The College at Brockport (SUNY) has long been a center for Great Lakes research, explained Digital Repository Specialist Kim Myers, and they urgently needed to showcase their Studies on Water Resources of New York State and the Great Lakes scholarship in a way that made it accessible, discoverable, and easy to navigate. Despite other efforts over the years, this valuable research was still largely living on one professor’s computer. In fact, Dr. Joseph Makarewicz of the Department of Environmental Science and Biology was personally fielding requests for this information and had grave concerns about its dissemination after his retirement, reported Myers.
The Water Resources collection, now housed in their repository, showcases research articles, government documents, community newsletters, a historical database, and technical reports (formerly only in print form in the library)—much of which was previously unpublished gray literature.
Myers sees the repository as an opportunity to support regional scholarship. “To be honest,” Myers said, “my model has always been the Cornell ILR repository,” and hopes to make this collection “the go-to place for Great Lakes research.”
The IR is part of the Division of Academic Affairs strategic plan on campus, and support from the top has helped make it successful from the start, Myers said. Using the repository to showcase this collection furthers The College at Brockport’s mission to make research openly accessible and to maintain strong community partnerships.
To learn more about Cornell ILR’s model, see:
- Building Content by Building Community: Engaging Faculty at Cornell’s ILR School (webinar), Jim DelRosso (Cornell ILR)
- The End of Institutional Repositories and the Beginning of Social Academic Research Service: An Enhanced Role for Libraries, Stuart Basefsky (Cornell ILR)
Update: On 4/4/13 Kim and Professor Makarewicz shared more about their experiences with the Water Resources collection in a Digital Commons Community Webinar. To learn more about the collection visit Institutional Repositories Supporting Community Engagement, Part 2: Regional Research at Brockport (SUNY) and UMass (Amherst).