Open Folklore News and Portal Enhancements Announced as Project Enters its Second YearPosted on Fri, 10/07/2011 - 1:48pm
One year ago, on October 13, 2010, the American Folklore Society (AFS) and the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries launched the Open Folklore project and its associated web portal, located at www.openfolklore.org. A lot has been accomplished over the past year. Building on a six-month update released April 1, 2011, this announcement highlights the latest enhancements to the Open Folklore portal site and the most recent accomplishments of the project.The OF Project Team, Strategic Partner, and OF Friends share the goals of keeping the community informed about work on OF and receiving continuous input and feedback. We will continue to use the OF news tools (Facebook, Twitter (@openfolklore), and especially the OF News section of the portal site) to share news about OF goals and next steps about every six months. Feedback and comments are always welcome by email, weblog post, Facebook comment, and good old fashioned mail (℅ either the IUScholarWorks Project at the IUB Libraries or the AFS Office).
Aimed at fostering open access scholarship in the field of folklore studies, Open Folklore (OF) is a collaborative project led by the American Folklore Society (AFS) and the Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) Libraries. The Utah State University (USU) Libraries, of which the USU Press and USU Special Collections are key parts, is a Strategic Partner in the OF project.
Outstanding Collaboration Award
The OF partners and friends are pleased that the project was recognized at the summer 2011 meetings of the American Library Association with the "Outstanding Collaboration Award" presented by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS). In highlighting the project, ALCTS noted:
"In a noteworthy collaborative effort, the Open Folklore Project has fulfilled a scholarly need by establishing an online portal to provide open online access to many useful, but heretofore difficult to access, research materials in the field of folklore studies. Research materials include books, journals, “gray (unpublished) literature”, and web sites. The Open Folklore Project serves as a new model for collection development and scholarly communication for building discipline-based digital collections. Besides providing open access to research materials, the portal offers full-text searching and allows folklore scholars and enthusiasts to identify and select reliable scholarly content, differentiating it from popular, and sometimes, unreliable, online search engine content. This project actively works to encourage partnerships to collaboratively digitize materials, place them in open-access digital repositories, and share them with the folklore community. The Open Folklore Project can proudly serve as a model for collaborative projects in other scholarly disciplines."
AFS and IU Libraries are thrilled that the library community so generously and enthusiastically recognized early the goals and partnership strategies underpinning the OF effort.
The AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus (ET)
The AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus (AFSET) is now out of its beta-testing phase and is fully operational and usable as a controlled vocabulary tool for folklore studies and related ethnographic disciplines. The AFSET is live and accessible from a dedicated tab at the OF portal site. Now that it is available as a stable resource, the AFSET will also begin to figure more prominently in the publishing and database work of various projects affiliated with Open Folklore, including IUScholarWorks and The Journal of American Folklore—the flagship journal of the AFS. Tutorial resources to help scholars and project teams in their utilization of the AFSET will be developed in the year ahead.
Work on the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus was supported by a generous grant from the Scholarly Communications Program of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and early planning-grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The AFS developed the Thesaurus in cooperation with the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress and its incorporation into the OF portal was made possible through the combined efforts of the AFSET development team and the IU Digital Library Program. Thanks go to all who supported the project on its journey to official release.
New Scholarly Content from AFS and IUScholarWorks Repository
Over the past six months, a large body of new scholarly content has been incorporated into the Open Folklore universe. Most prominent in this additional scholarly material are publications issued over many decades by the AFS. Much new AFS material has been included in the IUScholarWorks Repository as part of the repository's AFS "community."
A key addition to the AFS community in IUScholarWorks Repository is a large corpus of syllabi developed for folklore and folklife courses at all levels by AFS members. This is a collection that will continue to grow in the years ahead, The Folklore Teaching Resources Collection presently includes 55 contributions from a diversity of folklore scholars. These resources are fully discoverable via Open Folklore Search. They are also browsable in IUScholarWorks Repository.
A remarkable addition to the group of AFS materials being made available through the IUScholarWorks Repository are a nearly complete set of documents chronicling the Society's annual meetings going back to 1889. For recent years, these are the printed meeting programs but, for the early years, rich narrative accounts of the meetings that were originally published in The Journal of American Folklore are now freely available. These meetings-related materials—priceless resources for both the history of the field and for the pursuit of current research—are fully discoverable via Open Folklore Search. They are also browsable in IUScholarWorks Repository.
A few small gaps in the continuous record remain and the OF team is now working toward providing access to annual meeting program books for those missing from the 1950s and for the 1975-2003 period.
Among the other new AFS content additions are the backfiles of a key journal, Children's Folklore Review (1990-2006) and its predecessor the Children's Folklore Newsletter (1979-1990). This content is now fully accessible in IUScholarWorks Repository and searchable at the issue level via Open Folklore Search.
Continued progress is being made toward the goal of making the back files of all of the AFS's section journals freely available online, either as part of the IUScholarWorks Repository or the HathiTrust Digital Library.
New Scholarly Content Available via Google Books
Some folklore journal titles, including others among the corpus of AFS section publications that are available within the HathiTrust Digital Library, are now also available via Google Books. The content newly accessible via Google Books includes Keystone Folklore, Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review, Folklore Historian, and some issues of Digest. Finding aids to assist users in accessing these journals within Google Books will be made available in IUScholarWorks and the Open Folklore Portal next week. Stay tuned for details.
New Scholarly Content Added to the OF Archive-It Collection
Since the project's last report on additional OF content in Archive-It, a number of additional folklore studies websites have been permanently archived and made accessible via this unique service. The newest additions to the OF Archive-It Collection are the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Culture and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Inclusion of The Quilt Index will be completed soon. Access to the archived websites can be gained from the Websites tab at the Open Folklore portal or directly within Archive-It.
A New OF Screencast
The second in a series of OF tutorial screencasts has been produced and released. Focusing on accessing open access journals in folklore and ethnology via the OF portal site, the video can be found embedded in the OF portal site (here), downloadable from Indiana Universities (here), and on the YouTube video service (here). Additional screencasts will be produced in the year ahead.
Portal Site Changes
Regular visitors to the portal site will also notice some small changes designed to improve functionality and organization, as well as to accommodate the new addition of the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus to the site.
JEF Joins the Friends of OF
In May, the Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics joined the community of OF friends. JEF, published by the Estonian National Museum, the Estonian Literary Museum and the University of Tartu is published using Open Journal Systems and is fully interoperable with Open Folklore Search, meaning that JEF content is fully discoverable via the OF portal and is harvested for discovery on an ongoing basis.
OF at the AFS Meetings
Release of these developments has been timed to fall right before the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society, which will take place at Indiana University Bloomington on October 12-15, 2011.
Indiana University librarians from the Open Folklore team will be leading two Learning With Librarians sessions at the AFS annual meetings in Bloomington: An Introduction to Copyright, Intellectual Property, and Open Folklore; and An Introduction to Digital Humanities and Online Information Resources.
At the meetings, we hope to have opportunities to talk with the folklore community about where the Open Folklore project is headed and to gather input on the work to be pursued in the year ahead. Year one was great. The year ahead will be even better!
Keeping in Touch
Open Folklore Looks Ahead to Fall EnhancementsPosted on Fri, 09/02/2011 - 1:46pmIn time for the 2011 American Folklore Society (AFS) meetings in Bloomington, the Open Folklore project team anticipates releasing or announcing several new enhancements to the Open Folklore portal site. Here is a preview of some of what is coming next month. The next release will see the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus (ET) out of its current beta testing phase and fully and officially incorporated into the Open Folklore portal. At that point, we will begin developing some how-to materials to help users incorporate the ET into their own projects. The ET will also begin to figure more prominently in the publishing and database work of various projects affiliated with Open Folklore, including IUScholarWorks and The Journal of American Folklore—the flagship journal of the American Folklore Society. Looking ahead, the fall announcement will also call attention to a range of new folklore studies journal content that is being made available in open access form via several channels—IUScholarWorks, HathiTrust Digital Library, and Google Books. In addition, the availability of additional grey literature materials in folklore studies will be announced and additional websites in the field will be added to the Open Folklore Archive-It collection. Some small enhancements are also being made to the OF Portal site and we anticipate releasing at least one new educational video to help the community more effectively use the resources being made available through the OF Portal and other parts of the OF project. The upcoming AFS meetings will also provide opportunities for colleagues to learn more about not only OF but about open access and digital humanities topics in general. With AFS members converging in Bloomington—home to many parts of the OF universe—it is an especially exciting time for the project and the field. OF hopes to see you in Bloomington October 12-15, 2011.
The Ethnographic Thesaurus is Added to the Open Folklore PortalPosted on Wed, 08/03/2011 - 1:45pm
What follows is an American Folklore Society announcement concerning the Ethnographic Thesaurus and the Open Folklore project:Catherine Hiebert Kerst, Folklife Specialist/Archivist
The AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus (www.openfolklore.org/et/) is now available in a beta version on the Open Folklore (www.openfolklore.org/) portal, a collaborative effort of the Society, the Indiana University-Bloomington Libraries, and the Indiana University Digital Library Program.
The post-beta version, the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus 2.0, will be available on that same URL on October 1, 2011.
The AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus is a searchable online vocabulary that can be used to improve access to information about folklore, ethnomusicology, cultural anthropology, and related fields. Supported by a generous grant from the Scholarly Communications Program of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and early planning-grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Folklore Society developed the Thesaurus in cooperation with the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.
AFS thankfully recognizes the dedicated work of the Thesaurus editorial board, the IU-B Libraries, and the IU Digital Library Program to transfer the AFSET to its new home. This work has strengthened Open Folklore as a direct provider of useful tools for folklore studies and related fields, as well as a search-and-discovery tool for online content available elsewhere.
The current beta version incorporates the AFSET editorial board's revisions of the following facets: art, belief, dance, disciplines, entertainment and recreation, foodways, health, language, law and governance, material culture, music, performance, ritual, social dynamics, transmission, verbal arts, and literature.
The editorial board will be completing the review of these remaining facets before launch of the AFSET 2.0 on October 1: general; beings; documentation; education; migration and settlement; research, theory and methodology; space and place; time; and work.
AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus Editorial Board
(all of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, DC)
Maggie Kruesi, Cataloger
Michael Taft, Head of the Archive
Recent Conference Presentations on Open FolklorePosted on Fri, 07/15/2011 - 1:43pm
Open Folklore Communications Lead and IU Digital Publishing Librarian Jennifer Laherty has taken a lead this summer presenting on the Open Folklore project to eager audiences at two national conferences.Thanks to Jennifer for her efforts spreading the word about the OF effort.
In a presentation titled "Open Folklore: A Model Collaboration" that she developed with fellow OF team member Garett Montanez, Jennifer discussed the OF project with an audience at the 2011 Open Repositories Conference in Austin, Texas.
Here are excerpts from their abstract:
The Open Folklore (OF) project exemplifies inter-institutional cooperation to maximize the strengths of digital repositories and leverage the building blocks of staff, shared mission and goals, and technology to support a new model of collaboration. Kim Fortun (2011) has offered her praise for OF: “Open Folklore has built new social relations that can undergird and protect scholarly work and education for many years to come. Most fundamentally, Open Folklore has forged new connections between scholars, a scholarly society and university librarians.” We add to this our technical partners as well.
A variety of social and technical symbiotic relationships exist within the Open Folklore project. This cross-institutional effort takes advantage of digital repositories while leveraging the building blocks of staff, shared mission and goals, and technology. This presentation will demonstrate each community’s contribution and benefits from the project. We will also illustrate how the two technical foundations central to OF’s effectiveness and success – metadata and digital repositories – operate within OF. Finally, we will discuss plans to incorporate additional pieces such as the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus, a searchable online controlled vocabulary which would make OF Search more effective at providing access to information.
At the American Library Association meeting last month, Jennifer presented on the "Role of Humanities and Social Science Liaison Librarians in Scholarly Communication and Publishing." This presentation was part of the panel: 21st Century Scholarly Communication: Conversations for Change. The abstract for this session noted:
As the Open Access movement ramps up in the humanities and social sciences, librarians need to be aware of the initiatives that are altering traditional scholarly publishing. Open access journals, monographs, presses, and more, are changing librarians' roles and the scholarly communication landscape. This panel will discuss the progress and impact of this important reform movement from the perspective of feminist librarians and other stakeholders.
This panel was organized by the Women and Gender Studies Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries.
In her remarks, Jennifer focused on examples from the humanities and social sciences work that she does with the IUScholarWorks team at IU. Open Folklore was one of the projects that she used to explain how important scholarly society/association involvement is in these very faculty-centric issues. She expressed that faculty, though they belong to institutional departments and must comply with local promotion and tenure policies, have allegiances that are likely to be stronger to colleagues in their narrower research fields as opposed to those colleagues in their home department.
In the fall, other members of the OF project team will be speaking about the project at a number of different professional conferences. Stay tuned for more information on these presentations.
New Friend of Open Folklore: The Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics is Now Part of OF SearchPosted on Thu, 05/05/2011 - 1:42pm
The Open Folklore team is please to announce the newest "Friend of Open Folklore."Find the JEF journal site at: http://www.jef.ee/index.php/journal
As noted on the journal's homepage: "Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics(JEF) is a multidisciplinary forum for scholars. Addressed to an international scholarly audience, JEF is open to contributions from researchers all over the world. JEF publishes articles in the research areas of ethnology, folkloristics, museology, cultural and social anthropology. It includes both studies focused on the empirical analysis of particular cases as well as those more theoretically oriented. JEF is a peer-reviewed journal, issued two times per year. JEF is the joint publication of the Estonian National Museum, the Estonian Literary Museum and the University of Tartu."
JEF context is now fully indexed in Open Folklore Search and new content going forward will also be discoverable using this tool. Congratulations to the JEF editor Ergo-Hart Västrik and the JEF editorial team on the journal's recent migration to Open Journal Systems (OJS), the open source software tool that is used by many gold open access journals. OJS utilizes the Open Archives Initiative-Protocols for Metadata Harvesting and it is this protocol that allows projects like Open Folklore to harvest journal metadata for inclusion in tools like OF Search. Our thanks goes to the JEF team for their leadership in gold open access publishing and we are thrilled to be working with them in advancing the cause of open access scholarly communications in folklore studies and ethnology.
Enhancements and Accomplishments Announced for Open Folklore Project, Portal SitePosted on Fri, 04/01/2011 - 1:40pm
The Open Folklore Project team is pleased to announce a series of enhancements to the Open Folklore portal site (www.openfolklore.org) and a cluster of recent accomplishments for the project as a whole. Aimed at fostering open access scholarship in the field of folklore studies, Open Folklore (OF) is a collaborative project led by the American Folklore Society (AFS) and the Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) Libraries. The Utah State University (USU) Libraries, of which the USU Press and USU Special Collections are key parts, is a Strategic Partner in the OF Project. As announced in March, the OF Project has been working toward the goal of unveiling these developments on April 1, 2011, about a half a year after the OF portal site was first launched at the 2010 AFS meetings. This announcement makes these developments public.Project goals for April 1, 2011 were selected from many options as those that seemed most important to the community, those that were within our means to accomplish quickly, and those that are needed to support OF's future progress. A new set of goals for fall 2011 will be announced soon.
Friends of Open Folklore
As a project, OF has now expanded to recognize a new group of partner agencies. The first "Friends of Open Folklore" are four agencies that are systemically making available a growing body of open access folklore studies scholarship and doing so in a sophisticated way that allows for the ongoing, automated inclusion of information about this rich content in the OF Search tool. These first four OF Friends are: (1) the Center for Folklore Studies (at The Ohio State University), (2) the journal Ethnobotany Research and Applications(published at the University of Hawaii), (3) the National Folklore Support Centre (Chennai, India), and (4) the World Oral Literature Project (at the University of Cambridge). Thanks go to these organization for their work advancing open access scholarship in folklore studies and neighboring fields. The OF Project looks forward to the continued expansion of the OF Friends community.
New Content for OF Search
New content discoverable in OF search now includes the full range of books and journals published by the National Folklore Support Centre (NFSC). For this first time, OF search is making available content published in non-Western alphabets. This OF first comes with the inclusion of புதிய பனுவல்: An International Journal of Tamil Studies , one of the numerous journals published through the NFSC journal portal. Also new in OF Search is all of the published and white-paper material made available by the World Oral Literature Project and all of the content published in Ethnobotany Research and Applications.
In addition to this new material being made available in an ongoing and expanding way by these OF Friends, the AFS and IUB have made substantial amounts of additional scholarly material available for the field. Included here are a large collection of American Folklore Society annual meeting programs and abstract books, a growing collection of course syllabi developed and shared by folklorists, published indexes to the Journal of American Folklore, monographs on the history of folklore studies, and an important collection of reports and white papers relating to professional development in the field. This growing corpus of published and grey-literature materials builds upon earlier collections made available by the Fund for Folk Culture and other agencies.
Additional Content for the OF Archive-IT Collection
Important website content has been added to the OF Archive-It collection. Joining the sites already being preserved in Archive-It are the content-rich websites of the Institute for Community Partnerships, the Veterans History Project, and the American Folklife Center, including the sites for many of its rich and important American Memory projects. Work toward the inclusion of additional key websites in the field is underway.
The OF Search tool has been enhanced so that users can, with a single click, include bibliographic data from OF Search results into personal Zotero research libraries. Zotero is a widely used, freely-available open source software tool for scholarly research. It allows for powerful and easy management of research sources, note-taking, tagging, and other scholarly tasks. Zotero integration is in addition to the availability of tagged, XML, and BibTex data that has been a part of OF Search since the Portal's launch. These capacities allow for the use of other common bibliographic software programs. (Folklorists interested in learning more about Zotero are encouraged to consult the introductory materials at www.zotero.org
First OF Screencast
Beginning work developing how-to materials for the use of the OF Portal site, the OF Project Team has released the first of a series of web-based screencasts. The first seven-minute video illustrates how to use the OF Search tool for discovering and accessing freely available folklore studies scholarship. The screencast is available on the OF portal site, on YouTube, and for download from the IUB Libraries. In addition, a seven-minute overview of the OF project as a whole is also available as a screencast on YouTube. Screencasts illustrating the use of other OF resources are in development.
Additional Folklore Content in HathiTrust Digital Library
Behind the scenes, the OF Project Team and the Utah State University Library are continuing work making additional folklore scholarship available via the HathiTrust Digital Library. Thousands of folklore studies works are now searchable in HathiTrust and an ever-growing number of these are fully accessible. Among the titles now available to all via HathiTrust are many valuable works published in the Memoirs of the American Folklore Society series, a venerable collection of works published by the AFS. At IUB Libraries, extensive work aimed at making older journal runs freely available in HathiTrust is continuing.
Other Behind the Scenes Projects
In partnership with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, work continues on enhancing the Ethnographic Thesaurus (ET) and making it available through the OF Portal Site. Also, a Drupal-based workflow tracking system designed to help the OF team manage sub-projects and tasks has been set up and is now being used.
Keeping in Touch
The OF Project Team, Strategic Partner, and OF Friends share the goals of keeping the community informed about work on OF and receiving continuous input and feedback. We will continue to use the OF news tools (Facebook, Twitter, and especially the OF News section of the portal site) to share new about OF goals and next steps about every six months. Feedback and comments are always welcome by email, weblog post, Facebook comment, and good old fashioned mail (℅ either the IUScholarWorks Project at the IUB Libraries or the AFS Office).
Looking Ahead with Open FolklorePosted on Fri, 03/11/2011 - 12:38pm
Since its launch last fall, the Open Folklore project has been continuing its work vigorously. We set a goal of unveiling a batch of new features on the portal site (www.openfolklore.org) and profiling several content accomplishments on April 1. We will explain these in detail then but we cannot resist offering a brief preview now.
Our communications goal is to keep the community informed of our intentions, and to receive continuous input and feedback. We will use the OF news tools (Facebook, Twitter, and especially the OF News section of the portal site) to tell you about our goals and next steps every six months or so.
Project goals for April 1, 2011 were selected from many options as those most important to the community; those that are within our means to accomplish quickly, and those that are needed to support our progress in the future.
Highlights among the Spring 2011 goals are:
- Harvesting additional repository and journal content in OF Search.
- Facilitating easy use of Zotero (www.zotero.org) for users of OF Search.
- Refining the process by which existing journal context is liberated inside the HathitTrust Digital Library and the Google Books project.
- Developing tutorials and other promotional materials to help people learn about the project and use the portal site.
- Launching the “Friends of Open Folklore” initiative.
- Advancing the “gray literature” initiative and making available a least one collection of gray literature materials via OF Search.
- Add additional websites to the Open Folklore collection in Archive-It.
- Include the initial collection of folklore studies syllabi donated by AFS members in IUScholarWorks Repository and make them discoverable and accessible via OF Search.
- Complete work on a backend system for tracking in-progress tasks and projects central to the future development of Open Folklore.
- Beginning work integrating the Ethnographic Thesaurus into the Open Folklore network.
ALCTS Outstanding Collaboration Citation for OF Covered in American Libraries MagazinePosted on Wed, 02/23/2011 - 12:37pmYesterday, American Libraries: The Magazine of the American Library Association shared news of the Open Folklore project's winning of the The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services' (ALCTS) 2010 Outstanding Collaboration Citation. ALCTS is the national association for information providers who work in collections and technical services, such as acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, preservation and continuing resources in digital and print formats. ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association. Find the American Libraries piece online at http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/news/ala/open-folklore-project-receives-alcts-outstanding-collaboration-award
OF In Library JournalPosted on Sat, 02/19/2011 - 12:36pm
In a new article in Library Journal, Barbara Fister offers a very thoughtful discussion of the current scene in university libraries and highlights the promise of projects like Open Folklore. Read all about it http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/889330-264/what_a_provost_could_do.html.csp .
Anthropology News Commentary Considers Open Folklore ProjectPosted on Wed, 02/02/2011 - 12:35pm
Anthropologist and science studies scholar Kim Fortun has written an essay discussing the Open Folklore project for Anthropology News. Her piece is currently accessible (toll free) via the AAA website. Professor Fortun is the outgoing co-editor of Cultural Anthropology and a thoughtful advocate in anthropology for scholarly communication reform.Update: With the publication of newer issues of Anthropology News, the best place to obtain Professor Fortun's article online is now via Wiley Online Library. As of March 7, 2011, the article was being made available for free (courtesy of the AAA) at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1556-3502.2011.52206.x/abstract