Purdue is a great example of a public university that uses their IR (Purdue e-Pubs) to provide valuable public resources for its state. This year, they had a great opportunity to further extend awareness of those resources at the Indiana State Fair.
At one table, Scholarly Repository Specialist and IR Manager Dave Scherer showcased the valuable resources available to the community through e-Pubs. With an iPad, he pointed out freely available research papers based on visitors’ interest, asking them about everything from traffic snags during the Indy 2012 Superbowl (showing them over 1,500 transportation reports in e-Pubs) to whether they were satisfied with their corn crops (pointing to practical agricultural resources). According to Charles Watkinson, Director of Purdue University Press, Dave’s demonstrations emphasized that “ePubs publishes Purdue-authored research that is for everyone.”
At another table, two student authors displayed research from the Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research – including a demonstration of the astronaut boot prototype with electromagnetic closures on which they had published an article. Watkinson describes the excitement: “The reaction among the public was that they didn’t realize students could do this, and it was especially great to see children gathering at the table—hopefully they and their parents got a good impression of an exciting future career in science and the value of a Purdue education.”
Along with giveaway cards and coasters, these interactive demonstrations got the word out that the IR can be of use to everyone, far beyond the campus community. These approaches were so successful that they plan to go even bigger in the future.
Stay tuned for next week’s post on Purdue’s Joint Transportation Research Program, a partnership between Purdue University and the Indiana Department of Transportation that just won an award for Open Access!