To kick off 2016, we’d like to share our winter/spring lineup of free webinars, all focusing around repository tools for pushing larger strategic initiatives forward. Topics covered will include aligning your repository with institutional goals, trends and directions in faculty research, and working with your office of research.
Librarians using Digital Commons will share how they’ve used their repository initiatives to position the library as the solution to some of the most pressing needs at their institutions.
To register, please click on the registration links below. For more information and for other upcoming events, please see our event calendar at http://digitalcommons.bepress.com/dc_events/. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
bepress Winter/Spring 2016 Webinars
Webinar: Library-curated Faculty Profiles: The New SelectedWorks
Date/time: Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern
Webinar: Showcasing Faculty Scholarship: A New Tool for Law Schools
Date/time: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern
Webinar: New Strategies for Aligning Libraries with Institutional Goals
Date/time: Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern
Webinar: Librarian as Advisor, Concierge, Press Agent: A Case Study on Faculty Profile Services
Date/time: Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern
Webinar: Faculty’s Evolving Digital Needs: New Survey Results
Date/time: Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern
Webinar: A Match Made in Data Heaven: Libraries Partnering with the Office of Research
Date/time: Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern
Webinar: Claiming a Seat at the Table: Strategic Library/Administration Partnerships
Date/time: Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern
Webinar: The Modern Repository: Aligning the Library with the University Mission
Date/time: Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern
The current archive of Honduran archeological data at Kenyon College is an Ohio Five Digital Scholarship project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Jenna Nolt, Digital Resources Librarian, explained that “Digital Commons gave us the technology to get grant funding for something the faculty on this project had been trying to do for years.” This includes making the data open access. The researchers turned to the library’s IR, Digital Kenyon, to showcase their material. Through innovative use of flexible publication structures as well as curatorial expertise, the library was able to translate an archive of data into a vibrant open access online research hub. The researchers are pursuing external funding to digitize and make accessible all of their data, and the library’s ability to manage that data through the IR can help both the grant-writing process and data needs once the grant is received.
Kenyon is a small liberal arts college, and Jenna underlines that the administration has been supportive of responding creatively to the new digital demands on libraries. Part of the new needs lie in faculty grants—there are seven active Ohio Five Digital Scholarship projects at present. The library offers technical expertise to faculty pursuing digital scholarship grants, detailing the capabilities of the repository services available. Jenna wears a lot of hats managing the IR, including technical resource for grant-writers and curation expert. Her dedication shows in the valuable library services offered through the IR.
The IR offers an innovative way to display data sets which is user-friendly and encourages readers to browse. The challenge was to preserve the existing organization of over 30 years of archeological data and yet make it accessible to researchers today—a solution was found through the expertise of library curation. Jenna explains “we broke the set down into types, customized the metadata for each type, and created a key to using the collection.” Jenna cites the flexibility of Digital Commons as essential to this accomplishment; it allows the data to be accessed in a number of ways, as she put it, “stretching the parameters of what an IR can be.”
The “Four Valleys Archive” consists of paper, photographic, and digital records from archaeological investigations conducted in Honduras (1983-2013). The archive is a pilot of four archeological sites in Honduras and the complete physical collection consists of over 100 sites. The data is unique, and many of the sites have been destroyed, making this research an essential resource for understanding Honduras’s prehistory. Searching the archive can be done by types of data, including Analysis Sheets, Catalog Sheets, Drawings, Excavation Reports, Field Notes, Lot Cards, and Photographs. Scholars familiar with the collection ran numerous test searches to ensure accuracy. This library-led organization, following the original data categories, fulfilled the needs of all stakeholders: faculty, students working on the project, and the Ohio Five Digital Scholarship funding.
Downloads for Article in Fordham Law Review Go Through the Roof after Cited by Huffington Post and Salon
Congratulations to Fordham Law School’s IR, FLASH: The Fordham Law Archive of Scholarship and History! Of over two million items published in Digital Commons repositories, an article published in the Fordham Law Review was among the top three publications in terms of downloads in October 2015. The spike in downloads can likely be traced to a 2015 article in the Huffington Post, which was reacting to a statement by Ben Carson that Hitler’s gun control laws led to the Holocaust. The same article was cited in Salon in 2013.
Bernard Harcourt, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Director at Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, is a critical legal theorist, and writes both in academic forums and popular media. Professor Harcourt can see where readers come from by accessing his Author Dashboard, as can all authors publishing in DC repositories. Authors can filter readership statistics by commercial organizations, educational institutions, government organizations, etc.
Professor Harcourt’s 2004 article, On Gun Registration, the NRA, Adolf Hitler, and Nazi Gun Laws: Exploding the Gun Culture Wars (A Call to Historians), spiked from an average of about 600 downloads a month to 12,000 a month after being picked up by the Huffington Post and Salon. Given the current controversy on gun legislation, this article’s popularity is understandable, but what a feat to have now garnered 51,943 downloads in the Fordham Law School’s IR!
We encourage authors to check out their Dashboards—you never know what download metrics may be revealed there. And, IR administrators can now use the new Admin Dashboard to keep on top of readership statistics.
Publishing alumni content is clearly strategic for the success of Langston University’s IR, Digital Commons@Langston, allowing Bettye Black, Director of Library Services, to make a strong case for the value of the repository. Alumni content is a perfect fit for Langston because it captures the close relationship between the University and the larger community which is part of the institutional mission. Langston is a small campus with an especially active alumni community, partly due to being the only HBCU (Historically Black College or University) in Oklahoma. The IR’s explicit goal is “Encouraging the development, conservation, and promotion of Langston University scholarship and history.” The rich history and thriving culture of Langston can thus be reflected in the repository in book and image galleries (of bands, choirs, glee clubs, Homecoming), journals, special collections and archival material.
When Jameka Lewis, Head of Special Collections at Langston University, posted their yearbooks in the IR, she reported that “the response was incredible!” The Director of Library Services and IR team intentionally chose Alumni collections as seed content for the repository due to frequent requests for information from these materials. The Libraries intended that this valuable content would be central in supporting the campus mission of developing leaders and partnering with the local community, and indeed it has come to serve as a powerful community hub for the African American community in Oklahoma today. Langston has a vibrant extended community of alumni including African American dignitaries, local luminaries, and legacy students who are now using the IR. Showcasing these leaders furthers the mission that “Langston University strives to educate individuals to become the leaders of tomorrow.”
The importance of these alumni collections to the Langston community cannot be overstated, as the overwhelmingly positive responses attest. Jameka shared a touching story of a community member who lost rare family photos in a fire and ultimately found a picture of his mother in the yearbook online, tearfully thanking the library, saying “you don’t know what this means to me.” Jameka also gets great feedback when promoting the IR on various Facebook pages, in lectures, and at community events.
As Jameka put it, she knew the faculty and student scholarship would come (honors theses are popular), but the alumni archives were the first priority for the community and the campus. These include the yearbooks, The LU Gazette Newspaper, student handbooks, The Langston Letter, course catalogues, and alumni research to come soon. Future projects include local oral histories which document the first African American library in 1904 in Oklahoma (a partnership with the Logan County Historical Society), and the 1940’s Southwestern Journal, an archival journal documenting the educational and social issues affecting African Americans primarily in the Southern United States.
The IR team is currently reaching out to faculty, staff and students to include their research, using the alumni seed content to demonstrate benefits which raise their profiles as well as the profile of the University. We can’t wait to see these collections come to life and we applaud Jameka’s outstanding work with Langston’s IR serving the larger community!
Interested in alumni scholarship at your school? Check out the Spotlight on Alumni Outreach for more ideas.
Maureen Schanglen, E-scholarship and Communications Manager for the University of Dayton’s e-Commons, recently posted “eCommons: Putting UD’s Scholarly Work on the Map,” which articulates the IR’s value from faculty members’ perspectives and serves as a testament to Maureen’s successful faculty engagement. Two faculty members respond to dramatic download numbers in their monthly author reports. In Maureen’s words:
“It’s rewarding to see that people are accessing my publications though eCommons,” said Laura Vorachek, associate professor of English, whose academic papers have been downloaded more than 650 times since December 2014. “It’s especially validating when an article I had a hard time getting published is one of my most downloaded publications.”
“Academic Integrity: A Saudi Student Perspective,” a paper by counselor education and human services clinical faculty member Nasser Razek, is the single most popular paper in the repository. It’s been downloaded over 1,200 times since it was uploaded in December 2014 and was a source for a June 2015 story in InsideHigherEd about a cheating scandal at a Montana institution. Since then, he’s had new opportunities for collaboration with other leading scholars on the subject.
“eCommons has been a wonderful gateway for sharing my research,” Razek said. “The portal provides me with a monthly report of readership, so I was able to track how many readers downloaded my work. It also enabled me to connect with other scholars from Britain, the Philippines and South Africa. One of these has already developed into a bi-national study.”
Maureen adds that content in eCommons “is highly discoverable worldwide, evidence of which appears in faculty members’ monthly download reports.” We commend Maureen’s faculty engagement work and encourage others to check out the new author dashboard, which includes even more download metrics.
The University of Richmond is finding their live Readership Activity Maps so effective at conveying the global reach of their scholarship that they now feature the maps on several external departmental homepages on the University’s website in addition to their map on the IR’s homepage, UR Scholarship Repository. The library, IT, and the Communications teams found that they can all partner on this project in an excellent example of cross-campus engagement with the IR.
Lucretia McCulley, Head of Scholarly Communications at the University of Richmond, has forged a close relationship with the Web and Communications Offices on campus. She’s been working with them to connect the university’s website to the UR Scholarship Repository more closely in order to improve the visibility of the IR and demonstrate its impact.
As a result, many departments are now featuring the Readership Activity Maps on their websites, such as English; Computer Science; Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Math; Rhetoric; Religious Studies; and Political Science.
In further collaboration, Lucretia said that the Communications staff links faculty publication pages on the institutional site to specific articles in the repository (click the “Publications” tab), driving additional traffic to the IR.
The university cares about demonstrating the success of its departments, and the maps make an easy-to-read, dynamic visual aid. In response to a request to make the maps fit more neatly within the departmental websites, University of Richmond’s bepress Consultant removed the “bepress” logo from the external maps. Contact your Consulting Services Representative at bepress to implement Readership Activity Maps at your institution.
Last month, bepress was thrilled to host an event with Cliff Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) and a leading thinker in the field of scholarly communications.
In 2003, Cliff Lynch laid out his vision for the institutional repository, predicting that “a mature and fully realized repository will contain the intellectual works of faculty and students— both research and teaching materials— and also documentation of the activities of the institution itself in the form of records of events and performance and of the ongoing intellectual life of the institution. It will also house experimental and observational data captured by members of the institution that support their scholarly activities.”
In a conversation with bepress’s President and CEO JG Bankier, Cliff Lynch revisits some of the key points of the article and uses it as a springboard for a broader discussion of topics including institutional support for data, new and untapped areas for institutional content, and issues that he sees coming up for IRs in the next decade. The second half of the event featured a lively and informative question-and-answer session with bepress staff on a wide range of topics, including the digital divide, what disciplines are most resistant to open access, faculty profiles, what developers should know as they build new repository platforms, and more.
We are very excited to be able to share this special event with you. You can watch a video of the entire discussion here.
Winthrop University’s First Annual Digital Commons Southeastern User Group (DCSEUG) Was a Great Success!
Winthrop University hosted the first Digital Commons and Southeastern User Group earlier this year and according to all involved it was a smashing success! Winthrop’s site calls the day-long event an opportunity “to share ideas, best practices, successes, workflows and much more on any type of institutional repository platform.” You can see the detailed program here which may provide further ideas on having a DC User Group in your region.
“While a small group (35-40), we made up for that in enthusiasm and innovation. I have written before about IRs/digital commons phenomena and the whole open access calculus. This was the time actually to do something, and it turned out to be nothing short of spectacular. I can say that because I had very little to do with the conference, other than to welcome our guests. We had two from bepress in California, and users from Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and, of course, from South Carolina. We planned for the group to be about 20, so exceeded our expectations for a first venture.”
“Several things struck me about this process but one thing stands out as you look over our day-long conference—a lot of folks are doing some very wonderful things. Whether you have a digital commons or not, now is the time to get on the bandwagon. It’s a great way to create your university’s digital footprint by capturing its intellectual capital. But it is also more than that. It’s a way to showcase your library, your faculty, your institution, and your students. In short, it’s a win-win almost no matter how you look at it.”
At bepress we love supporting these meetings, and at this one Eli Windchy, VP of Consulting Services, and Morgan Ziontz, Senior Outreach Associate at bepress, both spoke. They discussed the question “Where are repositories headed?” by looking at some predictors of repository success and several new approaches and features that can help catapult the library into the future.
In Mark’s experience, he found that “creativity abounds in Digital Commons….With minimal support, libraries can create an entirely new information access point that not only rivals what is already there, but may even surpass much that is in place, or has outlived its usefulness.”
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more ideas in support of your own user group meeting—the benefits can be tremendous!
We’ve all heard stories of committees that move at a snail’s pace. Remarkably, the IR Planning Committee at Ouachita Baptist University has become a powerful resource for moving the IR forward, including helping with outreach, advocating for the IR, and even recruiting content. Lacy Wolfe, Assistant Professor and Circulation/Reference Librarian, who runs their repository Scholarly Commons @ Ouachita, and the Library Director, Ray Granade, decided to form a committee to help promote their new IR. They set out to create a team that would get key stakeholders involved early on—and they succeeded! How did they do it?
- Being a small university, they were able to handpick faculty from each school who were interested in open access initiatives and invite them to participate in launching the IR.
- They also invited personnel from IT and from the Office of Communication, making sure that the design of the repository would match the existing University website.
- Lacy points to the importance of having diverse people involved in the repository initiative, describing the rewards of networking and creating advocates for the IR. Having such a broad base for the committee also helped to publicize it across campus.
- With these advocates in place, Lacy can now call on them as needed, as various IR projects arise. This is especially important as she is the only admin working on the IR, part-time, with a student assistant. She describes the committee as “low-key” so as not to take too much faculty and staff time; rather, it is a resource to be tapped only when a need arises.
- In a practical vein, the faculty on the committee also became recruiters of content, starting with their own work and that of their students.
- Students are also seen as advocates for the IR. Honors Theses were a natural fit with the IR, and Senior Seminar Classes soon followed. Lacy reports that students love having their work in the IR and talk about showing it to different readers, including their families. On “Scholar’s Day” students get to present their theses which are published in the IR. Tiger Tunes is another popular student event, this time with the whole campus participating in a singing and dancing competition—all captured in the IR, which students use to prepare for next year’s competition.
A recent press release for Western Washington University’s IR, Western CEDAR, outlined the great outreach work the library is doing for both the IR and their SelectedWorks profiles, allowing their faculty to network easily across disciplines and across the globe.
Of all stakeholders on campus, faculty in particular have been outspoken about the benefits both the IR and their SelectedWorks profiles have provided in networking with other scholars. Clarissa Mansfield, Western Libraries Communications Coordinator, explains that “while one of the goals of CEDAR is to make scholarship available and accessible to anyone in the world, a local benefit of using SelectedWorks is that it provides scholars at Western an opportunity to discover what their colleagues here at Western are researching and creating.”
Elementary Education Professor Wiggins describes the scholarly import of the IR and SelectedWorks:
“[Faculty] tend to stay encapsulated in our disciplines and respective departments because we are so busy just teaching, attending to service and squeezing in our writing that we sometimes forget to look up from our desks and seek other like-minded folks from different disciplines that bring a whole new, fresh insight to our work. That’s what’s so exciting to me. CEDAR is one way to connect us.”
SelectedWorks profile pages for faculty are a key part of this initiative to share Western research. Western CEDAR points to the live readership map (below) as one view of the global impact of work produced at Western. “Ultimately, this is about providing access to the broadest range of one’s scholarship to as many people as possible,” said Francisco Rios, Dean of Woodring College of Education. “As an educational institution, we have a commitment and obligation to generate new knowledge. But that knowledge, to have impact, needs to be shared with as many others as possible. And others need to be able to access that knowledge.”
Kudos to Western Washington for their inventive use of SelectedWorks to connect their faculty! To find out about even more uses of SelectedWorks, including the expanded features of the upgraded SelectedWorks coming this fall, please read our recent blogs detailing this exciting improvement or contact email@example.com for a demo.