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Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego Library

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Research works and presentations included here have been selected by the LAUC Research and Professional Development Committee of the UC San Diego Library.

Cover page of Exploring the (de)Colonial Gaze through Archival Analysis and Teaching

Exploring the (de)Colonial Gaze through Archival Analysis and Teaching


Who controls knowledge? How is indigenous knowledge shared, preserved, and maintained? Through an examination of the recently-digitized Papua New Guinea Patrol Reports in the Melanesian Archive at the UC San Diego Library, students dove into first-hand accounts from the post-World War II era of Papua New Guinea (PNG) to explore how remote indigenous communities were documented by kiaps or patrol officers, capturing information on village life such as census figures, languages spoken, health, food supply, tribal warfare and other local conditions.  The 5-week course called "Patrolling the Past to Explore the (de)colonial Gaze" was a CAT practicum (Culture, Art, and Technology) through Sixth College at UC San Diego.  In the course, students gained practical experience learning how to summarize the "aboutness" of texts and identify key subject terms of primary sources. On a theoretical level, students learned about the colonial history of Papua New Guinea, specifically thinking about how indigenous groups are represented by outsiders, who has access to knowledge, and methods of doing research in a decolonial way. They also focused on knowledge organization and forms of representation in order to consider how to create and curate digital data for audiences from all backgrounds. 

Descriptions of the course, the final syllabus, and blog posts written by the students were captured and shared on Knit, the UC San Diego Digital Commons open source teaching and community-building tool Commons In A Box (CBOX) at  By asking students to publicly share their reflections and class assignments via KNIT, students had to consider how they represented themselves and indigenous groups through their writing. The online platform alongside classroom meetings allowed for continual collaborations and interactions after class ended each day.   Using digital collections, especially historical archives, in the classroom allows for conversations about past representation, current access, and how archives can contribute to or hinder decolonial research.  It also allows for valuable collaborations between librarians, academics, and students.  

Co-taught by a Ph.D Candidate in Anthropology and a Librarian, the presentation will review the course objectives, share the teaching-and-learning and collaboration experience, as well as explain lessons learned through using a digital collection in the classroom and using CBOX as a tool for class engagement.  Through this presentation, we suggest that online platforms allow for collaboration, which when combined with archival analysis opens up the access to knowledge and learning often only available to those within academia.

Cover page of Developing a Sustainable Online Video Instructional Program through Lean Production Values and Assessment

Developing a Sustainable Online Video Instructional Program through Lean Production Values and Assessment


BACKGROUND: Online videos can support large-scale library instruction and reference consultations while reducing time and access barriers for users. However, the development of online videos entails a time investment, a learning curve, and an ongoing maintenance effort that can be more significant compared to other instructional modes. This project aimed to streamline video production and maintenance in order to establish a sustainable online instructional program. In this poster, we describe the lean production values and assessment techniques that facilitated efficient online video development.


DESCRIPTION: Our video production is grounded in three principles. First, create short videos; each covering a single learning objective. Second, use modular building blocks of video lectures, demos, and transcripts, which will facilitate future video revisions. Finally, rely on low-cost, self-sufficient production. This involves a production workflow that embraces low-cost technology to lower collaboration barriers. For video maintenance, we used assessment-driven methods. We rely on a periodic review cycle and survey feedback to identify necessary changes. Examining audience retention statistics help us identify high-impact areas for focused effort. Additionally, we conducted a qualitative 2x2 matrix analysis (for skill level and subject scope) to identify gaps and trends in our instructional videos. This identified strategies for future video development.


CONCLUSION: Through reflective practice, we observed several positive outcomes. First, short modular videos are easier to tailor instruction to different clinical audiences and to introduce self-instruction in the reference workflow. Second, our lean production flow enabled staff to work independently and efficiently such that an instructional program was developed in a relatively short amount of time. Finally, our assessment identified precise strategies for future development. In particular, to focus on high-impact learning, to customize to learner preferences, to collaborate with other disciplinary librarians for advanced information literacy skills training, and to re-use existing video content.

Poster presentation at the Medical Library Association 2020 vConference (August 10-14). 

Cover page of Building Users’ Search Skills for Systematic Reviews: Development of Self-Directed Learning Through Qualitative Synthesis of Guidelines

Building Users’ Search Skills for Systematic Reviews: Development of Self-Directed Learning Through Qualitative Synthesis of Guidelines


Conference paper presentation at the Medical Library Association 2020 vConference (August 10-14)

BACKGROUND: When conducting a systematic review, the search for evidence can be a challenging process for novice searchers. There are complicated procedures with multiple sources of guidelines, and the prevailing instruction targets intermediate and higher skill levels. To address these challenges, this project created self-instruction materials framed along an explicit search workflow. This instruction was developed through a qualitative content analysis of four major systematic review guidelines. The result is a comprehensive yet straightforward self-instruction guide for advanced literature search skills. This paper reports the development methodology and observations from the guide’s use in reference consultations. 

DESCRIPTION: Instructional development began with the qualitative content analysis of search guidelines by four organizations (Cochrane, NAM, AHRQ, and CRD). Over 300 recommended search objectives and tasks were extracted, with many duplications across the guidelines. This analysis defined the phases of a comprehensive search workflow and synthesized recommendations into search tasks and stepwise procedures. The workflow has five phases addressing search strategy design, search conduct, results management, document retrieval, and search reporting. Additionally, a directory of 150+ recommended databases was compiled. The resulting self-instruction guide is assigned as preparatory reading before a reference consultation, serves as a discussion framework during the session, and functions as a reference tool afterward. The guide was evaluated through librarian peer review and user feedback. 

CONCLUSIONS: The self-instruction guide supports the UC San Diego Library’s systematic review service. It is situated in the consultation process as pre-session reading, discussion framework, and post-reference support. Anecdotal evidence indicates the guide may prompt a user-driven consultation and may facilitate instruction on advanced literature searching. Because the guide synthesizes multiple guidelines, it has the potential to standardize library services for systematic reviews. Future evaluation would assess the guide’s pedagogical usability. The guide is publicly available for re-use and customization.

Cover page of Unlocking the Value of the Monograph: 6400 Book Pairs Speak

Unlocking the Value of the Monograph: 6400 Book Pairs Speak


Delivered as part of the session "Unlocking the Value of the Monograph" at Electronic Resources and Libraries (ER&L) 15th Annual Conference, Austin, Texas, March 9, 2020.

Scholarly monographs are undergoing a digital transformation that brings new value to both libraries and researchers. This presentation approaches the session theme with a single institution’s view of the digital environment unlocking the value of the scholarly monograph. It builds upon and expands a preliminary appreciation from ER&L 2019 that compared local download activity across ebooks recently acquired via two evidence-based programs at UC San Diego with the lifetime circulation histories of our matching legacy print holdings. This new foray is powered by a 10 times larger study pool of every JSTOR Books title purchased since the inception of our local contract in early 2015, which now includes DDA, EBA, and Pick-and-Mix channels.

Slides 8 & 9 were not presented at ER&L 2020 owing to session time constraints. All script notes and slide transitions are preserved in the supplemental file.

  • 1 supplemental file
Cover page of Supporting Library Operational Needs with In-House 3D Printing

Supporting Library Operational Needs with In-House 3D Printing


Intended to support others in doing so, the paper details several scenarios in which in-house 3D scanning and printing produced unique or valuable outcomes with facilities-related issues, as well the process that led to successful solutions.

Cover page of Using in-house 3D printing to support creative solutions to library facilities work

Using in-house 3D printing to support creative solutions to library facilities work


The paper describes a case study in which staff at the UC San Diego Library used the Library’s 3D printing technology to develop unique solutions to a variety of facilities-related challenges.

Cover page of Tell Us How UC It: Thinking Critically through a Living Archive for Student Activism

Tell Us How UC It: Thinking Critically through a Living Archive for Student Activism


As questions, conversations, and debates surrounding social justice come to the surface on college campuses around the country, what role do libraries play? This presentation discusses a project called “Tell Us How UC It: A Living Archive” which took root in the sentiments of students on the University of California, San Diego campus.At the heart of the project was the belief that libraries, in their capacity as providers of information, can present a narrative in the hopes of informing their community, starting conversations, and inspiring student action. The concept of a living archive and other details of the project is covered, along with other critical perspectives and techniques such as tactical urbanism as a way to document and archive student voices. 

Cover page of Gone Digital

Gone Digital


This talk given at the National Museum and Art Gallery of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby covers some general best practices in the digitization process, as well as the management of born-digital materials. It provides an overview of digital projects at the Tuzin Archive for Melanesian Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego and a brief demonstration of the UC San Diego Library’s Digital Collections website (, where many digitized materials from the Tuzin Archive are accessible. Specifically, it uses the digitization of the Papua New Guinea Patrol Reports as a case study.

Founded in 1982 as the Melanesian Archive and renamed in 2012, the Tuzin Archive for Melanesian Anthropology has evolved into a major repository for research materials created by anthropologists and other scholars working in Melanesia.

Cover page of Singsings and Storytelling: Digitizing Audio Recordings

Singsings and Storytelling: Digitizing Audio Recordings


Communities assembling for singsing celebrations, ethnographic interviews conversing on grammar and vocabularies, elders discussing daily affairs - these are just a few snippets of at-risk sound recordings held at the Archives comprised primarily of the personal papers of anthropologists, documenting research on the cultures of Melanesia. The recordings will be digitized over the coming year due to a recent grant received. The nearly 800 reel-to-reel and cassette tape field recordings from seven collections include rare interviews, songs, performances, linguistic material, and oral histories collected in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands from the mid-to-late 20th century.

This presentation provides an overview of the project, including the details of the language and the type of recordings in each collection. It also engages in a discussion on partnerships and models for sharing the recordings once digitized and explores ways to build and strengthen collaborations made possible in the digital era.

Cover page of Food for Thought: Leveraging Library Services to Address Food Insecurity

Food for Thought: Leveraging Library Services to Address Food Insecurity


In June 2018, the University of California (UC), San Diego Library held an inaugural Food for Fine$ drive, collecting non-perishable food items benefiting the year-round campus food pantry in exchange for fine forgiveness. The drive has continued twice annually, in December and June, intentionally timed to coincide with students moving out of their dorms and residences at the end of the school year. Steadily gaining popularity among the student community, each instance evolves in response to observations and feedback.Complementing the Library’s myriad de-stress and wellness activities, this campaign supports students’ basic needs and raises awareness about often hidden food scarcity issues on campus. Providing an incentive for library users to give back to fellow students sets an example for collaboration and generosity, and encourages students to consider alternatives to food waste, both in the immediate and long terms.