Recent Announcements

USETDA 2018 Conference: Climbing Ever Higher – Summit on Scholarly Communications in Graduate Education

posted Jun 30, 2018, 1:45 PM by John Hagen

The US Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association (USETDA) will hold their 8th annual conference September 12th – 14th at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Denver, Colorado, hosted by the Auraria Library and Brigham Young University. USETDA Conferences are an excellent educational opportunity for professionals from graduate schools, libraries, academic computing and others who work with electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), graduate students and scholarly communications.

Registration is now open for the USETDA 2018 Conference. The early-bird discount member  rate is only $169 (through July 6, 2018) and the hotel conference rate is $209 per night (includes breakfast). Complete registration information is available online.

For more information visit the conference invitation Web page.

ETD2017 Symposium - Exploring Global Connections

posted Jun 1, 2017, 9:49 PM by John Hagen   [ updated Jun 1, 2017, 9:51 PM ]

ETD2017, the 20th international symposium on electronic theses and dissertations will be held August 7 – 9, 2017  at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Washington, D.C.

ETD2017 will provide excellent educational opportunities for professionals from graduate schools, libraries, academic computing and others who work with electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), institutional repositories, graduate students and scholarly communications. Their goal is to offer relevant, practice-oriented content to support ETD productivity improvement, ETD professionals, advance ETD operations and encourage the formation of regional ETD associations and networking communities as well as to provide useful and innovative resources, standards, and technology for the development and support of ETD programs.

For program details visit the Conference Invitation Webpage.

Augmented Reality Comes of Age

posted Mar 23, 2015, 12:37 AM by John Hagen   [ updated Mar 24, 2015, 3:09 AM ]

Augmented reality is the next tour de force in technology - ushering in the era of 3D holographic computing. Microsoft announced the HoloLens with the release of Microsoft 10. In related news, Google Glass takes another "magic leap" with the release of its own augmented reality platform and applications. Microsoft, Google and others are on the leading edge in the era of augmented reality systems that promise to transform our everyday experiences from the ordinary into the extraordinary.

PC World reported on the Microsoft and Google augmented reality systems,

With the Microsoft HoloLens, "What you “see” is a smart version of augmented reality, confined to a rectangle about the size of a large phablet, about six inches in front of your face. Within that the magic happens: Virtual images spring to life. But the HoloLens “knows” where they are, so that you can walk around them, kneel, or stand over them, and they remain in place. It’s uncanny. And a Kinect-like depth camera mounted in the HoloLens can “scan” the objects around you, too.

There are several ways way of interacting with what you see. “Clicks” are triggered by holding your hand out a short distance from your face, and raising and lowering your index finger in a gesture. It then “clicks” where you’re looking, using a cursor that follows your gaze. You can also issue commands to the HoloLens, which can double as macros."
In a related report, t
he Google Glass augmented reality demo "purports to show “just another day” at MagicLeap’s office. It involves tanks plowing through walls. The video also shows a virtual weapons placed on a real-life desk that you can interact with, plus YouTube and Gmail apps that appear to float in midair—perhaps to show how augmented reality has uses outside of gaming."
In fact, there are already augmented reality system in use today. Vincent John Vincent is the co-
founder & creative force behind GestureTek Inc., the inventors, pioneers and world leaders for over 24 years in video gesture control computing devices. Along with Francis MacDougall they invented and patented "full body immersive virtual reality", where the user's image appears on screen and interacts with the surrounding animation. Thousands of systems have been used in public video games, entertainment and education environments, as well as rehabilitation.

Augmented reality promises to make our man-machine interactions more natural and human-like while offering novel and never-before-possible virtual environments superimposed on the real world to enhance our daily lives. Whether augmented reality represents additional layers of complication in our lives or something truly wonderful useful remains to be seen. I predict that augmented reality may just be the next historic game-changer in graphic user interfaces since we moved from the keyboard to the mouse.

You can check out demos of these augmented reality innovations in the video panels below.

Microsoft HoloLens Demo

Google Glass Magic Leap Demo

Immersive Reality Demo on TedTalks

Celebrate open access in scholarship

posted Oct 17, 2014, 8:29 PM by John Hagen   [ updated Oct 17, 2014, 9:05 PM ]

open access week

International Open Access Week will be celebrated October 20 - 26, 2014. Activities at universities around the world will promote the merits of open access in scholarly communications to students and faculty. The 2014 OA theme is "Generation Open".

What Is Open Access?

Open Access is a growing international movement that uses the Internet to throw open the locked doors that once hid knowledge. Encouraging the unrestricted sharing of research results with everyone, the Open Access movement is gaining ever more momentum around the world as research funders and policy makers put their weight behind it. For more details visit the We Support Open Access flyer (pdf).

Access to knowledge is power!

Open Access Explained - courtesy of PhD Comics

Banned Books Week

posted Sep 28, 2014, 10:16 AM by John Hagen   [ updated Sep 28, 2014, 10:26 AM ]

The right to free expression includes the freedom to read whatever we choose. Yet state governments and local school districts have attempted to ban the books shown on this bookmark. Since its inception, the ACLU has fought censorship - because a government that polices what we read polices our thought.

Hover over each book below to learn a bit about its history.

UNESCO Publishes Guide to Compare Institutional Repository Software

posted Feb 24, 2014, 2:48 PM by John Hagen   [ updated Feb 24, 2014, 2:52 PM ]

UNESCO has published Guidelines to compare Institutional Repository Software as part of the their Open Access Strategy. It compares the features of the major platforms and is intended to help libraries focus on which features will help facilitate the success of their repository.

Institutional Repositories (IRs) were first developed as an online solution for collecting, preserving, and disseminating the scholarship of universities, colleges, and other research institutions.

The current publication compares the five most widely adopted IR platforms: Digital Commons, Dspace, Eprints, Fedora, and Islandora.

Librarians can now compare platforms by focusing on the critical features that will address their needs and make their repositories successful. This comprehensive overview and comparison of the major institutional platforms is a welcome resource among the IR librarian's toolkit!

The Future of Scholarship?

posted Apr 18, 2013, 7:16 PM by John Hagen   [ updated Apr 18, 2013, 7:18 PM ]
A new collaborative platform may help transform the transparency and integrity of scholarship. It could also aid in catapulting knowledge and discovery to exponential levels. The system is called "". Its developers ask you to imagine...

"If wherever we encountered new information, sentence by sentence, frame by frame, we could easily know the best thinking on it.

If we had confidence that this represented the combined wisdom of the most informed people—not as anointed by editors, but as weighed over time by our peers, objectively, statistically and transparently.

If this created a powerful incentive for people to ensure that their works met a higher standard, and made it perceptibly harder to spread information that didn’t meet that standard.".

According to developers,

"Hypothes. will be a distributed, open-source platform for the collaborative evaluation of information. It will enable sentence-level critique of written words combined with a sophisticated yet easy-to-use model of community peer-review. It will work as an overlay on top of any stable content, including news, blogs, scientific articles, books, terms of service, ballot initiatives, legislation and regulations, software code and more-without requiring participation of the underlying site." is a new standard for annotating digital documents and must may transform the world as we know it.

National Library Week 2013

posted Apr 18, 2013, 6:55 PM by John Hagen   [ updated Apr 18, 2013, 7:02 PM ]

Library as CommunityThis year's theme for National Library Week, April 14-20, 2013 is "Library as Community - The Importance of Libraries and Librarians in our Everyday Life". Hagen explores recent trends in public libraries and celebrates their importance in our local communities and daily lives in Renaissance Man - Open Access and Social Justice Advocacy Blog. Read more...

International Open Access Week 2012

posted Oct 26, 2012, 6:08 PM by John Hagen   [ updated Oct 26, 2012, 6:30 PM ]

Open Access
[26 October 2012 - Morgantown, WV / Lima, Peru] 

2012 has been a year with many legislative discussions, (particularly in the USA but also internationally) about proposed changes to intellectual property law, with much of the script written by the commercial media giants. Therefore it is more important than ever that we become educated and educate others about open access to prevent draconian legislation from stripping away the fair use rights to which academics have become accustomed. Legislation in the USA. has been shelved for post-election debate, so we haven't seen the last of the commercial media hydra rear its ugly heads to threaten the rights of individuals. As authors and educators, we need to become advocates of our own intellectual property as well, and demand open access for our published works whenever possible.

The concept of open access has many facets. The creators of PHD Comics released a video titled "What is Open Access" by the creators of PHD Comics (see video panel below) which explains in comprehensive yet simple terms why open access is important to the future of human progress.*

To further breakdown the notion of open access, Renaissance Scholarly Communications owner and consultant  John H. Hagen delivered a keynote address for an online Latin American Open Access Week Conference hosted by the Pontifical Catholic University - Lima, Peru on Wednesday, October 24th. Hagen's presentation titled "Fear and Loathing in Academia 2.0" provided an overview of the history of scholarly communications, the present state of scholarly publishing, resources to advocate for open access as well as how the convergence of technologies and increasing transparency and access to information and resources will provide for an abundant future. A copy of the Powerpoint presentation is available for download.

Springer now publishing Open Access books

posted Aug 29, 2012, 4:54 PM by John Hagen   [ updated Oct 26, 2012, 6:31 PM ]

 [29 August 2012 - Beijing/New York, Springer Open Books launched at Beijing International Book Fair] 

Springer is expanding its open access (OA) program by offering a fully open
access option for books, which will extend Springer’s established
SpringerOpen and BioMed Central journal portfolio, and its Springer Open
Choice option. Any electronic version of a SpringerOpen book is fully and
immediately OA, and thus freely accessible on SpringerLink for anyone in
the world with access to the internet. 

 SpringerOpen books give authors and editors in all areas of science the opportunity to publish open access with the same high standards they are used to at Springer. 

“Many of our authors, editors and societies have asked us for an open access option for books,” said Bettina Goerner, Manager Open Access at Springer. “The increasing interest in publishing open access books in the
community led us to expand the SpringerOpen family by developing an open access option for books across all disciplines.” 

The copyright for the entire open access book including every c apter remains with the editor/author. SpringerOpen books are published under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC) license. This
facilitates the open distribution and the free re-use and sharing of the work for non-commercial purposes, as long as the authors/editors are properly attributed. 

SpringerOpen Book titles will be listed in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), the discovery service for OA books which increases visibility and findability of Springer’s OA books. 

“Books are the next logical focus in the progression of open access, and this initiative from Springer helps to establish open access as a viable publishing model for scholarly books,” said Eelco Ferwerda, Director of the
Directory of Open Access Books and the OAPEN Foundation. 

Springer began publishing individual open access papers through its Springer Open Choice model in 2004. Since then, the publishing group has refined and extended this publication model. In 2008 Springer acquired
BioMed Central, making it one of the world’s largest open access publishers. In 2010 Springer launched a new open access portfolio which now contains more than 90 open access journals focusing on specific research
areas. In January 2012 the SpringerOpen journal portfolio was joined by SpringerPlus, an interdisciplinary open access journal, publishing research in all STM disciplines. 

*Springer Science+Business Media* ( is a leading global scientific publisher, providing researchers in academia, scientific institutions and corporate R&D departments with quality content via
innovative information products and services. Springer is also a trusted local-language publisher in Europe – especially in Germany and the Netherlands – primarily for physicians and professionals working in the
automotive, transport and healthcare sectors. Roughly 2,000 journals and more than 7,000 new books are published by Springer each year, and the group is home to the world’s largest STM eBook collection, as well as the
most comprehensive portfolio of open access journals. Springer employs nearly 6,200 individuals across the globe and in 2011 generated sales of approximately EUR 875 million. 

*For more information visit:*

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