Tag Archives: DigitalCommons@ILR

Uploading CBAs to DigitalCommons@ILR

9 Dec

Yes, this is a blog post about a blog post.

As part of the grant we got from the NHPRC to digitize and disseminate collective bargaining agreements, we are documenting those efforts in a blog. I just uploaded a post discussing uploading CBAs and this post couldn’t get any more meta unless I started discussing metadata which I do in the blog post so I’m going to stop now.

Here’s a short excerpt; please go check out the whole thing if you’re interested:

As discussed on this blog in September, Digital Consulting & Production Services has been working on digitizing shipments of the collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) in the education retail industries. Once those digital copies are returned to Kheel, it’s time to make them available to the world. That’s where DigitalCommons@ILR comes into the picture. 

DigitalCommons@ILR Hits 5 Million Downloads

6 Sep

I’m just gonna leave this here…


Bringing the Workplace to the World
DigitalCommons@ILR Hits 5 Million Downloads

ITHACA, N.Y. (Sept. 6, 2012) – A digital repository that provides free access to some of the most important documents in the world of work has hit a major milestone: 5 million downloads, from users all over the world.

screenshotDigitalCommons@ILR features the work of the faculty and researchers at Cornell’s ILR School, as well as non-Cornell content — and its use is soaring.

“The surge in downloads this past year reflects a growing interest in workplace issues,” said Jim DelRosso, digital projects coordinator for the Martin P. Catherwood Library, which has run DigitalCommons@ILR for the ILR School since the digital repository’s creation in 2004. “More and more, these issues are part of the discourse in this country and abroad, and of our debates over politics and policy. The heavy use of DigitalCommons@ILR is a testament to the quality of its content.”

The repository hosts 16,000 workplace-related documents on a huge range of topics. Its collections include articlesimpact briefs, and other papers — both published and unpublished — from ILR faculty and researchers, making the repository an invaluable internal resource for faculty looking to provide universal access to their scholarship.

“The ILR School was founded in 1945 to advance the world of work through research and outreach to the community,” said Catherwood Director Curtis Lyons. “The Internet and DigitalCommons@ILR has given us an unprecedented opportunity to push the research out to global practitioners to fulfill our core mission and raise the profile of our unique institution.”

Most visitors arrive at DigitalCommons@ILR through Google, and the repository sees heavy use from practitioners as well as academics worldwide. The most frequently downloaded document is a paper co-authored by ILR Associate Prof. Jack Goncalo, titled, “The Bias Against Creativity: Why People Desire But Reject Creative Ideas.”

DigitalCommons@ILR also includes key workplace documents curated by expert Cornell librarians, collections of collective bargaining agreements and other digital resources. So far in 2012, DigitalCommons@ILR has recorded more than 1.3 million downloads — slightly more than were recorded in all of 2011 and almost twice as many as in 2010.

To learn more
Visit library.cornell.edu and Catherwood Library’s website, and check outDigitalCommons@ILR.


Original release found here. I can probably provide some other commentary, but right now I’ll just say two things: this is awesome, and as of today we’re at 5,265,492.

Gotta love the zeroes

15 Dec

What a month. More updates on the way, because I do actually have cool news to share.

But today, I just have a bit of screenshot serendipity from last night:

15,000 documents, baby. And 3.7 million downloads is kind of nice, too.

Aw, yeah. Let’s hear it for large, round numbers.

And on a related note, the book chapter we wrote about DigitalCommons@ILR is finally in DigitalCommons@ILR. So check that out, too.

Webinar links and reflections

18 Oct

Last week’s webinar seemed to go very well. It’s a whole different experience for me, making a presentation in a format which makes it impossible for me to see or hear the audience. There were apparently 83 people in attendance, and the feedback I’ve received both from bepress and via email has been positive.

Plus, my sign totally worked:

If you’re interested in what I had to say about getting faculty involved in a digital repository, but weren’t able to attend, there are a few ways you can check it out. First, here are the slides from Prezi:

Or, you could watch the video of slides with voice-over:

Both of those, plus a PDF of the slides, are available here.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how this went. I probably talked too long,* and so we didn’t have as much time for questions as I’d like.** But I thought the questions I did get were good, and I’m hopeful that folks might send me more.

I enjoy talking about this stuff, and I try to frame the conversation in terms of relationships: both between the folks who work at libraries and the folks who make content, and between the material within the repositories and its users/creators.

Back when I spoke at an IR Day in April, the one piece of negative commentary I received was that I didn’t use the DigitalCommons software at any point in my presentation. Frankly, I can’t imagine giving that kind of presentation outside of training folks within my library or school to use the software, and one of the reasons I’m glad give webinars or presentations in conjunction with bepress is that I don’t have to frame my presentation in a DigitalCommons-specific way.***

I try to make this stuff generally applicable, regardless of what kind of repository software you use (and maybe even to digital library projects beyond repositories). Hopefully, I succeeded this time around.


** I can’t really fault bepress for cutting things off right at an hour, though; I actually needed to end the webinar and start a chat reference shift.
*** I did talk a bit about the upload interface, I believe, but even then I tried to frame in the context of how much you could expect folks outside the library to contribute to repository workflow.

Next stop: IR Day in Baltimore

19 May

The notice is late, but my next speaking gig is next Tuesday down in Baltimore, for the University of Maryland School of Law’s IR Day.

This free one day workshop will introduce librarians in all types and sizes of libraries to the challenges of institutional repository (IR) development and management. The morning session will focus on the challenges of working with content creators and establishing workflows and the afternoon session will examine strategies for promoting the IR to the community.

A panel discussion to explore metrics and measure the success of the IR will round out the program.

This is the first time I’ve spoken at an event sponsored by a vendor, which I confess makes me a bit leery. But bepress hasn’t done a blessed thing to try to influence to content of my presentations — or even asked for any info about content beyond an abstract — and if I can’t talk for two hours without shilling then I have no business doing presentations in the first place.

They’ve given me an hour and a half to talk about “issues of outreach to content creators, the establishment of workflows, and the expansion of a repository beyond the limits of the traditional IR mandate,” after which I’ll sit on a panel and talk metrics. Preparation for this has caused me to re-evaluate and refine previous theses, which is always a good thing.

Plus, I get to hang out with my sister and her family for a couple of evenings, which is always lovely.

We deal in slides: Speaking next week at WNYLRC

13 Apr

As God as my witness, I thought weeks had more days in them.

The presentation as UNYSLA went really well, I think, and was bracketed by other excellent talks. I’m glad I got to see the whole thing, and would love to coalesce my thoughts about the event into words here. But I’m already prepping for my next presentation/workshop, so check out my fellow presenter Jill Hurst-Wahl’s take on things.

My next gig is on Monday, outside of Buffalo at the Western New York Library Resources Council:

Building Digital Communities With Digital Collections

Librarians can build online communities around their digital collections in the same way they build physical communities around their physical collections: by providing resources that interest their patrons, by making their patrons feel comfortable using those resources, and by providing their patrons with a sense of ownership of those resources. Hear how one library used the tools provided by new technologies to build a community of users around DigitalCommons@ILR, a premier institutional and disciplinary repository. Jim will discuss Catherwood’s strategies, practices, experiences and lessons learned, and illustrate how their success keeps patrons coming back.

There will be ample time for discussion. Please consider sharing information about your own library’s digital collections, or even doing a short demonstration.

I confess I’m not thrilled with the description, and that my dissatisfaction is entirely my fault. As described, it’s basically my talk from CiL2010, plus workshop elements. While that’s somewhat understandable — this event was originally scheduled for last November, and was prompted by good feedback the CiL presentation had received — the description itself feels somewhat obsolete to me. I wrote it nearly eighteen months ago, and those months have been full of work and thinking and assessment and discussion.

But, all is far from lost. It was good to revisit that presentation, see what still resonated and what needed to be removed. My plan now is to use a revised version of that preso’s thesis as a skeleton for the first part of the day, bring in some interactive bits rooted in the workshop Amy Buckland and I ran at CiL11 to get people talking and involved, and on the whole offer something that reflects my current thinking on these issues, allows attendees the opportunity to explore this stuff on their own terms, but doesn’t let me fall into the trap of simply rehashing an old presentation.

If you’re in the area and this sounds interesting to you, I hope to see you there! I’m thinking it’ll be a good one.

Labor Research Review

29 Sep

So while I was on vacation, the news about the project my group’s been working on for the past year finally got announced. Now that I’ve been back almost a week, I figure it’s about time I share said news.

Over the past year, Catherwood Library’s Web & Digital Project Group digitized all 24 issues of the Labor Research Review and made them available in all their full-teach searchable glory on DigitalCommons@ILR.

It feels great to have this thing out in front of the world. Professor Lance Compa came to our Collection Development Librarian, Suzanne Cohen, last year with the idea for digitizing LRR, and she passed it on to me. It took some legwork to get all the copies needed from the Midwest Center for Labor Research, and then our student assistant Susanne Donovan spent longer than she probably wants to think about scanning all of the articles contained therein.

I decided to go with the journal-style series offered by the DigitalCommons software so that the articles could be organized intuitively; while this almost certainly ended up being the right call, it did lead to a lot of wrestling with a system initially designed for the publication of current online journals in order to produce what amounted to a digital archive. Luckily, the folks at bepress are awesome, and stepped up to help us out all along the way.

(I’m also glad those Photoshop seminars I went to finally came in handy, when I had to prepare the cover art and produce the image for the series home page and displayed above. I love me some arts ‘n’ craft days.)

All in all, it was a helluva project to run. I’m lucky to have the folks working with me that I do, and I think we put out something pretty damned cool. Check it out, if you’re of the mind to.

10,000 is a nice round number

9 Nov

So one of the things that I’ve been working on for the last few weeks is how to best draw attention to the fact that DigitalCommons@ILR is about to exceed 10,000 uploaded documents. The repository‘s been around since the end of 2004, and my involvement began in early 2006, with me officially taking over management this past January.

As I said in the title, 10,000 is a nice round number, and we’re bringing attention to it in no small part because we want to get the word out about the resource that we’ve been putting together here at Catherwood, and making available to the world. But I also consider that number important because of the level of oversight each item in the repository receives during the upload process. Almost nothing is automated, and each item is processed by multiple staff members and frequently at least one or two student employees. We try to make sure each document is as useful as possible to anyone who downloads it, and that means there’s a lot of hard work on display in that repository.

Thanks go out to Steve, Fran, Angie, Julia, Clement, Lynette, Corinne, Katherine, Kayla, Susanne, John, and especially Mary Newhart and Suzanne Cohen (who were the driving force behind this thing when I came on board). I’m just glad to have gotten the opportunity to join up.


20 May

On Monday I made a presentation for CUL’s Professional Development Week titled, “IRs@Cornell: The Expanding Role of Institutional Repositories“. I used Prezi.com to make it, so it’s viewable online.

Like many of my presentations, it loses something without my “voiceover,” therefore I will provide an excerpt from said that may clarify one portion of the presentation:

The purpose of institutions and measures like the Federal Depository Library Program was to preserve government documentation in case of fire, flood, technological mishap, or other natural disasters.


Too soon?

See if you can guess where it goes!

Scanner suggestions?

24 Mar

No, not that kind.

So, here in the Web & Digital Projects group, we’re looking to snag a new scanner. It will mainly be used to digitize hardcopy articles for upload into our digital repository, so both the quality of the scans and the ability to scan many pages quickly and accurately are priorities.

I’m taking a look at options now, but I was wondering if anyone out there in blogland had some experinece or suggestions about models i should take a closer look at or avoid entirely?