Contribute to Crowd-Sourcing Projects at CrowdCafe

Join Boston College and Boston University Libraries at CrowdCafe. Participate in crowd-sourced projects on the third Friday of every month,1 pm – 3pm. Join online via Zoom or in-person in the Digital Studio, room 205, O’Neill Library.

Gabe Feldstein, Digital Publishing and Outreach Specialist, interviewed Sarah Melton, the Head of Digital Scholarship and co-coordinator of CrowdCafe.

When did CrowdCafe start? Was there a particular campaign that inspired this model for getting things done as a large group?

We were particularly inspired by humanitarian relief projects that mobilize volunteers in the wake of disasters. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, for example, crowdsources data that is used to improve maps of areas that have been affected by disasters, giving responders a better sense of on-the-ground, real-time conditions. Map-a-thons after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico helped provide the Red Cross with navigation information, even when existing maps were missing roads, buildings, and other geographic data.

CrowdCafe began in 2018 as a collaborative initiative between digital scholarship staff at Boston College and Boston University Libraries. Led by Sarah Melton, BC’s Head of Digital Scholarship, and Vika Zafrin, BU’s Digital Scholarship Librarian, the monthly event aims to provide a loose infrastructure for people wishing to contribute to crowdsourced projects.

Additionally, with more and more cultural heritage materials available online, we wanted to encourage local participation in crowdsourcing projects on a regular basis.

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New Testament Abstracts, 1956-84, now online for the first time

The recent digitization and online release of the first thirty years of New Testament Abstracts into the public domain represents a partnership of several agencies at BC, as well as the longstanding commitment on the Libraries’ part, to collect and share the academic heritage and Catholic mission of Boston College.

Image from the first issue of NTA, 1956-7

Contributing unique content to the global library of online information is an ongoing activity and priority of the Boston College Libraries. So, when Dean Thomas D. Stegman, S.J., of the School of Theology and Ministry (STM), proposed a collaboration to digitize and make openly available roughly 30 years of New Testament Abstracts (NTA) content, University Librarian Tom Wall was pleased to confirm the partnership.

New Testament Abstracts (NTA) has been a premier scholarly publication for study of the New Testament and related fields for more than 60 years. Originally a product of the Weston Jesuit School of Theology (WJST), the publication moved with the WJST to Boston College in 2008, upon the founding of the University’s School of Theology and Ministry (STM). Since then, the BC Libraries have benefited greatly from this partnership, particularly the Theology and Ministry Library (TML), which is the annual recipient of hundreds of donated books and journal titles courtesy of NTA.

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Happy Open Access Month!

BC Libraries is celebrating Open Access Week for the whole month of October with displays in the O’Neill Library lobby that emphasize equity of access.

Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results—to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives.

International Open Access Week is from October 21-27 this year. Every year, the coordinating organization, SPARC, chooses a different theme on which to focus. The theme for 2019 is, “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge.”

Graphic for Open Access Week: 2019 Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge October 21-27
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