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Monthly Archives: November 2016


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CUNY Libraries’ Data Retention Policy

The CUNY Libraries’ Circulation Committee deliberated the issue of privacy and confidentiality of patron records, resulting in the creation of a Data Retention Subcommittee. The subcommittee consisted of six members representing five CUNY Libraries as well as the Office of Library Services (OLS). The subcommittee noted that CUNY has a policy pertaining to record retention:

The CUNY Records Retention and Disposition Schedule indicates the minimum length of time that college and University officials must retain records before the records may be disposed of legally. This Schedule is meant both to ensure that records are retained as long as required for administrative, legal, and fiscal purposes, and to encourage the systematic disposal of records that are no longer needed.

The Data Retention Subcommittee, as well as the CUNY Circulation Committee, determined that the record retention policy did not address particular records associated with the work of the Circulation librarians and staff; thus the Circulation committee convened and decided to provide recommendations on these specific issues to the Council of Chief Librarians. The recommendations are listed in the complete CUNY Libraries’ Data Retention Policy.

New look for the CUNY Libraries website!

With help from our friends in the CUNY Office of University Relations, the Office of Library Services’ website is now looking better than ever!

CUNY Libraries' redesigned website

Not only is it more visually pleasing, but the content has been revised and the site tree trimmed. It should now be easier than ever to peruse the website and find the information you need, such as the Office of Library Services’ contact information, links to CUNY-wide e-resources, and information about the individual CUNY libraries.

On top of that, the website is fully responsive, too, so it molds to the constraints of your device! Further, it has been redesigned with accessibility in mind so it is now more navigable and practical for all of the site’s many visitors. (We average about 18,000 visits a month—that’s 640 visitors a day! Now everyone will be able to make the most of the website.)

If you come across any problems, please do not hesitate to the contact the CUNY Service Desk.

CUNY Academic Works Monthly Report: October 2016

A snapshot of CUNY Academic Works
A snapshot of CUNY Academic Works

Each October, researchers and librarians across the globe celebrate Open Access Week, an international event encouraging and celebrating open practices in research and scholarship. Here at CUNY, we have so much to celebrate that Open Access Week lasts all month long. This year was no exception. CUNY Librarians put open in action, organizing workshops and events, tabling on their campuses, and initiating one-on-one conversations with faculty colleagues to let them know about CUNY Academic Works. As a result, there’s been an increase in faculty self-submissions, indicating a deeper and growing engagement with the repository. CUNY Academic Works grew by 111 new items, and received 36,976 new downloads (56% of which were international).

This month also saw an unprecedented download spike when Academic Works went from an average of 1,000 downloads per day to 5,309 downloads on October 11th and 3,110 downloads on October 12th. After investigating this anomaly, the Office of Library Services reached out to the technical team at bepress who confirmed these downloads were from individual users, not bots. If you’d like to learn more about the process for identifying and removing bots from CUNY Academic Works usage statistics, you may be interested in the recent bepress webinar, Bot Shields: Activate! Ensuring Reliable Repository Download Statistics. (Trust me – it’s well worth your time.)

The five most downloaded works in October include:

  1. Improving Exploration And Exploitation Capability Of Harmony Search Algorithm
    Series: Publications and Research at City College of New York
  2. The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences
    Series: Publications and Research at John Jay College
  3. Reframing School Dropout as a Public Health Issue
    Series: Master’s Theses at Hunter College
  4. Folk Concepts
    Series: Publications and Research at Kingsborough Community College
  5. An Analysis of the South China Sea Dispute: Focusing on the Assessment of the Impact of Possible Solutions on the Economies of the Region
    Series: Master’s Theses at City College of New York

The fourth most downloaded item, Folk Concepts, comes from Professor Jay Bernstein at Kingsborough Community College who passed away this summer. Jay was a fierce advocate for CUNY Academic Works and one of my closest colleagues and collaborators in this initiative. His absence is deeply felt—so I was very heartened to see Folk Concepts, originally published as a chapter in the $430 reference work 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook, receive so much attention this month. A large portion of these downloads come from Kenyatta University in Nairobi City, Kenya. It’s fun to imagine how this work is being used. I know Jay would’ve enjoyed this as well.

CUNY Academic Works in bepress Archive

The Office of Library Services is pleased to announce that CUNY Academic Works now offers increased preservation via a new service, bepress Archive.

Content on bepress platforms has always been protected by an infrastructure that includes multiple backups as well as long-term storage with Amazon Glacier. These services will continue, but by adding Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Solution) via bepress Archive, the Office of Library Services will no longer receive quarterly archives of content to store on local servers. Instead, we have a real-time archive of all content on an industry standard-platform that provides 99.9999999999% file durability, performs checksums for data integrity, and uses redundant data to repair any corrupted files. These additional features are especially important as researchers across CUNY look to submit their research products—including their data—to CUNY Academic Works in order to comply with mandates from federal and private funding agencies.

For more information, please see the blog post on the DC Telegraph or contact the Office of Library Services. You may also be interested in Amazon’s video promoting its service:

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