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New work also reveals the heightened importance of archived social media datasets that make it possible for researchers to re-use data. In order for this data to be useful, it must be curated and preserved with sufficient metadata to explain the conditions of its original capture and any subsequent actions taken to refine the data. For instance, a researcher may remove a particular hashtag or account as a study progresses, changing the resulting dataset. Archivists face a new mandate to develop tools and practices that support these conditions for re-use and reproducibility.
The Social Feed Manager team has heard this loud and clear! The need to keep track of changes to collection criteria (seeds, harvesting options, credentials, etc.) is reflected in our user stories for the new Social Feed Manager and initial support should be included in our next release (version 0.5.0). You can follow progress by watching the ticket. (Keep in mind that we are still pre-version 1.0, so SFM is in active development.)
We haven’t work on the UI yet, but this should give you an idea of how this feature works. First I created a new seed set. (This is an action that might be performed by a researcher or an archivist.) In SFM, a seed set is a list of seeds for a harvest, where a seed might be a Twitter handle or a Flickr user. Since the list is in reverse chronological order, the entry for creating the seed set is second. Second, I changed the schedule of the harvest. This is the first entry below.
Notice that whenever a change is made, the following is recorded:
- Each field and value that is changed. In this example, the schedule was changed.
- Who made this change. In this example, “justin” made the change.
- When the change was made.
- An optional note describing the reason for the change.
Again, the UI work is still to be done, but you can imagine an (understandable) version of these changes appearing when a user is reviewing a seed set.
Note that this change history is also tied into how we keep track of harvests -- SFM records the exact state of the collection criteria used to perform the harvest.
For those wondering, this is implemented with django-simple-history.
If you have thoughts on this feature, comments are welcome. In particular, we’re interested in ideas about how to make this information available and useful to researchers, especially in dataset exports. I can be reached @justin_littman or the whole team at sfm-dev.
Colin Reagle, assistant professor, Mechanical Engineering, Volgenau School of Engineering, presents the 2016 Fenwick Fellow Lecture on Wednesday, March 30 in the Main Reading Room, Fenwick Library at 2 p.m. Professor Reagle will present the findings of his research project The Role of Renewables in George Mason’s Future Energy Portfolio in which he examined the hurdles the university faces toward reaching the 2025 Virginia renewable energy mandate’s statewide goal of 15 percent, and then exceeding the state’s minimum beyond 2025. In addition, with this study, he plans to provide a “roadmap for other regional institutions that consume power on a large scale to diversify their energy portfolios in a responsible manner.” Please join us at this Fenwick Library Grand Opening Week Event!
For more information about the Fenwick Fellow lecture and/or the fellowship program, please contact Diana Tippett, 703-993-2223, email@example.com.
During Fenwick Library’s Grand Opening Celebration Week, the University Libraries are initiating a new program: the Mason Author Series. Featuring the work of Mason scholars, the inaugural author is Giorgio Ascoli, University Professor, Molecular Neuroscience Department and founding Director of the Center for Neural Informatics, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study. Professor Ascoli will discuss his book, Trees of the Brain, Roots of the Mind. The Mason Author Series is sponsored by the George Mason University Bookstore and coordinated by the Libraries’ Mason Publishing Group. Join us on March 29, 2:30 p.m. in the Fenwick Library Main Reading Room for the first Mason Author Series event. Light refreshments will be served.
Mason 4-VA, in collaboration with the University Libraries and Mason Online, invites Mason faculty to submit a proposal for innovative redesign of a course that integrates digital (and accessible) materials. That is, you supplant expensive textbooks either with digital works that you create, or with existing digital content that is in the public domain, licensed Creative Commons, or available in databases to which the University Libraries subscribes. To that end, you are reducing the cost of instruction to students and improving learning outcomes.
Courses of particular interest are those that:
- have high enrollment,
- are required for majors,
- count in the Mason Core, or
- carry high textbook costs.
This initiative is a Mason 4-VA pilot project. Any Mason full-time instructional faculty who teach high demand, heavily populated courses are eligible to apply, as are adjunct faculty who are part of a team proposal. Competitive grants will be awarded ranging from $1500-$5000, depending on the nature of the work and the level of team collaboration. Proposals due: March 18, 2016. Award notification: April 4, 2016.
Library faculty are poised to assist you with locating quality OER content, as well as answering questions related to copyright and Creative Commons licensing of your own materials. Mason Publishing Group, a department of the University Libraries, is available to aid faculty in developing OER textbooks or workbooks as a part of this pilot project. Let us know how we may help you! Contact your subject librarian, Claudia Holland (firstname.lastname@example.org), or John Warren (email@example.com), Head, Mason Publishing.