Research Excellence & Academic Distinction
As an essential partner in UC Merced’s pursuit of research excellence and academic distinction, the Library will:
Library Liaison Outreach to Faculty
*Three-hundred-fifty-nine is an undercount, as some liaisons were not able to estimate how many contacts they actually made through certain outreach efforts to groups.
Spatial Analysis and Research Center (SpARC)
Digital Curation & Scholarship
DC&S Goal 1: Conduct outreach and provide support and educational opportunities on open access publishing and the UC Open Access Policies.
Assessment: Measurable increases in number of open access publications or eScholarship deposits by UCM faculty and researchers; increase in ORCID registrations by UCM faculty and researchers; increase in usage of Publication Management System; monitor use of website resources.
DC&S Goal 2: Reach out to every department about delivering a short presentation on data management planning.
Assessment: Measurable number of presentations scheduled and completed by the end of the year (12); compare workshop attendance and # of consultation requests for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 or for Spring 2019 and Fall 2019, etc. Calculate number of successful presentation requests (# of presentations / # of departments). Number of questions/comments at presentations.
DC&S Goal 3: Create a program of data management and curation workshops for the year.
Assessment: Tally number of workshops held in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019. Record attendance and breakdown by status and school, etc. Record some measure of participant satisfaction. Compare measures of attendance and satisfaction across semesters. Assess consultation requests, Dash deposits, DMPTool logins (etc.) post-workshop.
In Fall 2018, the workshop “Creating Effective Data Management Plans” was offered twice.
Participants at the 10/30 workshop were asked to complete a post-workshop survey, and 7 responded.
In Fall 2018, 1 graduate student and 1 faculty member attended the “Sharing Your Data with Dash” workshop.
In addition, the Library hosted a Popper workshop, introducing a tool/methods for conducting reproducible science, which 4 graduate students and 2 postdoctoral researchers attended.
For Spring 2019, an expanded seminar series covering five topics on “Research Data Management: From Plan to Practice” was developed. See Seminar Overview for a summary.
Also, a separate report [UCM_Carpentries_Evaluation_20190603] summarizes the outcomes and evaluation of 2018-2019 Carpentries workshop.
DC&S Goal 4: Develop a DMP review service, including revised web information.
Assessment: Track website traffic for library DMP information. Compare (if possible) to earlier semesters. Track number of downloads of workshop slides. Track usage of DMPTool. Number of consultation requests/involvement with larger proposals.
DMPTool Usage (as of 6/25/2019):
D&CS GOAL 5: Develop a protocol for applying Natural Language Processing to OCR’d documents to generate controlled vocabulary.
Assessment: Evaluate quality of entities generated by NLP tools.
DC&S GOAL 5: Archive and make accessible the records of the UC Cooperative Extension that are of significant research value.
Assessment: Metrics of total linear feet appraised and processed, number of items scanned, and at what rates of work. Once available, collect measures of use of collections in Calisphere and guides in OAC. Track inquiries and requests; track citations, if possible.
Faculty Engagement with the UC Libraries-Elsevier Negotiations
In August 2018 the UC Systemwide Libraries put out bids for an outside consultant to manage communications relating to the Elsevier Negotiations.
In October 2018 the UC Systemwide Libraries created a communication team entirely devoted to keeping faculty informed about the Elsevier negotiations.
On November 14, 2018, UC Merced Library hosted the "Faculty Open Forum on Elsevier Negotiations." The forum was offered as both an in-person session and via Zoom.
In Spring 2019 the UC Systemwide Libraries Office of Scholarly Communication created and continues to maintain UC and Elsevier: Overview, a webpage devoted to informing faculty and the rest of the UC Community on the Elsevier negotiations.
In Spring 2019, the UC Merced Library created and continues to maintain its UC-Elsevier Negotiations, a webpage is devoted to providing information about the Elsevier negotiations as well as information on alternative means for accessing articles published in Elsevier journals.
February 28, 2019 a letter was transmitted to UC Merced faculty on behalf of Kurt Schnier, Chair, UCM Academic Senate; Teenie Matlock, Interim Vice Provost for the Faculty; Maria DePrano, Chair, LASC, and Haipeng Li, University Librarian regarding the outcome of UC Negotiations with Elsevier.
On March 1, 2019, The Chronicle of Higher Education published the article “A Lesson From UC’s Split With Elsevier: Keep the Faculty in the Loop,” which praises the efforts of the UC Systemwide Libraries to involve faculty in the decision making surrounding the negotiations with Elsevier as well as keeping faculty informed during and after the negotiations.
In March 2019 the UC Office of Scholarly Communications launched the webpage Access to Elsevier Articles to inform faculty and other members of the UC Community about their options for obtaining articles published in Elsevier journals.
On June 25, 2019, the UC Systemwide Libraries launched a coordinated communication plan to inform faculty and other members of the UC Community of the shutting off of access to 2019 Elsevier journal articles and to share information on alternatives for accessing articles made unavailable due to this shutoff.
At the end of 2018-2019, the total holdings of the UC Merced Library numbered as follows:
Total volumes (print and electronic) held by UC Merced Library from 2003-2019.
Total number of serials (journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.) subscribed to by UC Merced Library from 2007 through 2019.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
N.b.: The Interlibrary loan statistics for 2018-2019 are incomplete due to a three-week gap caused by a failure of the ILL software. The above numbers show all items loaned and borrowed, including returnables (books, etc.) and non-returnables (copies).
Second Annual Carter Joseph Abrescy and Larry Kranich Library Award for Student Research Excellence, April 5, 2019.
Now in its second year, the Abrescy-Kranich Library Award, funded by a generous endowment, continues to celebrate outstanding undergraduate student research. Sarah Lee, a third-year history major, and Marisela Padilla Alcala, a fourth year student studying biological sciences with a human emphasis, each received $500 for demonstrating the effective use of library resources and critically reflecting on their research processes. Their winning course papers can be found in eScholarship.
UC Merced Library Research and Learning Services
As an active, engaged partner in student success, the Library will:
1. Launch and formally assess Zero Cost Course Materials program to support student learning.
After developing the Zero-Cost Course Materials (ZCCM) initiative with partners from the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning (CETL) during the spring of 2018, the first RFP cycle opened in August 2018 to support the adoption of open educational resources and library electronic resources for courses scheduled in the spring 2019 semester. In response to the call, we received six applications, five of which were awarded funding. However due to a course reassignment and deferment of two awards, two courses were supported by the ZCCM grant in spring 2019, Statistical Inference (Econ 10) taught by Jason Lee, and GIS for Spatial History (IH 2016) taught by Karl Ryavec. Early in spring 2019, IRB approval was granted to assess the ZCCM initiative through student and faculty survey data along with other data points obtained from IRDS and the Registrar’s Office. In April 2019, students in Econ 10 were surveyed; survey data and associated student data has not yet been analyzed. With 90 students enrolled in Econ 10, approximate student cost savings is between $15,840- $21,150.
The 2nd RFP opened this past spring. Of the four applications received, funding has been awarded to support the use of zero-cost materials in 3 courses in fall 2019, GIS for World Economic History (Econ 112) taught by Rowena Gray and Karl Ryavec, and Introductory to Physics Lab I and II (PHYS 8L and 9L), led by Carrie Menke. The two deferred awards, for Academic Writing and College Reading & Composition (Wri 1 and 10) led by Catherine Koehler and Amy Fenstermaker have also been distributed and will support the use of zero-cost materials during this academic year.
2. Create and assess online learning activities integrated into the Canvas Commons for use curriculum.
In summer 2018, the Research & Learning Services group created eight online learning modules with quizzes in Canvas to support new Spark courses. The modules were advertised to individual Spark faculty members via email, three faculty orientations (one in August 2018 and two in January 2019), and during instruction planning meetings between librarians and faculty members.
After the fall 2018 semester, the General Education committee conducted a faculty needs assessment, which included one question about library services: “What information about library services would have been useful as you designed and delivered your Spark Seminar?” A few instructors specifically called out the usefulness of the library’s modules:
“I am glad that I checked my email over the summer and knew about the library resources for Sparks--they are awesome, and I hope other Spark teachers use the library-made quizzes (which can be imported into CatCourses), the library's webpages gathering together useful Spark resources and handouts, and instruction days.”
“I uploaded the library tutorials for the students, which are very helpful. But I need to spend more time on them to make sure the students understand all that is offered.”
While the R&LS librarians are not able to retrieve module quiz scores or more detailed information about which specific courses used the modules through Canvas Commons, as of May 2019, individual modules were downloaded between 5 and 39 times:
As the data regarding module usage and their effectiveness is limited, the R&LS librarians will need to identify instructors who are using the modules in future semesters in order to assess their impact on student learning. Gaining both instructor and student feedback, including student quiz scores, would be helpful to determine the usefulness of these modules in particular.
During summer 2019, the R&LS group revised a few modules based on low usage numbers. For example, while Finding & Selecting Databases was the module that was most downloaded, it was revised to include the content from the less popular Understanding Databases module. Finding Statistics & Data was also updated and includes a new quiz.
3. Identify and collaborate with faculty/departments to 1) map information literacy into curriculum and/or 2) integrate online learning activities.
In summer 2018, the Research & Learning Services group created eight online learning modules in Canvas in support of Spark courses. Spark courses were launched in fall 2019 as part of the campus’ new General Education (GE) program. To increase awareness and encourage adoption of the online learning activities, librarians prepared and offered a workshop “Library Support for Spark Seminars” to those teaching Spark courses in fall 2019. We had six instructors RSVP and four attend. Librarians introduced a guide “Research as Inquiry” focused on providing resources in support of Spark course outcomes. Part of this session involved highlighting the online learning activities available in the Canvas Commons for use in Spark classes. Information about the modules, in light of all the content we prepared, seemed to be of most interest to those who attended. Details about each of the eight modules is available here.
In anticipation of spring 2019 semester, GE Executive Committee Chair Valerie Leppert invited librarians to share the online learning modules at two workshops (2 hours in length) that GE organized for Spark instructors. Prior to the workshops, librarians updated the module information on the “Research as Inquiry” guide to provide more details about suggested use. In addition, librarians recorded a video showing how to download modules from the Canvas Commons into a specific Canvas course. In a 10-minute segment, librarians presented the modules to workshop participants. Both GE-sponsored sessions which were well attended.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, librarians often encouraged and/or pointed instructors toward the module content for potential use prior to in-person library instruction session. See the Student Success section above for more details about the use of the modules in 2018-2019.
4. Access Services Statistics 2018-2019
Over the course of FY2018-2019:
5. Digital Curation & Scholarship: See DC&S Goal 3: Create a program of data management and curation workshops for the year.
Spatial Analysis and Research Center (SpARC)
As a learning organization committed to ongoing quality improvement, the Library will:
1. Collate current and historical reference and instructions statistics, making stats more easily accessible for planning, reporting, and analysis.
The Learning Services Specialist curated and collated current and historical library instruction statistics from FY 2015-2016 through FY 2018-2019. LibInsight acts as a repository for stats and allows end-users to easily generate reports and visualize data based on specific time frames. Some reference statistics are also located in LibInsight; however, these need to be reviewed and the most recent year of statistics will be added. A goal of the upcoming year will be to identify the most useful reports saving these as report filters. This will allow library staff to more easily obtain and share data when making program decisions, communicating library value, and referring to their own contributions.
2. Recruit and onboard an individual (Research and Learning Services Specialist) to support the Research & Learning Services team’s goals.
The library hired a candidate in June 2019 to fill the new Learning Services Specialist position. Due to an initial failed search, this position was filled much later in the academic year than anticipated. The UC Merced Library’s new staff member is becoming familiar with the library and beginning to take on responsibilities and projects.
3. Digital Curation & Scholarship: Document, improve, and operationalize procedures for digitization.
Spatial Analysis and Research Center (SpARC)
As a research organization committed to building strategic collaborations, the Library will:
Singing California, an exhibit of fifty-five framed examples of vintage sheet music covering more than a century of music history in California mounted in collaboration with the Merced County Courthouse Historical Museum, October 2018-January 2019.
Black Migrants to the Central Valley, 1960-1964: Exhibit of Photography by Ernest Lowe, January-April 2019.
1. Faculty Networking Hour in Celebration of Open Access Week, October 24, 2018.
2. Contribute Living Learning Communities’ programming goals through identifying and planning workshops or events.
In fall 2018, the School of Natural Sciences launched four living-learning communities, each headed by a House Fellow, a graduate student who, in addition to teaching USTU 10 (fall) and USTU 11 (spring), is required to hold at least five events for their learning community during the academic year. The Research & Learning Services group worked with the graduate students to determine how to best connect with students outside of formal instruction. Using the communities’ foci as inspiration--technology, health careers, education and service, and sustainability--the R&LS librarians and Joe Ameen, Head of Access Services, developed a gallery walk utilizing recently digitized historical AIDS materials. After gaining some context about San Francisco’s AIDS crisis, participants, through writing, reflected on what the items tell about the epidemic and engaged in a rich, small group discussion facilitated by the librarians. Though only several students and the House Fellow from Aristotle House: Leadership, Education, Service attended the event, R&LS plans to host the event again and share the gallery with other campus partners and the wider academic library community.
In addition, librarians from the Research & Learning Services group worked with students in Carson House, providing a workshop about evaluating news resources during one class period of Carson House’s USTU.
3. Ninth Annual Central Valley Geosummit, March 15, 2019.
4. Living Library, April 9, 2019.
Presentation on the UC Cooperative Extension Archive project to the UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources, December 18, 2018, Oakland, California.
Digital Curation & Scholarship:
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