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2019
    Jennifer Wilhelm
Jennifer Wilhelm
Business Librarian, Texas A&M University

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By now, you’ve probably heard enough about the STEM movement to quickly recite that it stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.” Perhaps you’ve taken your child to a STEM-themed event at your local public library, like a chemistry road show? Maybe you’ve checked out a book on coding to encourage your teenager to pick up a STEM-focused hobby.

 

What about you, as an adult? When was the last time you sat down at an event or program and learned for the sake of learning, or were able to ask questions of a scientist without feeling intimidated? If your answer is never or rarely, read on because this post is for you.

 

Why do adults need informal STEM? Why do librarians need it?

 

Adults desire and need lifelong learning opportunities and lack a non-politicized space to discuss issues such as climate change. As important as it is to introduce children to STEM, it is just as important to allow adults to explore and learn in a welcoming space. Informal STEM is an inexpensive and easy way to address these issues. Librarians, particularly public librarians, must continue to prove their value to the community, and offering new and innovative programs for adults can help them reach that goal and remain relevant.

 

How can public & academic libraries incorporate informal STEM?

 

Collaborations between public libraries and academic institutions are not as prevalent as they should be, considering how similar the missions of the institutions are. Informal STEM provides a low-risk, high-reward entry point for creating strong partnerships. For example, colleges and universities can contribute graduate students or faculty in STEM fields to attend science cafés at public libraries. The public has the opportunity to learn in a low-stress environment, and scientists can promote their field of study while practicing their science communication skills.


As one example of such a collaborative program, in 2017 I worked with the Bryan + College Station Public Library to produce adult-focused informal STEM programs centered on climate change and extreme
weather events. These programs, funded by a $1,000 grant from NOAA, combined a book club run by a librarian with a science café facilitated by a STEM faculty member from Texas A&M University. The programs were well attended by local adults of all ages, integrated information literacy effectively, and were a win-win for both the public library and the university.

 

How can you bring STEM education to your community?

 

Whether you are a parent, a curious individual, a public librarian, or a STEM scientist, I encourage you to explore the idea of informal STEM in your community. We need to address the fact that adults are just as curious and just as eager to learn as children, but may not have the same opportunities to explore and grow. Remember, adults need STEM, too!

 

Jennifer Wilhelm has been a Business Librarian at Texas A&M University since 2018. She previously worked as an Adult Reference Librarian at the Bryan + College Station Public library system and continues to work collaboratively with the public library on programs and projects. Her research topics center on informal STEM in libraries and collaborating with university career centers to improve students’ job search capabilities.

 

 

 

    Claire O'Neill
Claire O'Neill
Library Services, Wiley

iStock-182853979.jpgAs we look towards the future, early career librarians represent a new kind of librarianship; one that’s accustomed to rapid change, quickly-advancing technology, and the need for instant digestible answers.

 

These emerging professionals bring new skills, new perspectives, and a modern take to their libraries, enabling them to face challenges that are unique to those faced by previous generations. They are armed with the ability to adapt to change and anticipate the complex needs of researchers, students and everyday readers.

 

Empowering early career librarians to have a voice within the community is critical to paving the path forward and ensuring a strong base of thought leaders for the future.

 

That’s where we want to help.

 

The Wiley Librarian Scholarship Award

 

A couple months ago, Wiley offered $1,000 travel grants (each) to two early career librarians to attend the 2018 Charleston Library Conference. The Wiley Librarian Scholarship Award not only provided these individuals with the chance to engage and network at the Conference, but it also gave them the opportunity to leverage The Wiley Network as a platform to address the library topics that are meaningful to them.

 

Announcing the Winners and the Early Career Librarian Blog Series

 

Congratulations to Rachel Becker and Jennifer Wilhelm, the winners of the 2018 Wiley Librarian Scholarship Award! Rachel and Jen attended the Charleston Conference in November and after meeting them, we are even more excited to share their insights on current library topics with The Wiley Network!

 

On every other Friday of the next four months, Rachel and Jen will share their perspectives as early career librarians on a variety of topics that are important to the community, including copyright, STEM, the digital age and more.

 

 

About the Authors

 

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Rachel Becker recently accepted a new position as the Copyright and Emerging Technologies Librarian for the Madison Area Technical College Libraries in Madison Wisconsin. Rachel’s personal academic passion is copyright and fair use, and she believes strongly in advocating for the campus library and the collaboration between technical and public services librarians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jennifer Wilhelm is the Business Librarian for Information and Operations Management as well as an assistant professor at Texas A&M University. Jen believes in the collaboration between academic and public librarians, and she’s passionate about various topics including the need for STEM for adults and meeting students where they are digitally so they can participate in instruction at the most successful level.

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned!

 

We are excited to learn more about these current topics and expand our perspectives with the help of these early career librarians. Thank you, Rachel and Jen!

     Lila Huizenga
Lila Huizenga
Marketing Manager, Wiley

 

NCFR1.pngMany academic societies have a mission that includes interpreting and disseminating research to inform legislators and other decision-makers about the possible effects of policy initiatives on their fields. Depending on the society’s goals, there are quite a few ways that societies can engage their members around policy. One way is to create materials illustrating the various ways individual members can become advocates. Another is to highlight how published research in the society’s journals has already impacted policy, as illustrated through policy document citations, and to invite researchers to continue publishing their research in the society’s journals.

 

There are also opportunities to help society members communicate directly with policymakers through letter-writing campaigns, phone-a-thons, or in-person visits to members of Congress to convey messages about specific legislative issues. Beyond this, societies can create easy-to-understand briefs of published research that could be shared with members, as well as publishing policy reports on specific topics written for policymakers.

 

A shared vision

 

Whilst working with the US-based National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) on the editorial and marketing strategy for the society’s three academic journals, it was clear that NCFR’s mission matched Wiley’s closely. There was a resolute agreement that evidence-based policy is key to making well-informed decisions, and that it is crucial to place the best available evidence from academic research at the heart of policy development and implementation. NCFR wanted to highlight how research from their international scholarly journals has impacted policy, and encourage their members to become active in fostering dialogue among Family Scholars and policymakers. Educating legislators about public policy initiatives impacting families is crucial to the NCFR mission, and we wanted to support researchers who are looking to effect lasting change.

 

Taking steps to influence policy

 

As part of NCFR’s annual conference, Wiley and the NCFR collaborated on an ‘I Believe in Family Science’ campaign with the goal of encouraging members of the U.S. Congress to use Family Science research to inform and guide family policymaking decisions. The campaign was aimed at creating a dialogue between Family Scientists and the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators, as well as showcasing the use of Family Science research in policymaking to help create innovative programs that produce effective results and reduce wasteful spending.

 

“Wiley’s interactive exhibit that showcased NCFR’s impact on policy decisions around the world and invited the conference attendees to communicate directly with their policymakers aligned perfectly with NCFR’s mission and was a bright addition to our exhibit area.” – Diane Cushman, Executive Director of NCFR

 

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Using conferences to inform and drive action

 

Colorful postcards were pinned to our booth wall at the NCFR conference, and with each postcard that a delegate took to write to their representative in Congress, part of an infographic was uncovered showing how research published in the three NCFR journals has impacted policy across the globe. Delegates loved the postcards, with more than 10% of the conference delegates using them to write to their representatives. They were also intrigued by the infographic, and many came back throughout the week to see the exhibit as more pieces of the infographic were revealed. At the end of the campaign, we mailed all the postcards on behalf of the delegates, and we’re looking forward to seeing the response they create in Washington. We hope to collaborate further with NCFR by creating more materials that help support individual NCFR members taking an active role in informing policy, as well as attracting academic research with a potential to impact public policy.

 

 

Finding the Funny in Science

Posted Jan 25, 2019
    Julia Ballard
Julia Ballard
Society Marketing, Wiley

lego crowd.jpgAt the end of 2018, a paper was making the rounds through Twitter, and even scored a mention on the Tonight Show and the Late Late Show. When I first read it, I couldn’t stop laughing. What helped this paper stand out and jump to being one of the top 500 most talked about papers of all time in one week? A research topic that resonated with the public combined with a sense of humor. We talked with authors of “Everything is Awesome: Don’t Forget the Lego”, published in the December 2018 issue of Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health (JPCH), about what set them on the path to studying whether or not it is safe for children to swallow Legos, and the role they think humor can play in science communication.

 

Q. At what point during the research or publication process did your team decide to approach this paper with its current humorous tone?

 

TESSA: It was always going to be humorous. We specifically sat down together to come up with a light-hearted (but relevant) topic in the run-up to Christmas.

 

DAMIAN: The tradition in some journals of having Christmas fun editions was a perfect opportunity to undertake research (it was a core principle that the work would be undertaken using study conditions) which would be educational, but also fun.

 

HENRY: I think it’s also in keeping with our core values that we want to engage and educate our readership. A positive way to engage is to entertain, and well-considered, thoughtful humor can play an important role in this.

 

Q. What was the editorial reception to your paper's tone?

 

ANDY: We were rejected by four journals prior to JPCH picking us up. But after going through the process of swallowing the Lego we couldn't just give up!

 

GRACE: The wonderful editorial response from JPCH byDavid Isaacs was both amusing and told us that we had found a team whom we were able to make smile and who appreciated our bit of creative research.

 

                     Dear Tessa

 

Your paper is outrageous. However, few people were more scatological than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of my musical heroes. I, therefore, have great pleasure in informing you that your manuscript entitled "Everything is awesome" has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

 

David

 

Q. Do you think that using humor and different styles of communication can open up new audiences for academic research?

 

TESSA: At Don’t Forget the Bubbles  (DFTB), we work particularly hard to achieve knowledge translation. That is making scientific info accessible to healthcare professionals and relevant to their clinical practice. Using humor in the paper helped with knowledge translation to the public. It allowed the mainstream media to use the comedy element of the paper to deliver an important message to the public about the safety of various ingested objects.

 

ANDY: But humor can be overdone. You don’t want every single paper to read like a Monty Python skit. The paper was written in simple language, which meant most journalists could parse the abstract with ease. This allowed a gateway into the paper itself.

 

GRACE: I agree that being open to using different styles of communication will help to broaden the ability of wider audiences to understand and appreciate research that has been performed. In the written word, we should strive to develop clarity and stay aware of the difference between using technical terms appropriately vs slipping into paragraphs of jargon.

We also disseminated knowledge about this paper in other ways: as an infographic, via our blog and with the video teaser which Damian put together. These strategies have been and could be applied to other, more serious research.

 

Regarding the use of humor: harnessing the emotive response is a great way to help engage audiences. Like Tessa said, it is great to be able to use it as a pathway towards delivering a public message. We had a lot of fun in the intentional creation of humor through things like the scoring system. The goal of the paper primarily was to make people smile. I don't think humor should be utilized at random when crafting a paper. It should have a clear intent and purpose and it is important that it does not distract or confuse the key message.

 

DAMIAN: I think there is lots of learning here. Not all papers can strike this tone, but the imagery captured imagination. I think it’s imperative for research that could have widespread public impact for the authors to think about how their narrative might best reach patients. I also liked the shoe-horning of the message of the dangers of button batteries onto this. The interviews I did with radio stations also seemed to enjoy this mix of humor with a serious message.

 

Q. Any advice for other research teams that want to approach an upcoming paper or project with humor or levity?

 

ANDY: Don't try and force it. Most people who read scientific papers are nerds (myself included) so subtle in-jokes are a great way in.

 

HENRY: Humor is another tool for engagement; people won’t laugh at a joke they’re not listening to! That is, humor can be the hook that promotes thinking about your work. Humor seems to work when it augments the message rather than smothering it and is congruent with the desired readership.

 

Q: This paper has seen an amazing reception in popular media - did this surprise your team? Do you think this kind of exposure will help improve this paper's impact, and the impact of future projects?

 

TESSA: We thought our peers would find it amusing, but the spread to popular media came as a lovely surprise. We tried to make the most of it and enjoyed it all hugely. Featuring in the opening monologues for The Late Late show and The Tonight Show was truly amazing (and a very unexpected consequence!)

 

ANDY: The global exposure certainly seems to have helped the paper’s Altmetric score and we made sure most of the newspapers/blogposts would link back to the original paper.

 

GRACE: We had hoped for a good response but the response we received well exceeded my expectations and was both wonderful and a little surreal!

One of the reasons why I think our paper had such reach is that the topic is familiar and well known to many - I've heard and seen radio presenters, journalists and people online sharing their family’s (including their pets’!) personal experiences with swallowing objects and how Lego was a part of their life (whether via play or the pain of stepping on it!)

I think that the uptake with the paper means many more people are now aware of DFTB as a group and will hopefully translate into more subscribers and uptake of our other work.

 

DAMIAN: It will be interesting to see if the paper is cited and what for. I suspect it will be cited in relation to its social media impact but very possible it won’t be cited at all for its scientific impact (potentially not unjustly!). It does beg a question about the balance of Altmetric scores with more traditional metrics.

 

Regardless of future citations, it’s clear this paper had an impact that will help its authors, the journal, and the general public who now know just how much to panic if a child swallows an object they shouldn’t! Our thanks to the authors, Andrew Tagg, Damian Roland, Grace SY Leo, Katie Knight, Henry Goldstein, and Tessa Davis.

 

    Rachael Wolley
Rachael Wolley
Research Marketing, Wiley

ORCID, the researcher persistent digital identifier, reliably connects researchers to their contributions and affiliations to increase discoverability, recognition, and research collaboration. ORCID saves time for editors and societies by disambiguating authors and peer reviewers and helping them become more compliant with a growing industry standard.

 

Since we adopted the ORCID mandate in 2016, submissions have increased across Wiley titles, indicating that mandating ORCID had no negative effect on submissions. More than 955 Wiley journals have adopted Wiley’s recommended ORCID policy, and now require ORCID as a condition for submission. We have not seen an impact on submissions and have received positive feedback from editorial partners and stakeholders overall.

 

ORCID enables open recognition and reward – Here at Wiley we’re working with our partners towards a more open future and ORCID aligns with that mission by enable open recognition and reward. If you want to consider additional open practices for your journal, use our How Open is Your Journal? checklist to guide you and your discussions towards open research strategies.  We urge you to speak to your JPM about moving to mandating ORCID at submission.

 

Check out the infographic below for an overview of how ORCID benefits society members and the research community.

 

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    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

Across Borders.jpgResearch is always becoming more collaborative but working with new people means learning how to listen and communicate effectively. We chatted with Adrienne Sponberg, Director of Communications at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), about a new program they’re launching to send graduate students around the world to conduct research: LOREX (Limnology and Oceanography Research Exchange).

 

Q. The Limnology and Oceanography Research Exchange enables researcher collaboration around the world. Why is this important to ASLO?

A. We live on a blue planet – water covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and does not respect political boundaries! As a result, our membership is very international (4,300 members in over 80 countries) and frequently collaborates across borders. The problems facing the world’s waters are global in scope and will require the cooperation of researchers across the globe to understand them. As a professional association dedicated to advancing aquatic science, providing training and international research opportunities is a logical, and necessary, step forward. Associations are in a unique space to connect researchers from around the globe at different institutions, and with the funding through NSF’s IRES program, we’ll be able to do that in a meaningful way.  Our President wrote an article about our steps towards internationalization that outlines our path towards becoming more international.

 

Q. You mention how important communication and cultural sensitivity is to collaboration. Can you go into a little more detail about how this program builds skills in these areas?

 

A. It’s funny because when you use the term “science communication”, most people will automatically associate that with some form of outreach – communicating science to the public or policymakers. But, communication is the bedrock of research collaboration – you can get all of the best minds together on a team, but if they can’t figure out how to communicate with each other, the project will go nowhere. Likewise, if a researcher can’t explain to reviewers why their idea is important, they won’t get funded!

 

Back in 2013, we started trying to bust this myth that communications training is just for outreach by offering a workshop at our conferences demonstrating how communication tips from Hollywood can improve scientific presentations. We focused on how things like creating narrative structure, connecting emotionally with the audience, and other easy changes can make a big difference in keeping an audience’s attention. With the LOREX program, we’ll be able to expand this training to include other aspects of conducting international research such as how to initiate contact with a potential collaborator. 

 

A second myth about science communication is that it’s all about figuring out what to say to different audiences. That’s only half of it, though. The other half – the much harder half! – is listening. For the past five years, we’ve offered Improv training to scientists at our conferences to help members achieve real two-way communication. Participants in these workshops consistently tell us afterwards what a game-changer the Improv exercises were for them – if for no other reason it raised their own awareness of how critical listening is to the communications process. 

 

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using Improv training for scientists is it helps people get past their scientist-training in order to build a partnership. As scientists we are taught to always be critical of what we are reading and hearing - we are trained to negate! While this is excellent for reviewing papers, it can create serious barriers to building partnerships or working on a collaborative project. What better way to train scientists to be better collaborators than through Improv’s core principal of “Yes, and”? The Improv exercises that our Improv instructor Brian Palermo uses also help participants look for non-verbal communication cues. In an international research environment, those will be key to overcoming language and cultural barriers.

 

Beyond that, we have a faculty coordinator at each host institution who will help orient the LOREX students both prior to and during their research exchange. The LOREX students will travel to the host institution as a group and will participate in cultural activities organized by the host institution. In future years, there will be a peer-to-peer mentoring aspect as well, with prior participants serving as mentors.

 

Q. How long have you been developing the program? What was the process like? 

 

A. The LOREX program was conceived as a direct response to a new track specifically for professional societies in NSF’s long-standing International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program. One of our members, Adina Paytan at the University of California at Santa Cruz, led a successful IRES program before and approached us about putting in a proposal for the new track with ASLO as the society partner. The proposal built upon Adina’s experience with running an IRES program and ASLO’s experience providing training in science communication to our members to create LOREX. As I mentioned earlier, ASLO really strives to be an international association. The opportunity to provide training and research experiences to foster international collaboration was really a golden one, so we jumped at the chance to submit a proposal.

 

Q. You’ve recently announced the first cohort of LOREX students. What are you most excited about for this new group?

 

A. The number of new connections between labs in different countries that are being forged through LOREX is really exciting. Our first cohort will connect students from 24 U.S. institutions with 25 different labs in Canada, Israel, Australia and Sweden. We’re thrilled to be able to give students a multi-week international research experience. While our conferences help connect our members, students in particular can get overwhelmed in the whirlwind of a weeklong science conference. ASLO’s involvement helps students take this difficult step into international research collaboration by identifying host institutions, providing travel funding, and conducting a multi-day orientation program at the ASLO conference. We had an introductory webinar in December and we’re really eager to see how their research projects progress!

 

Thanks so much for sharing details about this exciting program! I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of these cohorts. 

 

Image credit: Getty Images

 

    Elizabeth Moylan
Elizabeth Moylan
Publisher, Research Integrity and Publishing Ethics, Wiley

Here at Wiley, we’re committed to moving towards greater openness and reproducibility of research, including increasing transparency in peer review. As part of the movement to make research more open, a transparent peer review workflow shows readers the process behind editorial decision making, increases accountability, and helps recognize the work of editors and peer reviewers. EMBO Press, one of Wiley's publishing partners, introduced transparency into their processes in 2009.

 

Back in September, we announced an initiative to pilot an automated, scalable transparent peer review workflow, in collaboration with Publons and ScholarOne (both part of Clarivate Analytics). The first journal to join the pilot was Clinical Genetics (check out our Q&A with the Editor-in-Chief here).

 

How does transparent peer review work?

 

The pilot offers authors the choice of transparent peer review when they submit to the journal. If their article is published and authors have elected for transparent peer review, the peer reviewers’ reports, authors’ responses, and editors’ decisions will then accompany their published article. Reviewers also have the option to disclose their names alongside their reports, if they so choose.

The peer review history is openly available on a page hosted by Publons via a link from the published article (see an example here). Each component has a DOI, ensuring each element is fully citable. For those reviewers who choose to sign their reviews, the DOIs can also be added to their ORCID records.

 

This policy also reflects findings from a survey revealing support for more openness into peer review and a recent call to publish peer reviewer reports advocated by the UK Wellcome Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and ASAPbio (a non-profit organization encouraging innovation in publishing). Their open letter - in support of the benefits of increased transparency in peer review - currently has over 300 journal signatories.

 

How are authors responding?

 

Since launching the pilot, the feedback from the Clinical Genetics community has been extremely positive. This is reflected in 83% of authors opting for transparent peer review (278 of 336 submissions). The percentage of peer reviewers signing their reports is low at 19% (of 86 reports posted, 16 had identities). We will be sharing more detail on our findings at the Open Science Conference taking place in Berlin in March 2019. It is heartening to see that other publishers are also reporting positive results from their pilot initiatives to publish peer review reports (see findings from BMC and Elsevier).

 

“The 83% opt-in rate to publishing the contents of peer reviews is phenomenal and reflects a real demand for more transparency in the publishing process. I hope this success encourages many additional journals to offer the option to their own authors.”

Jessica Polka, Director, ASAPbio

 

Next steps toward transparency

 

To change the conversation around transparent peer review and learn more, it’s vital that any initiative has the capability to scale and be compatible with different peer review models, across diverse subject disciplines and publisher workflows.

We are therefore delighted to announce that a further ten journals are joining the pilot (see Table 1 below). Some of these journals already mandate transparent peer review (read about European Journal of Neuroscience’s experience here). By joining the pilot, these journals are benefitting from more efficient workflows, ease of navigation of the pre-publication history, and assigned DOIs for each element of peer review.

 

Table 1. Journals participating in the next phase of the transparent peer review pilot

The other journals joining the pilot did not previously offer transparent peer review as an option for authors. By joining the pilot, these journals have the flexibility to incorporate transparency into their existing workflows and processes without making other major changes to how they conduct peer review. When combined with author choice (and peer reviewer choices) this approach provides a very flexible way to open-up peer review.

 

“While this sounds like a radical idea, and in certain respects it is, it’s a first step in the direction of real open science.”

Paul Kirschner, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

 

We hope offering transparent peer review for journals across a wide range of subject disciplines will bring many benefits to peer review. However, we recognize that these changes may take time to be fully supported across different disciplines. We will continue to share our findings on how this initiative is progressing—our goal is that this initiative can continue to scale, involving more journals and other publishers in the future.

 

Thank you to the dedicated team who contributed so much time and energy to scale this initiative: Erin Arndt, Tiago Barros, Simon Bell, Josh Dahl, Faith Garrison, Chris Graf, Laura Harvey, Matthew Hayes, Mark Domingo, Elizabeth Matson, and Elisha Morris.

 

For Wiley editors, we’re hosting a waitlist for the next group of journals that would like to introduce more transparency to the peer review process. To add your journal, please speak with your Wiley Journal Publishing Manager. 

 

Looking to become a peer reviewer? Check out our hints and tips.

Are you an active peer reviewer? Join over 150,000 Wiley Peer Reviewers on Publons to help you record, verify, and showcase your peer review contributions.

 

 

Image Credit: gettyimages

    Claire O'Neill
Claire O'Neill
Library Services, Wiley

Happy New Year! We’re excited for 2019, because with it comes a new cycle of library conferences!

 

We’re gearing up to attend lots of events in new places this year, and this month, we’re looking forward to visiting our friends in Toronto for the 2019 Ontario Library Association (OLA) Super Conference!

 

To get in the Canadian spirit, we’ve taken a deep dive into the Wiley Digital Archives collections to see what fun facts we could uncover about the about the history of the Great White North. Let’s check them out, eh?

 

Mother Nature, indeed…

 

Did you know that segments of the Apache and Navajo Indians are originally from northwestern Canada?

 

Though popularly associated with the southwest region of the United States and the northwestern area of Mexico, the ancestral tribes of the Apache and Navajo apparently migrated from up north!

 

North American Indians, a manuscript which contained notes, drafts, and papers related to the “culture, classical studies, economics, family welfare and sexual matters in various societies,” offers an interesting insight into the historic roles of both men and women in these tribes.

 

While men assumed the role of protector, supporting women with the “product of the chase” and fighting on the warfront, women handled the domestic affairs; they were responsible for the “care of children, making mats, mattresses, pots of clay, utensils of bark,” and “storing edible roots, seeds, berries, and plants.”

 

Fun fact: the “sowing of seeds by women was supposed to render such seeds more fertile and the earth more productive than if planted by men. For they think that woman has and controls the faculty of reproduction and increase.”

 

A Canadian’s gift to the nation

Canadian's Gift to the Nation Image.png

 

In 1911, Mr. Joseph Bowles Learmont of Montreal, a collector of all things “in any way connected with Canadian history,” purchased the early home of General James Wolfe “with the object of founding a national museum and headquarters for all things relating to Wolfe and Canadian History in general."

 

General James Wolfe was a British Army officer known for his training reforms and remembered chiefly for his victory in 1759 over the French in Quebec during the Seven Year’s War. His victory led to him being posthumously dubbed "The Hero of Quebec", "The Conqueror of Quebec", and also "The Conqueror of Canada", since the capture of Quebec led directly to the capture of Montreal, ending French control of the country.

 

In other words, he was kind of a big deal.

 

Today, the house contains an exhibition on the battle and on Wolfe's life, showcasing memorabilia and paintings connected to him.

 

The first comprehensive study of an Aboriginal tribe in Canada

 

In 1940, Thomas Forsyth McIlwraith completed and returned the Census of British Anthropologists as a professor at the University of Toronto and associate of the Royal Ontario Museum. His area of study? The Bella Coola Indians in Canada, specifically from the coast of British Columbia.

 

At the University of Toronto, McIlwraith built a department in which archaeological, linguistic, physical and ethnological anthropology all found a place. He was primarily interested in the effect of change on Canadian native peoples; in 1922, he came to Canada as a field assistant of the National Museum of Canada in order to undertake the first comprehensive study of the Bella Coola Indians. According to the census, he used ethnological methods and archeological techniques to focus on the “social, religious and economic lives of primitive peoples.” His two-volume work on the Nuxalk Nation, titled The Bella Coola Indians, published in 1948.

 

McIlwraith also served as Chairman of the Social Science Research Council, president of the Royal Canadian Institute and the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the Royal Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, and remained a research associate of the National Museum and Royal Ontario Museum.

 

Studier of Insanity in General image (002).pngA studier of “insanity in general”

Canadian doctor William Julius Mickle, M.D. received his Bachelor of Medicine from the University of Toronto in

1868 and was associated with the study and care of mental diseases.

 

The original manuscript of a Presidential address to the Royal College of Physicians in 1918 after Mickle’s death claims, “a great number of his articles are concerned with general paralysis of the insane, and with the relations of syphilis to that disease, and to insanity in general; indeed, he was one of the first to discuss fully the connection between syphilis and general paralysis.”

 

Mickle was made President of the Neurological Society and dealt with Syphilis of the Nervous System in his Presidential address. He was also a member of the British Medical Association, and when it held its annual meeting in Toronto in 1906, “Mickle was again President of the Section and the Honorary Degree of LL.D. of the Toronto University was conferred upon him.”

 

 

 

This season on Survivor: French Canada

 

Did you know that the survival of French Canada was once the subject of great debate?

 

The May 1959 edition of Man, a journal published by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, discusses this desire to understand and categorize the culture of French Canadians.

 

While some researchers at the time believed that French Canada was merely operating as a feudal state that was bound to “disappear completely in the growing conflict between rural and urban societies,” others, like Professor Philippe Garigue, argued that French Canada would prosper, and that it was “complex, in good part urban, with a maritime population of fisherfolk and a substantial element dedicated to the fur trade.” 

 

Interestingly, folklorists of the National Museum and the Archives de Folklore agreed that French Canada might “endure beyond one year” due to their extensive culture, claiming, “we know from experience that the social character of the French Canadians is under all these captions [songs, tales, dances, legends, sayings, and proverbs] most richly endowed and that they derive from these ancestral sources still alive among them the framework of their personality, sociability, and continuity.”

 

Vive la French Canada!

 

Where do you start when you’re researching…a whole country?

 

Where do you start when you're researching...image.jpg

In the midst of the Second World War, Tracy Phillips, a British intelligence officer, moved to Canada, where he was an adviser to the Canadian Government on immigrant European communities. In the 1944 document “The Continental-European Ethnic and Cultural Composition of Canada,” Phillips described his job as the advisor for the Canadian Government’s Department of National War Services on “Canadian Communities of Recent European Origin” as fostering “a wide knowledge and appreciation of the best traditions of Canadian life” amongst these distinct communities.

 

No small task, eh? Phillips acknowledged that the work required “some first-hand experience of the ethnic and cultural backgrounds of the countries-of-origin of the now Canadians who, in time of national crisis, such as war, required and require to be inspired and woven into the fabric of a United Nation.”

 

Phillips eventually wrote his conclusions after “frequent travel” and “constant contact with all the ethnic groups and culture-communities in Canada.”

 

All aboard!

 

Now a relic of the past, the Canadian Northern Railway System (CNoR) was once a historic Canadian transcontinental railroad, owning a main line between Quebec City and Vancouver.

 

So what happened?

 

In the 1880s, The Canadian Northern Railway System began as a response to the monopoly of the Canadian Pacific Railway—but its creators had a lot of work cut out for them in justifying the expense!

 

Despite the infamous construction folly in 1913, when blasting for a passage triggered an enormous landslide that partially blocked the Fraser River and caused so much damage to Pacific Salmon runs that it took the government decades to fix the system, one advocate contacted The British Empire Trust Company Limited to defend the system.

 

“We think that the enormous extent and importance of this great Railway undertaking is not generally understood,” the letter reads, “and we should not hear it suggested from time to time that the Railways comprised in the System have borrowed too largely.”

 

Despite the railway system’s loud supporters, financial issues for the CNoR came to a head during the height of conflict in the First World War, when the majority of wartime traffic was moving on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) instead. The company was also saddled with ongoing construction costs that they were unable to repay without additional revenue.

 

In the end, money talks, and the Canadian Northern Railway System was nationalized in 1918 to become part of the Canadian National Railway.

 

A hit-and-miss approach to science coverage

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The people want more science!

 

Executive Committee Minutes, 1970-1976 from the Wiley Digital Archives: New York Academy of Sciences Collection illustrates a topic still relevant today: public understanding and appreciation of science and science news. Though a “hit-and-miss approach to science coverage in general” was acknowledged, the focus was around the issues with “the coverage of Canadian science in particular.”

 

Noting that “the system of science popularization is not working as well as it should,” the committee described a stronger demand for “more and better science popularization” in the media.

 

“Throughout our study of science communication,” the committee continued, “we find that 75% of all Canadians want to keep abreast of science news. Yet 54% of these people feel that not enough science is being made public (through all sources) and 43% feel that the media are not providing sufficient science coverage.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what do you think of these stories and fun facts from Canada’s history, all of which can be found within Wiley Digital Archives? Let us know at the 2019 OLA Super Conference – we’re excited to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images Source: Wiley Digital Archives

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