The Role of the Institutional Repository in Preserving the Scholarly Record of the University of Massachusetts
Mary E. Piorun, University of Massachusetts Medical School; James F. Comes, University of Massachusetts Medical School; and Marilyn S. Billings, University of Massachusetts Amherst

DATE: April 2007


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The first part of the presentation explored the changing landscape of scholarly publishing such as author’s rights, open access, copyright, preservation of digital scholarly materials, and the creation of digital journals. The repository system has proven to be an effective tool in all of these areas including preserving the scholarly record. The efficiencies of a repository were described to faculty in the context of giving them more control, visibility and a forum to share their research with colleagues and fellow researchers.

The second half demonstrated the institutional digital repository software, showcasing a number of projects from each campus: Department Collections(Amherst) Description: More academic departments are creating scholarly materials online and need a centralized place to store, preserve, and access their journals, projects, databases and other collections. See how the UMass Amherst digital repository is providing a place to showcase this work. Personal Researcher Pages (Amherst) Description: Individual faculty members can easily create their own web pages to showcase their scholarly works, including journal articles, book chapters, supplemental materials in a variety of digital formats, without having to learn html. The library will ensure their long-term preservation and access. Senior Scholars (Worcester) Description: Through the Office of Medical Education, the Senior Scholars program encourages students to take on a research project and submit their findings to a conference. The abstracts from these research projects are being added to the repository to preserve the work and provide the students with a forum to display their work. International Medical Education Program (Worcester) Description: Many of the medical students spend time working abroad as part of their medical education. In order to increase access to their trip reports the Library has added the full text of trip reports, personal reflections, photos and even trip blogs. The students use the collection to search and plan future trips.

Presented April 5, 2007 at the Instructional Technology Conference: The Scholarship of Teaching & Learning: Technology & Reflective Practice, University of Massachusetts, April 5, 2007 Sturbridge, MA.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Library at UMass Amherst and the Lamar Soutter Library at UMass Worcester are both working to provide faculty with alternative solutions in the rapidly changing nature and practice of scholarship. One example that gives both a showcase for faculty research and an alternative to traditional publishing models is provided by institutional digital repositories.