In the wake of the Elsevier acquisition of bepress, regional Digital Commons users in the New England region try to build and sustain the community they began to reestablish in the summer of 2017.
Type of Library
Community College Library; College Library; Special Library; University Library; Consortia; Other
institutional repositories, user groups, community building, New England
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
If You Build It, Will It Collapse? Roadblocks to Building a Regional Repository Community
Background: In July 2017 the authors organized a regional user group meeting for librarians who use or were considering Digital Commons, the popular hosted institutional repository platform from bepress. It had been many years since this group had been brought together. Bepress sponsored the meeting and sent a product consultant to participate. The organizers hoped to make this an annual event, and also broaden the scope to all repository platforms. By all accounts, the well-attended New England Digital Commons User Group Meeting was a success and evaluations were positive. Just five days later, however, bepress announced that the company had been purchased by Elsevier , shocking Digital Commons customers and the worldwide community of scholarly communication librarians and open access advocates. In the wake of this game-changing development, the positive energy generated from the meeting abruptly evaporated, to be replaced by feelings of outrage, disappointment, loss of control, and paralysis.
Objective: The objective of this poster is to foster meaningful dialogue about community building in an academic landscape where the ground is shifting rapidly.
Questions for attendees:
- Were you affected by the by the Elsevier acquisition of bepress?
- How can librarians in the New England region support each other in their respective efforts to manage institutional repositories?
- What is a good next step for the user group organizers to move forward and build this community?
- How can community members from larger institutions support those in smaller institutions?
- Can anything be learned from community building in other areas of librarianship?
- How could/should this community help support the implementation/use of more open source repository platforms?
- How do/should/could nation-wide initiatives such as 2.5% Commitment influence regional/institutional efforts in the institutional repository space?