The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Category: New Resources

Election Day is November 3, and the UMass Amherst Libraries have you covered. Here are a few resources to help prepare for Tuesday:

UMass Amherst Votes - Election Information
Information about voting.

Ballotpedia
A website like Wikipedia but for government and politics. It provides information about the upcoming election, including a preview of what your ballot looks like.

The Election Protection Coalition
This coalition is the largest and oldest nonpartisan election protection organization that helps to ensure all voters have the opportunity to vote.

Fake News LibGuide
A collection of resources to assist readers and researchers in spotting fake news and fake news sources.

Congress.gov 
A website that also has information about legislative activities, and about House and Senate members.

UMass Amherst Libraries Resources

Congressional Research Service Reports
Reports that summarize government actions on various issues.

PolicyFile
A database that has policy papers from think tanks and research institutes.

The CQ Series (Databases):

The New York Times
As a UMass Amherst student, you can get a digital subscription to The New York Times for free through the UMass Amherst Libraries.

Questions? Contact Lisa DiValentino, Law and Public Policy Librarian, at ldivalentino@umass.edu or Laura Quilter, Copyright and Information Policy Librarian, at lquilter@library.umass.edu.

The UMass Amherst Libraries announce the publication of An American Playgoer in London, an openly licensed monograph authored and assembled by Joseph Donohue. This monograph has a Creative Commons license, making it a free and openly available resource for anyone to use, share, and remix.

Over more than four decades, Joseph Donohue made London almost a second home, researching British drama and theatre during the day, attending performances of plays and operas at night, and recording his experiences in a series of meticulously kept diaries. He has now drawn together reviews of over one hundred twenty-five theatrical events that capture in vivid detail the immediacy of theatergoing and the vitality of live performance in a new open monograph, An American Playgoer in London. Featuring descriptions of productions of West End and Fringe theatres and the audiences that witnessed them, this collection should appeal to all who find interest in accounts of live theatre and the history of dramatic and theatrical art.

The announcement of the monograph’s publication coincides with Open Access Week from October 19-25, 2020, which provides “an opportunity to take action in making openness the default for research—to raise the visibility of scholarship, accelerate research, and turn breakthroughs into better lives.” It was established in 2008 by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and its student community partners.

An American Playgoer in London, as well as other openly licensed books, is available online or for download via Open Books Library, a catalog of open access books published by the UMass Amherst Libraries. The catalog is hosted on Pressbooks, an open source WordPress plugin that allows for easy reading on the web as well as PDF and eBook downloads for offline reading.

Thanks to the UMass Amherst Libraries’ partnership with a consortium of academic and research organizations, UMass Amherst students, staff, and faculty now have temporary access to digital versions of approximately 1.5 million volumes held by UMass Amherst.

The consortium, HathiTrust, is providing emergency access to member institutions, including UMass Amherst, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on its 2018 holdings, about half of the Libraries’ print collection overlaps with the HathiTrust digital collection, so the new temporary service now provides access to the digital versions of more than 1.5 million print volumes for the duration of the emergency.

For information on how to access HathiTrust and other materials temporarily available, visit this guide or contact the Libraries.

“Through the UMass Amherst Libraries’ partnership with the HathiTrust, we are able to provide digital access to a portion of our physical collections while our facilities are closed,” says Simon Neame, UMass Amherst Dean of Libraries. “It’s during times like these where we see the true power of libraries working together to provide access to knowledge.”

Many items in HathiTrust are protected by copyright law, and no further reproduction or distribution is permitted by any means without the permission of the copyright holder.

UMass Amherst Libraries users may also take advantage of many other Resources for Remote Learning and Instruction available to support research and teaching needs.

The UMass Amherst Libraries announce the publication of Radicalize the Hive, an openly licensed textbook authored and assembled by Angela Roell, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and Aisha Russell, Editor and Project Manager. This textbook has a Creative Commons license, making it a free and openly available resource for anyone to use, share, and remix.

Radicalize the Hive, a collection of stories from the field and resources for new and intermediate beekeepers interwoven with the author’s experience as a beekeeper over the last decade, centers stories of community-engaged beekeeping, marginalized voices, people of color, queer, trans, and gender variant beekeepers and bee seekers. “When I began this book, I was curious about who is working with bees in less ‘conventional’ ways and what practices we’re using to engage new beekeepers in ‘right’ relationship with honey bees,” says Roell.

This first iteration of the book is being released as a “reader version.” The authors welcome comments, ideas, and input from the public. A final version will be published on April 4, 2020.  

The announcement of the textbook’s publication coincides with Open Education Week from March 2-6, 2020, an Open Education Global initiative highlighting that “by providing free and open access to education and knowledge, open education helps create a world to support learning.”

Radicalize the Hive, as well as other openly licensed books, is available online or for download via Open Books Library, a catalog of open access books published by the UMass Amherst Libraries. The catalog is hosted on Pressbooks, an open source Wordpress plugin that allows for easy reading on the web as well as PDF and eBook downloads for offline reading.

The textbook was developed with funds from the Open Education Initiative, an annual effort of the Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communication and the Office of the Provost to increase the number of low- or no-cost openly licensed teaching materials on campus.

The UMass Amherst Libraries introduce PolicyMap, a map creation tool for visualizing data about communities across the United States, including income, housing, quality of life, and even federal guidelines.

PolicyMap allows users to produce maps, tables and reports with this data at regional, state, congressional district, and county levels, making it an ideal resource for studying current issues and long-term trends that could influence voters’ decisions in the next election.

This resource is available to all UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff, and is accessible off-campus via UMass Amherst NetID.

The UMass Amherst Libraries introduce Gender Studies E-Book Collection and Latin American Studies E-Book Collection from Duke University Press.

Isabel Espinal, Research Services Librarian for the departments of Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, advocated for the purchase of these resources because of the cross-disciplinary applications of the collections’ content.

These resources are available to all UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff with no download restrictions, and are accessible off-campus via UMass Amherst NetID. Additionally, Librarians Ann Kardos and Jennifer Eustis worked to ensure that the collections are entirely searchable via Discovery Search and the Five Colleges Catalog.

“I love teaching with E-Books because buying books is expensive for students, and an unlimited E-Book license lets everybody read the Library copy at the same time,” says Laura Briggs, Professor in Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies. “The collections bring together the work of brilliant, recently-published scholars, which makes for lively seminars on current scholarship.”

The UMass Amherst Libraries are partnering with the Center for Educational Assessment at the College of Education to publish Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation (PARE) through ScholarWorks@UMassAmherst, the digital repository for the scholarly output for the campus. Established as an open access journal in 1999 by Lawrence Rudner and William Schafer, PARE will remain open access with no article processing charges for authors. Volumes 1 through 24 have been migrated to ScholarWorks, and new issues will be published starting in January, 2020.

PARE is an online journal that provides access to refereed articles that can have a positive impact on assessment, research, and evaluation. PARE is committed to promoting fairness and equity in educational and psychological measurement and evaluation. Its editors are seeking papers that foster and support the development of high quality, inclusive assessments and assessment practices.

April Zenisky, associate research professor and director of computer-based testing initiatives for the Center for Educational Assessment, and Lisa Keller, associate professor and assistant director of the Center for Educational Assessment, will be the new co-editors.

One unique feature of PARE is that graduate students in the Research in Educational Measurement and Psychometrics program in the College of Education will be included in the peer review process; their names will be listed in the graduate student editorial board upon receiving journal review certification by Zenisky and Keller. Each journal submission will then be reviewed by one of these students as well as two or more professionals, drawn from either the editorial board or ad hoc reviewers.

Election Day is November 5, and the UMass Amherst Libraries have you covered. Here are a few of our resources to help prepare for Tuesday:

Voting Resources Available Freely Online

Polling Locations for Massachusetts can be found here.

Ballotpedia provides information about the upcoming election, including a preview of what your ballot looks like.

The Election Protection Coalition is the largest and oldest nonpartisan election protection organization that helps to ensure all voters have the opportunity to vote.

If you have problems while voting, call:

English: 866-OUR-VOTE

Spanish: 888-VE-Y-VOTA

Arabic: 844-YALLA-US

Asian and Pacific Languages: 888-API-VOTE

American Sign Language: 301-818-VOTE

You can also find the Coalition on Twitter and Facebook.

The Federal Election Commission provides election news and information.

The National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) has a page of voting information where you can check your registration.

The US Congress website has a list of the bills being considered this session, among other information.

The US Election Assistance Commission has resources for voters, including information in multiple languages.

UMass Amherst Libraries Resources

Congress Collection is a collection of facts about the activities of Congress, such as biographical data and voting habits of current members, and how members are rated by interest groups.

Questions? Contact Lisa DiValentino, Law and Public Policy Librarian, at ldivalentino@umass.edu or Laura Quilter, Copyright and Information Policy Librarian, at lquilter@library.umass.edu.

The UMass Amherst Libraries announce the launch of Translat Library, a new journal based at UMass Amherst and published through ScholarWorks@UMassAmherst in collaboration with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain. The journal is devoted to the literary culture of Europe from 1300 to 1600, with an emphasis on vernacular translations, the Romance letters, and the Latin tradition.

Translat Library stems from a long-term project led by a group of researchers based at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. The project, which has received funding from the Spanish government since 2006, culminated in 2018 with the publication of a monograph as well as a database on medieval Catalan translations (Translat is the medieval Catalan word for both ‘translation’ and ‘copy’).

Inspired by the sections of notes and manuscript excerpts that were common in 19th century journals, the journal aims to offer a venue for research based on archival and documentary work. It seeks to publish short articles documenting the identification of a manuscript or incunable, the source of a text, archival information on an author or work, the paratexts of a rare edition, the complete or excerpted edition of an unpublished text, and published but neglected text, among other topics.

Albert Lloret, Associate Professor and Director of Spanish and Catalan Studies at UMass Amherst, serves as general editor of the journal, together with Barcelona Professor Alejandro Coroleu. The Editorial Board is composed of a roster of scholars from the UK, Italy, Spain, and the U.S.

As of June 30, 2019, the UMass Amherst Libraries ended its subscription to Nexis Uni (formerly LexisNexis Academic). After analyzing cost, usage, technical considerations, existing subscriptions, and the needs of its patrons, the Libraries decided that its limited budget should be spent on resources that would better support research, teaching, and learning activities in the university and the community. With this decision not to renew the $62,000 Nexis Uni subscription—instead subscribing to new databases and adding to existing subscriptions—the Libraries saved approximately $43,350.50 without sacrificing access to the same or similar materials.

View the Libraries’ LibGuide for a full list of alternatives to Nexis offerings, including the following:

Westlaw is a user-friendly and comprehensive resource for legal research. It includes legislation, regulations, court and agency decisions, legal encyclopedias, and law reviews. The West Key Number System makes it easy to focus your research on a specific area of law. HeinOnline includes a wealth of historical and international legal materials. LegalTrac provides access to over 1,200 law reviews and legal newspapers, and the Topic Finder function allows you to visualize connections between search terms. In addition, the Libraries added campus-wide full-text access to Consumer Reports.

The Libraries have also subscribed to a great new resource, Access World News, which includes over 5,800 local, national, and international news sources, including newspapers, magazines, web sources, and transcripts. The Libraries continue to provide access to many newspaper databases, such as ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Additionally, the Library of Congress has digitized and made available a collection of historical American newspapers dating from 1789-1963 (Chronicling America).