PSU Library to Award $10,000 with Open Access Article Processing Charge Fund

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PSU Library Supports Open Access Publishing

Portland State Sky Bridge (2013) by Parker Knight
Portland State Sky Bridge (2013) by Parker Knight

Open Access Article Processing Charge Fund (OA APC) is a $10,000 pilot fund set aside by the PSU Library to fund PSU research for publication in open access journals. Funds awarded to eligible applicants may be used to pay article processing charges at open access publications. These funds will be awarded first-come first-serve to eligible authors until funds are expended. The Library is excited to launch this pilot project in the hopes that it will contribute to a growing ethos of openness at Portland State and in the scholarly publishing economy.

Benefits for Students

Students will benefit because the OA fund will connect them to the research they need while they attend PSU and after they graduate. Online students and Portland State Alumni will particularly benefit, because OA articles are readily available online. As the Library increases its participation in open initiatives, students will increasingly recognize the value of openness. As they become researchers and full contributors to the scholarly communication system, their practices will incorporate OA publishing and other forms of open scholarship.

Benefits for Authors

Portland State authors will benefit because the OA fund will make their works more visible and remove access barriers to their articles. When more people can access their articles, there is potential for authors to make a greater impact.

Benefits for the Public

The public will benefit because funded articles will be free of cost for the public to read, and the research generated by Portland State researchers will continue to serve our community. This initiative achieves Portland State University’s mission to “let knowledge serve our city” and beyond by making PSU research more available –  to anyone.

More Information:
PSU Library OA APC Fund
Faculty Services at PSU Library

Free Textbooks at the Library with Open Educational Resources

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Open Educational Resources – What are They?

Cover of textbook Spatial Thinking in Planning Practice
PSU’s open textbooks span across many disciplines

Textbooks are expensive! Textbooks today cost 800% more than 1978 studies show a direct link between textbook costs and student success. A 2016 student survey by Florida Virtual Campus found that 66.6% of students do not purchase textbooks due to high cost. Even worse, this survey shows that due to textbook costs:

  • 47.6% of students frequently take fewer courses
  • 45.5% of students don’t register for a course
  • 26.1% drop a course
  • 20.7% students withdraw from courses.

Professors and colleges are trying to make higher education affordable to students but still provide students with quality resources. Open educational resources (OERs) are one of the ways to make this possible. OERs are educational materials, often textbooks, that are published with Creative Commons licenses. They are often written by professors who want to provide more affordable textbook options to students and who provide different forms of scholarship beyond books and articles. These OER textbooks are freely available for anyone to read, modify, print, and share.

PSU Library’s OERs are Free Textbooks – for Everyone

Cover of textbook Leyendas y arquetipos del Romanticismo español
PSU open textbooks like this anthology of legends can be studied and used by anyone

Portland State University Library works with PSU faculty authors to create open textbooks designed specifically for PSU classes in a project called PDXOpen. Open Textbooks have been created for several Portland State disciplines, University Studies, World Languages, Math, Education, Psychology, and Urban Studies.

Outside of the open textbooks created by Portland State faculty, many other excellent OERs are available. Browse Open Textbook Library or OpenStax to see some other open educational resources that can be used for studying or modified into teaching materials. With open educational resources, the possibilities are limitless.

More Information:
Open Textbook Library
OER Introduction Video
Florida Virtual Campus 2016 Textbook Survey (PDF)

Article Processing Charges and An Interview with Professor Ballhorn

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Open Access and Article Processing Charges

PSU Millar Library ExteriorSome open access publications ask authors to pay article processing charges (APCs) to support making their articles readily available while moving away from subscriptions income. These fees allow journals to make their publications immediately and freely available online. Journals understand that APC fees can be a barrier for researchers without funding.

Some journals will waive the charge for unfunded research, while researchers with grants may use those funds to pay for the APC fees. High-quality journals still have basic costs to publish to make open access articles free or low cost for researchers.

PSU Library Interview with Professor Ballhorn

Many faculty members at Portland State University are actively engaged with open access publishing. The PSU Library interviewed Daniel Ballhorn, Associate Professor of Biology at Portland State University, about why he values open access.

You’re on the Editorial Board of several open access publications. Can you tell us why you decided to serve at these journals instead of commercially produced scholarly journals?
DB: I feel (high quality) open access journals are more timely. Many researchers worldwide do not have adequate access to resources. Such a lack of resources negatively impacts their success and productivity and maintains or creates are larger gap between under developed or developing and developed countries. I am and have been also editor for conventional journals. These established journals are fine as well. Open access just goes into another direction (you can choose to publish open access in many conventional journals as well – for a similarly high fee…)

What  barriers do researchers/scholars face when it comes to publishing in open access publications?
DB: [The] costs of publishing open access. Fees of several thousand dollars are common and cannot be afforded by many researchers either. While I understand that high costs are involved to run a successful open access journal the price for publishing is still a barrier.

What advice do you have for students or new faculty members who are looking to publish their work open access?
DB: Pick the right journal!!! There are many almost predatory open access journals out there. Their emails asking for manuscript submissions are spam-like. Publishing with such journals has little value or even may harm your career.

How do you think PSU can best support students and faculty who are interested in OA?
DB: I think information or workshops on where to publish – depending on the field of research – might be helpful. Financial contribution like a percentage of the publishing costs would be nice but probably is not feasible. I think assistance with picking the right journal is more important.

More Information:
Open Access at PSU for Faculty
Daniel Ballhorn

PSU Library Celebrates Open Access Week

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Open Access International Week logoInternational Open Access Week is upon us! Celebrate open access and publishing with the PSU Library from October 24 through October 30, 2016. Open access the movement to make scholarly endeavors available to the public without financial and licensing barriers. Open access is the immediate, online availability of research that have minimal license restrictions.

During Open Access Week, the PSU Library will highlight library services that support open access publication and open access resources offered by the Library. The PSU Library will join other libraries, academic institutions, researchers and publishers to celebrate, promote, and discuss open access. 

Open Access Services at the PSU Library

PPSU Millar Library ExteriorDXScholar, Portland State Library’s institutional repository, is our foremost open access service. PDXScholar makes PSU student and faculty research available to researchers anywhere in the world. The Library also supports the publication of open access journals such as Anthos, Hatfield Graduate Journal of Public Affairs, and the PSU McNair Scholars Online Journal.

The Library supports the development of Open Educational Resources, educational materials that everyone can use, modify, and freely share. PDXOpen projects have already saved PSU students $61,294! Stop by the Library this week to see a display highlighting some of these books on our new books shelf.

More Information:
PSU Library on Open Access
Open Access Explained!
SPARC Open Access Fact Sheet (PDF)
PSU Library Facebook
PSU Library Twitter

Featured Resource –

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What is

NOAA Significant Earthquakes database
NOAA Significant Earthquakes data is part of is a source of accessible, discoverable, and open government data. This treasure trove of statistics and information pulls data from many different organizations, so it spans many different disciplines. Built-in search tools help you find the data you need regardless of size, scope or subject. Narrow the data down to the state, county or city level, search by the government organization, by subject or by format, and more. Whether you are researching national businesses or local demographics, is an incredibly useful tool for everyone.

How works provides access to federal open government data as well as data from state, local, and tribal governments. does not create or host the data directly. Instead, it pulls open data resources into one centralized location. Once an open data source is formatted and ready to be used, the team makes it open and available to all, synchronizing it as often as every 24 hours. Because is an open government resource, it is available to everyone. logoUse the data in any way you choose to have an impact on your community. Just a few examples of ways that open data has been used in the past include:

  • Tools to find the market value of local organic produce
  • Apps to search for local schools, hospitals, hotels, stores, and more
  • Insights into local neighborhood housing options and trends
  • Free public crime mapping and alert websites

More Information:
Ask a Librarian Website

This resource appears in the following subject guides:
Government Information
Maps & GIS
Urban Studies & Planning

Discover PSU Faculty Experts with Expert Gallery

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SelectedWorks logoThe SelectedWorks Expert Gallery is a discovery interface for exploration of SelectedWorks faculty profiles affiliated with Portland State University. The new Expert Gallery is designed to promote the strengths of our faculty by showcasing the rich expertise of PSU researchers. Search the Expert Gallery by name, discipline, research interest, and by organization to find a PSU faculty expert.

SelectedWorks is one of several PDXScholar services.


  • Engages researchers with your work
  • Shares your full scholarly background
  • Captures your scholarship, including data, video, and teaching materials
  • Highlights your areas of expertise

Get started with SelectedWorks:
Email Digital Initiatives

Featured Resource – Roper iPoll

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What is public opinion, and what do all of those election polls and surveys actually mean? Learn more with Roper iPoll.

The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research has a collection of data and background information about polls, surveys, and elections. They also have resources that explain how to analyze and understand election and public opinion data.

More information about elections and politics:
Elections and Politics Guide

Ask a Librarian if you have questions about using Roper iPoll or any other Library resource.

Welcome, Vikings! – A Guide for Students

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Getting Started at the Library

Ask a Librarian

The Library has many resources to make your fall term a success. Ask a Librarian if you have any questions.

digitaldisplaytechEquipment Checkout

You can borrow equipment from the Portland State University Library, including mobile device chargers, headphones, graphing calculators, laptops, and iPads from the 1st floor Circulation Desk.

More Information:
iPad, Laptop & Equipment Checkout
Library Services for Students

Quiet Floors and Study Rooms

Do you need a quiet place to study? The basement, 4th, and 5th floors are designated quiet floors to provide students with places to focus and study. Study rooms are available throughout the Library for a space to study, practice a presentation, or work on a group project. A special family study room is available for students with children. Check out keys from the 1st floor Circulation Desk.

More Information:
Study Spaces & Computers

Textbooks and Course Reserves

The Library has many textbooks available for checkout. You can search the Library Catalog to see if we have your textbook in the reserve collection behind the 1st floor Circulation Desk or on the shelves.

More Information:
Course Reserves
Library Catalog

Computer Labs

The Library has computer labs on the 1st and 2nd floors. Both labs have PC and Mac computers, wheelchair accessible stations, scanners, and color printers. There are also research kiosks available for visitors.

More Information:
Computer Labs

Research Help

askReference Desk

Get help with your research at the Library Research Center on the 2nd floor. Reference Librarians will assist you with all stages of your research including brainstorming topics, finding articles, citing your sources, and more. You can get research help in person or 24/7 online.

More Information:
Ask a Librarian

Writing Center Outpost and Learning Center

The 2nd floor is also home to the Writing Center Outpost and Learning Center. The Writing Center Outpost will help you with your paper at any stage of the writing process from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays, and the Learning Center will help you with tutoring, study skills, and many other services.

More Information:
Writing Center Outpost

Exhibits and Events

New Exhibit at the Library

Viking 1947

Coming in October: An exhibit on The Viking, the Portland State annual publication from 1945 through 1995. The Viking began as a traditional yearbook and grew to become a snapshot into life on campus and around town. In October, view the exhibit inside the library to see the history of Portland through the eyes of past Portland State students, faculty and staff.

Read the PSU Viking Yearbooks Online:
The Viking

Upcoming Library Workshops

Streamline your thesis, dissertation, or research paper. Our upcoming library workshops will help you master managing citations, literature reviews, and data management.

More Information:
Workshop & Tours

Fall Term Drop-in Workshops & Tours

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Upcoming Workshops

Managing Resources with Zotero and Mendeley

Zotero and Mendeley are web-based and desktop citation and PDF management tools that make it easy to collect, organize and cite research materials. Both are terrific tools for anyone working on a research project, as they can help you manage your research materials from multiple sources and insert them into your documents with ease.

Dates Offered
Tuesday, October 11th 4–5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 26th 4–5:30 p.m.

Library, Room 160
1st floor, across from elevators

Michael Bowman

Research for Thesis and Dissertation Literature Reviews

A thorough literature review sets the stage for success in a large research project like a thesis, dissertation, or grant proposal. This session will give students tips and strategies for conducting an effective and comprehensive literature review.

Date Offered
Thursday, October 20th, 12 – 1 p.m.

Library, Room 160
1st floor, across from elevators

Kim Pendell

Research Data Management

Your research data needs care and maintenance in order to be effective and retain its viability. What file formats and organization should you use? What documentation should accompany your data so that you (and others) can re-use it in the future? What are the current standards in your field for adding metadata and prepare it for deposit in a repository? Learn the answers in our workshop!

Date Offered
Wednesday, November 2nd 4–5:30 p.m.

Library, Room 160
1st floor, across from elevators

Kim Pendell

Tour the Library

During the first 4 weeks of the term, guided tours are given Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. & Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m.

Meet at the 1st floor Circulation Desk.

Oregon Cultural Trust Grant Awarded to Special Collections: Preserving Historic Newspapers of Oregon’s African American Community

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The PSU Library is pleased to announce it has received a $5000 grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust to preserve and make accessible its historical collection of local Black-owned and published newspapers. The newspapers were donated to Portland State in 2012 by Charlotte Rutherford as part of the Verdell Burdine and Otto G. Rutherford Family Collection. The collection documents over one hundred years of Black community history in Oregon and includes photographs, scrapbooks, organizational records, personal papers, and publications. Its newspapers, dating from the 1910s through the 1980s, are a unique window to the national, regional, political and cultural context of their time. With photos and announcements of local events and ads from businesses, they also capture the vitality of the community over time. While in high demand by researchers, educators and students, regular use puts the original newspapers, many the only known print copies, at great risk. This grant will support the digitization of the collection to preserve it and make it available online. It will also fund the printing of full-size color facsimiles that can be safely shared at community events and in classrooms. The project will be overseen by the Library’s Head of Special Collections.

More Information:

PSU Library Special Collections & University Archives
African American History in Oregon: the Rutherford Family Collection