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Database Trial: Rights, Action and Social Responsibility

rights action and social responsibility database logo

Public debates surrounding climate change, international relations, and human rights are at the forefront of our national discourse.  Critical reasoning, supported through academic research, is needed.

As a result, several academic publishers are making freely available books and journal articles across nine topical areas in the Rights, Action and Social Responsibility database.  Broadening access to this scholarship enables more people to address these issues in an informed manner:

  • Constitutional history
  • Dissent, truth, and ethics
  • Environmental studies
  • Gender studies
  • Geo-politics
  • Human rights
  • Immigration and urbanism
  • Islamic studies
  • Leadership

This database trial is available through December 2017.  Please send feedback about the database to Molly Royse at

Publish in PeerJ to Increase your Research Impact

peer j broad audience statistics

Researchers: Who reads your work and who are you intending to reach in publishing your research?

Researchers want their work read so that they can solicit feedback and the research can make a difference, either in the field or in wider society.

Here are four ways publishing in PeerJ can help you reach a broader audience:

  1. Publishing in an open access journal like PeerJ (as opposed to a subscription-based journal available behind a paywall) allows for your work to be read by new readers.  Research behind a paywall creates a barrier to views and wider attention.
  2. Over 32,000 researchers have subscribed to PeerJ’s content alerts, which means your work is being shared directly with an interested and engaged community.
  3. PeerJ promotes your research through its blog, social media, and custom infographics.
  4. PeerJ is a broad community journal – not a hyper-specialized, niche community journal, but instead a community of shared values that puts researchers first and values interdisciplinary collaboration.

PeerJ’s peer review process is rigorous and transparent, so you can expect high-quality research and a review process updated for the 21st century scholar.

Interested in publishing in PeerJ?  Sign up for Pendergrass Library’s institutional plan to cover the cost of publishing and see which UT researchers have already published in PeerJ.  You can also volunteer to serve as a peer reviewer with PeerJ’s reviewer match.

For more information, see PeerJ’s recent blog posts on impact and audience.

Kanopy: Streaming Videos on Agriculture & More

Watch streaming videos on or off campus with Kanopy!

Kanopy offers over 26,000 titles including award-winning documentaries from PBS and BBC, foreign films, training videos, and more.

Browse by subject to view films on agriculture topics such as sustainability, GMOs, urban farming, and food production.

Instructors can create playlists of videos to stream for class use.

Visit Kanopy:

Check out UT Libraries’ other streaming databases:

For assistance creating video clips, embedding videos in a Canvas course, and more:

Share your Data to Improve Research Quality and Reliability

The University of Tennessee’s Research Data Policy states that “the University promotes the prompt and open exchange of Research Data with scientific colleagues outside the investigator’s immediate laboratory or department, subject to relevant grants, contracts, other agreements, or applicable law.”

Would anyone other than you want to use your research data?  Yes, they would!  If it’s worth analyzing, it’s worth sharing.  Here are some possible reasons you might want to share your data:

  • Improved data quality and reliability
  • New research from existing data
  • More data available for research
  • Ability to reproduce research results
  • Use of data in teaching
  • Compliance with legal requirements of funding agencies

The UT Libraries suggests sharing data sets in a suitable, domain-specific data repository.  Libraries staff can assist you in identifying the best one and guide you in preparing your data set for sharing.  Remember to place a record of the data set in UT’s digital archive, TRACE, so it can be associated with the University.

For more information, visit the Libraries’ data management guide and agriculture data guide.

Ithaka S+R Releases In-Depth Report on Research Activities of Agriculture Scholars

In early June, academic non-profit Ithaka S+R released its in-depth report on the research of agriculture scholars as part of its ongoing program to explore the research activities of scholars by discipline.

According to the report, an ongoing concern is how to effectively communicate the value of agriculture research to the wider public.  Outreach to the public is a key component of the land-grant mission, and agriculture scholars are concerned that the public does not understand the value and insights of their research.  (Not to mention, if your research is not easily available and understandable to the public, it will be less likely to inform important policy decisions.)  The report mentions digital media platforms and social networking as channels with the potential to strengthen public communication.

How Pendergrass Library can help:

1) Choosing where to publish?  We support publishing in open access journals like PeerJ A great deal of scholarly publishing exists behind paywalls.  Open access or open research is a movement to make scholarly research openly available to the public.  Pendergrass has an institutional agreement with PeerJ to cover the cost of publishing.  Did you know PeerJ will also promote your work on its social media account?

2) Promoting your research on social media or to a wider audience?  We support infographic design and more:  Are you interested in turning your research results into an infographic, flyer, or handout for the public?  Learn about helpful design tools and use graphic design software on Pendergrass Library computers.  If you need one-on-one help or are interested in a workshop on turning research into infographics, please email

Pendergrass Library Welcomes Isabella Baxter as Ag Librarian, July 1

Please welcome Isabella Baxter, our next Agriculture and Natural Resources Librarian.  Starting July 1, Ms. Baxter will join the Pendergrass Library team as liaison librarian to the many programs in the Institute of Agriculture including CASNR, AgResearch, and Extension.  Ms. Baxter will assist with agriculture research questions, instruction, citation management, scholarly publishing, and more.

Ms. Baxter completed her Master of Library and Information Science at Syracuse University in New York.  Prior to graduate school, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in biology from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.

While completing her master’s, Ms. Baxter was awarded two graduate assistantships in the Syracuse Bird Library, one in access/resource sharing and the other in their Learning Commons.  In both appointments, Ms. Baxter provided in-person and online research help and technology support.  She also worked as a graduate intern at Le Moyne College in New York where she concentrated in STEM librarianship.  This will be Ms. Baxter’s first professional appointment.

Please join us in welcoming Ms. Baxter to UTIA.

Museum’s “Gilded Age” Exhibit Includes Items from Special Collections

A new exhibition opening May 26 at UT’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture depicts consumer culture in the American Gilded Age. The exhibition includes a number of objects on loan from UT Libraries’ Special Collections.

Fish Forks and Fine Furnishings: Consumer Culture in the Gilded Age explores the personal and household objects that served as visible symbols of wealth, power, and social class during the Gilded Age.

The American Gilded Age, defined in the exhibition as 1870–1900, offered unprecedented access to consumer goods. What one owned or had the ability to buy became an important way to assert one’s identity. Though there was also vast income disparity, the time period saw rapid modernization and great expansion of the country’s middle class, which experienced an increase in overall quality of life.

The period takes its name from Mark Twain’s novel satirizing the gross materialism and political corruption of the era. An 1874 edition of Twain’s The Gilded Age from the libraries’ rare book collection is included in the exhibition. Other items on loan from Special Collections are an 1898 edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll; The Gibson Book (1906), a collection of illustrations by Charles Dana Gibson, creator of the turn-of-the-century feminine ideal, the Gibson Girl; and an 1888 Christmas menu from Schubert’s Hotel in Knoxville.

Centennial Exhibition 1876Also on display are issues of two iconic magazines of the era. Godey’s Lady’s Book was known for its hand-colored plates presenting the fashions of the day. The growth of trade and travel in the Gilded Age meant that Americans had new access to, and interest in, goods from around the world. This is evidenced by 1876 issues of Harper’s Weekly featuring “The Japanese Bazaar” and a “Scene in the Chinese Department” at the Centennial International Exhibition held that year in Philadelphia.

McClung Museum will host Fish Forks and Fine Furnishings: Consumer Culture in the Gilded Age from May 26 through August 27, 2017. Read more about the exhibition and affiliated lectures, tours, and other events at


“Scene in the Chinese Department,” Centennial International Exhibition, Philadelphia, 1876. Harper’s Weekly, September 2, 1876.

#UTKLibPets: Meet Lambeau and Neyland!

UT Libraries is excited to introduce #UTKLibPets! Follow UTKLibraries on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or our blog to meet the beloved pets of library staff. Tag @utklibraries to share your adorable pet photos, or for an extra challenge, snap a photo of your pet sporting UT orange!

Name: Lambeau and Neyland

Breed: Golden Retriever

Age: Lambeau – 8 / Neyland – 3

Likes: Watching football (especially the Packers and the Vols!), tennis balls, swimming, and string cheese

Dislikes: Baths, ear cleaner, and the vacuum

What they do all day: Nap until their parents get home from work to take them to the park

Heroes: Vince Lombardi, General Neyland, Reggie White, and Smokey

One word: Lambeau – loyal / Neyland – exuberant

Owner: Susan Pritchard, Administration

Miles Reading Room closed for renovations all summer

The Miles Reading Room, 135 Hodges Library, will close for renovations on May 15. Staff will begin removing computer equipment from the reading room on May 10. The remodeled space should reopen at the start of fall semester or slightly thereafter.

The remodeled reading room will feature updated furnishings — a combination of computer workspaces, tables, and comfortable seating for quiet study, research, and reading.

The Leisure Reading Collection, formerly located in the Miles Reading Room, has been temporarily relocated to the third floor (ahead and to the right as one exits the elevator). Current newspapers and the display of new faculty publications will be temporarily relocated to the central hallway outside the reading room.

UT Libraries Wins Public Relations Award

The University of Tennessee Libraries has won a prestigious public relations award. The UT Libraries is one of only eight libraries in the U.S. and Canada to receive the 2017 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award. The award, sponsored by the American Library Association, the H.W. Wilson Foundation, and EBSCO Information Services, honors outstanding library public relations.

The UT Libraries was recognized for its “Information Is Our Game” awareness campaign. The campaign used a sports theme to connect students and faculty with the librarian who specializes in their field of study.

The Libraries’ marketing team photographed librarians at campus sports venues and created “trading cards” (like baseball cards) that detailed the librarians’ subject specialties. Whimsical videos that pitted librarians against top-notch athletes carried a simple message about each librarian’s real area of expertise. The videos were aired as advertisements on the campus movie streaming channel and reached tens of thousands of students.

Some of the award-winning creative work of the Libraries’ marketing team can be seen at The capstone video to the campaign, featuring film clips of some of the Libraries’ more athletically gifted librarians demonstrating their skills, can be viewed at

Each winning library will receive a $10,000 award during the American Library Association’s annual conference in June.

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