Category Archives: All News

Wellness Resources for Students During COVID-19

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful and anxiety-provoking, especially for those who are already experiencing significant change and displacement as a university student.

Being proactive about developing a wellness plan will help you cope with some of the added stressors many of you are feeling and will help make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Remember, your approach to holistic wellness is a personal journey (you determine what works best!) but please know that we are here to help.

Jefferson’s Counseling Services and Student Personal Counseling Center and the Jefferson Recreation and Fitness Centers are here to assist you during this time with a variety of programming and resources such as virtual fitness classes, emotional, financial and social wellness tips and more.

The site will be continually updated, so please check back frequently and don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Deanna Nobleza, Director of the Student Personal Counseling Center, with any questions or concerns at

Learn about what academic support is available to students from the Office of Student Affairs.

New and improved: Jefferson Digital Commons (JDC) website gets a new look

The Jefferson Digital Commons (JDC) has a new website design!

The JDC is Jefferson’s open access institutional repository. It is a free service of the Academic Commons (AC) that helps you share your scholarly work with the world. All Jefferson faculty, staff, researchers, and students can contribute.

Highlights of the new site

  • More resources on open access
  • New site organizational structure makes it easier to browse content and find what you’re looking for
  • Mobile and iPad optimization so you can access the site anywhere
    (Note: If viewing the website on an iPad, view in landscape mode, not portrait.)

Why you should submit

Publish your work in the JDC to broaden the reach and impact of your work:

  • Your work will show up in search engines like Google, Google Scholar, Bing
  • Get access to a rich set of metrics like the Author Dashboard and PlumX Metrics, which allow you to understand who is accessing your work and how
  • Show your support for open access. Often when you publish an article, it gets put behind a paywall, limiting the number of people who can access it. By including your work in the JDC, it will be freely available to anyone

What’s in the JDC

As of early 2020, the Jefferson Digital Commons repository has:

Check out the new website and stay up-to-date on what’s going on at the Academic Commons and Jefferson Archives by following us on Twitter!

“Fair Use” and Access to Educational Resources for Online Teaching

Only one month ago we made a series of blog posts about Fair Use Week, where we celebrated the importance of this doctrine in US Copyright Law, and how it benefits libraries and faculty that wish to use copyrighted materials for educational purposes.

Little did we know then how much an important part of our academic lives this doctrine would play, as universities across the country now work to transition to online learning as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Luckily, copyright and scholarly communication librarians are available to help! A collection of librarians have written and signed a public statement that is designed to provide “clarity” for faculty about how copyright law applies to our current unique situation. This document, titled  “Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching and Research,” begins by acknowledging the flexibility of “fair use,” and how the law is well designed to help educators temporarily overcome the hurdles that they are facing. 

It encourages educators to think through fair use issues as they transition to online learning, but not to agonize over their choices. The sudden nature of this shift, combined with the clear public benefit in allowing individuals to continue their education uninterrupted, means that courts are likely to view arguments of fair use favorably. The document encourages faculty to make use of the four factors in their analysis, to use technology to limit access to copyright materials, to use only the amount of a resource that they need to use to meet their teaching goals and to always use legally obtained resources. As long as faculty do these things, and are thoughtful in how they justify their decisions, the law is highly likely to support the temporary use of copyrighted items. 

Finally, it is interesting to note that many publishers, such as JSTOR, Gale, Sage, Cambridge University, among others, are also providing access to their resources during this crisis. However, this temporary access also reminds us of the inequalities that students and citizens all over the globe typically face when it comes to gaining access to academic and scholarly materials. The way that this current crisis helps to highlight this inequity for us all, will be the focus of a future blog post.

Visit our copyright guide for more information.

Canvas Basics Workshops: Now Online!

The Academic Commons is going virtual with Canvas workshops! Starting this week, we’ll host online workshops to introduce Jefferson faculty to our new learning management system, Canvas. REMINDER: Canvas replaces Blackboard at Jefferson on June 30, 2020.

Canvas Basics:
In this hands-on workshop, you will explore Jefferson’s new learning management system—Canvas.

Participants will review access to Canvas for faculty and students: getting to know the layout and organization of Canvas, exploring your dashboard, and introducing key course-building features. We will discuss five critical elements or actions to take in your Canvas course.

This workshop will serve as an introduction to and a general overview of Canvas. Participants will:

  • Access Canvas and discuss preferred browsers
  • Explore the global navigation menu
  • Identify course building blocks
  • Describe five critical elements or actions to take in your Canvas course.

Upcoming Basics workshops are scheduled for:

Monday, March 30 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Monday, April 6 from 3:00 -5:00 pm  

Thursday, April 9 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Please register! Registration ensures you have Canvas privileges and access!

Links to join the online training will be emailed to registrants after they sign up. Browse our complete Canvas workshop online schedule.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Online Teaching Tools & Trainings for Faculty

As we transition to the virtual classroom, the Academic Commons wants to share information and useful tools that will assist faculty and students with online teaching and learning.

Collaborate, a virtual classroom resource is an easy-to-use video conferencing and recording software, accessible via Canvas or Blackboard.

Accessing Collaborate via Canvas:
For step-by-step instructions to access Collaborate on Canvas, download this guide.

This video screencast walks you through the process of creating, sharing, and recording a Collaborate session on Canvas.

Accessing Collaborate via Blackboard:
For step-by-step instructions to access Collaborate on Blackboard, download this guide.

For assistance with Collaborate, contact Educational Technologies Support at or call 215-503-2830. EdTech Support is available Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.


For resources to get started with Zoom, read this helpful guide. (Enter your Campus Key & Password to access guide.)

To request a Zoom license, either complete an online request via IS&T’s Solution Center,
call IS&T in Center City at 215-955-7975, or call the East Falls Help Desk at 215-951-4648, or email   

Meet DaVonne Rooney, Director of Library Operations at the Paul J. Gutman Library

Last month, the Academic Commons was thrilled to welcome DaVonne Rooney, new Director of Library Operations at the Paul J. Gutman Library, to our team! We sat down with DaVonne to find out what brought her to Jefferson, what she’s got in store for the library, and what interests her – beyond books. HINT: She may have rubbed elbows with some heavy metal rock stars.

Welcome to Jefferson, DaVonne! First things first, what is your title?
Director of Library Operations for the
Gutman Library.

What does that title mean to you?
That title means that I am the leader/manager of the band. I support the staff of Gutman Library, keeping them motivated and moving forward. I ensure the library and its staff are equipped to support the research and education needs of the University.

How do you like Jefferson so far?
I love it so far. The associates of the Academic Commons are very welcoming and willing to help me get settled. They all love what they do very deeply. They are very supportive. The University, as a whole, feels very supportive as well. I love the culture so far.

Prior to Jefferson, where were you working?
Before coming to Jefferson, I was the Head of Access Services for the Penn Libraries at the University of Pennsylvania, University City campus. Before that, I was a teen and technology librarian at a small public library in my hometown, Williamstown, New Jersey.

What brought you into the world of libraries?
Libraries have always been in my life in some way, especially as a young child. I didn’t see libraries as a career path until I was older and faced with the decision: where to go, what do I do now post-recession and, also, following the inevitable down-turn of the print journalism industry [I majored in journalism as an undergrad.].

Research and writing were two things I have always loved. Books and learning were another two things I always loved. Combine those four things with a long experience in service and the desire to serve others; it just made sense.

What is your favorite thing about working in an academic library?
I was just discussing this with another librarian at Gutman who also had a start in public libraries and was a library director at one point. We both enjoy the dedication the users have to their education and research. Their self-starting initiative and drive to achieve in their respective fields is inspiring. I love helping a user get what they need to achieve their goals, whether that is done directly through research instruction and reference help or indirectly by ensuring they have interactive and collaborative technology and teaching/learning space in the library.

We know it’s early, but are there any goals you have for the library in the next few years? What’s on the horizon?  
The Gutman Library is in the planning process of a full building renovation. We are hoping to better utilize the current space in the library for collaborative work and quiet study. The goal is to repurpose the library in such a way that is allows for optimal support of the needs of students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, we hope this renovation will allow us to showcase and feature the library collection in a unique and interesting way.

Along the same lines, I would like to bring some awareness to the Design Center and the Textile and Costume Collection. Currently, our amazing curator and adjunct professor, Jade Papa and Library Associate, Ann Wilson, are cataloging and digitizing the collection to make it discoverable for our University community. We have so many historical and rare items stored away in a space not equipped to house a museum collection, especially one as historic as this. I would love to see a complete revitalization and reworking of that space; to see the collection continue to be integrated into course work at East Falls, and host events and outreach around the collection not only to the University community but the historical and art community in the Philadelphia [area].

I want to continue to grow our collection to directly support courses and research work at Jefferson. Whether it is through print or electronic means, I would like for Gutman Library to be the one-stop-shop for research and information service and support on campus.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Remember that comment about the downturn of print journalism earlier? Right before that time, during my course work at Temple University, I wanted to be a magazine journalist. More specifically, I wanted to be a music magazine journalist specializing in showcasing local metal/hardcore and national touring bands. My dream was to work/write for Decibel Magazine (local to Philadelphia) or Revolver Magazine while simultaneously running my own local music blog. And I did it for a stretch of time. I worked for a local independent punk rock magazine, Wonka Vision Magazine. I was one of two interns employed there. Therefore, interviewing big-name bands like Slayer, Machine Head, and In this Moment, were left to us. I did a whole spread on women in metal at a time when women were just starting to make a name for themselves in the scene.

All this considered, I am very much an introvert. Interviewing and writing about musicians and music helped me learn to be extroverted, though I still need to spend time by myself to recharge.

Where on campus can people find you – besides the library?  
In Kanbar, eating! Haha! And hopefully at Gallagher working out. I will definitely be at the Scott Memorial Library in Center City throughout the semester, as well.

Is there anything you wish we would have asked you that we missed?
Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I hope to be looking back and reflecting on the last five years. I hope that I am thinking, wow! Look what we accomplished together. What an incredible ride of collaboration with Jefferson University and the amazing and talented staff of the Paul J. Gutman and Scott Memorial Libraries.

Manuscript Writing Project Supports Publication

Staying accountable to writing goals can be a struggle. Most clinicians and other faculty members already have schedules filled by multiple other priorities. To reduce the struggle and meet their writing goals, the Jefferson Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education (JCIPE) collaborated with the Office for Professional Writing, Publishing, and Communication (OPWPC) in 2019 for a yearlong manuscript writing process.

From January to May, the OPWPC provided guidance on small pre-writing tasks they could complete, such as outlining co-author expectations, meeting with a librarian for an updated literature review, defining the paper’s specific purpose and clarifying the research gap it would fill, and selecting a target journal.

Then in May, the group gathered for a day-long retreat devoted to writing. In the months that followed, the group continued to receive monthly writing-related emails from OPWPC, along with opportunities to gather to discuss progress. 

By late December, all 14 of the participants had achieved the project goal of completing and submitting at least one article for publication. According to the participants, the project helped them by supporting collaboration with co-authors, providing accountability, and helping them make writing a priority.

Based on the success of the project, JCIPE is joining once again this year with the OPWPC, extending the manuscript writing project into a second year.

For more information, contact Jen Wilson or Pam Walter.

True or False: Test your skills with these Fair Use Myths & Facts

How well do you know the rules of fair use? Test your knowledge with these fair use myths and facts:

“Fair use is not a right”: Wrong! The Supreme Court  has recognized fair use as a “First Amendment safeguard.”

“Fair use is a new idea”: Not so! Fair use dates back to English case law from the 1740s.

“Fair use is only permitted where use is non-commercial”: Commercial use is only one factor to consider.

“Digitization without authorization is not fair use”: The purpose of the digitation is important in determining fair use.

Check out this infographic for more myths and facts!

Fair Use in Seven Words [Video]

Use Fairly. Not too much. Have reasons.

This video from the University of Virginal highlights the goal of fair use in US copyright law, emphasizing that this provision allows creators to build on what came before them. Fair use protects the ability of individuals to add to the culture without impacting normal commercial use of the work.

Don’t forget to join us tomorrow, February 27, from 1-2 p.m. in JAH 207 for “Behind the Scenes at Cell Press,” as we sit down with Dr. Stephen Matheson, editor-in-chief, Cell Reports. Learn more about the event.

It’s #FairUseWeek: Celebrate with us all week long!

Fair Use Week celebrates the important doctrine of “fair use” in US Copyright Law. It is a time to explain the doctrine and discuss how fair use offers authors and creators opportunities to reuse work in novel ways.

–Fair use is an “essential limitation and exception to copyright, allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances” 

–Fair use is “a flexible ­­doctrine, allowing copyright to adapt to new technologies. These doctrines facilitate balance in copyright law, promoting further progress and accommodating freedom of speech and expression.”

Look for posts throughout the week where we’ll explain more about what fair use is and why it is important, and join us on Thursday, February 27, from 1-2 p.m. in JAH 207 for “Behind the Scenes at Cell Press.” Learn more about the event.

And read the poster at the link below to learn more about the fundamentals of fair use.

Fair Use Fundamentals

Behind the Scenes at Cell Press: A Discussion with Dr. Stephen Matheson, editor-in-chief, Cell Reports (2/27)

Dr. Stephen Matheson, editor-in-chief, Cell Reports

To celebrate Fair Use Week, February 23 – 29, the Scott Memorial Library is proud to participate in “Behind the Scenes at Cell Press” a presentation organized by Dr. Tim Mosca.

Join us on Thursday, February 27, to hear from Dr. Stephen Matheson, editor-in-chief of Cell Reports. Dr. Matheson will share what it’s like to publish in a major scientific journal, giving tips and best practices to submit articles. Ask questions about publishing and open access. Connect with SML librarians to learn about the Jefferson Open Access Publishing Fund and other tools available to help with publishing efforts.

Thursday, February 27, 1-2 p.m., Jefferson Alumni Hall (JAH) 207

All Jefferson students, staff, and faculty are invited. Organized by Dr. Tim Mosca. Light refreshments will be provided by the Scott Memorial Library. Registration is not required.

Questions? Contact Dr. Mosca at

This Valentine’s Day, We’re Crushing On . . .

Peanut butter and jelly. Wine and cheese. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Some things just go together. And nothing seems quite as perfect a pair as Jefferson and Canvas!

Canvas, Jefferson’s new learning management system (LMS), is intuitive, learner-centered, and efficient. What else could you look for in an LMS? It’s reliable and plays well with others – like Nearpod, ExamSoft, and AEFIS, just to name a few.

And with a convenient Mobile App, busy students and faculty members can access Canvas on the go.

But don’t just take our word for it! Get to know Canvas by visiting Canvas.Jefferson.Edu. Sign up for a Canvas Consultation or attend a workshop to get started.

Canvas replaces Blackboard at Jefferson on June 30, 2020. If your courses aren’t yet on Canvas, contact the Academic Commons today!

Eakins Writers’ Workshop: A writing workshop dedicated to injury & its victims

Share your stories and personal experiences with injury at the Eakins Writers’ Workshop. Led by the Jefferson Center for Injury Research and Prevention, the hands-on writing workshop sessions are dedicated to stories of injury and all its victims. All are welcome to join. Sign up now.

Session 1: Tuesday, February 18, 6-7:30 p.m., Scott Memorial Library, Room 308

Session 2: Tuesday, March 24, 6-7:30 p.m., Scott Memorial Library, Room 308

The workshops are led by student editors of Evanescent, the literary journal that provides a forum for people to explore and share stories about their personal experiences with injury. Learn more about Eakins Writers’ Workshop.

Join the Jefferson Book Club & Discuss Educated: A Memoir on 2/24

All Jefferson students, faculty, and staff are invited to join the Jefferson Book Club! Our next selection is Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover.

Discuss the book on Monday, February 24, at 12 p.m. in Room 308, Scott Memorial Library, Center City Campus.

For more information about the Jefferson Book Club, contact

RefWorks Down for Maintenance: Starting 10 p.m. Saturday, February 8 until Sunday, February 9

Both legacy Refworks and (new) RefWorks will experience downtime between Saturday, February 8, and Sunday, February 9. Starting at 10 p.m. on Saturday, access to RefWorks and Write-n-Cite will be disabled. RefWorks hopes that maintenance will be completed within 12 hours, and usage will resume on Sunday, February 9.

If you have any questions, please contact RefWorks support team: