DRS

100,000 public items available in the DRS!

The 100,000th publicly available file in the Digital Repository Service was deposited in July: a dissertation from the English Department titled Women Writing Racelessness: Performativity And Racial Absence In Twentieth Century Women's Writing, by Sarah Payne. This milestone was achieved through the library's and the university's commitment to supporting open access to the scholarly output of the university, as well as to the archival artifacts that document the university's history.

Many of the 100,000 public files are discoverable through Google and other search engines, as well as portals like the Digital Commonwealth and the Digital Public Library of America, which are designed to bring together digitized materials from various sources. Thanks to the openness of these materials, the DRS averages more than 2,000 unique visitors and more than 3,600 file interactions each day. Public materials stored in the DRS have been cited by regional and national news organizations, including the New York Times and WBUR, as well as in Reddit discussions and Wikipedia articles.

Here are a few digital collections for you to explore:

The DRS will continue to grow as Northeastern faculty, staff, and students continue to produce articles, images, research, and artifacts that represent the tremendous work happening at the university. Faculty and staff are welcome to sign in to the DRS and upload their own research publications, presentations, monographs, and datasets at their leisure. To get started uploading lots of materials for large projects, contact your subject librarian or the library's Repository Team: Library-Repository-Team[@]neu.edu.

2017 Call for Proposals: The CERES Exhibit Toolkit

CERES Exhibit Toolkit Call for Proposals The Digital Scholarship Group is now accepting proposals for the next round of CERES Exhibit Toolkit development (formerly known as The DRS Project Toolkit). The CERES Exhibit Toolkit is a user-friendly set of tools for building digital projects and publications using digital materials from the Digital Repository Service (DRS) or the Digital Public Library of America. With CERES users can create exhibits, galleries, maps, timelines, and playlists that draw digital materials dynamically from the DRS or the DPLA. We are also excited to announce a new program of support for classroom use of the CERES Exhibit Toolkit. We invite proposals from faculty for courses to be held in Fall 2017 and Spring 2018. Feature development CERES will be a collaborative endeavor and a great opportunity to experiment with publishing your project’s materials. If you have a project idea, we’d love to hear from you! Just answer a few questions about your project to apply. Examples of successful projects from the first two years of the CERES project include: Accepted projects will partner with the DSG and DRS teams to use CERES to securely store their project materials in the DRS and create a customized WordPress site to publish those materials on the web. If you have questions, the DSG staff are glad to meet and discuss project proposals before the deadline; please contact us at DSG@northeastern.edu to set up a meeting. Please visit the DRS Resources page for more information about the DRS. If you don’t think CERES is right for your project, but you are still interested in securely storing project files in the DRS, contact Sarah Sweeney.

Snell Library staff adopt Open Access Policy

On June 22, 2016, the staff of Snell Library adopted an Open Access Policy. By establishing this policy, Snell Library joins a growing group of academic libraries in the United States with similar policies, designed to ensure the greatest possible access to the research and scholarship produced by their staff members. It also joins a much larger community of research institutions and subunits of institutions (e.g. schools, colleges, departments) who have adopted Open Access policies—over 600 worldwide. Snell Library's policy is particularly timely, as the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has just issued its own Policy Statement on Open Access to Scholarship by Academic Librarians. While ACRL's statement is limited specifically to librarians, the Snell Library policy applies to all full-time library staff. Snell's staff includes a number of academic professionals who are non-librarians, as well as its support staff, who are active in creating output that should be shared with a wide audience. The Open Access Policy requires library staff members to deposit into the Digital Repository Service (DRS) copies of their published articles as well as posters and presentation materials delivered at conferences, where they are not prohibited from doing so through prior agreements with publishers. Staff members may receive a waiver of the policy for any individual work; this ensures that staff retain the freedom to publish where they choose, regardless of publishers' willingness to accept the policy. (Given the huge increase in faculty-driven open access policies across the U.S. and worldwide, though, many publishers are already very familiar with the requirements of these policies and have built accommodations for them into their own practices.)

Q & A

What is open access?

Open access literature is freely available online for anyone to read. Open access is provided to scholarly articles in a variety of ways. The most common models are:
  • Open access journals: all articles published in these publications are openly accessible. May or may not involve a fee for authors
  • “Hybrid” journals: subscription-based (“closed”) journals in which at the author’s request, and usually for an additional fee, individual articles are made openly accessible.
  • Article archiving: authors deposit a copy of their article (manuscript or final formatted version) in a repository, typically an institutional or discipline-based repository.
This policy is primarily aimed at facilitating the “article archiving” form of open access.

Why an open access policy?

The goals of this policy are to expand access to Snell Library staff research and scholarship, and to lead by example both at Northeastern University and in the profession. Like many libraries, Snell Library actively supports open access to research output and advocates for Northeastern faculty to make their work available open-access where possible, in order to provide greater access to research for those who are not able to pay subscription costs or charges for article access.

What are the public benefits of open access?

The most obvious public benefit of open access is that research results will be more accessible to more people in more locations. Currently, most individuals have very limited access to research publications—open access makes published results available to researchers and scholars affiliated with smaller institutions or non-profit organizations, and researchers and scholars in developing countries. This may spur additional scholarly progress or entrepreneurial innovation. Even individuals who do currently have access to publications via subscription services may find benefits from open access, such as easier collaboration with colleagues at other institutions, more accessible and affordable course readings for students, or by enabling new forms of scholarship such as computational analysis.

How does this policy benefit authors?

A number of studies have shown that articles that are freely available online often have increased citation rates and impact, though these benefits seem to vary across disciplines. Open access articles are also more easily discovered by researchers using online tools such as Google Scholar, and are more easily linked to and discussed in public forums. (Note: Q&A excerpted from an FAQ for library staff about the policy, which was adapted with permission from a similar document created at the University of Minnesota.)

A Proud Past

A Proud Past Website

Located in Snell Library, Northeastern's Archives and Special Collections department collects the University’s history, as well as the history of social movements in Boston. Their goal is to secure and make accessible important and at-risk historical records. One of the special collections that lives in the Digital Repository Service (DRS) is the Boston-Bouvé College collection. Featuring photographs and records ranging from the college’s founding in 1913 until 1981, this archive helps trace the complex history of how the Boston School of Physical Education became Boston-Bouvé College.

The collection was first made into a website in 2003. After over a decade, the site was becoming outdated and hard to maintain. With the pilot program of the DRS Project Toolkit (now known as CERES: Exhibit Toolkit), there was an opportunity to breathe new life into the old website.

The Toolkit works on a repository-based architecture. First, groups like the archives load items into the DRS. Then, they are cataloged. For this project, cataloging is still ongoing due to the large amount of digital items in the collection. Then, once a collection is in the DRS, the Toolkit can help users easily create WordPress-based website filled with exhibits. In this case, Aubrey Butts, a Public History Master’s Student, used CERES: Exhibit Toolkit to re-create the old website with a fresh face, fresh metadata, and an explorable, searchable digital archive.

At the new website, users can learn about the history of the school, its curriculum, its leaders, and student life. In addition to the curated exhibits, the archive holds 128 images and 7 documents that users can explore and interact with.

To view the new website, go to aproudpast.library.northeastern.edu.

DRS Collection Profile: The Boys and Girls Club Photograph Archive

A boy performs a dive at a Boys’ Club swimming championship. The Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections’ vast collection of photographs from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston is now available in the DRS. This collection tells an important story of the Boys and Girls Club of Boston (BGCB) and the organization's rich involvement in the Boston community from 1893 to 2004. The BGCB DRS collection is the result of a large-scale, two-year digitization and cataloging project undertaken by Snell Library staff. There are more than 6,100 engaging images available in this collection, including photographs, slides, and negatives, and more than 5,000 photographs have been digitized and made available in the DRS. While most of the photographs in the collection were taken between 1940 and 1995, some images date back to 1915, and others are as recent as 2000. Boston Red Sox Roger Clemens, center, posing with two unidentified men holding a donation check at “Roger’s Rocket Boosters” event.Many people, events, locations, and activities are represented in the collection, and as a whole the collection is a record of the BGCB’s century-long involvement with children in the Boston community. The DRS BGCB photograph collection is a small fraction of the related archival content maintained by University Archives and Special Collections. The full collection contains administrative documents, promotional programs, correspondence, VHS and reel-to-reel tape, scrapbooks, and many other artifacts of the history of the BGCB. For more information about the Archives’ BGCB collection, view the finding aid or visit the Archives.