Admins Leverage Digital Commons Network to Provide More Visibility for Departments

Looking to get more departments engaged with your repository?  Appeal to the things they care about—like having a high profile in their discipline.  The repository managers at Iowa State University and University of Nevada, Las Vegas have done just that by leveraging the newly released Digital Commons Network to show departments on campus that contributions to the IR are now also meaningful contributions to their disciplines.

When Marianne Buehler, the IR administrator for Digital Scholarship@UNLV, first began getting the e-mail alerts telling her which of UNLV’s departments are highly ranked in the DC Network, she began forwarding them along to the Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Studies at the College of Engineering.  The Associate Dean ultimately asked Marianne to meet with him and the Dean of the College to talk about how to better demonstrate the quality of the College in the DC Network.  The college then decided to put policies in place to capture more department scholarship.  Marianne has since worked with her liaison librarians to engage other colleges in the same manner.  When she told bepress President & CEO Jean-Gabriel Bankier the story she said, “It’s contagious.  Once one comes on board, all of the others follow.”

Harrison W. Inefuku, administrator of Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, employed a slightly different approach.  He presented the Digital Commons Network to Steven Mickelson, the Chairman of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and to others in the department, showing how their rival, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, was showing more strongly in the  Agricultural Engineering Commons in the network.  The faculty responded positively—Prof. Mickelson and others were persuaded to capture and share more of their articles in the repository in attempt to surpass UNL’s representation in the network, a goal they ultimately achieved. Harrison is now talking to other departments now and is happily overwhelmed by the CVs he’s received.

If you’d like to learn more about the Digital Commons Network, watch “Not Another Cross-Search Tool: The Digital Commons Network” or read the recently published article, “Uncommonly Open: The New Digital Commons Network.”