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IR Publishing Program Gives DePaul University a Competitive Advantage

September 1, 2015

Why, in these hard economic times, would a primarily teaching-focused institution like DePaul University choose to invest resources in a robust publishing program? DePaul is finding that a publishing program can better support the university’s mission of student engagement and recruitment, faculty promotion and support, and help amplify the impact of DePaul-based publications—all offering DePaul a “competitive advantage.” At the helm of this initiative is Scott Walter, University Librarian at DePaul, who is actively extending the reach of their IR, Via Sapientiae, beyond ETDs to journals such as the DePaul Law Review and publications that previously existed only in print such as the Teaching with Primary Sources Program.

As Scott puts it,

“The institutional capacity to support publishing, and, to varying degrees open-access, digital publishing is being seen as a “competitive advantage” that we’ve added to the DePaul portfolio and that DePaul sees as valuable in the challenging market for students and faculty in Chicago. In addition, knowing what we do about the value of “student engagement” for the core concerns about recruitment, retention, and persistence to graduation, having another library tool in the mix that contributes to that “engagement” goal is seen by all as a benefit.”

Scott speaks eloquently to the ABC’s of enhancing the profile and competitiveness of a primarily teaching-focused institution, below.

How can a library publishing program help to meet traditional goals?

Scott: “DePaul has supported a number of departmental publications for years, and these have long been seen as a key component of the undergraduate and graduate education programs. A library publishing program helps to meet these traditional commitments more effectively by enhancing discoverability, extending range, providing tools for measuring impact, and ensuring a more consistent approach to preservation (or ‘durable access’).”

How can the IR promote student engagement and thus retention?

Scott: “DePaul recognizes that undergraduate research opportunities represent a ‘high-impact practice’ in terms of student engagement (a key component of retention and academic success) and the opportunity to have one’s work published is seen by students as a valuable addition to their online portfolio and presence, thus seen as a benefit to marketability, etc.”

How might a publishing program engage and recruit faculty?

Scott: “From the faculty point of view, access to a library publishing program provides an opportunity for faculty members or a department/school to have access to a marker of academic distinction that might have been more difficult to achieve in the past, whether this is support for launching a new journal or demonstration that the university can be a viable home for an existing journal, e.g., a society publication. In both cases, these are “quality markers” for faculty and access to a type of institutional support that might help recruit faculty just as access to a digital undergraduate research publication program might help to recruit students.”

A press release touting DePaul’s strong publishing initiative says it well:

“For those already digging through mounds of paperwork wondering where their latest work, dissertation, and journal ran off to, do not fear.  DePaul has an institutional repository for that …. [The IR] collects, organizes and provides open access to scholarly works produced by DePaul’s faculty, staff, students, centers and institutes.”

We hope that this interview with Scott will help inform and inspire our Digital Commons Community. Get in touch with your bepress Consultant to find out how you can publish a wide variety of materials in your IR.

Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of Faculty’s SelectedWorks Profiles

August 25, 2015

We’ve already introduced you to SelectedWorks’s smooth new integration with DC, including full metadata migration from DC to SW. Now we have even more good news! Admins will be able to control and curate author profiles with greater ease and systemic support, so you can keep your eye on all SelectedWorks profiles at a glance.

The enhanced integration with Digital Commons includes two-way activity notifications between SelectedWorks authors and Digital Commons administrators.  The new Administrator Notification Center features live updates on new papers and profile changes. Admins will receive notifications when an author adds new work, removes work, edits work, creates a profile with the institution, or edits their profile.

The improved SelectedWorks will save you time as well. Automatically updated in-line editing will streamline your workflow as you polish various profiles. And, you’ll be able to navigate easily between sections using dynamic and responsive pages.

Stay tuned for more blogs this summer detailing the upcoming changes to SelectedWorks, including a sleek new design, support for multimedia files, and improved integration with DC.


Announcing the Teaching Commons: A Portal for Open Educational Resources

August 20, 2015

Bepress is thrilled to announce the Teaching Commons, a new discovery portal of open educational resources. This portal includes everything from open access textbooks, syllabi, course sites, videos of lectures, and even K-12 curricula! We hope this resource will directly support your conversations around OER.

It’s clear that educators are looking for new ways to publish, share, and author these materials. Driving factors include rising textbook costs and the desire to explore digital innovation in the classroom. The Teaching Commons is an outlet for faculty who are producing materials as well as for those readers who are looking to adapt materials created by others.

One of the biggest barriers to using open educational resources is the difficulty in locating high quality content. Curated by librarians from schools across the Digital Commons community, we hope the portal will address this challenge by making it easy to create, discover and share teaching materials.

The Teaching Commons includes everything from MOOCs and images to teaching tools such as videos—take a look at this database of Mineral Samples featuring a 3D video collection from the University of Dayton and the Biochemistry Lecture Videos from Utah State University. And, of course, textbooks are a great fit for Digital Commons repositories; this interactive itext on Cell and Molecular Biology from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee is just one example.

For more in-depth research on OER and strategies for faculty engagement, see the recent bepress webinar “Expanding the Classroom with Open Educational Resources.” Danielle Maestretti and Michelle Barron-Lutzross of bepress Consulting Services discuss ways to integrate OER into the institutional repository, a strategy that allows libraries to play a pivotal role in the success of OER on campus.

We’ve found a majority of the educational materials out there, but if you have items that you think would be a great fit, let us know and we’ll make sure they get considered for inclusion. This is a new endeavor, so we are eager to hear your feedback at!


Celebrating the Digital Commons Community! ‘It’s Easy as 1, 2, 3—As Simple as Do Re Mi…’

August 11, 2015

We are thrilled to celebrate the achievements of the Digital Commons Community in the DC Telegraph, and today we have important milestones to announce. The bepress Digital Commons Community is now at one thousand journals, two million submissions, and three hundred million downloads—“easy” as 1, 2, 3! Yet we are aware of all the hard work that went into creating these numbers and we salute you all!

As a tantalizing sliver of your DC Community’s impact on the scholarly communications world, below you’ll find the top six downloads of all time based on publication series across all Digital Commons repositories. They are:

  • The Faculty Scholarship Series from the Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School Legal Scholarship (eYLS) Repository, winner of the American Association of Law Libraries Innovation in Technology Award, 2013. The series offers a bustling real-time Readership Map on its home page. 3,605,460 downloads
  • Graduate Theses and Dissertations at the University of South Florida, collected though the office of graduate studies and housed in USF’s IR, ScholarCommons. Readers can scroll through the entire collection by year or browse by college. 3,402,642 downloads
  • The Fordham Law Review is published in Fordham’s IR, the Fordham Law Archive of Scholarship and History (FLASH). According to the site, FLR “explores significant legal issues and examines challenging questions in the law. The Fordham Law Review is the ninth most cited student-edited journal in terms of court cases and the fifth most cited journal in terms of citations by other law journals.” The site offers an open access archive of the Fordham Law Review’s published content.   3,241,829 downloads
  • The Nebraska Tractor Tests series in DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska explains that “The mission of the Lester F. Larsen Tractor Test and Power Museum is to collect, preserve, research and interpret the traditions and technologies of agriculture. The museum is housed in the original Nebraska Tractor Test facility on the East Campus of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln….Mr. Larsen (1908-2000) was instrumental in initiating the collection of historic tractor test equipment, as well as acquiring tractors that illustrate key developments in agricultural machinery over the decades.” 2,937,907 downloads
  • Theses and Dissertations in the University of Iowa’s IR, Iowa Research Online. This collection boasts a real-time Readership Map and states that there is now mandatory electronic submission of ETDs to the IR. 2,802,294 downloads
  • The Faculty Scholarship series from the Duke Law Scholarship Repository at Duke Law, where you can browse by year or search term. The Law School’s Faculty Scholarship series was launched in 2005 to maximize open access to the scholarly works of Duke Law faculty and affiliates. 2,553,825 downloads

Congratulations to the entire Digital Commons Community for your thriving scholarly contributions!


Development Sneak Preview: Readership Maps for Every Author!

August 4, 2015

The most popular enhancement to Digital Commons in years has been the addition of the Readership Activity Maps. They provide a quick and engaging way to see the global impact of a collection. Now we’re giving that insight to authors with a newly redesigned author dashboard. Authors will be able to use the map to explore where their works are being read.

author dash map

But the map is just part of the story. In anticipation of the new SelectedWorks upgrade scheduled for this fall, we’ve given the dashboard a complete overhaul with new, easy-to-read graphs, an export feature, and entirely new ways to explore the readership of your work. All of this will be included in the next release coming later this summer, so stay tuned for announcements with more details about these and other upcoming features.

Questions or comments? Contact us at!

Congratulations to the 2015 IR All-Stars!

July 28, 2015

We hope you will be as inspired as we are by the creativity and resourcefulness of our 2015 IR All-Stars! Together they offer helpful resources, educational presentations, and plenty of ideas ripe for the picking. Check out their individual stories in the linked blogs below: each admin exemplifies outstanding success in a particular slice of managing an IR.

We whole-heartedly congratulate them and our entire Digital Commons community on the hard work and ingenuity we are privileged to see day in and day out—well done all!

2015 IR All-Star: Janelle Wertzberger, Gettysburg College

July 23, 2015

janelle cropJanelle Wertzberger, Assistant Dean and Director of Scholarly Communications at Gettysburg College, is an IR All-Star because of her great success building a thriving repository on her small liberal arts campus. Under Janelle’s direction, The Cupola: Scholarship at Gettysburg College has become a space for Gettysburg to showcase exemplary student content. In addition to her efforts with undergraduate work, Janelle passionately educates faculty about copyright and open access, working to grow Gettysburg’s publishing program.

With Janelle’s leadership Gettysburg has been able to successfully publish a wide range of student work, including special projects, posters, audio & video work, artwork, and student journals. Bali Soundscapes is a particularly vibrant and unique example of Gettysburg’s undergraduate content: the collection compiles written reflections, audio essays, and images produced by students participating in a Balinese study abroad program. Another example of The Cupola’s diverse student content is Slaves, Soldiers, Citizens: African American Artifacts of the Civil War Era, in which special collections serve as a robust pedagogical tool. Janelle has also helped establish a rich collection of undergraduate journals in support of opportunities for students to publish.

Janelle’s leadership and success is largely rooted in her relationship with faculty, for whom she has provided several educational presentations, teaching them about copyright and IRs. She first delivered the presentation “Did I Sign My Rights Away? Copyright for Authors” during a 2014 Open Access week event she helped coordinate. Janelle is particularly proud of this opportunity to educate faculty and students around open access topics. Getting creative with the event, Janelle even made OA logo cookies with a cookie cutter that was created using Gettysburg’s 3D printer!

Janelle has also produced a number of publications and presentations outlining what it’s taken to build Gettysburg’s thriving repository. “Staffing a Library Publishing Program: The Whos, Hows, and Whens describes how to use existing staff resources to create a powerful publishing program and is a valuable resource for any fledgling repository. Janelle’s Digital Commons webinar “On with the Show! Open Access Publishing as a Local Production” suggests that a successful institutional repository manager at a smaller institution has to be something of an evangelist: someone who has a vision for the services the IR can provide and a gift for telling that story in a way that connects with faculty, administration, researchers—and also fellow librarians.

You can read more about Janelle and her contributions to the scholarly communications community on her SelectedWorks profile. Congratulations, Janelle!

2015 IR All-Star: Dave Scherer, Purdue University

July 21, 2015

DaveScherer cropDave Scherer, the Scholarly Repository Specialist at Purdue University, is an IR All-Star due to his outstanding success with the scholarly publishing program in the IR, Purdue e-Pubs, among his many other talents. In particular, his championship of vibrant grey literature in the IR speaks to the value of capturing many different kinds of scholarly output.

With Dave at the helm, Purdue e-pubs offers a wide range of grey literature for readers to browse, just a few of which are: the Historical Documents of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service Publications, and the Purdue Plant Growth Facility’s Purdue Methods for Rice, Corn, and Arabidopsis Growth. Purdue e-Pubs also houses the proceedings of International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries (IATUL) Conference, and the Purdue Road School Conference Proceedings, which attract practitioners and academics as well as private- and public-sector readers.

Dave has also been instrumental in making available the Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP), an important collaboration between Purdue and the Indiana Department of Transportation. Purdue Libraries partnered with the University Press to digitize and upload over 1,500 technical reports in Purdue e-Pubs. Visitors come from all 50 states as well as overseas—check out the readership map!—indicating that JTRP is fulfilling its goal of  increasing access to state-funded research both nationally and globally. Recently, JTRP surpassed over 1.0 million downloads of their technical reports. Learn more by watching the informative webinar Dave presented entitled “IRs Supporting Community Engagement, Part 3: Open-Access Transportation Research at Purdue University.”

Rounding out his publishing success, Dave told us that conferences on campus, which the library can now help manage, provide great exposure for the IR. He developed an excellent partnership with the Office of Engagement, which now sends interested faculty his way—Dave’s found that they often want to publish related books after a conference. He also describes helping faculty by offering to publish their journals as well as undergraduate journals, giving students a chance to learn about the scholarly publishing process.

Dave continues to share his experience and lessons learned with the library community. Written with Burton Callicott and Andrew Wesolek, Dave’s forthcoming book Making Institutional Repositories Work “takes novices as well as seasoned practitioners through the practical and conceptual steps necessary to develop a functioning institutional repository, customized to the needs and culture of the home institution.” And as the abstract of “A Continuum of Publishing Opportunities: The Purdue University Library Publishing Division” states, “Through the integration and collaboration of Purdue University Press and Scholarly Publishing Services, the Purdue University Libraries Publishing Division has become a leader in its capacity to produce high-quality publications serving a continuum of scholarly publishing needs across the University and beyond.” Congratulations, Dave!

2015 IR All-Star: Dan Kipnis, Thomas Jefferson University

July 17, 2015

dankipnisDan Kipnis, Senior Education Librarian and Editor of the Jefferson Digital Commons at Thomas Jefferson University, is an all-star for his outstanding outreach and marketing, among his many other talents managing the IR. Dan would also like us to fête his colleagues in our recognition of the great work they are all doing at Jefferson, which includes Special Collections and Digitization Librarian Kelsey Duinkerken,  University Archivist F. Michael Angelo and Access Services Technician, James Copeland—congratulations all!

Dan is a master at sharing key information with campus stakeholders. He decided early on to get the word out about the IR as often as possible, yielding great results. He writes quarterly reports including feedback about the IR and new content, library articles, newsletters, and is often asked to present at faculty meetings. Understanding the importance of faculty buy-in, he was able to get key champions on board early. After partnering with the College of Population Health, Dan now captures their monthly forums in the IR as podcasts along with their conferences, presentations, and newsletters.

In a recent quarterly report we see a glimpse into the lives touched by the important content Dan curates in Jefferson Digital Commons with a popular recurring feature: What people are saying about the JDC.  A Jefferson Professor said, “I am so grateful for this chapter on the history of the Division of Rheumatology at Jefferson! I found it browsing on the web for some additional information I needed to complete the content of the Division’s new website. Thank you for posting it!” Outside of Jefferson, a staff member at Notre Dame reported, “I recently was provided with a picture and information that my great-grandfather was a professor at Thomas Jefferson University….‘Catalog of Professors, Trustees, and Students of Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia: Session of 1882-83’ listed his name….This document provided me a foundation to learn more about my ancestors.”

In his tireless outreach efforts he has publicized milestones and reports detailing the IR’s progress as well as presenting on “Promoting your Institutional Repository on and off campus.”  “Take Advantage of the Jefferson Digital Commons for Shameless Self-Promotion,” written with Ann Koopman, exhorts faculty to promote their “Jefferson research and publishing efforts to the world by participating in the Jefferson Digital Commons (JDC).” The authors note key advantages such as increased visibility and download reports, specifically encouraging faculty to “use the JDC as a university press and publish your department newsletters or create a new journal.” Similarly, “Leading the Horses to Water That They Will Want to Drink: Strategies for Promoting your Institutional Repository on and off Campus” is a dynamic presentation that outlines strategies designed to promote institutional repositories to a university community and beyond.

Dan shows his creative approach in publishing the recordings of “Grand Rounds” medical lectures of several departments. Dan tips his hat to his colleagues regarding the exciting new women’s oral history initiative, which is beautifully presented with thumbnail pics. After reaching out to the Alumni Office, Kelsey at Archives and Special Collections is now recording oral history interviews with some of the first women to attend Jefferson, including audio and transcripts in the IR collection.  Michael’s presentation “‘Lady, You are Causing Pandemonium Here!’ The 137-Year Struggle for a Co-Educational Jefferson Medical College” beautifully complements this historically important collection. Congratulations to Dan and the whole team at Jefferson!

2015 IR All-Star: Sarah Beaubien, Grand Valley State University

July 15, 2015

sarahB We are very pleased to announce the first of our 2015 IR All-Stars, Sarah Beaubien, Head of Collections and Scholarly Communications at Grand Valley State University (GVSU)! Sarah has been instrumental in helping GVSU researchers to increase the visibility and impact of their work through GVSU’s IR, ScholarWorks@GVSU. Though she has many wide-ranging accomplishments, we’d like to highlight Sarah’s considerable contribution to the library-led publishing movement, in particular her success with Open Educational Resources and journals.

Sarah is a leader in the growing movement of open access textbooks in higher education. “Once I saw how much of an impact and how many downloads they get with a small investment of our staff time, I’ve started to do more and more presentations specifically about OEMs [Open Educational Materials] and the services the library can offer through our repository.” With the help of dedicated liaison librarians and concentrated outreach efforts, Sarah is seeing word about the collection ripple through campus and beyond.

Sarah was also a visionary of bepress’s new Teaching Commons, which brings together high-quality open educational resources from leading colleges and universities. Curated by librarians and their institutions, the Teaching Commons includes open access textbooks, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, and much more.

For those institutions looking to grow their own open educational collections, Sarah offers several key insights: First, make sure you define exactly what kind of materials you’re looking for—whether that’s syllabi, lecture notes, or completed manuscripts. Second, approach faculty you know have already completed manuscripts. “Many faculty over the years have written their own course materials because that’s the way they want to teach. Writing a textbook is a significant, time-consuming endeavor, so find the things that are already out there and once you have a few of those, show them off as examples.” For more information about how to build an Open Educational Resource collection on your campus, check out the webinar “Serving Students and Faculty with Open-Access Textbooks” by Sarah and GVSU professor Charles Lowe.

GVSU now boasts an amazing 22 journals—a testament to Sarah’s goal of adapting library services to specific needs on campus.  Sarah’s team does extensive outreach so when someone on campus needs to share their work, the library can offer publishing services to fill that need.

Sarah maintains an active presence in the scholarly communications community at large with a number of publications and presentations. These include “Addressing Faculty Publishing Concerns with Open Access Journal Quality Indicators” (with Max Eckard) in the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication (2014) and “Cultivating Sustainable Library Publishing Services: Perspectives from a Range of Academic Libraries(ACRL 2015).  You can learn more about Sarah and check out her full list of scholarly contributions on her SelectedWorks profile.  Congratulations, Sarah!



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