UPenn Research Center Uses IR to Save Valuable Lab Time and Impress NSF Grant Reviewers

Sarah Wipperman, Scholarly Communications and Digital Repository Librarian at The University of Pennsylvania, was able to say yes to the Singh Center for Nanotechnology when they asked for a time-saving method of making their detailed technical protocols accessible to all—the repository was a perfect fit. Eric Johnston, Program Manager and Soft Lithography Manager at the Singh Center, used ScholarlyCommons’s flexible publication structures to make the Quatrone Nanofab Facility’s standard operating procedures publicly available, including video tutorials, lab protocols, and tool data. This turned out to be extremely useful to the faculty and staff running the lab, as scholars come from far and near to use their specialized equipment. Publishing these protocols saves valuable training time and eases staffing, making it simple for visiting scholars and students to correctly use the lab’s equipment.

Because of the relationship she had built with the Singh Center and Eric Johnston through this work, Sarah invited him to speak at UPenn’s Open Access Week in 2015. The panel featured faculty talking about their experiences publishing scholarly work on open access platforms and Eric shared the IR’s role in the success of a recent NSF grant. As part of the grant application, a research team at the Singh Center made their work openly available in ScholarlyCommons and provided links in the NSF proposal. When reviewers at NSF saw the application, they were so impressed with the presentation of materials on the IR that they highly commended the team on it, which was icing on the cake of a successful grant.