Dissertation Deadlines to Avoid Paying Spring 2013 Dissertation Tuition

December 1, 2012

This message was sent out to the Alliant community on 11/30/12, but we are reproducing it here to make it easier to refer back to – sz

Greetings Students,

This message is intended to clarify the process for submitting your dissertation to the library for review, and to highlight important dates for those who wish to avoid paying spring 2013 dissertation tuition.

Briefly, the library dissertation clearance process works like this:

€       Successfully complete the oral defense of your dissertation and make all edits requested by your committee

€       Print the signature page on cotton paper and have the committee sign

€       Upload a PDF of your dissertation to the library for review (instructions are on the portal under Alliant Departments|Dissertations…)

€       The library will let you know if changes to the format are needed

­      If they are, make the changes and re-upload. Repeat until all necessary changes have been made and the library approves

€       Once the library approves the PDF you will be notified that you are now ready to print the dissertation on cotton paper and deliver it to the library, along with:

­      The signed signature page

­      The signed forms verifying your successful defense

­      A check or money order for binding (check with your campus¹ library dissertation clearance person about the amount and whom to make the check out to; clearance contacts are listed on the portal under Alliant Departments|Dissertations…)

€       When the library receives the hard copy, if all is in order we then notify the registrar that you have successfully completed your dissertation.

In order to avoid paying spring 2013 dissertation tuition, the registrar must hear from the library no later than 2/5/13 that you have submitted both the PDF and hard copy and both have been approved by the library. Because it takes library staff some time to review a dissertation to make sure its format complies with the requirements specified by its program, please be aware of the following earlier deadlines:

1.      The library deadline for submitting dissertations to the library electronically is 1/22/13, so that we can ensure that we have time to review them and provide feedback to the student in time for corrections to be made by the 2/5/13 registrar deadline.

2.       If a dissertation is submitted to the library between 1/23/13 and 2/5/13, the library will notify the registrar that the dissertation has been received so that the student may avoid paying for spring dissertation units, provided the student signs a library form acknowledging that any changes the library finds necessary will be made no later than 3/5/13.

3.       If the changes are not made by 3/5/13, then the library notifies the registrar to put a hold on the student¹s diploma/graduation/etc. Once the corrected dissertation is received by the library the registrar will be notified that the hold can be removed.

Our goal in establishing these earlier deadlines is NOT to add to the stress you are already experiencing, but to give you a clear idea of what you need to do and when the best time to do it is. If you have any questions or concerns about dissertation submission, please contact me (szimmer@alliant.edu) as soon as possible so we can discuss your situation.

Alliant Librarians Present at the American Library Association Annual Conference

June 25, 2012

Shawna Hellenius, Library Director at Alliant’s Los Angeles campus (at right, below), and Sherry Youssef, Reference and Instruction Librarian at the L.A. campus, presented their research findings at ALA 2012 in Anaheim.


Their research focuses on the topic of information literacy, as they look for more effective ways to impart research skills to Alliant students.


To the surprise of absolutely no one who has worked with Shawna and Sherry, the day after their poster session representatives from the American Psychological Association could be heard raving about it. Way to go, Shawna and Sherry!

ArticleReach brings “Link+ for articles” to Alliant

March 21, 2012

This is long-winded, but if you’re serious about doing quality research, it’s worth it.

Usually when you add a procedural layer to a system, the result is a more complex process; after all, you’ve added another step. But what if, instead of adding a layer of complexity, it were possible to add a layer of simplicity? That is essentially what Alliant library staff, under the direction of Electronic Resources Librarian Glenn Tozier, have done by implementing ArticleReach.

Most Alliant library users are well-acquainted with Link+, the system which allows them to request books from other library systems as easily as they request books from other Alliant campuses. What has long been missing, is a similarly streamlined process for requesting articles not available through Alliant’s subscriptions. Article Reach fills that void.

ArticleReach is basically two things: it’s a consortium of libraries that Alliant belongs to, in which members agree to share with one another articles from subscribed journals; it’s also a software layer that sits between the researcher and the traditional interlibrary loan process. How does it work?

A researcher locates an article in an Alliant database, notes that it has no link to online full text, and clicks on the option to “Check LinkSource for possible full text from other sources.” A few seconds pass as servers talk to one another, and then one of two things will happen: either Linksource will display the full text of the article (having located it in an Alliant subscription you were unaware of), or you’ll see a screen listing other ways to try to find the item. The one you want looks like this:

Request articles for free and have them sent directly to you! Can’t find it? Request it for free through ArticleReach/Interlibrary Loan!

Click on this, and the system will automatically grab the citation information for the article you want and populate an ArticleReach request form with it. Submitting that request will send it to all the members of the ArticleReach consortium. As soon as someone in the consortium finds it in their collection, they will scan and email it directly to you. If the item cannot be provided by any member of ArticleReach, your request will not be automatically declined, or lost under someone’s desk; it will automatically move over to Alliant’s interlibrary loan system, where we will try to fulfill it using traditional means.

So what, you say? Here’s what: Interlibrary Loan typically delivers articles in a matter of days; ArticleReach frequently delivers articles in a matter of hours. I’m writing this post at 2:53 p.m. Shortly before 1:00 p.m. I submitted five ArticleReach requests, and so far two of them have popped up in my inbox (“Live Imaging of Axon Stretch Growth in Embryonic and Adult Neurons” and “Scent-marking behaviour of the honey badger, Mellivora capensis (Mustelidae), in the southern Kalahari,” in case you were interested). Of course some requests will take longer, and some will ultimately have to be fulfilled by interlibrary loan, but this is a significant step forward. It’s also worth mentioning that this feature, unlike Link+, is available to students at international sites.

Many thanks to Glenn and all of the staff of Alliant Library for the months of work they put into testing, configuring, and retesting this system. We hope you’ll give ArticleReach a try, and we encourage you to contact library@alliant.edu if you have questions or concerns about this or any library service.

Alliant Library Annual Report 2011

December 12, 2011

Click the image to see what we’ve been up to!

Interlibrary Loan and Radical Simplicity

November 23, 2011

Now here is something to be thankful for! (bet you haven’t heard that recently, huh?)

Library staff are delighted to announce a new feature in the databases which will make submitting an interlibrary loan (ILL) request much simpler and much faster. Anyone who has submitted a request knows that the least pleasant part is having to manually type the citation information into the request form. Well, get ready to look for a new pet peeve, because now there’s a better way. Library staff have configured LinkSource to automatically bring the citation fields from the database into the request form, saving you all of that typing. Checkout the brief (4 slides) presentation below:

This may seem like a small tweak, but we’re hoping that in the long run it will save students a great deal of time and frustration. Be sure to email library@alliant.edu if you have questions or comments about this or any other Alliant library service.

How Do I Get Mendeley to Use APA 6th Edition?

July 21, 2011

A number of people have noticed that the “out-of-the-box” installation of Mendeley differs slightly from APA6 in the way it formats bibliographies. Bibliographies are single spaced instead of double spaced, and a period is incorrectly inserted after the DOI.

To fix this, you first download the latest Citation Style Language (csl) file for APA6 from here: http://www.zotero.org/styles (Mendeley uses csl files the same way Zotero does, so the file works in both applications).

Next, put the file in the following directory: C:\Program Files\Mendeley Desktop\citationStyles-1.0. If the computer asks you if you want to replace the existing file, say “yes.” Start up Mendeley, choose View|Citation Style and select APA 6th edition.

Finally, to fix the double space issue, click once anywhere on the list of references to highlight the entire list. Then find Word’s menu for “Line and Paragraph Spacing” and change it from 1.0 to 2.0.

If you have trouble with this, contact library@alliant.edu

Got an idea? Have another! Your head has plenty of room.

May 27, 2011

Lifehacker has a great quote today which librarians the world over will find inspiring. Or apocalyptic. Permit me to explain.

The idea from Francis Crick is simple: “The dangerous man is the one who has only one idea, because then he’ll fight and die for it.” In other words, the world is an ambiguous place in a constant state of flux. If you choose to see things from only one angle, or to believe that things can only function one particular way, you will more than likely find that at some point reality does not conform to your wishes.

Fair enough, you say, but what does that have to do with libraries and the people who work in them? A few quotes may be illustrative:

  • “Why are you giving that patron money? You’re making change for a patron?! But we don’t do that, we’re librarians!”
  • “I’m sorry, Professor, but that is a reference book. We can’t let you take it out of the building to make copies in your office. Would you like to fill out this form so we can set up our copier to work with your departmental code? It only takes three business days to process and then you’ll be all set.”
  • “Everyone has to fill out this form once a year otherwise they shouldn’t be able to check out books. Yes I know they have registered and paid for their classes, but this form isn’t going to fill itself out, you know.”
  • “I don’t see what Dr. Smith is so upset about; I received her request for materials and I will deliver them to her the day before her class needs them. What? No, I didn’t inform her that they will be ready then, why would I need to do that?”
Of course these are composites and not representative of particular individuals, but they do convey a certain tone of inflexibility – a tone for which librarians are infamous. Nor do I mean to suggest that librarians who make statements like this are bad people – far from it. Statements like these are usually born out of a very strong conviction about How Things Should Work in order to provide the best experience for everyone. The problem is that this conviction tends to alienate librarians from the communities they serve and to cut them off from an essential talent: the ability to appreciate, or even recognize, a great idea that you had absolutely nothing to do with.


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