Changes to VIVA Wiley agreement

Mason researchers have access to a large number of journals published by Wiley, thanks to an on-going contract between Wiley and the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA).  However, given current budget cuts across the state, recently VIVA has had to renegotiate this contract. To maintain this important journal access and yet still reach a viable price point, one component of the earlier contract has been dropped: financial support for authors publishing in fully-open journals. 

Fortunately, at Mason we are still able to offer our Open Access Publishing Fund as a way to support Open Access (OA) publishing by university researchers and offset potential publishing costs. To review the eligibility criteria and to apply for funding, please visit our OA Publishing Fund site.

To learn more about the cost of academic journal subscriptions, please visit our Sustainable Collections site.

Invitation to Mason faculty to join the conversation on Sustainable Scholarship

Virginia’s seven public academic research libraries (George Mason University, along with University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University, College of William and Mary, James Madison University, and Old Dominion University) will soon be at the contract negotiating table with Elsevier, the largest STEM scholarly publisher, in an effort to reduce our shared access costs to the Freedom Collection, Elsevier’s flagship academic journal bundle.

Our shared Elsevier contract represents a collective yearly expenditure of $10 million and is scheduled to expire on January 1, 2022, with five percent inflation in the final year of the contract. In light of substantial budget cuts and ongoing fiscal uncertainty – as well as the unsustainable models favored by large publishing conglomerates who control access to academic journals – Virginia universities are considering our next steps for both cost reductions and future sustainability.

In preparation for these negotiations, we are implementing UnSub, an analysis tool that will help us make sound, data- informed decisions about the value of the Elsevier Freedom Collection and our other journal packages. The data we collect, along with additional information about sustainable journal collections, will be made available to the university community on our website throughout the fall. For an example of one large university system’s effective use of UnSub, see this recent Science magazine article.

We know that any changes to the way we share and access information affects our entire academic community. Our faculty are key partners in making any necessary changes, and we welcome your input. If a successful outcome is not reached through negotiations, we – and our partner universities – will continue our common commitment to delivering the resources students and faculty need to do their research and academic work.

We invite you to attend the upcoming Sustainable Scholarship Virtual Forum on Friday, October 2 at 9:30 a.m., where VRL members will share information about the group’s collective priorities concerning equity, accessibility, and the costs of bundled scholarly journal packages.

We have collated some resources about sustainable collections and journal pricing on our Sustainable Collections site. We hope you will find this information, particularly the “Six Things Faculty Need to Know”, helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions.

University Records Management Workshops

University Records Management is offering a number of virtual workshops for staff and faculty throughout the fall, including Records Coordinator Training, Building Internal Records Policies and Practices, and quick Retention Review sessions focused on specific records types (such as Academic and Research Records, Human Resources and Fiscal Records, and Administrative and Miscellaneous Records).

University Records Management offers these workshop to assist the Mason community, as improper handling of university records can affect audits, accreditation, litigation, and more. Each workshop is limited to ten attendees. Please see dates and times below, and register at the associated link. All workshops are available on the Libraries’ calendar.

Records Coordinator Training. This workshop will introduce records management basics, a review of local and federal laws that govern information management within the University, services available to University departments and offices, electronic records and data management, and creating internal records policies for individual departments. Records Coordinators will receive materials from this workshop to share with their departments. 

Building Internal Records Policies and Practices, Part 1. This two-part workshop builds on fundamental records management concepts introduced in “Records Coordinator Training.” In addition, Part 1 will cover record life-cycle procedures, and establishing record-keeping protocols in the event of an emergency. The workshop aims to ensure that Mason staff are confident in correctly identifying and applying those principles to ensure their department’s daily business practices are compliant with University Records Center regulations.

Quick Review of Academic and Research Records. This workshop will cover the retention periods for common academic and research records. Attendees will learn how to appraise their records, set retention periods, and learn about the appropriate methods of disposition for both analog and digital records.

Quick Review of Human Resources and Fiscal Records. This workshop will cover the retention periods for common HR and fiscal records. Attendees will learn how to appraise their records, set retention periods, and learn about the appropriate methods of disposition for both analog and digital records.

Quick Review of Administrative and Miscellaneous Records. This workshop will cover the retention periods for common administrative and other miscellaneous records. Attendees will learn how to appraise their records, set retention periods, and learn about the appropriate methods of disposition for both analog and digital records.

New Library Resource for Sciences: JoVE Education Unlimited

The University Libraries is delighted to announce a new resource to support online learning across the full spectrum of the sciences – JoVE.

 JoVE, an innovative library of video collections, is ideal for this academic year’s hybrid model of virtual and in-person learning. Instructors can turn to JoVE for high quality, engaging demonstrations and animations of laboratory methods and more in Biology, Chemistry, Clinical Skills, Engineering, Environmental Science, Physics, and Psychology. Concise lessons complement classroom and lab instruction, and detailed accompanying transcriptions facilitate accessibility. JoVE, the first and only peer-reviewed scientific video journal, publishes more than 100 new videos each month.

Mason faculty, students, and staff may access JoVE on or off campus by clicking this link. Off-campus users will be prompted to sign in using their Mason credentials. 

This new subscription is part of the Libraries’ ongoing commitment to support online learning and prioritizing resources that enable faculty and students to pivot to online education during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions about this new resource, please contact your subject librarian

About JoVE: JoVE is the world-leading producer and provider of science videos with the mission to improve scientific research and education. Millions of scientists, educators and students at thousands of universities, colleges, hospitals and biopharmaceutical companies worldwide use JoVE for their research, teaching and learning.