Development Sneak Preview: February 2015

We hope you all have been enjoying the features we released at the end of last year; the increased flexibility with the Readership Activity Maps seems to have been an especially big hit!  We’re excited to announce that we have even more features and improvements lined up for the coming months:

At a glance:

  • Download Metrics on Article Pages
  • Author Highlight on Readership Activity Maps
  • Large File Support
  • Faster Batch Import/Revise
  • PDF Cover Page Improvements: Part Two
  • Undergraduate Research Commons Badges
  • Digital Commons Network Expansion
  • New Staging Areas

Download Metrics on Article Pages

Download counts are a great way of showing impact, and we’re constantly exploring new ways of sharing download activity.  The Readership Activity Maps are designed to share that activity on an aggregate basis; soon you’ll be able to show it on an article-by-article basis with download data displayed directly on the article metadata page. Many thanks to those who have expressed to us the value of this feature. We look forward to stories about using these numbers to engage authors and clinch new sources of content.

Author Highlight on Readership Activity Maps

We’re very excited about the popularity of the Readership Activity Maps, and a bunch of you have sent us some ideas for improvements.  Last release, we made maps that could be added to individual collections as well as embedded on other sites.  With the next release, whenever a pin drops, we will highlight the author in addition to the currently featured article information. We hope that this will make the maps even more compelling, exciting, and valuable!​

Large File Support

More and more of you are adding larger and larger data files, including videos. We want to increase our capacity to support that growth as your need grows.  We’re working on our infrastructure to make uploading of large files more reliable, so go nuts with the datasets!

Faster Batch Import/Revise

A recent topic of the Digital Commons listserv discussed some frustrating experiences with our batch upload/revise process—we’re happy to say that this is something we’ve been working on for some time and that we’ll be able to roll out the improvements in this coming release.  If there is a large batch job in the queue, the jobs behind it will now be much less impacted and be processed more quickly.

PDF Cover Page Improvements: Part Two

In the last release we put in place major upgrades to the technology that generates cover pages and stamps PDFs. Building upon that work we are optimizing the new technology to better support the wide array of PDFs in existence today. Also we are extending our support to help maintain bookmarks and hyperlinks in submitted PDFs. Authors work meticulously to provide these, and we are pleased to provide support to these helpful guideposts for future researchers.

Undergraduate Research Commons Badges

The Undergraduate Research Commons hosts content from over 700 undergraduate publications. Do your campus and site visitors know which collections are included? We have designed a nifty badge for the sidebar of any collection featured in the Undergraduate Research Commons. Current and prospective students will see the academic caliber of your institution and the value of contributing their best works to your repository.

Digital Commons Network Expansion

Launched in late 2013, the Digital Commons Network brings together well over one million objects from repositories around the world.  With the upcoming release, the DC Network will be able to harvest open access materials from Digital Commons on an item-by-item basis within series while still excluding access-controlled content. Once this improvement is in place we expect tens of thousands of objects to become more discoverable overnight.

New Staging Areas

The preparatory sites we build during the setup process have become really popular as ongoing staging and training areas. We believe this ability to play and experiment is an important and valuable part of our service. To better serve these needs we are re-launching these as cloud services. This move gives us greater ability to adapt to growing usage. Swifter services also improve the user experience and outcomes for the administrators, editors, and conference organizers who typically visit them.

Okay, so when do we get to see the new features?

These features are currently under development, but stay tuned to the DC Telegraph for updates on these features, news about other upcoming improvements, and a continued closer look at our development process.

For questions about upcoming or recently released features, feel free to contact our Consulting Services team at!