General Update

I miss this blog. My posts lately have been sporadic and not as thorough as I prefer. I am in the final stages (!) of writing my reference and access book, and that occupies a large portion of my free time, as well as a large portion of my brain capacity. It is all coming together nicely, and as long as everything proceeds as planned, the book will be published later this year. (fingers crossed)

My lack of attention to this blog is not from lack of desire, but from necessity. However, it also highlights that I would love help in maintaining it. Right now, help with posting announcement about CFPs, recent journal issues, and especially new and recent scholarship would be welcome. I have some things in place that I’m not currently able to keep up with, though I plan to catch up at some point. However, volunteers need not be short-term and having co-contributors will go far in continuing to make this a viable resource. In the meantime, I will try to post relevant items as time allows.

Soooooo, if anyone out there would like to help, please get in touch!

Guest Post, Part 1: Are Archives Graduate Programs Adequately Preparing Students for Publishing, Researching, and Writing in the Profession?

Thank you to Joshua Zimmerman, lecturer at San Jose State University’s iSchool, for this fantastic post. His in-depth perspective is in 2 posts and I encourage everyone to read it thoroughly. Josh has great strategies to help emerging professionals prepare for and contribute to the intellectual discourse of archival scholarship. (Read Part 2)

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Are archives graduate program adequately preparing students for the profession? As an adjunct lecturer in the Masters of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) online master’s degree program in San José State University’s iSchool, this is a question that I’m constantly asking myself as I hear from students and other professionals. For readers of this blog, perhaps a more relevant but related question would be: are archives graduate programs adequately preparing students for publishing, researching, and writing in the profession? As the one responsible for teaching MARA 285 Research Methods in Records Management and Archival Science, I’m extremely concerned with this question. I thought that readers might be interested in how our research and publishing culture is being taught in one small corner of the profession.

As you read this, I want you to think back to how you were introduced to the norms of researching and publishing in our profession? Were these skills taught in your graduate program, did you already have them, or did you have to pick them up later? Finally, what do you wish you would have learned about writing, researching, and publishing in the archives profession as a graduate student? Keep the answers to these questions in mind as you read below. I’d love to know how MARA 285 stacks up to your experiences, good or bad.

Assignments and Assignment Format

The overall structure and framework of MARA 285 is one that I inherited from a colleague, Jason Kaltenbacher who is also an adjunct professor in the MARA program. While my lectures significantly differ from his, I’ve kept the assignments and overall structure basically the same. Other research courses in the iSchool (and in other MLIS programs), I have found, employ a similar assignment format. I ask students to complete an annotated bibliography, topic proposal, literature review, and final proposal. These assignments build on each other and help students complete the steps in putting together both a formal proposal and the framework of a major research project. Since the internet survey has become the preferred data gathering tool of the profession, I also ask them to complete a group survey project where they develop a short internet survey, cover letter, and rationale statement for each question. 

Social Science Focus

When I first took this course on and looked at the assignments and overall structure, I felt that I wanted to radically change the end project to a publishable article. This would be immediately usable to students as they could submit it to journals and present it elsewhere at conferences or on professional or personal blogs. Within the last couple years, my alma mater (Western Washington University) changed their MA thesis requirement to a much smaller publishable article which, I think, seeks to address this aim. Yet, after using the old proposal assignment structure that I inherited for two years, I’ve completely changed my tune.

I discovered just how important it was to snap students out of what I call the “term paper mentality,” an assignment format that most students are particularly used to and, as I’ve discovered, often revert to if given the chance. This course structure offers students the chance to approach a topic systematically, more like a project than a paper. Instead of writing a term paper and trying to wrap up all the loose ends up by the end of the semester, the objective is only to build the structure in order to execute it after the course concludes. This means, that they design the research, but they stop short of sending out the survey, conducting the field work, or digging into records in an archives. I feel that this format ties in better with the assigned textbook chapters that break down different aspects or approaches to research. It also forces students to step back and formalize what they are doing and more importantly, how they plan on doing it. They are asked to put together a research schedule and justify why they are qualified to conduct this research as part of the final proposal.

Challenges, Problems, and Issues

One problem that I encountered during the first year concerned appropriate topic choices. Other courses in the MARA program such as Enterprise Content Management and Digital Preservation or Management of Records and Archival Institutions have clearly defined topic limits. These are built into the course. For instance, you probably can’t write a term paper on medieval recordkeeping for the Enterprise Content Management and Digital Preservation class.

MARA 285, however, is wide almost wide open as far as potential research topics go. That medieval recordkeeping topic is fair game in MARA 285. While there are endless opportunities for topics, there are nevertheless some limitations. I ask that students choose a topic related to the archives, RIM, or library science fields. I encourage students to bring in their interests and give it a records twist. For instance, last year, one military historian in the class designed a project around military recordkeeping. Though the course is taught from a social science perspective, I want students to specifically engage the professional literature of archives and RIM. This year, in addition to some clarifying language and a preemptory blog post on the MARA program website, I’ve added the typology of archives research topics by Couture and Ducharme (1). This typology spells out all the flavors of research conducted in the archives profession (and by extension, RIM). This seemed to have helped students frame their research within the profession.

Another problem that occurred this year was students’ lack of confidence in their professional experience. Unfortunately, due to scheduling, some students take this class as a first year student and in their first semester. To those working in the profession, this might not be a big issue, but for someone who is brand new to the profession, this course might be a bit daunting because it asks students to choose a topic in the profession and develop it over the course of the semester. As mentioned above, I provide guidance on choosing topics in the lecture, but especially for the literature review which asks students to isolate the major literature on their particular topic, this has been stressful or at least it has been related to me as such. This is sometimes daunting for seasoned archivists, let alone first year students. 

Incorporating Perspectives

In addition to the assignments and readings mentioned above, I’ve added a video series called Research in the Wild. In it, the class gets to hear about the research and writing process from other archivists and records managers. I launched it late in the course in 2015 with a few videos, mostly 5-10 minutes. This year, I have a video for nearly each module and hopefully a lot more for next year. Video submissions have addressed specific project-related research challenges as well as more broadly, research agendas, theses, the editing process, differences in publishing in and out of school, and Fulbright Scholarship research among others. In my own archival program, I enjoyed hearing from guest lecturers and talking with archivists and RMs on field trips and it’s these experiences that I’ve tried to recreate. I felt a bit uncomfortable asking archivists and records managers to do free work for me, so I decided to donate to SAA’s Mosaic Scholarship on behalf of those who submit videos. If you’d like to submit a video for next year or know someone who might, please let me know (zimmerj6@gmail.com). From some early feedback from students this year, I’ve learned that the writing process might be more important than I initially thought. So as a result, I’ll be seeking archivists and RIMs who want to talk about this aspect of the profession.

Call for Nominations: Theodore Calvin Pease Award for Outstanding Student Research Paper

The competition now is open for the 2017 SAA Theodore Calvin Pease Award for outstanding student research paper.  Additional information is below.

The Pease Subcommittee consists of Gregory S. Hunter (Chair) (americanarchivist@archivists.org), Stephanie Bennett (bennetse@wfu.edu), and Lauren Goodley (lgoodley@txstate.edu). We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Theodore Calvin Pease Award
http://www2.archivists.org/governance/handbook/section12-pease

Purpose and Criteria for Selection:
Created in 1987 and modified in 2007 and 2012, this award recognizes superior writing achievements by students of archival studies. Entries are judged on innovation, scholarship, pertinence, and clarity of writing. Papers examining major trends and issues in the archives profession are preferred.

Eligibility:
Eligible entries are written by students enrolled in archival studies classes at either the master’s or doctoral level. A faculty member or instructor associated with the archival studies program must submit the entry to verify that the student paper was written within the context of an archival studies program and completed during the preceding calendar year. A faculty member or instructor in an archival studies program may submit one entry per award cycle. There is no cap on the number of papers than can be submitted by a school or program, provided no individual faculty member submits more than one paper.

Entries should be unpublished manuscripts of 5,000-8,000 words, must include an abstract, and should conform to the stylistic guidelines described in the editorial policy<http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist/editorialpolicy>; of The American Archivist. Submit only the title with the paper. The name of the author, the program, or the faculty member or instructor must not appear on the manuscript.

Sponsor and Funding:

The Society of American Archivists Foundation, in honor of Theodore Calvin Pease, the first editor of The American Archivist.

Prize:
A certificate and cash prize of $100. The winning manuscript, after going through the editorial process with the editor of The American Archivist, will be published in The American Archivist.

First Awarded: 1988

Selection Committee:
Papers will be judged in a blind review by the Pease Subcommittee of the SAA Awards Committee.  The subcommittee consists of the current editor of The American Archivist, the vice chair of the Committee on Education, and a member of the Society of American Archivists with experience in archival research and literature appointed annually by the president-elect to serve a one-year term. The current editor of The American Archivist serves as the chair of the subcommittee and shall present the award. The current editor ofThe American Archivist also edits the manuscript and leads the student through the editorial process in preparation for publication.

Submission Deadline and Nomination Form:
All nominations shall be submitted to SAA by February 28 of each year. CLICK HERE to download the RTF application form.

Free copies of The American Archivist

Interested in free copies of past issues of The American Archivist for you or your SAA student chapter? Contact Abigail Christian at achristian@archivists.org with a mailing address and number of students within your chapter—we’ll send a surprise assortment of issues published in the last decade, courtesy of SAA. Peruse timeless articles, discover new ones, and enjoy having a good resource in hand.

ABIGAIL CHRISTIAN
Editorial & Production Coordinator
Society of American Archivists
17 N. State Street Suite 1425
Chicago, Illinois 60602
achristian@archivists.org

Call for Nominations: 2017 LPC Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing

2017 LPC Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing

As participation in library publishing grows, the development of a strong evidence base to inform best practices and demonstrate impact is essential. To encourage research and theoretical work about library publishing services (for a definition of “library publishing”, see the LPC website), the Library Publishing Coalition announces the Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing, which recognizes the best publication from the preceding calendar year. The LPC Research Committee will evaluate submissions and select a recipient for the award, which will be announced at the annual Library Publishing Forum. The 2016 Award went to Ann Okerson and Alex Holzman for “The Once and Future Publishing Library.” (2015. Washington, D.C.: Council on Library and Information Resources, pub 166)

The award recipient will receive a cash award of $250 and a certificate, as well as an opportunity to present their work at the 2017 Library Publishing Forum. (One complimentary registration for the 2017 Forum and a travel stipend of $500 will also be provided).

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2017.

Submission Guidelines

  1. Nominations may be made either by the author(s) or by any employee of a LPC member institution. Nominated author(s) do not need to be affiliated with a LPC member institution.
    1. Note: If a Research Committee member is nominated, they will recuse themselves from Committee discussions/voting on this award.
  2. Any textual publication type—article, monograph, conference paper/proceeding, white paper/report, thesis/dissertation—is eligible (subject to #4 below).
  3. Submissions must present original research or theoretical work, and be published open access in English during the preceding calendar year (2016).
  4. Submissions must have undergone appropriate peer review (e.g. for articles, a journal peer review process; for dissertations, review/acceptance by a committee). Nominations must briefly describe the review process used for the submission.
  5. Submissions must address a topic or question directly related to library publishing services. For the purposes of the award, “research” will be considered to include both generalizable research and non-generalizable program/project evaluation. “Theory” will be considered to include both the presentation of a novel theory and the application of existing theory (e.g. a program/process/practice description that is presented within a theoretical framework).
  6. Submissions with multiple authors are eligible; however, only one cash prize and one Forum registration/travel stipend will be awarded.

Submission Process

  1. Nominations should be submitted through the LPC website: http://librarypublishing.org/research/research-award17
  2. Nomination letters must include:
    1. Nominator name and contact information.
    2. Author (or lead author’s) name and contact information.
    3. Full citation information for the nominated work, including the URL where the open access version of the work is available.
    4. A brief (1–2 sentences) description of the peer review process used for the submission.
    5. A brief (no more than one paragraph) nomination statement that addresses the evaluation guidelines below.
    6. For multiple authors: If awarded, specify how the award benefits are to be divided.

Award

The award recipient will receive:

  1. A cash prize of $250.
  2. One complimentary registration for the 2017 Forum.
  3. $500 travel stipend.
    1. Note: For submissions with multiple authors, the authors may elect to split these benefits among themselves (e.g. one author takes the registration, another takes the travel stipend, and another takes the cash prize; all authors split the travel stipend and/or cash prize among themselves, etc.)
  4. A 45-minute presentation session at the 2017 Forum to share the work described in the winning publication.

Evaluation Guidelines

Nominated publications will be evaluated, and an award recipient selected, by the LPC Research Committee based on the following criteria:

  • For theoretical works, the relevance and/or meaningful application to library publishing services of the conceptual framework(s) introduced;
  • For research (or evaluation) works, the appropriateness of the methodology and its execution;
  • The organization of the paper and clarity of the writing;
  • The significance of the findings/conclusion, for example (but not limited to):
    • The immediate utility of the work for library publishing programs
    • The strength of findings that demonstrate value or impact of library publishing services
    • The likelihood that the work will change or influence practice

Allegra Swift | Scholarly Communication & Publishing Coordinator 
800 North Dartmouth Ave. | Claremont, CA 91711
909.607.0893allegra_swift@cuc.claremont.edulibraries.claremont.edu

Resource: Bibliography of American Archival History

Thanks to SAA’s Archival History Section for this great resource!

Bibliography of American Archival History October 2016

© This is a select edition of a bibliography first released online in March 2015, and revised in May 2015, August 2015, and August 2016. The online version was a group effort of the Society of American Archivists’ Archival History Roundtable (now Section), which included steering committee members: Alison Clemens, Lorraine Madway, Cory Nimer, Krista Oldham, Kelly Kolar, Robert Riter, and Eric Stoykovich. Dr. David B. Gracy II contributed syllabi which provided many of these bibliographic entries.

Call for Nominations: ALHHS Publication Awards

ALHHS 2016-17 Call for Publication Awards Nominations

The Archivists and Librarians in the History of Health Sciences (ALHHS) is currently seeking nominations for its three Publication Awards.

Nominations can be from one of three categories:

  • Monographs published by academic or trade publishers.
  • Articles published in journals, trade or private periodicals of recognized standing.
  • Online resources produced predominantly by ALHHS members.

All nominations must meet the following criteria:

  • Published within 3 years of the award date.
  • Author(s) must be ALHHS member(s) in good standing.
  • The nominated monograph, article, or electronic resource is related to the history of the health care sciences or works on the bibliography, librarianship and/or curatorship of historical collections in the health care sciences.

Nominations that meet each of the above criteria will be considered by the Publications Award Committee. The Committee will look for the following benchmarks of excellence when evaluating qualifying nominations: quality and style of writing, contribution to the field, and relevance to the profession.

Up to one Publication Award in each category will be presented at the 2017 annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Winners do not need to be present to win.

To nominate a work, please send 3 copies of a printed work (photocopies or PDFs of articles are acceptable) or the URL for an online resource to the Awards Committee Chair. Please include along with all nominations a cover letter giving the item’s complete citation (including all authors, publisher, and publication date) and the category under which the nomination falls (i.e. Monograph, Article, or Online Resource). Authors may nominate their own works. Re-nominations are also allowed, so long as the nominated publication still falls within the 3-year time period.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, January 6, 2017. For more information, please contact Awards Committee Chair: Emily Novak Gustainis, Emily_Gustainis@hms.harvard.edu or 617-432-7702.

Many thanks,

The ALHHS Publications Awards Committee
Emily R. Novak Gustainis, Chair
Phoebe Evans Letocha
Lucy Waldrop