America’s Other Deficit – The Innovation Deficit

Here’s an informative four-minute video to help you understand a new type of deficit that threatens the U.S. economy. Innovation helps to grow the American economy through the discovery of new products and services that will bring value to consumers and industry. Many of these innovations, ranging from GPS technology to MRIs or life-saving medicines, were the result of higher education research. We now find ourselves facing an innovation deficit that weakens our capacity to produce the research that leads to innovation.

In a nutshell, the innovation deficit is the difference between actual federal funding for scientific research and education and the amount of funding actually needed for those activities to produce a sufficient level of innovation. The point of the video is that while this may seem like an effective strategy in the short-term to reduce the budget deficit by cutting research funding to higher education, in the long-term it’s actually hurting the economy by reducing our national capacity for innovation. Because we also compete in a global economy, fewer funds domestically decreases the attraction of American universities to the world’s best scientists and innovators and instead encourages them to seek research opportunities in other countries offering more funding. That compounds the problem over time., the producer of the video, is a coalition of higher education, business and public health associations, including the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Council on Education and the Business and Higher Education Forum. The Coalition hopes to use their site and video to alert members of Congress to the serious problems that may result if we allow the innovation deficit to grow.

Veterans Day and Temple’s World War I Poster Collection

While the First World War officially ended at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919,  major hostilities  concluded on November 11, 1918,  at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  November 11 was thereafter observed as Armistice Day  in many of the allied nations, including France, the United States, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth nations.   The day originally served to remember the  9 million combatants who had died  during the war.  After the Second World War, veterans of that conflict pressed in the United States to have November 11 become a day on which all veterans of military service would be honored, irrespective of  when they served in the U.S. Armed Forces.   President Dwight D. Eisenhower, himself a veteran of both the first and second World Wars,  signed the enabling legislation into effect in 1954.

Today, although all combatants from “war to end all wars”  have died,  we grapple still with the legacy of that terrible conflict which spawned several national revolutions,  reshaped the map of Europe, led  to the Second World War, and  directly or indirectly occasioned the creation of the modern states of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and ultimately Israel.

The First World War is regarded  as a watershed event in the history of warfare, society and culture.  Government powers (taxation, rationing, conscription) significantly expanded in many nations in order to mobilize entire economies to fight a technologically advanced and industrially intensive war of such great geographic extent and duration.   Propaganda reached new heights of pervasiveness and persuasive power as governments increasingly saw the necessity to garner and maintain broad public support  in favor of war policies in the context of  broad literacy rates and mass suffrage.

One of the most prominent manifestations of the new propaganda was the war poster, many of which have survived in the collections of libraries and historical societies, as well as in private collections.   The Special Collections Research Center of the Temple University Libraries hold  a magnificent collection of over 1,500 World War I posters which were donated to Temple in 1937 by George F. Tyler who had been a Major in the U.S. Army Field Artillery during the War.  Temple’s Tyler School of Art is named for Tyler’s wife Stella Elkins Tyler.    Virtually all these posters have been digitized and are now freely available for study in our Digital Collections.      An interpretive online exhibition is also offered at: .  

Jonathan LeBreton, Senior Assoc. University Librarian

Get Ready For Open Access Week – Oct.21 – Oct.25

Each October academic librarians set aside a week to promote and celebrate the open access movement. Across the globe events are held to remind scholars of the importance of reforming the scholarly communications system in order to make the results of research and scholarship widely available to all the world’s citizens. According to the Open Access Week website:

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its sixth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.Open Access” to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted.

In recognition of Open Access Week, Temple University Libraries will use its website and this blog to share information about open access. We hope this will create more awareness about open access issues and opportunities across our institution.

There are two webcasts scheduled for Open Access Week that may be of interest to you. On Monday, October 21 at 3:00 pm ET the Open Access Week Kick Off Event is sponsored by SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and the World Bank. The webcast is “Open Access: Redefining Impact” and will feature a panel discussion of multiple experts from different disciplines discussing their open access experiences. You can view a listing of other Open Access Week live events being sponsored by SPARC.

The live webcast “Protect Your Patrons From Predatory Publishers” will be held on Tuesday, October 22 at 3:30 pm ET, and it will feature Jeffrey Beall speaking about low quality open access journals that use misleading techniques and claims to lead faculty to publish for outlandish fees. It is important for researchers and scholars to be aware of predatory publishers.

Stay tuned for more information on open access the week of October 21, 2013.


FASTR Supports Expanded Public Access to Research Results

Scholars and researchers in the sciences and medicine have become more familiar with the NIH Mandatory Public Access policy that requires authors to deposit their research articles into PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication. This has added many thousands of research articles into the public domain. Legislation to expand this public access policy to other fields has been proposed but not yet adopted. Despite that failure, a new effort to broaden public access has begun again.Here is a summary of FASTR, a new piece of legislation introduced recently to create even more public access to research, that comes from the ACRL Insider newsletter.

On Thursday February 14, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. This bi-cameral and bipartisan legislation would require federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. In addition to requiring greater access, the legislation would require agencies to examine whether introducing open licensing options for research papers they make publicly available would promote productive reuse and computational analysis of those research papers.


FASTR would apply to quite a few other federal agencies including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services,the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation. Those interested in learning more about FASTR can find more information at SPARC’s Alliance for Taxpayer Access site.

It is difficult to say if FASTR will fare better than its predecessor FRPPA. It is likely that the commercial publishers of scholarly journals will oppose this legislation as they have in the past. Faculty generally support the idea of offering open, public access to their research articles once they have been published in journals. With support from the academic community, FASTR could become a reality this time.

Facts at Your Fingertips: Check out our 2012-2013 Quick Guide to Library Services and Resources

Check out our recently released 2012-2013 Quick Guide [PDF], a one-stop spot for essential library contacts, information, and more. This two-page “cheat sheet” contains a list of subject specialists, information on how to use our various collections and search tools, and more. For our new students, it will introduce you to the libraries and get you on your way to locating course materials and starting research. For returning community members, it is an essential reminder of where to find materials and who to contact for research assistance.



“Philadelphia: Where to Turn?” Information Guide

Love Park sculpture in front of fountain in downtown Philadelphia.Philly Goes to College Logo.Coalition Against Hunger Logo.

The “Philadelphia:  Where to Turn?” information guide provides information on services to help our city’s residents.  The guide lists where to find food assistance programs, shelters, and health services, as well as information on job-skills development, educational programs, and community centers, addressing the needs of many Philadelphians. The resources in the guide range from municipal and state programs to programs sponsored by non-profit organizations. These resources were selected for the free or low-cost quality services they provide. “Philadelphia: Where to turn?” also provides information on volunteering opportunities in the city. The guide will continue to grow as new services become available.

 “Philadelphia: Where to turn?” provides access to information on services available to Philadelphia residents who are in need of assistance. You can use this guide to find:

  • Food assistance
  • Shelter/housing
  • Health services
  • Educational opportunities (G.E.D., adult education, etc.)
  • Job training and employment opportunities
  • Legal help
  • Resources for New Americans (E.S.L.,citizenship test preparation, etc.)
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Community centers
Temple University Libraries would like to thank our library intern, Joseph Schaffner, for creating this guide.

Could Open Access Disrupt Traditional Scholarly Publishing

It’s not often that the mainstream media takes up relatively unpopular higher education issues, so it comes with some surprise that U.S. News & World Report published a rather extensive article on the debate about the future of scholarly publishing. The article, titled “Is the Academic Publishing Industry on the Verge of Disruption?” provides a balanced look at both sides of the push for open access journal publishing.

Using interviews with both open access advocates such as Heather Josephs of SPARC and representatives from scholarly publishers such as the American Institute of Physics, the article provides an excellent overview of the current challenges of traditional scholarly journal publishing. It covers new business models for open access publishing and current and proposed government policies aimed at promoting the sharing of scholarly research funded by taxpayer dollars.

If you’d like to learn more about the current issues confronting traditional scholarly publishing, the challenges that both libraries and scholarly publishers face, and new models and ideas for a better scholarly publishing system, then give this article a read. If you do, let us know what you think (use the comments) by sharing your thoughts about scholarly communications, open access, and its impact on higher education. Do you believe that the traditional system is ripe for disruption, and if so, will open access be the disruptive factor?