The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a great example of the type of new projects libraries are undertaking. Hopi Nation is a rich cultural history of the Hopi people, told through original essays, artwork, and photography. Since first going online in 2008, the book has received nearly 20,000 downloads. In contrast, a typical print run for a university press is fewer than 1,000 copies. While traditional publishers could see only the high cost of printing the image-rich collection (and a small, niche market for such a publication), UNL’s Paul Royster saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the historical record and to serve faculty, students, and researchers at UNL and beyond.
Despite the quality of the materials, the project took over 25 years to find a publisher. “Like the Hopi people have so often,” Editor John Wunder writes in a new introduction, “this book needed to wait for the right time and the right technology to emerge.” Digital Commons provided the right technology for publishing the anthology, which includes 79 full-color plates and stunning black-and-white photographs in addition to historical and critical commentary by highly regarded scholars and Hopi leaders.
Digital Commons offers libraries and authors the opportunity to breathe new life into books and monographs that have been poorly served by the traditional economics of scholarly publishing. For more on publishing full-length, original books in the IR, see our guide to managing Book Galleries and Paul Royster’s 2012 webinar on Library-Led Publishing: Books and Faculty Monographs.
We are very happy to announce that, starting with the release of Digital Commons version 7.8 tomorrow, bepress is doing away with one-time set-up fees for journals. If your institution has a full, standard Digital Commons license, you’ll now be able to publish as many journals as you like.
This change has been a long time in the making. What started as an experiment a decade ago – libraries publishing journals – has now become a cornerstone of library institutional repository programs. And in fact, the Digital Commons community has led and inspired the entire library community in this regard. Many of you are publishing ten or more journals, and some of you are pushing twenty!
When we looked at this chart, we couldn’t help but wonder whether many more of you also wanted to grow, but were slowed down by the one-time journal set-up fee. Maybe you were turning away new journals, or asking editors to wait. Digital Commons is all about being able to say “yes,” and now you will be able to say “yes” to a new journal without any reservations.
What changed to make it possible?
We’ve wanted to offer truly unlimited journals for a very long time, and it’s finally become possible due to the work of our talented Consulting Services and development teams. After analyzing the requirements of editors and our journal building workflows, they came up with more than a dozen improvements in the scalability of our infrastructure, focusing in particular on our ability to better support customizations. Journals are the most heavily customized publications on Digital Commons, with each editor having their own specific vision for how the journals should be set up. Being able to support journal customizations and their professional design during software releases and platform upgrades is a major part of our commitment to you, and providing this service for any number of journals without additional, costly manual work on our end is finally within reach.
We’re so excited to see how your programs will grow in the coming years!
For those of you who want to learn more about publishing with Digital Commons and how to kick off or streamline your own publishing programs, we’ve got a webinar coming up in a couple of weeks that is chock-full of useful information.
Publishing with bepress Digital Commons
Wednesday, March 12th
11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/816295463
And, if you have any questions about this new development, please don’t hesitate to contact your Consulting Services Representative.
We’re excited to let you know that pagination, one of your most requested features, will be coming soon to your Digital Commons repository. With the next release of Digital Commons at the end of February, pagination will become a standard display feature on all individual repositories. Why is this development such an important step forward?
Leveraging the discoverability of Digital Commons for special and curated collections is a developing trend in our community. We saw a 120% increase in image galleries in 2013, as well as numerous collections of oral histories, folk music, archival manuscripts, and other primary sources being displayed in book galleries and basic series. Unlike collections that feature articles of independent research, these new collections feature records that build on one another, and require a specific order of presentation to create a narrative for visitors. From archivists to special collections coordinators, we’ve heard your call for rich pagination features to optimize the natural browsing of curated exhibits and historic collections, and we’re excited to answer it with this latest release.
In addition to the expansion of special and curated collections, your collections as a whole are also mushrooming—some image and ETD collections have tens of thousands of records—making pagination an important navigational tool, regardless of the collection type. Similarly, on the horizon we see large datasets, which often contain many files that must also display in a predetermined sequence. Introducing pagination now will play an important role in preparing your repositories for success with datasets later.
After much research and testing of different options, we’re pleased to release the solution we found works best for the widest possible range of collections in our community. The new pagination features will include:
Adjacent range: visitors will see prompts to help them navigate forward and backward, either one page or many pages at a time.
Endpoints: visitors will be able to skip to the first or last page of a collection, and see the total number of pages at a glance.
The new pagination feature will be available to all series, ETD series, book galleries, and image galleries, when they update after February 27, 2014. Stay tuned for updates about changes to our journal launching capabilities and other new features in the coming months!
What would help you be more innovative with the presentation of your digital collections? Contact your consultant at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or feedback.
The book gallery structure built into the Digital Commons platform was originally designed to house traditional monographs with full-text, chapters, and a cover image side-by-side. But the structure has proven to be remarkably flexible, and many Digital Commons administrators have discovered that it can be an ideal vehicle for a broad range of collections, often including things that aren’t books at all. Many repositories are now using the unique visual layout provided by book galleries to show off everything from oral histories to 3D-printable files.
Like all Digital Commons structures, book galleries can accommodate any type of file, including embedded streaming media. This has led several libraries to use it for performing arts collections, such as Eastern Illinois University’s archive of Theater Arts Department productions. Each “book” in this collection represents a production in the department’s history and includes programs, photographs, and other related materials. Cedarville University has created similar exhibits for both theatre productions and music recordings by faculty and students. Each recording in the latter collection may include downloadable samples and links to buy copies or find them in the library catalog. A similar gallery can be found in Digital Commons@Fairfield, where streaming audio or video accompanies many recordings.
The Maine Song and Story Sampler makes use of a group of book galleries to present recordings of folk songs and stories as well as biographical information for artists and collectors. At Digital Commons @ Georgia Law, a gallery of Historic Georgia Digests and Codes allows visitors to browse original documents of the laws of Georgia and download PDF copies. The book gallery’s space for a “cover image” provided the perfect display for posters from Bond University’s Research Week, and even 3-D Printable Objects from the Chemistry Department at Lawrence University.
Our Consulting Services team is always happy to share information about Digital Commons features and provide guidance on how best to showcase unique material in your repository, so don’t hesitate to contact us whenever you’re ready to build a new collection.
For editors of Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research, published at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s OpenSIUC Repository, showing off impact and readership is more important than ever. The journal’s print edition is partially funded through a Communication Association Presidential Initiative grant, and metrics for the online, open-access digital edition help prove the value of the journal with hard numbers.
C. Kyle Rudick, Kaleidoscope’s editor-in-chief, knows it’s crucial to cite reliable—and impressive—statistics to financial supporters on campus, and publishing through Digital Commons has helped him do just that. The journal boasts 6,000 unique readers, and its articles have been downloaded 23,000 times. Kaleidoscope’s editors can also show off the journal’s high profile on Google searches and the attention it gets on popular media sites like Tumblr. As Rudick puts it, metrics like these show that “This isn’t just graduate students playing around with a journal; this is serious scholarship, and people are looking at it.”
Since Kaleidoscope can’t afford a lot of self-promotion, its online presence has been vital in attracting attention, leading to more reviewers, more submissions, and a higher rejection rate—all trademarks of a successful journal. What’s Kaleidoscope doing with the money it’s saving on marketing? For one, they’re attending events like the recent National Communication Association conference, where Rudick ran into a number of Kaleidoscope alumni, many of whom had their first scholarly articles published in the journal, and are now established professors in the Communication Studies field. Some have even expressed interest in giving back to Kaleidoscope as members of the editorial board—may the legacy live on!
As we discussed in last month’s development sneak preview, we’ve got big plans in store for demonstrating repository impact in 2014. One of the new features we’re most excited about coming down the line is the Digital Commons Readership Activity Map, a real-time visualization of full-text downloads across the globe. The moment your institution’s scholarship is downloaded from a Digital Commons collection a pin will drop on your IR’s Readership Activity Map, showing everyone what’s being read in real-time. From Singapore to Salt Lake City, if there are people interested in your collection, there are pins on your map to prove it.
Sounds neat, but why exactly should you be excited about this feature too? Because we believe the Readership Activity Map opens up a number of new possibilities to help demonstrate the impact of your work. Soon, your funders, provosts, directors, deans, and other stakeholders on campus will be able to literally see in real-time the global reach of your institution right on your repository home page.
We’ve got a live example of the Readership Activity Map for you to interact with on the Life Sciences discipline page of the Digital Commons Network. While this first iteration of the Map works best for more established IRs with larger collections, we plan to adapt the visual element to make it available in a compelling manner for every Digital Commons repository within the next several months, eventually making the Map available for each individual collection/journal within your repository. So, for example, if you want to show your Dean of Graduate Studies exactly how many people are accessing your ETD collection and where and when those people are accessing it, this feature will provide a high-impact way to do just that. We also plan to make the Map and the data it collects available to IR Administrators via reports, and to authors via the author dashboard.
As you can imagine, visualizing readership data opens up a number of possibilities, the full scope of which is yours to envision. We want to make the Readership Activity Map as useful to you as possible, so we’re looking for a few pioneers in the Digital Commons Community to pilot the map on their repository homepage. If you think you might be interested, please contact Eli Windchy, VP of Consulting Services at email@example.com.
Stay tuned for next month’s development blog, where we’ll be discussing the launch of the pagination feature mentioned in December’s development sneak preview!
To start off the new semester, we’d like to share our spring 2014 line-up of webinars on developing successful institutional repository and scholarly communication initiatives.Presented by librarians from institutions using bepress Digital Commons as well as bepress staff, the webinars will cover topics ranging from faculty engagement strategies to IRs as curricular tools to working with data—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 http://digitalcommons.bepress.com/dc_events/. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Tour of bepress Digital Commons: Successful Institutional Repositories in Action
Date/time: Thursday, January 16, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenter: Mark Roquet, Scholarly Communication Advisor, bepress
Register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/204509303
Getting Faculty Excited About Your IR…Really? Really!
Date/time: Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenter: Ann Taylor, Director of Outreach and Scholarly Communication, bepress
Register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/323692903
Rights and Reputations: Coaching Faculty to Maximize Impact
Date/time: Thursday, February 20, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenters: Ann Viera, Research Services Librarian for Veterinary Medicine, and Peter Fernandez, Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Librarian, University of Tennessee—Knoxville
Register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/121081071
Library Services for the Self-Interested Law School: Enhancing the Visibility of Faculty Scholarship
Date/time: Thursday, February 27, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenters: Simon Canick, Associate Dean of Information Resources, William Mitchell College of Law
Register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/471212047
Supporting Undergraduate Success: The Repository as a Curricular Tool
Date/time: Thursday, March 6, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenters: Sara Lowe, Assessment Office and Librarian, and Sean Stone, Science and Asian Studies Librarian, Claremont Colleges Library
Register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/147036911
Publishing with bepress Digital Commons
Date/time: Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenter: Kurtis Moyer, Outreach Associate and Publishing Services Coordinator, bepress
Register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/816295463
Digital Commons and SSRN: Turning Perceived Conflict into Real Synergy
Date/time: Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenters: James Donovan, Director of the Law Library and Associate Professor of Law, University of Kentucky College of Law, and Carol Watson, Director of the Law Library, University of Georgia School of Law
Register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/898354479
Getting Started with Research Data in Your Repository
Date/time: Thursday, April 24, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenter: Promita Chatterji, Outreach Associate, bepress
Register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/742082655
ETD Workflows: A Bird’s Eye View
Date/time: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
Presenter: Dave Seitz, Consulting Services, bepress
Register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/903773407
Please join us at ALA Midwinter to hear how academic libraries are providing new and valuable services to their communities. We’ll explore how libraries are using existing repository technology to share data sets, promote undergraduate success, provide an ETD solution to graduate schools, and partner with their Provosts to maximize the visibility of the institution and the library.
All four sessions are free and will take place on Saturday, January 25th in Room 303 at the Philadelphia Downtown Marriott at 1201 Market Street. The hotel is directly accessible from the Convention Center via an elevated walkway. Feel free to come for a session or two, or join us all day for an intensive bootcamp on new repository services—either way, we’d love to see you.
Please see below for session descriptions. Click here to register—space is limited!
Getting Started with Research Data in Your Repository
Saturday, January 25, 10:30 – 11:30 AM
Interested in supporting data on your campus? Many libraries are eager to get started, but are anxious about whether they have the resources and capacity to build a successful program in the changing data landscape. The good news is, you’re more ready than you realize. Digital Commons is a flexible platform that can already support the vast majority of data sharing and preservation needs on campus.
The session will provide an overview of the types of data generated by researchers and discuss strategies for community outreach. Additionally, drawing on conversations with repository managers and other leaders in the data field, we’ll present a set of guidelines and best practices for preparing and showcasing data in your repository. You have the tools to get started now – we’ll show you how!
Mark Roquet, Scholarly Communication Advisor, bepress
Building Provost Support for your Repository Initiative
Saturday, January 25, 1 – 2:30 PM
Support at the Provost level is a key factor in the success of your repository initiative. We invite you to come and hear how other institutions engage the attention of their Provosts, maintain interest with compelling feedback, and launch new efforts when new Provosts come on board. This will be followed by Q&A and an informal discussion period with the speakers.
Joyce Rumery, Dean of Libraries, University of Maine
Glenda Thornton, Director, University Library, Cleveland State University
Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Scholarly Communications Librarian and Associate Professor, Illinois Wesleyan University
Supporting Undergraduate Success: Repositories as Curricular Tools
Saturday, January 25, 3-4 PM
Repositories are no longer just a location for student work; they are increasingly playing a role as a curricular tool, improving student learning outcomes and teaching students about peer review, editing, copyright, and other scholarly communications issues. In this session, Terri Fishel of Macalester College will discuss the undergraduate journal “Tapestries,” while Sara Lowe and Sean Stone of the Claremont Colleges will discuss initiatives they created with colleague Char Booth to use repository collections to promote student information literacy and writing skills.
Terri Fishel, Library Director, DeWitt Wallace Library, Macalester College
Sara Lowe, Assessment Office and Librarian, Claremont Colleges Library
Sean Stone, Science and Asian Studies Librarian, Claremont Colleges Library
The Power Couple: Libraries Partnering with Graduate Schools for ETD Solutions
Saturday, January 25, 4:30 – 5:30 PM
Librarians at the University of Kentucky and Eastern Illinois University discuss successful strategies for partnership between the Library and the Graduate School, benefits of ETDs, and key ways to rally support for ETD initiatives.
Adrian Ho, Director of Digital Scholarship, University of Kentucky Libraries
Todd Bruns, Institutional Repository Librarian, Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University
Interested in attending? Please click here to register—space is limited!
Jean-Gabriel Bankier, President and CEO of bepress
In preparation for the new year, we’re launching an ongoing series of blog posts that will give you a window into our development process as well as provide updates on new features that we are developing for you.
At a glance:
- Expanded Data and Storage Capabilities
- Pagination for Large Collections
- Sustainably Meeting Demand for New Journals
- Live Visualizations of Repository Downloads
So what’s coming in the next month or two? Our development team is working on extending the platform to enable libraries to serve more of the needs of its faculty, students and staff. More specifically, we’re hard at work on these projects:
Expanded Data and Storage Capabilities
We’ve heard librarians tell us that they need to provide data management and storage services for their faculty and graduate students, and they want to make Digital Commons work for data. We are making a few key improvements that should open the door for data pioneers to lead the way in creating data collections for faculty and departments on campus.
Pagination for Large Collections
More and more IR managers are building really large collections; there were so many built that Consulting Services might call 2013 “the year of the special collection.” I saw a post on the Google Group from a repository manager who described a gallery with over 10,000 images. We are thrilled. We never expected that libraries would move entire digital image collections into Digital Commons. It wasn’t long before we had requests to add pagination to improve navigation and discovery. We thought this was a great idea, so we are adding pagination to not only image collections but to any large collection that could benefit from it. I think this will also apply to datasets which often have hundreds to thousands of separate files in them.
Sustainably Meeting Demand for New Journals
This is a big one. Many of you are having incredible success with library-led publishing and we want to make it easier for everyone to build sustainable publishing programs. When faculty or students come to you with a great idea for a journal you should be able to say “yes” without hesitation. Our development team is revamping our journal-building capabilities. It’s all rather “under the hood” but if it works we will be able to build and maintain journals more easily. This may even allow us to do away with one-time fees on new journals. Yeah!
Live Visualizations of Repository Downloads
The original idea for this feature came out of a conversation several of us had in a rental car on our way to San Luis Obispo to meet with the folks at Cal Poly for the first time – we are talking fall 2007. It has been that long that I’ve wanted to do something like this. The question that we were mulling over for three and a half hours driving south on the 101 was: how can we visually demonstrate the impact the repository is having at that exact moment? What a cool thing to be able to show a provost, a department chair or one’s spouse!
We are developing something for your home page that shows visitors a repository’s live download activity. Download numbers are great but they only tell part of the story. The dynamic visualization of readership activity that we are building will demonstrate that there is an enormous and vibrant community of researchers using your IR around the clock and around the globe. I can’t be more specific yet, but I think anyone who comes to your repository, including your faculty and students, will be engaged and perhaps will interact more with your IR. We plan to roll this out first on the Digital Commons Network to make sure it looks good before providing the option to individual Digital Commons sites.
OK, So When Do we Get to See the New Features?
I’ve got the team on a schedule for late February. We will know better when we’ve finished with coding and moved onto the testing phase. Once the date and details are firmer, we will make sure to update the community. Stay tuned to the DC Telegraph for updates on the above features, news about other upcoming improvements, and a closer look at our development process.
There are now more than one million open access, full-text objects available across Digital Commons member repositories. Congratulations, folks! You’ve achieved an amazing milestone, and we couldn’t be more proud of the remarkable repository managers who made it happen.
Equally impressive is the growth rate at which the one million mark was achieved. The number of full-text objects uploaded by members of the community grew by 300,000 articles, or over forty percent, since the start of the year. The growth rate of library-led scholarly publishing was even hotter. Over the same one-year period the number of new journal, conference, and book gallery structures designed, built, and launched for member repositories soared from 1,663 to 3,124, an increase of more than eighty percent.
There are more than 300 institutions that contributed to this milestone and whose work proves the value of repositories on campus. Over the next year we’ll be featuring stories about the individuals who made this goal possible and the many smaller successes that are essential to the success of our community as a whole. Make sure to follow along on our blog and newsletter! Email email@example.com to subscribe.
Congratulations and kudos again to our amazing community of passionate and hard-working repository managers. We can’t wait to see what you do in the coming year!