Brandeis 2nd Annual Edible Book Festival

For the second year in a row, Brandeis will be participating in the International Edible Book Festival, where we devour books a bit more literally than we usually do – and you can too!  The festival, in honor of Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, encourages us to eat our words by creating edible masterpieces inspired by literature.  The primary requirement is that entries must be “bookish.”  One might recreate a book’s cover art, depict a scene from the text, make something shaped like a book itself, or – most often – make a visual pun on a book title.  The other requirement is that they must be edible!

Submit an entry through this form to participate or come by the library’s CD alcove at noon on April 1st to admire the entries and vote for Best In Show.  The winner of the popular vote will be announced and prizes awarded at 1:30pm, along with the winners of three judged categories:

  • Funniest/Punniest
  • Best Visual Presentation
  • Most Creative Use of Ingredients

 Schedule for the day:

Participants drop off entries: 9am – noon (Goldfarb Consultation room, next door to the Writing Center)
Open to the Public: noon (CD alcove, opposite of the Writing Center)
Viewing, photos, and voting: noon – 1:30pm
Awards: 1:30pm – 2pm
Eating: 2pm – 5pm!

For some inspiration, here are our winners from last year, or check out the flickr album of all of the entries!

mintsummer_2014unbearable-beans_2014 metamorphosis_2014 and-then-none_2014basket-book_2014




      Photo Credit Ian Roy


Access changes to Legacy LATTE

We’ve had a few questions and seen some confusion recently about what the recent change to Legacy LATTE access means, and wanted to clear this up.  As some of you might know, Brandeis has two flavors of LATTE: The one that is in use for our current classes, “New LATTE”, and the one that was in use for classes prior to 2014, Legacy LATTE.

In February, LTS modified Legacy LATTE so that it was only available to users connecting from on-campus, or via Wormhole. This was in response to a potential security exploit. One result of this is that people unable to access either the campus network or Wormhole are no longer able to access Legacy LATTE. Legacy LATTE no longer contains current courses but remains in service to aid faculty who need to move content from past courses into New LATTE.

We have not made any changes affecting access to New LATTE. Current students and faculty remain able to log into New LATTE from anywhere on the internet.  As always, Brandeis faculty have control over access to their LATTE sites and course material, even during the semester in which the courses are taught.  Faculty may choose to hide their courses or remove course materials as they please. Therefore, students and alumni who would like access to past course materials should contact their instructors.

We apologize if the additional security applied to Legacy LATTE has created any confusion. These changes were made purely to avoid allowing a legacy system containing student information to be compromised by malicious attacks.  As always, our goal is to ensure that faculty and students have as secure access to course materials, past and present.

Some alumni have also asked about library resources. Library information that Brandeis owns in physical form iis available to alumni who come in to the library to borrow it.  Click here for the current borrowing policy for books, and note that resources like the Brandeis Institutional Repository also provide open-access materials available to all, including (at present) 35 recent monographs from the Brandeis University Press.  However, much of what library users now seek are online databases, and those are licensed through vendors, on terms that contractually limit how we can share these resources.  Currently only enrolled students, appointed faculty, and employed staff of Brandeis University have access to many of the online databases and full-text resources.

LTS remain committed to Brandeis alumni and has licensed online materials–for example, JSTOR and Project MUSE–specifically for use by alumni.  We provide these resources through BConnect, the Brandeis alumni portal.   JSTOR offers nearly 2,000 journals and 15,000 e-books, plus 2 million primary source objects, in an expanding range of disciplines.  Project MUSE offers hundreds of humanities and social science journals in electronic form.  Over time, the Brandeis University Library plans to add additional electronic resources licensed for alumni use through B Connect.

You can learn more about B Connect at:

If you’re already registered, you can log in at:

And if you have not registered with B Connect, you can do that at:

Once logged in, look for “Library Resources” in the left-hand navigation panel: the landing page will offer you links for JSTOR and Project MUSE.  Questions about B Connect should be directed to the Alumni Office at 800-333-1948.

For any other questions about access to LATTE or to library resources, please contact us at

March brings exciting new workshops!

We’re all hoping March will bring us warmer temperatures. Luckily, it will definitely bring an interesting suite of grad student workshops! Be on the lookout for the following sessions:

Data Visualization & Methods with Deb Sarlin

Joseph Priestley’s 1796 visualization, “A New Chart of History” might be the first timeline ever created. Priestley, who almost killed himself discovering oxygen, may have been the first person to create and publish a chart of pleasingly colored horizontal points to represent clustered events and the passage of time. You, however, don’t need to stress as you design your own pathway into new digital landscapes. Come join academic technologist Deb Sarlin for an hour and learn how to build a beautiful timeline. We’ll also review a number of different tools you can use to display information important to your own discoveries.

  • Timelines
    Thursday, March 5, 12 noon
  • Mapping
    Thursday, March 12, 12 noon

Research Data Management for Scientists with Melanie Radik

Doing research is hard enough–keeping track of your data on top of everything else can add unnecessary frustration. Never fear! Our Research Data Management Series is here! These workshops include tips and tricks to make your life easier and your research more productive. We’ll begin with the early stages before a research project even starts. Learn how to organize your files so that you can quickly find them later. We’ll cover some options for storing and backing up your data securely, so that even the IRB approves. You may have heard about repositories where you can share finished data–you might have used one yourself to download someone else’s dataset. But is your data the type that goes into a repository?  How does that work?  Do you need to do that to comply with your grant’s requirements to share your data?  Librarian Melanie Radik will cover all these questions and more in our series!

  • Organizing Your Working Data: Find it Faster
    Friday, March 6, 1:45 pm
  • Keeping Context: Make Your Data Make Sense (And Remember Why You Did it That Way)
    Friday, March 13, 1:45 pm
  • Data Storage, Backup, and Security: Keep it Hidden, Keep it Safe
    Friday, March 20, 1:45 pm
  • Legal and Ethical Considerations: There’s Probably a Law About That
    Friday, March 27, 1:45 pm

Government Information with Aimee Slater

The U.S. Government can feel as bulky and vast as Mt. Everest–it has more than 30 departments and hundreds of agencies, bureaus, and commissions. They all produce a lot (and we mean A LOT) of information: reports to recommendations, rules to regulations, legislation to legal bulletins, science news to statistics. But don’t freak out! Librarian Aimee Slater is your sherpa and can guide you up this mountain of information. Her workshop covers tools and tips that equip you with a pick axe and a rope to make scaling this summit more like a walk in the park. We’ll talk about some of the different kinds of government information available and the best ways to find it. We also have a second workshop that focuses on how to cite government documents in APA style.

  • Using Government Information
    Tuesday, March 10, 12:15 pm & Tuesday, March 24, 5;15 pm
  • Citing NGO Publications & Government Information (with Gina Bastone)
    Tuesday, March 12, 12:15 pm

We have other great workshops also coming this month. See our sign-up form for the full schedule and to reserve your spot!

Luke Hollis talk on Segetes – Noon Today in Farber 2

Make close reading online a pleasant experience — check out Luke Hollis’s, a platform and a sample implementation. Luke will be at Brandeis today, February 23, at 12pm in Farber 2 giving a talk about this exciting platform. Bring your lunch, snacks and drinks provided.  This talk is part of the Digital Classicist New England 2015 series.

Reading on a screen should be as simple and beautiful of experience as reading a book. Similarly, interacting with metadata should be as intuitive as interacting with the text itself, no matter what device a user accesses it with. Segetes is a simple, developer-friendly framework for creating and curating networked texts in web applications that can share seamlessly between each other and have the potential to create decentralized networks. The first application built with the Segetes framework is the poetry of Vergil and is available at

Creating online lectures

If you’re a faculty member seeking to make up class days cancelled by winter weather, online lectures can be part of the solution!  LTS staff can help you develop high-quality, effective, pedagogically sound online lectures that fit within the structure of your course.  Eli Jacobson consults with faculty about lecture recording technologies and Deb Sarlin consults on best practices for effectively using different kinds of online lectures in your course.

Below are three options for recording online lectures. Whichever one you choose, LTS staff are glad to consult and help.  Please contact us!

  1. Record lectures using your computer.  LTS can provide faculty members with software, documentation, and support for recording lectures using your computer’s built-in webcam and microphone.  Recorded lectures can be automatically uploaded to the Brandeis streaming media server and easily posted in LATTE.
  1. Record lectures in our studio.  You can reserve a block of time in the Media Technology Services studio (on Goldfarb Library Level 3) to record your lecture.  LTS will provide equipment and support will be on hand.  Available times include the following.  If our established lecture recording times don’t work for your schedule, we’re happy to reserve a different time for you when the studio isn’t in use.
  • Tuesdays, 9 am – 10 am
  • Thursdays, 2 pm – 3 pm
  • Fridays, 9 am – 10 am 
  1. Record lectures in your classroom.  If you already teach in a classroom that contains lecture recording equipment, it’s possible to record your lecture in that room if your schedule is flexible.  Most classrooms are heavily used, but there are sometimes free blocks of time that can be reserved for lecture recording.  Note: For logistical reasons, LTS recommends that you record your lecture either with your computer or in our studio.

Here are some additional thoughts to guide you as you explore these new possibilities.

  • Clearly define what you are covering. Discretely limiting your topic makes for better video projects.
  • Review your resources.  The images and the materials you select to share will aid in determining the direction of your revision of your classroom lecture for video capture.
  • Segment to hold attention.  In the classroom, you can frame and then reframe as you gage the attention in the room.  Consider restructuring your classroom lecture as videos in shorter, well structured sections.
  • Offer prompts.  Guide students to respond to questions you pose OR ask students to develop their own questions after viewing the content. They can either submit those replies to you privately as an assignment or post to a forum discussion in LATTE.

Working remotely

penguinsNeed to work remotely?
LTS can help.

If you’re not able to come to campus but still need to work on files, keep meeting appointments, etc., LTS has a few options worth considering. When campus is closed, these services will still be available, as long as there is power and network connectivity on campus.  Note that if campus is closed, the helpdesk phone line and ServiceDesk ticketing system will still be monitored, on most days from 9 am to 9 pm, so if you need help, call 781-736-HELP (x64357).

Hold online classes, office hours, and meetings
During extreme weather, Blue Jeans online conferencing services remain available for essential University activities including meetings, office hours, individual or group consultation, virtual classrooms, and more. To use Blue Jeans, visit and log in with your Brandeis account.

As a cloud-based service, Blue Jeans is not restricted by local weather conditions.  Please be aware that your Blue Jeans experience may be affected by weather-related issues with your home broadband connection. You can request help online. LTS staff will assist to the best of their ability.

Use Google Drive or Box to make selected files available in the cloud
Both Google Docs and Box are site-licensed for the entire campus, and if you haven’t used them before, it’s not hard to get started.
Using Brandeis Google Drive
Using Brandeis

Use VPN to access all your shared files on Omega
If you have ever had to connect to BUSS or Sage from off-campus, you probably have already installed and used Brandeis’s Virtual Private Networking client, Junos Pulse.

Once you have Junos Pulse installed and running, you need to point your web browser to (please note that popups from must be enabled in your browser).

Connecting to Omega with Wormhole:

  • Go to
  • Log in using your Brandeis username and password.
  • Once connected to Wormhole, click on the link Omega File Server
  • Finally, select the shared space you have access to. (If you do not see the link to
    Omega, please follow the directions below.)

Help! I can connect to Wormhole, but I don’t see Omega / my fileshare!

  • In the text field to the left of the browse button in the top right of the page, enter (without quotes) ‘\\omega\’
  • Click ‘browse’.
  • Click on the appropriate fileshare.
  • In the top right of the page click the add bookmark button.
    Name the bookmark as you see fit and click ‘Add Bookmark’.
  • A direct link to this fileshare will now appear whenever you log into

Use Remote Desktop to Access Files and Applications on your Desktop Computer
Not for the faint of heart, but if you really need to be able to run applications on your work computer from home, or access files that are not in Google Drive, Box, or Omega, then you need Remote Desktop software installed both on your work machine and on whatever computer you will be connecting from at home. More instructions are available. Just don’t forget, you also need to leave your work computer turned on when you leave, and it needs to be set to “Wake on LAN” so that it comes out of powersave mode when you try to connect to it from home.

Interview with Jytte Klausen on Research and Open Access

“Tweeting the Jihad: Social Media Networks of Western Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq” is a new article by Jytte Klausen that will appear in the next issue of Studies in Conflict & TerrorismKlausen is the Lawrence A. Wien Professor of International Cooperation in the politics department at Brandeis University, and she is a recent recipient of the Brandeis Open Access Fund.  The fund paid for Professor Klausen’s article processing charge, which enabled her article to become Open Access and available to readers around the globe through the Brandeis Institutional Repository and the journal’s website.  On December 11th, Patrick Gamsby interviewed Professor Klausen about her research and Open Access.

Question: Could you describe your article and the research that went into it?

The research is part of a larger project that I have been running since 2006 on Westerners in the Al-Qaeda inspired terrorist networks. About a year ago, I became very interested in the use of Twitter as a means of communication between Westerners who have gone off to fight in Iraq and Syria, and their real life connections back home. So I started coding, identifying, accounts that from their content appeared to belong to people who were actually fighting in Iraq and Syria. Together with undergraduate research assistants who work with me, I began to code some of these accounts for their number of followers and followings. Those are the types of posts that are account holders who are regular subscribers, one might say, to these Twitter accounts. And, in turn, also looking at the ones that Western foreign fighters were subscribing to. Together, these accounts create a network. In this network, information flows from the people who are the most influential to those who subscribe to accounts and disseminate the content. So I was very interested in analyzing these structures of communication, as well as the content.

Question: Was Open Access on your mind when you submitted this article for publication?

No, it wasn’t, because I’m sort of old school. In the social sciences, Open Access has not yet become very common. It wasn’t until the article had been accepted and I got the contract from the journal that I became aware that there was actually an embargo on my article for about 18 months, during which time only people that subscribe to the print version of this journal would have access. Naturally, that was not a great idea, for a number of reasons. This is research of a very timely matter. 18 months in the world of social media developments is really a long time. If most people couldn’t read my article until 18 months in the future, I was very afraid that my research at that time would be pretty outdated.

Question: How did you hear about the Brandeis Open Access Fund?

I didn’t know about it, but I mentioned it to one of the research librarians at the University and she said “Well, actually, we have a fund for this.” That’s when I then submitted an application to have the Open Access Fund pay the fee for making my article available immediately. I had originally thought, when I got the contract, that this is something that I could maybe pay myself. Naturally, I can’t, because it’s nearly $3000.

Question: Before applying for the fund, did you know much about Open Access?

I knew about it as a theoretical discussion, and I knew about it as a matter of practice in the natural sciences. I had not yet come across it in the social sciences, which is why I said I’m sort of “old school.” I think Open Access has two very important aspects to it. One is that you reach a far larger readership than normal subscribers of a particular journal. The other aspect, of course, is the feedback loop from new journal policies. Trying to make the economics of journal publications feasible, journals increasingly make access closed, as a benefit to their subscribers, which clearly has a very negative impact on distribution of research.

Question: What kind of impact has Open Access had on your specific article?

In the course of two weeks, I had over 1000 views of this article. In fact, I wasn’t even myself aware that it had already been posted until two journalists called me from the Netherlands, who had read my article online.

Question: What do you think about restrictions on access to research in general (embargoes, paywalls, etc.), and what happens to the research ecosystem when there are restrictions to access?

It slows down the ecosystem. It slows down the distribution of research, very dramatically. Another call I got yesterday was from a professor at West Point who had read my article and is doing somewhat similar work, and wanted to collaborate with me. We are now in discussion to build on what I wrote to produce some collaborative research. I would say that the benefits that I’ve had from this Open Access opportunity have been tremendous in terms of distribution, or getting my research out to a very large readership very quickly, and getting feedback already, and engaging in new research that builds upon what I’ve already done. As I mentioned in response to one of your previous questions, this is a very fast moving field – working on the whole question about how networks built on social media. It’s not just related to terrorism, where there are obvious immediate security aspects to finding out exactly how organization for terrorism works online, but it is also a more generalized, theoretical interest and understanding of the social organization online and real life, and the relationship between the two types of organization.

Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Conference


Article by Rebecca Loewenstein-Harting:

On October 22nd and 23rd, I attended the TEI Conference, held in conjunction with the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science, in Evanston, Illinois. TEI stands for “Text Encoding Initiative,” which according to its website is “a consortium which collectively develops and maintains a standard for the representation of texts in digital form.” The conference was at the Orrington Hotel situated next to Northwestern’s campus on the shore of Lake Michigan. The weather was gorgeous and helped make my first time in the Midwest thoroughly enjoyable!


Text Encoding Initiative Conference 2014

I heard several interesting presentations in my very first session, which was called “TEI Digital Editions”. One that was especially intriguing was “Critical Apparatus, Annotation, and the TEI” by Hugh Cayless from Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing. He spoke about some of the issues involved in marking up texts from critical editions and his vision for future work which could include collaborating with undergraduate and graduate students to annotate texts such as Propertius 1.15, an ancient Latin document that is not well researched or understood. The other presentation that stood out to me was called “New Publishing Alchemy: Creating Page Layout from XML Files for a World War I Memoir” by Odine LeBlanc of the Massachusetts Historical Society. She explained how the historical society uses TEI and publishing platforms to publish manuscripts from their collection. Continue reading

Orange for Open Access Week

For the second year in a row, the LTS website has gone orange for Open Access Week.  From October 20th to October 26th, institutions and individuals around the globe will strive to raise awareness about Open Access.

What is Open Access?  Simply put: Open Access predominantly refers to digital academic literature that is made available to anyone in the world with an Internet connection.

Continue reading

BrowZine- Introducing a New Way to Explore Journals

LTS now offers patrons a new way to make your research easier and more convenient. Members of the Brandeis community now have access to BrowZine which delivers thousands of academic journals to your Android or iPad tablet. The result is a revolutionary new way to browse, read, and monitor scholarly journals.

Download BrowZine by going to the relevant app store for your device and search for “BrowZine”. The app is a free download.

Next, select “Brandeis University” from the library list. You will be prompted to login with your UNet username and password.

Apple_App_Store_icon  Google_play_iconamazonappstore


Browse, save, read

BrowZine displays recent issues of scholarly journals from multiple publisher and platforms optimized for your mobile device for easy browsing. .Additionally, BrowZine will notify you when a new article or journal is released, allowing you to be up-to-date with current trends in your area of scholarship. Alongside a friendly user interface, all items found in BrowZine can be exported to Zotero, Mendeley, Dropbox and other services.

From within the app, you can save your favorite journals, view the tables of contents, annotate (coming soon) and read or save articles.

Create a personalized bookshelf where you can display your favorite journals and be notified when new articles are published.

Save articles for off-online reading or export them to DropBox, Zotero, and more.


If you have questions or need help with BrowZine, please email

submitted by Joanna Fuchs and Katy Collins