Monday October 19, 2015

eCommons: Putting UD's Scholarly Work on the Map

As eCommons, UD’s institutional repository, marks its second anniversary during Open Access Week Oct. 19-23, it boasts a large and diverse archive of more than 18,000 scholarly, historic and creative works from 30 academic departments; six Universitywide and multidisciplinary centers; four conferences; several administrative offices and committees; and a host of special collections from the Roesch Library, Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, and University Archives and Special Collections.

Because eCommons is indexed in Google and Google Scholar, its content is highly discoverable worldwide, evidence of which appears in faculty members’ monthly download reports.

“It's rewarding to see that people are accessing my publications though eCommons,” said Laura Vorachek, associate professor of English, whose academic papers have been downloaded more than 650 times since December 2014. “It's especially validating when an article I had a hard time getting published is one of my most downloaded publications.”

“Academic Integrity: A Saudi Student Perspective,” a paper by counselor education and human services clinical faculty member Nasser Razek, is the single most popular paper in the repository. It’s been downloaded almost 1,200 times since it was uploaded in December 2014 and was a source for a June 2015 story in InsideHigherEd about a cheating scandal at a Montana institution. Since then, he’s had new opportunities for collaboration with other leading scholars on the subject.

“eCommons has been a wonderful gateway for sharing my research,” Razek said. “The portal provides me with a monthly report of readership, so I was able to track how many readers downloaded my work. It also enabled me to connect with other scholars from Britain, the Philippines and South Africa. One of these has already developed into a bi-national study.”

Saverio Perugini, an associate professor of computer science and a member of the University Libraries committee, was one of the first to adopt SelectedWorks, a companion to eCommons that provides faculty with a site to automatically collect all of their scholarly works — not just from eCommons, but from all institutions in the Digital Commons network — into one place.

“eCommons has been an invaluable service for broad, open-access dissemination of our work through a copyright-compliant channel,” Perugini said. “Since it is used at multiple universities and is increasing in adoption, eCommons fosters the discovery of potential collaborators, and the dashboard feature improves a faculty member’s understanding of how their research is being cited. … The value of eCommons will continue to increase with a commensurate increase in faculty contributions to the system. I encourage all to participate.”

To upload scholarship to eCommons or to inquire about journal publishing, conferences and other services available through the platform, contact Maureen Schlangen in University Libraries.

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