Information Specialist, Open Science – Libraries and Museums

“Job Summary

Provide research and instruction services to students and faculty in STEM areas advancing student success and research excellence at UTSA with a focus on open science, reproducible research principles, measuring, and communicating research impact.

Develop and maintain strong faculty relationships in order to support the academic curriculum and facilitate meaningful use of the Libraries’ information resources.


Leverage technical knowledge and skills to develop new areas of collaboration within the Libraries and with faculty. Initiate and/or coordinate library projects with university-wide impacts. Uses knowledge and skills to achieve institutional goals.

Core Responsibilities

Serves as an expert advisor and consultant to UTSA research community. Identifies and actively cultivates enduring partnerships with research enterprise, academic programs and key faculty at UTSA, aiming to facilitate meaningful use of information resources and tools in research, teaching and learning and to advance open science principles
Develops, implements, and promotes education programming, focusing on educational efforts at UTSA; provides advice and assists faculty in integrating information resources into face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses; and develops associated digital content in a variety of formats.
Plans, develops, and delivers subject-specific online and in-person instruction that supports positive course- and program-level student learning outcomes.
Selects and evaluates materials in all formats to support areas of subject responsibility. Manages collection fund accounts for assigned areas.
Partners with key UTSA Libraries areas to contribute to library-wide programming, strategic projects, and initiatives.
Demonstrates UTSA core values: Integrity, Excellence, Inclusiveness, Respect, Collaboration and Innovation.
Performs other duties as assigned….”

Now in its sixth year of existence, the Open GLAM survey has just undergone a significant overhaul. Here’s what has changed. | Open GLAM

“Since Dr Andrea Wallace and I began the Open GLAM survey in 2018, it has tracked galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) making open access content available for re-use. It’s become the go-to reference for researchers, policy makers and practitioners working in copyright and digital cultural heritage collections. Today, it lists over 1600 institutions from 56 countries that have published open access data.

The survey has grown steadily in size and complexity. Housed in a publicly accessible Google Sheet, the survey has an extensive range of data points including institution type, geographic location, rights statements, APIs, terms of use and much more. To keep this information legible, whilst incorporating new data points and expanding the granularity of the data, Andrea and I have steadily optimised the survey’s structure. This summer we’re releasing a significant new version — here are the key changes….”

The Smithsonian Puts 4.5 Million High-Res Images Online and Into the Public Domain, Making Them Free to Use | Open Culture

“More items are being added to Smithsonian Open Access all the time, each with its own story to tell — and all accessible not just to Americans, but internet users the world over. In that sense it feels a bit like the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, better known as the World’s Columbian Exposition, with its mission of revealing America’s scientific, technological, and artistic genius to the whole of human civilization. You can see a great many photos and other artifacts of this landmark event at Smithsonian Open Access, or, if you prefer, you can click the “just browsing” link and behold all the historical, cultural, and formal variety available in the Smithsonian’s digital collections, where the spirit of Columbia lives on.”

A global approach for natural history museum collections | Science

Abstract:  Over the past three centuries, people have collected objects and specimens and placed them in natural history museums throughout the world. Taken as a whole, this global collection is the physical basis for our understanding of the natural world and our place in it, an unparalleled source of information that is directly relevant to issues as diverse as wildlife conservation, climate change, pandemic preparedness, food security, invasive species, rare minerals, and the bioeconomy (1). Strategic coordination and use of the global collection has the potential to focus future collecting and guide decisions that are relevant to the future of humanity and biodiversity. To begin to map the aggregate holdings of the global collection, we describe here a simple and fast method to assess the contents of any natural history museum, and report results based on our assessment of 73 of the world’s largest natural history museums and herbaria from 28 countries.

From the body of the article:

“Natural history museums have generally operated independently, and no interoperable data structure exists to provide open access to their collective holdings. Because most natural history museum data are not digitally discoverable, the networks of data aggregators have not been able to access these “dark data” …”


Accessibility and dissemination of the cultural heritage in a museum library: case study in the National Archaeological Museum (Spain) | LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries

Abstract:  The bibliographic heritage held by GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) institutions is an invaluable source for research, culture and education in a country. This paper aims to present a research project plan to improve the visibility, accessibility and dissemination of the bibliographic heritage of the National Archaeological Museum Library through the generation of virtual bibliographic exhibitions. The research project is highly praiseworthy and innovative in the field of Spanish heritage. Firstly, this is the first challenge undertaken in a Spanish state museum library with the stated general objective and, secondly, because the project proposal was supported and funded in 2021 by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation in the call ‘R+D+i Oriented to the Challenges of Society’. After formulating some research questions, the research design was divided into five phases. It included drafting scientific-technical reports, selecting stakeholders as well as the configuration of the project team to conclude with the project implementation phase. The proposed research project plan also included the general and specific objectives, the research team, phases of the proposal as well as its dissemination and communication plan. Conclusions highlight the importance of creating multidisciplinary work teams and combining the use of technologies with the bibliographic collections of cultural institutions.


Surprise machines | John Benjamins

“Although “the humanities so far has focused on literary texts, historical text records, and spatial data,” as stated by Lev Manovich in Cultural Analytics (Manovich, 2020, p.?10), the recent advancements in artificial intelligence are driving more attention to other media. For example, disciplines such as digital humanities now embrace more diverse types of corpora (Champion, 2016). Yet this shift of attention is also visible in museums, which recently took a step forward by establishing the field of experimental museology (Kenderdine et al., 2021).

This article illustrates the visualization of an extensive image collection through digital means. Following a growing interest in the digital mapping of images – proved by the various scientific articles published on the subject (Bludau et al., 2021; Crockett, 2019; Seguin, 2018), Ph.D. theses (Kräutli, 2016; Vane, 2019), software (American Museum of Natural History, 2020/2022; Diagne et al., 2018; Pietsch, 2018/2022), and presentations (Benedetti, 2022; Klinke, 2021) – this text describes an interdisciplinary experiment at the intersection of information design, experimental museology, and cultural analytics.

Surprise Machines is a data visualization that maps more than 200,000 digital images of the Harvard Art Museums (HAM) and a digital installation for museum visitors to understand the collection’s vastness. Part of a temporary exhibition organized by metaLAB (at) Harvard and entitled Curatorial A(i)gents, Surprise Machines is enriched by a choreographic interface that allows visitors to interact with the visualization through a camera capturing body gestures. The project is unique for its interdisciplinarity, looking at the prestigious collection of Harvard University through cutting-edge techniques of AI….”

CFP: Digital Heritage: Museum Data, Digitization and Digital Infrastructure ? dh+lib

“Digital Humanities scholar and digital heritage practitioner, Dr. Anne Luther (Digital Benin), is proposing a book project with Routledge and seeks proposals for book chapters that address the following:

History of Digitization in Museum: history of cataloging, history of digitization and computers in museums, today’s practices.

Digital Infrastructure: foundational texts that build an overview on internal and public infrastructure (who is interacting with data in museums [practitioners], what are data in museums [standards, vocabularies, thesaurus, data structures], what are databases [differences, uses, technical possibilities, use] how do museums publish data online [infrastructure, standardization, LOI, Wiki, online catalogues etc.], what are differences between internal data use and online publication [technical, social, monetary].

Ownership: copyright, access, authorship and the digital divide

Practice and Education: case studies in- and outside the museum

Impact and Change: case studies on restitution, accessibility and change in museum policies, practices, authorship and ownership

Short proposals of 500 words can be submitted until 31 January 2023 to contact[at]”

Effie Frances Kapsalis’s Obituary

“Internationally recognized as an expert in open knowledge systems and equitable access, Effie began her career during the web boom in the nineties. In 2005 she found her niche doing digital work for museums. A passion for inclusiveness and outreach drove her work at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where she was a longtime employee.

Effie led the efforts to develop the Smithsonian’s Open Access Initiative, which put millions of images from the collection into the public domain. She was a significant collaborator on the One Smithsonian digital strategy, and was one of the institution’s greatest collaborators, bringing together partners from the Smithsonian museums and museums around the world….”

Vienna’s Albertina Museum goes open access | Europeana Pro

“In summer 2022, Vienna’s Albertina Museum put thousands of its digitised images into the public domain, many of which are available through the Europeana website. Douglas McCarthy interviews Martina Pichler to learn about the new open access policy and its benefits….”


The GLAM Fam! Transformative Use and Creativity in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums

“Did you enjoy our Fandoms, Fan Fiction, and Fair Use: Transformative Use For Creators session on August 17th? Join Library Futures to learn more about creativity and transformative use from a team of GLAM experts!

Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums curate, preserve, and display creative works that serve to inform and inspire continued innovation. Without transformative use, both GLAM institutions’ ability to provide these services and their patrons’ ability to create are endangered.
Join Library Futures Fellow Emily Finch in the second session of a two part series on transformative and fair use. Moderated by University of Illinois College of Law’s Associate Director for Research and Instruction Pia M. Hunter, the session will feature Brigitte Vèzina, Creative Commons’ Director of Policy, Open Culture, and GLAM, George Oates, Founder and Executive Director of the Flickr Foundation, and Douglas McCarthy Collections Engagement Manager, Europeana Foundation and Co-Founder and Editor of the Open GLAM Survey. Learn more Learn more about the role fair use, and especially transformative use, plays in GLAM institutions, in platforms and the sharing of creative content, and where the Warhol v. Goldsmith case stands to affect GLAM institutions and their users. Featuring a presentation by Policy Fellow Juliya Ziskina.”

Open GLAM survey – Douglas McCarthy

“The Open GLAM survey examines how GLAMs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) make open access data – whether digital objects, metadata or text – available for re-use. Its working definition of ‘open’ is guided by Open Knowledge Foundation’s Open Definition. Its summary statement is ‘open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose’ and the Definition helpfully provides a list of licences, rights statements and legal tools that accord with this spirit.

The survey covers data that GLAMs make available on their websites and/or external platforms. It focuses on digital surrogates of objects in the public domain, where any term of copyright for the material object has expired or never existed in the first place. Survey information is gathered via desk research and outreach to the global GLAM community.

The survey is housed and managed in a publicly accessible Google Sheet, and uploaded regularly to the Internet Archive. The survey has an extensive range of data points including institution name, type and country; licences/rights statements for digital surrogates and metadata; links to Terms of Use and copyright policies….”


“In the last few years, several major museums and libraries have instituted an open access policy by designating most or all of the public domain art in their collections with a creative commons license making them available for use for any purpose with no restrictions attached.

We sort through and aggregate the best of these images in one location to make them easy to discover and download.

Some of our sources include….”

Bloomington library partners with museum to open access to local historical collections | WGLT

“The Bloomington Public Library has started an effort to preserve and improve access to local historical documents in partnership with the McLean County Museum of History.

Earlier this year, the library completed a donation of its archives and historical papers to the museum where they will be housed and displayed. Certain documents such as local city directories will also be digitized for online access….”

Montreal’s McCord Museum launches remarkable new open access online platform | Arts |

“To mark its 100th anniversary, the McCord Museum is launching a new open access platform with bilingual descriptions of over 140,000 objects, photographs, and archival documents from its collections. The site also features approximately 130,000 royalty-free images that may be downloaded in the highest resolution available, free of charge, with no restrictions on their use.

Created to provide unparalleled access to the Museum’s collections, the project is a first for the institution. The new platform, whose content will be constantly updated, was launched with the support of the Azrieli Foundation and Canadian Heritage….”

Towards Better Sharing of Cultural Heritage — An Agenda for Copyright Reform

“This paper is intended to act as a pillar and reference point for CC’s advocacy work in copyright reform in the cultural heritage context, with a focus on issues arising in the digital environment. It may serve to support members of the CC community in their own advocacy efforts, guide policymakers in their legislative processes, and inform anyone interested in the policy issues gravitating around access and reuse of culture and cultural heritage. It will likely be adapted into a GLAM Guide for Policymakers and will be augmented with real-life examples, case studies and practical advice. It starts with an overview of copyright challenges to the legitimate activities of GLAMs, notably preservation (largely through digitization) and sharing of digital and digitized content images and data for access, use and reuse. It also notes copyright’s chilling effects in the face of the GLAM sector’s general risk aversion. The paper then offers insights towards effective copyright reform addressing those challenges, with a focus on the opportunities related to the digital environment. The proposals for reform aim to create legal certainty and international harmonization as well as to facilitate cross-border transactions. The paper encourages policymakers to recognize and support the pivotal roles of GLAMs in preserving and providing access to knowledge and culture to all members of society. It urges policymakers to engage with stakeholders to ensure there are clear, simple, and effective policies in place to support better sharing of cultural heritage in the public interest. The paper provides a high-level overview of the policy issues and, as a whole, it does not necessarily reflect the current situation in any specific jurisdiction.”