Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Exhibit honoring Prof. Michael Colacurcio

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007


Michael Colacurcio, distinguished professor in the English Department, is being featured this month in the Faculty Exhibit Case located in the lobby of Young Research Library. The exhibit honors his recent nomination to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and features many of his past and forthcoming publications, along with a short biography and selected bibliography.

Colacurcio was nominated alongside colleague Debora Shuger, professor of English, who will be featured in the exhibit case later this quarter.

Scholarly societies and publishing

Monday, August 27th, 2007

An interesting article came out in Inside Higher Ed this week about the American Anthropological Association’s decision to move its journals from UC Press to Wiley-Blackwell, a commercial publisher. Literature scholars should sit up and take note, if they haven’t already. Even though there may be disciplinary differences between anthropology and English or comparative literature, the events discussed in the article reflect trends in scholarly publication that affect all fields and disciplines in the academy. According to the article, the association’s decision to move its journals has sparked criticism from various circles:

Some object to the move from a university press to a commercial entity and fear a lessening of commitment to important scholarship that may not make money. Others see this as a sign that the anthropology association–which has won praise for the online offerings of its journals–is taking a hard line against the open access movement embraced by many of its members (and the library world). Still others see the move as a sign that scholarly societies are facing tough decisions about their missions–without good mechanisms for involving the academic rank and file in making decisions.

For literature scholars, the considerations are similar: How can we ensure that everyone can have access to the articles we write? How can we make our journals financially viable in the face of limited budgets? How can we ensure that scholars–the graduate students, faculty members, and independent scholars who author these articles–have the greatest possible control over the fruits of their labors? Who has the last word in the discipline: the scholarly association or the scholars it purports to represent?

At a premier research institution like UCLA, there is an expectation that the campus community will have access to everything. The Research Library certainly attempts to live up to this expectation, but doing so is becoming increasingly difficult as commercial publishers continue to raise the price tags of licensed electronic resources. And for scholars at smaller institutions, the situation may be much worse. The open access movement is attempting to remedy this situation, seeing business models that support free access to scholarship without sacrificing financial viability.

One of the most important points raised in the article is that most scholars, including those serving as editors, “are concerned but in the dark.” This article will shed some light. If you interested in hearing more, look for scholarly communication information on the Library website.  Here are some places to start:

Scholarly Communication Update: UC Report on Value-Based Journal Prices

Managing Intellectual Property: What Faculty Need to Know to Publish and Teach in the Digital Age

Also, keep an eye out for future scholarly communication workshops offered by the UCLA Library in the upcoming academic year. I will be sure to announce them here.

Blog title ideas

Friday, July 27th, 2007

I’ve gotten some suggestions and thought of some others. Do any of these strike your fancy?

Lit Lifeline
LiterYRL [would you presume this is pronounced "literal"?]
Lit Source
CELL: Comparative and English Language Literature