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Sharing research through UD’s innovative Institutional Repository

9:21 a.m., Oct. 25, 2004--Cutting-edge research at the University of Delaware provides an anthology of knowledge that can benefit scholars around the world and the public. To make UD research more accessible, a pilot project, the University of Delaware Institutional Repository, is being developed by University of Delaware Library, with Unidel Foundation support.

Five areas, or “communities,” at UD have been selected for the pilot program--the Composite Materials Center, the Department of Food and Resource Economics, the Disaster Research Center, the Institute for Public Administration and the Sea Grant Program in the College of Marine Studies.

“The University of Delaware Institutional Repository will bring increased visibility and access to digitized scholarly resources,” Provost Dan Rich said. “Having one central place on the UD web site where the world may gain access to the products of UD research, ranging from preprints to technical reports to working papers, will benefit the international scholarly community.

“Through the Institutional Repository, the research output of University of Delaware faculty will be available to researchers far into the future,” he said. “Preserving digital research material is important, but extremely difficult. As a preservation archive, the University of Delaware Institutional Repository will ensure long-term access to scholarship.”

Other research universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have set up similar repositories, with DSpace software, the same used by UD.

Library staff members are in the process of sorting documents from the units involved and adding them to the repository online, and faculty and professional staff involved with the project are enthusiastic and give it high marks, according to Susan Brynteson, May Morris Director of Libraries. On Wednesday, Oct. 27, the library is holding a meeting of participating faculty and professional staff so that they can exchange ideas and make suggestions about the system.

A soft launch of the repository is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 6, moving the URL to a public area on the library web site, Brynteson said. “By making it available, faculty members can consider how the system can be expanded and what other items and programs should be available in the repository,” she said.

April 18 is the official launch date for the UD Institutional Repository, and the launch will include a ceremony in the library, marking the completion of the pilot project and the future expansion of the project across campus to make research in other disciplines accessible through the repository.

Article by Sue Moncure

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