Educational Technology and the Social Web

June 19, 2008

Implementing a digital repository using BePress Digital Commons

Filed under: Education and Technology — Ken @ 6:36 pm
Tags: ,

Live blogging from CALI 2008:  This presentation is a view from two schools, University of Georgia Law School and University of Maryland School of Law, about their implementations of BePress’ IR technology.

IR: an institutional repository is a means to collect the intellectual digital output of an organization; includes a variety of formats, provides open access to materials, collects and orgs output into one virtual location.

SSRN v Digital Commons:Digital Commons by BePress
Factors to consider:
Level of promotion: SSRN favors the individual, while digital commons prioritizes the institution.
Depth of Content: SSRN contains only text documents; digital commons allows a variety of file formats to be included.
Search Engine Visibility: SSRN at one time only allowed search engines to look at metadata. This may have changed recently.

Their conclusion: SSRN and DC are not redundant; each serves a different population.

Obtaining Content:
– building buy in is key but you need to build a strategy to promote awareness.  they populated each category with one representative document and included at least one document from each faculty member
– ease of submission is critical. you can deploy direct submission and/or mediated submission. Mediated gives more control over the content.
-Feedback to faculty is provided in digest form on weekly basis.
– Clear content policies should be developed. for example, they created a popular media category to distinguish this from scholarly content. And they encouraged faculty members to set up selected works pages.

Copyright Procedures:
1. Assume permission from your own authors
2. List out all existing publications and sort by type, e.g., journal entry, book, etc. and manage copyright with centrally. Do not put responsibility on the faculty member.
3. Batch requests for contacting each journal to ask permission to upload identified articles both to Digital Commons and the author’s own web page (selected works).
4. For newer works, encourage authors to include these rights in any future publication agreements.

UM School of Law also uses BePress. They include student work as well as faculty.  They use it in a similar moderated manner as University of Georgia.

BePress is a hosted solution and provides a niche service to higher education.

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