December 31st, 2013 | Tags : Development Sneak Preview | Category : bepress Development Blogs

Development Sneak Preview: January 2014

Jean-Gabriel Bankier, President and CEO of bepress

In preparation for the new year, we’re launching an ongoing series of blog posts that will give you a window into our development process as well as provide updates on new features that we are developing for you.


At a glance:

  • Expanded Data and Storage Capabilities
  • Pagination for Large Collections
  • Sustainably Meeting Demand for New Journals
  • Live Visualizations of Repository Downloads


So what’s coming in the next month or two?  Our development team is working on extending the platform to enable libraries to serve more of the needs of its faculty, students and staff.  More specifically, we’re hard at work on these projects:

Expanded Data and Storage Capabilities

We’ve heard librarians tell us that they need to provide data management and storage services for their faculty and graduate students, and they want to make Digital Commons work for data. We are making a few key improvements that should open the door for data pioneers to lead the way in creating data collections for faculty and departments on campus.

Pagination for Large Collections

More and more IR managers are building really large collections; there were so many built that Consulting Services might call 2013 “the year of the special collection.”  I saw a post on the Google Group from a repository manager who described a gallery with over 10,000 images.  We are thrilled.  We never expected that libraries would move entire digital image collections into Digital Commons.  It wasn’t long before we had requests to add pagination to improve navigation and discovery.  We thought this was a great idea, so we are adding pagination to not only image collections but to any large collection that could benefit from it. I think this will also apply to datasets which often have hundreds to thousands of separate files in them.

Sustainably Meeting Demand for New Journals

This is a big one.  Many of you are having incredible success with library-led publishing and we want to make it easier for everyone to build sustainable publishing programs.  When faculty or students come to you with a great idea for a journal you should be able to say “yes” without hesitation.    Our development team is revamping our journal-building capabilities.  It’s all rather “under the hood” but if it works we will be able to build and maintain journals more easily.  This may even allow us to do away with one-time fees on new journals.  Yeah!

Live Visualizations of Repository Downloads

The original idea for this feature came out of a conversation several of us had in a rental car on our way to San Luis Obispo to meet with the folks at Cal Poly for the first time – we are talking fall 2007.  It has been that long that I’ve wanted to do something like this.   The question that we were mulling over for three and a half hours driving south on the 101 was:  how can we visually demonstrate the impact the repository is having at that exact moment?  What a cool thing to be able to show a provost, a department chair or one’s spouse!

We are developing something for your home page that shows visitors a repository’s live download activity.  Download numbers are great but they only tell part of the story.  The dynamic visualization of readership activity that we are building will demonstrate that there is an enormous and vibrant community of researchers using your IR around the clock and around the globe.  I can’t be more specific yet, but I think anyone who comes to your repository, including your faculty and students, will be engaged and perhaps will interact more with your IR.  We plan to roll this out first on the Digital Commons Network to make sure it looks good before providing the option to individual Digital Commons sites.

OK, So When Do we Get to See the New Features?

I’ve got the team on a schedule for late February.  We will know better when we’ve finished with coding and moved onto the testing phase. Once the date and details are firmer, we will make sure to update the community.  Stay tuned to the DC Telegraph for updates on the above features, news about other upcoming improvements, and a closer look at our development process.