Category Archives: Uncategorized

OA Journals

Boston College Libraries publishes Open Access (OA) digital journals that represent scholarship from Boston College faculty, graduates, and undergraduates and the broader OA community. This past fall, Fuse, a new undergraduate e-journal focused on the hard sciences, put out its first call for submissions and seeks to publish later this year. Another undergraduate journal, Medical Humanities Journal, has begun the process of moving to BC Libraries. (For questions about OA, see What is Open Access?)

If you want to launch a new e-journal or move an existing one to BC Libraries, please contact Gabe Feldstein. Some of our services provided include hosting on the OJS platform, Google Scholar and Directory of Open Access Journals indexing, DOI creation, and journal digital preservation.

New Digital Studio Equipment

This semester the Digital Studio (O’Neill Library, room 205) has been upgrading the equipment in the Podcasting Room and Sound Room, some of which is ready for use and some of which will be ready soon.

In the Podcasting Room, we now have:

Besides being higher quality than the Blue Yeti microphone (still available in the space), the Rode Procasters provide a more professional recording experience. Instructions on how to use the mics are available in our Multimedia Production Guide

We are also in the process of setting up a Padcaster Studio for use in the Podcasting Room. This easy to use video production system will allow the BC community to record things like interviews and presentations.  

In the Sound Room, we are currently installing new acoustic panels, which will improve recording quality. We are also going to be making a Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam available that will allow for higher quality video capture. We see this as being of particular value to faculty who want to record presentation videos for online or hybrid courses.

Please email us if you have any questions, including about equipment availability.

Welcome Matthew Naglak – Digital Scholarship Projects Librarian

What drew you to the position at Boston College?

When I saw the advertisement for a digital scholarship librarian at BC, I was drawn to it because of my desire to partner with faculty and students to help bring their research and data to life in new and exciting ways. Working at BC, with a growing Digital Scholarship team within the library, is a perfect opportunity to put my skills to good use while continuing to expand my digital skills in new directions. I think my past work on digital projects in both academia and at Michigan Publishing has prepared me well to work with faculty and students, particularly those interested in 2D and 3D interactive data. 

What do you think the biggest change to your job will be once we are back in the library – how did the COVID crisis affect your role?

The COVID crisis showed the importance of digital scholarship and digital teaching to the future of research and higher education. In terms of teaching, being prepared for and coming up with best practices for undertaking digital seminars/workshops/etc. With an uncertain future economically and health-wise, this is only going to grow more important. Combined with this is working with faculty and students to ensure that they have access to the resources they need to succeed. What can we do to make sure BC students are able to take advantage of and learn the skills necessary to make their way in an increasingly digital world. 

What surprised you most about starting at the Boston College Libraries?

Too soon to say! I am excited about how the DigSchol team seems to communicate well and work together on projects. I think that’s really useful and important, having seen the issues that may arise when communication is lacking.

Do you have a favorite tool for analysis or research? What is it and what do you like about it?

As someone who loves spatial data and maps in particular, my favorite tool recently has been the open-source Leaflet JavaScript library which can be used for the creation of interactive maps and images. Spatial data can often be overwhelming, particularly for those not familiar with complex software like ArcGIS; using Leaflet, it is possible for the researcher to put their spatial data in the palm of a reader’s hand, making it easily accessible and searchable without the need for any external software or account. Though I have mostly used it in the creation of archaeological and historical maps so far, I am excited to explore the possibilities for its use in a wide variety of projects.  

What should your teammates at BC know about you?

I’m very excited to be here and especially to be in a collaborative work environment! I believe that having a diversity of inputs can only make scholarship better (digital or otherwise). Feel free to contact me anytime with thoughts, questions, comments, concerns, ideas, hopes, or dreams!

Welcome Melanie Hubbard – Digital Scholarship Instruction Librarian

What drew you to the position at Boston College?

I was at a point where I wanted to focus more on digital scholarship related pedagogy, an area for which there are limited opportunities. DS positions tend to be geared toward projects or combine projects and pedagogy, as my previous position did. When I saw the BC posting, I thought, that’s exactly what I’m looking for. I was also drawn to BC libraries–the way in which digital scholarship activities are being developed–and the larger institution–the rigor of BC and its Jesuit mission with all that entails, including a focus on liberal arts and undergraduate education. Finally, I’m a big fan of the East Coast, so the location was a big draw. Of course, when I told people in Los Angeles, where I relocated from, that I was moving to Boston, they inevitably brought up the weather. (Seriously, everyone did this.) From their facial expressions, I could observe them desperately trying to comprehend my decision. It was a little taxing but also amusing. I’m sure I’ll think of their response when I’m walking to work or taking public transportation instead of sitting in traffic for hours every day…and this winter.

What do you think the biggest change to your job will be once we are back in the library – how did the COVID crisis affect your role?

Since I’ve only worked remotely for BC so far, seeing actual people will be a huge change, and a very welcomed one. Beyond that, the biggest change will be teaching online. I’ve taught online in various ways but not to the extent that I and many of us will likely be doing. I’m contemplating how to translate my teaching style and practices to be as effective in an online environment and see the situation as being an interesting problem to solve.

What surprised you most about starting at the Boston College Libraries?

That I would do so during one of the worst pandemics since 1918. (I really didn’t see that one coming when I interviewed.) With so many people unable to work and losing their employment, I know how lucky I am to have been able to start this position.

Do you have a favorite tool for analysis or research? What is it and what do you like about it? 

I’m really drawn to geography and spatial analysis, so I like mapping, which includes GIS. The tools one can use for this kind of work range in complexity from Google MyMaps to ArcGIS. 

What should your teammates at BC know about you?

Even when I seem serious, I always see the humor in a situation. 

March Data Service Workshops: Census 2020

Every 10 years, the United States conducts its nationwide census.  Starting in January in the most remote parts of Alaska, Census mail is sent to address and registered homes, while door to door census workers take stock of who is living where, all to get a full picture of who makes up the population of the United States.  

For scholars of social sciences, the census publication marks the dissemination of an incredible amount of data that can be viewed through all sorts of media to the point where patterns and trends can be analyzed and observed.  Through Census data, insights can be gained regarding health patterns, immigration trends and flows, agricultural information, and more.

Researchers have mined census data on a variety of topics, for example, this interactive visualization uses the census data to explore trends in higher education for young adults aged between 18 to 34. To learn more about this visualization, go to this link

As our workshops continue this year we will be focusing the March workshops: 

March 11: Introduction to Data/Statistical Sources in Social Sciences

This workshop will cover some of the different major social science databases that the BC Libraries provide access to.  Having knowledge about the different databases at your disposal can help you navigate and understand the trends and connections within census data.

March 18: Preparing and Visualizing Census Data with Tableau

Here, participants will get hands-on experience in Tableau.  Different visualization types, use cases, and common tasks will be covered all using census data in Tableau.  Come to this workshop to gain an understanding with Tableau and develop ideas on how this technology can help with research in the humanities, sciences, and more.

March 25: Analyzing Census Data in Excel

If you are working with data, it is very likely that you are familiar with Excel! Whether it is for demonstrating data or collecting it for further research, this workshop will cover basic and advanced excel functions.  This workshop will help you access data from the Census Bureau using the American FactFinder, format tables for data analysis, and create data visualizations such as sparklines, hierarchical charts, and histograms.