The Case for Case Studies

By Wil Burns, Editor-in-Chief of Case Studies in the Environment

What is a case study, and how can case studies positively impact critical thinking and knowledge acquisition, as well as inform research in academia and training in professional practice? In this post, Case Studies in the Environment Editor-in-Chief Wil Burns explains what case studies are, and how they can provide an important bridge to understanding important environmental issues.

What is a “Case Study?”

In its most distilled form, a “case study” involves investigation of “real-life phenomenon through detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events or conditions, and their relationships.” The “case” may focus upon an individual, organization, event, or project, anchored in a specific time and place. Most cases are based on real events, or a plausible construction of events, and tell a story, often involving issues or conflicts which require resolution. They also frequently include central characters and quotations and dialogue. Often the objective of a case study approach is to develop a theory regarding the nature and causes of similarities between instances of a class of events. More broadly, case studies seek to illustrate broader, overarching principles or theses. In recent years, researchers have increasingly embraced the study method in recognition of the limitations of quantitative methods to provide in-depth and holistic explanations of social problems.

Case Studies in the Classroom

Case studies can play an extremely important role in the classroom. Research surveying faculty and student learning results associated with the use of case studies demonstrate significant increases in student critical thinking skills and knowledge acquisition, as well as enhanced ability to make connections between multiple content areas and to view issues from different perspectives. Case studies can also promote active learning, which has been proven to enhance learning outcomes. Case studies can help to facilitate learning by deductive learners by helping them to reason from examples, analogies, and models, as well as from basic principles.

In the specific context of environmental studies and science courses, case studies have proven to be a valuable component of teaching by fostering critical transdisciplinary perspectives conductive to addressing environmental issues. The case study method has also been employed in an effort to foster engaged learning in environmental studies and science courses by “flipping the curriculum.”

Case Studies in the “Real World”

Case studies are also a valuable tool for environmental practitioners. They can provide guideposts for best practices, as well as lessons learned by others in any given professional sector, including in the environmental arena. The case study method has proven to be an effective tool to assist environmental professional in developing effective recommendations and policy prescriptions. Also pertinent to the environmental sector, case study research can also help to identify relevant variables to facilitate subsequent statistical research. Moreover, case studies can be employed in organizations for training purposes to foster problem-based learning and the ability to formulate solutions.

Case Studies in the Environment

Case Studies in the Environment is a new online journal published by the University of California Press. It seeks to foster the development of a substantial compendium of case studies by the environmental academic and professional communities. The journal focuses on environmental cases studies in the following categories:

It is our hope that Case Studies in the Environment will help to develop a community of scholars and practitioners that can leverage the benefits of case studies on behalf of our efforts to combat some of the most imposing environmental issues of our time. Learn more at cse.ucpress.edu, or sign up for Case Studies in the Environment news alerts.

 


Tools of the Trade: Resources for Psychology Research

As part of our “Tools of the Trade” blog series this summer, we’re here to help you further your own research by providing the resources you need to focus on your scholarship, write—or rewrite—your work, and prepare your work for publication.

Regardless of the discipline, the quality of one’s research is only as sound as the manner in which it was conducted. That’s why our Open Access journal, Collabra: Psychology, has an entire section dedicated to the study of Methodology and Research Practice in Psychology. For those conducting research this summer—and especially those in psychological fields—we’ve rounded up the following articles to help inform your own methodological approaches, data transparency, and replicability practices.

Making Your Research Transparent (Unlike a Car Salesperson!)

Quality Uncertainty Erodes Trust in Science by Simine Vazire

When consumers of science (readers and reviewers) lack relevant details about the study design, data, and analyses, they cannot adequately evaluate the strength of a scientific study. A car whose carburetor is duct-taped to the rest of the car might work perfectly fine, but the buyer has a right to know about the duct-taping. Without high levels of transparency in scientific publications, consumers of scientific manuscripts are in a similar position as buyers of used cars – they cannot reliably tell the difference between lemons and high quality findings. The solution is to increase transparency and give consumers of scientific research the information they need to accurately evaluate research. Transparency also encourages researchers to be more careful in how they conduct their studies and write up their results.

A New Standard for Replicating Your Research

A New Replication Norm for Psychology by Etienne P LeBel

In recent years, there has been a growing concern regarding the replicability of findings in psychology, including a mounting number of prominent findings that have failed to replicate via high-powered independent replication attempts. In the face of this replicability “crisis of confidence”, several initiatives have been implemented to increase the reliability of empirical findings. In the current article, LeBel proposes a new replication norm that aims to further boost the dependability of findings in psychology. Paralleling the extant social norm that researchers should peer review about three times as many articles that they themselves publish per year, the new replication norm states that researchers should aim to independently replicate important findings in their own research areas in proportion to the number of original studies they themselves publish per year (e.g., a 4:1 original-to-replication studies ratio).

Giving Due Attention to the Pitfalls of False Negatives

Too Good to be False: Nonsignificant Results Revisited by Chris H. J. Hartgerink, et al

The concern for false positives has overshadowed the concern for false negatives in the recent debates in psychology. This might be unwarranted, since reported statistically nonsignificant findings may just be “too good to be false.” This article examines evidence for false negatives in nonsignificant results in three different ways, arguing that the failure to address false negatives can lead to a waste of research resources and stifle the scientific discovery process.


Late Antiquity and World History: Challenging Conventional Narratives and Analyses

By Mark Humphries, published in Studies in Late Antiquity 1.1 (read the first issue free!)

This article excerpt is part of a blog series related to the North American Patristics Society, which meets May 25-27 in Chicago for their annual conference. #NAPS2017


Introduction

This article [published in Studies in Late Antiquity 1.1] offers an unashamedly personal set of challenges to conventional approaches to the study of late antiquity. In particular, it recommends that some of the impasses that currently bedevil debates in the discipline might be overcome by adopting a more world-historical approach to the subject. By that I mean not only seeing the history of late antiquity in a wider geographical perspective, but also a viewpoint that adopts an ethical stance that challenges the current paradigms within which late antiquity is debated: as I argue below, conventional accounts of the period focus their narratives around the experiences of the Roman Empire and, therefore, articulate an essentially western and Eurocentric interpretation of historical development. Of course, many specialists in the field are already making significant advances away from this western-dominated narrative; nevertheless, it strikes me as a worthwhile exercise to draw the strands of the debate together and to offer pointers to possible future directions.

Given the scope of the undertaking implicit in this recommendation, the enquiry presented here can only offer a brief overview of the themes and issues I want to contest: the examples cited below could be multiplied exponentially, and I aim to investigate many of the issues in more detail in the future. In other words, what is presented here is only the beginning of a larger project. I should also clarify that the outcomes of what I suggest here might take many forms. I have written this article mainly with an eye to research agendas; but there is no reason why some of the perspectives recommended here could not also be imported into a classroom setting, where they would surely provoke interesting discussions. But to begin with, and in order to demonstrate how ingrained the conventional approaches I wish to challenge have become, I present a narrative that will seem, at first, wholly familiar.

A victory had been won and the ruler wanted to celebrate it. The barbarians, true to form, had been duplicitous and had broken the treaty. Now a great hosting of them (Goths, Germans, and others) had invaded the empire, but they were no match for the empire’s forces and had been utterly defeated. Many of the enemy had been slain in bloody vengeance for their treacherous behaviour in starting the war. More importantly, many of their leading men had been captured; best of all, their king had been captured alive. He would make a fine ornament for the ruler’s victory celebrations at his capital, a living example of the ruler’s indomitable power, a figure to be humiliated and put on public display. Such a great victory also deserved a permanent commemoration in text and image, so reliefs and inscriptions were set up showing the ruler in all his might lording it over his abject, cowering foe.

Such images are familiar to us from Roman imperial and late-antique monuments, like the reliefs from the now lost triumphal monument of Marcus Aurelius or from the extant arch of Septimius Severus in Rome, or those that decorate the obelisk base of Theodosius I in the hippodrome in Constantinople. But the set of victories and commemorations I have been describing so far do not come from that familiar context. Rather, the triumphant ruler was Shapur I, shahanshah of Sasanian Persia; the defeated barbarians were the Romans; and the captive king the emperor Valerian in 260 C.E. For humiliating display, I have in mind the tradition that Shapur used Valerian as a stool when mounting his horse or getting into his carriage, and that later, when the emperor died, his corpse was flayed and his skin tanned to provide a more permanent trophy. As for the epigraphic and visual commemorations, I mean the so-called Res Gestae Divi Saporis, the great trilingual inscription recording Shapur’s victories, and the rock reliefs at Naqsh-i Rustam and Bishapur, showing his triumph over not only Valerian, but Gordian III and Philip the Arab too. If, however, anyone steeped in Roman imperial or late-antique history had assumed that my earlier description alluded to the victories of a Marcus, Severus, or Theodosius, their misapprehension would be wholly understandable, for they have been conditioned to think of a world centred on Rome, Constantinople, and the Mediterranean.

That this should be the case attests to the profound influence on modern perceptions of a supposedly “normative” world view underwritten by traditional, classical geographical divisions of the world into a civilized centre and barbaric periphery. In this traditional schema, Persians, like other non-Romans, inhabit the margins of the map. Such a world-view underpins classical and classicising historiography, and can be found, for instance, in the fourth-century Latin historian Ammianus Marcellinus’ celebrated description of the Huns as being “abnormally savage” and living “beyond the Maeotic sea, near the frozen ocean.” He goes on to catalogue their lifestyle in a form that reads like a negative checklist of the accoutrements of civilization as it was viewed by the Greeks and Romans: the Huns lack every marker of civilized life, from fire, to cities, to politics, and are only acknowledged begrudgingly as human. They are, therefore, doubly remote from civilization, in terms of both their geographical distance and their lack of cultural attainments.

But the achievements of Shapur I, and his epigraphic and monumental commemoration of them, remind us that other perspectives, not centred on the classical Mediterranean, are possible. It is these perspectives that I want to explore here, and I organise my reflections as follows. First I offer a survey of late-antique perspectives on the world, showing their variety and complexity, and how they demonstrate that the Mediterranean-centred perspective of classical and classicising historiography is not the only view possible. Next, I discuss how the traditional shape of late antiquity has been made to fit into a customary western, and essentially Eurocentric, view of history – and how this might be regarded as deeply problematic. The final part of the article considers how that traditional view might be challenged by adopting an approach that is more sensitive both to the multiple local perspectives outlined in the first part of the discussion and to global contexts; this in turn shows how, by advocating a more world-historical perspective on events, we can challenge traditional narratives of the period, and see events in a new light.

Continue reading at sla.ucpress.edu.


Mark Humphries is a Professor of Ancient History at Swansea University, having previously held appointments at St Andrews, Leicester, Manchester, and the National University of Ireland Maynooth.


Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene Call for Papers: Earth & Environmental Science

We invite you to submit your next paper to the Earth & Environmental Science domain of Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, a trans-disciplinary, open-access journal whose mission is Open Science for the Public Good.

Elementa publishes original research with the ultimate objective of accelerating scientific solutions to the challenges presented by this era of human impact. Structured into six distinct knowledge domains, the Earth & Environmental Science domain encompasses research on processes impacted by humans that occur on the land surface, in groundwater, and in rivers, lakes and coastal areas. This includes, but is not limited to, the traditional sub-disciplines of surficial geology, geomorphology, physical geography, hydrology, glaciology, geochemistry, biogeochemistry, geomicrobiology, limnology, soil science, remote sensing, climate science, and contaminant fate and transport. Studies published in Elementa should relate to processes that have occurred during the Anthropocene epoch (i.e., since the onset of the industrial revolution ~250 years ago) or earlier if they are significantly affected by human activities.

For the full Aims & Scope of the Earth & Environmental Science domain, please click here.

In addition to innovative features including a value-sharing business model and an article-promotion partnership with Kudos, Elementa articles are highly used and downloaded (see highlighted articles below). For the full Elementa story, visit our website at elementascience.org.

For Elementa news and updates, be sure to follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

There has never been a more important time to ensure that transparent, evidence-based, peer-reviewed research has the widest and most impactful dissemination as possible. Please consider submitting your Earth & Environmental Science papers to Elementa or developing a Special Feature or Forum, and feel free to get in touch with Oliver A. Chadwick, University of California, Santa Barbara, Editor in Chief for Earth & Environmental Science, should you have any questions.


Special Features currently open for submissions
Deltas in the Anthropocene

High-impact Earth & Environmental Science content from Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene

(All metrics from May 2, 2017)

Dating the Anthropocene: Towards an empirical global history of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere
Ellis EC, Fuller DQ, Kaplan JO, Lutters WG
Total usage: 31,617 views/downloads and 7 citations since original publication on December 04, 2013

Seasonally varying contributions to urban CO2 in the Chicago, Illinois, USA region: Insights from a high-resolution CO2 concentration and δ13C record
Moore J, Jacobson AD
Total usage: 19,240 views/downloads and 2 citations since original publication on June 05, 2015

Sources and sinks of carbon in boreal ecosystems of interior Alaska: A review
Douglas TA, Jones MC, Hiemstra CA, Arnold JR
Total usage: 19,097 views/downloads and 1 citation Since original publication on November 07, 2014

Earthcasting the future Critical Zone
Goddéris Y, Brantley SL
Total usage: 18,259 views/downloads and 2 citations since original publication on December 04, 2013

Major impact of climate change on deep-sea benthic ecosystems
Sweetman, Andrew K., et al.
Total usage: 2,554 views/downloads since original publication on February 23, 2017


7 New #OpenAccess Articles from Elementa

An open access scientific journal, Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene’s mission is Open Science for Public Good. With the ultimate objective of publishing original research that accelerates solutions to challenges presented by this era of human impact, Elementa is uniquely structured into six distinct knowledge domains, led by six Editors-in-Chief.

Check out 7 new #OpenAccess articles from Elementa, and consider becoming an Elementa author! Visit elementascience.org to see Calls for Papers from each knowledge domain.


Major impact of climate change on deep-sea benthic ecosystems
Andrew K. Sweetman, et al.
Domains: Earth & Environmental Science, Ecology, Ocean Science

Analysis of local-scale background concentrations of methane and other gas-phase species in the Marcellus Shale
J. Douglas Goetz, et al.
Domain: Atmospheric Science
(Part of a Forum: Oil and Natural Gas Development: Air Quality, Climate Science, and Policy)

Scape goats, silver bullets, and other pitfalls in the path to sustainability
D. G. Webster
Domain: Sustainability Transitions
(Part of a Special Feature: Envisioning Sustainable Transitions)

Legacies of stream channel modification revealed using General Land Office surveys, with implications for water temperature and aquatic life
Seth M. White, et al.
Domain: Ecology

Leveraging agroecology for solutions in food, energy, and water
Marcia DeLonge, Andrea Basche
Domain: Sustainability Transitions
(Part of a Forum: Food-energy-water systems: Opportunities at the nexus)

Ten-year chemical signatures associated with long-range transport observed in the free troposphere over the central North Atlantic
B. Zhang, et al.
Domain: Atmospheric Science


Want to browse more recent content from ElementaClick here for recently published articles, and follow Elementa on Facebook and @elementascience for the latest updates.


Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene Call for Papers: Atmospheric Science

We invite you to submit your next paper to the Atmospheric Science domain of Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, a trans-disciplinary, open-access journal whose mission is Open Science for the Public Good.

Elementa publishes original research with the ultimate objective of accelerating scientific solutions to the challenges presented by this era of human impact. Structured into six distinct knowledge domains, the Atmospheric Science domain is dedicated to research on the impacts of human activities and the natural state of the Earth’s atmosphere. Elementa invites original research manuscripts that investigate chemical and physical atmospheric properties encompassing natural processes, perturbations, and assessment of future conditions. Elementa, in particular, strives to become a home for publications on societal impacts of atmospheric conditions and processes, for policy-relevant research findings, and for work that directs and nurtures the path towards a sustainable Earth Atmosphere. To attain this goal, submissions going beyond traditional disciplinary borders are welcome.

For the full Aims & Scope of the Atmospheric Science domain, please click here.

In addition to innovative features including a value-sharing business model and an article-promotion partnership with Kudos, Elementa articles are highly used and downloaded (see highlighted articles below). For the full Elementa story, visit our website at elementascience.org.

For Elementa news and updates, be sure to follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

There has never been a more important time to ensure that transparent, evidence-based, peer-reviewed research has the widest and most impactful dissemination as possible. Please consider submitting your Atmospheric Science papers to Elementa or developing a Special Feature or Forum, and feel free to get in touch with Detlev Helmig, University of Colorado Boulder, Editor in Chief for Atmospheric Science, should you have any questions.


Special Features and Forums open for submissions

Quantification of urban greenhouse gas emissions: The Indianapolis Flux experiment
Reactive Gases in the Global Atmosphere
Oil and Natural Gas Development: Air Quality, Climate Science, and Policy

High-impact Atmospheric Science content from Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene

(All metrics from April 13, 2017)

Analysis of local-scale background concentrations of methane and other gas-phase species in the Marcellus Shale
Goetz, J. Douglas, et al.
Total usage: 1,101 views/downloads since original publication on February 9, 2017

Global distribution and trends of tropospheric ozone: An observation-based review
Cooper OR, Parrish DD, Ziemke J, Balashov NV, Cupeiro M, et al. 2014.
Total usage: 31,188 views/downloads and 24 citations since original publication on July 10, 2014

Influence of oil and gas emissions on ambient atmospheric non-methane hydrocarbons in residential areas of Northeastern Colorado
Thompson CR, Hueber J, Helmig D. 2014.
Total usage: 24,420 views/downloads and 10 citations since original publication on Nov 14, 2014

Dimethyl sulfide control of the clean summertime Arctic aerosol and cloud
Leaitch WR, Sharma S, Huang L, Toom-Sauntry D, Chivulescu A, et al. 2013.
Total usage: 19,151 views/downloads and 8 citations since original publication on Dec 04, 2013


“Color-Blind Casting”: Thomas Jefferson and the Erasure of the Black Past in Hamilton

by Lyra D. Monteiro

This post is excerpted from Race-Conscious Casting and the Erasure of the Black Past in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, found in the UC Press journal The Public Historian, Vol. 38 No. 1. Read more and subscribe to The Public Historian here.

The American public has long been enthralled with the mythology of the founding fathers. Though a recent (and recurring) trend within popular history writing, ‘‘founders chic’’ can also be experienced on historic house tours at places such as Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Hamilton Grange that focus on lauding while also humanizing the founders. Overall, the impression these sites give of the Revolutionary era echoes the majority of American history textbooks: the only people who lived during this period—or the only ones who mattered—were wealthy (often slaveowning) white men. There are exceptions to this pattern, such as the African American programming at Colonial Williamsburg, the interpretation of the mills at Lowell, Massachusetts, and the Smithsonian’s recent exhibition about the enslaved families at Monticello. Such challenges to the ‘‘exclusive past’’ are absolutely necessary for our present, as we strive to live up to an ideal of all people being equal and create a world in which women’s voices are no longer silenced and Black Lives Matter.

Currently on Broadway, MacArthur fellow Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical Hamilton brings to life the founding era of the United States in an engaging show that draws heavily on Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography, Alexander Hamilton. With a cast dominated by actors of color, the play is nonetheless yet another rendition of the ‘‘exclusive past,’’ with its focus on the deeds of ‘‘great white men’’ and its silencing of the presence and contributions of people of color in the Revolutionary era.

Race is, in some ways, front and center in this play, as the founding fathers are without exception played by black and Latino men. These choices, which creators and critics have dubbed ‘‘color-blind casting,’’ are in fact far from color blind. The racialized musical forms that each of the characters sings makes this particularly clear.

While most critics love the casting—calling it imaginative, accessible, and thought provoking, others take issue with the premise of casting black actors as the founding fathers. When asked directly in a Wall Street Journal interview about how it feels to portray a white slaveowner, Daveed Diggs, who plays Jefferson, avoided the question altogether. By contrast, theater critic Hilton Als perceives ‘‘something new and unrecognizable . . . on the stage—a dramatic successor to Derek Walcott’s and Jamaica Kincaid’s literary explorations of the surreality of colonialism.’’

This realization brings attention to a truly damning omission in the show: despite the proliferation of black and brown bodies onstage, not a single enslaved or free person of color exists as a character in this play. For the space of only a couple of bars, a chorus member assumes the role of Sally Hemings, but is recognizable as such only by those who catch Jefferson’s reference to the enslaved woman with whom he had an ongoing sexual relationship. Unless one listens carefully to the lyrics—which do mention slavery a handful of times—one could easily assume that slavery did not exist in this world, and certainly that it was not an important part of the lives and livelihoods of the men who created the nation.

The play can thus be seen as insidiously invested in trumpeting the deeds of wealthy white men, at the expense of everyone else, despite its multiracial casting. It is unambiguously celebratory of Hamilton and Washington, and though it makes fun of Jefferson, he is nonetheless a pivotal figure. Sadly, that is where this revolutionary musical fails to push any envelopes: the history it tells is essentially the same whitewashed version of the founding era that has lost favor among many academic and public historians. Here there is only space for white heroes.

The musical undoubtedly does have a special impact on this audience. Seth Andrew, the founder of Democracy Prep Public Schools took 120 students to see the show and reported, ‘‘It was unquestionably the most profound impact I’ve ever seen on a student body.’’ And Miranda has noted that young people ‘‘come alive in their heads’’ when they’re watching the show.If the goal is to make them excited about theater, music, and live performance, great. But reviews of the show regularly imply that what is powerful about the show is how it brings history to life. So I ask again: Is this the history that we most want black and brown youth to connect with—one in which black lives so clearly do not matter?


Lyra D. Monteiro is an assistant professor of history and teaches in the Graduate Program in American Studies at Rutgers University—Newark. She has published on issues in cultural heritage and archaeological ethics and is the co-director of the public humanities organization The Museum On Site.


Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene Call for Papers: Sustainable Engineering

We invite you to submit your next paper to the Sustainable Engineering domain of Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, a trans-disciplinary, open-access journal whose mission is Open Science for the Public Good.

Elementa publishes original research with the ultimate objective of accelerating scientific solutions to the challenges presented by this era of human impact. Structured into six distinct knowledge domains, the Sustainable Engineering domain seeks to publish original research papers that address all aspects of engineering including the designing, building, and operating of structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes. This includes specifically research in the energy, manufacturing, transportation, buildings, water, and materials domains. In accordance with the aims and scope of Elementa and with the precepts of sustainability, manuscripts are specifically sought from investigators conducting trans-disciplinary research on coupled human, built, and natural systems. To this end, it is expected that Sustainable Engineering will fill the publishing void that exists in the spaces between the social, natural, and engineering sciences.

For the full Aims & Scope of the Sustainable Engineering domain, please click here.

In addition to innovative features including a value-sharing business model and an article-promotion partnership with Kudos, Elementa articles are highly used and downloaded (see highlighted articles below). For the full Elementa story, visit our website at elementascience.org.

For Elementa news and updates, be sure to follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

There has never been a more important time to ensure that transparent, evidence-based, peer-reviewed research has the widest and most impactful dissemination as possible. Please consider submitting your engineering papers to Elementa or developing a Special Feature or Forum, and feel free to get in touch with Michael E. Chang, Georgia Institute of Technology, Editor in Chief for Sustainable Engineering, should you have any questions.


Special Forum open for submissions

Food-energy-water systems: Opportunities at the Nexus

High-impact Sustainable Engineering content from Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene

(All metrics from March 30, 2017)

Geoengineering redivivus
Brad Allenby. 2014.
Total usage: 18,256 views/downloads since original publication Feb 12, 2014

Educational materials on sustainable engineering: Do we need a repository?
Cliff I. Davidson, Brad R. Allenby, Liv M. Haselbach, Miriam Heller, William E. Kelly. 2016.
Total usage: 8,192 views/downloads since original publication on Feb 23, 2016


Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene Call for Papers: Ecology

We invite you to submit your next paper to the Ecology domain of Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, a trans-disciplinary, open-access journal whose mission is Open Science for the Public Good.

Elementa publishes original research with the ultimate objective of accelerating scientific solutions to the challenges presented by this era of human impact. Structured into six distinct knowledge domains, the Ecology domain will consider research centered on the ways in which humans are intentionally and unintentionally altering the conditions for life on Earth and the resulting ecological implications. These anthropogenic effects manifest at molecular levels and can cascade into physiological, population, community, ecosystem, landscape and global responses. Elementa will report new breakthroughs across these levels of ecological organization as well as for all domains of life.

For the full Aims & Scope of the Ecology domain, please click here.

In addition to innovative features including a value-sharing business model and an article-promotion partnership with Kudos, Elementa articles are highly used and downloaded (see highlighted articles below). For the full Elementa story, visit our website at elementascience.org.

For Elementa news and updates, be sure to follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

There has never been a more important time to ensure that transparent, evidence-based, peer-reviewed research has the widest and most impactful dissemination as possible. Please consider submitting your ecological science papers to Elementa or developing a Special Feature or Forum, and feel free to get in touch with Donald R. Zak, University of Michigan, Editor in Chief for Ecology, should you have any questions.


Recent Special Features from the Ecology domain

New approaches to understanding urban aquatic ecosystems

High-impact Ecology content from Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 

(All metrics from March 23, 2017)

Warming, soil moisture, and loss of snow increase Bromus tectorum’s population growth rate
Compagnoni A, Adler PB. 2014.
Total usage: 23,947 views/downloads since original publication on Jan 08, 2014

Quantifying flooding regime in floodplain forests to guide river restoration
Marks CO, Nislow KH, Magilligan FJ. 2014.
Total usage: 21,709 views/downloads since original publication on Sep 03, 2014

Biotic impoverishment
Naeem S. 2013.
Total usage: 20,328 views/downloads since original publication on Dec 04, 2013

Towards a general theory of biodiversity for the Anthropocene
Cardinale BJ. 2013.
Total usage: 17,863 views/downloads since original publication on Dec 04, 2013


UC Press Music Journals Celebrate American Music

As musicologists gather in Montreal for the Society for American Music conference, UC Press’s music journals are pleased to make select content available to non-subscribers for a limited time. Please enjoy our #AmMusic17 offerings from the Journal of the American Musicological Society, the Journal of Musicology, Music Perceptionand 19th-Century Music.

Film Scholars gathering in Chicago for the annual meeting of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies will also find some articles of interest in the offerings below and should see our separate post with offerings from Film Quarterly and Feminist Media Histories.


The Journal of the American Musicological Society is proud to have been the recipient of six Irving Lowens Article Awards from the Society for American Music since 1997. Read these articles for free through the end of March:

Sam Cooke as Pop Album Artist—A Reinvention in Three Songs
Mark Burford
Vol. 65 No. 1, Spring 2012

The Testimonial Aesthetics of Different Trains
Amy Lynn Wlodarski
Vol. 63 No. 1, Spring 2010

Louis Armstrong, Eccentric Dance, and the Evolution of Jazz on the Eve of Swing
Brian Harker
Vol. 61 No. 1, Spring 2008

Henry Cowell and John Cage: Intersections and Influences, 1933–1941
Leta E. Miller
Vol. 59 No. 1, Spring 2006

The Early Life and Career of the “Black Patti”: The Odyssey of an African American Singer in the Late Nineteenth Century
John Graziano
Vol. 53 No. 3, Autumn, 2000

For Those We Love: Hindemith, Whitman, and “An American Requiem”
Kim H. Kowalke
Vol. 50 No.1, Spring 1997


The Journal of Musicology is pleased to make the following articles, which look at various aspects of American music (including an article on Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn) free through the end of March:

Consensus and Crisis in American Classical Music Historiography from 1890 to 1950
David C. Paul
Vol. 33 No. 2, Spring 2016

On the Scenic Route to Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn (1942)
Todd Decker
Vol. 28 No. 4, Fall 2011

University Geographies and Folk Music Landscapes: Students and Local Folksingers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1961–1964
David K. Blake
Vol. 33 No. 1, Winter 2016

Grasp the Weapon of Culture! Radical Avant-Gardes and the Los Angeles Free Press
Andre Mount
Vol. 32 No. 1, Winter 2015


Music Perception offers the following articles free through month’s end:

Viewers’ Interpretations of Film Characters’ Emotions: Effects of Presenting Film Music Before or After a Character is Shown
Siu-Lan Tan, Matthew P. Spackman, Matthew A. Bezdek
Vol. 25 No. 2, December 2007

Swing Rhythm in Classic Drum Breaks From Hip-Hop’s Breakbeat Canon 
by Andrew V. Frane
Vol 34 No. 3, February 2017

Rhythm in the Speech and Music of Jazz and Riddim Musicians
Angela C. Carpenter, Andrea G. Levitt
Vol. 34 No. 1, September 2016

The Asymmetrical Influence of Timing Asynchrony of Bass Guitar and Drum Sounds on Groove
Soyogu Matsushita, Shingo Nomura
Vol. 34 No. 2, December 2016


19th-Century Music celebrates #AmMusic17 and #SCMS17 by offering a selection of articles on American film music. As with the articles above, you can read the following for free through the end of the month:

Black Voices, White Women’s Tears, and the Civil War in Classical Hollywood Movies
Robynn J. Stilwell
Vol. 40 No. 1, Summer 2016

Screwball Fantasia: Classical Music in Unfaithfully Yours
Martin Marks
Vol. 34 No. 3, Spring 2011

Listening to the Self: The Shawshank Redemption and the Technology of Music
Daniel K. L. Chua
Vol. 34 No. 3, Spring 2011