10/7 Workshop: Excel Basics (Level I)

Free workshop 10/7 from 1-2 pm in the Heathcote Classroom of Renne Library.

Learn the basics of Excel, with an eye toward troubleshooting common problems. Topics to cover: general spreadsheet formatting, data formatting (%, $, etc.), using formulas and functions, referencing cells in formulas, inserting and formatting charts, and printing


Register and see more library workshops here.

10/5 Electronic Theses and Dissertations Workshop


On Monday, October 5, from 1-2:30 p.m., join a discussion with the MSU Library and The Graduate School to learn about ETD preparation and library data services.

The agenda will include:

  • Overview of ScholarWorks
  • Data Storage options at the MSU Library
  • Creative Commons and copyright
  • Dissertation Repositories, ProQuest/UMI
  • Citation Management software
  • Formatting Overview
  • Q & A

Location: Innovative Learning Studio, Renne Library (1st floor)

For more information, see the library workshop page or the MSU Today calendar announcement.


Open Access: posting and reuse. [what is predatory?]

There has been some recent discussion about what it means to be a predatory journal, and who suffers as a result of these unscrupulous behaviors. And, while publishers bask under the safety of the illusion of a free market, Institutional Repositories are criticized for posting the manuscript version of articles with proper citation but without the specific publisher’s unique requirements, even after a 12 month embargo.

While trying to further the positive impact of spreading knowledge created at our higher education institutions, repository managers spend a great deal of time checking copyright, applying metadata and adding publisher’s approved statements to articles so readers are fully aware of the original place of publication. We do this because it makes articles more useful, but also because publishers demand it on their often lengthy, shifting, and unique set of requirements for publishing in repositories.

This is partially why, this spring, when colleagues found their article “Building Library Community Through Social Media” indexed in Google Scholar but pointing to a copy in ProQuest behind a paywall, I felt a particular frustration.

The author’s felt similarly frustrated and expressed it on Twitter. ProQuest replied on Twitter stating that “ProQuest provides many types of content, including OA.” Which would be acceptable if they left the content OPEN. They also state that “Our goal is to simplify the workflow for our users, to avoid looking in multiple places for quality content.” Which is interesting because we found this link on the popular site Google Scholar which does a pretty good job of simplifying the search workflow. And, because the article is already easily found through its original open access publication in LITA.

Further, ProQuest asked that our author “Please DM your contact details if you’d like to talk with us.” Maybe they thought that making a public (Twitter) conversation private would be a nice analogy of their actions around the article.

ProQuest failed to link to the published version. Their citation:

Building Library Community Through Social Media Young, Scott W H; Rossmann, Doralyn. Information Technology and Libraries (Online)34.1 (Mar 2015): 20-37. )

You will note that there is no DOI. And ,they are creating HTML versions of the ITAL articles, which, if you manage to get behind the paywall, omit all non-textual material (images, charts, graphs, etc.). This is very troubling.

I helped my colleague write a response to ProQuest that outlined our concerns, below.

My library colleagues, who are active advocates of open publication, are left frustrated with ProQuest. And while we remain hopeful that current (and future) open access library journals continue to provide options for open publication, that does not fix the issue at hand: ProQuest’s unethical indexing. ProQuest has not added a DOI to the citation in question or changed their practice in any visible way based on this interaction. If one definition of predatory is “seeking to exploit others”, then I would bet that ProQuest fits that pretty well.

NOTE: Some issues with the web indexing from the journal Information Technology and Libraries(ITAL) lead to the ProQuest version being the first search result for a few weeks. [Of the 7 versions currently available through Google Scholar, 6 link to the ITAL page or directly to the .pdf of their article from the ITAL page.] Although ProQuest’s unethical linking practice is now muted by the availability of the open access versions of the paper, the exchange should be a call to arms for OA options to flood the market where there clearly is a need and for authors to speak up when their content is hidden behind a paywall for commercial gain [without their permission].

The email exchange:


Dear [ProQuest],

I write to you in response to the following exchange I had recently with the ProQuest Twitter account.

The following article is available through a fully Open Access publication, which means that it is freely available to anyone with internet access.

Subsequent to publication, this article has been indexed by ProQuest and is currently made available through ProQuest, though it is behind a paywall with standard options for access to subscription content. This is troubling, as the content is available through an Open Access journal that is not routinely indexed by ProQuest.

When ProQuest replied on Twitter that they provide access to content, including OA, it is as if you confuse OA with a topic, like Economics or Biofilm. Open Access is about the freely available use are reuse of knowledge, which ProQuest’s paywall actively denies.

This is, in part, the justification for the CC-BY 3.0 license attached to this publication which allows for reuse contingent of attribution of authorship. Your use falls within this license mostly, although I would argue that the lack of a link back to the original posting is improper attribution: you have posted an incomplete citation with this article.

Reposting a freely-available article behind a paywall is poor practice. Your response on Twitter stated that “Our goal is to simplify the workflow for our users, to avoid looking in multiple places for quality content”, yet picking one article from a journal issue and posting it for subscription access does not seem to work in favor of that “simplification,” but rather adds to potential confusion for a researcher who finds yet another source for this article.

In light of this situation, I have a few questions: How did ProQuest come to index this particular article? Why does the citation on ProQuest’s preview page not include a link to the original posting? How does ProQuest justify reposting a freely-available article
behind a paywall?

Please help me better understand this situation.

Thank you for your time addressing this matter.  I look forward to your response.

The response from ProQuest:

Thank you for your patience and the time you’ve allowed me to ensure that I was providing you accurate details in my reply.

The journal Information Technology and Libraries has been indexed in Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA) from ProQuest and its predecessors since 1968, when it appeared in print as the Journal of Library Automation. To make this information more apparent, we have asked our sister company Ulrich’s to update their coverage details, and will also request the journal’s publisher, the American Library Association, include this information on its publication site.

ProQuest includes many open access titles in our databases. Where the full text is made available inside the ProQuest platform, this is always through a formal license agreement with the publisher. In the case of Information Technology and Libraries, we have been licensing the full text from the American Library Association since 1987 and continued to license the journal after it moved to the new open access, online-only format in 2012. It’s an important title and widely used by researchers, who are accustomed to finding it within the ProQuest platform.

ProQuest is a key resource within the scholarly workflow and we have found that inclusion of high quality OA content in ProQuest boosts its dissemination and discovery by the academic community. Our goal is not to hide OA content behind paywalls, but to integrate it so that it’s discovered in context with other relevant scholarly content. We use end-users as our guides for decisions such as these, consulting usability studies that we conduct and also those from organizations focused on the research workflow.

We fully understand and appreciate your perspective on the matter of linking to the original version. It’s a thorny issue as there are no industry standards for citing articles appearing in open access journals, and the entire community is adapting to an OA landscape that is changing rapidly.   Here at ProQuest, we are evaluating and testing models that work for publishers, authors, as well as libraries and their patrons. Please know the feasibility of linking to author versions is of prime concern.

I hope this answers your questions and concerns. I’m happy to discuss this further.

9/22 Workshop- Alerts: Finding New Research

Free workshop Tuesday, 9/22, from 4-5 p.m. in the Innovative Learning Studio of Renne Library.

Learn how to set-up and manage alerts to get notifications of new research based on new matches for subject terms, a new issue of a favorite journal, and new citations to key research articles. Many alert options are available from databases, journal publishers, and even from the Web.

Want to get started on your own? Check out our Alerts Guide.

Registration is recommended but not required. Walk-ins welcome as long as there is room. Bring your own laptop or use on of ours during the workshop.

You are welcome to attend our other library workshops

Library display celebrates 100 years of “M”

Stuck on campus and can’t hike the “M” on Mount Baldy? Never fear! Come see a rather scaled down version in the front library display case for an “M” extravaganza. In honor of the ASMSU Homecoming theme, “100 Years of the College M,” the library has researched and created an homage to the 13th letter and its presence in the last 100 years of our university’s history.

Find out more about Montana State University history brought to you by the letter “M.” For example, did you know “Fantasy in Fairyland” was the 1964 Homecoming theme? Or that in 1921, the track team captain’s plane crashed into the side of a mountain…yet he still won first place in javelin in all his meets? You might even spot the rare “Bobra Cat”!

Be a part of this display! Coloring stations are set up throughout the library, and students and other library visitors are invited to color the block “M” logo; it may be added to the case!

The “M” on Mount Baldy has endured for 100 years. This display will only be in the library from September 11- October 6. Visit your library, and hike a history trail!

9/16 Workshop: EndNote Q&A

Free workshop Wednesday, 9/16, from 4-5 p.m. in the Innovative Learning Studio of Renne Library.

Already using EndNote and have some questions? Bring your questions about EndNote, EndNote Online, citations, using Cite-While-You-Write in Word, or any related queries to this open workshop. See our EndNote Guide for basic information, installation help, and tutorials.

Registration is recommended but not required. Walk-ins welcome as long as there is room. Bring your own laptop or use one of ours.

Register and see more library workshops here.

9/16 Workshop: Collaborate with Google Drive

Free workshop Wednesday, September 16, from 1-2 p.m. in the Heathcote classroom of Renne Library.

Learn tips to collaborate, and how to make the most of your Google Drive account using Google Docs, Sheets, Presentations, sharing files and folders, and more.

Registration is recommended but not required. Walk-ins welcome as long as there is room.

Register and see more library workshops here.

Audio postcard: smokey bears

Bison roaming the National Bison Range. Photo by Jeff Rice.

Bison roaming the National Bison Range. Photo by Jeff Rice.

Occasionally, we take you behind the scenes of an interesting recording. Recently, Acoustic Atlas Program Director Jeff Rice captured the unusual sound of a black bear at the National Bison Range in western Montana. Read on and then take a listen.

The place: The National Bison Range was created in 1908 by Teddy Roosevelt as habitat for the nation’s endangered bison population. As many as 30 to 60 million bison once roamed the Western United States, but by the late 1880s, a relentless campaign of hunting and outright slaughter had destroyed almost all of them. At one point, as few as 100 individuals were thought to remain in the wild. By Roosevelt’s day, recovery efforts had started to take hold, and the National Bison Range was the first time that Congress had appropriated money to buy land aimed at wildlife conservation. It marked one of the earliest successes of the National Wildlife Refuge system.

Today, bison in the West number in the hundreds of thousands, mostly on private ranches. They remain an important fixture on the refuge, along with pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and imposing herds of elk and deer—habitat for bison means more habitat for other species too, which makes the range a great place for nature recording.
Continue reading

Lynda.com login instructions

Dear MSU Library user,

On Tuesday, September 1st, the login process for Lynda.com will become simpler. On that date, at about 5 PM, we will integrate Lynda.com for MSU Bozeman with our Web single sign on.

You will no longer need a separate username and password to access your Lynda account.

Please login through the regular “Connect to Lynda.com”  link, found on this page on the Library website:


If you are off-campus, you will be prompted as usual to login with your NetID. If you are on-campus, you may need to click “Log in” in the upper right corner of the Lynda.com homepage, where you will then see a screen, where you should choose the “Organizational Login” tab. Enter “montana.edu” in the bottom box and click the “Go” button.

After logging in with your NetID, you will have the opportunity to merge your previous, self registered account. The reason you may want to do this is to maintain your account history. Make your choice and proceed. You will need your previous account credentials to merge the account. Use the forgot password link if necessary.

In keeping with good privacy practices and Library policies, we will not share your personal information with Lynda.com. We share your first name only. It is your choice whether to complete your profile on Lynda, in order to take advantage of email alerts or other services.

That’s it! Please contact us if you have any problems. You may continue to use Lynda.com in the meantime, but look for this change after 5 PM on September 1st.

If you’d like complete directions, with screenshots, please download the word document below:

link to word document – Lynda.com login changes

Erik Guss, IT Systems Integration, MSU Bozeman Library

8/25 Workshop: EndNote Basics

Free workshop Tuesday, 8/25, from 1-2 pm in the Innovative Learning Studio of Renne Library.

EndNote is now available for free for MSU users. See how EndNote X7 makes formatting citations and managing bibliographies easy! Learn to search, import records, add notes, find articles, manage PDFs, and format papers using any one of thousands of citation styles. This workshop covers how to get EndNote, share references, and use both the desktop and online version.

Registration is recommended but not required. Walk-ins welcome as long as there is room. Bring your own laptop and install EndNote during the workshop.

Register and see more library workshops here.