Category Archives: Information Literacy

Faculty CTL Information Literacy Discussion 3/27 at noon

If you are interested in how to use information literacy methods in the classroom, please join Librarian David Davisson for a discussion on how the Library can work with you.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Net Neutrality: What it is, and how it may change

If you are one of many people in the US who use the internet (and if you’re reading this right now, that’s you!), you probably need to understand what net neutrality means. Here is the Wikipedia article definition: “Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.”

Just 6 months ago, the The U.S. Court of Appeals, under President Obama, backed the FCC’s defense of a free, open, and neutral internet, with certain regulations tacked on to protect this neutrality. You can read more about it on

What will happen under the new 2017 administration? If you like the freedoms of an Open Internet (or simply a fast broadband network), you should be concerned. But, as always, there are two sides to any argument. Take a look at the article below published from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The article links out to many other sources to assess Trump and the new administration’s views. Why do you think they are against net neutrality? Who are the major parties involved? Is the language for an anti-neutrality stance confusing? Read this Atlantic article from 2014 for even more information about the debate, and this Forbes article arguing against net-neutrality.

Trump and His Advisors on Net Neutrality

December 19, 2016 | By Kerry Sheehan

Through the combined efforts of EFF and a coalition of public interest groups — and four million of you who wrote in to the FCC — we won carefully tailored and essential net neutrality protections in 2015 and defended them in court in 2016. But how will the incoming Trump administration impact net neutrality in 2017? We’ve collected a range of statements on the positions of Trump, his transition team, and those who are likely to guide the new administration on this issue.

Trump took a swipe at net neutrality in a November 2014 tweet, stating, “Obama’s Attack on the Internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target Conservative Media.”

The Republican Party platform [PDF] was also critical of net neutrality, and Trump’s transition team is stocked with staunch opponents to net neutrality.


Fair Use Week – what is it and why is it important to you?


Are you an artist, a professor, or writer? Do you incorporate outside design work into your own to make it unique? That’s legal thanks to the doctrine of fair use, or the copyright laws that make transformative works legal.

Basically, fair use doctrines are exceptions to the copyright law. Because “fair use” is highly subjective, each case needs to be carefully weighted. Stanford University Libraries lists a handful of interesting fair use cases and their outcomes. Below summarizes one of the more contested cases. What do you think?

The painter, Richard Prince, created a collage using — in one collage — 35 images from a photographer’s book. The artist also used 28 of the photos in 29 additional paintings. In some instances the full photograph was used while in others, only the main subject of the photo was used. Important Factors. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that to qualify as a transformative use, Prince’s work did not have to comment on the original photographer’s work (or on popular culture). The Court of Appeals concluded that twenty-five of Prince’s artworks qualified as fair use and remanded the case to determine the status of the remaining five artworks. Cariou v. Prince,  No. 11-1197 (2d Cir. 2013) VERDICT: FAIR USE


The Directory of Open Access Journals

One of the most substantial efforts to create a high-quality resource for open access scholarship is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). To be indexed by the DOAJ a journal must “use an appropriate quality control system,” “use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access,” and allow users to “read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles.” Appropriate quality control is defined as exercising “peer-review with an editor and an editorial board or editorial review (particularly in the Humanities) carried out by at least two editors.”

Journals that adopt the best practices recommended by DOAJ receive a DOAJ seal of approval. To receive a seal of approval a journal must:

  • use DOIs as permanent identifiers;
  • provides DOAJ with article metadata;
  • deposits content with a long term digital preservation or archiving program; [see yesterday’s post on institutional repositories]
  • embeds machine-readable CC licensing information in articles;
  • allows generous reuse and mixing of content, in accordance with a CC BY, CC BY-SA or CC BY-NC license;
  • has a deposit policy registered wíth a deposit policy registry;
  • allows the author to hold the copyright without restrictions.
  • In response to concerns about journal quality the DOAJ initiated a re-review process in March of 2014. Journals with a green tick next to their name have met the DOAJ’s more stringent criteria for compliance to best practices and publishing standards.

    While the DOAJ started as a simple list of open access journals available, it has become an important gate-keeper, and plays a significant role in distinguishing high-quality open access scholarship from open access publisher who do not adhere to the best practice standards set by the open access community.

    Here’s a list of journals that have received the DOAJ’s seal of approval.

    40 titles receive special recognition from the American Journal of Nursing

    Every year, in its January issue, the American Journal of Nursing or AJN, recognizes the most valuable texts published the field of nursing from the previous year. A panel of judges look for the best of the best in 19 different categories across the nursing spectrum. This year, the judges selected 40 titles.

    The Macdonald-Kelce Library is lucky enough to own many of these award-winning titles. Special thanks goes out to librarian Elizabeth Barron whose job is to make sure we have the award winners in the library’s collection. By the way, Elizabeth works tirelessly selecting and acquiring ALL new books for the library in the fields of nursing, criminology, and education (FYI: if you are a student in any of these fields, I recommend you get to know Elizabeth sooner, rather than later).

    Right now, the Book of the Year Award titles are found either in the display case next to the circulation desk or on the new book shelf. Always remember, you can check out any of the books on display, just ask one of the attendants at the circulation desk to get a book out for you.

    Finding the entire award-winning list is easy. Just log on to Esearch, select the Ovid database from the list of databases, and then clicking on the ‘Journals’ tab. From there you can either enter the journal name in the search box, or scroll down the alphabetical list to find AJN, American Journal of Nursing. Then you can search within the journal for the article using the following title: “Book of Year Awards 2013.”

    Here are of a few of the titles that caught my eye:

    Where Night Is Day, from the summary in the online catalog: “This book describes the hour-by-hour, day-by-day rhythms of an intensive care unit in a teaching hospital in New Mexico. Written by a nurse, Where Night Is Day reveals the specialized work of ICU nursing and its unique perspective on illness, suffering, and death. It takes place over a thirteen-week period, the time of the average rotation of medical residents through the ICU. As the author, James Kelly, reflects on the rise of medicine, the nature of nursing, the argument of care versus cure, he offers up an intimate portrait of the ICU, the patients who live and/or die there, and the medical professionals who work there.” Call number: RT 120.I5 K45 2013.

    Smart but Scattered Teens from the book cover: “Despite high intelligence, adolescents with executive skills deficits can be frustratingly disorganized, distractable, forgetful, and moody…Drs. Guare and Dawson are leading experts on executive skills…grounded in the state-of-the-art scientific research, this book provides crucial skills (teens need) for success.” Call number: HQ 799.15 G83 2013.

    See Me as a Person: Creating Therapeutic Relationships with Patients and Their Families, according to Amazon this work “offers guiding principles and a practical methodology that facilitate a clinician’s ability to form authentic relationships which improve patient safety and the overall experience of care.” Call number: R727.3 K 656 2012.

    Essential of Nursing Research: Appraisal Evidence for Nursing Practice, Amazon states, this work provides “a unique learning-teaching package that is designed to teach students how to read and critique research reports, and to appreciate the application of research findings to nursing practice.” RT 81.5 P63 2014.

    The End-of-Life Namaste Care Program for People with Dementia, author, Joyce Simard states on her webpage that “it is my hope that publication of this book will stimulate many more nursing homes and hospices to pay greater attention to individuals with advanced and terminal dementia. The End-of-Life Namaste Care Program for People with Dementia may serve as an important road map in this effort because it describes in detail how the program can be implemented, how the Namaste Care team is established, how an appropriate Namaste Care environment is created, and what the day’s activities could be.” Call number: RC 521.S57 2013

    Finally, here is your Information Literacy Tip of the Day: knowing that experts in the career of nursing selected 40 titles as the best out of all the nursing book published in 2013, is one way to evaluate the credibility and authority of a resource that you might want to use for research and or general information.

    Wishing you happy reading in the field of nursing and beyond!

    “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection”

    the-demon-haunted-world-q3jfla5kHere at the library we think a lot about research and information literacy. In short, we think about helping students to develop the skills which will empower them to understand an information need, to be able to identify the best sources, and to be able to critically evaluate that information for credibility, reliability, veracity, and to follow where the evidence leads. All of these skills are essential for writing good papers but are equally important to being savvy information consumers as professionals, citizens, and individuals who operate in a world of often dubious if not outright misleading claims.

    One could call this skill set and the ability to employ it in your own writing critical thinking ability. But, I prefer to call it  a “Baloney Detection Kit.” The late great Carl Sagan coined this phrase to denote:

    “…the means to construct, and to understand, a reasoned argument and—especially important—to recognize a fallacious or fraudulent argument. The question is not whether we like the conclusion that emerges out of a train of reasoning, but whether the conclusion follows from the premise or starting point and whether that premise is true.”

    To build your “Baloney Detection Kit” with the tools for skeptical (or critical) thinking proposed by Dr. Sagan check out The Demon Haunted World: Science As A Candle In The Dark from the library.

    Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

    If you are unfamiliar with reading scholarly articles the following page offers a nice breakdown of the key components typically found in a scholarly article:

    Brainstorming and 9/11

    This Wednesday will be the 12th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. I wonder do normal every day people call them that, “the September 11 terrorist attacks?” I would hazard to guess they do not. Most people say 9/11. Twelve years ago I hated how the news media and people called it 9/11 but now I do it too. I think I didn’t like it because to me it seemed to minimize the loss that tragic event brought about and I thought it made it seem as not as important. Over time I realized it didn’t matter how one labels the event as long as they acknowledged and remembered it.

    In the online catalog (the library’s book database) the official Library of Congress subject heading is “September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001.” I didn’t magically know this, rather I brainstormed the topic. I used “9/11” as a keyword search. I found some books. I then looked at the bibliographic record of one of the items and I discovered the official subject heading. When I clicked on that I found A LOT more books! I have to say that if I wanted to do a research project on some aspect of 9 /11 there are many subjects to choose from:

    September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001

    September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Psychological aspects

    September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Influence

    September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Juvenile literature

    September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Economic aspects

    September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Medals

    September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Environmental aspects–New York (State)–New York

    September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Health aspects–New York (State)–New York

    September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Anniversaries, etc.

    September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Drama

    September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Personal narratives

    AND many more. So, whether you are doing a research project on 9/11 or something else, take time to brainstorm your topic, use the bibliographic records found in the online catalog, and of course always stop by and see a reference librarian for even more help and advice.

    How to Get the Most Out of Studying

    One of my favorite tutorials. I post it at the beginning of every semester. Want to improve your study habits? Follow these tips from Professor Chen.

    This 5-part video series from Professor Stephen Chew at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama provides some good advice on effective studying. In 2011 Dr. Chew was named the U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    How to Read and Understand a Scientific Paper

    Professor Jennifer Raff, an anthropologist at the University of Texas at Austin, gives some good advice on reading scientific papers.

    “Reading a scientific paper is a completely different process than reading an article about science in a blog or newspaper. Not only do you read the sections in a different order than they’re presented, but you also have to take notes, read it multiple times, and probably go look up other papers for some of the details. Reading a single paper may take you a very long time at first. Be patient with yourself. The process will go much faster as you gain experience.”