• HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory Joins Friends of Open Folklore; Now Searchable at OF Portal Site
    Posted on Thu, 05/10/2012 - 1:56pm

    The Open Folklore Project is pleased to announce that HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory
    is now a Friend of Open Folklore and is discoverable using Open Folklore search.
    Launched in the fall of 2011, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory is "an international peer-reviewed, open-access online journal which aims to situate ethnography as the prime heuristic of anthropology, and return it to the forefront of conceptual developments in the discipline." HAU is published by a consortium of parters known as the Network for Ethnographic Theory (HAU-N.E.T.). The current partners are the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, France), the University of Sydney (Australia), the   University of Manchester (UK), the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), the    Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, Institute of Social Anthropology, Oslo University, and the Department of Anthropology of the University of Canterbury (NZ).
    HAU's Editor-in-Chief is Giovanni da Col of the University of Cambridge.
    Because HAU is published using Open Journal Systems, a publishing platform that works with the Open Archives Initiative-Protocols for Metadata Harvesting, it is a relatively simple technical matter to set up a harvesting routine than results in all new content published by HAU (and other Friends of Open Folklore) becoming searchable via the Open Folklore search tool.

    HAU is an exciting new publishing effort in the ethnographic disciplines, one that Open Folklore is happy to be partnering with. Like OF, the HAU team is eager to develop new approaches for increasing the reach and impact of ethnographic scholarship. Congratulations to the HAU team on their successful journal launch last fall and, more recently, on the establishment of a companion Masterclass Series.

  • Open Folklore Discussed as Part of UMN Forum on Open Research and Learning
    Posted on Thu, 05/10/2012 - 1:54pm

    The Open Folklore project was one of a number of projects discussed at a recent event hosted by the University of Minnesota Libraries, with co-sponsorship from the UMN Department of Anthropology. The event was titled Open Research and Learning: Collaboration, Connections and Communities and it focused on the social side of open access, open educational resources, and open research architectures and collaborations.
    In his remarks, OF team member Jason Baird Jackson discussed not only OF, but also the social nature of research-focused group blogs and the implications of new journal publishing strategies such as those central to the PressForward project and its associated Digital Humanities Now and Journal of Digital Humanities efforts.
    Amazing presentations were offered by Doug Armato (Director of the University of Minnesota Press, focusing on the transformation of university presses in the context of shifts to open access approaches to scholarly communication), David Ernst (Director of Academic and Information Technology for the UMN College of Education and Human Development, describing the UMN's new open textbook project) and Lucy Fortson (Associate Professor, UMN School of Physics and Astronomy, discussing remarkably successful open data-based citizen science collaborations, particularly the Galaxy Zoo project and related Zooniverse projects). UMN Copyright Librarian Nancy Sims moderated the panel.
    For those who are interested in a recap of the event, Barbara Fister has offered one in a new essay published at Inside Higher Education. She starts from the substance of the panel and proceeds to offer reflections on the nature of undergraduate learning and research in a changing information environment. Find her essay in Inside Higher Education.

    The basic information on the event is available from the UMN Library website.

  • General Lessons from the Open Folklore Project are the Focus of Recent Paper by Jason Jackson
    Posted on Fri, 02/10/2012 - 12:53pm

    The Open Folklore Project's Outreach Lead Jason Baird Jackson has recently circulated a version of the paper that he delivered at the 2011 American Anthropological Association meetings in Montreal. The essay "Another World is Possible: Open Folklore as Library-Scholarly Society Partnership" was initially presented as part of the panel "Digital Anthropologies: Projects and Projections" and is now available on Jackson's website. In it, he argues for pursuing the opportunities that exist for scholarly societies and libraries to partner directly together to reshape the scholarly communication system in more sustainable and democratic ways. The paper characterizes the Open Folklore project as an example of such work that is already underway.


  • Barbara Fister Highlights Open Folklore in an Essay on the Future of Libraries
    Posted on Fri, 01/13/2012 - 12:51pm

    In an essay reflecting on the future of Libraries, written for Library Journal ("The Shock of the Old"), Barbara Fister has highlighted Open Folklore as one of many signs pointing to the kind of future that librarians and scholars want to build together. She writes:
    I am encouraged by the launch of new platforms like PressForward and PressBooks and Annotum that seem to be popping up everywhere, creative and simple engines for publishing in new ways. I’m excited by Open Folklore and Invisible Australians and other projects that see openness as a feature, not a bug. Just as traditional publishers are gearing up for a digital future that limits access artificially to protect profits, innovative scholars are dreaming up new ways to share academic work.
    Barbara has been one of the closest observers of the Open Folklore project. Her encouragement and feedback, especially in the context of her larger surveys of what is happening in libraries and scholarly communication have been invaluable. Her regular essays for Library Journal and Inside Higher Education are a major resource.

  • Moira Marsh Presents on OF at Archive-It Partners Meeting
    Posted on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:50pm

    Moira Marsh of the Open Folklore Project team and the IU Bloomington Libraries presented on "Open Folklore Project–Collection Development, But Not as Your Father Knew It" today during the 2011 Archive-It Partners meeting in Louisville, KY. Information on the meeting, including he program is available online here: http://archiveitmeeting2011.wordpress.com/schedule/
    Archive-It is a key part of the Open Folklore infrastructure through which the project preserves and makes available media rich copies of key websites in the field of folklore studies. Learn more at the OF Websites tab.

    Thanks Moria for helping spread the news about Open Folklore.

  • Open Folklore News and Portal Enhancements Announced as Project Enters its Second Year
    Posted 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.
    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

    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).

  • Open Folklore Looks Ahead to Fall Enhancements
    Posted on Fri, 09/02/2011 - 1:46pm
    In 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 Portal
    Posted on Wed, 08/03/2011 - 1:45pm

    What follows is an American Folklore Society announcement concerning the Ethnographic Thesaurus and the Open Folklore project:
    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)

    Catherine Hiebert Kerst, Folklife Specialist/Archivist
    Maggie Kruesi, Cataloger
    Michael Taft, Head of the Archive

  • Recent Conference Presentations on Open Folklore
    Posted 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.
    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.

    Thanks to Jennifer for her efforts spreading the word about the OF effort.


  • New Friend of Open Folklore: The Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics is Now Part of OF Search
    Posted on Thu, 05/05/2011 - 1:42pm

    The Open Folklore team is please to announce the newest "Friend of Open Folklore."
    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.

    Find the JEF journal site at: http://www.jef.ee/index.php/journal