Upcoming Webinar: How to Start Using OpenStax in Your College Course

OpenStax is a well established educational initiative out of Rice University that hosts a library of free digital textbooks. Their books are known for being peer-reviewed and excellent quality. Each textbook comes with its own instructor and student resources like test banks and lecture slides. OpenStax offers a collection of about 70 books including a bestselling Organic Chemistry textbook that the author decided to openly license rather than continue producing with their regular publisher. Recently Rice’s OpenStax received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for $90 million dollars to develop SafeInsights, a hub for inclusive learning and education research.

OpenStax is hosting a webinar tomorrow for faculty who are interested in learning more about OpenStax and potentially using open textbooks in their courses. The webinar will cover:

  • The OpenStax mission
  • What open educational resources (OER) are (hint: OpenStax is an example of OER!)
  • How to access OpenStax textbooks in a variety of formats (including online, PDF, and print)
  • How to access your book’s free instructor resources (e.g., LMS integration, test banks, and lab manuals)
  • How to find education technology — like online homework, courseware, and AI tools — to use alongside your book
  • How OpenStax textbooks are made and the 10 titles they have recently added

Register for the webinar here

If you cannot attend the webinar at Noon EST tomorrow, a recording will be emailed to all registrants.

Photo by Maran Wilson licensed under CC BY 2.0



Research and Publishing Roundup

Here is some of the most recent news in research and publishing on campus:

Professor Liudong Xing (Electrical & Computer Engineering) recently published Reliability and Resilience in the Internet of Things. The book provides state-of-the-art coverage on IoT reliability and resilience modeling, analysis, design methods, and solutions to help prevent costly malfunctions.

Associate Professor Lucas Mann (English & Communication) published an excerpt of his forthcoming book, Attachments, in Esquire.

Associate Professor Eric Larson (Crime & Justice Studies) recently published Grounding Global Justice: Race, Class, and Grassroots Globalism in the U.S. and Mexico. The book offers a transnational history of the emergence of the global justice movement in the United States and Mexico and considers how popular organizations laid the foundations for this “movement of movements.”

Physics alumni Vrutant Mehta (M.S., ’23), Jack Sullivan (B.S., ’23), Khanak Bhargava (M.S., ’21), Sudarshan Neopane (M.S., ’21) and Professor Robert Fisher (Physics) had their paper “Hydrodynamical Simulations Favor a Pure Deflagration Origin of the Near-Chandrasekhar Mass Supernova Remnant 3C 397” covered by Astrobites. In this work, the UMassD group, collaborating with space scientists from Japan, seeks to understand new data on the remnants of a stellar explosion gathered by the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton space observatory.

Assistant Research Professor Adam Delargy (Fisheries Oceanography) recently co-published “Catch yield and selectivity of a modified scallop dredge to reduce seabed impact,” in PLoS ONE. The article details the need for technical gear innovations in scallop dredging and further improvements for more eco-friendly fishery approaches.

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/

Roll Out the Red Carpet for OER

By Emma Wood

MASSPIRG’s UMass Dartmouth Chapter hosted UMD’s first ever Oscars-themed awards ceremony to recognize faculty members who use free or low-cost teaching materials in their classes. MASSPIRG sought nominations from students throughout the year at tabling events, and they honored the nominees at their inaugural event one April evening with refreshments and statuettes for the winners of each category. MASSPIRG students Lily Pendergast, Topanga Pottier, and other volunteers, dedicated their time and ingenuity to planning this event to shine a spotlight on the OER work of faculty. Oscars were awarded by discipline. For example, Dr. Olubanwo took the STEM category. He uses an Openstax textbook which is available digitally at no cost to students. He recently completed the OER Adoption cohort that I lead as part of UMD’s OER initiatives. The student choice award went to Dr. Walker Downey who teaches Art Education, Art History & Media Studies.

Photo shows golden statuettes
The OER Oscars statuettes

Similar events have been held by UMass Lowell and UMass Amherst with the shared goal of recognizing professors who incorporate free and low-cost materials into their syllabi. It can take added effort for professors to locate and adopt openly licensed materials and structure their courses around them, and some faculty go even further to author their own textbooks. The benefits are well-established and worth the time. OER has shown to increase student success indicators, provide equitable access to materials, and of course, save students a financial burden. Open Educational resources are a positive option for faculty who appreciate the flexibility and potential for tailoring of content that comes with some Creative Commons licenses. The classroom experience is improved for both students and educators when course materials are easy to access and navigate from day one of class.

Photo shows group of people smiling
Faculty attendees of the OER Oscars

MASSPIRG pulled in over 80 faculty nominations for their OER Oscars event so even though only some walked away with a shiny gold statuette, it’s clear that students appreciate the OER work that faculty undertake. Some faculty resources may not fit the definition of Open Educational Materials, but still, students notice when they are paying less for their books. This might come in the form of library subscriptions or using portions of traditionally copyrighted works under Fair Use, but the impact of removing high cost from the equation is still significant. Congratulations to all the nominee on their well-deserved recognition

There was a red carpet, of course, for photo opportunities.
Consistent with the Oscars theme, there was a red carpet photo opp available.

Learn more about Open Educational Resources here: https://guides.lib.umassd.edu/oer

DOIs at UMass Dartmouth

By Matt Sylvain

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are an important and ubiquitous part of online scholarly communication. They help provide persistent linking through the use of unique alphanumeric strings. You’ll see them assigned to a variety of scholarly material, including journal articles, dissertations/theses, and conference proceedings. They appear in bibliographies and journal websites and are a required component of modern citations. For example, this page addresses when to include digital object identifiers (DOIs) and uniform resource locators (URLs) in APA Style references.

The benefit of DOIs to authors, researchers, and publishers is their reliability. URLs can change, while DOIs are static and a more reliable way to ensure that research traffic gets to its intended destination.

You may have noticed that DOIs follow a common syntax and all look very similar. They contain a prefix that begins with “10.” followed by the publisher’s identifier. So, a publisher’s DOI prefix is always the same and can be used to determine whether two DOIs are for works by the same publisher. For example, UMass Dartmouth’s prefix is 10.62791. All DOIs published by the University will begin with this number.

DOIs also contains a suffix, which are opaque strings created by the publisher. The prefix and suffix are often preceded by a DOI resolver. Here’s an example from the CrossRef website:

Until now, the library has helped researchers and scholars understand and use DOIs, but it has not created the identifiers. To do so, the library needed to join a registration agency. Agencies provide the oversight necessary to ensure a functioning system. For example, I can imagine publishers accidently reusing DOIs, duplicating an existing DOI, and not using a consistent prefix if agencies didn’t exist. This spring, the library joined CrossRef, a non-profit used by many universities to mint DOIs for their scholarly publications. This summer we hope to begin assigning DOIs to articles in Tagus Press’s Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies, a peer-reviewed journal which is published semi-annually at UMass Dartmouth. We will eventually  expand  the identifiers to the University’s electronic theses and dissertations.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to us at libsys@umassd.edu.

Research and Publishing Roundup

Kudos to the following members of our UMass Dartmouth community on their research or publishing accomplishment:

Kevin StokesburyDean of the School for Marine Science & Technologywas featured in an article about a controversial new compensation program for fishermen in Massachusetts who fish within offshore wind farms.

Debra Duarte (SMAST Doctoral Candidate) and Professor Steve Cadrin (Fisheries Oceanography) co-published “Review of methodologies for detecting an observer effect in commercial fisheries data” in Fisheries Research. Based on Duarte’s doctoral dissertation, the article examines the power and error rate of several published methods for detecting an observer effect using a simulation of observer and deployment effects at varying sampling ratios for several sample statistics.

An article written by the College of Nursing & Health Sciences faculty and published in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship ranked in the top 10% of papers downloaded. The article “Perceived stigma, barriers, and facilitators experienced by members of the opioid use disorder community when seeking healthcare” was written by the NO STIGMA team, led by Professor Mary McCurry, and including co-authors Assistant Professor Shannon Avery-DesmaraisAssociate Professor Monika SchulerAssociate Professor Jennifer ViveirosAssistant Professor Mirinda Tyo, and Brianna Kauranen (Psychology MA Candidate). The article focuses on the perceived stigma, barriers, and facilitators faced by members of the opioid disorder community when seeking healthcare.

Professor Chad McGuire (Public Policy) participated in the panel “Rising Seas and How We Adapt.” The panel discussed climate change-induced rising seas and how to adapt to extreme environmental changes.

Professor Brian Williams (History) commented on the interview between Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin. Williams provided an analysis of the current state of the Ukraine War and how it could change due to the upcoming American presidential election.

Research Assistant Drake Ssempijja (SMAST Doctoral Candidate) and Professor Pingguo He (Fisheries Oceanography) co-published “Abandoned, lost, and otherwise discarded fishing gear in world’s inland fisheries” in the Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. The article describes how abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear in inland fisheries remains a highly understudied area of aquatic plastic pollution.

Professor Emeritus James J. Bisagni (Estuarine & Ocean Sciences) recently published “Surface Eddy Kinetic Energy Variability of the Western North Atlantic Slope Sea” in Continental Shelf Research. This work analyzed satellite altimeter-derived changes in eddy kinetic energy to better understand the seasonal and interannual variation of Gulf Stream warm-core rings within the Slope Sea.

Michael S. Cahill (’21) and Associate Professor Nikolay Anguelov (Public Policy) co-published “Hedonic analysis of willingness to pay for dam removal: evidence from Plymouth, Massachusetts” in the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. The article investigates how the removal of small dams and subsequent river restoration investments affect residential housing prices in Plymouth. The article is based on Cahill’s capstone project.

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/

A New System for Submitting Book Adoptions (And Finding OER Too!)

by Emma Wood

Gone are the days of emailing a list of your required course materials to the bookstore staff, traversing COIN to submit course material requests, or both. New this semester, our campus store has implemented a system called Follett Discover which enables faculty to search for material, manage their course adoptions, and make changes as needed all in one virtual location.

Here are some of the key features of this new system:

  • Follett Discover is integrated with COIN, and it personalizes your dashboard by automatically populating the information about the courses you teach.
  • There is a “re-adopt” option through which you can efficiently declare the same materials that you have used in past semesters.
  • Use the search tool to discover publications by title, ISBN, or topic.
  • The “create content” option allows you to curate a course with a collection of articles or other material.
  • Add course supplies like kits, lab materials, and barcharts.
  • Click the “OER” tab to find Open Educational Resources (OER) related to your course. This is a great option for lowering the cost of course materials for your students An example of an OER search for business law is shown below:

For an overview of the Follett Discover system, check out this brief video: https://follett.com/video/follett-discover-the-faculty-experience/

Northeast OER Summit 2024

The Northeast OER Summit is a gathering of Open Educational Resources (OER) practitioners from the Northeast region of the United States. It offers the opportunity to learn and share effective practices in OER awareness building, implementation, collaboration, strategy, and research.

This year’s virtual summit will take place on April 4th and 5th, and the schedule is available here: 2024 Northeast OER Summit: A World Beyond Affordability. There’s still time to register at the early bird price of $35! Registration is always free for undergraduate students, and scholarships are available for attendees for whom the registration fee is a prohibitive barrier. Please contact any member of the steering committee for scholarship information.

More information can be found on the summit website.

Research and Publishing Roundup

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

Professor Chad McGuire (Public Policy) was featured in an article that detailed the impact of rising seas on the SouthCoast and mitigation strategies already in place. McGuire was also featured in an article about the changes in policy impacting coastal decision-making due to climate-induced sea level rise.Assistant Professor Peeranuch LeSeure (Nursing) was featured in the International Family Association’s newsletter, highlighting her research on improving self-care management for diabetic patients among the Portuguese population in Massachusetts. LeSeure is developing a mobile app tailored to this population’s cultural needs and values to support self-care management.Associate Professor Nikolay Anguelov (Public Policy) was featured in a Newsweek article about his research on the number of missing indigenous women in the U.S. and how it relates to the story told in the recently released film Killers of the Flower Moon.Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Kimberly Scott and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Career & Civic Engagement Matt Roy were interviewed on the Chamber of Commerce’s Education Spotlight. The episode focused on UMass Dartmouth’s commitment to students and community.

Professor Brian Glyn Williams (History) was featured in an article that analyzed the many conflicts currently occurring across the globe and the implications of varying levels of U.S. support.

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/

Open Education Events This Week

Cross-posted from the Claire T. Carney Library News Blog.

Every year, in the month of March, there is a week-long global recognition of the importance of Open Education. Its goal is to raise awareness about the impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide. Open Education Global promotes events on an international scale to increase knowledge of Open Educational Resources (OER) and other topics within Open Education. Hopefully you will have a chance to participate in some of these opportunities, and you may consider the following events offered by Massachusetts state colleges and universities, including a panel to be held here at UMass Dartmouth.


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/