Academic Research Blog

Data Management Workshop 2019

August 2, 2019

BYU Harold B. Lee Library

1:00-4:00 pm

Choose from multiple sessions and learn the ins and outs of research data management!

Register for up to three individual sessions for free at the links below.


Data Management Principles 101

1:00-1:50 pm

Building consistent data management practices is critical for any researcher and helps ensure you can navigate your data and various documents now and in the future. Bring your laptop and come prepared for discussion and hands-on activities.


Introduction to Git

1:00-1:50 pm

Learn the basics of using Git, a version-control system for tracking changes to files. Emphasis will be on using Git in a research data management context. No prior knowledge needed.


Safeguarding Your Data

2:00-2:50 pm

Learn about ways to ensure your data remains safe and available to yourself and others. Get to know ScholarsArchive, pick up some pro tips for working with Box, and learn about data repositories for your discipline.


Introduction to OpenRefine

2:00-2:50 pm

OpenRefine is an interactive data transformation tool. Learn the basics of data profiling (assessing the current state of your data) and data cleaning (correcting errors, removing blanks, etc).  No prior knowledge needed.


Sharing Your Data and Research

3:00-3:50 pm

Learn how to add your research to BYU’s institutional repository and obtain a shareable link for your work. Find out how copyright and Creative Commons licensing can help you to both share and protect your work.


Introduction to Regular Expressions

3:00-3:50 pm

Learn about regular expression search patterns (regex) and how to use them to validate data and perform find and replace operations on data. No prior knowledge needed.

2018 Readership Statistics

Happy new year! 2018 was a great year for ScholarsArchive, Brigham Young University’s Institutional Repository.

Readership Statistics, January 1-December 31, 2018

  • 3,777 new works posted
  • 40,367 downloads from educational, commercial, organizational, and government institutions in 232 countries
  • 46,676 referrals from search engines
  • Top downloads:
    • “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” book review by Elizabeth Meyers in Children’s Book and Media Review, 9,630 downloads
    • “Parameter Estimation for the Lognormal Distribution,” article by Brenda Faith Ginos in All Theses and Dissertations, 8,459 downloads
    • “A Unit on the Family and Traditions: For Middle School Spanish Classes,” article by Rebecca A. Proper in All Theses and Dissertations, 8,386 downloads

Top Journal Statistics, January 1-December 31, 2018

  • Top three journals for new content added
    • Children’s Book and Media Review
      • 1,110 new works posted
    • Western North American Naturalist Publications
      • 88 new works posted
    • AWE (A Woman’s Experience)
      • 58 new works posted
  • Top three journals for number of works downloaded
    • Children’s Book and Media Review
    • BYU Studies Quarterly
    • Comparative Civilizations Review
  • Top three journals for individual articles with the most downloads
    • Children’s Book and Media Review
      • “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” book review by Elizabeth Meyers, 9,630 downloads
    • Brigham Young University Prelaw Review
      • “Why Juveniles Should Not Be Tried as Adults” by Michael Bailey, 3,798 downloads
    • Intuition: The BYU Undergraduate Journal in Psychology
      • “Effects of Extracurricular Activities and Physical Activity on Academic Success” by Braden Tanner, 3,757 downloads

For more information on ScholarsArchive, including publishing works and hosting journals on the repository, please contact Ellen Amatangelo, Scholarly Communications Coordinator, at

Open Access Week 2018

This week, October 22-28, is International Open Access Week (sponsored by SPARC) and this year’s theme is “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge.” Open Access is important to libraries, as a main goal of any library is to make knowledge openly available to patrons. The Harold B. Lee Library has made Open Access a major focus for the 2018-2019 school year.

The Importance of Open Access

Open Access refers to the free online availability of scholarly research, as well as the free right to use and cite that research. The goal of Open Access is to allow anyone, regardless of academic or financial status, unrestricted access to educational research. By making their work openly available, authors are able to share their findings with a larger audience. Additionally, people without access to paid journals are able to take advantage of large amounts of educational research through Open Access. Further information about the benefits of Open Access can be found here.

Taking Action

There are a few things you can do to further the Open Access cause. The Wikipedia Library is currently running their campaign, which is a tool to help users find citations from paid sites and add a free free version link in the the reference. You can try the tool here. There is also a tool called Unpaywall with a similar purpose that might be a bit more user-friendly. For more information on how you can be involved in Wikipedia projects in regard to Open Access, contact Rachel Helps, Coordinator of Wikipedia Initiatives in the BYU Library.

You can also share on social media your own experiences with Open Access. Suggested hashtags are #openaccess or #OAweek. Feel free to share this blog post as well, and don’t forget to tag the library with #hbll.

It’s always a good idea to do some research into Creative Commons licensing. It is a way for creators to share their copyrighted works with the public and still be protected. BYU has a fun Free Resources and Licensing tutorial, which includes some great information about Creative Commons.

Upcoming Projects

The Scholarly Communications Office is currently involved in some projects to further Open Access in the library, including expanding the number of open journals hosted on ScholarsArchive, researching publications from BYU faculty and posting them to the repository, and a cross-departmental project to digitize, catalog, and post to ScholarsArchive all pre-1978 theses and dissertations for which the library only has physical copies. Stay tuned for future blog posts about the progress of these projects, as well as updates on the library’s Scholarly Communications Committee.


For more information on Scholarly Communications at BYU, please contact Ellen Amatangelo at

Data Management Training at the Library

During this year’s Spring Term, the Scholarly Communications Committee at the Harold B. Lee Library sponsored its first Data Management Training class for graduate students and faculty. The two-hour training was designed to give researchers an overview on organizing, storing, and sharing data for theses, dissertations, and other scholarly works. Here are a few slides shared by Emily Darowski and Elizabeth Smart during the training (full slides can be viewed at

Training was also presented by Peter Midgley on copyright law and how it pertains to scholarly works. More information on copyright can be found here:

In a survey sent out after the class, 100% of participants indicated that they would recommend the training to a friend. Expanded Data Management Training classes are planned for future semesters and advertising for the classes will be sent to campus departments.

For inquiries about data management training, scholarly communications at BYU, or submitting works to ScholarsArchive, please contact Ellen Amatangelo at

April 2018 Readership

April was an active month for BYU’s digital repository. ScholarsArchive is a continually growing resource for scholarly publishing and research.

Monthly Readership Statistics   

  • Total full-text downloads: 182,150
  • New submissions: 176
  • Total works in the repository: 34,026
  • Institutions downloading content: 10,820
  • Countries where downloads are taking place: 209
  • References from other sites: 8,471

Most Popular Papers    

Most Popular Publications    

  • All Faculty Publications: 15,614 downloads
  • All Theses and Dissertations: 84,760 downloads
  • Children’s Books and Media Review: 14,666 downloads

In addition to managing ScholarsArchive, the Scholarly Communications Office is involved in some exciting collaborative library projects. Stay tuned for upcoming news about their progress!

For more information about Scholarly Communications at Brigham Young University, please email For help with ScholarsArchive, please email

March 2018 Statistics

The Scholarly Communications blog is active again! It will be updated at least once a month with statistics, new collection information, and projects related to ScholarsArchive, as well as news, events, and other information about Scholarly Communications at BYU and elsewhere.

Unlike the blog, ScholarsArchive has been very active! Here are some fun March 2018 statistics:

Monthly Readership Totals
Last month, BYU ScholarsArchive had 165,327 full-text downloads. 167 new submissions were posted, bringing the total works in the repository to 32,968. Brigham Young University scholarship was read by 9,473 institutions across 210 countries.

Most Popular Papers

Most Popular Publications

The main ScholarsArchive page shows real-time readership statistics including a map of where BYU’s scholarly works are being downloaded throughout the world. There is also a wheel of different disciplines available in the archive, a link to the top 10 downloads of all time, a link to recent additions, and a featured paper of the day.

For more information about Scholarly Communications at BYU or help with ScholarsArchive, you can email or contact Ellen Amatangelo at


2014 Year-End Stats

Life in the ScholarsArchive office has been especially busy as we’ve migrated much of our content from CONTENTdm to Digital Commons. Since migration began in July 2014, we have received incredible visibility to BYU scholarly works. Below are some highlights from the 2014 end-of-year statistics.

Total Number of Faculty Papers in Scholars Archive: 1,412
Total Downloads: 5,204
Ratio of downloads to each paper: 4:1

Total number of Theses and Dissertations: 4,293
Total Downloads: 71,113
Ratio of downloads to each paper: 17:1

College level statistics:

  • Most papers (faculty papers and theses/dissertations): Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering, 1,464
  • Greatest number of downloads (faculty papers and theses/dissertations): Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering, 23,822
    • 2nd: Humanities, 13,222
    • 3rd: Physical and Mathematical Sciences, 11,792
  • Highest ratio of downloads to number of papers (faculty papers and theses/dissertations): Humanities, 24:1
    • 2nd highest ratio: Fine Arts and Communications, 22:1
    • 3rd highest ratio: (tie) Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, Marriott School of Management; 16:1

Department Level Statistics:

  • Most papers (theses/dissertations): Mechanical Engineering, 391
  • Greatest number of downloads: Electrical and Computer Engineering (theses/dissertations), 10,633
    • 2nd: Mechanical Engineering (theses/dissertations), 4,830
    • 3rd: English (theses/dissertations), 3,821
  • Highest ratio of downloads to number of papers: Electrical and Computer Engineering (theses/dissertations), 40:1
    • 2nd highest ratio: Physics and Astronomy(theses/dissertations), 36:1
    • 3rd highest ratio: Humanities, Classics, and Comparative Literature(theses/dissertations), 34:1

If you have more questions or would like to know how your college or department fared (or faculty papers vs. theses and dissertations), contact Mandy Oscarson at or 801-422-7663.

20th Anniversary of “A Subversive Proposal”

In May, we introduced the concept of Open Access (OA). The purpose of OA is to empower researchers to share their findings with a broader audience, thus supporting the purpose of research: to share and grow knowledge.

June 28, 2014 marked the 20th anniversary since Stevan Harnad posted a message called A Subversive Proposal on a mailing list. The post sparked interest and debate in making scholarly works open to anyone, and is now considered one of the seminal texts on OA. Below is a summary of a Q&A session between Stevan Harnad and Richard Poynder – and Harnad’s take on OA today. You can read the entire discussion on Poynder’s blog.

Harnad said two things prompted his authorship of A Subversive Proposal:

  1. He had the feeling print-on-paper wasn’t the optimal medium for scholarly communication
  2. He felt very strongly about having interactive written dialogue (which became stronger after the internet gained popularity)

He really would have preferred his comment to spark people to action rather than just gathering attention. While many might think of Harnad’s message as pivotal, he believes that real change came 10 years later, from the outcome of the UK Parlimentary Committee in 2004. The committee recommended that UK researchers and universities to require Green OA.

Harnard went on to share pros and cons of Green and Gold OA:

Pros and Cons of Green and Gold OA

Gold Access Green Access


  1. Immediate
  2. Freely accessible and freely reusable
  3. Could solve journal affordability problem
  1. Costs no extra money
  2. No effect on journal quality
  3. Can be mandated


  1. Costs authors extra
  2. Risks journal quality decline
  3. Can’t be mandated
  1. Authors don’t self-archive spontaneously
  2. Publishers often set 6-12+ month embargoes on content
  3. Not all mandates are effective

If you’d like to read more, especially what Harnard’s edited version of the proposal would look like for a 2014 audience, visit Richard Poynder’s blog.

New ScholarsArchive Preview

We’re getting very close to launching our new ScholarsArchive site using the Digital Commons software platform and wanted to give you a preview of a few changes you can expect.

  • New landing page
    • The new ScholarsArchive homepage will have some new features, such as a map showing real-time content downloads. Little pins will pop up showing where the person is located who is downloading the content, as well as what they are viewing (see sample image at the bottom of this blog).
    • There will also be some fun stats such as top 10 downloads and a graphic showing how many items come from the various disciplines (i.e. life sciences, humanities, etc.).
  • Monthly stats for authors
    • Authors and Journal Editors will receive monthly download reports showing how many times their work was downloaded and what search terms people used to find their work.
    • Authors will have a dashboard they can log in to for more statistics and features.
  • Greater visibility
    • Content housed in a Digital Commons gets bumped up higher in Google Scholar searches than those housed in CONTENTdm (the current platform). This means greater visibility to scholars around the world.
  • Cover pages
    • Using the metadata from each record, a cover page will be created for each journal or article. This will make it easier for people coming into the content from a search engine to know where they are (BYU’s repository), what the content is, links to the department associated with the content, and a suggested citation.

We’ll keep you updated as we get closer to launch day. It will take a few months to migrate all of the content over to the new Digital Commons platform. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Mandy Oscarson

Digital Commons Active Readership Map Sample


Open Access (OA)

Open Access (OA) is a hot topic in the world of scholarly communication these days. Why should we care? The purpose of OA is to empower researchers to share their findings with a broader audience, thus supporting the purpose of research: to share and grow knowledge. Below is a brief explanation of Open Access, plus some additional resources to learn more. Watch for more in-depth explanations in future blog posts.

What is Open Access?

Open Access is the immediate, free availability of scholarly research, with rights to fully use these works in the digital environment. For an info graphic describing different levels of open access, view this one from Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

There are generally two levels of Open Access: Green and Gold.


Content (literature, data, etc.) is stored in university, laboratory, or organizational archives (aka institutional repository or IR) or digital repositories. Usually submitted directly by the author – or “self archived” – the author retains the right to make their material freely available. Material may be peer–reviewed or not.

Content is peer-reviewed according to existing journal policies and then published in those journals. The journal publishers make the content freely available to the public. Expenses for peer-review, preparation, server space, and upkeep are covered through many ways, including institutional subsidies, processing fees paid by the authors, or the organization that sponsored the work. About 5% of OA material is published in “gold” journals. Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), or have some examples of OA journals.