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Call for abstracts: The science of evolution and the evolution of the sciences

Call for abstracts: The science of evolution and the evolution of the sciences

We invite submissions for papers to be presented at a two-day conference on The science of evolution and the evolution of the sciences, which will be held in Leuven, Belgium on the 12th and 13th October 2016.

Submissions should take the form of a 500-word abstract. Submissions on any aspect of the evolution of scientific theories are welcome, but contributions with a clear link to digital humanities are especially encouraged.

Aims and scope of the conference:

One of the longstanding debates in history and philosophy of science concerns how the sciences develop. Thomas Kuhn famously emphasized the role of scientific revolutions and so-called paradigm shifts. Other philosophers, including Karl Popper and David Hull, have offered a Darwinian account of the process of science. In their view, scientists create conjectures about the way the world works, and these conjectures undergo a process of selection as they are tested against the world. This is analogized with biological evolution: mutation and recombination creates novelty in the biological world, which then undergoes natural selection, driving adaptive evolution. In this conference, we will reexamine these ideas using new tools from cultural evolutionary theory and the digital humanities.

This conference explores recent attempts to move beyond mere qualitative theorizing about scientific cultures and their evolution and centers on the the question of the extent to which we can make quantitative predictions, extract quantitative data, or build quantitative models of and about scientific evolution over time. In addition to numerical models of cultural evolution drawn from the evolutionary sciences, quantitative data are also being extracted in the digital humanities. Cultural products like academic journal articles can be algorithmically mined in order to understand this body of work in a new light, offering data to help test hypothesis about scientific changes. By bringing together researchers with a common interest but with different disciplinary backgrounds and toolboxes, we hope to inspire cross-fertilization and new collaborations.

Questions addressed at this conference include:

*  What novel predictions do Darwinian accounts of science offer?

*  How can we test these predictions?

*  Can new work in the digital humanities, such as the automated mining and analysis of the scientific literature, shed light on Darwinian accounts of science?

*  Do formal evolutionary models or (quantitative) textual analyses permit a systematic approach to empirical issues in the realism-instrumentalism debate?

Keynote speakers:

Charles Pence (Louisiana State University)

Kimmo Eriksson (Mälardalen University and Stockholm University)

Mia Ridge (British Library)

Simon DeDeo (Indiana University & the Santa Fe Institute)

Abstracts must be received no later than June 7. Inquiries and abstracts should be directed to the conference organizers, Andreas De Block and Grant Ramsey, at the following addresses:

Andreas.deblock@hiw.kuleuven.be and grant@theramseylab.org

The conference receives financial support from the Institute of Philosophy (KU Leuven) and the FWO (Flemish Research Council).


Grant Ramsey



+1 574.344.0284


Dig Deeper: Easter Rising 1916

A Dublin Street After the Rising

A Dublin Street After the Rising

This bibliography provides selected references that provide information about the 1916 Easter Rising (April 24, Dublin, Ireland), which is the subject of the current exhibit presented by Falvey’s Special Collections. The Easter Rising digital exhibit is now live and can be found here. The books listed below are just part of Falvey’s holdings on the subject. Selected online materials also are included.

1916 Ireland’s Revolutionary Tradition. (2016). Kieran Allen.

Easter Rising 1916:  The Trials. (2014). Seàn Enright.

The Rising:  Ireland, Easter 1916. (2010). Fearghal McGarry.

Easter 1916:  The Irish Rebellion. (2006). Charles Townshend.

 Witnesses Inside the Easter Rising. (2005). Annie Ryan.

The Easter Rising. (1999). Michael Foy.

The Easter Rebellion of 1916. (1992). David Trimble.

The Easter Rising. (1987). Nathaniel Harris.



“Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein,” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ira/conflict/gasf.html


Information about Joseph McGarrity and the McGarrity Collection:

Special Collections

New Exhibit – Joseph McGarrity: Man of Action; Man of Letters

Online exhibit


Dig Deeper: How Tuesday became Super

usa map vector

What is Super Tuesday?

What began as basically a regional primary in the South came to fruition in 1988 after years of discussion. The same-day primary early in the nominating season quickly gained the unofficial name Super Tuesday. Southern advocates of the idea hoped to draw some attention away from the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary by scheduling simultaneous primaries a few weeks after New Hampshire’s.

The main goal of the sponsors was to bring forth moderate presidential candidates of national stature who were from the South or were at least acceptable to southern voters (CQ Voting and Elections Collection – Benenson, B., & Tarr, D. (2012). Super Tuesday. Elections a to z (4th ed.). Washington, DC: CQ Press. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/elections/elaz4d_615.3).

The first congressional caucuses appeared in 1800 to select the presidential nominees (CQ Voting and Elections Collection Ezra, M. (2005). The history and development of the nominating process. In P. S. Herrnson (Ed.), Guide to political campaigns in America. Washington, DC: CQ Press. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/elections/g2camp-431-18706-1005825).usa flag button

Primaries and Caucuses

Prior to a general election, there is a selection process to determine which candidate will appear on the ballot for a given political party in the nationwide general election. Political parties generally hold national conventions at which a group of delegates collectively decide upon which candidate they will run for the presidency. The process of choosing delegates to the national convention is undertaken at the state level, which means that there are significant differences from state to state and sometimes year to year. The two methods for choosing delegates to the national convention are the caucus and the primary. Caucuses were the original method for selecting candidates but have decreased in number since the primary was introduced in the early 1900’s  (https://votesmart.org/education/presidential-primary#.Vst88OZVBhR).

The use of primary elections to select party nominees began more than a century ago, as a facet of Progressive Era political reform. (CQ Voting and ElectionsBenenson, B., & Tarr, D. (2012). Primary types. Elections a to z (4th ed.). Washington, DC: CQ Press. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/elections/elaz4d_485.1).


Dig Deeper

understanding us presidentialLexisNexis – U.S. Presidential Campaign Tracker

National Journal Race Tracker 2016

USA.gov – Presidential Election Process

CQ Voting & Elections Collection – featured presidential event posts

CQ 2016 Presidential Primary, Caucus Calendar and Delegate Count

CQ – The History and Development of the Nominating Process

CQ Voting and Elections Collection – Primary Types

Everything you need to know about how the presidential primary works – Washington Post

Vote Smart – Government 101: United States Presidential Primary


primary politicsBooks:

Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know about How America Nominates its Presidential Candidates

Understanding the Fundamentals of the U.S. Presidential Election System

Primary elections sources from the Falvey catalog.


Select Databases & Articles:

America: History and Life (EBSCO)

CQ Press Library (SAGE)

Social Sciences Citation Index (Thomson Reuters)

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (ProQuest)
Dunne, M. (2012). The long winding road to the white house: Caucuses, primaries and national party conventions in the history of American presidential elections. Historian, (115), 6-12. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1115393470?accountid=14853

Norrander, B., & Wendland, J. (2012). The Primary End Game and General Election Outcomes: Are they Connected?. Forum (2194-6183), 10(4), 119-126. doi:10.1515/forum-2013-0008

SteinArticle written and resources selected by Merrill Stein. Stein is team leader of the Assessment team and liaison to the Department of Political Science. USA flag map by Lokal_Profil via Wikimedia Commons.

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Oxford History Handbooks Online


Falvey Library recently acquired the Oxford Handbooks Online history subject collection. The print editions of the Oxford Handbooks have long been popular for their thorough research reviews. It came as no surprise that history faculty expressed strong interest in a switch to the online platform.

The history subject collection currently consists of twenty-eight complete handbooks, but also includes numerous chapters from forthcoming print handbooks. Oxford University Press publishes chapters of handbooks which are still in production on its online platform often long before the print edition becomes available. Thus, Dr. Hartnett’s students are able to read a selection of chapters from the Oxford Handbook of Modern Russian History this fall even though the handbook has not yet been published in print. Unfortunately, students and faculty cannot readily discover this exclusive online content as forthcoming handbooks are neither cataloged in the library’s catalog nor indexed in the library’s article database.

OHO exampleThe Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution and two volumes of the Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History will be completed this year. The Oxford Handbook of Modern Russian History, the Oxford Handbook of Europe 1914-45 and the Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Middle-Eastern and North African History are currently in production with available online content. Planned for the future are handbooks about Asian American history, the New Deal, World War II, American political history, the history of race and the history of education.

The library’s catalog provides links to all complete handbooks. Links to individual chapters can readily be created with the help of the digital object identifier (DOI) included in the chapter citations. Copy and paste the number into the library’s link builder application and share the URL via email, syllabus or online classroom. Links are currently the best method to share chapters with students because of known problems with the publisher’s pdf server. Oxford University Press is aware of this problem and will upgrade its server in October. Contact the library if you need pdfs for individual chapters. We will gladly assist you.


Questions or comments? Share them with us online or via email.


Upcoming Chicago-Style Workshops

chicago-manual-of-stylesmallAre you confused by the different formats required by Chicago-style for footnotes and bibliographies?  Are you unsure about how and when to use “ibid.”?  —  Answers to your questions are just around the corner.

Come to Falvey Memorial Library for a quick introduction to Chicago-style rules for footnotes and bibliography.  Sessions will be held in Falvey 207 in the second-floor Learning Commons. For more information, contact history liaison librarian Jutta Seibert (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu).

  • Tuesday, April 14:  4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 22:  4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Seeking state or local statistics?

Try SAGE Stats, a combination of state stats and local stats collections. A trial subscription of SAGE Stats, from CQ Press/SAGE Publications, is available until April 9.


SAGE Stats was developed as a data visualization and research resource providing extensive social science data, including states, cities, counties, and metropolitan statistical areas and topics “across 21 high-interest research areas” within the United States, such as economy, education, crime, government finance, health, population, religion, social welfare, and transportation. The data series span as far back as 1980 and are updated on a timely basis in accordance with the collection and publication schedules of original sources. Detailed source information, with links where applicable, is provided for every data series.

Browse information by topic and location and retrieve data in an interactive map format. Users can create visual comparisons of state and local data and datasets for visualization, comparison citing, sharing, saving, downloading and exporting. Data tables can be downloaded in XLS or CSV formats and visualizations can be converted to JPG or PNG formats.

Additional information about SAGE Stats is available via a video and online guide. Explore other CQ/SAGE products available through Falvey, in the CQ Press Library (SAGE). Explore another statistical database on trial, Policy Map, at the Business Reference blog.

For more information or comments, contact Falvey subject liaison Merrill Stein.


Investigating the Investigators: The U.S. Bureau of Investigation Case Files Archives

case files

Founded in 1908 as the investigative branch of the Justice Department against the opposition of Congress by executive order of President Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. Bureau of Investigation was charged with the investigation of violations of federal statutes. As its powers and influence increased in the face of internal and external threads, the Bureau was repeatedly accused of acting outside the law. Eight years later the Bureau employed three hundred agents, a steep increase from the modest thirty-eight investigators hired in 1908. In 1916 the Bureau was charged with counterintelligence and the investigation of radical activities in the U.S. J. Edgar Hoover, who was appointed as the director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924, cleansed the Bureau of its corrupt elements. He remained in his position when the Bureau was renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935.

The Bureau of Investigation case files are hosted on the EBSCO Fold3 platform. The files are labeled as FBI case files while the collection itself is called Bureau of Investigation case files. It consists of four series, Bureau Section Files, Mexican Files, Miscellaneous Files and Old German Files. Although browsing is an option, it is not a productive approach as file names consist mostly of numbers and personal names. The basic keyword search is a good starting point. Results can be filtered and searches can easily be modified. Scanning documents is at times challenging as the pages of some files are lined up from right to left.

pamphletThe case files cover the years 1909 through 1921 and contain reports and documents related to World War I and the surveillance of groups suspected of un-American activities. The Bureau’s agents regularly reported about labor organizations, the radical press and “Negro subversion.” The case files include pamphlets and magazines published by the “radical press,” such as complete issues of The Masses. Interesting examples from the collection include Babe Ruth, who was investigated as an “alleged slacker,” a.k.a. draft dodger, Joseph McGarrity, whose surveillance files are part of the Old German Files as he was considered a friend of the Germans, and Emma Goldman, the well known anarchist.  Margaret Sanger’s activities were closely watched as well. Her files include pamphlets about her speaking engagements and some of her publications. The short but politically turbulent time period covered by the case files will guarantee many interesting discoveries.

Links to the collection can be found in the online catalog, on the Databases A-Z list and on the history subject guide. Questions or comments? Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.


More Historical American Newspapers: Series 6-10 on trial until February 13, 2015


America’s Historical Newspapers (AHN) has been an important part of the library’s historical newspaper collection since 2007 together with the digital archives of The New York Times, The London Times and the recently added Washington Post. The library currently owns series 1-5 (1690-1922) of AHN. Readex, the publisher of AHN, continues to add new content to the collection and Villanova faculty and students currently have the opportunity to assess the expanded archives available in series 6-10 (1730-1922).

The expanded archives increase geographical coverage and include new titles and additional content for titles already contained in series 1-5. Series 7, for example, includes over thirty additional years of the Philadelphia Inquirer (1829-1860, 8,777 issues). Trial content is interfiled with content already owned by Villanova University, which makes it difficult to assess the additional content. Detailed information about the content of each series is available online and warrants closer inspection.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/1/1900

Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/1/1900

Trial access to AHN series 6-10 will be available until February 13. Questions or comments? Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.








Meet the Proxy Link Builder: Create Your Own Links to the Library’s E-Resources

Access to the library’s e-resources is easy on campus as authentication occurs via the university’s IP address. Students and faculty who try to access the same e-resources from off-campus often encounter problems. Falvey Memorial Library uses a proxy server for off-campus access to restricted online resources. This prevents unauthorized users from entering the library’s databases and e-journals and illegally downloading content.

The library has a new web application, the Proxy Link Builder, which creates proxy links for stable URLs and DOIs (digital object identifiers) in two simple steps: Paste the URL or DOI in the provided box and click on the button below the box. The proxy link will appear in a matter of seconds. Proxy links are necessary for off-campus access as they authenticate authorized users. Although not necessary, proxy links will also work on-campus.

link builder

The directions below show how to locate stable URLs and permalinks and turn them into proxy links for individual journal articles and book chapters. Some databases already include proxy links. The publishers may call them stable URLs and permalinks. If the URL includes Villanova’s proxy prefix — http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?URL=  –, then the link should work from off-campus. Proquest and EBSCO provide proxy links. EBSCO includes Permalinks on its right hand menu on the record level whereas Proquest includes the Document URL at the bottom of each record, where it is often missed. Journal publishers generally do not include proxy links.

From URL to Proxy Link

A proxy link has two elements which together create a new URL: the proxy prefix and the URL. Find the URL on the journal website:

JSTOR urlThen paste it behind the proxy prefix OR paste it into the Proxy Link Builder to generate a proxy link.

proxy1Put these two elements together and you have a stable proxy link: http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?URL=http://www.jstor.org/stable/4485893

From DOI to Proxy Link

A proxy DOI link has three elements which together create a new URL: the proxy prefix, the DOI prefix and the DOI. Find the DOI on the journal, chapter, or ebook record:

doi linkThen paste it behind the proxy prefix and the DOI prefix OR use the Proxy Link Builder to generate a proxy link.

proxy2Put these three elements together and you have a stable proxy link: http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?URL=http://dx.doi.org/10.1484/J.VIATOR.1.102246. Note that some publishers already include the DOI prefix together with the DOI. In this case, only the proxy prefix is needed.

Bookmarking the Proxy Link Builder makes it easy to share URLs with Villanova students and colleagues. Please note that proxy links will only work for Villanova faculty and students who can log in via the single sign-on screen. Let us know, if you run into problems as we can make links for you as needed.

EZproxy (from Wikipedia)
DOI (from Wikipedia)


Oxford Handbooks Online (on trial until 2/11/2015)

The history subject collection of the popular Oxford Handbooks series is currently on trial. While most publishers delay the publication of electronic monographs to protect their print market, Oxford University Press committed to a distinct publishing model for the Oxford Handbooks series, which makes the chapters of its handbooks available online prior to the print publication. Take The Oxford Handbook of Modern Russian History, which is not yet available in print, for example: the first chapters were published as part of the 2013 online collection, more chapters became available in 2014, and the remaining content will be published later this year.

Oxford University Press plans handbooks on American Indian history, Asian American history, American political history, the history of race, the history of education, the New Deal and World War II for 2015. The 2015 history collection will for the first time include online only articles. While Falvey Library has many of the older Oxford Handbooks in its print collection, it owns only about half of the 2013 and all of the 2014 history handbooks. A complete title list of the Oxford Handbooks history subject collections is available upon request.

All articles in the handbook collection are indexed with subject keywords and notes are linked from the text. Articles can be reformatted for printing and/or downloaded as pdf files. Full-text searching is straightforward and the advanced search option offers various useful limits. Each article as well as the various handbooks themselves have assigned DOIs (digital object identifiers), which are preferred over URLs in Chicago-Style notes and bibliographies. Citations for articles are available among others in Chicago Style, but citations can also be exported to RefWords, Zotero and a number of other citation managers. Unfortunately, the search limit for individual handbooks works only for those handbooks which have been completely published.

OHO1Explore the complete Oxford Handbooks history collection or browse individual titles such as The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism, The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, or The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History. Trial access to Oxford Handbooks Online will be available until February 11. We are looking forward to your feedback.



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Last Modified: January 13, 2015