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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The UCLA Library is a campus-wide network of libraries serving programs of study and research in many fields. In addition to its extensive and varied print collections, the Library provides access to a growing collection of electronic resources and collaborates with UCLA faculty and staff on a variety of digital projects.

UCLA Library

There are 1019 publications in this collection, published between 1970 and 2019.
Information Literacy (4)

UCLA Information Literacy Program. Blended Instruction Course (BICo) Task Force Report

In Spring 2005, the UCLA Information Literacy Program charged a Task Force to investigate blended instruction options for information literacy credit courses and labs. The BICo Task Force was charged with investigating and making recommendations for a model 1-unit information literacy blended instruction course which would combine elements of in-person and online instruction. The Task Force looked into existing blended instruction courses, both for information literacy and for other disciplines, including those proposed by faculty in response to a 2004 UCLA Office of Instructional Development RFP for blended instruction courses, and made recommendations regarding expected learning outcomes, curricula, assignments and grading, instructional formats, types of technology (hardware & software) used to teach "blended courses," and assessment of effectiveness, as well as training needs.

Information Competence at UCLA: Report of a Survey Project

Librarians have long had anecdotal evidence that undergraduates do not possess adequate information skills for some of the coursework they are required to complete. To obtain an objective measure of their information competence, the UCLA Library's Instructional Services Advisory Committee (ISAC) conducted an assessment project. The committee created a list of competencies and a survey instrument, which was administered to a sample of 453 undergraduates in Spring 1999. This report explains the research problem and methodology, explores the findings and conclusions of the research project, and makes recommendations based on the data.

The main goal of the project was to identify ways to make library instruction more effective at UCLA. A practical objective was to obtain data to use in discussions with faculty about students' information and research skills, the impact of those abilities on students' coursework, and the potential of library instruction to improve them.

The instrument ISAC created sought to measure how skillful or knowledgeable students were in general with library resources, online searching, and information-seeking concepts, rather than to assess the efficacy of existing library instructional programs. The instrument was vetted in several ways over the course of the project and was administered in a non-course-related classroom setting to a broad sample of students. A data analyst from the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) oversaw the coding of data and performed several types of analysis on it to test hypotheses and verify significant findings.

Results indicate many gaps in students' understanding of resources and methods, which are discussed in detail in the report. The general level of information literacy as assessed by the instrument was low. Statistically significant findings based on an analysis of average scores and student demographics are:

-Students who reported frequent use of library resources scored higher on the test.

-Seniors scored higher than each of the other classes taken separately or combined. While seniors scored highest, class level was otherwise not a significant factor; that is, there was no difference between the mean scores of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

-Students whose majors are in the humanities scored higher than students majoring either in the social sciences or sciences.

The results did not allow ISAC to identify causes for these findings, although a number of hypotheses are possible. It is not clear whether or in what way the statistically significant results are substantively significant.

The mean scores of students who reported having had a high quantity of library instruction or tours were also analyzed. Although these students did not score significantly higher on the test, two thirds of them had their library classes or tours in high school; the number who had the sessions in college was so small that the result for this variable is not particularly meaningful.

Based on the results of this project and the collective experience of committee members, ISAC has made several recommendations aimed at the goal of increasing information competence. Library staff should share the key findings with faculty and create a dialogue about the information competence of their students. This might include discovering how faculty view students' information skills and exploring the effect of increased library use on information competence. Library staff should work with faculty and academic departments to define, adopt, and promote sets of basic and discipline- or major-oriented competencies; these should be used to develop library instruction that is part of a curriculum-integrated information literacy program. The Library should take a more systematic approach to instructional initiatives - which may include Web-based instruction, course-integrated instruction, courses, and remote learning mechanisms. Areas for further research and recommendations about the use of the instrument are also included in the report.

Faculty Focus Groups: UCLA Information Literacy Initiative

The UCLA Library’s Information Literacy Initiative sponsored faculty focus groups in May 2003 to gather information on faculty's perspectives on undergraduate students' abilities to locate information efficiently, evaluate it, and use it effectively and ethically. Twenty-seven faculty from a variety of disciplines and departments across the campus participated in the discussions.

A review of the transcripts indicates that the participants have many concerns surrounding this issue. Most notably were students' lack of understanding regarding the issues surrounding plagiarism and intellectual property; the inability of students to critically evaluate the quality of the material they have found; and students' lack of understanding of what constitutes the scholarly process (how that differs in different disciplines, how to not only gather information, but to analyze it, synthesize what is found and come up with their own interpretation of the material).

Faculty indicated that they handled the problem in a variety of ways. Some did not assign papers or projects that required the students to gather information from the literature in the field. Rather these faculty members had students analyze designated material or data sets, either in print or online, and draw conclusions from them.

Of those who did make assignments that required the use of the literature in the field, some restricted students to predetermined material either by putting it on reserve or giving students lists of titles and/or resources that were acceptable. While they acknowledged that this did not directly teach critical thinking and evaluative skills, the faculty hoped students might learn by example. The rest of the faculty that required literature-based research, tried to give the students some direction, but allowed the students to research on their own.

Other possible approaches were discussed from the perspective of the library, the faculty and the campus at large. Solutions included creating assignments or adapting ones already used to help introduce students to the problematic concepts and to the appropriate use of library materials; developing library sponsored and librarian taught courses to address the issues and bringing the issues to the attention of curriculum oversight committees on campus. Faculty and librarian collaborations were viewed as very effective approaches to dealing with these issues.

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Library Prize for Undergraduate Research (39)

“Numerical determination of Chern numbers and critical exponents for Anderson localization in tight-binding and related models”

Computational modules were developed to numerically determine electronic band structures, berry curvatures, Chern numbers, localization lengths, and critical exponents for tight- binding and related models. These modules were applied to a variety tight-binding and related models including the Hofstadter Model, Anderson Model, and the Chalker- Coddington model. When analytic solutions were available, numeric energy bands agreed with analytic solutions to within machine precision. In addition Chern numbers for well known models were reproduced, and localization lengths and critical exponents agreed with values in the literature.

 “The post-Cold War issues of the space conquest: Thoughts on the future of an increasingly attractive space”

Space has fascinated humans for centuries. However, a new era has begun sixty years ago when the first engine was launched into outer space, the Russian satellite Sputnik. This event participated to trigger a space race between the two leading countries of the time, opposed in the Cold War, the United-States and the USSR. It had direct consequences on international relations at the time and was also at the origin of significant scientific improvements in the space field. This paper aims to analyze how space activities have developed and changed after the end of the Cold War. While competition dominated space and its few governmental actors until the end of the 1980’s, a new model of international cooperation has appeared subsequently and continues to govern most of space activities today. The variety of actors operating in the space field has also considerably increased. On the one hand, developing countries have tried more and more to play a significant role, using space as a means to exist on the international stage. On the other hand, the role of the private sector has also risen a lot. These new actors may constitute a threat for the global cooperation that has been set up after the Cold War, as well as for the future of space. Over the years, an international and national regulation has developed to frame and control space activities, with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs as a leading actor. Today, space law seems to suffer legal gaps that need to be addressed to ensure the safety of all. In addition, new challenges have arisen with the increasing number of space actors, such as space debris or space tourism. In order to anticipate potential irreversible damages in outer space, as has happened on Earth, it is now crucial to take seriously these legal needs.

The New Pro-Choice: Legalizing Assisted Suicide

Suicide can be defined as either the decision to die when death is not imminent, or the choice to die in the circumstances of an already fatal and severely debilitating disease. End-of-life decision making has become more and more intertwined with the modern medical practice, as interest in assisted suicide has continually grown all over the world, especially in first-world countries that have high standards of medical care. Paradoxically, increasing focus on assisted suicide parallels the expanding capabilities of modern medicinal technologies to preserve life in situations of imminent death. It is evident that public policy and legal issues are closely tied with ethical problems posed by the relevant practice, and similarities surrounding the problems underlying the practice of assisted suicide are common to many countries. However, due to a variety of historical, cultural and political factors, the legal responses vary between these first-world countries in regards to the treatment of assisted suicide. The controversial topic results in responses that oscillate between the Hippocratic tradition that forbids any physician to actively bring about the death of a patient to legislation allowing assisted suicide as part of a legally protected patient right. Amidst the variety of legislative action and numerous rights-based arguments presented by both sides of the debate, it is evident that some form of legalization of assisted suicide is necessary, and should be allowed for not only patients who are in terminal conditions. Ultimately, criminal law should not dictate nor prohibit private, personal, and final choices in regards to ending one’s own life.

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Librarian Publications (13)

Ph.D. Holders in the Academic Library: The CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

This essay provides a detailed report of the CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program’s first four years and its outcomes, and draw conclusions about the role of this program in academic librarianship and in higher education more broadly. The experiences of CLIR Fellows are central to this analysis as they illustrate some of the challenges that programs of this sort will present, such as the need for new human resources categories, workflows, and procedures; new ways of capitalizing on the strengths of existing library professionals and providing retraining where needed; and new strategies for educating, retooling, and involving library users (especially faculty and other advanced scholars). Overall, this report shows that there is much that has worked well in the CLIR program for all involved. There is also much that could be improved, but in spite of this needed change, the CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program embodies the transition that academic libraries, as a whole, are undergoing. Consequently, the academic library profession would do well to learn from the CLIR Program experience and explore opportunities to create similar programs to meet other staffing and recruitment needs within the profession.

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Schol Comm For All! Reaching Diverse Populations with a Multipronged Scholarly Communication Outreach Strategy

The diverse populations that librarians serve on a college campus have different scholarly communication concerns about open access, academic publishing, author rights, and related issues. Many academic libraries expect their librarians to have some working knowledge of scholarly communication, but not all campuses have a dedicated functional specialist. Two librarians at a large research institution will demonstrate their methods for identifying and adequately addressing these issues in their campus community.

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Other Recent Work (3)

Awake 3.0

The first score in the UCLA Music Library, Hugo Davise Fund's Contemporary Score Edition. Composed by Tomàs Peire Serrate. Awake 3.0 is for mixed quintet. 

Research and Publication Practices of Asian Studies Faculty at UCLA

In early 2017, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Library joined 11 other institutions in the United States to participate in a qualitative study, led by Ithaka S+R, of the research and publication practices of Asian Studies faculty. This report summarizes the findings from the interviews of 34 ladder faculty in Asian Studies at UCLA and focuses on common and critical themes that emerged from the responses. It culminates with recommendations for the UCLA Library to implement in order to support the needs of these scholars and mitigate some of the challenges they face during the research and publication cycle.

Taking the Carpentry Model to Librarians

Library Carpentry is a growing community of instructors and lesson developers whose mission is to teach librarians the tools, techniques and best practices around working with data and using software to automate repetitive tasks. Using the pedagogical practices of live coding, pair programming, discussion and exercises, Library Carpentry creates a safe and collaborative space for important concepts in computing and data, including data manipulation and organization, using the computer to repeat things and the importance of text pattern matching. We teach these concepts using the Unix shell to repeat commands over text and data, regular expressions to match and operate on text strings, and OpenRefine to clean and standardize datasets. Not only do these skills help librarians create reproducible workflows and repeated operations for data-centric tasks, they give librarians a common language with researchers that can lead to a better mutual understanding of data issues and it paves the way to greater collaboration between the library and research departments. In the last two years, Library Carpentry has held two sprints to improve the lesson materials that included over 100 people at 13 sites worldwide. The California Digital Library (CDL) has been awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services that funds a two year, full-time North American Coordinator for Library Carpentry and discussions are starting about integrating with Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry. Currently, Library Carpentry instructors are trained and certified through Software Carpentry, and lessons for all of the Carpentries are created and maintained in Github, using the same templates. In the next year, Library Carpentry will map out an infrastructure of the growing community, formalize lesson development processes, expand its pool of instructors, and create more instructor trainers to meet the demand for Library Carpentry workshops around the globe.

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The University Librarian’s Publications (4)
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