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Expanding JSTOR's Support for Higher Education in Prison - NCHEP 2019


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With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in 2019 ITHAKA launched an initiative to help improve higher education in prison and reduce barriers for student research. This presentation will provide an update on the project, which includes two components, a research agenda focused on understanding postsecondary education in prison, and a technological intervention designed to increase access to JSTOR, a digital library of scholarly research. Project staff will provide updates on the research, along with a preview of an improved prototype for accessing JSTOR in an offline environment.

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Expanding JSTOR's Support for Higher Education in Prison - NCHEP 2019

  1. 1. Alex Humphreys @abhumphreys NCHEP 2019 November 16, 2019 Expanding JSTOR’s Support for Higher Ed in Prison
  2. 2. ITHAKA is a not-for-profit organization that helps the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. JSTOR is a not-for-profit digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. Ithaka S+R is a not-for-profit research and consulting service that helps academic, cultural, and publishing communities thrive in the digital environment. Portico is a not-for-profit preservation service for digital publications, including electronic journals, books, and historical collections. Artstor provides 2+ million high-quality images and digital asset management software to enhance scholarship and teaching.
  3. 3. JSTOR Labs works with partner publishers, libraries and labs to create tools for researchers, teachers and students that are immediately useful – and a little bit magical.
  4. 4. JSTOR OUR HISTORY JSTOR was created in 1995 to help libraries address cost issues and save on shelf space. JSTOR helped libraries to repurpose space, share the costs of digital storage and preservation, and spread access for users. Since JSTOR’s launch in 1997, we have continued to expand the platform, adding current journals, books, and primary sources.
  5. 5. JSTOR WHERE ARE WE TODAY? More than 11,000 libraries from 170+ countries currently provide access to JSTOR. Content has been consistently added since JSTOR’s launch. More than 79 million pages of journal content plus nearly 80,000 books and 2 million primary sources are now available and preserved.
  6. 6. SUPPORT FOR HIGHER EDUCATION IN PRISON 2007 – initial request from Bard Prison Initiative Objective: a method for students without Internet access to search JSTOR and select relevant content for their research Solution: Offline browser that provides a searchable index of content on JSTOR, but not the full-text of documents. Requires students to request needed content, and instructors or librarians to find, print, and deliver.
  7. 7. 1. Student searches 2. Requests interesting articles from program staff 3. Staff return to campus 4. Staff print article 5. Printed article returned to facility 6. Media review 7. Student reads!
  8. 8. CURRENT SOLUTION IS LIMITED • Limited information for evaluating relevance of content • Static dataset without access to full-text onsite • No contextual help or instructional materials • Turnaround time for students to receive content • Highly manual process for JSTOR • Highly manual process for program administrators to install • Solution does not work in all environments
  9. 9. TODAY 19 programs have received the index. We hear that JSTOR is one of very few academic resources that has ventured a solution for PEPs. We see potential for improving the process, index, content, instructor experience, and student success.
  10. 10. Expanding JSTOR’s Support for Higher Education in Prison
  11. 11. JSTOR’s long term goal: Provide full access to JSTOR to as many higher education in prison programs as possible.
  12. 12. JSTOR’s long term goal: Provide full access to JSTOR to as many higher education in prison programs as possible. JSTOR’s goal for this project: Improve and test JSTOR’s offline solution in order to learn what it will take to expand access to it.
  13. 13. PROJECT APPROACH • Form and meet with Advisory Committee • Identify test cohort candidates
  14. 14. Simplify process, remove steps Content ratings and tracking approvals Devices Servers and IT
  15. 15. PROJECT APPROACH • Recruit test cohort • Design solution • Conduct user research • Conduct feasibility assessment • Collaborative design workshop with test cohort • Build solution
  16. 16. TEST COHORT Program State Calvin Prison Initiative MI Cornell Prison Education Program NY Freedom Education Project Puget Sound WA Prison University Project CA Community University Project, Stetson U FL • Selected through consultation with Advisory Committee • We sought diverse programs that could implement on a rapid timeline
  17. 17. PROJECT APPROACH • Create documentation • Implement at test cohort
  18. 18. SUPPORTING MATERIALS Topics ● Documentation for implementing the new index ● Interface and functionality documentation ● Best practices for integrating the offline index into teaching and student research ● Resource site for instructors ● Best practices for programs using index ● Descriptions of index and resources for Department of Corrections staff ● Exercises that use JSTOR examples to teach information literacy concepts
  19. 19. PROJECT APPROACH • Support use at test cohort • Gather feedback and data on usage from students, teachers and administrators • Document implementation best practices • Create plan for long-term scalability and support
  20. 20. What we’re building
  21. 21. White-listing the JSTOR website might be best, but this is untenable at most facilities. (Perhaps this could be a second project?)
  22. 22. Preferred by Cornell and Stetson Preferred by Cornell, Calvin, PUP Preferred by Calvin Preferred by FEPPS and PUP But with the diverse set of constraints programs operate under, there’s no single solution that works for all programs.
  23. 23. Preferred by Cornell and Stetson Preferred by Cornell, Calvin, PUP Preferred by Calvin Preferred by FEPPS and PUP So we’re building a system that lets programs configure the level and kind of access that works best for their situation.
  24. 24. Okay, but what are we building?
  25. 25. Search + Content Appliance
  26. 26. Search + Content Appliance
  27. 27. Search + Content Appliance Two Modes of Use: A. Locally hosted server B. Configuration engine
  28. 28. MODE A: LOCALLY HOSTED SERVER 1. Server installed within facility. 2. Students access it through wired or wireless local area network (LAN). 3. Students search & add interesting articles to a list Search + Content Appliance
  29. 29. MODE A: LOCALLY HOSTED SERVER 4. When they’re done researching, students submit their set of requests Search + Content Appliance
  30. 30. MODE A: LOCALLY HOSTED SERVER 4. Program administrators see and process all requests, working with DOC for approval if required Search + Content Appliance
  31. 31. MODE A: LOCALLY HOSTED SERVER 5. Some JSTOR content will be stored locally. Admins can: - print it - send/save a pdf - make that article permanently available w/o review 6. For content not on the local server, admins will have to return to campus Search + Content Appliance
  32. 32. MODE B: CONFIGURATION ENGINE 1. Server installed outside of the facility 2. Program administrators use it to configure material to be put on inside tablets, laptops, workstations and servers via a thumb drive Search + Content Appliance
  33. 33. MODE B: CONFIGURATION ENGINE 3. Admins select disciplines to include 4. For each discipline, they decide whether to include just the search index, or the content as well 5. When ready, they build the thumb drive Search + Content Appliance
  34. 34. MODE B: CONFIGURATION ENGINE 6. Admins install the material on student machines 7. Students then conduct their searches, flagging items they’re interested in Search + Content Appliance
  35. 35. MODE B: CONFIGURATION ENGINE 8. When ready, their list is reviewed and processed. Search + Content Appliance
  36. 36. THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS! Does it make sense? Does it *work?* What are we missing? What should we do differently? What should we do *next?*
  37. 37. Thank you Alex Humphreys Director, JSTOR Labs ITHAKA @abhumphreys