Digital Commons Structures: Publications and Communities

Category : Content Management

In Digital Commons, there are two basic structure types: publications and communities. We provide some definitions and basic applications of each below.

About Publications

Publications display content, e.g., a journal displays articles.

Publications offer a range of options for publishing content. Whether you’re looking to showcase scholarly monographs or share a collection of historic photographs of your campus community, Digital Commons has the right publication type for your purpose.

Which publication type you choose will depend on the kind of content you plan to publish. Each Digital Commons publication type is designed with special features to make it quick and easy to show off your institution’s scholarship.

Explore the advantages and common uses of each publication type in the sections below. For a quick summary of features, see the Publication Types at a Glance chart.

Available Publication Types

All publication types except image galleries support peer review and a full range of file types.

Series: A “general purpose” publication type.

The most basic publication type for Digital Commons repositories is the series. Series house diverse types of materials, including working papers, faculty articles, data, audio-video presentations, technical reports, gray literature, letters, and more.

The series is typically used for text-based materials, but it can be used for any content that has a single primary file per record. When housed in communities, series can be grouped together and combined with other publication types to create more meaningful collections.

Refer to the series guide for more information.

ETD Series: A series used for publishing Electronic Theses and Dissertations.

An ETD series is similar to a series in display and administration. Configured by default with metadata fields commonly used to describe theses or dissertations–Degree Type, Degree Name, Department, Advisor, etc.—ETD series support a variety of workflows that allow you to manage your institution’s electronic theses and dissertations.

Refer to the ETD series guide for more information.

Journals: If you’re planning to launch a new journal or archive an old one, the journal publication type is the right choice. Journals are published in a volume/issue format. From undergraduate arts collections to formal peer-reviewed publications, journals support a variety of submission, editorial, and review workflows. A journal’s design can be customized to support a look and feel that is unique from that of the repository.

Refer to the journals guide for more information.

Book Galleries: Originally created to display books along with cover art and related materials, book galleries can be used for a wide variety of content: edited volumes, monographs, yearbooks, OA textbooks, newsletters, magazines, and other curated collections.

Refer to the book galleries guide for more information.

Image Galleries: Created to display artwork, scanned documents, historic photos and other items of a visual nature, image galleries can be browsed using thumbnail images. Every metadata record provides a variety of image sizes for download. Images can be set to geolocate on Google Maps and Google Earth, and they can also be displayed in rotating image slideshows and content carousels throughout the repository.

Refer to the image galleries guide for more information.

Event Communities: This publication type offers tools to host the proceedings of conferences, symposia, and other events. Records display in a schedule format with support for Google Calendar and iCal integration. Each submission can highlight key aspects of a presentation or include the full life cycle–from proposal to paper to supporting materials such as videos and handouts. Like journals, event communities can be customized to support a design that is unique from that of the repository.

Refer to the event communities guide for more information.

About Communities

Communities group and display publications, e.g., a community titled “STEM Journals” could display links to a selection of your journals. Another community, “Humanities Journals,” could display links to a separate selection of journals.

Communities can also group and display other communities, e.g., a community titled “University Press” could display links to both “STEM Journals” and “Humanities Journals,” creating an entry point for visitors to explore the Press’s entire collection.

Communities are often built for units at an institution (e.g., colleges, offices, centers, departments), types of work (e.g., faculty articles, student dissertations), and collections with unique subdivisions (e.g., a historic personage’s letters, organized by topic.) In Digital Commons, communities group publications and other communities to create nested hierarchies.

Flexible, Virtual Hierarchy Using Publications and Communities

Nesting communities and publications forms a virtual hierarchy that is entirely flexible. Each publication is created with its own unique and unchangeable URL; this will remain stable no matter where you choose to display the publication in your repository. If you need to re-group a publication to a different community, simple revise your entry in the Group tool for that publication.

Requesting a New Publication or Community

See Starting a New Collection for steps and recommendations.

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