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Open Repository @Binghamton is now available
November 3, 2016Tweet
Binghamton University faculty, students and scholars looking for ways to protect their work while also keeping it accessible can now do that at Binghamton University through the Open Repository @Binghamton, known as the ORB. No subscriptions required.
“We’ve really created a space where we’re protecting the information and making it available for the long term,” said Anne Larrivee, faculty engagement librarian and ORB coordinator.
“It’s something that many universities have been doing around the country and beyond as a place to collect the scholarly and creative works of their faculty and students and it really can showcase the intellectual output of the University,” said Curtis Kendrick, dean of the libraries. “It gathers together information in one place and can demonstrate the good work that goes on here that our faculty are producing.
“For the individual faculty, it can be a place where they provide a home for their work. If someone wants a copy of one of their publications, they can just point them to it and their work will be there,” he added.
Live since the beginning of the fall semester, the ORB currently holds over 200 publications from over 80 individual contributors, Larrivee said. Many of the current contributors were already publishing in open-access journals. “Now we’re trying to publicize it to increase our uploads. It’s still evolving, but our goal is to be able to showcase people’s work on a global scale and to make it discoverable through the major search engines.”
The ORB also provides a way to track metrics for use in tenure cases, shows where across the globe information is being viewed and accessed, and satisfies funding mandates as part of grant requirements, Larrivee said.
“The way I see it is the ORB is a presentation layer where you’re displaying something to the world. It’s like show time!” said Kendrick.
Kendrick has placed some of his publications in the ORB, and has been surprised at the interest generated. “I thought nobody would be interested but it’s getting downloaded in other places around the world. You get a map of the world and it shows you countries where people are downloading your work. It’s a nice graphic. And you also get monthly reports of what’s been downloaded and from where.”
Kendrick calls adding works to the ORB an “easy lift.” A faculty member or student sends in the work, fills out a data entry template and the libraries put it up. Nothing will be posted without the author’s permission. All Larrivee needs to know is that there is interest and a folder can be created.
“The ORB also has the space to house journals if someone wants to create an open access journal or an archive for a society journal only previously available in print,” Larrivee said. In the future, it will add the ability for faculty to connect what they put in the ORB to their University profiles.
The stability of the platform is key, according to Kendrick. “There are other places where people can store their work but many are for profit. This is a hosted service for us, but the University is paying for it so an individual faculty member doesn’t have to worry that a company will start putting up pay walls or go out of business.
“We’re also doing the work of vetting that the content being put up adheres to copyright requirements, which can be a touchy subject,” he added. “In some cases, we won’t be able to put up the final published version of a work, when another repository wouldn’t have that kind of restriction. We might have to rely on a preprint version, but that would be the restriction a faculty member agreed to when signing over their copyright to the publisher.”
Larrivee hopes the University can break down subscription walls that might have blocked people from accessing articles so people’s work can be read on a global scale. And it’s not just for published articles. The ORB can preserve digital copies of posters and other works such as conference papers that would not be seen as widely otherwise.
“We want it as open as possible for anything digital that would be of value to the larger academic or creative community,” Larrivee said. “We can handle picture files and open textbooks, audio files, video files, so if someone has recorded lectures, we can post them.
“We’re using Digital Commons as a platform that’s used by more than 450 institutions at this point, including Albany, Buffalo and Stony Brook. This is a service that is far reaching as a platform and we’re part of a network in that way, so once you add your work to a discipline, it gets added to a larger discipline network.”