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20 Cool Things You Didn’t Know about Digital Commons: Part Two

August 26, 2014

Think you know everything you can do with Digital Commons? Think again. We’re constantly impressed by the hard work and innovation of our Digital Commons community, and we wanted to show off twenty of the many amazing and creative ways you’re using the platform to help support the needs of your campuses. Stay tuned for parts three and four!

From old playbills and books to photos and videos, the theater department can be a great source of rich content. Because Digital Commons supports a wide variety of multimedia and embeddable file types, it makes an excellent home for theater collections!
• Example: Theater productions at Eastern Illinois University

Here’s a surprising fact: at least 22 museums across the globe are currently contributing content to repositories on Digital Commons. Their contributions range from artwork, installations, and exhibit catalogues, to scholarly conferences and community events.
• Example: “War is Not What You Think” A Collaborative Exhibition of the La Salle University Art Museum and the Connelly Library

Commencements and graduations often attract prominent speakers to campus and create strong memories for students and alumni. The repository is a great place to capture and preserve these memories, often in the form of embedded videos, photos, and programs.
• Example: Commencement at the University of Georgia School of Law

Alumni Work
Alumni newsletters and magazines have been archived in repositories for years, but many Digital Commons customers are starting to see alumni as a much broader and extensive source of content. From musical performances to books and articles, alumni works are popping up all over Digital Commons.
• Example: Torch Magazine from Cedarville University

Library Presses
Digital Commons makes library-led publishing easy, and some libraries are extending their services even further in the form of library presses. Our example below, University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Zea e-books, demonstrates to faculty that the library can help get their content professionally edited, produced, and made available to the world without the hassles of a traditional print publisher.
• Example: Zea e-books from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

To learn more about how you might include these features in your Digital Commons repository, contact Consulting Services at

Thank You to the DC Subscribers Who Beta Tested New Storage Infrastructure

August 21, 2014

Over the past year we’ve been working on a project to redesign and replace the hardware and software used to manage the storage of Digital Commons content. This move was precipitated by the rapid increase in the number and size of objects (thanks to video and data primarily) being uploaded in subscriber repositories. We needed a more flexible, extensive, and cost-effective storage system that will allow us to continue to grow smoothly.

As of last week the entirety of more than four million objects across the whole Digital Commons community have been migrated from the old storage infrastructure to the new infrastructure. Additionally, we are now offering 10 times more storage at no additional cost. It has been a lengthy, multi-step process that we completed only with the assistance of a group of courageous beta testers from the DC community.

We’d like to thank those subscribers who were gracious enough to participate in this beta program, and express how much we appreciate the vote of confidence you gave us.

A big thank you to:

Jeremy Hall – Bard Colllege
Dan Heuer – Bucknell University
Marisa Ramirez – California Polytechnic State University
Stephen Flynn – College of Wooster
Todd Bruns – Eastern Illinois University
Julia Nims – Eastern Michigan University
Micah Vandegrift, Nancy Kellett, and Jean Phillips – Florida State University
Wade Wyckoff – McMaster University
Isaac Gilman – Pacific University
April Younglove – Rochester Institute of Technology
David Holt – Santa Clara Law
Margaret Pembroke – Southern Cross University
Kim Myers – The College at Brockport (SUNY)
Marilyn Billings & Elizabeth Loving – University of Massachusetts Amherst
Lisa Palmer – University of Massachusetts Medical School
Wendy Walker – University of Montana-Missoula
Paul Royster – University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Seth Jordan – University of Tennessee Knoxville
Becky Thoms – Utah State University
Karen Marshall – Western University Canada
Connie Foster – Western Kentucky University

Fall/Winter 2014 Line-up of Free Webinars: Register Now!

August 20, 2014

To start off the new semester, we’d like to share our Fall/Winter 2014 line-up of free webinars on developing successful institutional repository and scholarly communication initiatives. Presented by librarians from institutions using bepress Digital Commons as well as by bepress staff, the webinars will cover topics ranging from creative IR staffing solutions to data management in Digital Commons to becoming a scholarly communications expert on your campus—see the full list below!

To register, please click on the registration links below. For more information and for other upcoming events, please see our event calendar at If you have questions, please contact us at

Publishing with bepress Digital Commons
Date/time: Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenter: Casey Busher, Outreach Associate and Publishing Services Coordinator, bepress
Register here:

20 Cool Things You Didn’t Know about Digital Commons for Law Schools
Date/time: Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenters: Benjamin Gaunt, Consulting Services Team Manager, and Jami Wardlow, Consultant, bepress
Register here:

Getting Faculty Excited About Your IR…Really? Really!
Date/time: Thursday, September 18, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenter: Ann Taylor Connolly, Director of Outreach and Scholarly Communication, bepress
Register here:

A Tour of bepress Digital Commons: Successful Institutional Repositories in Action
Date/time: Thursday, October 16, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenter: bepress
Register here:

Becoming a Trusted Scholarly Communications Expert
Date/time: Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenters: Jonathan Bull, Scholarly Communication Services Librarian, Valparaiso University, and Lucretia McCulley, Head, Scholarly Communications, University of Richmond
Register here:

Digitizing Crime: Inventory, Platform Choices, and Web Sites, Oh My!
Date/time: Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenters: Rebecca Mattson, Collection Development Librarian, and Susan Altmeyer, Digital Content Librarian, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
Register here:

Creative Staffing Solutions for Institutional Repositories
Date/time: Thursday, November 13, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenter: Kim Myers, Digital Repository Specialist, The College at Brockport
Register here:

Dogs, Data, and Digital Commons: Using the IR to Support Data Needs at IWU
Date/time: Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenters: Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Scholarly Communications Librarian and Associate Professor, and Ellen Furlong, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Illinois Wesleyan University
Register here:

Supporting Research Data in Your Repository
Date/time: Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenter: Promita Chatterji, Outreach Associate, bepress
Register here:

Congratulations to the 2014 IR All-Stars!

August 14, 2014

Congratulations again to this year’s four IR All-Stars! Click on the links below to read about their accomplishments and contributions to their campus, the Digital Commons community, and the institutional repository community as a whole.

2014 IR All-Star: Kim Myers, The College at Brockport

August 12, 2014

kim myersWe’re pleased to announce that Kim Myers, Digital Repository Specialist at the College at Brockport, is our final 2014 IR All-Star! The success of the College at Brockport’s repository, DigitalCommons@Brockport, is truly an example of teamwork at its finest, and Kim heads that team with masterful finesse. Since its creation, DigitalCommons@Brockport has become instrumental in developing the library as a vibrant center for scholarly communications and research, and has helped establish “open access” as more than just a buzzword on the Brockport campus. Kim has achieved a great number of things during her time managing the IR, but it’s her highly effective approach to staffing and outreach that really stand out.

“One of the things that makes our repository work is the small efforts of many people” is a quote that Kim often includes in materials related to DigitalCommons@Brockport, and it couldn’t be more accurate. The Brockport staffing model is one of the most unique and efficient models we’ve seen in the Digital Commons community. Under the leadership of Kim, over two-thirds of Brockport’s library staff participate in projects that contribute to the IR’s collections, from the college archivist to the library events manager. So, how does Kim make this happen? She offered the following insight for gaining staff buy-in in one of several brochures about the library’s model: “Match interest with opportunity, approach during ‘quiet’ season, offer discrete projects, make it part of the culture, fit into existing workflow, [and] show appreciation!” Figuring out sustainable staffing models is frequently a huge challenge for new repositories, but Kim and the team at Brockport exemplify a unique yet replicable approach for any school.

Campus outreach has always been a main priority for DigitalCommons@Brockport, and Kim has led the charge with a wide variety of initiatives. In addition to promoting the IR and engaging with campus stakeholders online through social media, email, and other digital channels, Kim also makes sure to regularly hold one-on-one meetings and presentations on campus and in the library to keep interest and excitement strong. She’s organized a number of repository and scholarly communications events, including Promoting Scholarly Communication through Open Access Journals, a one-day conference “focused on raising awareness of issues in scholarly communication, and the sharing of best practices in faculty and student use of open access publishing, through speakers, panel discussions and a hands-on workshop.” Kim also knows that sharing stories and reporting success is an essential part of marketing the IR, and her numerous reports, posters, and presentations about DigitalCommons@Brockport have proved to be a huge boon for generating awareness.

Finally, on top of all this, Kim manages to remain incredibly active in the Digital Commons community and the scholarly communications community at large. If she’s not busy creating her own papers and presentations, she’s reading someone else’s, watching a webinar, doing a training, or participating in a conference—making her one of the most involved and informed IR admins around!

To see the full list of Kim’s scholarly work, visit her SelectedWorks page here. And stay tuned for a bepress community webinar presented by Kim and her colleagues coming up in November!

2014 IR All-Star: Michael Organ, University of Wollongong

August 5, 2014

michael organCongratulations to our third 2014 IR All-Star, Michael Organ, Manager of Repository Services at the University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia! Along with his amazing team of IR support staff, Michael has helped develop Wollongong’s repository, Research Online, into a thriving IR example throughout Australia and beyond. Michael has achieved a broad range of accomplishments during his tenure at Wollongong, but his fearless, take-charge approach to repository management and successful positioning of UOW’s repository as a regional and international leader are especially noteworthy.

By focusing on simplicity and outreach rather than getting bogged down in systems and metadata, Michael and his team have managed to turn Research Online into the second most impactful repository (in terms of download counts) in the Digital Commons community. A densely populated repository with a wide variety of content, Research Online is a glowing reminder that successful IRs are not solely a North American game—Australia is doing amazing things in the scholarly communications field, and UOW is at the head of the pack. In his paper, “Leveraging ERA to increase repository content,” Michael details the intensive process UOW undertook to comply with the 2010 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative. In addition to leading the charge for UOW, Michael also took on the role of helping other Australian schools determine their own strategies for complying. By reaching out to our Digital Commons Consulting Services team, Michael was able to figure out technical workflows for complying with ERA that were of critical value for other Australian IRs and ultimately led to a significant boost in Research Online’s content.

Never one to shy away from trying new things, Michael has shown outstanding initiative and innovation in many different aspects of repository management. Preceding our Data Pioneers program by several years, UOW was one of the first schools to use Digital Commons for hosting research data collections. Michael and his team began investigating the IR as a solution for data management on campus in collaboration with the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), an Australia-wide government initiative, in 2010 and have officially been storing data collections in the repository since May of 2011. A consistent and vocal advocate for measuring IR impact, Michael was an early adopter of the Digital Commons Readership Activity Map, making UOW the first Australian school to display one on its repository homepage. In order to drive traffic to the repository and encourage faculty to share their work, Michael and his team used Digital Commons in a way we haven’t seen before by creating their very own customized “Author Badges.” The badges, which come in four different colors, link back to a faculty’s SelectedWorks page and can easily be added to any website or online profile with simple cut and paste HTML code.

Though now several years old, Michael’s 2010 paper “Research Online: Achieving success” remains a timeless and valuable resource for IR managers at any stage of experience. To read more of Michael Organ’s scholarship, visit his SelectedWorks page here.

2014 IR All-Star: Lisa Palmer, University of Massachusetts Medical School

July 30, 2014

lisa palmerLisa Palmer, Institutional Repository Librarian at the Lamar Soutter Library at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, is a pioneer in the field of medical library repositories and one of our 2014 IR All Stars. Among her many accomplishments as an IR admin, we’d especially like to highlight Lisa’s trailblazing efforts to unite medical librarians and her innovative approach to data management. Through the work of Lisa and her dedicated support team, UMass Medical School’s repository, eScholarship@UMMS, has become an ever-expanding and hugely influential player in the medical repository field.

At the 2014 Medical Library Association (MLA) annual meeting, Lisa volunteered to organize and lead a first-of-its-kind Digital Commons user group meeting for medical librarians. Open to both DC customers and non-customers alike, the community meeting was a resounding success, far exceeding attendance expectations and helping to establish institutional repositories as an important topic for medical libraries. Along with Soutter Library Director Elaine Martin, Lisa did an exceptional job of choosing session topics, posing thoughtful questions, and curating the conversation. Lisa’s article, “Cultivating Scholarship: The Role of Institutional Repositories in Health Sciences Libraries,” recently published in Against the Grain, further supports the idea that medical repositories play an important role in supporting essential campus needs and meeting new National Institutes of Health open access mandates.

Lisa has also established herself as a forward-thinking advocate for research data in medical repositories and an invaluable resource for meeting faculty data needs on campus. When a faculty member published work in PLOS ONE but didn’t know how to meet the requirement that the accompanying data be made open access and available online, Lisa offered eScholarship as a solution—a strategy that she continues to employ with success. In addition to being one of our Digital Commons Data Pioneers, Lisa also serves as the Technical Editor for the Journal of eScience Librarianship, an “open access, peer-reviewed journal that advances the theory and practice of librarianship with a special focus on services related to data-driven research in the physical, biological, social, and medical sciences, including public health.” Her presentations, including a 2011 webinar with fellow medical librarians Dan Kipnis and Ann Koopman, and presentations at national conferences, are great resources for medical librarians and all librarians interested in institutional repositories, open access, altmetrics, and library publishing.

To see the full list of Lisa’s scholarly work, visit her SelectedWorks page.

2014 IR All-Star: Todd Bruns, Eastern Illinois University

July 22, 2014

Todd_1We are pleased to announce the first of our 2014 IR All-Stars, Todd Bruns, Institutional Repository Librarian at Eastern Illinois University. Since the launch of EIU’s repository in 2011, Todd has tirelessly dedicated himself to making The Keep a successful, supportive, and vibrant part of EIU’s campus. Though he has many wide-ranging accomplishments, we’d like to highlight Todd’s contribution to the campus’s robust ETD program and amazing variety of special collections in particular.

The Wesley Whiteside Botanical Garden collection is one of the most unique in The Keep, and a great example of the innovative ways Todd uses Digital Commons to showcase special collections and serve the campus community. Botany professor Wesley Whiteside taught at Eastern Illinois for 27 years before retiring and leaving his expansive farmland, arboretum, and botanical gardens to EIU in 2011. With Todd’s initiative, the repository has since become an “online museum” of the garden and an invaluable resource for the botany department with its extensive documentation of the hundreds of species grown on the land. Another example of Todd’s unique approach to displaying special collections in the repository is EIU’s theater arts collection, which uses the book gallery structure to display over 50 years of production programs, reviews, articles, set/costume designs, and photographs from EIU’s theater department.

Todd has also positioned the repository as an essential resource for Eastern Illinois’ graduate school and master’s program. After giving a presentation to the grad school about the benefits of ETDs, Todd was able to convince the school to include a link directly to the grad school’s website on all ETD cover pages in The Keep, which has helped generate additional international traffic to the site.

In addition to his work on The Keep, Todd maintains an active presence in the scholarly communications community at large with a number of publications, presentations, and reviews. Presented with Stacy Knight-Davis of EIU, his 2013 Digital Commons webinar “Increasing the Visibility and Impact of Graduate Research with Electronic Theses and Dissertations” is a must-see for anyone considering implementing an ETD program on their campus. Todd’s impressive report, “The Keep at Two: The First Two Years of Our Institutional Repository,” highlights the growth, milestones, and achievements of EIU’s repository, The Keep, as of September 2013. The incredibly thorough document serves as an invaluable resource for IR managers of all levels experience, and is an excellent example of the importance of measuring and reporting success to stakeholders on campus.

You can learn more about Todd and check out his full list of scholarly contributions on his SelectedWorks profile. Congratulations, Todd!

Introducing Enhanced Image Viewing for Digital Commons Collections

July 17, 2014

Image galleries are one of the fastest growing content types within Digital Commons collections. In fact, we’ve seen the number of galleries grow by over 300% in the past two years. Because of this amazing growth, we’ve made a commitment to improve the user experience within our image galleries. Earlier this year we introduced improvements to pagination to help navigate large galleries. Later this month we will take the next step by introducing an interactive viewer to better explore images within Digital Commons.

image viewer 1

When users navigate to the details page for an image they will see the same familiar layout, but instead of a static preview image they will see a new interactive viewer. The new image viewer supports full pan and zoom operations, allowing the user to explore large, high-resolution images right in their browser. Using either mouse movements or the controls on the viewer tool bar, the user can zoom in and pan around the image using the navigation window to identify the area of detail. The image can be explored within the details page or expanded to full screen view and will look great both on desktop and mobile devices. Despite these enhancements, there will be no changes to the existing workflows for managing your galleries. All of the work for creating the viewer is done for you after submission.

image viewer 2

We’re excited to offer this feature not only because it will significantly enhance user experience and encourage more exploration of the rich image collections within Digital Commons, but also because this has been a highly requested feature from the community. We hope you’re excited to use it!

If you want to learn more about the image viewer and how it will impact your image collections, contact your Consulting Services Rep at

Congratulations to the Forthcoming 2014 IR All-Stars!

July 15, 2014

We’re excited to announce that this year’s amazing group of IR All-Stars has officially been chosen! Our annual bepress Digital Commons IR All-Stars awards spotlight four individuals from the Digital Commons community who have demonstrated a unique, high-impact, and replicable approach to IR success, and have made a meaningful contribution to the scholarly communications community as a whole. Through these awards we aim not only to honor the accomplishments of individual members of the community, but also to help support and enable all Digital Commons admins to be IR All-Stars too. You can learn more about the history of the awards in our post about last year’s winners.

all stars table

As always, selecting the winners was incredibly challenging. All of our admins and their teams do amazing work, and the Digital Commons community as a whole is incredibly hard-working, engaged, and committed to building vibrant repository services and supporting campus needs. We’ve been blown away by the rapid growth of Digital Commons collections over the past few years, and there was a large pool of excellent candidates for the 2014 awards. Nominations were made by members of the bepress Digital Commons Consulting Services team and final selections were chosen by a committee of bepress managers.

Selection Criteria:

  • At least 3 years as an IR manager.
  • A track record of vibrant repository collection growth, and an innovative and tireless approach to engaging faculty and others on campus in order to support their scholarly communications needs.
  • A demonstrated eagerness to share and teach others. This might take the form of a presentation, article, case study, or video that provides specifics and guidelines for the best practices for others to learn from and replicate the strategies that made the IR manager an IR All-Star.

Over the next month, we’ll be announcing and highlighting the accomplishments of this year’s IR All-Stars here on the DC Telegraph, and linking to some of the amazing resources they’ve created. Check back in next week for our first All-Star!


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