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Happy Thanksgiving from bepress!

November 24, 2015

Gather round for some Thanksgiving-themed Digital Commons Community collections to add spice to your big meal on Thursday—and no need to loosen your belt after reading them! At bepress we’re thrilled that so many of you are capturing your institution’s larger social and cultural context in your institutional repositories, such as these stories of campus togetherness. Below are some holiday collections of gratitude for you to enjoy on this special day!

Maine News Index – Maine Times in Portland Public Library Digital Commons  offers “Books & the Arts” on a Shaker Thanksgiving Day with related articles on the history of Thanksgiving Day and Shakerism in America. In Digital Commons @ Seattle Pacific University’s “Thanksgiving Gathering: Sharing Our Stories of Thanks,” two faculty members and an SPU junior share their thanksgiving stories.

Many IRs house historical collections, including the Special Thanksgiving Services “Symbolism of a Thankful Heart” with music by the University Choir at Langston University, documented in The Langston Letter of November 18-25, 1971. An undergraduate project at Digital Scholarship @UNLV (University of Nevada, La Vegas) offers a cartoon and text from the 1860 issue of Harper Weekly titled “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner,” celebrating ethnic diversity and political equality in America.

Some IRs house actual services, such as the streaming audio recording of a thanksgiving service at Asbury Theological Seminary, or the Interfaith Baccalaureate Service of Thanksgiving video from Bryant University.

The University of Dayton published its community outreach efforts for the holiday in the press release “UD Community will Collect and Deliver 140 Thanksgiving Food Baskets to Families in Need.”

Enjoy this 1914 postcard offering Thanksgiving greetings from the Newport Postcard Collection at Salve Regina University and have a great holiday!


Thomas Jefferson University’s Reader Survey Captures IR’s Value

November 17, 2015

Dan Kipnis, Education Services Librarian at Thomas Jefferson University, has come up with an ingenious way to capture hard-to-find reader feedback on publications in their IR, The Jefferson Digital Commons. Dan explains that the results “will be used in quarterly reports and for demonstrating value to administrators and the entire community at Thomas Jefferson University.”

Dan explains the process below, in his own words and images:
How does one measure value in an online environment? Do you count downloads, hits, or page views? Quantitative data is helpful, but words still matter. Anecdotes and stories can demonstrate value and reflect a humanity that data cannot always demonstrate. The Jefferson Digital Commons, in an effort to capture human feedback, has created a link that has generated numerous value-driven comments from around the world.

The feedback link appears on cover pages throughout the JDC, so that even readers who find the materials through search engines have access to the feedback form.


We also have created buttons that are included in capstone presentations, which link to the same feedback form.


The online form prompts researchers to check for permission to reuse their comments in promotional materials for the JDC. Using Google forms is an easy alternative to the form that we have developed.


All feedback is emailed to the two Editors of the JDC and the archivist at Thomas Jefferson University. The comments are then added to a web page that we have titled: What People are Saying about the Jefferson Digital Commons and this page is linked from the JDC homepage.


Feedback received and posted on our feedback page include:
1. Student gratitude for posting a post-print article on a hard-to-find topic
2. Family members who are researching alumni who attended Thomas Jefferson University
3. A researcher locating relevant scholarship for their topic
4. A historian preparing a presentation and locating historical assets from our archives and special collections

Check out the resulting page “What People are Saying about the Jefferson Digital Commons.” Dan welcomes questions at, and your bepress Consultant can help you set up similar links in your repository.

Best Practices for Creating a Successful IR Day

November 10, 2015

Josh Cromwell, Institutional Repository Coordinator of The Aquila Digital Community at the University of Southern Mississippi, shares best practices for creating a successful IR day:

• Gather collaborative campus-wide support, including funds for the day’s activities.
• Request a recognized keynote speaker and other leaders in the field to participate.
• Remember that you only need one willing institution in a region in order to create a community-wide IR day.

Josh was originally inspired by the emphasis at ACRL’s 2014 Scholarly Communication Roadshow on the key importance of IRs in today’s scholarly landscape. If the University of Southern Mississippi was leading the IR movement in the region, Josh reasoned, “it seemed logical to me that we should leverage that opportunity to provide training and workshops for the other universities who were also interested in pursuing an IR of their own.” Indeed, the day became an inspiration to USM’s peers in the Mississippi region.

In creating the first Southern Mississippi IR Day in 2015, Josh spoke to the importance of a collaborative campus-wide effort to support the hosting institution:

“The Libraries generously provided most of the funding needed to make the event happen, and the Friends of the University Libraries generously provided funding to purchase lunch for all attendees. The day included a panel discussion with faculty members from each of our six academic colleges across campus, and several participants in our current IR initiatives also agreed to come and speak about their projects and experiences. This broad base of participation really enhanced the quality of the day’s presentations.”

The addition of a recognized keynote speaker and the participation of other leaders in the field also helped to offer a high level of discourse and lively sessions. Josh details their experience:

“We were tremendously honored to have Marilyn Billings from UMass Amherst agree to be our keynote speaker for the day, and in addition to her riveting keynote, she and Jeanne Pavy from the University of New Orleans each led incredibly helpful workshops during the afternoon session.”

Josh reports that “the response to the first IR Day has been overwhelmingly positive”—congratulations!—and many attendees are already looking forward to the next IR Day. In addition to the best practices above, the 2015 Scholarly Communications Experts Directory can help connect organizers with experts who may travel to their campus to partner in creating an IR Day. Feel free to contact with any questions.

New SelectedWorks Design Showcases the Full Body of Faculty Work

November 3, 2015

This winter you’ll see a new, modernized design for SelectedWorks with every section of the profile updated. Why focus on a new design? We know your faculty want to publish more than just articles—soon they can showcase their whole body of work using the upgraded SelectedWorks. The sleek new card view is versatile enough to display all types of work, including articles, books, images, videos, and streaming media. Check out the details and picture below!

The header will now feature:

  •  The most important author information (photo, name, title, bio, institutional affiliation)
  •  A truncated bio to bring the important “Works” details higher up on the page
  •  A large “Follow” button to help faculty build their research network
  •  Prominent institutional branding that provides strong recognition and key context

There will also be more intuitive profile navigation that allows you to move quickly between Works, About/bio information, readership stats, the institution’s website, and other faculty profiles:

  • New menu at the top of the page where you can easily access account pages, admin pages, and readership reports
  • New jump menu for user-defined categories of works, displaying the full array of works in that topic

And now there are dedicated pages for “Works” and “About” to allow faculty to fully describe their bio and their work:

  •  In the expanded biographic “About” tab there is now space for previous positions, education history, research interests, CVs, course information, and more.
  • The modern new card view of Works gives a rich preview of the content, including:
  1. Thumbnails of the file (e.g., images or the first page of an article)
  2. Selected metadata
  3. Prominent “Download” button and icons for sharing that are immediately visible

Be sure to read our other recent blogs on improved SelectedWorks features, including support of multimedia files, greater administrative control, and full integration with your Digital Commons IR! Feel free to contact if you would like a demo.

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sw kate walker

Admins “Excited about the Possibilities” at Recent bepressU IR Manager Course

October 27, 2015

On October 6-8th we were thrilled to host a great group of 20 Digital Commons Community admins from all over the country! They were here in Berkeley, CA for bepressU’s three-day intensive Repository Manager Certification Course. Participants said they felt “excited,” “enriched,” and “engaged,” and reported that the course was “extremely helpful.”

Terry Robertson from Andrews University described the sessions as “empowering and enriching,” with the overall experience as “hugely motivational.” Maureen Schlangen, University of Dayton, said she gained a more global understanding of the repository. “It was also great to be able to see ways to align our repository’s scope, mission and goals to those of the university,” she said.

Hope Mitchell from Iowa State University said, “I think the course was just about perfect in regards to both content and length; lots of great info and I’m excited to get back and implement everything I learned!” Todd Seguin, Western Kentucky University, added that the course “gave me great ideas, helped me to see and understand some difficult concepts….It got us all excited about the possibilities.”

The course addressed issues for both new admins and more seasoned managers. Jacqueline Radebaugh from Columbus State University said, “The course was excellent. Being new, I really had no idea what to do with Digital Commons. Now I have a mission and I am ready to go!” Andrea Wirth from UNLV, also new to the repository, said, “I found everyone, bepress staff and other attendees, very welcoming and the content was great.” Aajay Murphy from Kennesaw State University chimed in that “even though our IR is 6 yrs old, and I’ve been in this position for 1 and ½ yrs, these 3 days have given me a great amount of resources and ideas.”

Emily Chan from San Jose State University said that it was “extremely helpful to discuss challenges with others and the approaches to those challenges.” Sheila Yeh of University of Denver added that “there were excellent presentation materials and the right amount of coverage.”

Congratulations to the graduating class of bepressU Repository Manager Certification Course for Fall 2015:

Ellen Augustiniak, UC Irvine Law Library
Jason Boczar, University of South Florida
Emily Chan, San Jose State University
Kathleen DeLaurenti, College of William and Mary
Carrie Figueredo, Baptist Health South Florida
Beverly Lysobey , Sacred Heart University
Cedar Middleton, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Marsha Miles, Cleveland State University
Hope Mitchell, Iowa State University
Aajay Murphy, Kennesaw State University
Mandy Oscarson, Brigham Young University
Jacqueline Radebaugh, Columbus State University
Terry Robertson, Andrews University
Maureen Schlangen, University of Dayton
Todd Seguin, Western Kentucky University
Wayne Seitz, Concordia Seminary
Karen Vaughan, Old Dominion University
Lisa Villa, College of the Holy Cross
Andrea Wirth, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Sheila Yeh, University of Denver

For information on the next bepressU course, please visit


Publishing Proves Powerful Motivator for Student Research Excellence at Colby College

October 20, 2015

Digital Commons@Colby publishes several notable undergraduate research projects which they’ve found significantly raise the bar for student work—some of which is so good that it is being used as a teaching aid in other classes. Phillip Nyhus, a professor of Environmental Studies whose class produces the Atlas of Maine, a series of maps developed by students in “Introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing,” spoke to the quality shift when students know their work will be published:

“Digital Commons@Colby is a powerful motivator for student scholarship. Students work harder and take projects more seriously when they know the material will be viewed by others. They are also inspired by metrics identifying how many views past student projects have received.”

Another case in point is the success of the Journal of Environmental and Resource Economics at Colby, created by Professor Sahan Dissanayake in the Economics department for his senior undergraduate seminar.  JEREC Editor-in-Chief Professor Dissanayake emphasizes that student publishing in the IR “provides extra motivation for excellence in the research process.” This student journal has sparked a remarkable result: near Master’s-level writing samples from his undergraduate students. In fact, they are so good that Professor Dissanayake is now using them as teaching aids in other classes. The focus on peer review in the class also provides valuable early experience with the scholarly publishing process where students work collaboratively and even file referee reports.

Marty Kelly, Assistant Director for Digital Collections, serves as facilitator and consultant for JEREC, run by Professor Dissanayake and his students. The journal has been an early success, producing professional quality writing, meeting teaching goals, and generating interest beyond Colby. In addition, Marty has fielded numerous inquiries from other faculty on campus interested in starting similar journals and is able to pass on the good news that he was able “to realize this project with the relative minimum of set-up and maintenance work.” View the DC community webinar “Best Practices for Undergraduate Research” for more ideas to spark excellence in undergraduate research!


Behind the Scenes at bepress: Supporting Charities in Style

October 15, 2015

On Friday October 9th bepress happily got gussied up in style in support of the charity Made Man. After tweets (#FormalFriday) and posts which each garnered contributions, this charity donated money to Career Gear which is a non-profit that helps low-income men study up and suit up to enter the professional workforce and become role models for their families and communities. Of course, the bepress snowman wore his formal hat, not to be left out of the fun…he insisted on posing with our very own Director of Outreach and Scholarly Communication, Ann Connolly.

Look for more “Behind the Scenes at bepress” blogs coming soon to the DC Telegraph!


Starting a Repository: Rich Resources Available to You

October 13, 2015

In our last blog “Starting a Repository: Best Practices from Your Peers” you heard some excellent advice from your peers in the Digital Commons Community. Here we want to round out that advice by highlighting some of the resources which the bepress Outreach department has developed for the DC community. We hope that these will help get you off to a successful start managing your repository!

  •  There are rich resources in the DC Community Library covering topics from managing conferences and journals to marketing and outreach. Take a look at the section on Managing A Repository for great ideas on launching your repository, staffing models, collection development, and usage reports.
  • And, don’t forget to check out the 2015 Scholarly Communications Experts Directory, where you can connect with peers who can answer questions, provide guidance, and perhaps even come to your campus to speak with your library! There is a sortable spreadsheet online and we have plenty of hard copies to send you as well.
  • Many schools take advantage of our “Kickstart” package where bepress consultants come to your institution for tailored workshops to get you up and running—folks find that this can really help with early engagement of your campus stakeholders as well. Contact for more information.
  • Or, join us for our Repository Manager Certification Courses offered here at bepress in Berkeley, California every Spring and Fall. This course is an intensive three-day workshop for institutional repository administrators, where you’ll develop crucial skills, expertise, and networks to help you succeed at one of the most demanding jobs in the field of librarianship and scholarly communication.
  • The Collaboratory is a place where you can find examples of everything from faculty outreach pamphlets to MOUs to annual reports created by your peers, so you don’t have to re-invent the wheel!

We know your job is demanding and we are here to support you in your success. Please feel free to contact us in the Outreach department ( at any time with questions or comments about these resources—we are always happy to hear from you! In addition, as you know, your bepress Consultant ( is always there to help with the day-to-day running of the IR.


Development Sneak Preview – October 2015

October 6, 2015

The big story lately from development at bepress has been the newly upgraded SelectedWorks, but that’s not the only thing happening. We’re very excited about three other big projects in the works that we hope you’ll be excited about, too.

Administrative Dashboard
We keep hearing how important it is for repository programs to demonstrate their value to their institution and community. In the same way that the newly enhanced author dashboard provides authors with the ability to explore the impact of their works, the new Admin Dashboard will let you explore the impact of your repository. The dashboard allows you to use your existing physical and virtual organization scheme to investigate usage of any publication or collection. Use it to highlight trends, usage from influential stakeholders, or other information about who is accessing your content and from where.

bepress Archive Service
We know that libraries are extremely concerned about safeguarding the digital content of their repositories. In light of that, we’re improving our archive service to provide you with better access to your content. Rather than delivering quarterly archives, we’ll push all your content and its metadata into a mirror archive on Amazon’s S3 in real time, using an S3 account managed by your institution. Having your content in S3 means you’ll have 24/7 access to your files. It also means you can take advantage of all the other services offered by Amazon, such as Glacier, for additional backups of the archived files. We’ll also verify the files’ copies by comparing checksums against the original files.

And great news for those subscribers who also use SelectedWorks: we will archive your SelectedWorks files and metadata alongside your Digital Commons content.

Library systems are increasingly interconnected. To help support the networking of systems, we will begin to introduce APIs that allow you to programmatically retrieve—and act on—the data in your repository. Use the APIs to connect Digital Commons with your other systems, on-campus or off. We’re currently reviewing requests from the community to help us prioritize which APIs will be provided when.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of all the work happening on the Digital Commons platform; be sure to follow the DC Telegraph blog for more details about these and other developments from bepress.

Open Access Week Ideas from the Digital Commons Community

September 29, 2015

Are you still brainstorming ways to celebrate Open Access Week this October 19-25th? The Digital Commons community has set the bar pretty high in recent years, which means you have some great ideas to inspire you. The following examples show what a fantastic opportunity this annual event is to educate faculty, students and staff about ongoing scholarly communication initiatives and to highlight IR services that help promote sustainable scholarly communication.

Brianne Hagen explained their hands-on approach at Hope College where they had “an ‘Open Access Sit-in’ where faculty were invited to drop by with their scholarship and deposit it into the repository. Librarians were available to answer copyright questions and troubleshoot technical queries. We also provided food and OA swag with a prize for the department with the most deposits.”

The UMass library highlighted the key role that students play as advocates for OA. Peter Suber gave a powerful keynote address to round out a series of great events you can revisit on the IR, including talks on Open Educational Resources.

Cleveland State University held a joint conference in Ohio with Wright State in 2014, and the talks are available for you to see in each respective IR, such as here in WSU. Caroline Whitacre’s SHARE (SHared Access Research Ecosystem) Keynote including streaming media is available in WSU’s CORE Scholar. We love the event’s motto from Cleveland State University: “If You Love Your Scholarship, Set It Free: Embracing Open Access at CSU.”

And, for a sweet finish, we can’t leave out the amazing OA logo cookies Janelle Wertzberger of Gettysburg College made with a cookie cutter printed on their 3D printer after Chip Wolfe at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University made an STL file for them. Janelle spearheaded OA Week talks and festivities including “Did I sign my rights away? Copyright for authors.”

We can’t wait to hear what you come up with for your Open Access Week celebration. Send us a note at and let us know how it goes!


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