Country Statistics and Information

by Lorraine Heffernan

Are you trying to do research on a particular country? You may be interested in their political or economic climate. You may be interested in their history. Or you may be interested in working or building a business there. Government data and statistics are often published in publicly accessible platforms and private companies help to analyze and organize that information. The library has access to up-to-date country reports and can direct you to numerous government sources and others to fill in the picture.

Ebsco’s Business Source Complete (BSC) database is the first stop. Enter the name of your country of interest, select “country report” under Publication Type and then hit Search. You will find monthly risk updates from S&P’s Country Monitor, lengthy analyses from Marketline, single page summaries and more. ProQuest’s ABI/Inform Trade & Industry database also has country reports with 10-year forecasts. Search for Fisk Report (name of country) and you will get reports for the country and reports for that country’s industrial sectors.

If your research is business related, Marketline does industry reports by country that are also found in BSC. You will find reports such as Marketline Industry Profile: Haircare in China or Marketline Industry Profile: Savory Snacks in India. The database IbisWorld also profiles industries for some of our largest trading partners, such as Oil & Gas Extraction in Mexico or Commercial Banks in China.

There are numerous .gov resources available. The first stop should be the State Department (https://www.state.gov/) where you will be given travel risk information and a description of US relations with the country of interest. From here you can link to many other .gov resources including the Commerce Department’s guides. The next stop is the Office of the US Trade Representative (https://ustr.gov/). Then on to the CIA (https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/). You can also go directly to the Country Commercial Guides without going through the State Department site (https://www.trade.gov/country-commercial-guides).

For an international perspective, use the OECD (https://www.oecd.org/), the World Bank (https://www.worldbank.org/en/where-we-work) or the United Nations (https://data.un.org/en/index.html).

If you are researching an Emerging Markets nation, get a Boston Public Library eCard and use their database EMIS. “EMIS operates in and reports on countries where high reward goes hand-in-hand with high risk. We bring you time-sensitive, hard-to-get, relevant news, research and analytical data, peer comparisons and more for over 197+ emerging markets.”

And finally, don’t forget to check on the country’s own government agencies and websites. Most have at least some access in English and if you can read the local language can offer great depth of information. Google Ministry of (Finance? Economy? Health? Labor?) (country name) and you will usually find the .gov you are seeking. For example, googling Ministry of Economy Argentina gets you this result: https://www.economia.gob.ar/en/ which has some information in English and offers English speakers help with material only available in Spanish.

Image source: www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-of-globe-335393/

Research and Publishing Roundup

Here is the latest news in UMD faculty, staff, and community publishing and research:

Professor Brian Williams (History) was featured in an article that discusses the response to a drone attack in Jordan that resulted in the death of three American soldiers. Williams stressed the complexity of responding to such attacks, considering the delicate geopolitical situation in the region.Professor Kenneth Manning (Political Science) was featured in an article that discusses the political landscape leading up to the November 2024 election, focusing on the potential candidacy of former President Donald Trump and the challenges he may face.

Professor Chad McGuire (Public Policy) published Considering Ecosystem Integrity and Resiliency in U.S. Federal Policy. The article overviews how recently proposed and implemented changes to major U.S. federal policies are attempting to incorporate better the effects of climate change and sea-level rise on coastal ecosystem integrity.Professor Doug Roscoe (Political Science) was featured in an ABC News article about the current issues within the Michigan, Arizona, and Georgia state republican parties. This dysfunction within these crucial general election swing states could have significant ramifications during November’s election.Associate Professor Nikolay Anguelov (Public Policy) was interviewed on KCBS radio about fast fashion related to the Super Bowl—particularly, the impacts of pre-printed merchandise for each team in case of victory

Do you need help accessing any of these publications? The librarians have you covered. Contact our reference staff: https://lib.umassd.edu/about/staff-directory/contact-rils/

Virtual Panel to Showcase the OER Work of UMassD Faculty

Open Education Week is March 4th – 8th, and one excellent way to celebrate is by attending this virtual panel. This is an opportunity for faculty to learn about OER Commons, a repository for Open Educational Materials (OER) and 3 exciting textbook projects at UMass Dartmouth. Open Educational Materials are teaching and learning tools such as textbooks, tests/quizzes, and classroom activities that are available free of charge. At UMass Dartmouth we have an OER Creators program through which 3 open textbooks were created in 2023. The textbook projects are E-Commerce and E-Business by Shouhong Wang, A Guide to Analyzing Arguments in an Academic Setting by Jackie O’Dell, Joshua Botvin, and Yuan Zhang, and Women’s & Gender Studies by Catherine Gardner. Each author will give an overview of the book they created. This panel will also include a demo of OER Commons by Repository Coordinator Rachel Oleaga. We welcome faculty who are curious about OER, open publishing, digital texbooks, open repositories, or who are just interested in the topics covered by these free textbooks. Register here: https://schedule.lib.umassd.edu/event/12057953?hs=a

A Shift from Print to Digital for UMassD Master’s Theses

by Judy Farrar

The University has required graduate students to deposit two physical copies of their Master’s thesis in the library since 1990. The library then had them bound as hardcover copies.  One copy went to the Archives and Special Collections as the record copy that did not circulate, and the other went to the shelves of the library for circulation.  The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) and the College of Engineering began depositing them in the library years before the requirement. Currently there are over 2,000 hard copy theses and dissertations in the Archives and Special Collections, 1970-2017. These can be viewed at anytime during Archives and Special Collections open hours.  In 2017 the University shifted to accepting theses and dissertations in digital form only.  The library makes them available, full text, in the Digital Archives.  The record copies are preserved by the Archives. To browse the collection, see the landing page at https://umassd.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/collectionDiscovery?vid=01MA_DM_INST:umassd_library&collectionId=8187867480001301

For a convenient way to browse by College and Department, see the library’s page on UMD Theses and Dissertations at https://lib.umassd.edu/find-borrow-request/theses-and-dissertations/

For a specific title or author search Primo, the library’s online catalog at https://lib.umassd.edu/

If you need help finding a thesis published before 2017, contact the Archives and Special Collections at libarchives@umassd.edu

Mark Your Calendar for These Professional Development Opportunities in OER

The ROTEL Grant Project Team has partnered with Rebus Community to offer five (5) online webinars of approximately 1 hour each per year on topics related to Open Educational Resources (OER). The following professional development opportunities are available courtesy of the ROTEL federally funded open textbook project and the OER Professional Development Committee. Please share these monthly virtual sessions broadly with your OER community and others you wish to have join your OER community. These virtual sessions are intended to enhance the skills and knowledge of those who are currently adopting/adapting/creating OER resources. However, these sessions will also be useful for those who wish to adopt/adapt OER materials. All sessions will be recorded.

Reserve your spot today by filling out the registration form!

Once you have registered, you will receive a Zoom link one week prior to the workshop. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Open Publishing

Friday, February 23, 2024 | 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM ET

In this session, we’ll discuss how Rebus’ open publishing differs from traditional models by keeping diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind throughout the production cycle. Working with the principles of DEI is critical to creating valuable resources, and can have impacts beyond improving the quality of the OER. We’ll highlight how creators in Massachusetts have adopted this approach in their projects.

OER & Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Friday, March 8, 2024 (Open Education Week) | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach to teaching that asks us to make our classrooms accessible from the start. While doing so can be fairly time intensive, the rewards make it worthwhile. UDL is a key approach to help us achieve the goal of greater inclusion in our teaching, especially with OER. At this session, we will explore the basics of UDL and how OER can help us make strides towards inclusive, innovative teaching and learning experiences.

Interactive OER with H5P

Friday, March 29, 2024 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET

With the shift to digital learning in online classrooms, we are reminded about the potential OER can provide to better engage with our students. This session will introduce H5P, a free tool that lets you create interactive content for your textbooks. We’ll look at the range of content types in H5P, see examples from published textbooks, and highlight other tools you can use to make dynamic OER.

Accessibility and OER

Friday, April 19, 2024  | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET

One of the major goals of the open education movement is to ensure that learning materials are available and usable widely. Accessibility can be a barrier to widespread OER use and adoption, and is often an afterthought to many textbook publishers. In this session, we’ll explain what we mean by accessibility, remediation, and the work this entails. We’ll provide a set of small but simple ways for you to ensure that your learning materials meet accessibility standards

Creating OER with Students

Friday, May 17, 2024 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET

Student voices need to be central in OER projects, especially considering that they are the final users of these materials. In this session, we will showcase a range of OER that have been co-created with students. We will consider the following questions: Where can students join the publishing process? What conversations around ownership, copyright, licensing need to be had? How can this experience be enriching for students?

Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash

Research and Publishing Roundup

Here is the latest news in UMD faculty, staff, and community publishing and research:

The Women’s and Gender Studies Department and the University of Rhode Island co-published the fall 2023 issue of the Journal of Feminist Scholarship titled “Translating Transnational Feminisms.” The issue, co-edited by Associate Professor Erin Krafft (Crime & Justice Studies) and Caroline De Souza (’22), argues for the integral position of feminist translation practices and the theories of Feminist Translation Studies as tools for both local and transnational feminist solidarities.Professor Avijit Gangopadhyay (Estuarine & Ocean Sciences) co-published “Recent changes in the upper oceanic water masses over the Indian Ocean using Argo data” in Scientific Reports. The article quantifies different contributions of pure warming and pure freshening processes on the long-term thermohaline changes observed in the Argo era (2003-2019).Professor Brian Williams (History) wrote an article in The Conversation discussing the differences and similarities between ISIS and Hamas by comparing each group’s beliefs and tactics.Assistant Professor Jonathan Kush’s (Management & Marketing) paper “Communication networks and team performance: selecting members to network positions” was adapted into a radio program as part of NSF’s The Discovery Files. The paper examined how individuals come to occupy communication network positions and the effect of selection processes on group performance.Emeritus Professor Fahri Karakaya (Management & Marketing) co-published “Cross Cultural Analysis of Facebook on Global Purchase” in the Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness. The article examines the impact of brand influencers, brand generated content, and brand engagement on culture.Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for Economic Development and Strategic Initiatives Michael Goodman co-published a report that analyzed offshore wind companies’ impact on the SouthCoast economy and workforce. The first two years of construction on wind turbines employed nearly 2,000 Massachusetts residents.Associate Professor Robert Darst (Political Science), Associate Professor Gavin Fay (Fisheries Oceanography), and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering Iren Valova co-published “Climate Resilience in Coastal Massachusetts: A Survey of Municipal Challenges, Plans, and Needs” in MassBenchmarks Journal . The piece details the efforts of the Northeast Center for Coastal Resilience, a collaboration across the UMass system, which conducted a survey on coastal resilience in Massachusetts municipalities and produced a comprehensive report on climate-change hazards, resilience strategies, and barriers.Emeritus Professor Fahri Karakaya (Marketing) co-published a chapter titled “Demographics on the use and Importance of nutrition Labels” in Advances in Health Sciences. The chapter examines the research literature on the impact of governmental programs and other food label initiatives.

Do you need help accessing any of these publications? The librarians have you covered. Contact our reference staff: https://lib.umassd.edu/about/staff-directory/contact-rils/

The UMass Dartmouth OER Commons Hub: A Community Space to Share Your Teaching Materials

by Emma Wood

One of the tenets of Creative Commons (CC) licensing is sharing your work with others. Creating free materials for the students in your course is valuable, but providing those materials for other educators to adopt and potentially remix helps to build the existing library of free and accessible learning tools. OER repositories store and link to materials that you can use, but you can also upload and display the worksheets, textbooks, quizzes, etc. that you have designed.

OER Commons is a well-known repository that provides a single point of access to a vast collection of openly-licensed teaching materials. New within the past few years, all Massachusetts institutions of higher education have their own page or “hub” where their OER authors can upload teaching materials. This allows institutions to showcase and share the OER work of their faculty in one convenient location.

The UMass Dartmouth OER Commons Hub has started to grow. For example, our group page hosts a Women’s and Gender Studies textbook by Catherine Villanova Gardner and a textbook for E-Commerce and E-Business by Shouhong Wang. Both resources are robust and support a full course without financial or other access barriers for students. Gardner’s resource offers 11 chapters covering topics such as intersectionality and feminist movements with the incorporation of colorful images and links to videos. Wang’s textbook  fills a gap in the available OER on electronic commerce by providing a much needed update to the freely available options. The resource is organized into six chapters and is simple to follow and download. Both authors have the unique ability to update and change their teaching materials as they see fit.

Please consider sharing your openly licensed materials in our OER Commons hub. OER Commons offers an Open Author tool to streamline the process of creating and sharing OER. I welcome any questions about the creation or adoption of OER and UMD’s OER Commons hub.

Research and Publishing Roundup

Here’s what’s new in research and publishing at UMassD:

Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Shannon Jenkins was featured in an article that details how voters gather credible information about candidates and issues in the age of digital disinformation.

Professor Brian Williams (History) published an article about the latest phase in the military campaign against Hamas, which involves navigating a complex network of tunnels below ground.

Professor Steve Lohrenz (Estuarine & Ocean Sciences) co-published “Increased Terrestrial Carbon Export and CO2 Evasion From Global Inland Waters Since the Preindustrial Era” in Global Biogeochemical Cycles. The paper discusses research undertaken to address gaps in global carbon cycling identified in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report.

Brooke Lowman (Ph.D., ’21), Cate O’Keefe (Ph.D., ’13), and Professor Steve Cadrin (Fisheries Oceanography) co-published “Evaluating bycatch avoidance in the U.S. Atlantic sea scallop Placopecten magellanicus fishery” in North American Journal of Fisheries Management. The paper analyzed the bycatch avoidance program’s effectiveness over four years based on fishing behavior relative to bycatch advisories. Using loglinear models to compare frequencies, the research team examined the relationship between bycatch reports from participating vessels and bycatch advisories.

Professor & Montgomery Charter Chair Changsheng Chen (Fisheries Oceanography) co-published “Effects of warming and fishing on Atlantic sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) size structure in the Mid-Atlantic rotationally closed areas” in ICES Journal of Marine Science. The paper examines the sea scallop size structures in three rotationally closed areas in the Mid-Atlantic Bight and decomposed their total variances using the variance partitioning method.

Professor Steve Lohrenz (Estuarine & Ocean Sciences) co-published “Soil legacy nutrients contribute to the decreasing stoichiometric ratio of N and P loading from the Mississippi River Basin” in Global Change Biology. The article advocates urgency in integrating soil legacy into sustainable nutrient management strategies for aquatic ecosystem health and water security.Professor Doug Roscoe co-published “The Accreditors Made Us Do It?” in the higher education publication Assessment Update. The article examines how accreditation bodies foster improvement in student learning and recommends eliminating mandates for the program-level assessment reporting cycle.

Need help accessing any of these (or other) articles? Reach out to our Research and Information Literacy Services Librarians.

Adopt an Openly Licensed Textbook

by Emma Wood

The inaugural OER Adoption cohort at UMass Dartmouth was formed last year and resulted in significant cost-savings to students. The cohort, an example of campus collaboration, was established with stipends from the Provost’s Office, logistical support through the Office of Faculty Development (OFD), and expertise from the Claire T. Carney Library.

The premise of the cohort is simple – Faculty apply to be part of the group, attend workshops to learn more about openly licensed teaching materials, and commit to replace a traditional textbook with a free or low-cost option in one of their courses. For example, Prof. Yuni Kim of the English Dept. participated and decided to use two books of zero cost together in one of her courses: Modern World Literature Compact Edition and Invitation to World Literature.

Among the benefits of OER for faculty, are the flexible permissions given by the Creative Commons licenses the materials carry. We tend to think of the parameters of traditional copyright as restrictive while CC licensing offers a range of uses, including the ability to tailor and update material. The opportunity to remix or alter course materials is especially appealing when covering subjects that change rapidly.

The OER advantage to students is compelling. The price of textbooks has increased swiftly, and around 64% of students report that they have made a decision to forego purchasing a required textbook due to cost. Consequently, students without the textbook often find themselves earning a low grade or even failing the course. Still others may drop a course because of textbook cost or choose to take fewer courses.

If you find yourself dissatisfied with your current textbook or concerned about whether all of your students can procure the material, consider exploring the OER options in your subject area. The second OER Adoption Cohort call is live now through the Office of Faculty Development and accepting applications online through 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 15, 2023. Questions may be directed to Emma Wood, Scholarly Communication Librarian or Dr. Jay Zysk, OFD Director.

“Flat World Knowledge: Open College Textbooks” by opensourceway is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is OER Adoption? There are quality OER options (openly licensed textbooks and teaching materials) available for many subjects that are ready to be “adopted” and incorporated into your class.

Where do I find resources to adopt? Openstax is one of the prominent names in openly licensed textbook publishing, but there are many other resources. Start here: https://guides.lib.umassd.edu/oer

Research Reflection: Autoethnography

by Megan Fletcher, PhD

Autoethnography is a narrative method in qualitative research that combines tenets of autobiographical writing with ethnographic sense-making. Ellis, Adams and Bocher (2011) point out that this combination makes autoethnography “both process and product” (p.1). Authors of autoethnography usually write in the first-person making themselves and their experiences the focus of the research, divorcing the traditional separation between researcher and subject. Autoethnographic research is often characterized by evocative and emotional experience while disclosing details of private life.

I remember the first time I learned about autoethnographic writing during a graduate seminar on qualitative research methods. I was struck by the honesty and vulnerability of the authors and their ability to harness subjective experience rather than attempt to establish and maintain objectivity in a research project. I found myself returning over and over to the topic of intimate partner violence in my developing work but made a point to keep myself (and my lived experience) out of the conversation. After that class, inspired by the bravery of the authors I had read, I decided to make a change. I wrote “We to Me: An Autoethnographic Discovery of Self – In and Out of Domestic Abuse” for my Master’s Thesis project, which later developed into my first publication (Fletcher, 2018). This manuscript went on to receive the Stephen E. Lucas Debut Publication Award from the National Communication Association.

There are great resources for exploring autoethnographic research or submitting your own work. These include the Journal of Autoethnography, the International  Association of Autoethnography and Narrative Inquiry, as well as our own Claire T. Carney Library which offers many autoethnographic articles and resources available to students and staff.

Ellis, C., Adams, T. E., & Bochner, A. P. (2011). Autoethnography: An overview. Historical Social

Research/Historische Sozialforschung, 36(1), 273–290.

Fletcher, M. A. (2018). We to me: An autoethnographic discovery of self, in and out of domestic abuse. Women’s Studies in Communication, 41(1), 42-59.