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Digital Measures Needs Faculty Feedback

The Faculty Activity Report (FAR): Merit is meant to replace the annual Faculty Vitae Update. Faculty feedback reflecting individual problems or needs observed or suggestions that affect the faculty generally will be most appreciated by April 1, 2017. The  FAR has been available since December 2016. Kindly send your comments to Helene Hiner or invite her to meet with you and your colleagues.

New Databases and Resources

To access databases from off-campus, we recommend navigating through the Databases A-Z tab, located on the library homepage. You will be prompted to login with your username and ISO password. For more information, please refer to our Remote Access to Electronic Resources page.

Access Engineering – New
Online or mobile access to over 200 engineering sources including the latest editions of Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, Perry’s Chemical Engineers Handbook, Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers, Roark’s Formulas for Stress and Strain, PE exam study for civil engineering and other ebooks (also individually cataloged in our catalog). Resources are organized by subject, discipline or curriculum and a range of explanatory videos. Tools include calculators and data visualization. Also includes the Roaming Passport feature, a single click download to a mobile device, which allows access to this resource when your mobile device is not connected to Michigan Tech’s network. Instructors in engineering are encouraged to review this McGraw-Hill resource.

Atlas of Weed Mapping – New
Presents an introductory overview of the occurrence of the most common weeds of the world. Content includes weed descriptions, invasive plant mapping, cropping practices and theory of weed distribution, aquatics and wetlands and herbicide resistance.

Communication & Mass Media Complete – New
More than 850 journals and some ebooks, with 500 full-text, some with coverage back to 1915, about communication, mass media, linguistics, discourse, rhetoric, sociolinguistics, communication theory, language, logic, organizational communication, and other closely related fields of study. Many journals are indexed from first issue to the present. The database also features searchable cited references, comprehensive reference browsing and a communication thesaurus.

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics – New
This venerable handbook covers physical properties data, mathematical formulas, international recommendations on nomenclature, symbols, and units. The Handbook is a standard reference for chemistry, physics, geology, biology, environmental sciences and other physical sciences This 97th edition of the handbook contains 20 new or updated tables as well as updated and expanded content.

GeoScienceWorld – New
Full text access to journals in mineralogy, environmental geology, mining, geochemistry, engineering, hydro-geology, seismology and other geoscience disciplines. Coverage includes current and archived issues, providing access to all issues of journals — some of which have long been accessible through the library; others are new. GeoScienceWorld is also the way to access the index to GeoRef.

Open Education Resources (OER) Update

In a 2013 survey, 65% of students polled from universities and colleges across the U.S.reported that students declined to purchase required textbooks due to the high cost. Ninety-four percent of these students admitted they made this decision despite concerns that not purchasing the material would hurt their grade in the course.

While there is no single solution to the high cost of textbooks, open educational resources or OERs are being produced by credible authors and incorporated into curricula at many colleges and universities. OERs are books and other instructional materials freely available.  Types of OERs include textbooks, content modules, simulations, image galleries, software, and more. The library maintains a guide that tracks credible OER collections.

Many OERs are customizable, enabling an instructor to tailor a resource to their own course needs. Because many OERs are available for reuse through a Creative Commons license, the hurdles of restrictive licensing or costly permissions are removed.

Some OER collections are available through the following links:

Let the library help you with locating, using, or even creating OERs. Our campus repository, Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech is a perfect platform for the OERs you create and want to share. And, when you would like assistance with interpreting the range of Creative Commons licenses, request a personal consultation with a librarian. Sometimes the idea of copyrighted work can feel like a huge impediment to creating your own work or course pack; librarians love to solve these problems with you. Request a confidential copyright consultation with a librarian.

Additionally, the library provides subscription access to many ebooks including titles published by Springer, IOP, McGraw-Hill, SPIE and ASM. Email for more information.

Rush Service Update

The RUSH article delivery service for faculty has been reduced from seven days to Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Faculty can expect to receive urgently needed articles within four hours compared with a normal turnaround time of 10.5 hours. This reduction was based on the opinion of the majority of the users of the RUSH service. The need for the service was reduced by the increase in the number of online journal subscriptions targeted to the faculty’s expressed needs and usage data. The RUSH service is an option in ILLiad without charge.

Please contact us at with any questions.

Library Expands Ebook Collections

Ebooks abound from the library with the addition of thousands of titles. Titles in business, science, ESL, technology, and engineering are included in the library’s new collections.

All ebooks are discoverable by searching the library catalog or Search tab. Ebook collections, which consist of a large number of books on similar topics can also be found through the Library Databases A to Z (just select “Ebooks” from the Database Types menu). Most ebooks feature bookmarking, annotating, printing, and downloading content with the creation of a free personal account. Licenses and copyright laws both allow printing and downloading for personal use but not for further distribution.

Yet, ebooks – either chapters or entire works – can be linked in Canvas course sites, providing students with seamless access to course content. And, Springer ebooks (n=+/- 200,000) offer discounted and/or very inexpensive softbound print versions of many of their works.

Two recently added collections include:

Access Engineering
While this resource includes a wide array of instructional resources aimed at students and instructors, it also includes essential reference books: the latest editions of Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, Perry’s Chemical Engineers Handbook, Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers, Roark’s Formulas for Stress and Strain, as well as nearly 200 other titles in engineering disciplines. Access Engineering also includes instructional videos, spreadsheet calculators and interactive graphs, and DataVis, an interactive data visualization tool for material properties. This database is accessible anywhere, anytime through your mobile device.

Safari Ebooks: Business and Technical Collections
More than 7,000 recently published handbooks, practical and technical guides are included in the Safari collections. Business-related coverage includes works on problem solving, leadership, customer service, and management. Technical titles cover information technology, software development, engineering, digital media, web applications, and personal and professional development, including O’Reilly manuals and Pearson Certification preparation guides. Safari also contains approximately 400 titles in mathematics, science and social sciences.

In addition to each book in these collections, there are several titles from McGraw-Hill to support English as a second language and others on entrepreneurial approaches; access to ebooks from the Institute of Physics, IEEE, and SPIE have all been added to our catalog. Titles from Project Muse on rhetoric, writing, and communications are currently in our catalog and are part of a new approach offered by some publishers. At the end of a year, the library is obligated to purchase only those books that exhibit use.

We invite you to explore our ebooks with the links provided or contact for assistance.

Textbook Support at the Library

The library provides services and resources that can help instructors keep course material costs down for their students. Although the library is financially unable to purchase required textbooks for students, we do have resources and services that can help lower the cost to students.

Course reserve, both print and electronic, is provided through the library. Print reserves are materials held in the library and made available for limited loan periods which you select. Both library-owned and the instructor’s personal/desk copy (yes) can be placed on course reserve. Electronic or ‘e-reserve’ enables students in a course to access assignments, readings, and practice exams anywhere, anytime through the library’s catalog. Some materials for e-reserve may require copyright clearance and the library’s staff is happy to help instructors with analysis of fair use and/or rights checking. Learn more at course reserve or email with your questions or ideas.

Most of the library’s licensed  journal, ebook, and video content can easily be linked into your Canvas course site, providing students access to affordable course content. All ebooks are discoverable by searching the library catalog or Search tab. Journals, videos and e-book collections, which consist of a large number of books on similar topics or from a single publisher, can also be found through the Library Databases A to Z search. Some ebook collections like SpringerLink also offer discounted and/or inexpensive softbound print versions of many of the works in their collections. For instructions on linking the library’s licensed content into your Canvas course see our Copyright in the Classroom guide.

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 costs of course materials for their students. The library’s OER Guide features OER repositories and publishers, plus additional information on OERs. The library can also assist instructors who want to create their own open educational resources. Contact to get started!

Whether you need to share an article or are ready to create your own course content, the library is here to help! Contact

Digital Commons January Update

Last month, 377 new works were added to Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech. The majority of this activity was the result of a project to make the works of faculty in the School of Business and Economics available from the repository.

The Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech readership map reveals the locations of each user throughout the world in real time. Interestingly, in January there were seven downloads originating from the Republic of Mauritius. One of the works a user on this island nation in the Indian Ocean downloaded was “A review of Solar Photovoltaic Levelized Cost Electricity” by Braner, Pathak, and Michigan Tech’s Joshua Pearce. Check out the article here:

This repository is a service of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. To learn more about Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech contact:


Impact of Textbook Costs on Students

A 2016 survey examined textbook affordability and acquisition at Florida’s public higher education institutions. The results highlight several key findings. Chart 1: Impact of Textbook Costs on Students illustrates the response to how the high cost of textbooks impacted student learning and academic choices.
Source: Florida Virtual Campus. (2016). 2016 Florida Student Textbook & Course Materials Survey. Tallahassee, FL. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Source: Florida Virtual Campus. (2016). 2016 Florida Student Textbook & Course Materials Survey. Tallahassee, FL.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Digital Measures Updates

In/Focus will be one of the places the faculty is kept current about Digital Measures. Any time you have an individual need, never hesitate to contact Helene Hiner, the Digital Measures Coordinator, at When you see errors in your data that extend beyond one or two elements, we will be pleased to help correct them systematically for you.

December 2016 and January 2017 will be a good time for you to review your account. The following are some improvements that you should expect to see now:

Automatic uploads from university systems:

  • Scheduled teaching weekly from Banner
  • Graduate advising weekly from Banner
  • Sponsored programs weekly from TechTracS
  • Intellectual property weekly from TechTracS
  • Human Resources information twice/per term from Banner and ASPIRE

Data corrections made for:

  • Graduate advising
  • Sponsored programs
  • Elimination or archiving of duplicate accounts, retirees, terminations

New screens:

  • NIH Biosketch
  • Commercialization screen
  • Non-Michigan Tech graduate student advising
  • Sponsored Programs activity not found in TechTracS

New reports available:

  • NSF Biosketch with new formatting
  • NSF collaborator addendum report
  • Missing data reports:
    • Missing dates or academic year
    • Missing peer-reviewed for publication records

Other new features:

  • Styles can now be selected for reports such as the biosketches (e.g., APA)
  • Help text improved and clarification within the editorial and review services screen supplied