Month: March 2015

Mobilize Your Research!

BrowZine is a mobile app that allows you to download scholarly journals right to your tablet and smartphone to allow for browsing on the go.

Now available across all iOS mobile devices, Android devices with OS v4.1+, as well as Kindle Fire HD tablets. BrowZine culls articles from both Open Access databases and those UConn subscribes to, arranges them by subject and puts them into the familiar bookshelf format for ultimate convenience.

Developed by Third Iron Advanced Library technologies, the app not only allows for easy access to scholarly journals based on your preferences, it also allows for alerts when new editions are published and can be easily saved across platforms such as Zotero, Mendeley, Dropbox and more.

Learn how you get your research mobilized today!





Open Textbooks Key to Curbing Costs and Increasing Student Success

Concerned about the escalating cost of traditional college textbooks, the UConn Library is partnering with UConnPIRG and the Undergraduate Student Government to explore “open-source” electronic textbook alternatives. As commercial college textbook costs continue to rise, estimated as high as 812% or more than three times the rate of inflation since 1978 by Student PIRGs, many students are choosing to not purchase textbooks, jeopardizing their success in the classroom. A new initiative at UConn, spearheaded by students from UConnPIRG and the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), is underway to investigate ways to educate students and faculty on the value of Open Educational Resources (OER) such as open source textbooks. Unlike traditional commercial textbooks, open source textbooks are made of content gathered from various sources that are freely available online and for everyone to use. Last fall, USG kick started the movement by voting unanimously to form a committee to explore the use of open source textbooks.  The committee is being led by UConn’s Vice Provost for Libraries Martha Bedard and UConnPIRG Textbooks Coordinator Toyin Akinnusotu.  To further strengthen their commitment, USG passed a resolution on March 11, urging faculty to submit their textbook requirements on time to the University, a requirement for all federally funded institutions. This was further supported by the University’s Provost’s Library Advisory Committee, formed to help direct the library on issues regarding scholarly information access and delivery. “These are important resolutions for UConn students to understand,” said Hilltop Dorms Senator Daniel Byrd. “As the cost of textbooks continue to increase exponentially, it is our responsibility to do what we can to both encourage the use of open source textbooks and ensure the disclosure of information about textbook costs.”  Knowing the costs when the courses are listed is not only useful to students when considering taking a course, but also affects the buyback value of textbooks. UConn’s Vice Provost for Libraries Martha Bedard has been involved with the Open Access movement for over a decade. “The library is a natural place to facilitate this student-centered effort regarding open textbooks,” said Bedard. “We have seen a continuous cost increase in higher education resources and much like the issues students face, libraries cannot afford to provide all the resources requested by faculty and students. There have been many advances in the amount of high quality resources freely available so I am confident the adoption of open source textbooks will not compromise a quality education and in turn will make a tremendous difference for students.” According to a report recently released by the Student PIRGs, the soaring textbook costs is a trend across the nation. The average undergraduate student spends as much as $1,200-$1,300 for textbooks and supplies each year, one of the largest out-of-pocket expenses they face. In traditional PIRG style, members of UConnPIRG have taken a grassroots approach, talking to individual faculty and gathering support for the effort. “I am encouraged by the numerous faculty members I have spoken with who have agreed to use open source materials in their classes,” said UConnPIRG Textbooks Coordinator Toyin Akinnusotu. “We are off to a great start.” “Much of the issue is simple education. There are dozens of open textbooks available online, for free right now that provide the same high quality information as their traditional print textbook options. It is our job to help inform faculty on the resources available to them,” said Bedard. Learn more about some of the open educational resources available via our helpful guide. A copy of the referenced report, “Open Textbooks: The Billion-Dollar Solution,” is available at

New E-Resource – Statista

One of the world’s largest statistical resources – Statista is now available to UConn.

Statista provides up-to-date statistics from over 18,000 sources on a wide variety of topics including media, the environment, business and industry, sports, communication, politics, health care and more. Geographic coverage is worldwide, with particular emphasis on the United States, China, and European Union countries.

Check out Statista today.



Finding and Using Affordable Learning Resources

With the cost of textbooks continuing to rise, some students are choosing not to purchase textbooks, thus jeopardizing their success in the classroom. What is also increasing is the popularity of affordable learning resources outside of the that are freely available online. The UConn Library will host a workshop to help members of the campus community understand these alternatives to traditional textbooks and assess their value. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Electronic Classroom 2 of Homer Babbidge Library, on Level 2. Joining us for the conversation will be two experts in the field – Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education for Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), an initiative of the Association of Research Libraries, and Charlotte Roh, Scholarly Communications Resident Librarian from UMass Amherst. To register for the workshop, please visit: