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Seminar series addresses new issues

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 16 - January 15, 1998

Scholarship in the Electronic World is the topic of a spring seminar series sponsored by Research and Graduate Studies to address issues, opportunities, and conflicts that have arisen as universities try to make the best use of the Internet to share the results of research.
Since Virginia Tech has become a leader of the move to publish theses and dissertations on the Internet, the university has taken the lead in organizing the program. These documents represent the results of graduate-student research that has in each case been approved by committees of faculty advisors. The university has received funding from federal agencies, academic organizations, and communication businesses to develop software and education programs to help universities make hundreds of thousands of theses and dissertations available electronically. While Virginia Tech is the only university so far to require master and doctoral degree students to submit their final work electronically, universities across the nation are testing Tech's programs and sharing the donated resources.
The easier access to research results that electronic publication offers has raised a number of concerns. Virginia Tech graduates can delay release of their research until it has been published in professional journals or until discoveries have been protected by patents or copyrights. Still, there has been controversy. The seminar series will address some of the issues. To facilitate continued discussion, the presentations will be made available in a proceedings document on the Internet and in hard copy.
Leaders in graduate education from around the country, who are experts in areas related to scholarly publication, will speak. The seminars are open to the public. Members of university communities in particular are invited. One hour of graduate credit is being offered (GRAD 5984, Index 5523).
The seminars will be every Monday, 4 to 5:30 p.m. in 30 Pamplin, from February 2 to April 13, skipping spring break and the first week in April, as follows:
February 2: "Scholarly Exchange: Responsibility to Advance Knowledge," by Ann Hart of the University of Utah. Hart is dean of the Graduate School and professor of educational administration at the University of Utah. She is past president of the Western Association of Graduate Schools, a member of the board of directors of the Council of Graduate Schools, and editor of the Educational Administration Quarterly, the top journal in the field. She writes about academic freedom and authored or co-authored four books and 48 refereed journal articles and nationally or internationally published book chapters and has delivered numerous research papers on these topics during her academic career.
February 9: "Copyright: Who Owns Universities' Research and Scholarship?" by Mel Schiavelli of the University of Delaware. As provost at the University of Delaware and previously at the College of William and Mary, Schiavelli is concerned about the high cost of serials. He is also an active researcher and is professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Delaware, and senior research fellow of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He chairs the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation teams and special committees, is a member of the American Association of University Professors, American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry, London, and was a trustee of the Southeastern Universities Research Association--one of the sponsors of the electronic theses and dissertation initiative.
February 23: "Scholarly Exchange: Electronic Publication and Scholarship in the Humanities," by Crandall Shifflet, professor of history at Virginia Tech. Shifflet specializes in history and technology. In 1990, he ordered hardware and software and set up the history department computer labs, and oversees maintenance and use of labs. He founded Cliobytes, a Virginia Tech history department newsletter devoted to computers and history. He redesigned a network for historians, graduate students, and the educated public interested in the history of the South as a Virginia Tech on-line course. He sits on the Provost's Committee for Student Computers and Software.
March 2: "Theses and Dissertations as Scholarship," by Jules LaPidus, president of the Council of Graduate Studies. LaPidus has been president of the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington, D.C. since 1984. Previously, he was professor of medicinal chemistry, dean of the Graduate School, and vice provost for research at Ohio State University. He has chaired or served on many committees concerned with graduate education and research, including the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, the American Council on Education, and the Association of American Universities, and has been a member of advisory committees at the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
March 16: "The Changing Environment of the Electronic World," by Kenneth Crews of the Indiana University School of Law and School of Library and Information Science. Crews is an associate professor in the IU School of Law and in the School of Library and Information Science. He is also director of the Copyright Management Center at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. He practiced general business and corporate law in Los Angeles for 10 years and began his academic career in 1990 at San Jose State University. His principal research interest has been the relationship of copyright law to the needs of higher education. Crews is a regular participant in the Conference on Fair Use, sponsored by the National Information Infrastructure Task Force.
March 23: "Scholarly Exchange: Electronic Publication and Advancing Faculty Research," by Robert C. Williges, professor of industrial and systems engineering, psychology, and computer science at Virginia Tech. Williges is the coordinator of the Human Factors Engineering Center, and directs the research activities in the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory and the Usability Methods Research Laboratory. His current research interests include developing methods for usability evaluation, advanced technology for human-computer interface design of desktop video conferencing and virtual-reality systems, improving multi-media information presentation, and designing computer-based assistive technology for computer users with disabilities.
March 30: "Entrepreneurism and Scholarly Exchange," by Mildred Cho, assistant professor of bioethics in the Center for Bioethics and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Cho received her B.S. in biology in 1984 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her Ph.D. in 1992 from the Stanford University Department of Pharmacology, and post-doctoral training in health policy as a Pew fellow at the Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco and at the Palo Alto VA Center for Health Care Evaluation. Her major interests are ethical and social impacts of genetic testing and gene therapy, and how conflicts of interest affect the conduct of clinical research.
April 13: "The Future of Electronic Publishing," by Edward Fox, professor of computer science at Virginia Tech and director of the Improving Graduate Education with a National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations project. Fox is associate director for research at the Virginia Tech Computing Center, and directs the Information Access Lab, Interactive Learning with a Digital Library in Computer Science project, and a number of other research and development projects. He chaired the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval, and was founder and chairman of the steering committee for the ACM Multimedia conference series. He chairs the steering committee for the ACM Digital Libraries conference series, was program chair for ACM DL '96, and a member of the editorial board for the ACM/Springer Journal on Multimedia Systems. He is editor for Morgan Kaufmann Publishers' book series on Multimedia Information and Systems, and serves on the editorial boards of many professional publications, including Electronic Publishing (Origination, Dissemination and Design), and the Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia.
For more information about the seminar series, contact John Eaton at 1-5645 or eaton@vt.edu.