Library News

Open Access Week 2015

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Filed under Library News:  Mills

Imagine you could access any scholarly article or use any existing data set in the world, online and free of cost or access barriers.

From October 19-23, join McMaster University Library for Open Access Week and learn more about how McMaster and other institutions, organizations and agencies across the globe are working to make this vision a reality.

Open access is a worldwide movement to make scholarly research more freely available for the benefit of researchers, institutions and society as a whole.

For researchers, open access can result in greater use and impact of their work, leading to wider dissemination of their findings and potentially more citations.

Institutions and funding agencies around the world are adopting open access policies that encourage researchers to make their work freely available online in an open access journal or repository.

McMaster University Library has developed a week of programming to help the McMaster community learn more about the evolving world of open access and to provide opportunities to participate in this global movement.

See schedule of events

Learn more about open access at McMaster

McMaster supports international declaration on open access

New online tools to help researchers comply with Tri-Agency policy on open access

Quiet Late Night Study @ Innis: Starting Oct. 19

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Filed under Library News:  Innis

Innis Quiet Late Night Study, Monday to Thursday, 11pm to 3amCan’t study in the Mills Learning Commons at night because it’s just too loud? Too much going on there? Hard to focus?

Try the new Quiet Late Night Study service being piloted at the Innis Library for the rest of this term.

Starting Monday October 19th, quiet studying will be available at the Innis Library, located in KTH (Kenneth Taylor Hall)-108, Monday to Thursday from 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., until the end of the final exam period.

Students will have access to the main study space area, the Silent Study room and the bookable Group Study Rooms. No Research Help or other library services will be available during these late night hours.

Use of this space will be monitored and those not being respectful of this new designation will be asked to find study space elsewhere on campus, including the Mills Learning Commons (2nd floor).

A couple of housekeeping notes ...

  • there are no washrooms in the Innis library; please use the washroom on the 1st floor of the DeGroote School of Business (just off the main lobby), or on the lower level of KTH
  • we would also ask for your cooperation in getting garbage into the provided containers to help keep this space clean during the late night hours

Not sure where Innis Library is located? We have created some videos and links to help get you there from several locations on campus.

We hope you find this new late night study space useful!  Feel free to send comments, suggestions to

Library announces travel scholarship winner

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Filed under Library News:  Mills

Zack Batist, a graduate student in Anthropology who recently completed his Master’s thesis, knows first–hand the value of data. Now he wants to learn more about how to make scholarly data more freely accessible online to researchers around the world.

Batist is the 2015 recipient of the McMaster University Library’s OpenCon Travel Scholarship.

The scholarship, valued at $2500 US, will provide funding for Batist to attend OpenCon,* an annual three-day conference dedicated to exploring “open access,” a global movement aimed at making scholarly publications and data more freely available for the benefit of researchers, institutions and society as a whole.

“I have an interest in open access and open data and the way in which it broadens the applications of research for scholars who wouldn’t typically have access to it,” says Batist. “I’d like to learn how to apply open data principles, as well as how to advocate for open access and help people understand the benefits of it.”

Batist will attend the OpenCon conference in Brussels, Belgium from November 14-16. He will then share share his knowledge with the campus community including graduate students, faculty, library staff and others involved in the research enterprise, to encourage the development of initiatives and better inform the McMaster community about open access issues.

“Open access is a growing trend in scholarly research,” says McMaster University Librarian Vivian Lewis. “We are pleased to provide Zack with the opportunity to hear from international experts on open access and to learn more about how we, at McMaster, can encourage researchers to make scholarly journals and data more readily accessible to the global research community.”

Institutions and funding agencies around the world are adopting open access policies that encourage researchers to make their work freely available online in an open access journal or repository. Learn more about open access at McMaster.

*OpenCon is intended to inspire the next generation of scholars to change how research outputs are shared through open access, open data and open educational resources. 

Access Denied! What Is Open Access and Why Is It Important?

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Filed under Library News:  Events

Open Access Week 2015 is upon us! Now in its 8th year, Open Access Week (Oct. 19-25) is an annual event that promotes Open Access (OA) in scholarship and research. McMaster University Libraries, along with other libraries and institutions around the world, are organizing and offering a week of activities and opportunities to participate in this global movement. See the library’s Schedule of Events for Oct. 19-23. 

Open Access removes the “paywall”—the need to pay for access—to research output and, increasingly, to research data, allowing researchers to more easily disseminate their own work as well as access other people’s scholarly work. The diagram below helps to illustrate the benefits of Open Access.

The Benefits of Open Access

Image used under a CC-BY licence. Created by Danny Kingsley & Sarah Brown. Image Source.

Open Access to academic research continues to generate some misconceptions. Below are two common myths about OA.

Myth #1: Open Access journals are low-impact and low-quality.

False! OA journals have grown in reputation, quality, and number among a wide range of disciplines. Highly-regarded publishers of OA literature such as Public Library of Science (PLOS) and BioMed Central, have also helped to increase the support for OA as more researchers and scholars are becoming frustrated with paywalls and limitations for distributing their own research.

Myth #2: Open Access journals are not peer-reviewed.

False! The peer-review process in OA journals is conducted in the same way as peer-reviewed journals from traditional publishers.

For more myths, see the following articles:
“Open Access: Six Myths to Put to Rest”  (The Guardian)
“Dispelling Myths about Open Access”  (MIT Libraries)

Open Access is now more important than ever to the scholarly community as journal fees are becoming unsustainable to subscribers, such as libraries, thus creating barriers for the dissemination of and access to important research. To learn more about these and other issues related to OA, please see the websites below and consider participating in Open Access Week 2015!

Explore McMaster University Library’s Open Access Webpage

Search MacSphere McMaster’s Institutional Repository

Find more information and resources:
OOO Canada
Open Access Week
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)

Elise Tung, Instruction and Research Librarian (Intern)
Emily Tyschenko, Digitization and Archives Librarian (Intern)

24 Hour Film Festival Gala Event- Fri. Oct. 9

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Filed under Library News:  Mills

Celebrate McMaster’s budding filmmakers at the 4th annual McMaster 24 Hour Film Festival Awards Gala. The 24 Hour Film Festival challenges McMaster students and alumni to create a five-minute movie in just 24 hours using three randomly assigned elements; a prop, a line of dialogue and a location.  Now you’re invited to come and find out which films made the cut! The winning films will be announced at the gala event, hosted by the Lyons New Media Centre, which includes a public screening of the top ten films, complete with popcorn. The top films will be screened and judged by industry specialists. Audience members will have the chance to vote for the "Audience Choice" award.

When: Friday October 9 @ 6:30p.m.

Where: The Hamilton Art Gallery

Tickets are $5.00 and can be purchased here.

View the winning films from the 2014 competition.

Five years later, students still ‘blown away’ by Lyons New Media Centre

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Filed under Library News:  Lyons New Media Centre
“This Centre is truly a space designed for the digital generation," said McMaster University Librarian Vivian Lewis at a recent event to mark the 5th anniversary of the Lyons New Media Centre.

"This Centre is truly a space designed for the digital generation," said McMaster University Librarian Vivian Lewis at a recent event to mark the 5th anniversary of the Lyons New Media Centre.

According to University Librarian Vivian Lewis, when the Lyons New Media Centre opened its door five years ago, no oneknew exactly what direction it would take.

Instead, staff were asked to listen to students and faculty and shape services to meet their needs. And that’s just what they did.

Five years, a 3D printer, a video game room, and countless pieces of media production technology later, the space has become a hub for learning and creativity.

This week, Library staff and students gathered to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Lyons New Media Centre.

“This Centre is truly a space designed for the digital generation--a generation that doesn’t just want to view media, but to create it,” says Lewis.

The Centre was created in 2010 with the support of the Office of the Provost, McMaster University Library, the Faculty of Humanities and through a generous gift made by Margaret and Ed Lyons.

“I would like to thank Margaret and Ed Lyons for their vision in helping to create the extraordinary centre that we’re celebrating today--a place of learning and of fun and a place where new ideas come to life.” says Lewis.

The space is open to students from all Faculties and includes video and audio editing workstations, two edit suites, a consultation room, a video gaming room, a classroom with a green screen, a service desk and also provides students with access to the latest media production software.

Lewis says these services have made the space one of the most popular areas of the library. Jason Lau, a third year multimedia student, agrees and says he was “blown away” when he first discovered the Lyons New Media Centre.

“I didn’t realize there was a space like this on campus where students could learn new technology and just be creative,” says Lau. “Technology is such a big part of the learning experience. We’re expected to be more creative with our work and make slideshows, power point and videos. So the fact that someone took the time to really invest in the future of our learning experiences has really had an impact.”

The Lyons New Media Centre is located on the 4th floor of the Mills Library.

Science Literacy Week offers a wide range of fun, informative programming

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Filed under Library News:  Events Thode
Science Literacy Week Graphics

Scientific discovery happens at McMaster every day. It happens in labs, in classrooms, in libraries, and elsewhere on campus.

Science Literacy Week is an opportunity to celebrate the wonder of science with interesting events that are taking place all across Canada. At McMaster, we are celebrating with these events:

Lunch with TED

Presented by the H.G. Thode Library of Science and Engineering
When: September 21st-25th, Noon-1:30pm
Where: Main floor, Thode Library, in the soft seating area across from the café area

Bring your lunch, and join us at Thode Library to watch a series of classic TED Talks, from some of the most brilliant minds in science. Each day we will play five or six TED talks, curated around a theme:

  • Monday – Exploring the Universe
  • Tuesday – Tackling Environmental Issues
  • Wednesday – Mapping our Evolutionary Progression
  • Thursday – Technology at the Speed of Life
  • Friday – Examining the Human Mind

Science Trivia and Daily Twitter Contest

Presented by the H.G. Thode Library of Science and Engineering
When: September 21st-25th 
Where: In person, on the main floor of Thode Library, and online at

Test your scientific knowledge with two fun trivia games, and find out if you know enough to win the (virtual) $1,000,000 prize or how you stack up against the general public. Look for the ‘arcade’ machine in the lobby of Thode Library.

Follow us on Twitter (@thodelibrary) to participate in our daily contest, for a chance to win some Library swag, plus general bragging rights, of course.

The science of Alzheimer’s: where are we going?

Presented by the McMaster Health Forum
When: September 22nd, 6:30-8:00pm
Where: McMaster Innovation Park, 175 Longwood South, Hamilton, ON
Attend in person, or connect to the live stream!
More details on the McMaster Health Forum event page

Alzheimer’s disease, one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people, has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a public health priority. Despite the increased focus on this disease, many questions remain unanswered.

Join us as Jay Ingram, one of Canada’s best-known and most popular science personalities, and Dr. Christopher Patterson, an expert on the diagnosis and treatment of dementia, examine the latest research and evidence into risks, prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

McMaster’s Sidewalk Astronomy

When: September 23rd (Night Sky Viewing) and September 27th (Total Lunar Eclipse); 7-7:30pm
Where: Meet at the turning circle in front of Mary Keyes Residence
Note: These events are weather permitting. Check the Sidewalk Astronomy website in advance of the event for confirmation.

McMaster's Sidewalk Astronomy is a public outreach initiative that is run by the graduate students at McMaster's Department of Physics and Astronomy. We give the public of Hamilton, Ontario and the surrounding areas the unique opportunity to look through a powerful telescope at some of the brightest celestial objects in the sky. Everyone is welcomed to take a peek through the telescope.

Eclipses at McMaster’s W.J. McCallion Planetarium

When: September 23rd; two shows: 7:00pm and 8:15pm
Where: Located in the Burke Science Building (BSB), lower level, B149
$7 admission fee (cash only at door) – Reserve your ticket!

What are the different types of eclipses, why don’t they occur more often, and how can we safely observe them? During this show we’ll discuss the answers to these questions, as well as when can we next see such events from southern Ontario. We’ll also explore other types of transits, eclipses and occultations that we can see not only from the Earth, but also other places in the Solar System

Let’s Talk Science

Join Let’s Talk Science at the Hamilton Public library for exciting public science demonstrations with McMaster engineering students (ages: 5-12 years)

Mars: A World on the Edge in 3D!

Presented by the McMaster Origin Institute
When: September 24th, 7:30-8:30pm
Where: Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning, Rm 1110 (3D Theatre)
$7 admission fee (cash only at door) – Reserve your ticket (limited seating)

We will take you on a journey to Mars and explore its structure, history, and the possibility that it was the site of a “second genesis” of life in the solar system. Each show combines 3D movies, images, and interactive sessions with real scientists. Shows last one hour and include time for audience questions and answers.

McMaster CryptoParty – Learn cryptography basics

Hosted by Wes Kerfoot, in cooperation with HackItMac
When: September 24th, 6:00-9:00pm
Where: Institute for Applied Health Sciences building (IAHS), Room 201/A
More information at or on Facebook

Cryptography, the practice and study of techniques for secure communication, lives at the intersection of math, computer science and electrical engineering. It continues to be an important topic, with regular news articles about breaches and theft of sensitive, personal information. A Cryptoparty is an event where you can learn about how to use basic cryptography tools, with no prior knowledge required. Bring your device and learn how to stay secure.

For a list of events across Canada, and for more information about Science Literacy Week, visit

Meet the 2015/16 Sherman Graduate Fellows

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Filed under Library News:  Mills

Three graduate students from a range of disciplines will spend the next year exploring how they can apply the principles of digital scholarship to their research.

The students are the 2015/16 recipients of the Sherman Graduate Fellowship, an award given out annually that provides graduate students with an opportunity to incorporate the tools and methodologies of digital scholarship into their areas of research.

Learn more about digital scholarship

Each student will receive a $1500 stipend and a workspace in the Lewis and Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship located in Mills Library for the coming academic year.

“We were pleased to receive an excellent pool of applications this year,” says Dale Askey, Associate University Librarian “This level of interest is indicative of the growth of digital scholarship and digital humanities at McMaster. We are eager to start working with these students and to see the contributions they will make to the growing community of Sherman researchers.”

2015/16 Sherman Centre fellows:

Deena Abul Fottouh – Sociology

Photo of Sherman Graduate FellowMy research is on networking and digital activism during the Egyptian revolution that started in 2011. I look at the evolution of Twitter networks among Egyptian activists since the start of the revolution in 2011 till now. I specifically look at how Twitter networks evolved over time by investigating different moments of solidarity and schism within the Egyptian revolutionary movement. The research methodology is based on network analysis of tweets produced by Egyptian revolutionary activists during the period from 2011 to 2015. My research is funded through the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Michael Johnson – Religious Studies

Photo of Sherman Graduate FellowIn my research I am exploring how one ancient collection of Jewish poetry called the Thanksgiving Hymns fits into the broader landscape of other anthologies of Jewish poetry from the Second Temple period (515 BCE– 70 CE). The Thanksgiving Hymns were recovered among the Dead Sea scrolls at Qumran in 1947, and their peculiar rearticulation of language from the biblical Psalms has mystified scholars ever since. For the Sherman Centre fellowship, I am using RStudio to discover corpus-wide patterns of syntax in machine-readable and syntax-tagged texts of the Thanksgiving Hymns in order to compare them with those in the Book of Psalms. Treating syntax-tagging of the corpora as strings, I will uncover reoccurring patterns: those that are shared as well as those that are unique to each corpus. This project will not unlock every mystery of the Thanksgiving Hymns, but it will enable us to assess one of the ways the Hodayot psalmist mimics and modifies the poetics of the Psalter.

Melissa Marie Legge – Social Work

legge 140My research centres on the well-being of humans and other animals in shared social environments. The broader aim of my doctoral research is to increase positive outcomes for both humans and other-than-human (OTH) animals involved in social services by documenting how animals are integrated into and neglected by social work practice in Ontario. My goal is to partially document the experiences of OTH animals to gain a greater understanding of how they are impacted by their involvement in these interventions. I intend to explore ways of collecting data with OTH animals, through wearable digital photo and video technology as well as sensory technology.

Attention graduate students: Travel scholarship available

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Filed under Library News:  Innis Mills Thode

McMaster University Library is very pleased to sponsor a travel scholarship for one McMaster graduate student to attend OpenCon in Brussels, Belgium from November 14-16, 2015. 

The event is intended to inspire the next generation of scholars to change how research outputs are shared through open access, open data and open educational resources. 

Learn more about OpenCon

The conference organizer, SPARC, is a respected international organization with a mandate to educate and advocate for open access around the world.

The travel scholarship, valued at $2,500 USD, will cover the successful candidate’s registration fees, flight and hotel (shared accommodation). 

In return, the University Library asks that the successful individual produce a short (800-1000 word) report on what they learned, with the key focus placed on how we can better support open access here at McMaster.  The individual may also be asked to participate in some aspect of the Library’s Open Access Week activities. 

If you are interested in representing McMaster at this event, please complete the application form. The deadline for applications is August 21.  The successful candidate will be informed by August 31, 2015.

For further information, please contact Olga Perkovic, Haley Kragness or Lorraine Chuen.

Paying homage to Alice Munro

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Filed under Library News:  Archives & Research Collections Mills
Image of Alice Munro stamp beside a letter written by Munro

McMaster is helping to celebrate one of Canada's greatest literary talents.

A handwritten letter penned by Alice Munro and housed in McMaster's William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, has provided the backdrop for a stamp recently issued by Canada Post honouring the Nobel Prize winning author.

Munro is best known for her collections of short stories including the classics "Lives of Girls and Women" and "The Moons of Jupiter."

The letter is part of a collection of correspondence contained in the McMaster archives written by Munro to Douglas Gibson, her publisher and editor at MacMillan Canada. Canada Post contacted McMaster about incorporating the letter into the stamp design after discovering the letters on McMaster University Library's website.

McMaster is home to the archives of a number of Canadian publishers including MacMillan Canada, McClelland and Stewart, Key Porter Books, and Clarke Irwin.


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