SMU’s Central University Libraries, Office of Research and Graduate Studies, and Office of Information Technology have combined resources to create the SMU Digital Repository, an online archive for collecting and sharing the scholarly work of SMU faculty, staff and students.
The repository is the product of a strategic partnership headed by CUL Dean and Director Gillian McCombs, Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies Jim Quick, and Chief Information Officer Joe Gargiulo.
Using the Digital Commons software platform created by Berkeley Electronic Press, the SMU Digital Repository provides open access to research documents, articles, preprints, working papers, conference agendas and papers, and scholarly image collections created by SMU faculty, students, and academic staff.
The Digital Commons software also allows the publishing of open-access or subscription-based journals, and includes journal management software to customize workflows.
In the early stages of building the repository, “we’re focused on getting faculty members comfortable with the interface and with the idea of storing their work online,” says Josh Lupkin, faculty liaison for the Digital Repository. “Professors are used to communicating with colleagues in particular ways and publishing in venues specific to their fields. We’re not competing with those, but offering them another way to showcase their work and to make it more visible and accessible.”
Repository staff members are available to address any questions regarding storage, Lupkin says. For example, “some faculty members may have concerns about uploading papers to the Repository, because of publishing agreements. In those cases, we may be able to store an abstract with descriptive keywords and an outside link to the full publication.
“Above all else, this is a service to faculty that will afford them and their departments the benefits of increased relevance in Google and other searches.”
Details about the Digital Repository, including information about submitting materials, can be found at digitalrepository.smu.edu. Digital Repository team members are also available to present information sessions tailored to individual schools, departments and centers.
The University’s Norwick Center for Digital Services (nCDS) works with faculty and academic units to identify, manage, upload and present a wide range of text, image, video, audio, database, and other files that showcase SMU’s research and scholarly achievements. The Scholarly Digitization Program – offered by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies – funds digitization of materials through the nCDS for University faculty and staff members who would like to contribute nondigital materials to the Repository but lack the technology or funds required to digitize them. Up to $25,000 per semester is available, and applicants can apply for up to $5,000 of funding per project. The funding application form is available online.
The Repository is working with the Office of Engaged Learning to create a space for approved student work, Lupkin says. Papers from the first three students to complete Engaged Learning projects will be uploaded by May 2012. “The Repository will also give graduate students a forum for getting their work out into the world, after consultation with faculty advisors,” he adds. “It’s all about making connections.”
The Repository can even provide an online home for conferences hosted by a University center or department, Lupkin says. “This could mean anything from storing programs, papers and abstracts to presenting audio or video of individual sessions,” he says. “We can tailor the experience depending on the host entity’s needs.”
For more information, contact Josh Lupkin or Rob Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.