Posts Tagged ‘awol’


Open Access Week for Classicists

October 21, 2010

The 4th annual Open Access Week is October 18-24, 2010. What does it mean for a classicist?

Open access resources are those that are available to all online, without the payment of a subscription by a university library or department or individual.  For many students and faculty based at large research institutions in the United States, it is easy to take access to appropriate scholarly resources  for granted.  Many undergraduates  I work with are surprised to discover that the UGA library pays for access to Jstor.  I field queries from students who are perplexed that a web site is asking them to pay $30 for a scholarly article they found using Google, and recent graduates who are distressed that they no longer have free access to Lexis Nexis.  And consider those who are based at small and/or ill-funded academic institutions, both in the US and abroad, and rely heavily on interlibrary loan and/or database license restriction-violating friends at larger institutions (who email them .pdfs or share passwords).

It is relatively easy to embrace the principle that scholarly information should be freely disseminated and available to all – but real life and the economics of scholarly publishing make open access more complicated.  To explore these issues, the Association for Research Libraries  has an Open Access initiative called SPARC.  SPARC produces a brochure (pdf) that is much more eloquent than I can be about the benefits of open access, and the web site has sections on economics and campus policies.  A few campuses have had their faculty commit to publishing their research in open access repositories, and many campuses have digital repositories, usually based in the libraries, to adequately organize and store various open access materials, which can range from digitized historic documents to data sets to student papers (including dissertations) to scholarly research by faculty.

Open Access: You’re Already Using It

Some of the best-loved and most heavily used online resources for Classics research are open access: Perseus, the core collection of the TLG, and Lacus Curtius, to name some of the most popular.

The blog AWOL: The Ancient World Online has been collecting scholarly journals and other resources relevant to ancient studies that are open access, and has amassed an impressively long lost of titles.

The Hathi Trust catalog is an important scholarly site to be aware of.  Supported by major US research libraries,  it has online full-text of many scholarly works that are out of copyright, and the indexing and searchability are better than Google Books (which is also a valuable resource for open-access scholarly books and a few journals.)

What have I missed?  Tell me the best scholarly resource you use online for Classics research that is open-access.  I am certain I am missing many non-US ones!

Open Access: How You Can Contribute

As a teacher and scholar, you can help promote open access resources by:

  • Recommending them to your students and colleagues.
  • Publishing your scholarly papers in open access journals, especially if you are past the tenure process and can actually attract readers to these often newer journals because of your well-known name.
  • Looking closely at your contracts with publishers when you sign them.  If they don’t allow you to keep copyright of your own works, consider asking for an amendment of the agreement.
  • For scholarly works for which you hold the copyright, consider posting them online as free .pdf files, making them de facto open access.  A personal or departmental web site is a good place for this (you can link .pdf files to an online CV, for example) or a ‘scholarly social networking site’ like makes the process easy.

Are there other ideas I have missed?  Have questions about Open Access?  Let me know!


Resource Roundup: Classics Blogs

September 21, 2010

Librarians blog, people.  Sometimes I wonder if every librarian under 40 has a blog.  Archaeologists blog a little.  Classical philologists, not so much. So there are relatively few “must-follow” blogs for Classical Studies, in my opinion.  Those few are:

  • The Bryn Mawr Classical Review.  Most people aren’t so conscious that this is a blog, as it uses the blog medium to feed content that is just a traditional book review.  I love the BMCR, even if I only skim the reviews, and you should too.
  • The Ancient World Online (AWOL) by Charles Ellwood Jones of NYU.  Collects open-access online journals and other publications about the ancient world, with excellent international coverage.  There are occasional mentions of other online projects or issues related to ancient studies.
  • Rogueclassicism, by David Meadows.  This is more of a mixture of things – “this day in ancient history”, pull-outs from list-servs announcing conferences and colloquia, references to Classics in pop culture, new archaeological discoveries.  To me it’s the most useful general classics blog.
  • Then there’s Atlantides: Feed Aggregators for Ancient Studies, by Tom Elliot of NYU, who as far as I can tell includes the above and pretty much everything else in the realm of ancient world blogging, from Spanish-language archaeologists to vastly different perspectives on cultural heritage preservation to New Testament scholars.  There are multiple feeds available at the link above, rough-sorted by topic.  Subscribe to a feed and you get all the posts from all the blogs on that feed (hence the name “aggregator.”)  Maia Atlantis is the big one; the full list of blogs covered, in alphabetical order, is along the right sidebar.  It’s a bit like drinking from a fire hose to subscribe to the whole thing, but I suggest doing so for a bit, and then subscribing individually to those blogs that interest you and unsubscribing to the feed as a whole.

I’d also like to highlight a couple of blogs I just like.  Blogging (if done well, in my opinion) is kind of personal, and sometimes you like a blogger’s voice and want to follow him or her, despite having little direct interest in his area of study.  Sometimes you GET interested in his area of study!  So here are a few voices I enjoy and find thought-provoking:

A reminder – Bloglines has announced it is going away October 1st, so if you use that as an RSS reader you will need to switch.  I use Google Reader, which is the largest alternative to Bloglines – I switched a while ago, fed up with how often Bloglines was down.  If you hate Google Reader, a librarian blogger I like, Swiss Army Librarian, just did a round-up of RSS readers that are not Google Reader, so you may find one you like.  While twitter and Facebook are discovery tools for new blog content for me, I still rely heavily on an RSS reader to keep up with the things I am devoted to.