Eigenfactor Scores

In our March issue of IN/Focus, we discussed the Journal Impact Factor as a way to identify the relative value of journals, including open access titles. There are other metrics for measuring the impact of a journal.

The Eigenfactor Score is one such metric that has been in use for the last decade and is now included in Journal Citation Reports (InCites(TM), Thomson-Reuters). The Eigenfactor attempts to measure the importance of a journal to the scientific community based on the total number of citations a journal receives over a five-year time period. Journals that include a greater number of articles, with multidisciplinary coverage, tend to have a larger number of total citations and a higher Eigenfactor score. This has lead to criticism that the Eigenfactor does little more than raw citation counts. Others, however, tout the Eigenfactor as a more realistic measure of a journal’s relative importance within the scientific community. Having the impact factor and Eigenfactor in one source, provides a closer snapshot of journals or a discipline’s journals.

Want to see how your favorite journals rank? Search in Journal Citation Reports for the most recent metrics.


Teaching this fall? The library’s got your back!

Information literacy

The skills and practices surrounding information research, including finding, evaluating, and using information effectively and ethically, are collectively referred to as information literacy. The library can help your students develop these skills through direct course-integrated instruction, tutorials, workshops, and individual research help.

Instruction sessions

The library’s education team is available to lead class sessions focused on developing information literacy skills, such as topic development, searching for information, evaluating sources, using information effectively and ethically, and staying current with information. Librarians can also work with you to incorporate these skills into other course activities and materials. Contact instrlib@mtu.edu for more information or to request a session!

Open educational resources

Open educational resources or OERs are course materials that are freely available on the internet. Many colleges and universities have adopted OERs to help defray the high cost of course materials for their students. The library’s OER Guide features reputable sources of OERs, additional information on OERs, and how the library can help you share, publish and protect your own open materials.

Link into library resources on Canvas

Be sure to check the library’s collections for the supplementary materials you want your students to access. Online content including journals, books and videos can easily be linked into your Canvas course by prepending the item’s url with this link: https://services.lib.mtu.edu/login?url=. Linking, rather than copying content, avoids copyright pitfalls; provides the library with valuable (anonymous) usage data that help inform our collections decision-making; and provides a truer picture of use.

Course reserve

The library provides both electronic and print course reserve services. Print reserves are materials held in the library and made available to your students for limited loan periods which you select. Both library-owned and instructors’ personal copies may be placed on course reserve. Electronic or ‘e-reserve’ enables students in a course to access assignments, readings, problem sets or practice exams anywhere, anytime. Some materials for e-reserve not owned by the library may require copyright clearance. Library staff are happy to help instructors with rights checking.

Want to know more? Email library@mtu.edu.


Journal Subscriptions Update

From March-June 2015, many faculty participated in a process of identifying the journals most critical to their research and, secondarily, to teaching, as a means of enabling the library to rationally respond to unrelenting cost increases for scholarly journal subscriptions. The faculty’s thoughtfulness and careful consideration enabled the library to make significant changes in the university’s portfolio of journal subscriptions which appeared by January, 2016. Fourteen percent of titles were canceled based on two factors. First, canceled titles did not appear on any list of faculty-recommended titles and their use, over three years, was inarguably low. And second, the library was unable to negotiate better terms with Elsevier or Springer for the previous “packages” but we were able to negotiate much better terms with Wiley, which enabled us to add 143 Wiley titles from the faculty recommendations which had never before been available at Michigan Tech. Similarly, the library now provides access to all Nature titles (up from four); the complete SPIE Digital Library (including the top-most borrowed titles in recent years), and 22% newly-added titles from a variety of publishers – all requested by two or more departments. Of the top 50 most-requested titles since January 2016, the preponderance were titles published by Elsevier, demonstrating that there is improved satisfaction for all titles with the exception of this publisher. We are currently renewing negotiations with Elsevier for 2017, including its Cell Press titles.

For 2017, we hope to continue to hear directly from faculty or departmental liaisons about titles that are critical to emerging research needs. We are particularly keen to craft a responsive collection for the health sciences and biomedicine. Although we were able to add the titles identified by two (or more) departments in these areas, the total cost of all journals requested in these disciplines exceeded $400,000. We are in the process of developing a five year plan in order to offer collections commensurate with our university’s needs. Please join us in this endeavor through your recommendations, welcomed at all times.  


Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech Readership Distribution

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Readership Distribution for works available through digitalcommons.mtu.edu from July 2015 – July 2016.

Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech is your digital repository offering worldwide access to research, scholarship, campus publications, and other creative works by members of the Michigan Tech community. This repository is a service of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. To learn more about Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech contact: library@mtu.edu.


Michigan Tech Patents Available Online

What do magnetic solvent extraction, biocidal derivatives of catechins, and froth flotation have in common? They’re all topics of patents by researchers at Michigan Tech! View the official patent documents for these and many more in a new collection on Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech. In total, the collection boasts 130 keyword searchable patent documents that were issued between 1980 and 2016. Visit the collection at: http://digitalcommons.mtu.edu/patents/.

Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech, the university’s digital repository, is a service of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. The new patent collection was developed as part of the library’s ongoing efforts to increase access to research, scholarship, publications, and other creative works by members of the Michigan Tech community.

As a regional Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC), a nationwide network of public, state, and academic libraries designated by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to support the public with trademark and patent assistance, the library has a special interest in ensuring that this collection is accessible to the world. The library is one of only four PTRC locations in the state of Michigan, and is the only one in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin.

To learn more about the PTRC or Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech contact: library@mtu.edu


Recommending a Purchase

The library aims to provide active collections that are focused on today’s research and teaching needs and those likely to support emerging research. The library has not built substantial, in-depth collections that are available “in case” of need. To ensure that faculty and their students have the materials needed, we offer an array of services to make it easy for faculty to borrow materials or to make recommendations for purchase.

Journal subscriptions are initiated by October 1 for the 2017 subscription year. Selection is based on faculty-identified titles that are critical to their research and teaching; secondarily, the library analyzes cost per use for three years and also considers the cost of the subscription in order to make judicious use of our funds. Journal recommendations can be made at any time to library@mtu.edu or to the departmental liaison. Typically, all funds are committed for journals and other continuing resources such as databases by October 1.

We provide anytime, anywhere access to thousands of journal titles discoverable through the HuskyFetch link in Google Scholar and most library databases. Articles not immediately available can be requested through ILLiad, your interlibrary loan account. Articles are typically received within 11 hours of request, Monday through Friday. A special RUSH service with a delivery time of less than four hours is also available, Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. The RUSH checkbox can be found on the ILLiad request form. 

Using ILLiad or our RUSH service to request materials provides the library with an additional data source to ascertain the need for subscriptions. There are generally no charges to you associated with ILLiad or RUSH. On occasion, a copyright fee is required but the requester is asked for permission prior to ordering the article.

There are two ways to recommend books and other one-time purchases. Complete and submit a Recommend a Purchase request or suggest a purchase through your ILLiad account when you complete a “Books/Media, etc.” request. Most books purchased will arrive within three days. Faculty may wish to borrow an item through interlibrary loan to review it before recommending a purchase. Most items requested through ILLiad or MeLCat are delivered in ten days. While the library doesn’t purchase required textbooks, we provide a course reserve collection and faculty are welcomed to include their personal copies for a semester. Students appreciate having recommended reading on our print and e-reserve system.

Consulting with a librarian or archivist is recommended when planning library resources for research and teaching. To request a consultation, complete a Consultation Request and we will arrange a meeting at your convenience.


Library Access – Anywhere, Anytime!

No matter where you are this summer, full access to the Van Pelt and Opie Library’s electronic resources is available anytime for faculty, staff, and active students.

We always recommend accessing journals and databases from the library homepage by clicking on the eJournals A-Z or Databases A-Z tabs. If you are away from campus, you will be asked to login with your username and ISO password.

Some work environments, such as hospitals, military or corporations, may have firewalls preventing access. A quick consultation with the organization’s system administrator usually opens a path for access.

For more information about off-campus access, check out our Remote Access to Electronic Resources page.


Summer Library Services

During the summer months, the Van Pelt and Opie Library offers the same great suite of services as during the fall and spring semesters. Some highlights include:

Research/Reference services are available Monday through Friday from 9am – 5pm. Research consultations with librarians and archivists are also available. Please fill out the Consultation Request Form to schedule an appointment focused on your specific and confidential needs.

Would you like to place print or digital materials on reserve for your students during Tracks A or B? Please submit a Course Reserve Request.

Join a colleague for coffee outside on the John Rovano Plaza, adjacent to the Library Café. Café summer hours are Monday through Friday from 8am – 4pm.

The University Archives and Historical Collections is open Monday through Friday from 10am – 5pm.

The library building is open Monday through Friday from 7am – 9pm and weekends from 10am – 6pm during Tracks A and B. The Opie Library is accessible 24 hours a day with an active HuskyCard.

For any questions about library hours, please view the library hours page for more details and any holiday exceptions. Questions about any library services are welcome at library@mtu.edu.



Linking to Library Resources from Canvas

The library’s online content, including journals, books, and videos, can easily be linked into your Canvas course. Linking provides access to library content without copying a work. Importantly, linking as follows enables the capture of (anonymous) usage – providing the library with these data for collections decision-making. Follow these easy steps:

Copy the url of the content you want to link. For example: http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-981-287-098-8_1.pdf

Prepend the url with the link: https://services.lib.mtu.edu/login?url=

The new link becomes: https://services.lib.mtu.edu/login?url=http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-981-287-098-8_1.pdf

Use the new link you’ve created to hyperlink the title of the work within your Canvas course: Academic Integrity as an Educational Concept

Your students, whether on or off-campus, can now access the reading. Off-campus students will be prompted to login with their ISO credentials to access this library resource.