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Students Speak: Open Access Week Edition

  • Posted by: Linda Hauck
  • Posted Date: November 4, 2022
  • Filed Under: Library News

By Linda Hauck

Villanova students Ethan Shea and Olivia Dunn talk with the Villanova community about open access opportunities.

During Open Access Week, which promotes and celebrates the power openly licensed scholarship and textbooks have for knowledge sharing, students tabled on the first floor of Falvey Library. They asked their peers how they feel about expensive textbooks and access codes, which are not openly licensed.  Their answers, at least those that are publishable, were frank and to the point:

“Sad face.”


“Very bad.”



“I’m crying.”

Students reported spending significant sums on their course materials this semester: 25% spend up to $99, 20% spent $100-199, 20% spent $200-299, 21% spent 300-399 and 10% spent over $400. Some students raised questions about access code fairness. “Shouldn’t have to pay to access HW,” stated one student. Another student questioned access to assessments stating, “Access codes aren’t a good tool b/c they force us to pay $60-130 to take assessments, which should be covered by the school.”

Villanova students are incredibly resourceful, yet they are sometimes pushed to ethically questionable practices when it comes to finding access to expensive materials. They borrow books from each other, Falvey library, CASA, and other libraries through Interlibrary loan. They rent. They take advantage of free trials.  They use online “file sharing” libraries. They buy books from online vendors and return them within the 25-day free period…And the cycle repeats.

In the end, students were very appreciative of the faculty and programs on campus that make textbooks more affordable, especially Father John Abubaker, Lance Kenney, John Olson, PhD,  Farid Zamini, PhD, and the Humanities Department.

For more information on open access materials, check out the Affordable Materials Project (AMP). AMP promotes knowledge sharing by encouraging the adoption of openly licensed textbooks and homework systems by the OER Faculty Adoption Awards and helps delivers eBooks with unlimited user licenses at no cost to students.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Linda Hauck, MLS, MBA, is Business Librarian at Falvey Library.



Open Education Resource Faculty Adoption Grant

International Open Access Week is an occasion to promote and celebrate the equitable sharing of knowledge. One way Villanova, through the Affordable Materials Project(AMP), encourages knowledge sharing is by supporting faculty who adopt open educational resources (OER). The Open Educational Resource Faculty Adoption Grant has much to celebrate!

Open educational resources are teaching and learning materials, often textbooks, that are typically free to use and a have Creative Commons license permitting reuse, adaption, and sharing. This means students don’t have to pay for OER e-textbooks and faculty can customize them to meet their learning objectives. The OER Faculty Adoption Grant was established to recognize faculty for all the effort that goes into revising syllabi, lesson plans, assignments, and assessments.

Past OER Faculty Adoption Grant recipients shared insights and tips about their experiences in forums recorded in 2022 and 2021.  Students participated too and noted the use of OER offered a welcome reprieve from financial pressures and contributed to their class engagement and participation.

Past awardees, Dr. Stephanie Katz Linkmeyer and Professor Jeanne Liedtka, spearheaded departmental evaluations of OER for General Chemistry I (CHEM 1151) and OER for Corporate Responsibility and Regulation (VSB 2007) which resulted in OER adoptions.  Fall 2022 is the first semester OER will be used by all sections of these courses, resulting in significant cost savings for students.

Applications are being accepted for the OER Faculty Adoption Grant through Nov. 18, 2022. Subject librarians can assist with finding suitable OER. For eligibility requirements, review criteria, and grant requirements, click here.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Linda Hauck, MLS, MBA, is Business Librarian


New Business Model Canvas Guide

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a key tool used by both entrepreneurs and existing organizations to launch, grow, and sustain businesses and social enterprises.  Villanova’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship coaches innovators across campus on how to work through the BMC for their ventures.

Completing a Business Model Canvas is a key requirement for competing in the Villanova’s Student Entrepreneurship Competition (VSEC), held during the spring semester, which awards over $20 thousand dollars in prize money.

The Library collaborated with Stephen Green, Assistant Director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to curate a Business Model Canvas Guide with databases, books, articles, and research tips for filling in the BMC.  When I met with Green in the IDEA Lab, he said completing the BMC is required for VSEC because it is a necessary tool for “visualizing and analyzing any ventures’ strategy.”  He remarked that “teams use the BMC to stay on track and keep each other accountable.” Determining optimal revenue or profit models, he noted, prove to be most challenging for many teams.

The Business Model Canvas Guide may be ideal for entrepreneurs with a DIY orientation. But Business Librarian, Linda Hauck, is also available for consultations for those who appreciate a personalized, targeted approach.

Talking with fellow entrepreneurs is another great way to generate ideas about how to approach populating your BMC. Nova Women Entrepreneurship Panel, held on Monday, Oct. 17, at 5 p.m. in the IDEA Lab is a great opportunity to learn from founders. You can register here.

Linda Hauck, MLS, MBA, is Business Librarian at Falvey Library.


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Falvey’s Access to News Enhanced with Factiva

By Linda Hauck

Current news databases are used by researchers across disciplines to stay current with developments, construct meaning out of evolving events, and analyze content for political, social, cultural, and public health trends.

Having access to a wide range of local, regional, national, and international sources is key.  Falvey Library has significantly improved access to news by subscribing to Factiva, which adds over 6000 unique, full text titles to our collection, including The Washington Post, Boston Globe, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Chicago Daily Herald. Transcripts of National Public Radio’s Code Switch and Fox News’ Hannity are searchable. Many foreign language publications are included as well.

The range of trade news is impressive, from Backpacker to Diabetes Week and Global Warming Focus to Oil Market Intelligence. Factiva is a Dow Jones product so the news coverage and indexing is particularly good for financial, economic, and business topics.

The search interface is flexible.  The “Free Text” search box can be used to replicate a search similar to Google; the “Search Form” provides prompts for more focused queries; and examples of advanced search commands facilitate precision searching.  When using either the “Free Text” or “Search Form” handy options for filtering results by subject, industry, region are available. Factiva’s default is to limit searches to the most recent 3 months, so researchers with a deeper time line will need to modify the date range.

Factiva’s Company/Markets tab is an added bonus. Company profiles describe the business segments, corporate family, financial results, and peers, but their real advantage is the depth and breath of company news provided.  The industry snapshots are less robust, but do rank key competitors, facilitate a deep dive into the news, and offer recent analyst reports.

Factiva compliments our other news aggregators, Access World News, Nexis Uni, and ABI Inform, and our direct subscriptions to top news such as The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times.

For a full list of news sources including archives see Databases A-Z filtered by newspapers.

Linda Hauck, MLS, MBA, is Business Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.

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Investing for Earth Day

  • Posted by: Linda Hauck
  • Posted Date: April 19, 2022
  • Filed Under: Library News

By Linda Hauck

Earth Day 2022’s theme is “Invest in our Planet.”  The first Earth Day in 1970 took place at a time of crisis not unlike our own;  Smog, oil spills, pesticide use, open space loss, and untreated industrial pollution threatened human health and wildlife. That first Earth Day led to bipartisan support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and passage of numerous environmental laws.

photos of recycled box

Photo by Marcell Viragh on Unsplash

Over 50 years later, the climate crisis threatens humans, animals, and plant life and with extreme temperatures, wildfires, drought, rising sea levels, pandemics, and more.  Businesses, which have often preferred market based responses to environmental pressure over regulatory ones, are taking steps reduce their carbon footprints and to minimize exposure to environmental risks. Likewise, investors are seeking ways to distinguish between levels of corporate environmental commitment.

Morningstar Investment Research Center is a great place for environmentally conscious investors to get started. You can find daily articles under the Articles & Videos’ “Sustainability Matters” tab.  The screening tools for mutual funds, exchange traded funds, and equities all include a Sustainability Rating to help investors evaluate potential assets on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) dimensions. Check out the methodology before using any rating scheme.

Screen shot of Tesla ESR Rating on Factset

FactSet (Contact Finance Lab for to register for remote access), a database provided by the Gmelich Lab for Financial Markets, offers multiple ESG databases covering not only funds and equities but bonds as well. ESG ratings can be used in the screener, company/security, and portfolio monitor. The Truvlau Labs is their premier ESG data provider that applies artificial intelligence to business news, trade journals & blogs, watchdog groups, and social media to arrive at disaggregated ratings.

Investing in financial markets isn’t the only way to back environmentally friendly businesses. Consumers can do so through thoughtful choices and here are just a few library resources to help do just that.

Linda Hauck is Business Librarian at Falvey Library.

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OER Faculty Adoption Award Forum

banner for OER Forum

The OER (Open Educational Resources) Faculty Adoption Award Forum, held virtually on March 9, highlighted the diverse and flexible nature of openly licensed course materials and shined a light on student’s preference for free digital materials.

Professor Jeanne Liedtka, JD, received the award to transition the Law of Contracts and Sales elective to using OER. Not a newcomer to OER, she had previously used OER in the popular Intellectual Property (IP) Law for Business course. Liedtka compared and contrasted both successful experiences. IP is a dynamic branch of law heavily dependent on case law.  A law school text, Boyle & Jenkins’ Intellectual Property:  Law and the Information Society: Cases and Materials, served as the backbone of the course.  Her undergraduate student’s weren’t phased by materials designed for law school students, but Liedtka did go the extra mile to supplement the text with articles centering business perspectives on IP issues and recent cases in the public domain.  Liedtka noted that contract law is less dynamic field, and she had well developed lectures notes that served as the core of the course, so Introduction to Contracts, Sales & Product Liabilitywritten for undergraduates, was a serviceable reference.  She encouraged faculty interested in exploring OER adoptions to contact their subject librarians who can map available OER to course outlines and syllabi.

Valentina DeNardis, PhD, shared her personal and professional reasons for adopting Dickinson College Commentaries, to the Classics course, Readings in Authors. As a first generation student herself, Dr. DeNardis recalled feeling overwhelmed by the cost of texts and being stressed when the edition of a text she needed to use far exceeded the price for alternatives. In a grad school class, where she met her husband, she had to purchase a very costly scholarly monograph that was never even used, so now they have two pristine copies in their home. From a teaching perspective, Dr. DeNardis noted that affordability isn’t the only reason to choose openly licensed materials. Digital is convenient, flexible, and accessible. Because classics studies require a wide range of very expensive materials including texts, dictionaries, grammar books, translations, and essays, the Commentaries supplemented with Library-subscribed content was ideal.  Dr. DeNardis built a Microsoft OneNote notebook to deliver the content and as a forum for student collaboration.

A panel of students spoke to the social and academic benefits that flowed from using OER. Olivia noted that the online platform was better for visual learners because it facilitated looking up maps, videos, and images. Lauren felt that digital materials made it easier to do translations, because she could easily toggle between dictionaries. Anna liked digital sticky notes, which are environmentally friendly! From a pocket book point of view, Valeria noted that in fields with rapidly evolving developments having a current text is important, but it is distressing that the resale value of commercial textbooks diminish fast due to constant updates. Tuition increases and expensive textbooks can make it hard for some students to stay in college. She felt that using OER allowed everyone to be in the conversation and made class debates fun.

When asked about their overall experience with college textbooks, Olivia recommended frequent and early alerts about required books because discounted books sell out fast and delays in shipping can cause students to fall behind in their work. It was a relief to Lauren to find out on the first day of class that she didn’t have to pay for any books. Valeria said “eliminating the economic barrier of buying books gets everyone involved..[which] helps professors and students.” She observed that students can be discouraged from taking a class or  minoring in a subject because of expensive materials, whereas free or low cost books promote exploration. One student asked if professors are required to assign textbooks, even when they don’t intend to rely on them heavily, and wished that they would let students know up front when that is the case.

Dr. DeNardis explained that she hopes the effort she made finding and using affordable materials will serve as a model for her peers. Liedtka explained that at VSB faculty teaching core courses are encouraged to use the same text to ensure a consistent student experience, and that faculty have the freedom to design the course around the textbook, sometimes using relying on it heavily or sometimes only as a reference.

The forum concluded with a discussion about how to advance the use of OER at Villanova. On the demand side, both Dr. DeNardis and Liedtka recommended awards and grants, faculty surveys, forums and programs, and library services. On the demand side, both suggested encouragement and support for Villanova faculty authoring OER. They observed that authoring OER ensures the availability of great content and noted that it would enhance University branding and raise the profile of programs.

The 2022-23 Faculty Adoption Grant is accepting applications.  Visit this site to apply.

A recording of the OER Faculty Adoption Award Forum is available.

Linda Hauck is the Business Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library and Affordable Materials Project member.



Villanova Open Educational Resource (OER) Adoption Grant

  • Posted by: Linda Hauck
  • Posted Date: March 24, 2022
  • Filed Under: Library News

The Affordable Materials Project (AMP) is offering five grants in the amount of $1000 to tenure track or continuing faculty to encourage the adoption of an open educational resource (OER) as the primary course material for a class offered in the 2022-23 academic year. OER are free for students, accessible and digital (but may be printed as well). OER are not simply free, but carry Creative Commons licenses that allow for copying, revising, and remixing. Many OER incorporate interactive features and  multimedia, integrate with Blackboard and come with test banks and solutions.

This grant recognizes the time and effort that faculty invest in revising syllabi, lesson plans, learning activities and assessments. One of recipients remarked, “One of the nice things is that [the OER I used] comes in many different formats and you can download and use it without an internet connection.  I had to supplement with my own notes, slides and figures.  The grant comes in handy to hire students to help.”

Students benefit financially, educationally, socially and emotionally from the use of OER. One faculty member observed, “By controlling the environment and giving [the students] the free materials, they knew where to go and we had this baseline and that helped tremendously.” And a Villanova student said, “One of the most consistent stressors I have had in my college experience so far is financing the cost of books…Having online access without any worry of cost or rental due dates impacted my great class experience and achievement.”   

While another shared, “Freshman year it took me almost to the midterm to be able to buy a certain textbook. I still use that textbook now. Some textbooks are crucial to your major. Without that textbook I had a D on my midterm. After buying it I was just glued to it.  It has so many markings on it.”

The OER Adoption grant contributes to Villanova’s goals for academic excellence, and to meet 100% of financial need by lowering the overall cost of enrollment. OER supports equity, leveling the playing field across economically disadvantaged and financially privileged students by giving all students free access to the required course materials. 

Additional information about eligibility, grant requirements and the review process are posted on the application page, open until May 1, 2022. Learn more about the 2020 and 2021 grant recipients here.

Please join the Affordable Materials Project (AMP) in celebrating faculty members, Jeanne Liedtka, JD, and Valentina DeNardis, PhD, awarded Open Educational Resource (OER) Faculty Adoption Grants for 2021-22 in a virtual forum on Wednesday, March 9, from 3-4 p.m. Faculty will share their insights into the benefits and challenges posed by redesigning their courses using free, openly licensed textbooks. Students will share feedback on using OER. This event is perfect for faculty considering or curious about OER and everyone interested in educational affordability, accessibility, and inclusivity. This ACS-approved event is co-sponsored by the AMP and Falvey Memorial Library.

Register here.


Authoring an Open Access (OA) Interdisciplinary Textbook

  • Posted by: Linda Hauck
  • Posted Date: November 8, 2021
  • Filed Under: Library News

Book CoverTo celebrate Open Access Week, the Affordable Materials Project and Falvey Memorial library co-hosted a public lecture given on Oct. 27 by Michael Pagano, PhD, the Robert J. and Mary Ellen Darretta Endowed Chair in Finance, Villanova School of Business. Dr. Pagano reflected on co-authoring the open access textbook Liquidity, Markets and Trading in Action: An Interdisciplinary Perspectives: “I really would like to see more faculty consider Open Access books for their courses.”

The impetus for the project was the recognition that practical experience with trading and market liquidity were often missing from traditional finance, economics, and information technology courses. Dr. Pagano and his co-authors had individually developed materials covering these topics and had tested them in class over several semesters.  They recognized that making, not only the textbook, but also the simulation software TraderEx and ancillary materials in the form of presentation slides and review and self assessment questions were key to winning faculty adoption.  Affordability considerations are important for both students and faculty, so publishing the materials open access and free to students was the best choice.

According to Dr. Pagano, faculty that rely more on their own notes than published materials, teach a niche or subtopic area not well covered elsewhere, have the time to devote to authorship, and are concerned with the total cost of materials for their students ought to consider open access authoring.

The publication cost for this textbook was generously underwritten by the Robert A. Schwartz Center for Trading and Financial Markets Research. At Villanova, faculty may leverage VITAL Minigrants, the SOAR Fund, and the VSB Teaching Innovation and Development Grant for open access projects.

A recording of the presentation is available to view.

Linda Hauck, MLS, MBA is the Business Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library

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Factiva and Global Newsstream Trials

By Linda Hauck


The Library is hosting a trial to Factiva, an international news database, by Dow Jones. A wide range of news reporting formats, including newspapers, magazines, wires, podcasts, TV news transcripts, and blogs in multiple languages, are offered. Factiva is a one-stop shop for influential national news sources, such as the Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, and Los Angeles Times. All editions of key international publications, such as Der Spiegel, Le Monde and China Daily, are also available.  Many local papers, trade, and professional publications are included. Most of the content is archival, current and full text. A detailed title list is available. In addition, Factiva includes company and industry snapshots.

Factiva News Search Interface

Customization options abound in the form of Alerts and Newsletters. The News Pages tab conveniently groups top publications by industry and region to facilitate browsing and searching. The Search Builder tab employs boolean operators and filtering for efficiency and ease.

As the name suggests, Global Newsstream also provides coverage of local, national and foreign news publications. The search interface will be familiar to anyone who has used a Proquest database.

We simultaneously have trials to three competing news databases: Factiva, Proquest’s Global Newsstream and Newsbank’s Access World News. Put Factiva and Global Newsstream to test here. Please take a moment to share your feedback on these resources with the library. The trials run through Sept. 30, 2021.


Linda Hauck, MLS,  MBA, is Business Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.




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OER Adoption Award Recipients

Jeanne Liedtka, JD, and Valentina DeNardis, PhD, are the Fall 2021 OER Adoption Grant recipients.  This pilot grant, generously funded by the Associate Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning, is designed to encourage faculty to select free, openly licensed textbooks as primary teaching materials.  Open educational resources (OER) improve affordability and support flexible, open teaching practices, and accessibility, which have been exposed at critically important for all students during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Applications for the Spring 2022 OER Adoption Grant are open until October 30, 2021.

Liedtka will teach BL 2185, The Law of Contracts and Sales with Introduction to Contracts, Sales and Product Liability by Mayer, Warner, Siedel & Lieberman supplemented by her lecture notes.  No stranger to teaching with OER, Liedtka had previously transitioned BL 2149, Intellectual Property Law for Business, to using a free, open access textbook.

DeNardis will teach Latin 3001, Reading in Authors using Dickenson College Commentaries, OVID,  Amores Book I, Poetry in Translation as well as scholarly articles. DeNardis, a leader in adopting digital materials, will use this as a model for  Greek and Latin literature classes.

Together these two classes will save students over $10,000 in the first year.

Valentina DeNardis, PhD

Jeanne Liedtka, JD

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Last Modified: August 24, 2021