UC Libraries seek to archive response and reactions to COVID-19 pandemic

Libraries play an important role in preserving and archiving history — even while history is being made. As we grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the University of Cincinnati Libraries seek to collect information, websites and documents related to how we are living and working during this challenging time.

The CoronArchive: Documenting the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions at the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library seeks to collect experiences from University of Cincinnati faculty, students and staff as they pertain to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This could take the form of journal or diary entries, photographs or other forms of media. These materials should in some way reflect how this virus is affecting individuals.

“A lot is happening surrounding the course of this pandemic and, although it affects everyone, it affects each person very differently. The Winkler Center wants to capture the diversity of experiences, document the present and preserve it for the future,” said Gino Pasi, archivist and curator at the Winkler Center. “At some point this pandemic will end, and years from now, the ways people think, talk about and study it will be done through what is left behind. This archive will be one of those resources.”

The Winkler Center asks that faculty, students and staff consider sharing their thoughts, memories, documents and media for posterity. All materials or questions can be e-mailed to the Winkler Center at chhp@uc.edu or to Pasi at gino.pasi@uc.edu, or mailed to the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, UC Libraries, 231 Albert Sabin Way, P.O. Box 0574, Cincinnati, OH 45267.

No material should include protected health information or violate patient and student privacy laws.


Archives and Rare Books Library Preserving COVID-19 University Websites

The Archives and Rare Books Library is using Archive-It to preserve important University of Cincinnati websites. The average life span of a web page is between 44 and 100 days. Web pages are notoriously fragile documents, and many of the web resources we take for granted are at risk of disappearing.

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, the library is using Archive-It to capture various UC domain web pages dedicated to the pandemic’s impact on the university community. “This kind of rapid response web archiving will ensure we preserve a historical record of this monumental event at UC for future researchers,” said Eira Tansey, digital archivist and records manager. You can view the UC COVID-19 website archive, which is being updated on a daily basis.

So far, the library has collected several gigabytes of data and more than 20 websites, including each college’s COVID-19 page. Since some pages update more frequently than others, the library can schedule crawls (i.e. the process of archiving a webpage) of pages like https://www.uc.edu/publichealth.html on a more frequent basis in order to capture all of the changes.

To suggest a website that should be included in the COVID-19 UC web archive, e-mail eira.tansey@uc.edu. Please note that at this time, the library is currently only crawling public-facing web pages directly related to the UC community of students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The University of Cincinnati Libraries are stewards of the scholarly and historical output of the university. Collecting, preserving and making available the records of how the university dealt with and was affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is one way we work to achieve our mission to empower discovery, stimulate learning and inspire the creation of knowledge by connecting students, faculty, researchers and scholars to dynamic data, information and resources.

Digital Scholarship Center Receives Grant to Develop Text Mining and Summarization Methods to Aid in COVID-19 Research

The Digital Scholarship Center’s James Lee, PhD, and Danny Wu, PhD, MSI, Department of Biomedical Informatics, are one of 11 recipients of the College of Medicine’s Special Coronavirus (COVID-19) Research Pilot Grant Program. An opportunity open to all UC colleges in the Academic Health Center, the program was established to rapidly support the development of innovative studies that will contribute significantly to knowledge of COVID-19 in hopes to have significant impact on treatment, diagnosis and management of the infection or its prevention. With financial support from the UC Office of Research directed by Dr. Pat Limbach, and the College of Medicine Office of Research, the Special Coronavirus (COVID-19) Research Pilot Grant Program awarded a total of $425,000 to recipients.

The Digital Scholarship Center’s proposal, “Using Intelligent Text Mining and Summarization Methods to Address COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Challenge,” received a grant totaling $25,000 to develop a text mining pipeline and web-based intelligent query system to extract and summarize relevant COVID-19 related literature. The long-term research objective of the project is to create a usable and generalizable information resource to search scientific literature and generate knowledge through human-centered AI approaches.

“We anticipate the project to have important impacts within our research group, the university and the research community as a whole,” said James Lee, associate vice provost for digital scholarship, associate dean of libraries and director of the Digital Scholarship Center. “In building the intelligent query system, a broader impact will be made in the greater research community as we will develop a tool that can take any Coronavirus related question and summarize the literature.”

The intelligent query system will be evaluated on its usability and released to all researchers at the university as a self-service tool to support their COVID-19 research projects. Therefore, the system will likely have a great impact on the research productivity at the university, especially when many COVID-19 related grants have been or will be released in the next few months. “We anticipate that the intelligent query system could be a valuable tool to help understand and defeat this novel Coronavirus,” said Lee.

The Digital Scholarship Center is a catalyst for collaborative, trans-disciplinary forms of research and teaching, bringing together humanistic methods with technical innovations. For more information, visit their website https://dsc.uc.edu/.

Documenting COVID-19 in University Archives

At the Archives and Rare Books Library, we recently began using Archive-It to preserve important university websites. The average life span of a webpage is between 44 and 100 days. Web pages are notoriously fragile documents, and many of the web resources we take for granted are at risk of disappearing.

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, we are using Archive-It to capture various UC domain webpages dedicated to the pandemic’s impact on the university community. This kind of rapid response web archiving will ensure we preserve a historical record of this monumental event at UC for future researchers. You can currently view the UC COVID-19 website archive, which is being updated on a daily basis.

So far, we have collected several gigabytes of data, and over 20 websites, including each college’s COVID-19 page. Since some pages update more frequently than other, we schedule crawls (i.e. the process of archiving a webpage) of pages like https://www.uc.edu/publichealth.html on a more frequent basis in order to capture all of the changes.

The Archives and Rare Books Library is not the only archival repository documenting the experience of COVID-19. Dozens of other institutions, including many other Ohio college and university archives, are also collecting and preserving this fast-moving event. One of the largest COVID-19 collections so far is a collaboration between the International Internet Preservation Consortium and Archive-It, which has now collected more than 2,763 websites in 30 languages about the worldwide response to the pandemic.

There has been growing interest over the last several years in developing ethical frameworks around documenting crises within the archives profession. In response, the Society of American Archivists created a Tragedy Response Initiative Task Force that has developed a comprehensive set of guidelines based on archivists’ professional ethics and values. Previous examples of online archiving projects of crises and traumatic events include the September 11 Digital Archive, Hurricane Katrina Digital Memory Bank, and Documenting Ferguson. Given the global reach of COVID-19 and the advances in web archiving and digital projects, the pandemic is likely to become one of the most well-documented global events in recent history.

Would you like to suggest a website that we should include in our COVID-19 UC web archive? Please email us to suggest new UC sites to preserve in our COVID-19 web archives. Please note that at this time, we are currently only crawling public-facing webpages directly related to the UC community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Emergency Online Access to Science and Engineering Books via HathiTrust Digital Library

HathiTrust Logo

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of physical library spaces, the HathiTrust Digital Library has opened up emergency temporary access to digitized materials usually protected by copyright. This Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) is available for HathiTrust member institutions like UC and will remain available until regular access to UC libraries physical collections is restored.  The service allows UC users to “checkout” books that we have identified as owning in print that are also part of the HathiTrust digital collection.

Susan Hight, Technical and Public Services Specialist, did fantastic work tracking down science and engineering textbooks and highly circulating print books that are now available digitally under this Emergency Temporary Access Service.

  • Check here to browse newly available digitized textbooks.
  • Check here to browse  highly circulating print books.

The science and engineering libraries maintain access to many online textbooks for students which can be browsed here. As always, please check out our updated Sciences library and CEAS Library websites. For help, contact Ask-A-Librarian or Ted.Baldwin@uc.edu.

Freely-Available ISO Standards: Help with COVID19 Crisis

 

 

 

To speed response efforts for the COVID-19 global health crisis, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is providing free access to a group of key ISO international standards.

These 31 standards, from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), concern medical / PPE equipment and devices including ventilators and respiratory equipment; protective clothing used in health care settings; and business continuity management, security, and resilience.

To access these free ISO standards, you must accept the license agreement and register. Once registered, log in at https://asc.ansi.org

(Note: These standards are accessible in read-only format. Download/printing is not available.)

These free ISO standards build upon UC Libraries’ existing subscriptions to all standards from ASTM, IEEE, NFPA and other organizations.  Access all online sources at http://proxy.libraries.uc.edu/login?url=http://guides.libraries.uc.edu/ceasstandards .

For help accessing these or other standards, Ask a Science & Engineering Librarian.

New Science & Engineering Online Resources

Good news! We have expanded access to online encyclopedias & compendiums on some major science & engineering topics.


The UC Science & Engineering Libraries have added several brand-new and updated online reference works from ScienceDirect / Elsevier. Enjoy these new resources for extensive information on science and technology topics, including details on current discoveries and research.

To locate many useful science & engineering resources for classes and research, please check out our updated Sciences library and CEAS Library websites. For help, contact Ask-A-Librarian or Ted.Baldwin@uc.edu .  Thanks!


Comprehensive Biotechnology (3rd edition) 2019
— one-stop shop on all aspects of biotechnology (4,800+ pages), including scientific fundamentals, engineering considerations and applications in industry, agriculture, medicine, the environment, socio-economics and government regulatory overviews.

http://proxy.libraries.uc.edu/login?url=https://www.sciencedirect.com/referencework/9780444640475/comprehensive-biotechnology

Comprehensive Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (2nd edition) 2019
— 1,800+ pages detailing every aspect of this growing field, including the latest updates on biological devices, nanomaterials, nanochemistry, nanofabrication, and applications of nanotechnology.

http://proxy.libraries.uc.edu/login?url=https://www.sciencedirect.com/referencework/9780128122969/comprehensive-nanoscience-and-nanotechnology


Additional NEW encyclopedias:

 

 

Online Options for Children’s Literature

Your CECH Library and local public libraries may be closed, but there are still several ways to access the children’s literature resources you need for classes, research, teaching, and learning — or simply keeping the kids in your life entertained! This blog post will feature a few key resources.

TumbleBook Library is an online collection of books. There are animated talking picture books, e-books, and informational videos. TumbleBook also offers games and quizzes. There are books in English, French, and Spanish. The site also features lists of books that meet specific Common Core Standards. TumbleBook Library can be accessed for free with your UC Login. Connect to TumbleBook Library

International Children’s Digital Library is a free collection of children’s books from all over the world. There are books in many different languages, including award winners. Connect to the International Children’s Digital Library

BookFlix is a resource provided through INFOhio. It pairs fiction and non-fiction picture books for themed lessons. Each lesson contains an animated read-along and an e-book as well as activities and additional information. It has books in English and Spanish, including classic favorites like Knuffle Bunny, Where the Wild Things Are, and Harold and the Purple Crayon. INFOhio login required for access. Email the CECH Library at cechlibrary@uc.edu for login info. Connect to BookFlix

A full list of online resources for children’s and young adult literature can be found on our Children’s and Young Adult Literature guide. Additional online resources may also be available from your local public library as well.

Haley Shaw, Temporary Librarian
CECH Library

Welcome Back Online from UC Libraries

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Welcome back from Spring Break! While all library physical locations are closed, the University of Cincinnati Libraries remains open online and ready to support teaching, learning and research.

During this time of social isolation, libraries play an important role as a provider of resources and information expertise. UC Libraries’ online presence provides access to the services, resources and people to enable research and scholarly work.

Today, we are pleased to launch a new, specially designed landing page – https://libraries.uc.edu/online.html. This page serves as a portal to access key online library resources such as databases, e-journals and research guides, as well as to free information resources from global cultural and heritage organizations. Users can ask reference or research questions through Chat, e-mail or direct contact to a subject librarian or staff member. The page also offers direct search of the library catalog, and links to key online services such as Interlibrary Loan to request e-resources and how to connect from off campus. We will update this portal page as we continue to transform many of our services into the online environment.

As the library locations remain closed, users are encouraged to keep all library materials. Due dates have been extended and fines will not be incurred for UC, OhioLINK or Interlibrary Loan items. Please do not leave items outside of the library.

The University of Cincinnati Libraries continue to work toward our mission to empower discovery, stimulate learning and inspire the creation of knowledge by connecting students, faculty, researchers and scholars to dynamic data, information and resources.

Take care and stay well. We look forward to the day when we can work with you all in person again, but in the meantime, please work with UC Libraries online.

Xuemao Wang,
Vice Provost for Digital Scholarship and Dean and University Librarian

Health Sciences Library Closing at 5:30pm, March 17

Effective 5:30 pm, Tuesday, March 17, the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library and the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions and will close until further notice.

Library users are encouraged to keep library materials. Fines will not be incurred for UC, OhioLINK or Interlibrary Loan items.

The Winkler Center staff will continue to answer reference and research questions. Please leave a voicemail message at (513)555-5120, or e-mail chhp@uc.edu and they will respond as soon as possible.

For service updates and links to online library resources, check https://libraries.uc.edu/about/covid-19.html. Library faculty and staff are committed to serving our users online as best we can.