TDL Update - July 2011

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In this issue:

Directors’ Message: Member Board to meet in September

Dear TDL colleagues,

image of Texas Digital Library co-directors

TDL co-directors Mark McFarland and John Leggett

As you know, the Texas Digital Library is instituting a more formal governance structure that will, among other things, provide greater opportunity for input and participation from the library directors of all our member institutions.

As part of this process, the TDL Governing Board has drafted and approved a set of Bylaws detailing changes to the membership and governance structures of the organization. The draft TDL Bylaws are available on the TDL website at https://www.tdl.org/members/governance.

In last month’s newsletter, we discussed how the TDL will simplify the membership structure to two member tiers (instead of three) and alter the composition of the Governing Board to include  four permanent members (representatives of the TDL’s founding members) and three members elected at large.

The new Bylaws also create a formal body called the TDL Member Board, which is made up of the library directors of all TDL member institutions. The Member Board exists to represent the interests of the full TDL membership and will meet at least once a year to discuss the business of the TDL.

This new body will meet for the first time in the fall during the TCAL Annual Meeting (which takes place September 26-27 in Austin). At that meeting, the group will elect the three at-large members of the Governing Board and discuss other business.

We are excited about these upcoming changes, which we are confident will provide the structure and member engagement necessary to strengthen our role as a strategic partner in our members’ research, teaching, and service activities.

More information about the governance changes and the process for instituting them can be found on the TDL website at http://www.tdl.org/members/governance. We hope that you will contact TDL with any questions or concerns as we head towards the fall.

Sincerely,

Mark McFarland and  John J. Leggett

TDL Co-directors

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TDL Spotlight: The CEA Forum highlights pedagogical scholarship

Looking for a way to enhance the visibility and professionalism of one of its journals, the College English Association (CEA) found a partner in the Texas Digital Library.

The CEA, a nationwide professional organization for teachers of college English, has published The CEA Forum since the 1970s. (The CEA itself has been around since 1938.) The Forum publishes peer-reviewed work focused on pedagogical theory and other topics related to the teaching of English at the college level.

Have you visited the TDL Electronic Press Lately?

The TDL is hosting a number of new journals created and run by faculty at member institutions. Here is just a sampling:

You can view all the journals of the TDL Electronic Press at http://journals.tdl.org/index.

In 2010,  The CEA Forum came to the TDL Electronic Press through the work of several people at the CEA, including Miles Kimball, a technical writing professor at Texas Tech University and former president of the CEA. (Texas Tech is a founding member of the Texas Digital Library). Janine Utell, associate professor of English at Widener University, is the journal’s managing editor and has been instrumental in setting up and running the journal on the TDL Electronic Press.

From newsletter to scholarly journal

Using the TDL-hosted Open Journal Systems software has helped The CEA Forum transition into a peer-reviewed scholarly publication.

“Moving the journal to TDL was part of our goal to make it more reputable, more scholarly, and more of a voice in the field,” Utell said. “We want it to be part of a wider scholarly conversation.”

Starting as a print newsletter in the 1970s, The CEA Forum went online in the 1990s and later went on hiatus.

Utell revived the publication in 2003 as an online peer-reviewed journal hosted on her university’s website. She then began to work towards the vision of the organization to create a true scholarly journal, supported by Kimball and the rest of the CEA Board of Directors.

By using the TDL’s hosted journal service, Utell says, the journal has taken on a more professional look that provides it with greater credibility.  And that credibility is attractive to potential contributors.

“More institutions are willing to accept online journals as part of promotion and tenure, but they care about how things look and how easy it is to access,” she said. “Having something high quality to show to their promotion and tenure committees – like a PDF print-out that has the appearance of something you would get in a print journal – is important to contributors.“

The work to change the journal’s direction has paid off in other ways, too. Because of its transition to a scholarly format, The CEA Forum is now indexed in the MLA International Bibliography, which maintains certain requirements for inclusion of online journals.

Easy setup and streamlined workflow

In addition to providing a professional-looking website, Open Journal Systems software provides backend management tools that let journal managers and editors set up the journal through a forms-driven interface and manage the editorial processes of peer review, copyediting, and issue creation.

These tools also proved to be of great benefit to The CEA Forum.

“It was easy to set up, and the workflow management is great,” Utell says. “Building the issues takes half the amount of time it did previously.”

New issue of The CEA Forum

The CEA Forum publishes twice annually. Its latest issue will be released this month and includes articles on teaching pan-African literature and designing a survey of early American literature, as well as a roundtable on assessment.

To view the journal, go to http://journals.tdl.org/ceaforum. To learn more about TDL online journals, visit the TDL website at http://www.tdl.org/journals/.

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TDL to upgrade hosted repositories to DSpace 1.7.2

DSpace logoThe Texas Digital Library production team has undertaken a project to upgrade all TDL-hosted institutional repositories to DSpace 1.7.2, the latest version of DSpace.

Following an initial period of evaluation of the new version, TDL staff under production manager Ladd Hanson have begun the process of recreating the TDL Repository (which contains the TDL’s Federated ETD Collection) in DSpace 1.7.2.

Once the TDL Repository upgrade is complete, the team will move on to member institutional repositories.

The TDL is communicating with repository managers about the specifics of the upgrade rollout. Generally speaking, however, the process will include the following steps.

  • TDL staff will create a “staging” version of DSpace 1.7.2 for each member institution that will include all the data in each current repository.
  • Once the staging version is running, local repository managers and their staff will be asked to thoroughly test the staging repository.
  • When the repository manager notifies TDL that the institution is satisfied with the staging version, that institution will be put in a queue to upgrade the production instance of the repository. TDL will not upgrade the production instance until authorized by the local institution to do so.

About DSpace 1.7.2

Since TDL is currently running DSpace 1.5.2, this upgrade will cover several releases of the repository software. The new DSpace will include performance improvements and bug fixes as well as some exciting new features, including:

  • Enhanced statistics (including item-level statistics)
  • Batch metadata editing capability
  • Delegated administration of Communities and Collections
  • Embargo functionality
  • Improved Google Scholar metadata exposure
  • A Curation System for building and running tasks that facilitate curation of repository items

Some of these features are ones that a repository manager can deploy in the user interface. Others require backend configuration by the TDL system administration staff. Details about custom configuration of DSpace installations will be provided to repository managers.

TDL is excited about bringing these new features and improvements to members. For more information about DSpace 1.7.2, visit the DSpace website or contact the TDL Program Coordinator at info@tdl.org.

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August training sessions cover Vireo and DSpace, metadata

The TDL Training Program will offer three classes in August, including courses on TDL-hosted services DSpace and Vireo, as well as an introductory course in the creation of descriptive metadata records for digital objects.

Baylor University will host all training sessions , with the exception of the Descriptive Metadata class. This course has been rescheduled for August 22 and will take place in Austin at UT Austin’s Perry-Castañeda Library.

ETD Submission and Management with Vireo

August 15, 2011 | 9 AM – 4 PM | Baylor University

Introduction to DSpace (DSpace Basics)

August 16, 2011 | 9 AM – 4 PM | Baylor University

Descriptive Metadata for Digital Objects

August 22 | 9 AM – 4 PM | UT Austin

For more about location and cost of TDL courses, visit the TDL training page. To  register for any course, visit the registration page hosted by Baylor.

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Tech Teams Update

The Tech Teams Update highlights the work of the TDL technical staff, which is divided into three groups: a software development team, an Installation, Configuration and Management (ICM) team, and a first-line Support team.

Software Development Team

  • TXLOR logoThe software development team continues work on the Texas Learning Object Repository (TxLOR) in preparation for a beta release of the software in early August.
  • TxLOR is a project to create a statewide learning object repository in which TDL is a partner with UT San Antonio and the UT System Office of Health Affairs. The project is funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  • The team’s most recent work has focused on creating more complex workflows to meet the needs of various user types, including medical contributors, academic contributors, administrators, and reviewers.

Installation, Configuration & Management (ICM) Team

  • The TDL production team has begun work to upgrade TDL-hosted repositories to the latest version of DSpace, beginning with the TDL Repository (see story in this newsletter).
  • The ICM team also assisted with second-level support issues escalated from the Helpdesk.

Support Team

  • The Support team responded to help requests as they came through the TDL Helpdesk.

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New data management resources available on the TDL website

A growing number of funding agencies require researchers to include plans for making their research openly available and to manage the data collected in the course of research.

As a provider of tools that support open access to research and long-term preservation of digital assets, the Texas Digital Library is a valuable resource for researchers submitting grant proposals that require data management and data sharing plans.

In support of these researchers, the TDL has added more extensive information related to data management and sharing to its website.

The Data Management Resources section of the website now has information regarding:

  • Funding Agency Requirements, including the Data Management Plan requirement instituted by the National Science Foundation earlier this year.
  • Texas Digital Library services for storing, sharing, and managing data.
  • Elements of an effective data management plan.

To view the new documentation, go to http://www.tdl.org/members/resources/data-management/.

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