University of Texas at Arlington

Scholarly Communication

News blog

Open Data Day: Hackathon Recap

by Peace Ossom Williamson Mar 20 2019 - 5:02pm
ODD@UTA Hackathon Thumbnail

"Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. For the ninth time in history, groups from around the world will create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities." To celebrate and encourage the use of open data, the UTA Libraries sponsored a hackathon, or a "project marathon," where individuals came together to form groups, come up with an idea, and see that very idea through to completion all in one sitting.


The hackathon website is at


UTA Libraries partnered with Golden Key,...

Open Education Day at UTA

by Michelle Reed Feb 17 2019 - 3:01pm
Featured in Open Education Week 2019

UTA Libraries and the Center for Research on Teaching and Learning Excellence are excited to announce Open Education Day at UTA to be held on Thursday, March 7, in Central Library. Registration is free but required by March 3 noon on March 5 for the UTA community. Lunch will be served during the noon session, and seating is limited.

Introduction to OER

10 - 11:40 a.m., Central Library Parlor

We’ll define open educational resources (OER), examine the impact of OER use in higher education, discuss copyright and open licensing, and explore avenues for identifying existing...

Inclusive Design Webcast Series: Presentation Recap

by Michelle Reed Feb 12 2019 - 5:23pm
Disability symbols

To promote a proactive approach to accessibility, UTA Libraries are screening the BCcampus Inclusive Design Webinar Series at noon each Tuesday in February in Central Library B04. 

Today’s session by Josie Gray of BCcampus focused on creating accessible presentations. Josie began by reminding us that our first consideration when developing presentation materials should be the audience in the room. Ensuring that everyone can hear, read, and see the content of your presentation is crucial, and presenters should consider how to prepare for attendees who can’t engage in these activities...

College of Science Funds OER Development

by Michelle Reed Sep 12 2018 - 12:50pm
Melissa Walsh

Melissa Walsh, Lecturer in UTA’s Department of Biology, was recently awarded an Improving Student Success in Science grant totaling $8,300 for her project titled, “Development and Implementation of a Sustainable Open Educational Resources Curriculum for Biology 1441: Cell and Molecular Biology.”


The funding...

Upcoming "Sprint" to Help Faculty Prepare Grant Applications

by Michelle Reed Jul 20 2018 - 6:08am

A new grant program from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) provides funding up to $10,000 per grant for full-time faculty. The program supports the adoption, modification, redesign, or development of courses that use open educational resources (OER). At this time, only lower-division courses offered within the Texas General Education Core Curriculum are eligible.

To support UTA faculty interested in submitting an application for this grant funding, the Libraries are hosting two OER Grant Application Sprints in Central Library 315A on the dates listed below. RSVP...

Libraries Launch Authoring Platform, Publish First OER

by Michelle Reed Jun 22 2018 - 4:07pm
Book cover for Creating Online Learning Experiences

Like many organizations supporting the use of open educational resources (OER) in higher education, UTA Libraries recently invested in PressbooksEDU to assist faculty and staff interested in creating or modifying OER. This week, we published the first OER in our catalog under the Mavs Open Press imprint.

“I am really excited to have our open book published with UTA,” said Dr. Matt Crosslin, lead author of Creating Online Learning Experiences: A Brief Guide to Online Courses, from Small and Private to Massive and Open. “Michelle and her team at the library have been incredibly...

Resources for Identifying Graphic Materials

by Samantha Dodd May 18 2018 - 12:51pm

The Image Permanence Institute (IPI) is a nonprofit, university-based laboratory devoted to preservation research. IPI provides many resources and tools for cultural institutions such as libraries, archives, and museums to enable the preservation of image collections and material culture.

One of the tools offered by the IPI is the Graphics Atlas. The atlas “is a sophisticated resource that presents a unique, object-based approach for the identification and characterization of prints and photographs”. Those interested in identifying materials found in their collections can use the...

Mavs Open Press Publishes First Digital, Open Access Volume of PALARA

by Jody Bailey Apr 26 2018 - 2:15pm
photo of Jody Bailey

As Director of Publishing for the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries’ Mavs Open Press, I am pleased to announce that we recently published volume 21 of the Publication of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association (PALARA). This two-decade-old journal was previously only available in print by subscription. 

“As co-editor, I wanted to continue the journal’s stellar publication reputation and increase the number of persons who have access to scholarly material written about Afro-Latin American literature and culture,” said Dr. Sonja Watson. “In addition, I wanted to decrease...

When an African American Lit. Scholar & Computer Scientist Collaborate: #TheJayZMixtape

by Peace Ossom Williamson Apr 3 2018 - 11:16am
Kenton Rambsy Headshot

by guest contributor Kenton Rambsy, Assistant Professor of African American Literature and Digital Humanities, UTA College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Rambsy is chronicling his research partnerships with UTA Libraries in a series of blog posts. This is post #1.


What kinds of exciting creations might a collaboration between an African American literature professor and computer science graduate student yield? I was interested in finding out.  


Last year, I collaborated on a project with Saif Sayed, a PhD candidate in Deep Learning...

The Semester You Learn to Walk (a lecture)

by Michelle Reed Mar 6 2018 - 8:28am
Photo of Ursula Abdala

This student-authored post is part of UTA Libraries’ Open Education Week celebration. It was written by Ursula Abdala. If you’re a UTA student interested in contributing a blog post related to educational resources, contact Michelle Reed.

You start a semester with 700 dollars from working all through winter break.

365 (rent) 165 (parking on campus) 105 (car insurance) 10 (month supply of instant noodles)

I’ll save you the trouble of doing math: by the first day of classes, you actually have 55 dollars to last until the next paycheck. None of the books you need for class will...

HerStory Edit-a-thon

by Samantha Dodd Feb 21 2018 - 10:19am

Wikipedia is the fifth most visited website in the world. Its fundamental principles include free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute, neutrality, and collective engagement. According to Wikipedia’s study of its user community, less than 10% of Wikipedia’s editors are women. Other studies have also found that new female editors are more likely than male editors to have their edits reverted. Wikipedia has fewer and less extensive articles about women or topics important to women.

Because Wikipedia is open access and open source, there are tools to make changes and to...

Open Education Week at UTA: Events for Teachers

by Michelle Reed Feb 14 2018 - 1:43pm
Open Education Week 2018

During Open Education Week, UTA CARES will offer a number of events in support of UTA educators interested in exploring all that open education has to offer.


  Open Office Hours


Stop by Central Library B20 with your syllabus for...

Open Education Grant Program Now Accepting Proposals

by Michelle Reed Feb 7 2018 - 2:48pm
Sign that reads "Come in, We're Open"

UTA Libraries are now accepting proposals for the UTA CARES Grant Program. Funding of up to $10,000 per project is available to support work that advances the practice of open education. Applications will be accepted in three categories until March 19.

UTA will save students over $168,000 in Spring 2018 due to the use of open educational resources (OER) and other free materials in place of high-cost, commercial textbooks and bundles. UTA faculty who have transitioned to these types of resources spoke about their experiences in the Libraries’ Textbook Hero Video Series.


Drawn to Politics

by Samantha Dodd Jan 16 2018 - 11:22am

Newly added to the vast holdings of the Special Collections at the University of Texas at Arlington is the work of long-time Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial cartoonist Etta Hulme. Gifted to the University from the Hulme family, this collection consists of over ten thousand original cartoons, sketches, and other artwork.

Etta Hulme (1923 -2014) grew up in Sommerville, Texas, and went on to major in Fine Arts at the University of Texas. After graduation, Etta headed west to California to begin her cartooning career in the animation department at Walt Disney Studios. Etta traveled...

Mythbusting 101: Reflecting on a Year of Open

by Michelle Reed Dec 21 2017 - 4:16pm
Year of Open 2017

Earlier this year, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) published “OER Mythbusting.” The document identifies seven common myths related to open educational resources (OER) and presents facts to counter the myths. In my discussions with UTA faculty and administrators about OER over the past year, I’ve been asked to address a few of the myths in multiple conversations. Below I’ll discuss these and others I’ve encountered in my time at UTA.

“OER are just free resources.”

Conflating free and open is incredibly common. However, the distinction is important....

How Keeping the 'Net Neutral Helps Libraries and You

by Peace Ossom Williamson Dec 5 2017 - 3:41pm
Cracked Wifi Icon

A note on the blog post title: The net in "net neutrality" is actually short for network, but the phrase in its current use is centered on the internet. To speak in favor of net neutrality, email your members of Congress using this form or fax or mail a letter using It takes no time at all.


Here's what is happening: Ajit Pai, a former Verizon attorney and the current Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced a proposal in May to roll back FCC protections of net neutrality, and this proposal will go up for a vote among the five FCC...

Textbook Hero Video Series: Episode Four

by Michelle Reed Nov 30 2017 - 9:37am
Open is for everyone

UTA Libraries’ Textbook Hero video series showcases educators who have adopted open educational resources or other affordable course content, which reduces barriers to education.

Dr. Bonnie Boardman, featured in episode four, replaced a traditional textbook with video tutorials and problem sets available through, which allowed her to flip her classroom into a lecture-free, active-learning space. Content available through Lynda is fully protected by copyright and, therefore, is not remix and revisable in the way open educational resources are; however, the university’s...

OA Week Explores Wikipedia

by Samantha Dodd Nov 14 2017 - 11:16am
Wikipedia Logo

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its tenth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.

With that in mind, it only made since to take a closer look at Wikipedia, the fifth most visited website in the world, whose fundamental principles include free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute, neutrality, and collective...

Textbook Hero Video Series: Episode Three

by Michelle Reed Oct 20 2017 - 1:13pm
Open is for everyone

UTA Libraries’ Textbook Hero video series showcases educators who have adopted open educational resources or other affordable course content, which reduces barriers to education. Faculty and staff from UTA's Department of History, featured in episode three, have saved UTA students over $388,700 since Summer 2016 by using an open textbook published by OpenStax in all online sections of two introductory history courses.

Your Work, Your Rights: Retain Your Copyright

by Jody Bailey Oct 2 2017 - 5:21pm
A doctoral student wants to reuse a journal article she published a few months ago in her forthcoming article-based dissertation. A history faculty member wants to distribute an article he wrote to all his students.  A sociology scholar creates an amazing infographic and publishes it as part of a journal article then later decides to reuse it in a book. An animal behavior researcher creates a series of photographs of an experiment that tests the cognitive capacity of capuchin monkeys and publishes these photos to illustrate the research in a scholarly journal; her colleague wants to use one...

Textbook Hero Video Series: Episode Two

by Michelle Reed Sep 27 2017 - 9:00pm
Open is for everyone

UTA Libraries’ Textbook Hero video series showcases educators who have adopted open educational resources or other affordable course content, which reduces barriers to education. Dr. Allan Saxe, featured in episode two, has saved UTA students over $561,000 since Fall 2010 by using public domain materials in his courses.

Textbook Hero Video Series: Episode One

by Michelle Reed Sep 21 2017 - 5:02pm
Open is for everyone

This week, Inside Higher Ed reported on a survey that linked high textbook costs in higher education to poor grades. The research, commissioned by an e-textbook provider, supports a growing body of evidence that suggests the use of open and affordable course resources can positively impact student success, resulting in higher course grades and lower drop, failure, and withdrawal rates.

Anecdotal evidence collected over the last year at the University of Texas at Arlington confirms that the high, and frequently surprising, cost of course resources poses a significant barrier to our...

UTA Libraries Awarded $25,000 TexTreasures Grant to Digitize World War II Photo Negatives

by Jody Bailey Aug 17 2017 - 3:30pm
Mother-Daughter banquet, 1944 (detail)

UTA Libraries will scan 15,000 negatives from its Fort Worth Star-Telegram Photographic Collection thanks to a $25,000 TexTreasures grant awarded by the Texas State Library & Archives Commission. The project continues an effort started last year to digitize negatives documenting the transformation of Fort Worth during World War II. The images, most of which were never published, show young men crowding military recruiting stations, women selling war bonds, and the construction of Liberator Village which housed workers building B-24 “Liberator” bomber planes.

Soldiers from Camp...

Largest release of digital catalog records in history

by Samantha Dodd Aug 16 2017 - 12:00pm

Before computers and Google, if you wanted to find a book about the Alamo, or search for materials related to the Texas Revolution, you found yourself digging into a card catalog. In this early system an individual could find resources by title, author, publication date, subject headings and genre. Catalog records can be traced back to just after the French Revolution when the revolutionary government used playing cards to document property seized from the church. Before the widespread use of typewritten cards, cards for the catalogs were handwritten, the objective being to create...

Research Data Services in Support of New Campus Needs

by Peace Ossom Williamson Aug 8 2017 - 7:27pm
Data Viz Sketches by Lauren Manning

Do you work with data? Then we have services and resources to help you. For quantitative and qualitative analysis, our UTA Libraries' Research Data Services (RDS) include the following assistance with data management:

reviewing data management plans in grant proposals, providing consultations around best practices in managing and curating data, and serving as data management specialists on research projects.

RDS also serves other roles around the use of data-related tools. Our staff members provide expert consultations and group or one-on-one training for researchers, faculty,...

UTA Libraries Documents World War II Life in Fort Worth, Texas

by Jody Bailey Jul 21 2017 - 11:15am

by guest contributor Jeff Downing, Digital Projects Librarian, UTA Libraries Digital Creation Department

In 1940, Fort Worth was a slow-paced city whose economy depended on cotton, cattle, and oil. By 1945, it was a fast-growing economic dynamo generating tens of thousands of jobs related to World War II. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (FWST) captured this transformative time in photographs, documenting the war effort, industrial expansion, and everyday life on the home front.

Fort Worth determinedly sought connections to the defense industry in the 1940s. The city became home...

UTA Libraries Creates Mavs Open Press to Offer No-Cost Publishing Service

by Jody Bailey Jul 5 2017 - 4:14pm
photo of Jody Bailey
The Problem

In the past few decades, authors, editors, and publishers of academic journals have witnessed dramatic changes in the scholarly publishing environment. The days of small, nonprofit societies publishing print-only journals are long gone (with a few exceptions), and for-profit, commercial publishers have taken over the market, with many adverse consequences. In 1973 Elsevier (part of the RELX Group), Wiley-Blackwell, Springer Publishing, Taylor & Francis Group, and Sage Publications collectively published approximately 20% of journal articles across all disciplines; these...

Building Community: Reflections on Conference Going

by Michelle Reed Jun 29 2017 - 9:44am

This week applications opened for OpenCon 2017, which will take place November 11-13 in Berlin, Germany. OpenCon, now in its fourth year, is an annual conference intended to empower students and early career professionals to advance open initiatives in scholarly publishing, data, and education. Last year the organizing committee received over 10,000 applications from 176 countries. In November, 230 of those applicants, representing 60 countries, gathered together for three days in Washington, DC. Many others attended virtually, and over 30 satellite events were hosted around the world....

Pioneer of Open Education Presents at UTA

by Michelle Reed Jun 21 2017 - 7:16pm
David Wiley presents at UTA Libraries

Yesterday UTA Libraries in partnership with the LINK Research Lab welcomed Dr. David Wiley, a pioneer of open education, to campus for a public presentation held in the Central Library.

The event kicked off with an announcement about the UTA CARES grant program, sponsored by the Libraries, which recently awarded its first round of grants in support of projects that further open education at UTA. In 2017, the Libraries awarded four grants to Dr. Sharareh Kermanshachi (Civil Engineering), Bret Lathwell (Sociology), Dr. Mohan Pant (Curriculum and Instruction), and Alicia Soueid (Modern...

Calling All Textbook Heroes

by Michelle Reed May 5 2017 - 1:21pm
Textbook Hero

During Open Education Week, an international celebration of the impact open education has on teaching and learning, UTA Libraries asked students to nominate a Textbook Hero for a chance to win a $50 gift card. Our Textbook Heroes are teachers whose thoughtful selection of free or low-cost educational resources has a positive impact on UTA students. We’re excited to announce that Ellen Dinh is our first gift card winner for her nomination of Dr. Jonathan Abel.

Dr. Abel uses U.S. History, an open textbook published by OpenStax, in his History 1311 and 1312 courses. The digital version...


by Samantha Dodd May 1 2017 - 11:16am
MayDay 2017

Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! What happens when a hurricane wipes out the records of an entire city? What if a fire burns up a family’s ancestry or a local business’ records? Disasters happen every day, some a result of accidents, are natural. Preparation and planning are essential to help prevent damage and destruction that may result from a disaster. On May 1st each year archivists and heritage professionals around the world participate in MayDay. This day is a grassroots effort to raise awareness of archives and the potential disasters and dangers they face. Protecting our heritage is...

APS and CERN Sign an Open Access Agreement for SCOAP3

by Jody Bailey Apr 28 2017 - 4:12pm
CERN logo
Exciting news from the world of particle physics research and open access publishing

"The American Physical Society (APS) and The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), as the Host Organization of SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics), are pleased to announce that they have entered into an agreement to publish high-energy physics (HEP) articles in three leading journals of the APS – Physical Review Letters, Physical Review D, and Physical Review C -- under an open access agreement. Under this agreement, authors of articles having a...

Faculty Creative Works 2016

by Jody Bailey Apr 7 2017 - 3:06pm
Faculty Creative Works 2016

The Libraries of the University of Texas at Arlington are pleased to host the ninth annual UTA Celebration of Faculty Creative Works. This event showcases the art, books, juried exhibits, music, media, patents, conference presentations, and journal contributions of UTA faculty in 2016. The Libraries initiated this event to shine a spotlight on the impressive depth and breadth of scholarship and creativity produced by UTA faculty. Here, for example, is an art piece by UTA Department of Art + Art History faculty member Kenda North. 


"Bouquet 12" by Kenda North



An Open Letter to UTA Students

by Michelle Reed Mar 30 2017 - 11:28pm
Open Education Week Poster

Hi there,

If I could take a moment to introduce myself. I’m Michelle. I’m your Open Education Librarian, and I joined the team at UTA Libraries about six months ago to save you money. I’ve asked you what you think about textbooks, and I want you to know that we hear you. Textbook costs are a problem. We have a solution. It’s called open educational resources (OER). If you’ve been in the University Center this week, you may have seen some of them. They’re free textbooks, essentially, but they look a lot like the ones you pay hundreds of dollars for. If you like the sound of that,...

UTA Libraries Join Institutions across the Globe in Celebrating Open Education

by Michelle Reed Mar 16 2017 - 2:57pm
Open Education Week 2017

In celebration of Open Education Week, UTA Libraries will host a series of events for faculty, staff, and students intended to raise awareness of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices at UTA. Additionally, stop by the E.H. Hereford University Center anytime during the week of March 27-31 to check out our Open Education Week display, which features Textbook Heroes who are leveraging open resources to reduce textbook costs for UTA students.

Monday, March 27

We’ll kick off Open Education Week with an opportunity for students to speak out about textbooks. Take...

Disability Records: Accessibility at the University of Texas at Arlington

by Rafia Mirza Mar 10 2017 - 8:05am
Sports ‘N Spokes Cover, May/June 1992

This post is about the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries’ Texas Disability History Collection and was written by UTA’s Jeff Downing and Betty Shankle.

July’s oven-like heat drenched Jim Hayes’ shirt with sweat as he pulled cable for Western Electric one last time. On Monday he was going to trade his workman’s clothes for the olive drab of the Army, but today was his 18th birthday and he intended to celebrate.

Once home, he shoehorned eight of his family and friends into his 1963 Ford Fairlane and made the short drive to Fort Worth’s Lake Benbrook.  During the ride...

Blog Submissions

by Rafia Mirza Jan 20 2017 - 3:09pm

The goal of the UTA Libraries Scholarly Communication Division blog is to highlight our initiatives, collections, people, events, collaborations, and services.

We invite anyone in the UT Arlington community doing work around scholarly communications to submit interviews, reviews, and other material to the blog, and offer the following guide for submissions.

A blogpost is piece of writing typically shorter and less formal than most articles but comprising at least one or two paragraphs. The blogger introduces or comments on a topic, which perhaps leads to a broader discussion...