Traffic from official library and departmental websites accounts for over one million visits to Digital Commons repositories each year. In addition to driving repository submissions and increasing the visibility of the library on campus, taking advantage of these trusted and highly trafficked on-campus sources can help ensure that specific audiences that are important to engage, such as prospective students and faculty, see the high caliber of research being produced at the institution.
Last week, Mark Roquet, MLIS and Scholarly Communication Advisor at bepress, presented a great webinar that included tips on how best to target these key audiences by effectively highlighting the repository on your library or departmental pages. Below are some of the key ideas he shared:
Include some explanatory text. Simply including a link to “Institutional Repository” or “Digital Commons” won’t be enough for many users because they won’t be familiar with these terms. Give them a reason to click the link by succinctly explaining what they’ll find in your repository, as Fairfield University has done in this library homepage slideshow image for DigitalCommons@Fairfield:
Use RSS feeds for direct links to content. RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, allows you to easily include direct links to recently uploaded items in your repository or from a particular publication, structure, or SelectedWorks page. Implementing these feeds on the library website creates a more dynamic site that will automatically update with new content, and some users are more likely to click on an interesting article title than to click the link to the whole repository. Here, Marquette University is pulling in two recent items from its e-Publications repository:
Include repository content on library social media accounts. Emily Rokisky at the University of Nebraska Omaha uses a service called Twitterfeed to automatically post one new item per day from DigitalCommons@UNO to the Criss Library’s Twitter account:
For more perspective on readership and driving local users to your repository, check out the recording of Mark’s webinar, “Unexpected Sources of Repository Readership,” here.