Making High Quality Videos

By Heather Tripp, Video Specialist

Whether it’s filmed with a smartphone or a professional camera, video is no longer an option in our world. Video started to take over print over a decade ago and has grown to be a requirement for businesses and organizations across the world. While we are bombarded with all kinds of images, having a video of high quality can still set yours apart.

Video has become an important medium for disseminating scholarly information. This may come in the form of video summaries of research findings or conference proceedings. Academics choose to promote their publications or scientific experiments through video to make the content more engaging and reach a wider audience. This blog will present some tips for creating quality videos:

Before you begin, a few key elements to think about are:

-What are your goals/who is your audience? This dictates the pace and feel of the video.

– Hook your viewer in the first few seconds of your video. The first six seconds are key!

– Tell a story. Stories tend to draw the viewer in and keep them watching.

One large element that can make your video easier to create and look better is to do pre-production. Things like, scouting out the area you plan on filming the day before. Look at the lighting at that time of day. How busy is it? How loud? Are there unsightly things like trash that can be removed? If you need to plug in a light source, is there an electric outlet?

This is also a good time to check out your camera and gear. Are the camera and microphone batteries charged? Do you have enough space on your card? Contact any talent and make sure they know the time and place to meet you.

High quality smartphones can take decent video and do much of the work for you, but it still needs a human touch to keep things creative and visually pleasing. One way of doing this is using the Rule of Thirds. Divide your screen into 9 cubes using 4 gridlines. By positioning key elements along the gridlines, you’ll end up with better compositions.

The rule of thirds identifies four points at the center of each grid line intersection that your subject should intersect. The subject should hit 2-3 of these points. The image above has the subject more to the side, leaving room for the addition of text.

Another trick is to use a shallow depth of field, which keeps your subject in focus, but the background is fuzzy. It’s almost always best to have a simple background, and using a shallow depth of field can make even the most distracting settings less so.

Once you have your video recorded and edited, you may want to consider adding music. Most popular social media sites have their own music library to browse through. I you want to add something of your own, keep in mind you need something either in the public domain or through a royalty free website. These can offer a single, one-time purchase, or a variety of subscriptions. Rules are different on each site, so make sure to read them.

Finally, where do you want your video to live? Popular places for horizontal videos continue to be YouTube and Vimeo. Social sites like TikTok and Instagram are best for vertical video.

Do you need support with making videos for your courses or scholarly endeavors? Please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Research and Publishing Roundup

This blog will periodically highlight some of our UMass Dartmouth Community’s recent achievements in scholarly publishing, research, and news features. Congrats to the following UMD faculty and staff on their newsworthy work:

Professor Avijit Gangopadhyay co-published “Observed surface and subsurface Marine Heat Waves in the Bay of Bengal from in situ and high resolution satellite data” in Climate Dynamics. The paper documents that surface marine heatwaves have increased in the Bay of Bengal in number, frequency, duration, and intensity over the last two decades.Assistant Professor Jonathan Kush (Management & Marketing) co-published “Communication networks and team performance: selecting members to network positions” in Frontiers in Psychology. The paper examines how individuals come to occupy communication network positions and the effect of selection processes on group performance.Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for Economic Development and Strategic Initiatives Michael Goodman was featured in an article that examined how policies and politicians in Massachusetts define how the state is viewed through a national political lens.Resident Director Kevin McGinnis published “‘All One in Christ Jesus:’ Physical and Moral Equality in Galatians 3:28″ in the Journal of Religious Competition in Antiquity. The paper argues that Paul’s letter to the Galatians was an example of Hellenistic philosophy, which saw everyone as having equal potential for cognitive clarity and moral goodness without the expectation of political equality.

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

How to Find Open Access Business Journals

by Lorraine Heffernan

Did you know that the library has a database that enables you to find open access business journals? Cabells Directory Online allows you to filter for a discipline, set the level of importance of the journal and filter for the type of open access you are looking for. Here’s the menu for filtering:

Here’s the dropdown menu for open access:

Here’s a list of top marketing journals available after an embargo period:


Books Written by Faculty in the Library Collection

by Emma Wood

UMass Dartmouth faculty members actively publish and produce scholarly products within their areas of expertise, and these research outputs come in a variety of formats such as journal articles, conference proceedings, technical reports, and of course, books. To celebrate and promote books written by our faculty, the library adds titles that come to our attention to the library collection. To note a few recent books by UMD faculty, Prof. Anguelov Nikolay of the Public Policy Department recently authored a book titled The Sustainable Fashion Quest: Innovations in Business and Policy, and Prof. Tryon Woods of Crime & Justice Studies published Pandemic Police Power, Public Health, and the Abolition Question. These titles, among others, are available in the Claire. T. Carney Library’s print collection and are searchable online.

Even without knowing the titles or faculty author names, you can still peruse the library collection for books authored by UMD faculty. An efficient method to look up those materials in the online catalog, Primo, is to enter the following keywords in the search box, displayed on the main page: “UMass Dartmouth Faculty Publication Collection.” This search will help to connect you with the books in this growing collection.

Linking Users to Open Access Articles

by Matt Sylvain

Have you given much thought to how libraries connect users with articles? If not, that’s okay. That’s what you have librarians for, and we think a lot about how to better connect our users with content. We recently added a new tool to help you locate open access articles.

Online library access is typically determined at the journal level. If the library has a subscription to a journal, then library users will be given access to the full text articles covered by that subscription. If the library doesn’t subscribe, then users are directed to interlibrary loan (ILL) through which they can request articles from other libraries for free. However, this access model falls short when you consider the recent increase in subscription publications that offer authors the ability to make their articles available open access (OA) — often for a cost. Libraries need an efficient way to connect their users with OA articles regardless of a library’s subscription status. After all, if the author paid to make an article OA, then librarians want to eliminate unnecessary obstacles to access. We don’t want you to have to submit an ILL request for something you can read immediately!

This summer, we implemented a tool called LibKey Link in our EBSCOhost and PubMed databases (ProQuest integration is forthcoming). LibKey Link identifies availability at the article level as opposed to the traditional method of determining access based on journal subscriptions. Why is this important? It enables direct linking to open access articles in journals we don’t subscribe to. There is no change to the user interface — so you need to pay close attention to notice the difference. LibKey also favors the OA version of record, only selecting the OA non-version of record if it’s the only option aside from ILL. You can read more about LibKey’s “linking waterfall” on the vendor’s website.

Perhaps the best way to understand what’s going on is to run a search. Open CINAHL and search for diabetes mellitus. You’ll notice the search results look exactly as they did before. However, when you click on “Find a Copy @ UMassD Libraries” you will be directed to the open access full text instead of being sent to Primo, the online library catalog. Besides decreasing the number of clicks needed to access the full text, LibKey is also likely to decrease the number of ILL requests for OA articles. In cases when the article isn’t available through Third Iron, users will be directed to Primo just as they have been in the past.

Image by Libby Levi for, license CC BY-SA 2.

We’re Back!

The Scholarly Communications Committee has reconvened, and we look forward to posting content to apprise the UMass Dartmouth campus community and beyond of news and opportunities that surround Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Access, research, and publishing. We will keep a pulse on noteworthy developments in the creation, publication, dissemination, and storage of academic research.

To start, here are a couple of new UMD links to check out:

Provost’s OER page – Promotes the use of OER on campus, lists campus initiatives, provides data about the benefits of OER, and recommends links for finding OER.

Scholarly Communication LibGuide – A library guide that introduces the concept of Scholarly Communication and presents useful resources.

Celebrate Open Access Week with a Screening of “Paywall: The Business of Open Scholarship”

In celebration of Open Access Week, the Scholarly Communications Committee is screening “Paywall: The Business of Open Scholarship” at the library. The documentary “questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier, and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google.”

When: Friday, October 26 2018, 11:30AM-1:00PM
Where: Library 314

Anyone interested in open access publishing is welcome! Bring lunch and questions or ideas about the future of academic publishing.

For more information about the film, visit, where, in true open access form, it is available to watch in full if you cannot make it to the screening.

For more information about Open Access Week and events happening all around the world, visit

We hope to see you there!


2nd Annual Northeast Regional OER Summit

Northeast Regional OER Summit LogoYou are invited to attend the 2nd Annual Northeast Regional OER Summit at University of Massachusetts Amherst on May 31 – June 1, 2018. This 2-day event is part of a multi-state collaboration for open education in the northeast region.

The conference welcomes new and experienced OER (open educational resources) advocates  offering the opportunity to learn and share effective practices in awareness building, implementation, collaboration, strategy, and research.

Visit the Northeast Regional OER Summit site for conference details, including registration, costs, schedule, and more.

CopyTalk Webinars from ALA

CopyTalk Webinars from ALA –

The American Library Association’s OITP Copyright Education Subcommittee sponsors webinars about copyright and fair use.  While the main audience is for librarians, they are free and open to the public.  They come out the first Thursday of each month.

Their webinars are also advertised on their “District Dispatch” blog, which has a category devoted to copyright issues.