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Development Sneak Preview: February 2015

February 24, 2015

We hope you all have been enjoying the features we released at the end of last year; the increased flexibility with the Readership Activity Maps seems to have been an especially big hit!  We’re excited to announce that we have even more features and improvements lined up for the coming months:

At a glance:

  • Download Metrics on Article Pages
  • Author Highlight on Readership Activity Maps
  • Large File Support
  • Faster Batch Import/Revise
  • PDF Cover Page Improvements: Part Two
  • Undergraduate Research Commons Badges
  • Digital Commons Network Expansion
  • New Staging Areas

Download Metrics on Article Pages

Download counts are a great way of showing impact, and we’re constantly exploring new ways of sharing download activity.  The Readership Activity Maps are designed to share that activity on an aggregate basis; soon you’ll be able to show it on an article-by-article basis with download data displayed directly on the article metadata page. Many thanks to those who have expressed to us the value of this feature. We look forward to stories about using these numbers to engage authors and clinch new sources of content.

Author Highlight on Readership Activity Maps

We’re very excited about the popularity of the Readership Activity Maps, and a bunch of you have sent us some ideas for improvements.  Last release, we made maps that could be added to individual collections as well as embedded on other sites.  With the next release, whenever a pin drops, we will highlight the author in addition to the currently featured article information. We hope that this will make the maps even more compelling, exciting, and valuable!​

Large File Support

More and more of you are adding larger and larger data files, including videos. We want to increase our capacity to support that growth as your need grows.  We’re working on our infrastructure to make uploading of large files more reliable, so go nuts with the datasets!

Faster Batch Import/Revise

A recent topic of the Digital Commons listserv discussed some frustrating experiences with our batch upload/revise process—we’re happy to say that this is something we’ve been working on for some time and that we’ll be able to roll out the improvements in this coming release.  If there is a large batch job in the queue, the jobs behind it will now be much less impacted and be processed more quickly.

PDF Cover Page Improvements: Part Two

In the last release we put in place major upgrades to the technology that generates cover pages and stamps PDFs. Building upon that work we are optimizing the new technology to better support the wide array of PDFs in existence today. Also we are extending our support to help maintain bookmarks and hyperlinks in submitted PDFs. Authors work meticulously to provide these, and we are pleased to provide support to these helpful guideposts for future researchers.

Undergraduate Research Commons Badges

The Undergraduate Research Commons hosts content from over 700 undergraduate publications. Do your campus and site visitors know which collections are included? We have designed a nifty badge for the sidebar of any collection featured in the Undergraduate Research Commons. Current and prospective students will see the academic caliber of your institution and the value of contributing their best works to your repository.

Digital Commons Network Expansion

Launched in late 2013, the Digital Commons Network brings together well over one million objects from repositories around the world.  With the upcoming release, the DC Network will be able to harvest open access materials from Digital Commons on an item-by-item basis within series while still excluding access-controlled content. Once this improvement is in place we expect tens of thousands of objects to become more discoverable overnight.

New Staging Areas

The preparatory sites we build during the setup process have become really popular as ongoing staging and training areas. We believe this ability to play and experiment is an important and valuable part of our service. To better serve these needs we are re-launching these as cloud services. This move gives us greater ability to adapt to growing usage. Swifter services also improve the user experience and outcomes for the administrators, editors, and conference organizers who typically visit them.

Okay, so when do we get to see the new features?

These features are currently under development, but stay tuned to the DC Telegraph for updates on these features, news about other upcoming improvements, and a continued closer look at our development process.

For questions about upcoming or recently released features, feel free to contact our Consulting Services team at!

Faculty Shares Rich Archive of Gothic Works in Published Collection

February 17, 2015

Faculty needs are well met by the Digital Commons repository e-Publications@Marquette in the partnership struck between the faculty members and the library with the Gothic Archive project at Marquette University. The Archive interweaves the full spectrum of scholarly material surrounding and including Gothic chapbooks into a scholarly narrative. This faculty-authored published collection takes advantage of the flexibility of their repository which allows faculty to tell their scholarly story through the entirety of their primary and supplemental materials. These include:

• 27 Gothic chapbooks
• extensive metadata descriptions of each chapbook
• introductory text
• transcriptions and original manuscript images
• unpublished papers
• thematically-related content
• a rich glossary

They have developed an easily navigable Gothic Glossary which is built on an auto-collect filter in Digital Commons that sorts by keyword. Browsing by theme, researchers can go well beyond a database experience which sorts by recent content and enjoy a relational experience which sorts by relevant content. For the glossary faculty and graduate students are providing the subject matter expertise, while Rose Fortier, Coordinator of Digital Programs, and Liaison Librarian Heather James are providing the structural, organizational expertise. “It’s a true partnership,” explains Rose, “one couldn’t do it without the other.”

Shortly after she started at Marquette, Rose was approached by faculty member Dr. Diane Long Hoeveler in the English Department. Dr. Hoeveler was looking for a user-friendly digital solution to share and grow the chapbook project—including significant supplemental material—which would also be a seed collection for grant money. Rose suggested they should start by publishing a small collection in the IR which could be used as a vivid example in their grant applications. This turned out to be a successful solution for all these faculty needs.

This collection continues to grow while they are currently holding their breaths on a $350,000 NEH grant. This funding would go towards digitizing the large amount of Gothic chapbooks both here and abroad. Further plans for the Archive embrace partnering with language classes on campus to translate Gothic chapbooks into English for their eventual inclusion. Interactive timelines, GIS, and thematic linkages are also on the drawing board—all this from the seed collection published to fulfil Dr. Hoeveler’s initial needs.

Rose emphasizes the potential “to use the collection as a basis for large-scale analysis of the literature,” benefiting Marquette University’s reputation, scholarly research on this topic, and ultimately meeting the needs of the faculty through full spectrum faculty-authored publication opportunities within the IR.


Announcing the DC Community Library: Your One-Stop-Shop for all Digital Commons Resources

February 10, 2015

We are very pleased to announce the Digital Commons Community Library! It is an intuitive way of exploring bepress’s scholarly communication resources by subject matter. These resources are all free and open access. If you found our toolkits and tutorials helpful, you’ll love the DC Community Library which has updated material on all areas of interest—your one-stop-shop for all Digital Commons Resources.

Here you’ll find collections of useful materials on a number of topics including:
Faculty Outreach
Journal Publishing
Managing a Repository
Special Collections
Student Work

There are resources about institutional repositories and scholarly communication, recordings of webinars, examples of collections, blogs, brochures, presentations, and other materials. These are published by your fellow Digital Commons subscribers as well as bepress staff. We hope that this will be a valuable resource for the Digital Commons community as well as the scholarly community at large.

For example, the Copyright section of the DC Library includes everything you need to get started along with best practices: faculty and publisher permission letter templates, a presentation on copyright workflows, an in-depth webinar on rights checking workflows and authors’ rights initiatives, promotional handouts for faculty, a checklist for reviewing publisher copyright agreements, a guide to discovering journal policies on open access, and a blog on authors’ rights education leading to increased faculty interest in repository services.

We’d love to hear your thoughts! How are you using the DC Community Library? What other topics would you like to see addressed? Contact us at  You’ll find a link to the DC Community Library under the Resources button at

blog DClib

Illinois Wesleyan Professor Shares Data Management Success Story

February 3, 2015

Data management can seem daunting, especially when working with a granting body or laboratory that has stringent requirements for documentation, management, and accessibility. At Professor Furlong’s Comparative Cognition Lab at Illinois Wesleyan University, the University’s IR, Digital Commons@IWU, has become a critical part of the research process in successfully attaining these goals. With the help of IR Manager and Liaison Librarian Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Professor Furlong and her students are finding it “incredibly easy” to share and manage the Lab’s data.

In the Digital Commons community webinar, “Data Management and the IR as a Teaching Tool at Illinois Wesleyan,” Professor Ellen Furlong and her student, Stephanie AuBuchon, outlined their data needs: easy uploading of data, searching large amounts of data efficiently, storing and sharing data output of the Lab, and managing a large amount of videos. Professor Furlong worked closely with Stephanie Davis-Kahl and bepress to design their site. With a highly customizable upload form they were able to produce exactly what was needed. Additionally, they found that “Digital Commons was the best solution because it allowed for the large amount of data as well as the necessary student access to the data.”

On managing data in Digital Commons, Professor Furlong said “It will be so incredibly easy to share, to give [researchers and students] access to the IR”—this had previously been a big challenge. It is important for the Lab to make the data accessible to certified researchers, while still making it access controlled due to data privacy issues. It is also crucial to the project’s success that students be able to access and code the data from remote locations and work independently.

Professor Furlong points out that the students can take this valuable experience into their future careers. Her student and co-presenter, Stephanie AuBuchon, said that although she is not tech-savvy, she found the experience of uploading and managing the data in Digital Commons to be “super quick, super easy, and super organized.”

One aspect of sharing data openly in her field, Comparative Psychology, is to mark the data as credible and post the results for replication. With SEO built into the IR, the Lab’s site is globally visible and provides context for the data housed there. Part of the context is a coding teaching tool to help others replicate the research, and a newsletter and related research papers, as well as the introductory text for the site.

Davis-Kahl presented this webinar as a useful case study for librarians working with faculty and students on data, focusing on data services at Ames Library which encompass student pedagogy, infrastructure, and information literacy. Check out the webinar for more detailed data management tips!

Winter/Spring 2015 Line-up of Free bepress Webinars: Register Now!

January 28, 2015

We are delighted to share our winter/spring 2015 line-up of webinars on  developing successful institutional repositories and scholarly communication initiatives. Presented by librarians from institutions using Digital Commons as well as by bepress staff, the webinars this season will cover a variety of topics, from setting up your initiative for success and meeting faculty needs to providing publishing opportunities for undergraduate scholars.

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

bepress Digital Commons – Winter/Spring 2015 Webinars


Webinar: Paths to Repository Success at Any Stage

Date/time: Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern

Recording now available:


Webinar: The Repository Today: A Necessary Campus Investment

Date/time: Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern

To inquire about this webinar contact


Webinar: New Services to Enhance a Health Care Network’s Reputation

Date/time: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern

Recording now available:


Webinar:  New Directions in Faculty Scholarship: What Libraries Need to Know to Stay Ahead of the Game

Date/time: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern

Register here:


Webinar: Modeling the Future of Undergraduate Publishing

Date/time: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern

Register here:


Webinar: Duke Law Reviews: Going All-in Online

Date/time: Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern

Register here:


Webinar: Cleveland State Taps into Faculty and Campus Needs

Date/time: Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern

Register here:


Webinar: Penn State Law Review Evolves Beyond Print Constraints

Date/time: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern

Register here:


Webinar: Best Practices for Undergraduate Research

Date/time: Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern

Register here:

Readership Maps Now Available for Every Group on Campus!

January 22, 2015

In 2014 we released the Readership Activity Map, which shows the real-time impact of Digital Commons repositories across the globe. The response from the community was overwhelming–everyone seems to love seeing those pins drop by the second.

Seeing that kind of impact in such a visual way is so compelling, in fact, that many subscribers have told us about academic groups on campus who’d love to showcase their IR contributions with maps of their own. We’re very happy to offer just that: now you can give every department, center, journal, conference, or collection its own Readership Activity Map.

Besides entrancing your faculty, administration, researchers, and students, the map shows how valuable their scholarship is to the global academic community. Dr. Darcy Bullock, Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Joint Transportation Research Program at Purdue University, told us

Showing world-wide impact in a visually engaging manner helps demonstrate the value of the work we do at the Joint Transportation Research Center.

We introduced a beta version of maps for individual departments and collections in December—soon, the maps will be available to every community and publication in the IR.

Take a look at a few examples of the maps, enabled during this beta period:

Centers or programs with unique research - Joint Transportation Research Program (Purdue University) and Nebraska Tractor Tests (University of Nebraska – Lincoln)

Departments or schools on campusWashkewicz College of Engineering (Cleveland State University) and School of Population Health (Jefferson University)

Faculty collectionsEnglish: Faculty Publications & Other Works (Loyola University Chicago)

JournalsJournal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy  (Eastern Illinois University)

Student works, including theses and dissertationsEnvironmental Science Theses (University of Vermont)

The map’s new features are designed to enhance almost any size of repository and any size of collection within it. To enable one today, contact Consulting Services at


Iowa State University’s Harrison W. Inefuku Is Named as One of “15 People to Watch in 2015”

January 6, 2015

Congratulations to Harrison W. Inefuku, Digital Repository Coordinator at Iowa State University, named as one of “15 People to Watch in 2015” by the Des Moines Register. As the Library Journal put it so well, “We don’t see librarians on these types of lists all that often (why not?) so it’s not only exciting for Harrison Inefuku and his ISU colleagues but also for the entire library profession and OA movement. Congrats and kudos!!!” Here at bepress, we couldn’t be more proud to have Harrison as part of the bepress Digital Commons community.

Profiled in the “15 to Watch” were movers and shakers from all walks of life in Iowa including Gilbert Vicario, senior curator at the Des Moines Art Center; Stephanie Jenks, one of the world’s top young triathletes; and Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. Harrison was nominated in the arena of education by Karen Lawson, associate professor and associate dean, collections and technical services, of the Iowa State University Library. She describes him in the Des Moines Register’s article as “the face and voice for open access to public research for all of us,” adding that “workers at public institutions are often unsung.”

“It’s really empowering people anywhere with an Internet connection to get access to research we’re doing here on campus,” Harrison said, giving an example of Iranian scholars barred from subscribing to U.S. journals who are able to access research at Iowa State through the institutional repository. A glance at the Readership Map on Iowa State University’s Digital Commons homepage reveals the truly global impact of their IR, Digital Repository @ Iowa State University. Just a few minutes of real-time downloads via the map revealed readers from Iraq, Iran, Egypt, France, Belgium, Singapore, India, Korea, and the U.S.—check out the map to see more!

High on Harrison’s priority list for 2015 is “is to encourage more undergraduate and graduate students to submit their work to the repository”—a goal with which he has already had success. Congratulations to Harrison and to all the Digital Commons administrators and librarians everywhere who carry on such important work!

20 Cool Things You Didn’t Know About Digital Commons: Part Four

December 30, 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. Check out parts one, two, and three!

Speaker Pictures
Enliven your content’s display and add an extra human touch with pictures of the authors of an article or speakers at a conference.

Publications Checklist
More common for journals and ETD workflows, this feature helps editors and administrators ensure that important procedures are completed prior to uploading an item to the repository. Before an object can be posted, every item in the customizable checklist must be checked by an authorized user, and the system records the date and name of the user who affirmed the actions were completed.


Custom Message in Monthly Readership Reports
This feature allows admins to insert a custom message into the monthly readership report emails that all authors in Digital Commons receive. Most messages typically remind authors to visit the IR and deposit new works.

Stakeholder Reports
How can you keep department heads and library directors aware of new content in your repository? Stakeholder reports provide automated monthly summaries of new scholarship and the most popular works in the IR and can be customized to cover the entire repository or one selected publication.

Integration with Other Websites
Bring the IR to your campus using the RSS feeds in Digital Commons; library, university, and departmental websites can receive an automatic feed of new works.

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

Happy Kitschy Sweater Season from bepress!

December 24, 2014

It’s that magical time of year again. The time when kitschy sweaters of all shapes and sizes emerge from dusty attics and forgotten boxes to show their sequined snowman, puff-paint glory at holiday parties across the globe. To get you in the spirit, we’ve rounded up some scintillating seasonal content from Digital Commons collections.

We’ll start as any good holiday blog post should: with mistletoe. Think you’ll stand under the mistletoe for a sweet little holiday smooch this season? You might want to think again. Turns out we may have been misled by mistletoe. According to this article, “Mistletoe: Meet Me Under the Parasite,” from Digital Commons at Utah State University, mistletoe may not be as romantic as it seems. Before roasting your chestnuts on an open fire this year, consider learning a thing or two (or five or ten) about the classic holiday treat sacrificing itself for your sustenance at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga’s “American Chestnut Oral History Project.”

Looking for a Victorian Christmas and New Year’s? Check out the Victorian Christmas and New Year’s Cards from the Turner Scrapbooks from Hollins University. This holiday postcard from Northwestern College Commons might finally shed some light on the controversial question: is Santa actually the postal carrier? The e-publications repository at Bond University takes on another slightly less controversial question, “To wrap or not to wrap?,” in this thrilling study. Although we don’t get any snow here at our offices in Berkeley, California, if we did we would certainly take to the slopes and take our sledding advice from the young scamp in this image from Digital Commons at the University of Maine, “Boy with Sled.”

From all of us here at bepress we hope you have a happy holiday season!

University of Connecticut Uses Digital Commons’ Review Tools for ETDs

December 23, 2014

Graduate Schools are finding innovative ways to handle theses and dissertations. Using the advanced review tools in Digital Commons, Graduate Schools can manage the ETD deposit process from start to finish. At the University of Connecticut, Graduate School administrators love the ability to communicate necessary revisions with students online, and it has become easy to track every version of a given ETD.

When management in the Graduate School went looking for solutions to cumbersome, paper-based workflows for theses and dissertations, Michael Bennett, the IR Coordinator at the time, pointed out that the Digital Commons platform “could do the same things [as competing ETD services]…except that [the University of Connecticut] wouldn’t be beholden to a vendor for our…institution-produced content.” The Library and Graduate School planned a pilot year managing Master’s theses through DigitalCommons@UConn, and in 2011 the Graduate Faculty Council and Graduate Student Senate passed a mandate for electronic submission of dissertations.

How do students feel about the transition? Luba Bugbee, Administrative Services Specialist and PhD degree auditor in Graduate Records, finds that “both students and faculty consider [the initiative] a green move…students are glad that they do not have to spend more money on special bond paper… for publishing and copyright fees.” And Kristin Eshelman, who now runs DigitalCommons@UConn as Curator for Multimedia Collections, said the new workflow is “much more convenient for the reviewers, too, as they can use the email capabilities of the system to communicate.”

Check out this presentation that Michael Bennett made to get a better idea of how he rallied support from stakeholders in the Graduate School.


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