At Western University and Eastern Illinois University they’re letting the numbers do the talking. Since digitizing their theses and dissertations workflow, the amount of time Western University’s graduate school Thesis Coordinator spends on the process has dropped from 350 hours a year all the way down to 24; freeing up 326 hours to spend on other projects. Since digitizing their collection at Eastern Illinois University, the number of Master’s theses in EIU’s repository represents 10% of content, but accounts for a whopping 40% of downloads.
Last month, Western University’s Information Systems Manager Matt Dumouchel teamed up with Eastern Illinois University’s Todd Bruns and Stacey Knight-Davis, IR Librarian and Head of Library Technology Services, to talk about their different approaches to implementing successful ETD programs. The resulting webinar, “Increasing the Visibility and Impact of Graduate Research with Electronic Theses and Dissertations”, is an excellent resource for anybody looking to make the case for ETDs on their campus. In addition to impressive numbers regarding student, editor, and librarian workflow efficiency and research exposure; Dumouchel, Bruns, and Knight-Davis also shared some great PR and marketing tips to get other members of campus excited about and invested in ETDs.
Leaders of the SHARE Steering Group recently announced the formation of four Working Groups to help shape the SHARE initiative as it continues to progress. We’re excited to let you know that bepress will be representing the Digital Commons Community as an official member of the Technical Working Group. According to the announcement on the ARL website, “the Technical Working Group will be responsible for advising the SHARE Steering Group on matters of technology, standards, operational policies and procedures, scale, and innovation in the development of the SHARE system.”
The Working Groups, which also include a Communications Group, a Repository Community Group, and a Workflow Group, will meet virtually twice per month, and will each include a representative member from the Steering Group. We’re looking forward to exploring the potential impact these new groups might have on SHARE’s direction, and will continue to update you on new developments.
The leaves have finally turned here in Berkeley, and that can only mean one thing: life’s about to take a turn for the worst for turkeys and Tofurkys across America. To give thanks to our fine-feathered friends and pay homage to this glorious day of gluttony, we’ve rounded up some fun holiday content from a few Digital Commons collections.
Still not sure what’s cookin’ in your house this Thanksgiving? “How about a Utah Turkey barbecue?” asks this delightfully 80s and not-for-the-faint-of-heart pamphlet from Utah State University. No time to BBQ? No problem. The University of Tennessee Knoxville’s got you covered with their Quick Bites Holiday Meals guide. Be sure you don’t skimp on the sides, though! Popping open a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce would likely be considered sacrilege to the good people over at the UMass Cranberry Station. You can also find everything you always wanted to know (and probably a lot that you didn’t) about sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and green beans in Digital Commons repositories.
Think turkeys can’t be beautiful? Think again. This painting of a turkey by Elli Crocker, Associate Professor of Studio Art at Clark University, might make you look twice at one of goofiest creatures in the avian world. Sending out season’s greetings? This 1908 Thanksgiving postcard from the University of Maine or this 1914 card from Salve Regina University sure beat Hallmark. And, finally, what would Thanksgiving be without football? Things sure have changed since this 1913 Thanksgiving Day game at Eastern Illinois University. Just imagine what their half-time show must have been like!
In the spirit of the season, we’d like to say thanks to our wonderful Digital Commons subscribers. We’re so grateful to get to work with such an inspiring and dedicated community, and we wish you all a happy holiday. Now, go get gobbling! (Or, in more sophisticated terms: Bon Appétit!)
We’re now collecting annual reports about institutional repository and scholarly communication initiatives at Digital Commons libraries. Iowa State University’s Harrison W. Inefuku suggested that the Collaboratory would be a great place to aggregate these, and we couldn’t agree more!
We’ve also added a number of other useful resources from Digital Commons administrators:
- April Younglove of Rochester Institute of Technology submitted this great poster promoting their Scholar Works repository.
- Ashley D. Lowrey of Georgia Southern University submitted two SelectedWorks-related items: a promotional brochure and an instructional handout for faculty.
- The ETD_CON Utility, created by Logan E. Jewett at Iowa State University, is a java applet for processing ETD records for batch upload.
- This poster explains the distributed staffing model for Digital Commons @Brockport. It was created by Kim Myers and Kenneth Wierzbowski for the 2013 Digital Commons Great Lakes Users Group Meeting.
Thank you to everyone that’s submitted content to the Collaboratory. Please email Mark Roquet at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have anything you would like to share with the Digital Commons community.
Last month eighteen IR admins from institutions across the country came to our offices in Berkeley, California for our first ever Scholarly Publishing Certification Course: A Training Program for Library-Led Publishing Initiatives. The course was a wonderful success, featuring a variety of presentations, workshops, technical training sessions, and opportunities for admins to meet one-on-one with their consultants.
“It was really great to see the faces behind bepress,” said Daniel Weddington, Digital Archivist at the College of William and Mary. “Establishing a first person relationship with my team helps make our partnership feel like a true collaboration.”
Topics for the course ranged from copyright and policy considerations to pitching a publishing business plan to provosts. Participants explored tools for managing submissions and peer review, defined their goals and action plans for their publishing initiatives, and developed a network of professional relationships with other library-publishers. With admins from all different levels of experience attending, the questions and personal stories shared during the course were insightful and informative for everyone involved.
“It was very helpful to see and hear what others are doing and why!” said Greg Martin, Digital Commons Director at Cedarville University.
The course ran from October 9th through the 11th, and wrapped up with a celebratory dinner and graduation ceremony in downtown Berkeley. We’re excited to announce our class of graduates:
Nora Allred, Michigan Technological University
Jacki Betsworth, Macalester College
Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Illinois Wesleyan University
Nicolle DiPasquale, The George Washington University Law School
Andrew Elder, University of Massachusetts Boston
Tim Gritten, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Barbara Loomis, Cleveland State University
Greg Martin, Cedarville University
Lucretia McCulley, University of Richmond
Stephanie Miller, Washington & Lee University School of Law
Kim Myers, The College at Brockport
Caroline Osborne, Washington & Lee University School of Law
Liz Richardson, Kent State University
Debra Skinner, Georgia Southern University
Kelly Visnak, University of Wyoming
Wendy Walker, University of Montana
Daniel Weddington, College of William & Mary
Andy Wesolek, Clemson University
We’re looking forward to poring over all the wonderfully helpful feedback we got in preparation for our upcoming spring IR Manager Certification course. Keep an eye out for more information on that in the near future!
A little taste of the benefits of open-access publishing convinced the editors of Tipití, the official Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America (SALSA), to drop subscription control altogether in favor of the society’s broader goals. Tipití began as a print-only, subscription-based publication in 2003, but after moving to online publication through Digital Commons @ Trinity in 2011 its readership really began to grow: though they had fewer than 300 print subscriptions, the online journal generated over 27 thousand downloads in 2012. From a small, niche journal serving primarily the membership of the society, Tipití has now grown into an international resource and a forum for authors from all over the Americas as well as Europe.
Richard Reed, Professor of Anthropology at Trinity University and former president of SALSA, explains that the decision to go digital not only helped build readership, but also furthered the society’s goals of fostering international dialogue and action on issues relating to lowland South America. A hybrid open-access model, where only the most recent issues are under subscription control, allowed researchers at institutions in South America without the funds for an institutional subscription to read and subsequently contribute their own research to the journal. As the editors began receiving feedback from readers in South America, they looked at their download numbers and found that their open-access back content was generating up to ten times the number of downloads as their most recent, subscription-controlled articles during the same period. Weighing the benefits of a fully open-access model versus the revenue generated by subscriptions, the editors decided to lift the subscription controls and make the journal entirely open access in the spring of 2013.
“The move to digital publication through Trinity’s repository reduced the expense of producing the journal so drastically that it was no longer necessary to rely on subscription revenue in order to keep the journal going,” Reed explains. “And that allows the editors to focus on publishing great research and increasing the journal’s international impact in its field.”
The IR is an ideal showcase for graduate students’ crowning achievements; not only are theses and dissertations more discoverable when published digitally, but featuring student output in the IR connects innovative research with the institution that helped foster it. A growing number of Digital Commons subscribers are using the platform to manage Electronic Theses and Dissertations: from comprehensive peer-review tools to customizable submission forms, it’s a great way to streamline and track an ETD’s “life-cycle” from start to finish.
At University of Kentucky, students submit semi-final drafts to the repository—from there, the Graduate School uses bepress’s tools to notify advisers and track all revisions, comments, and later drafts. Students at University of South Florida see benefits from their ETDs’ online visibility with automated web-traffic reports. Rebel Cummings-Sauls, Coordinator of Library Operations at USF, looks forward to further integrating the workflow into the IR—requiring students to submit to the repository will provide “a greater sense of ownership and control” than the current process does. And farther north in the sunshine state, students submit their final-draft ETDs directly into the University of North Florida’s repository. The Graduate School approves ETDs that are ready to post, uses a tailor-made checklist to spot formatting errors, and sends messages to students alerting them of necessary revisions.
For more ideas about how different schools are using DC to manage their ETD workflows, check out our own Dave Seitz’s upcoming webinar, “Emerging Trends in ETD Publishing Models: A Bird’s Eye View,” on October 24th. To get a sense of benefits to administrators, faculty, and students, don’t miss our community webinar on November 7th, “Increasing the Visibility of Graduate Research with Electronic Theses and Dissertations,” featuring library faculty from Western University and Eastern Illinois University.
The federal government’s open access research mandate described in this Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memo is a big deal for U.S. institutions’ Offices of Research and a huge opportunity for libraries and their repositories. Recognizing the importance of this directive, the ARL, the AAU, and the APLU joined forces this summer to create SHARE, a committee dedicated to designing a response to the mandate and facilitating collaboration between institutions. The initial SHARE proposal discussed creating a U.S. federated repository composed of government-funded research from individual repositories.
Given the potential impact of this government directive, libraries are smartly trying to anticipate how they might respond to serve the needs of their faculty and institutions. There are many discussions currently circulating within the U.S. Digital Commons community on how best to plan for this new scholarly communications environment.
Based on ongoing conversations with people knowledgeable about SHARE, we’d like offer a perspective of what might come next. We’ve also formed some recommendations for the library community.
The steering committee announced at the ARL Fall Forum on October 10th that it is still working on a project roadmap. To us this means that the first phase of SHARE may look significantly different than what was described in the initial SHARE proposal. Richard Luce, Co-Chair of the steering committee for SHARE, gave an indication of a possible new starting point for SHARE when he said, and we paraphrase, “The big opportunity (for SHARE) isn’t just pointing to the final research or the data but to optimize the entire workflow.” We see this exploration into workflows as a very promising avenue and we hope that the committee continues moving in this direction. Facilitating and tracking individual compliance is an essential and distinct role that universities are in a unique position to fill.
So what can U.S. academic libraries do to prepare? Since the plans for SHARE are still in development, creating a library strategy around SHARE could potentially lead to a lot of wasted effort. Our advice is to focus on anticipating the impact of the OSTP memo instead. At the ARL Fall Forum Karla Strieb, Associate Director for Collections at Ohio State University, gave an excellent presentation where she shared what her team is doing to prepare. Her plan focuses on learning everything she can about grant-funding and grant-funding workflows on campus to help identify the departments and faculty members she will need to engage. Unfortunately, the presentation isn’t live yet, so we can’t include a link to it here; however, we’d be happy to send along a copy when it’s made available. Feel free to shoot us an email at email@example.com and let us know if you’re interested.
Finally, we would like to reiterate that bepress remains in an excellent position to support Digital Commons institutions interested in participating in this important initiative. We will continue to actively engage with the SHARE steering committee and update you on progress as it is made.
The Australian Journal of Teacher Education serves as a wonderful example of a thriving open access journal. In addition to hitting over 350,000 downloads since transitioning to bepress Digital Commons in 2011, the journal, published by Research Online at Edith Cowan University, has seen submissions increase significantly. Much of this growth can be attributed to the journal being open access and widely discoverable, especially by international authors. The larger submission pool has allowed AJTE to be more prolific without compromising its high standard. It has gone from only having enough content to publish one or two issues a year, to publishing twelve issues a year while still rejecting sixty percent of submissions. Authors who have chosen to publish with AJTE have been rewarded both in high readership and high citation counts. The citation rate for the journal has doubled since August of 2012.
How did AJTE achieve this success? Editor Tony Fetherston and ECU librarians Julia Gross and Janice Chan explain in last Monday’s bepress Digital Commons Community Webinar “Open-Access Publishing Advantages: A Case Study at the Australian Journal of Teacher Education.” AJTE editor Fetherston also noted the benefit of DC’s built-in peer review and submission tools, EdiKit, on improving efficiency and streamlining editor workflows. While credit for the journal’s success clearly belongs to Tony, Janice, Julia, and all those who contributes to AJTE, we’re very grateful for the shout-out.
Interested in learning more about implementing a library-based publishing model on your campus? Our upcoming webinar, “New Directions: Library Publishing” will provide a broad overview of library publishing, share a few key things you’ll need to know before getting started, and explore some examples of different models that libraries are using. Join us on Tuesday, October 22nd at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern to hear more! Register for the webinar here.
Still not sure what you’re doing to celebrate Open Access Week at your library? Not to worry. We’ve rounded up some more examples of other Digital Commons subscribers’ plans to get you excited and inspired about spreading open access awareness on your campus. Take a note from these admins’ great ideas then get that pen out and get brainstorming!
Lucretia McCulley, Head of Scholarly Communications at the University of Richmond, is planning on facilitating a lunchtime discussion for faculty on open access publishing. Two faculty members who are currently serving as editors for open access journals will be leading the discussion and sharing their experiences with the group. Over at Dinand Library at the College of the Holy Cross, Digital Scholarship Librarian Lisa Villa has been hard at work planning an awareness event to help spread the word about open access on her campus. In addition to setting up tables with free literature, buttons, and other CrossWorks “swag,” librarians will be manning the tables throughout the week answering questions about open access and demonstrating how to navigate the repository. Lisa is also planning a presentation to library staff about open access and a virtual tour of CrossWorks.
If you’re already thinking ahead to next year, consider following Crystal Goldman and the librarians over at San Jose State University’s lead. In celebration of Open Access Week SJSU will be hosting a one-day conference on open access, open resources, and open education. “Open Access Un/Conference: Promote, Impact, Assess” will offer both a formal conference proceeding and an opportunity for informal discussion. If you’re interested in attending, be sure to register by this Friday, October 11th. UMass Amherst is hosting a series of events throughout the week, the full schedule of which is located in their ScholarWorks repository. The last event of the week is a showcase and celebration of open access journals and conferences on campus, complete with cake and refreshments. Finally, consider hosting a webinar! The University of South Florida’s Scholar Commons and ResearchOne are teaming up with NASIG (the North American Serials Interest Group) to sponsor a free webinar, “Protect Your Patrons From Predatory Publishers,” by University of Colorado-Denver librarian Jeffrey Beall. See more information and register here.
We can’t wait to hear what you come up with for your Open Access Week celebration. Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how it goes!