Category Archives: All News

SAVE THE DATE: Intersectional Feminisms on Wednesday, March 8, at Paul J. Gutman Library

Mark your calendar for Intersectional Feminisms – a presentation by Dr. Jane Caputi – on Wednesday, March 8, as we celebrate International Women’s Day.

At Intersectional Feminisms, Dr. Caputi, Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Florida Atlantic University, will lead a presentation on the general history of intersectional feminism and beyond.

We invite all of the Jefferson community to attend this event on Wednesday, March 8, at 5 pm in Gutman Library’s Media Classroom. After the presentation, a reception will follow. We’ll share more event details and registration links soon.

Dr. Caputi’s primary research is in contemporary American cultural studies, including popular culture, gender and violence, and ecofeminism and environmental justice. 

Dr. Caputi has made two educational documentaries, The Pornography of Everyday Life (2006), distributed by Berkeley Media, and Feed the Green: Feminist Voices for the Earth (2016), distributed by Women Make Movies. Check out Dr. Caputi’s resume to learn more about her work and background. 

January 2023: Celebrating and taking care of yourself in the New Year

The New Year is a time to acknowledge the accomplishments of the past and prepare for all of the changes still to come.

This January, we’re highlighting resources that support self-care, mental health, and more. Topics include seasonal affective disorder, psychedelics, aging, and knitting.

Electronic Resources

Iceland : Deep In The Polar Night (video)

Mindful Knitting: Inviting Contemplative Practice to the Craft by Tara Jon Manning (eBook)

The New Year–The Old Year by Ida B. Wells (article)

Stacks (Scott Memorial Library)

Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

Graphic Medicine (Scott Memorial Library)

The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel

NIH expands beyond Covid-19 Preprints in Phase 2 of Pilot Program

In the summer of 2020, the NIH began a pilot program to add Covid-19 related preprints featuring research funded by the NIH to its databases. Two years later, evaluations of this pilot program are positive (Funk, 2022). The National Library of Medicine (NLM) successfully managed the technical hurdles of including and properly labeling preprints into PubMed and PubMed Central (PMC). Including preprints increased the discoverability of NIH-funded research, increasing the speed of access by more than 100 days, according to one published statistic, while not decreasing trust in the NLM or its research tools. According to the NIH, indexing preprints in multiple places had value because researchers access and discover information differently. Due to the success of this pilot, the NIH is expanding its incorporation of preprints into the database and will soon start including all preprints supported by NIH funds published after January 1st, 2023 (NLM, 2022).

It is important to note that the NIH will only include preprints posted to servers that it identified during the first phase of its pilot program as having policies and practices that align both with the mission of the NIH and with recommendations made by groups such as the Committee on Publication Ethics. Eligible preprint servers currently include bioRxiv, medRxiv, arXiv, and Research Square, although the list may change over time.

In support of this new phase of its pilot program, the NIH has updated its search functions and record displays, including an updated information banner on preprint records, more prominent identification of final published journal articles on preprint records, and the ability to exclude preprints from a search as well as limit a search to preprints only (NLM, 2023). Figures 1 and 2 show how the updated peer-reviewed articles are displayed on preprints in PubMed and PMC.

At the end of 2023, the second phase of this program will be assessed to evaluate its continued success in increasing the discoverability and maximizing the impact of NIH-funded research.

Learn more about preprints and contact us with questions.


Funk, K., Zayas-Caban, T. & Beck J. (2022). Phase 1 of the NIH Preprint Pilot: Testing the viability of making preprints discoverable in PubMed Central and PubMed. BioRxiv.

National Library of Medicine. (2022, December 14). NIH Preprint Pilot accelerates and expands discovery of research results: Expansion of pilot planned for early 2023.

National Library of Medicine. (2023, January 9). Next phase of the NIH Preprint Pilot launching soon. NCBI Insights.

Figure 1. PubMed search result summary and abstract displays of a preprint and its associated peer-reviewed version.
Figure 2. The PMC view of the same preprint summary and full-text views with update notice of its peer-reviewed version.

Last Chance: Join Jefferson’s SoTL Community

If you are interested in learning more about the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), join the Academic Commons’ new SoTL Community. This community is open to anyone interested in teaching and learning – including faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students. Complete the interest form to get started.

SoTL is a growing field in higher education that uses systematic and methodological inquiry to research the impact of teaching practices and learning experiences. SoTL is a valuable exercise to reflect on your teaching practices, with the overall goal of improving participant learning. SoTL projects aim to improve learning by finding better, more engaging ways to teach. 

As a member of the SoTL Community, you will learn the steps involved in SoTL research, develop your own SoTL plan, share progress on your project, and offer feedback to colleagues. Our community will meet three times during the spring 2023 semester (February, March, and April) for one-hour sessions. To learn more about each session’s goals and topics, read our earlier article.

If you are interested in joining this community, complete this interest form. Please complete the form by Friday, January 20, 2023.

Creative Writing Series: Write Your Story starts Jan 25

Are you interested in creative writing and feel you’ve got a story to tell but don’t have the time or feel intimidated? Join the Write Your Story Creative Writing Series!

We’ll gather (on Zoom) the last Wednesday of every month at 5:30 pm from January to May to work on creative writing projects. Our first session is Wednesday, January 25.

The Write Your Story series is open to everyone at Jefferson – no experience with creative writing is required. We hope you’ll join us!

In the Write Your Story series, you’ll receive:

  • Guidance on writing and genres
  • Creative prompts
  • Dedicated writing time
  • Feedback on your work

Everyone deserves to tell and preserve their stories, and writing gives you the means to do it. We hope you’ll join us at Write Your Story!

Check out this flyer for more information. Write Your Story is brought to you from the Academic Commons’ Office for Professional Writing, Publishing, and Communications (OPWPC) and Eakins Writing Project.

Science Slam on February 16: Learn more at the info session on January 19

Science Slam is a competition where scientists explain their research in short talks in an easily understandable and entertaining way for a non-expert audience. Jefferson’s Science Slam, on Thursday, February 16, will grant cash prizes for all participants. Everyone at Jefferson is invited to participate. Science Slam is organized by Jefferson’s Graduate Student Association.

Save the Date for the Science Slam Competition:
Thursday, February 16, 5pm
Venture Café at University City Science Center

Science Slam Info Session (for participants):
Thursday, January 19,  3pm
Bluemle Building, Room 105
Sign up here

Learn more about Science Slam by checking out this flyer. Questions? Email

Public Domain Day 2023: How rights holders keep control of notable characters after they enter the public domain

This January 1, another selection of books, movies, and songs will come into the public domain. A curated list of these works that will fall out of copyright at the start of 2023 can be found on The Public Domain Review’s website.

Last year, the star of the show was Winne-the-Pooh. In our 2022 Public Domain Day post, we discussed how creators could now use this character without paying a fee to a rights holder because those rights had now expired. However, the story is a bit more complicated. Because only the first Winnie-the-Pooh book has come into the public domain, there are some limitations on what creators can do with this character. The world of Winnie-the-Pooh evolved after the first book was published. New characters, like Tigger, were introduced in subsequent books, and some significant changes were made in their design over time, including the addition of Pooh’s signature red shirt. These substantial changes to the characters are still considered under copyright, and creators who come too close to the Disney version may violate copyright law. Just because a character enters the public domain does not mean that everything about that character is fair game for creators to use.

“Sherlock Holmes” by is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

For Public Domain Day 2023, this principle is perhaps best illustrated by the character of Sherlock Holmes. While most stories about this character are in the public domain and have been for many years, several of the last stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle about his famous detective are under copyright in the United States until January 1, 2023. This has led many creators to continue paying fees to the Doyle estate to avoid potential litigation. The estate has also sued creators for infringing on their rights, most recently Netflix over its Enola Holmes series. The estate claimed that elements of the new series, such as the warmer and more compassionate depiction of Sherlock Holmes, were only present in the later short stories that were still under copyright. While this lawsuit was ultimately settled out of court, it provides a great example of how nuanced copyright law can be.

However, it is also important to remember that the rules regarding public domain works are relatively straightforward compared to the concept of fair use that creators must be familiar with when they seek to use aspects of a work that is still under copyright. Students and faculty who create scholarship meant to be shared with the public, such as blog posts, infographics, and educational handouts, would benefit from an overview of copyright. Visit the Thomas Jefferson University Libraries Copyright Guide to ensure you have the analytical skills needed to know if an academic and/or popular work is consistent according to the law (Gaede & Thornhill, 2022, p. 187).

Email if you have questions or would like to discuss integrating these topics into your course.

Sources and further reading:

Jenkins, J. (2022). This Bear’s For You! (Or, Is It?). Center for the Study of Public Domain.

Perrotti, N. (2020, December 3). Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Copyrightable Character. NYU Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law.

Xiao, C. (2022, February 22). How ‘Public’ is the Public Domain? Winnie-the-Pooh Illustrates Copyrights Limitations of Public Domain Works. IPWatchdog.

Gaede, F. & Thornhill. K. (2022). Teaching copyright through pop culture for public scholarship-based instruction. In. Johnson, M. E., Weeks, T.C., & Davis, J.P. Integrating popular culture into the academic library (pp. 181-280).  Roman & Littlefield. Via Thomas Jefferson University Libraries

Redesigning STEM Curriculum: Conference Recap with Matt Cockerell of the Academic Commons

Matt Cockerell, Curriculum and Instructional Design Specialist, in the Academic Commons, recently attended the AACU Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference. Matt represented Jefferson, presenting a poster on a recent project with the College of Pharmacy to redesign its curriculum. We caught up with Matt to learn about the conference and discuss his poster, which highlights ways to improve STEM education to achieve student outcomes.

Earlier this month, you attended the AACU Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference. Tell us a bit about the conference.
The conference was held outside Washington DC (Arlington, VA) from November 3rd – 5th. The title of the AAC&U conference was Transforming STEM Higher Education: Back to Broken? Accelerating Undergraduate Education Reform. I attended the conference, but Dr. Elena Umland [poster co-author and project partner] was unable to attend.

The conference’s goal was to examine the entire range of contemporary challenges to—and opportunities for—STEM higher education reform. Keynote speakers included Gilda Barabino (President of the Olin College of Engineering), Christina Maslach (Professor Emerita of Psychology at UC Berkley), and Todd Zakrajsek (Associate Research Professor & Associate Director of Fellowship Programs, Department of Family Medicine, UNC Chapel Hill).

Why did you wish to attend the conference, and what role did you play there, representing the Academic Commons and Thomas Jefferson University?  
There were several motivating factors for attending the conference. One goal was raising awareness of Thomas Jefferson University, the Academic Commons, and the Jefferson College of Pharmacy. I also wanted to expand my professional network in STEM fields to match Jefferson’s strength in these areas. The primary purpose of attending was to highlight the curriculum redesign process within the Jefferson College of Pharmacy. Our poster presentation was an example of a project-level intervention to improve STEM education through strategies focusing on achieving STEM student outcomes. Conference organizers were seeking proposals offering new and innovative insights into STEM reform strategies, and we felt that our curriculum redesign process was a great example.

In addition to supporting educators with curriculum design, Matt is a great photographer! Here are a few photos he took while in Washington, DC.

Let’s discuss your poster, titled “Making the Rounds: An Iterative Approach to Engaging Faculty and Stakeholders in the Development of an Integrated Curriculum in the Health Professions.” How did you and co-author Dr. Elena Umland work together on this project?
The Jefferson College of Pharmacy began the curriculum revision process in the Fall of 2021, and I joined the effort in the Spring of 2022. The new curriculum will be administered beginning with the class entering in Fall 2024. Revisions focus on creating an integrated curriculum combining pharmacy science and clinical practice. The goal is to provide students with more active learning opportunities and create holistic thinkers equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary for professional readiness.

The poster represents our efforts up to the time of submission. The process began with faculty development focused on the changing learner, followed by virtual presentations by leadership at two peer colleges that administer integrated curricula. The steering committee and college administration identified vital external stakeholders, both locally and nationally, representing alums, practitioners, and professional organizations. These stakeholders included groups not typically represented in revisions, such as pedagogical experts, faculty and administrators from other institutions, and former students. We argue that this additional input aided in fostering a more inclusive process. We used surveys, listening sessions, and faculty retreats to garner feedback which led to the development of a revised philosophy, goal, and curricular outcomes for the program.

At Dr. Elena Umland’s invitation, I joined weekly meetings with the curriculum revision committee, which consists of 3 additional Jefferson College of Pharmacy faculty members. I have also been fortunate enough to attend numerous full-faculty retreats. 

If educators want to learn more about how the Academic Commons can support their curriculum development and program alignment goals, how should they contact you? 
The best way to reach me is via email at Beginning in Spring 2023, I will have a presence on the 4th floor of Scott Memorial Library, so look for me there soon!

Learn about BioRender, a tool to create and share science figures & images, at December 7 webinar

Register now for an introductory webinar on BioRender. BioRender Premium is available to all Jefferson students, staff, and faculty. Use it to create professional, beautiful scientific images in minutes.

BioRender Introduction Webinar
Wednesday, December 7, 12pm

Sydney Burniston, BioRender’s Scientific Communications & Customer Success Manager, will lead the webinar. Download BioRender and read more about its features and tools. BioRender is a website application used by researchers to create and share professional science figures. It includes over 40,000 icons you can use to create scientific posters, presentations, and publications.

Register for the BioRender webinar on December 7:

Check out this flyer for more information.

eLife to eliminate accept/reject decisions on the articles it publishes

In December 2020, the journal eLife announced that it would become the first journal to only publish articles that had been posted as preprints and peer-review comments would become part of the public record. You can read more about this in a previous post

This move aligned with eLife’s stated commitment to replacing what they consider the outdated traditional print-based model of publication and peer review with one that makes more sense given the various online tools available in our digital age.

On October 20th, they announced they are taking another step in their quest to improve scholarly publishing. Now, there will be no accept/reject decision made by the journal based on peer review results. The publicly available peer review commentary will stand on its own as a testament to the article’s worthiness. eLife will still make editorial decisions about which articles to send out for peer review, but now every article that is reviewed by eLife will officially be considered to have been published by the journal.

In a statement made on eLife’s website, they note that they “have found that these public preprint reviews and assessments are far more effective than binary accept or reject decisions … at capturing the nuanced, multidimensional, and often ambiguous nature of peer review.” Richard Seever, co-founder of the preprint platforms bioRxiv & medRxiv, noted on Twitter that this change means that “publication as [a] proxy for [the] veracity/quality” of an article will be a thing of the past, at least for this journal.

Authors can change their article based on peer review comments (which can remain anonymous or not as the reviewer requests) or let their version stand while also including a published response to peer review comments. eLife also stated that they will reduce the Article Publishing Cost (APC) to $2,000 per article, down from $3,000.

Furthermore, while authors can choose to assign a copy of their articles as the “version of record,” this step is now optional, meaning that some works might become “living papers,” able to be changed at any time. According to Richard Seever, this might make the work of databases, which index articles to make them findable on their platforms, more challenging and confusing. For example, authors funded by the NIH will need to designate a version of record for eLife to post to PMC.

With any new publishing model, there are bound to be uncertainties, and the scholarly publishing community will have its eyes on eLife in the coming months to see how this new change works in practice. eLife’s editors hope that the journal will become respected for the quality of its peer review and not just its selectiveness.

However, not everyone is excited about these new changes. Some researchers believe that academics will simply switch to criteria other than the reputation of a journal as a proxy to evaluate the quality of an article, such as an institution’s reputation. This could put early career scientists and those at smaller institutions at a disadvantage. Other authors who have published with eLife in the past are concerned that the journal will lose its reputation for publishing high-quality work. They view this change as the journal’s attempt to “destroy the traditional” model of publication rather than simply helping to improve the system or create a new publishing model. 

Based on eLife’s own statements, it seems that this is exactly what they are attempting to do. Members of its editorial board note that there is an “urgent need to fix scientific publishing,” and that “the power to fix it resides uniquely with scientists” who should “not let [a] fear of change limit” the actions that are needed to create a system that will better support the work that scientists do in the future.

Do you publish in eLife, or would you consider it under their forthcoming model? Let us know.

The Future of #AcademicTwitter under Elon Musk

Twitter has become a space that many academics have increasingly come to use in promoting their work. The communities on the platform allow new ideas to be shared more quickly and valuable research collaborations to be formed. Many academics have found jobs through postings on Twitter or used engagement metrics to show the impact of their work. Unlike academic journals, Twitter is also a space where researchers can engage directly with journalists, policymakers, industry leaders, and members of the public. These engagements can help educate the public about new research findings, and it can also work to combat the spread of misinformation (Stecula, 2022).

However, with Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social media platform on October 27th, many members of #academictwitter are expressing concern about Twitter’s future. Musk’s plan to reduce content moderation on the platform in the name of “free speech” has many worried that Twitter will become a space that is more hostile and less safe, especially for women and minorities. A rise in posting racial slurs on the platform in the days after Musk took charge of Twitter is beginning to confirm some of the worries academics have (Kupferschmidt, 2022). Is Twitter set to become an unredeemable toxic space, one that researchers in good conscience cannot support?

While these fears are understandable, it is too soon to tell. The fate of Twitter will likely be decided more gradually, as policy changes are enacted, and as people make individual decisions to keep engaging with the platform or to find something new. And for researchers, the choice to disengage from the platform is not an easy one.  Many have spent time and energy cultivating a following and making connections. Losing all of that effort at once would be hard (D’Agostino, 2022). Thoughts expressed by Jefferson researcher Dr. Tim Mosca on his Twitter account likely mirror those of many other users of #academictwitter, ” [I]’ve been here a while and seen a lot….this place has grown, the community has grown, and it’s done a lot of good. [I]’m not ready to give it up yet.”

However, he is exploring Mastodon with an account on, a server for the Drosophila research community. Dr. Rebecca Jaffe is trying it out via the med-mastodon server. (Some Mastodon servers are not currently accessible if you are using Jefferson’s campus network.)

Ultimately, what this unrest might do, states Dr. Mark Carrigan, author of Social Media for Academicsis reinforce the importance of “digital public engagement” to the academic community, and invite researchers to “think much more seriously about the infrastructure [they] rely on for digital scholarship” (Carrigan, 2022).

Are you re-considering Twitter for professional use? Let us know. Visit our guide on social media and the academic professional.


Stecu?a, D. (2022, Nov. 4). Academic Twitter is worth fighting for. Inside Higher Ed.

Kupferschmidt, K. (2022, Nov. 4). As Musk reshapes Twitter, academics ponder taking flight.Science 

Carrigan, M. (2022, May 3). Leave, adapt, resist- Time to rethink academic Twitter. LSE Impact Blog.

D’Agostino, S. (2022, Nov. 4). #AcademicTwitter will endure- for now. Inside Higher Ed.

Register Now: The Hidden History of Women at Jefferson (Nov 14)

Join us on Monday, November 14, at 12pm for a discussion about how women have historically impacted Jefferson.

Using Scott Memorial Library’s Archives as a guide, we’ll explore how throughout Jefferson’s history, women have shaped the university and hospital into the institutions they are today.

The Hidden History of Women at Jefferson
Monday, November 14, 12-1pm
Hamilton, Room 224

University archivist F. Michael Angelo will give a quick introduction to second-year medical student Anna Lauriello, who has been researching the university’s Archives, focusing her study on the history of women at Jefferson. Check out the Archives Collection here.

Lunch will provided. Register at

This event is co-hosted by Jefferson’s chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association and Jefferson Humanities and Health.

RSVP: 2nd annual Drs. Theresa & Charles Yeo Writing Prize Reception on Nov 17

Witness the power of writing at the reading and reception for the Drs. Theresa & Charles Yeo Writing Prize. Join us in person in Eakins Lounge (Jefferson Alumni Hall) or remotely on Zoom from 5:30 – 7 p.m. on November 17 to hear from and celebrate the Writing Prize winners and contributors.

Registration is not required. To attend via Zoom, visit this link: . Zoom meeting id: 935 9419 5856

Laura Madeline, Executive Director and Curator of Souls Shot Portrait Project, will make opening remarks. Winning essayists will read their work, and light refreshments will be provided to those attending in person.

Check out this flyer for more information.

Data Sharing, Open Access, and Climate Justice (POST 5)

Beginning in January 2023, data sharing will become a requirement for all NIH grant-funded research. This is just one example of a broader push towards the open sharing of data among scientists and researchers. This movement was motivated by the reproducibility crisis and research waste in academic publishing. Sharing data openly allows scientists to check the work of others, attempt to replicate studies, avoid duplication by learning from negative results, and inspire future research through data reuse.

When it comes to climate change and climate justice, data sharing is also important. In the article Information as Power: Democratizing Environmental Data, Annie Brett (2022) provides a historical overview of environmental data systems, noting that much environmental data of the past has been hard to access, even for the very people supplying the data, who are often the ones directly affected by climate change.  These data systems have historically “concentrate[d] power” in the hands of the government or private corporations, and “new calls to open environmental data have the potential to shift these norms,” especially if infrastructure is improved to make data more accessible.

One example of newly developed and publicly available infrastructure that the federal government designed to address climate justice directly is the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool. It brings together publicly available datasets to map disadvantaged communities. While it was developed for federal programs to ensure their efforts benefit environmentally disadvantaged communities, anyone designing research or programs can use it. Read the White House press release. The tool is still in its beta version, and feedback is actively solicited.

For more information, tips, and resources on sharing your scientific data, please visit the library’s guide on data management.


Brett, A. (2022). Information as Power: Democratizing Environmental Data. Utah Law Review, 127.

Open Educational Resources (OER) for Climate Justice (POST 4)

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages governments and communities to take urgent action regarding climate change so that the planet can continue to support future generations. However, one of the “greatest impediments” to this agenda is a lack of education among those in leadership positions in governments and societies worldwide. 

One solution to this problem is the development of Open Educational Resources (OER). OER, according to the UN, are “teaching, learning and research materials…that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.” Educating the public is critical if the UN’s agenda is to be met, and as a recognition of that fact, the SDG Academy was developed. This non-profit organization is responsible for curating and making accessible educational content created by experts around the world related to the UN’s sustainable development goals. 

OER allow “citizens to educate themselves on issues of climate change,” but, going further, they also allow the knowledge that is created to “reflect the diversity and context of people from different parts of the world,” something that is very important in the fight not only against climate change, but for climate justice (Bahadur & Green, 2022).

So far, the SDG Academy has developed 39 massive open online courses and reached over 600,000 people in 193 countries worldwide. These courses have been made available using Creative Commons licenses that allows the courses to be openly shared and modified, as long as the use is noncommercial in nature. Over 1700 videos are available in the SDG Academy Library for use outside the courses. Faculty interested in incorporating materials into their courses will find ideas in their webinar, Engaging Online: Teaching and Learning with the SDG Academy

“Education is a necessity and a human right, not just a commodity to be bought and sold by those who can afford to do so. We must all go back to school,” says Patrick Walsh, the Vice President of Education at the SDG Academy, to learn how to “coexist in harmony with people and the planet” (2022). Creating and implementing open educational resources is one thing our society can do to make this happen.


Bahadur, C. & Green, C. (2022).  The SDG Academy and Creative Commons. SDG Academy

Walsh, P. (2022). Advancing the UNESCO OER recommendation to enable education for sustainable development. SDG Academy.