2013 STS Conference Poster Session

ACRL Science and Technology Section logo

ACRL Science and Technology Section (ACRL-STS)

ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, 2013


Biographies and Oral Histories Lead to Understanding Culture & Diversity in Science

Eddy González & Robert Yost

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


This pedagogical project aims to promote the scientific contributions of minorities and women among freshman science students.  In Windows on Science – a first year seminar – the authors designed a cooperative learning activity focusing on historical minority figures to promote the principles of multicultural science education, such as, teaching science literacy, incorporating the contributions of many cultures to our knowledge of science, and addressing ethical conduct in the sciences. The methods used consist of viewing selected chapters from “Something the Lord Made” (HBO) & “Partners of the Heart” (PBS American Experience).  While viewing the HBO, students self-reflected on ethical issues noting a minimum of ten.  Moving to the documentary, students addressed any ethical resolutions perceived in the HBO viewing.  This exercise followed small group discussions lead by the instructor to codify themes from both previous exercises.  Some examples of themes were women’s rights, racism, acknowledging intellectual contributions and equity.  The process was followed by class discussion.  Though anecdotal, the group insights as described by students reflect a deeper appreciation for the disenfranchisement of minorities in the sciences.  It is hypothesized that primary sources, such as oral and traditional histories and storytelling, leads to a deeper understanding of the contribution of non-western cultures, minorities, and women in the sciences.



Scoring Students’ Information Evaluation Abilities in an Agricultural Readings Seminar Class: A Three Pronged Approach

Marianne Stowell Bracke

Purdue University

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Undergraduate students at large universities may frequently be enrolled in large lecture classes – a far from ideal setting for librarians attempting to instill information evaluation skills.  Students may feel disconnected from the material and may receive less individual attention.  Small seminar classes with an embedded librarian can be a better alternative for teaching and evaluating critical information evaluation skills.  

This research will focus on the students in AGR 294, Directed Readings in Agriculture, an 8-week long, 1 credit course with a cap of twelve students co-taught by a librarian and disciplinary faculty member.  Each version of the course focuses on a different book that discusses a social issue that impacts agriculture and affiliated sciences.  This class teaches critical thinking skills, information evaluation, civil discourse, and introduces students to the intersection of science and social issues through weekly readings and discussions.

The librarian, using 3 similar information literacy evaluation rubrics, evaluates the students on three dimensions of the class: weekly discussions, weekly reflective essays, and one contributed information object (a peer-reviewed article, newspaper or magazine article, website, video, blog entry, etc. that contributes to the general discussion.)  Having the librarian as co-instructor allows for greater emphasis placed on continually evaluating and re-evaluating information presented in the class.  This poster will discuss the methodology used to structure the class, the outcomes, and future research directions for this class.



Evolving Instruction Delivery for Chemistry Information Literacy Course

Meris A. Mandernach

The Ohio State University

Yasmeen Shorish & Barbara Reisner

James Madison University

Poster available at: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/55057


At James Madison University, a chemistry information course (CHEM 481) has been taught for over twenty years. During the past decade, the course has been continually modified to reflect both changes in the skills needed by chemistry majors as well as student performance on course assessments. The course transitioned from a class taught predominantly by chemistry faculty to one that is co-taught with librarians. Each class session and assignment is tied to specific learning outcomes from ACRL information literacy standards for the sciences and the SLA/CINF information competencies for chemistry undergraduates. Course assignments include team based learning activities that allow for greater student interaction. Pre-test and post-test information is gathered on content as well as mode of delivery.



One h-Index to Rule Them All? Using h-Index Realities to Educate Researchers about their Online Presence 

Jan Fransen

University of Minnesota

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Promotion and tenure committees in the sciences and engineering are always on the lookout for a metric they can use to evaluate an individual’s productivity. The h-index, a function of both the number of papers published and the number of times those papers have been cited, seems a perfect fit. As an added advantage, an individual’s h-index is easy to find: Google Scholar Citations, Scopus, and Web of Science all list h-index as part of an author’s profile. But since each database uses a different set of data for both publications and citations to those publications, h-indexes for the same researcher can be different from one source to the next.

By comparing the h-index values found using each database for a sample of mid-career faculty members in science and engineering, we can identify differences and use the databases themselves to find out what each is (and is not) counting toward this prominent productivity measure.

This project began as a means of demonstrating the h-index calculation to researchers. The resulting analysis also makes the case to researchers that they should invest some time in ensuring that relevant publications are included in each of their online profiles, and in understanding where and why there are differences in h-index values. As a bonus, researchers at all levels have a better understanding of why they may want to search more than one database when looking for literature on a given topic or by a certain author.



Marketing Library Poster Services via a USB Flash Drive

Catherine Soehner

University of Utah

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During the 2011-2012 school year, librarians noticed a number of classes and programs for which students were required to create a poster.  During this same time period, the X Library at the University of X purchased a large format printer and wanted a method to advertise this new service.  As a pilot project, 500 USB flash drives were purchased and distributed to students and faculty.  The outside of these flash drives displayed the Library logo and website url.  The inside of each flash drive contained four files: library services available and instructions for creating a poster; instructions for using Power Point for posters; and two different sized Power Point poster templates.  A survey was created and placed at the help desk where patrons would request poster printing and the patron received 10% off their poster printing after filling out the survey.  Results of surveys collected in the form of graphs and charts along with an evaluation of this pilot project will be presented.



Measuring Science and Technology Information Literacy Competencies: Creation of the CELT assessment

Amy S. Van Epps, Ruth Wertz, Michael Fosmire & Şenay Purzer

Purdue University

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Many university accreditations speak of life-long learning as a goal of graduates, but not information literacy. This poster presents an understanding of the alignment of life-long learning concepts with ill-defined problem solving (Atman el at, 2007) and why measuring information literacy can help present student achievement of some lifelong learning skills (Bursic and Atman, 1997).

Measuring information literacy skills is an ongoing task for librarians. To fulfill this goal several assessment instruments are available (SAILS, ILT, iSkills); this project reviews available tools and identifies no test measuring the IL skills specific to science and technology and the solution of ill-defined problems.

The researchers designed CELT, a two-tiered multiple choice instrument, for use by librarians and disciplinary teaching faculty to be used for summative and formative assessment of student skills related to information literacy. In the two-tier model, students answer a multiple choice question and then responds to a prompt to explain the reasoning for the answer selected (Wertz, Ross, Purzer, Fosmire & Cardella, 2011).

The test has been administered and evaluated with several groups of science and engineering students, and continued adjustments have been made to improve item discrimination and difficulty. Initial validity and reliability ratings have been good. The instrument is ready for broader use and data collection.

The goal of the research is to create a tool that will be used as an assessment for information literacy concepts across the STEM disciplines or any program where evidence use is expected as an integral part of the dominant mode of decision making practice.



Atman, C. J., Adams, R. S., Cardella, M. E., Turns, J., Mosborg, S., & Saleem, J. (2007). Engineering design processes: A comparison of students and expert practitioners. Journal of Engineering Education, 96(4), 359-379.


Bursic, K. M., & Atman, C. J. (1997). Information Gathering: A Critical Step for Quality in the Design Process. Quality Management Journal, 4(4), 60-75.


Wertz, R. E. H., Ross, M. C., Fosmire, M. J., Cardella, M. E., and Purzer, S. (2011). Do Students Gather Information to Inform Design Decisions? Development of an Authentic Assessment Tool of Information Gathering Skills in First-year Engineering Students (Session #M421). In Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. ASEE.



Use of Central Open Access Funds by Biology Faculty

Donna Marie Braquet

University of Tennessee Knoxville

Development of central funding for open access publishing is increasing in higher education settings.  This poster will present findings of a survey of biology faculty who have used these funds and will help answer the questions of how these funds incentivise publication in open access venues.  Will faculty continue OA publication without the fund?  Has the fund assisted in helping to publicize OA on campus?  Do faculty believe that central funds are sustainable?  Do faculty support creation of funds if the funds were taken directly from journal subscriptions?  Have faculty begun to write OA costs into grants? These results will help inform librarians who are considering central open access funds on their campuses.



Science Database Holdings at ARL and Oberlin Group Academic Libraries from 2010 to 2012: a Longitudinal Study

Tim Klassen

University of Alberta

This poster presents the initial results of an open-ended project to record the science oriented database holdings of X University and X Group libraries. The study originated from the hypothesis that the combination of the poor economy, consistently rising journal prices, and slow improvements in Google Scholar will result in some libraries choosing to either cancel some science databases outright or else to cancel subject specific databases and instead rely on comprehensive databases such as Scopus and/or Web of Science. The author annually checks the holdings of 74 X Group Libraries for 24 databases, and 108 ARL Libraries for 22 databases. Libraries that do not allow off-campus access to database lists or only provide subject based lists have been excluded. All cancellations or additions are verified through either the Internet Archive Wayback Machine or email (when possible.) This poster session provides an opportunity to get feedback on the project (databases that should be added, methods modifications, switch to bi-annual? etc.) and to share some initial observations. A few highlights include:

  • Most frequently cancelled databases are the former Wilson science indexes, INSPEC, Plant Sciences, and Current Contents.
  • Most frequently added database is Scopus, which went from 25 to 45 Libraries in ARL.
  • Several libraries added Scopus and cancelled subject specific databases.
  • No library that added Scopus cancelled Web of Science.
  • Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management is the most widely held environment database.



Converting Dissertations to Patent Applications: A Study in Four Disciplines

Nan Butkovich

The Pennsylvania State University


Doctoral candidates may place a short-term embargo on making their dissertations publicly available so that they may submit their work for publication or apply for a patent.  This study documents the frequency with which dissertations in chemical engineering, chemistry, physics, and mathematics are converted into U.S. patent applications, as well as the relationship between dissertation approval dates and patent application filing dates.  These questions are important because dissertations may be considered as prior art in the patent examination process.  No prior studies were found that addressed conversion frequency, although a few articles discussed case law related to dissertations as prior art.

Dissertations from 2008 that were awarded by the thirteen Committee on Institutional Cooperation universities provided the sample populations.  Descriptive statistics were used due to the low numbers of patent applications that were identified.  The number of dissertations yielding applications varied, with mathematics not producing any; chemical engineering had the most.  Most of the patent applications in chemical engineering and chemistry were filed either prior to or in the same month as the approval date of the dissertation; all of those in physics were filed after the dissertation award date.  Chemical engineering had the greatest number of applications to dissertations, while physics had the lowest.  These results will be of interest to librarians and others associated with determining and approving embargo periods for doctoral dissertations as well as STEM librarians who work with graduate students interested in patenting the results of their research.


E-Science Opportunities and Competencies for the Effective Science Librarian

Tyler Dzuba

University of Rochester

Poster available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.741252


E-science is a hot topic of discussion for research libraries as research methodology and products change rapidly. Librarians worldwide are being asked to advise their researchers on issues of research data management and curation, open access, and changing modes of scholarly communication. In this fast-paced, broad environment, many librarians don’t even know where to start. This poster will elucidate several of the key avenues in which libraries can help their researchers with e-science, including:

  • training researchers on the data lifecycle,
  • embedding oneself into research groups as a data consultant,
  • providing spaces and equipment conducive to collaborative research,
  • aiding with data deposit and discovery,
  • identifying forward-thinking publication venues,
  • helping faculty assess their research productivity for tenure and promotion review,
  • promoting new forms of scholarly communication, and
  • advocating for campuswide e-science awareness and communication.


This poster will also identify key competencies which libraries might cultivate in their staff to facilitate those avenues of service. These competencies may include:

  • detailed knowledge of the data lifecycle and its applications to research management,
  • acuity for communicating with researchers about their data and research products,
  • skills in data profiling,
  • knowledge of collaborative technologies and their application in space design,
  • familiarity with relevant metadata standards and the ability to construct new standards as needed,
  • facility with software and programming for data analysis and visualization,
  • knowledge of diverse open-access publications routes,
  • knowledge of existing and emerging metrics of scholarly productivity.

In conjunction, this poster will suggest established resources to consult in acquiring these competencies.


Association of Research Libraries. (2009). The Research Library’s Role in Digital Repository Services. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries.

Carlson, Jake. (2012). Demystifying the data interview: Developing a foundation for reference librarians to talk with researchers about their data. Reference Services Review, 40(1), 7-23. doi: 10.1108/00907321211203603

Duraspace. (2012). The Duraspace/ARL/DLF 2012 E-Science Institute.

Kim, Youngseek, Addom, Benjamin K., & Stanton, Jeffrey M. (2011). Education for eScience Professionals: Integrating Data Curation and Cyberinfrastructure. International Journal of Digital Curation, 6(1). doi: 10.2218/ijdc.v6i1.177

Thompson, Cheryl A. (2012). Answering the Call for Data Curation: An Exploration of the Careers of LIS Professionals Managing Data. . (Master of Science in Information Science), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. Retrieved from http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/s_papers/id/1822 



Building Community: Pairing Science Book Discussions with an Online Network

Renee Tanner

Arizona State University

Poster available at: http://repository.asu.edu/items/18856


The objective of this poster session will be to evaluate the benefits of promoting a science book discussion through Meetup, a large, online network of local groups that meet face-to-face.


Attendance at  X University science book discussions and memberships in the online group will be tracked to see if there is a correlation between online membership and book discussion attendance.


Programming is an essential part of library services. Having a regular program at the library and a wide distribution list raises awareness of the library to those associated with the university and beyond. Through programming, libraries demonstrate the vital role they play in the community. However, to justify programming one must have participants.

Since the summer of 2011, I have organized the X University Science Book Discussion. During that time attendance has averaged about 10 participants and over 45 participants when an author or lecturer was present. In addition to traditional advertising, I have developed a following through Meetup. The platform makes it easy for people with similar interests to find activities that interest them and to meet face-to-face. Meetup helps organizers reach and maintain connections to large groups. The program has many built-in tools to evaluate how many people visit the site, how many join the book discussion and sends out automatic meeting announcements, reminders and updates. Research regarding its effectiveness at increasing participation will be evaluated in this poster session. In addition, a book discussion “getting started” handout will be posted online for attendees.



iPad Game Library

Christy Caldwell

University of California, Santa Cruz


The University of California, Santa Cruz Science & Engineering Library has had a robust video game collection since 2006 in support of the University’s top rated program in Games & Playable Media. A gap in the collection was mobile game applications, and the faculty asked for a solution. We added an iPad, loaded it with game apps, and have made it available for check out since March, 2012. The applicability of this solution is broad. We have since discovered that many students are designing game applications that can be added to the device and highlighted as student research. Public libraries could highlight these items as created by community members (perhaps even as part of a larger “maker’s factory” effort). The focus of the iPad collection can be games, or any mix of mobile application genres. This can also be an inexpensive way for a library to offer a video game lab. I will share the steps involved in setting up a video games iPad for checkout, including selection criteria and purchasing the games, displaying games and iPads in an OPAC, setting up a “syncing station” for circulation staff and designing a maintenance process. I will also share usage, student and faculty feedback and lessons learned.



Connecting Theory to Praxis: Developing a Research Agenda for Your Section

Jane Nichols
Oregon State University Libraries

Jennifer Gilley

Penn State New Kensington


Academic librarians often seek to situate our daily work in the research literature. Yet we find that not all of our questions have been studied or, if they have, our questions are only partially answered. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what the most pressing questions needing research are?  Who is well-situated to take on this work? To solve this and other questions, the ACRL Women & Gender Studies Section (WGSS) Research Committee created a research agenda for the WGSS section. This poster addresses how and why other sections might create their own research agenda by demonstrating how the WGSS Agenda was created and the benefits it provides to individual librarians and the section as a whole.



To create the Agenda, the Research Committee inventoried previous scholarship. From this a Bibliography of Scholarship on Women and Gender Studies Librarianship was created. Committee members examined each citation in the bibliography to discern topics that needed to be revisited or that had never been studied. This formed the basis of the Research Agenda. A dynamic document, the Committee adds emerging questions.  Recently, the Committee wrote short literature reviews framing each topic.



The WGSS Research Agenda models how a section can link theory to practice by focusing librarians’ attention on current research questions. Join us to discuss options for how an agenda and the process of creating it will promote research about science librarianship; increase librarians’ research skills and advance science librarianship practices.





Universal Design for Learning, the Library, and STEM: Common Cause, Uncommon Ground

Katy Kavanagh & Jeanne Hoover

East Carolina University

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Poster also available at: http://repository.asu.edu/items/18856


In summer 2012, the Science Librarian and Instructional Design Librarian at a public, four year institution came together to design a series of interactive tutorials to assist with questions related to an assignment for entry-level, first year biology course. The students are required to find primary and secondary sources in scholarly Biology literature. The librarians applied Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to create a tutorial hosted in LibGuides that engages students who learn visually and kinetically.  The tutorial also assists reference staff who may be unfamiliar with research in the sciences and reduces the number of questions about the assignment at the reference desk. The poster will highlight the methods used in creating the tutorial, as well as best practices for information literacy tutorials in the STEM fields.


The librarians are in the process of completing a usability test with students with learning disabilities to investigate the UDL principles and are gathering additional qualitative and quantitative data to investigate overall efficacy of the tutorial. The initial findings of this study, which is ongoing, will be shared at the poster session. The research conducted in this project contributes to the field of Librarianship by further investigating the use of UDL principles in online tutorials, of which there is little in the literature. The tutorial is freely available through LibGuides community site, and the researchers will be on hand to provide hands-on demos, pass out links to the tutorial, as well as answer questions about the study.



Tips + Taps: Integrating Apps into the Research Process

Mary Oberlies & April Kelley

George Mason University

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How do you create a library workshop on using apps for research and collaboration at an academic library?  What apps should you focus on?  By attending this poster session, participants will be able to identify criteria for evaluating apps.   Participants will also be able to develop tools to assess areas in which apps could contribute to student learning at their institution. 

The purpose of this study was to identify useful apps for research and collaboration and to develop a workshop for faculty, staff and students.  Blogs, webinars, and articles often recommend apps for academic libraries without explaining the selection process, evaluation criteria or why students and faculty will find the app useful.  Over a four-month period, we reviewed over 60 apps and identified 40 potential apps for demonstration.  We developed eight criteria to evaluate the applications for final selection based on the areas of reading, writing, and research.  Through the use of a survey, we identified the types of mobile technology, social media and apps our faculty, staff and students currently use and are interested in learning about.  The top ten apps that met our criteria and fit within our categories were covered in a workshop.   Following the workshop we asked participants to take a five-question assessment quiz to determine whether the apps were applicable to their work.  Further assessment of our work in developing the workshop identified future workshops and programs to conduct.



Seeds of Change: Pruning Perceptions of Plagiarism into Ethical Behavior for STEM Students

Michelle Leonard, Denise Bennett, Amy Buhler, Margeaux Johnson & Melody Royster

University of Florida


Issues of academic integrity are well documented nationally in all disciplines, especially in engineering, which has one of the highest rates of infractions. In collaboration with internationally renowned academic integrity scholar, Donald McCabe, the science librarians at the University of Florida designed a survey to gauge perceptions of academic integrity (i.e. falsification of data, fabrication of data, plagiarism, cheating) among the departments they serve. This survey was distributed to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduate students and over 600 STEM students responded with profound insights. This poster will share the methodology, quantitative results, and qualitative responses to the survey. We will also share the practical outreach efforts created in response to the complex issues raised by this assessment. Science librarians cultivated the concerns from these STEM students into new instructional opportunities, including Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) workshops, graduate seminars, campus-wide Ethics Week programming, RCR guides, and national funding to develop an online educational game. The impact from this original research is measured by the science librarians’ new role as recognized RCR experts, which has fostered new partnerships and expanded the libraries’ visibility on campus.



STEM on the Platform: Comparative Analysis of Multiple e-Book Providers

Tara Tobin Cataldo & Michelle Leonard

University of Florida


The University of Florida Libraries (UF), like many academic libraries, have been purchasing more e-books with each passing year. Unlike many others who stick with a handful of platforms, UF libraries currently have their collection of e-books available in over 30 different platforms. While this presents quite a challenge in terms of management it also presents an excellent opportunity for comparative analysis. Recent research focuses on the analysis of packages and the “big” deals, and highlights usage statistics but do not go into depth about the platforms and publishers. In this poster, we will perform such an analysis on the platforms hosting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) e-books. This will include a mix of aggregators such as MyiLibrary, ebrary, and Knovel, and publishers, including CRC, Elsevier and Wiley. Variables that will be analyzed include subject coverage, purchasing options, formats, platform features, DRM, mobile device capabilities, usage statistics and cost per use breakdowns. From this assessment, librarians will be able to determine the type of platforms that may best suit their budgets and meet the needs of their patrons.