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DePaul Library Uses IR to Support Student Recruitment Effort

June 30, 2015

If publishing within the institution’s IR is recognized as one of the rewards of being a student and doing great research, couldn’t the IR be a recruiting tool in addition to a powerful retention tool? Scott Walter, University Librarian at DePaul, thinks so and together with the campus’s Division of Enrollment Management & Marketing (EM&M) they are using the publishing capabilities of Digital Commons to support the EM&M Center for Access and Attainment’s work of student recruitment.

According to DePaul, the Center for Access and Attainment “serves as a focal point for dialogue, strategy and action concerning the university’s mission-based commitment to higher education opportunity.” The Center has a number of outreach efforts to potential students including a program for International Baccalaureate students in Chicago Public Schools. Select high school students (first generation immigrant students) are brought to campus for college-prep coursework, part of which is conducting oral history interviews with their community.

The oral histories produced in this program will now be showcased in DePaul’s IR, Via Sapientiae, providing a new type of library support for Enrollment Management & Marketing. This innovative collaboration underpins the DePaul University Library’s outreach strategy. Scott is creating partnerships above and beyond traditional ones in order to demonstrate how the library is contributing to the larger strategic goals of the institution.

In addition to the Center for Access and Attainment above, the library has been forging partnerships with Research Institutes, the Advancement Office, and strong ties with the Public Relations and Communications Office, as well as the Office of Mission and Values. For example, the Office of Mission and Values supports DePaul’s goal to become a world research center for Vincentian scholarship, and the increased global discoverability of the Vincentian Heritage Materials in the IR serves a number of important strategic initiatives on campus.

Largely thanks to the library’s targeted work with the Public Relations and Communications Department, interest in the library is growing. Scott has succeeded in raising the profile of the library and its suite of IR services across campus, touching offices and institutes previously outside the scope of the library. As Scott points out, “The IR allows people to see the breadth and depth of research at DePaul by bringing it all together, rather than having access to it fragmented as it has been in the past.”


Improved SelectedWorks Integration Is On Its Way!

June 23, 2015

Get ready to celebrate: the upgraded SelectedWorks coming this fall will integrate more fully with Digital Commons and save you time in doing so. All the time you spend developing quality metadata in your DC repository will now automatically be captured in SelectedWorks!

When you add content from DC to SW you’ll see your full set of metadata, including custom fields. When you move the other way, from SW to DC, you’ll also get a copy of the metadata that you can augment with the full metadata features of DC. Either way, the download counts stay consistent, since there is only one file to download that will be shared between both systems. No more duplicate downloads or duplicate search results! Another way we’re hoping to save you time and effort: if something is removed from a SW profile, it will still live in DC.

The improved integration with Digital Commons also includes two-way activity notifications between SelectedWorks authors and Digital Commons administrators. A brand new 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.

Stay tuned for more blogs this summer detailing the upcoming changes to SelectedWorks, including a sleek new design, support for multimedia files, and greater administrator control. Feel free to contact us at if you’d like a demo.

Brockport Report Engages Whole Campus in IR Success

June 18, 2015

Digital Commons @Brockport’s new report “The Journey from 1,000 to 1,000,000: Digital Commons @Brockport 2012-2015” shows the value of the IR to the entire campus community, showcasing highlights of the last three years through statistics and stories told by the stakeholders themselves. In fact, the report is so full of sparkling testimonials from faculty, students, deans, provosts, and library colleagues that it’s as much of a joint project as the IR itself.

Just a few examples include the Dean of the Graduate School speaking to the popularity of Master’s Theses in the IR; a faculty editor who offers glowing reviews of the IR’s publishing capabilities; and another faculty member who cites a “dramatic increase in readership.” The report also highlights benefits to students, such as one alumnus who posted his Senior Honors Thesis on LinkedIn and found that his thesis “set [him] apart from other candidates in the Business School.” The Library Director, Mary Jo Orzech, writes that the IR “has enabled the library to strengthen its relationship with our faculty, staff and students, enrich our community of scholars and increase visibility for the College at Brockport” which continues to “energize the campus.”

Kim Myers, Digital Repository Specialist, bolsters anecdotal evidence of the IR’s success with download counts and other important benchmarks. She also opens the report with a striking visual aid: the Readership Map (below) shows the global reach and popularity of Digital Commons @Brockport.

Finally, Kim zooms out to include community outreach projects and ways the IR serves the larger SUNY academic community. The report is a fantastic example of how to demonstrate the reach of an IR on campus and beyond—congratulations to Kim Myers and the Digital Commons @Brockport team!


Your New Favorite Softball Team is Headed to the Playoffs!

June 16, 2015

You know your Consulting Services representative for her patient guidance and technical know-how—but did you know she might be moonlighting as a pitcher or shortstop as part of a scrappy team of softball underdogs? She may have been practicing her form on the sly during your last series training, but she’s not likely to brag about the fact that, after just one hard-earned win last season, we’re headed to the playoffs!

Dubbed “bepress <magic>” after our beloved in-house programming language, our team plays in Berkeley’s novice co-ed league, whose other teams sport noticeably different lineups than our own: a handful of (mostly male) former baseball players make homerun after homerun, while the rest of the team is relatively unengaged apart from helping them meet the minimum player requirement (and the gender quota).

<magic>, on the other hand, features a very enthusiastic group of women whose athletic prowess, hustle, and enthusiasm make our team stand out. Among these stalwarts stand Kit Crawford, IT guru and third basewoman extraordinaire; Danielle Maestretti, CS rep and formidable batter, and Kathleen Cowan, Director of Sales and all-star utility player, who curates a playlist before each game and positions a boombox outside of our dugout. Imagine a bunch of repository experts jamming out to ‘80s tunes, and then add bleachers full of ardent fans—other bepressers, partners, sometimes even kids. These aren’t just any fans, either. These are the kinds of fans that make and wave large glitter-adorned posters, the kinds of fans that actually sewed a foam finger in the shape of the Digital Commons Network logo.

Tonight these <magic> fans will be watching some of Berkeley’s finest softballers cheer each other on: members of the design team Clayton Anderson and Paul Ryan might be rounding the bases or pitching a fast one; Kelsey Corrigan or Stephanie Rogers, both with Consulting Services, might be tagging a member of “Los Pollos Hermanos” out; and Allen Sprague, also with Consulting Services, will most likely be making some jaw-dropping catch. And Garrett Johnson, our fearless leader, will (as always) provide the leadership and strategy that has catapulted us to the top!

Even if we don’t win tonight, we think we’ve still got the other teams beat in terms of spirit and camaraderie. <magic> is the kind of team to pull pinch hitters from the bleachers and from the office, meaning we’ve never had to forfeit a game. So tonight, whether you’re watching the Warriors beat the Cavs, fiddling with the intro text on that new ETD series, or doing something that doesn’t involve looking at a screen, we hope you’ll be rooting your CS rep on from afar. Let’s go <magic>!


The SelectedWorks Story You’ll Want to Tell Faculty

June 10, 2015

We’re really excited to announce the improved SelectedWorks we’re rolling out this fall. It’s got a sleek new design, multimedia support, improved IR integration, better administrative control, and a whole slew of other cool things.

But before we say more, we’d like to explain why we’ve been working so hard on these upgrades—and why we decided to build SelectedWorks in the first place. We wanted to make an institutionally branded faculty profile page where authors could control their content and librarians could do what they do best: collect, contextualize, and curate. And, of course, we wanted all this to integrate with the IR.

All in all, we think we’ve done a pretty good job, and SelectedWorks is still the only site that fits that, ahem, profile. But we can’t ignore what we’ve heard from you over the last few years, through feature requests and one-on-one conversations: it can be hard to convince faculty authors to collaborate with the library on their online identity.

Try telling faculty members that SelectedWorks ties research to their home institution and ensures long-term control over their content—you might get yourself another SW convert. Or, you might get a glazed look and a mumbled excuse about a department meeting they have to run to. We hope this latest SelectedWorks iteration makes your pitch a little easier and a lot more fun. We’ll be in touch with more details in the coming weeks, but for now, a few highlights:

• Updated design
• Improved administrator controls and notifications
• Support for multimedia content
• Better integration with DC

What should you do about it?

• Rejoice!
• Seriously, there’s nothing you or your faculty have to do to implement this change.
• If you’d like a demo, feel free to email us at

Clemson’s IR Content To Be Harvested in the DPLA: Find Out How You Can Do It Too!

June 3, 2015

Clemson’s IR, TigerPrints, is on a journey of increased discoverability through Digital Commons to the South Carolina Digital Library (SCDL) and on to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). In the words of Andrew Wesolek, Head of Digital Scholarship at Clemson University, they are “expanding the role of the repository and enhancing the discoverability of Cultural Heritage objects.” Andy told us the story of how he got content from his IR ready to be harvested by the DPLA with help from their bepress Consultant, and we’re here to say that you can do it too!

Andy underlined the importance of partnering both with bepress and with his state’s Digital Library hub, the South Carolina Digital Library (SCDL), in his workflow. He also emphasized that “Digital Commons offers a constant branded environment for Clemson scholarship and cultural heritage items”—important when content is picked up later in so many different ways.

As the library staff were shifting efforts towards digitization of more and more of Clemson’s holdings, they looked to their new IR, TigerPrints, which holds unlimited objects.  They then asked, “Can we have content deposited in TigerPrints be found in the Digital Public Library of America?” The answer was a resounding yes!

Clemson’s timeline charts their progress:

  • 2010: Clemson pursued grants to fund the development of a digitization lab and in 2010 they were awarded a $775,000 IMLS grant to develop the Open Parks Network (OPN).
  • 2010: They partnered with Internet Archive to outsource digitization of both OPN and Clemson-held materials.
  • 2012: Awarded $150,000 grant from DPLA.
  •  August, 2013: Hired Head of Digital Scholarship.
  • October, 2013: Launched bepress Digital Commons institutional repository, TigerPrints.
  • 2014: CONTENTdm cap set at 10,000 items; Andy and his team turned to their new Digital Commons IR TigerPrints to solve the problem.
  • 2015: Andy worked with his bepress Consultant and the SCDL to meet the SCDL’s metadata profile.
  • 2015: Clemson Cultural Heritage content harvested into SCDL, which will ultimately be in DPLA.

In terms of content, they looked for material that was at the intersection of the intellectual output they house in their IR with the Cultural Heritage material sought by the DPLA. The collections thus far include The Agrarian, The Bobbin & Beaker, the yearbook TAPS, and the history of football programs now in the DPLA.

Specifically, Clemson set out to make sure their metadata met the needs of SCDL, thus automatically meeting the needs of DPLA as well. Bepress leveraged the core capabilities of the DC system for them and thus allowed the content to be harvested by DPLA. Your bepress Consultant will be happy to do this for you too—contact us anytime!


A Remembrance of U.S. Soldiers Serving Their Country

May 26, 2015

For Memorial Day in the U.S. we wanted to highlight works authored by U.S. soldiers and share other works about the men and women who fought in the U.S. armed forces.

The Journal of Military Experience, housed in Eastern Kentucky University’s institutional repository, Encompass, features works by veterans returning from war who have found a therapeutic benefit and a societal responsibility in documenting their wartime experience. The journal’s goal is to provide a creative space for veterans to find a place to narrow the gap “between military and civilian cultures.” To read more about this extraordinary journal see “Veteran-authored Journal at Eastern Kentucky University Gets NY Times Mention” in the DC Telegraph.

In Wright State University Libraries’ IR, CORE Scholar, you’ll see Miami Military Institute Photographs which span over 100 years of service. This collection contains photographs of the cadets and faculty of MMI during its years of operation, and depicts annual military encampments, sporting events, cadets performing military exercises, and at play.

Our recent blog “Primary Campus Resources in IRs Prove Rich Pedagogical Tools” includes the Bryant Goes to War collection which has drawn the campus community together and allowed faculty, alumni, and students to play active roles in the project’s success. The collection’s 1,400 World War II letters, rediscovered by Mary F. Moroney, Director of Library Services, after decades in a university basement, became the focus of the “Bryant Goes to War” project showcased in the university’s IR, Digital Commons @ Bryant University. Judy Barrett Litoff, Bryant University Professor and world renowned expert World War II letters, is now using the Bryant artifacts from this time period to teach students about World War II using primary source materials.

Show Data Wonks on Campus How Your Library Can Help

May 20, 2015

Want help becoming a “go to” person on campus for data management? Check out the handout we’ve created to help send you on your way. It will help you to address the many data-related questions flying around: How can researchers be sure to comply with data-sharing mandates for grants and funders? What are best practices for managing and sharing their data? How can you support centers and departments as they produce more and more data in hybrid formats?

It includes key points such as:

  • Media and file types for every researcher on campus
  • Advanced tools for data publishing
  • Multiple back-ups, cloud storage, and quarterly archives
  • Authorization and access-control tools
  • Support for all file types and formats

Enlist your subject and liaison librarians to help get the word out to department heads and faculty researchers that your library does data. You can share the link to our new DC Promotional Materials Resource page or go one better by printing out some copies and dropping them off in person. If you like the heft and shine of a professional print job, just contact us at and we’ll be happy to send a stack your way!

The 2015 Scholarly Communications Experts Directory: Easily Find Experts in Your Network!

May 12, 2015

Earlier this year over 100 members of the Digital Commons community responded to our call to share their knowledge of 33 categories of scholarly communications, repository management, and Digital Commons expertise. The result is the 2015 Scholarly Communications Experts Directory, a detailed record that makes it easy to find an expert in the community, whatever your needs.

The directory can provide the information you need to connect with peers and colleagues who can answer questions, provide guidance, and perhaps even come to your campus to speak with your library.

If you attended our recent ACRL event you may already have a copy of the directory, and the directory is now available on our website as well! Here you can find directory information in two different formats: a PDF of the document handed out at ACRL, and a spreadsheet where you can sort data according to whichever field you’d like to explore.

The PDF provides data both by area of expertise and alphabetically by respondent, with the alphabetical section including the respondent’s scholarly communications profile and selected publications. The spreadsheet provides even more context to each respondent’s expertise, including information about topic-specific presentations and projects.

Whichever format you’re accessing, the directory can provide the information you need to connect with peers and colleagues. In addition to identifying expertise, we have included respondents’ FTE, Carnegie Class, and location, giving you the opportunity to reach out to a colleague at a similar or local institution.

We hope this will be a valuable resource for the scholarly communications community to foster close partnerships and ongoing conversations. If you have any questions or comments about the directory we’d love to hear from you! And if you would like a print copy mailed to you, please contact us at


Celebrating the Latest Award Winners!

May 5, 2015

It is wonderful to see recognition of the great work being done across the Digital Commons community. We are seeing associations recognize special projects which advance collaborative partnerships, consortia recognize outstanding programs which show innovation in online education, and schools recognize dedicated faculty who increase the impact of scholarly work.

The Association of American Medical Colleges has honored Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for its innovative work in the Human Research Protection Office Collection, captured in its IR, Digital Commons@Becker. This unique, open access, globally-viewed collection houses materials relevant to the development, conduct, and review of human subject research studies including conferences and podcasts. The announcement from the Association of American Medical Colleges explains that:

“The primary goal of this year’s awards program is to identify bright spots and disseminate innovations in two different areas: institution-community partnerships and maximizing research efficiency. The six awarded projects were selected by a panel of leaders in biomedical research, education, and training from AAMC-member institutions as well as senior AAMC staff. Entries were judged by the extent to which they advance creative, collaborative partnerships and their impact in the institution and community.”

In our next story, excellence and innovation in a degree program have been honored by a library consortium. The Online Learning Consortium has recognized the exclusively online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree program at San Jose State University’s School of Information, which won the “Outstanding Online Program Award.” SJSU’s repository, SJSU ScholarWorks, houses a number of collections from the department. According to the press release:

“The OLC Awards acknowledge creative and effective approaches to advancing online education. The criteria for the Outstanding Online Program award included learning effectiveness, cost effectiveness, student satisfaction, and faculty satisfaction.”

As stated in a separate OLC press release, “The 2014 recipients represent extraordinary examples of the exciting innovation happening in online learning today, and we congratulate them on their successes.”

Finally, it’s great to see schools recognizing their outstanding faculty! Sheryl Sheeres Taylor, Director of Library Services at Dordt College, was presented with the campus’ annual faculty award for Scholarship and Service because of the excellence of her work with Digital Collections @ Dordt.

“In today’s digital age, it is not enough to merely write, publish, and wait. Digital strategies are needed to ensure that scholarly and created works are freely available worldwide, search-engine optimized, and presented in a manner that is intuitive, natural, and easy to access,” said Dordt College’s Director of Research and Scholarship Dr. Nathan Tintle. “As nominators of Taylor pointed out, while all efforts at Dordt College are a team effort, she in particular has a vision for increasing the impact of the scholarly work of the Dordt community and providing ways to measure this impact has had a dramatic effect.”

Sheryl focused on faculty work as well as the extensive Grotenhuis Music Collection early on, writing of the IR that “I wanted to make sure that both the Provost’s Office and the faculty realized that this was something they couldn’t live without…. It was crucial to get faculty hooked right away (the readership reports and readership maps are awesome).”

We love to highlight your award-winning DC community IRs, and we invite you to let us know at when you have an award we can trumpet!


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