía de la Universidad del Litoral in Santa Fe, Argentina; Laboratorio Ambulante de Poéticas Cinematográficas in the Universidad de los Andes in Venezuela;  and Escuela de Cine y Televisión de Tres Mundos (EICTV) in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba. He has authored numerous books on film theory and taught classes on film making around the world. In addition, he is a prolific artist working in a wide range of media from pencils to computer graphics.

The Fernando Birri Archive of Multimedia Arts contains his films, videos, film scripts, diaries, writings, art work, correspondence, poems, photographs, posters, and audio recordings.  It is a comprehensive archive of his life and work and the essential resource for understanding not only the work of Birri but also the history and evolution of Latin American film during the 20th and 21st centuries.

All of his work and creative energy has been accomplished despite, or perhaps because of, his continual movement from one country to another.  He left his native Argentina in 1950 to study film in Italy.  But he was forced to leave Argentina in 1963 for political reasons.  He kept on moving and has lived and worked in Brazil, Italy, Venezuela, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, Germany, and the United States.  He describes his life this way:

“… I have to become a citizen of the world. And there is a very heart-rending phrase from an Argentinean filmmaker, who was killed by the dictatorship in Paris, Jorge Cedrón, which since then has come to be my motto: “Mi patria son mis zapatos [My country is my shoes]”. Life obliged me to that, so I accept it, I accept it well, and with dreams for the future. Period and enough.” (Interview by Mariluce Moura, 2006)

Kanopy Streaming Available to Brown

Kanopy streaming at Brown

The library is pleased to announce the availability of the Kanopy Video Streaming Service to faculty, staff, and students.  Kanopy offers over 8500 films, documentaries, and training videos at: http://brown.kanopystreaming.com.

Kanopy’s award winning collection includes titles from PBS, the BBC, Criterion Collection, California Newsreel, Kino Lorber, Media Education Foundation, Documentary Educational Resources (DER) and hundreds of leading producers.

In addition to being able to browse the Kanopy website, records for individual films will soon begin appearing in Josiah and the library discovery tool.

Faculty can either link directly to selected films in OCRA, or embed them directly into Canvas courses.

Updates From Around the Library (September 2014)

20140918septUpdates

The fall semester is off to a great start at the Library. Here are a few recent highlights from various Library blogs:

Summer Activity in the Library

Library Summer Activity

Some might view the summer as a slow time on a college campus, but the Brown University Library remains committed to supporting users. Many groups find themselves using the Library over the summer months including: pre-college students, undergraduates, and high school students. The summer is also a time for renovation and an opportunity to install new technologies.

Here’s a brief look at some of the groups passing through the Library as well as a few of the summer activities.

    • Summer Pre-College Students: This summer Brown is offering over 200 courses selected to reflect the University’s curriculum. It isn’t long after these classes start that pre-college students find themselves in the Library.
    • Undergraduate Summer Session: About 450 students enroll in summer session classes at Brown each year. Subject Librarians have remained busy meeting one-on-one with a number of undergraduates.
    • Brown Summer High School Program: Now in its 46th year—the Brown Summer High School is a daytime program open to Providence-area high school students. Instructors from this program can often be found in the Rock Lobby tutoring students.
    • Renovations: The University Library is renovating both the Rockefeller Library and the John Hay Library. In the Rockefeller Library, the first floor computer cluster, Reference Room, and Hecker Center will be renovated. The John Hay Library is finishing up a year-long renovation of the entire building.
    • New Technology: In response to faculty requests, the Library recently acquired a “Bookeye 4” scanning station for users to easily scan books and other materials. As part of the Hecker Center renovation, a new laptop loaner cart will be added.
    • Other Summer Activities:
      • Thesis writing: Many current students—both undergraduates and grad students—use the summer as an opportunity to work on their thesis.
      • Professional development: Librarians and staff are busy attending conferences and continuing their research.
      • Student workers: A number of student workers have been hired to help with shelving and the digitization of materials during the summer months.
      • First Readings: In partnership with the Dean of the College, the Library created the First Readings website to introduce incoming students to the Brown community.

Updates From Around the Library (July 2014)

July Blog Updates

Here are a few recent highlights from some of the Library’s various blogs:

Contact: Mark Baumer |  401-863-3642