Archives—September 2016

Timesavers for Faculty

Federal Mandate: Easily comply with the federal agency requirements to make your grant-funded works openly accessible:

  • Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech is your reliable and enduring repository. Let the library add the work (papers, data, etc.) and you’re done!
  • Our metadata (indexing) and search engine optimization will assuredly increase global awareness of, and access to your work.
  • Placing your work on your institution’s repository doesn’t prohibit deposit with Pubmed Central, ResearchGate or your disciplinary repository — but your own institution has a special commitment to access and preservation.

Document Services: When you need an article . . .

  • Asking a colleague or using Twitter for an article might be the fastest way to get what you need – but the library will never know your need and take it into consideration when purchasing new subscriptions.
  • Using ILLiad, our interlibrary loan system, most articles are delivered to your desktop within 11 hours. And, when placing a request, note the RUSH option and the times of day you can use it. Most RUSH articles are delivered within four hours – weekends included.
  • By reviewing (anonymously) which journals are requested most often, we are better able to develop the portfolio of journal subscriptions you need.
  • And, your colleagues will thank you!

Digital Measures: Adding your publications with ease

  • Find your publications in Web of Science or Scopus or Google Scholar, save them in the Bibtex format, and input directly to Digital Measures.
  • For long-term efficiency, consider importing into a file manager such as EndNote so that you can manipulate your references and insert them when using the “Cite While You Write” feature in Microsoft Word. EndNote supports the Bibtex output format, too.
  • Join us for an EndNote workshop for faculty on September 22nd which will address EndNote basics and Digital Measures, or contact us at should you have questions.

Access to the Chronicle of Higher Education

Great news! Accessing the Chronicle of Higher Education is easier than ever.

The recommended method of access is to create a free Chronicle account using your e-mail address. When you are off-campus, you will no longer need to go through the library’s Web site (eJournals A-Z tab) or otherwise authenticate to the network. When you visit through your computer, phone or tablet, you will also see a new header that indicates that premium access is provided by Michigan Technological University. Michigan Tech provides access to all content and premium content is indicated by a green check symbol along with the word “premium” after the title.

Off-campus Access

Working from home? Access to the library’s journal and database subscriptions is available anywhere, anytime.

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.

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

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 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: 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

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 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:

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:

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: