Creative Commons

October 21-27th is Open Access Week, an event dedicated to free, immediate, online access to scholarly research. Creative Commons, which you may have seen on such as social media sites as flickr, provides essential tools to promote this type of access to research, education and artistic creations.

According to their website (http://creativecommons.org/about) "Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. If you want to give people the right to share, use and even build upon a work you've created, you should consider publishing it under a Creative Commons license."

There are a number of works in Albertsons Library's ScholarWorks which were published under a Creative Commons license, including a book chapter by Boise State's provost, Dr. Martin Schimpf. Here are some examples:

Caspase-Cleaved Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Within Cerebellar White Matter of the Alzheimer's Disease Brain

Innovation as Determining Factor of Post-M&A Performance: The Case of Vietnam

Reconfigurable Threshold Logic Gates using Memristive Devices

Situational Qualities Exhibited by Exceptional Presenters

Statistical Thermodynamics of Material Transport in Non-Isothermal Mixtures

Apples or Sticks: The Promise and Pitfalls of Merit Pay Policies

Accessible High-Throughput Virtual Screening Molecular Docking Software for Students and Educators

Michelle Armstrong & Elizabeth Ramsey,


Happy Open Access Week!

This week, Albertsons Library is celebrating Open Access Week, an international event designed to highlight and bring attention to the incredible benefit that is achieved by making the research produced at universities, like Boise State, openly available to the public.

“Open Access” refers to the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as needed. Currently, most research produced at universities is distributed through peer-reviewed journals that are then sold for profit. Although journals serve important functions, such as managing the peer-review process, the subscription and licensing costs charged to universities, researchers, and the general public, creates an incredible barrier to being able to access that research. Additionally, increasing journal prices are placing tremendous strains on library budgets, further restricting access to important discoveries.

In response, libraries, like Albertsons Library, along with other groups such as the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, Association of Research Libraries, and Creative Commons, are working to raise awareness and make scholarship openly available. Locally, Albertsons Library manages ScholarWorks, a collection of services designed to capture and showcase Boise State’s scholarship.

By working with faculty, ScholarWorks staff identify Boise State publications, review and secure the necessary rights, and then posts the publications openly online. In many cases, the faculty member has transferred their copyrights to the publisher who then limits what can be done with that research. Sometimes however, they will grant back to the author the right to post an earlier, peer-reviewed version of their manuscript. In those cases, ScholarWorks staff will work with the author to post the allowed version, making their scholarship discoverable.

Another important way Albertsons Library is helping promote the discovery of original research is by providing methods for student researchers to disseminate their scholarship. Working with other groups on campus, such as the Graduate College and Student Research Initiative, ScholarWorks openly posts theses, dissertations, project reports, and conference posters for students who would like to share their work and showcase their academic accomplishments. Since beginning ScholarWorks, student research is one of the most frequently downloaded types of scholarship. In fact, the theses and dissertations collection alone has received over 150,000 downloads.

Openly accessible scholarship has tremendous benefits for authors, universities, and the community at large. Not only does it make Boise State’s scholarship more readily available, it empowers the public, often the direct funders of such research, to benefit as well. Additionally, businesses, not-for-profits, and government agencies also benefit from being able to gain access to needed research for development and decision-making.

Happy Open Access Week, Boise State!

Still not sure you get it? Try this video for a quick overview of Open Access.

Michelle Armstrong,
Scholarly Communications and Data Management Librarian


ScholarWorks First Open Access Journal Launched!

This month,
ScholarWorks launched its first Open Access journal. The BOGA: Basque Studies Consortium Journal is published by the Boise State Basque Studies program and is a multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed, academic publication dedicated to the scholarly study of all aspects of Basque culture. Besides including works by authors from as far away as Japan, it also features an article on the Albertsons Library’s Special Collections and Archives.
As an open access journal, each article in the bi-annual publication is released with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. As long as credit is given, each article can be freely shared and adapted, creating opportunities for new scholarly works.  
Since 2009, ScholarWorks has been working to make Boise State’s scholarship openly accessible by providing a variety of services. ScholarWorks staff work with faculty to review their publications, identify applicable copyrights restrictions, and when possible, post the articles and other works in ScholarWorks. ScholarWorks also features a gallery of over 400 faculty SelectedWorks sites, showcasing each professor’s unique scholarship. Finally, ScholarWorks provides regular reports on the usage and total number of full-text downloads each work has received. With over 750,000 full-text downloads to date, ScholarWorks is able to demonstrate the value and impact Boise State’s scholarship has.
Another way ScholarWorks is supporting the dissemination of Boise State’s scholarship is by openly publishing unique, original research, such as the BOGA journal. Unlike traditional, licensed publications which can limit access to scholarship, the ScholarWorks open access publishing model allows faculty and staff to share their work without a fee barrier. This not only increases access, it also improves visibility and impact as researchers are able to more readily utilize the work.  
The ScholarWorks platform can disseminate a variety of different types of publications. The book gallery features allows entire books to be loaded into the system which can then be download as an entire text or chapter-by-chapter. The journal feature is a fully functioning electronic journal publishing system which includes support for peer-review processes. Each journal can have its own unique design and customized editorial workflow. ScholarWorks can even publish image galleries and audio/video collections.  
To discuss options for making your scholarship openly accessible, please contact ScholarWorks at scholarworks@boisestate.edu or 208-426-2580. 
Michelle Armstrong
Librarian/Asst. Professor