Traffic patterns indicate that visitors leave repositories after only a few clicks, if those clicks land on pages without content. Therefore it’s best to build a collection once you have the content ready to upload.
Tip: sometimes it is necessary to build an empty structure while you are finalizing a content migration or if a collection requires self-submissions, e.g., a journal. If so, consider using the introductory text to signal to visitors that content is forthcoming in SEASON, YEAR. Or contact your consultant for additional options.
Consulted your stakeholders, chosen your type of structure, and content is ready to upload? Time to build!
What to include in your request for a new structure
When you are ready to request a new structure, contact Consulting Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. For most structure types, you will need to provide:
- Structure type: The type of publication(s) you wish to add to your repository. For instance, you may need a new series to house faculty publications. Read about the types of publications available.
- Structure title: The title of your publication or community as you would like it to appear on the site. For instance, “Biology Faculty Publications.”
- URL label: A URL label for the structure, which also identifies it in the Configuration tools. The label appears after the slash in the series URL: www.exampleIR.edu/biology-facpub. The URL should be lowercase, without spaces, and starting with a letter. To separate words, you may use hyphens (recommended) or underscores.
For journals and events, a space to enter the URL label is included on the corresponding setup form. See the Journal Setup Form or the Event Community Setup Form for details.
Other information you might provide with new structure requests:
- Nesting of structures: For larger collections, it is useful to include the intended nesting between structures. A spreadsheet or outline are often used for this purpose. Seeing this overview helps Consulting Services consider all factors when setting up your structures. Read more about how Digital Commons structures are nested in Creating a Hierarchy with the Group Tool.
- Metadata: Any specific requests for the publication metadata or submit form(s). Find details about default metadata and typical custom fields in Metadata Options in Digital Commons and its accompanying charts.
Consulting Services will inform you once your structure has been set up on the site. Note: many aspects can be adjusted after we build a collection, but we cannot change the type of structure or its label in the URL!
Configure the collection–make it unique
Once your consultant has the above information, it’s often less than a day before you can begin using the Configuration tab to tweak the collection. (Additional time may be required for journals and events.) Read about using the Configuration tab in Digital Commons Administrator Configurations.
What to modify:
- Introductory text: to orient visitors and provide the context of the collection
- Links: to provide visitors with related links, e.g., to the webpage of the department featured, if it’s a departmental collection
- Display: to create visual interest or strengthen branding, add a logo, a slideshow, or a carousel. Customize the defaults to suit your new collection
- Workflow: to optimize the workflow, scan the collection’s Configuration tab for options, and use the Administrators link to refine administrator permissions
- Metadata and more: need more fields, to rearrange them, or to edit the tips? To update metadata or make other changes to a collection, just contact your consultant.
Go ahead and change it up, and don’t wait to let us know if you could use a hand! Once you like the results, you’re ready to upload. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to reach perfection. You can make further changes while uploading, too.
With content uploaded, you can:
- Customize submission headings from “Submissions from YYYY” to something more descriptive and unique. For a series of archival correspondence, for example, the headings might read “Letters from YYYY.”
- Take advantage of cross-over opportunities or options to enhance display. For example, image galleries can feed content carousels and image slideshows in related structures, or in a parent community.
- Leverage available configurations and features to enhance the publication, e.g., a jumplist, PDF viewer, etc. The blog series 20 Cool Things You Didn’t Know about DC can be good to spark ideas.
- If you haven’t yet, consider how search engines will find your content.