A group of librarians from New England collaborated to organize the first-ever Northeast Institutional Repository Day (NIRD) at Boston University on June 18, 2019. The goal of this free event was to bring together all in the Northeast (and beyond) who manage or are interested in institutional repositories, digital collections, and digital preservation.

Conference organizers

  • Eleni Castro, Boston University
  • Erin Jerome, UMass Amherst
  • Colin Lukens, Harvard
  • Mikki Simon Macdonald, MIT
  • Lisa Palmer, UMass Medical School

Acknowledgements: The NIRD conference organizers thank the following organizations and individuals for their contributions to this event:

  • Boston University Libraries for sponsoring and hosting this event, and individual BU units/staff for providing guidance and logistical support leading up to, and on the day of the event: Cathy Annunciata, BU Catering on the Charles staff, BU Events staff, BU Facilities staff, BU Learning and Event Technology Services staff, Richard Larkin, Cathy McLaughlin, Ellen Phillips, and Vika Zafrin. We also would like to thank the Mugar Greene Scholars for generously providing the graphics and posters for our event, particularly Michelle Niebur for the NIRD logo and to Sam West for her graphic design contributions.
  • The Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School: for financial support to cover the travel expenses of the keynote speaker through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region (NNLM NER); and for website hosting.
  • Our wonderful keynote speaker and presenters.

Recently Published

  • Collaborative repository transformation and the work of building a sustainable Islandora for All

    Pope, Este; Lippincott, Sarah; Smith, Noah (2019-06-18)
    Many institutions rely on proprietary repository systems to steward their content. Proprietary systems offer convenient set-up and maintenance, and have long been considered the most efficient option for institutions that lack in-house resources for system development and administration. However, consolidation in the commercial repository sector has increasingly prompted institutions to consider alternatives that give them greater ownership over their content, their data, and their infrastructure. A panel representing a group of colleges and vendor partners will discuss their work in building sustainable collaborations to support open source repository infrastructure, maintenance, and development, making open source software adoption attainable for a broader community. The session will cover key projects including LASIR (building out features in Islandora to make it an affordable, viable IR solution), ISLE (creating an easier way to install and maintain Islandora), and the Islandora for All Mellon Foundation grant. Panelists will discuss the affordances of open source repository software for institutions of all sizes and will also share their perspectives on the experience of working collaboratively with various colleges, vendors, and consortia, and share their thoughts on the biggest challenges facing this type of collaborative work.
  • Crashing the IR Party: Artists as Scholars in Institutional Repositories

    Schuler, Andrea; Peterson, Ashley (2019-06-18)
    Andrea Schuler, Digital Collections Librarian and Ashley Peterson, fine arts Research & Instruction Librarian began working together in July 2016 on an initiative to include visual art thesis projects in the Tufts University institutional repository. This project, now in its third year, has resulted in the addition of dozens of visual arts theses into the repository, where they are available alongside senior honors theses from across disciplines in the Schools of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. In this presentation, Schuler & Peterson will outline their initial research into best practices and case studies regarding artwork-as-scholarship in IRs, describe their pilot project, and summarize subsequent improvements and future directions. They will focus on the affective labor of this initiative, describing how they attempt to foster student engagement, achieve faculty buy-in, and navigate a project with multiple, cross-departmental institutional stakeholders. They will also speak to the technical challenges of representing artwork in a platform designed for text files. More broadly, the presentation will highlight opportunities to engage undergraduate students in the larger scholarly conversation and to introduce concepts of open access, copyright, and licensing in a real-world situation. The project offers a low-resource model for creating access to new types of material and empowers student artists to contextualize their work within the larger body of an institution’s scholarly output, while working within the limits of a repository designed for more “traditional” scholarship. After the presentation, in addition to questions, audience members will be encouraged to share examples of related work or unmet needs at their own institutions in order to broaden the conversation.
  • Your IR as the Centerpiece for Scholarly Communications Outreach at Your Institution

    Berger, Monica (2019-06-18)
    Getting buy-in and awareness for your institutional repository can be challenging, especially when we have limited time and staff to devote to the IR. Outreach success requires persistence, flexibility, savvy marketing, and a focus on the long view. Before our IR, Academic Works, went live in 2016, my colleagues and I gave talks and workshops on open access and other topics. With Academic Works, our efforts now have focus and coherence. A varied outreach approach has been very helpful. In particular, print marketing has been effective. We designed a poster and other media promoting our tag line “amplify your scholarship with Academic Works.” Reaching out to different campus stakeholders is critical. Alliance with your chief librarian or library dean is critical. Brief updates to administrators and departmental visits have proven valuable. Every year, we present Academic Works and other services to new faculty. This is an outgrowth of connecting with partners on campus via our Center for Teaching and Learning. Undergraduate research is important at my college: success with reaching students will be discussed. One-on-one is critical: we reach out to faculty when receiving Google Scholar alerts for new publications. Encouraging self-depositing allows us to train on using the IR and discuss author’s rights and using the SPARC Addendum. Rather than focusing on quantity of items deposited, we have taken the approach that educating faculty is our ultimate goal. I’ve had wonderful conversations with my colleagues that have helped me better understand needs and establish trust. Our new Scholarly Publishing Clinic provides consultations to faculty on the publishing life cycle, including using Academic Works, at the point of need. Still in its early stages of outreach, the Scholarly Publishing Clinic represents the next stage of our outreach.
  • Beyond Migration: Understanding the Effects of Repository Migration on User Experiences and Repository Services

    Scherer, David; Behrman, Katie; Kellen, Chris (2019-06-18)
    Change is inevitable. As repository systems evolve, institutions may evaluate whether or not their current and future repository needs will be met. If they are not met, an institution may decide to migrate repository platforms. But repository systems are not agnostic. In many cases, repositories will offer completely different user experiences, services, functionality, and capabilities. Inevitably, an institution will need to evaluate what will be gained or loss due to a repository migration. What should an institution do if key functionality, such as discovery, were broken because of a migration? What could be learned from the current migration, or what additional services and functionality would a new repository present, that would aid in future migrations? In 2018, the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries migrated 33,000 items from their former Digital Commons repository to their new figshare for institutions repository. Additionally, a number of materials were migrated to other institutions where those materials were better suited to be housed. This presentation will discuss the evaluation of repository gains and losses created by the migration. Additionally, this presentation will highlight what additional projects were necessary to ensure that user services and discovery could be directed to the new locations of the content.
  • Permissions and Access for Copyright-Protected Theses

    Ettien, A'Llyn (2019-06-18)
    The BU medical library is in the process of digitizing a collection of 1200 dissertations and theses that are recent enough to be within copyright. We considered options for managing the collection in the digital repository, and settled on limiting access to users with valid BU passwords. We also reached out to authors to request permission to make their works available via open access. This has resulted in two separate collections online, one password-protected for BU-only access, and one open access. While not the simplest solution, this has at least made these works more accessible than they were as print texts.
  • Providing Online Access to over a Century of Theses and Dissertations at UMass Amherst

    Bergin, Meghan Banach (2019-06-18)
    For the past ten years the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries have collected and disseminated electronic masters theses and doctoral dissertations through their institutional repository (IR), ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst. In addition to collecting all currently produced ETDs, the Libraries are in the midst of an ambitious project to digitize more than a hundred years worth of print dissertations and theses. Beginning with the oldest dissertations and theses, which are rarest and most at risk of physical damage, and now digitizing works on a departmental basis, the entire collection of over 20,000 print theses and dissertations at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will be digitized and made available online over the next decade. This will help ensure the preservation of this important and unique body of work as well as greatly enhance access to it. This lightening talk will explain our project workflow and copyright policy as well as our process for batch uploading the theses and dissertations files and their associated metadata to our Digital Commons repository.
  • Wikidata and Institutional Repositories

    Britton, Anne (2019-06-18)
    Wikidata is a free and open knowledge base that can be read and edited by both humans and machines. It is multilingual, structured, and contains more than 56 million data items. Authors, works, repositories, policies, and infrastructure can be represented via Wikidata. This presentation will give a quick overview of Wikidata and how it can extend the reach of your repository. It will also share tips on getting started, scaling up with tools like OpenRefine and QuickStatements, and creating dynamic visualizations with web services like Scholia.
  • Breaking Through the Word Barrier

    Ryan, Jessica (2019-06-18)
    Institutional Repository nomenclature doesn’t always serve our users well and creates extra work for IR librarians who are tasked with "translating" the terms in order to upload appropriate versions of published work. I am advocating for a common-sense and conceptually consistent approach by proposing a new set of terminology for eprints. I will briefly outline academic publishing terms: preprints, postprints, eprints, and publisher’s pdfs. I will then demonstrate that the terminology is a known point of confusion by briefly looking at some of the alternate terms I've come across in the wild. Once we've reviewed the current situation, I will propose a set of terms that don’t require explanation but rather truly embrace a spirit of autological language and cohesiveness.
  • Open is not enough! Sustainability, inclusiveness, and innovation in scholarly communication

    Shearer, Kathleen (2019-06-18)
    This keynote presentation for Northeast Institutional Repository Day 2019 by Kathleen Shearer looks at scholarly communication and a system of next-generation open repositories through the lens of sustainability, inclusiveness, and innovation. Kathleen Shearer is the Executive Director of COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories), an international association of repository initiatives with a membership of over 140 institutions worldwide from 40 countries on all 5 continents. COAR’s aim is to enhance the visibility and application of research outputs through a global network of open access repositories based on international collaboration and interoperability. Shearer has been working in the area of open access, open science, scholarly communications, and research data management for over 15 years. She has been the Executive Director of COAR since 2015, and participates in numerous other organizations in Canada and internationally. She has been an active member of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and is co-chair of the Research Data Alliance Interest Group, “Long Tail of Research Data”. Shearer is also a research associate with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and was instrumental in launching the Portage Initiative in Canada, a library-based research data management network.
  • Capturing Rowan University Student Scholars Symposium Posters in Rowan Digital Works: From Pilot to Reality

    Kipnis, Daniel G. (2019-06-18)
    On April 20, 2018 Rowan University hosted the 21st annual undergraduate STEM symposium, where 227 posters from various disciplines were presented to the University community. Full-text abstracts of the posters are available on a dedicated web site (http://stem.rowan.edu). The Institutional Repository committee of Rowan University Libraries wanted to archive digital copies of the posters in our IR (Rowan Digital Works) so they would be archived and globally accessible. Five posters were deposited in the pilot year of the project. On April 25-26, 2019 Rowan University will expand the STEM undergraduate poster symposium to include all disciplines across campus. My presentation will highlight the strategies, workflows and statistics in archiving student posters in the second year of archiving student posters. In addition, the presentation will highlight alternate uses of bepress software such as managing our Open Access Fund, Research Experience for Diversity and Inclusion Grant applications and First Generation College symposium.
  • My CV & OpenBU: a use case on OA policy compliance

    Phillips, Ellen (2019-06-18)
    Many colleges, universities, and research centers have adopted open access policies. Funder mandates are also increasing and OA is clearly becoming the default standard. However, compliance remains an issue at many institutions. I would like to propose a lightning talk presenting a use case that discusses how one university began to tackle the issue of compliance. In 2018 Boston University began using the research information management system Symplectic Elements to manage annual faculty reporting. The software includes tools that identify and facilitate the deposit of publications into OpenBU, a DSpace institutional repository. Although there have been some challenges along the way, leveraging the interoperability between Symplectic Elements and DSpace has increased policy-driven IR deposits by over 350% in 2018.
  • WCAG AA 2.0 ADA + OA: one library's story of balancing an institutional repository, a policy, values and a vendor

    Page, Amanda (2019-06-18)
    In the January 2018, Syracuse University passed an Accessibility policy requiring WCAG 2.0 AA compliance with the American Disabilities Act. The university also received an Office of Civil Rights complaint that required a review of the the University’s most widely used sites, once of which was the institutional repository, SURFACE (surace.syr.edu). In this presentation, I will share the story of how the Syracuse University Libraries evaluated requirements necessary for WCAG 2.0 AA compliance, and detail changes made to the institutional repository. This will include considerations and conclusions, internal collaborations within the Libraries, workflows, and project management patterns. Findings disclosed will include challenges, successes, and practical workarounds regarding accessibility and the technology infrastructures of Digital Commons that were experienced, especially impacting the discovery, metadata, and interoperability of the IR collections. As time passed, and the principles of our department and university did, as well as the dynamic with the vendor, bepress/Elsevier. As advocacy is a core element of scholarly communication (SC) work, the discussion will draw to a close with a discussion of how definitions of access to information now takes on a whole new meaning, how this influences Open Access, and why this still matters.
  • Collaborative Policy Writing for the UMass Amherst Data Repository

    Atwood, Thea P.; Kardos, Ann (2019-06-18)
    Policy plays an important role in articulating the scope of a repository. As UMass Amherst grows its data repository, it is evident that policies around what is acceptable to deposit, the roles librarians and libraries take, and workflows around data deposit are important stepping stones for communication and expectation management. In this talk, Thea Atwood, Data Services Librarian, and Ann Kardos, Metadata Librarian, will discuss the establishment of the data repository, the individuals and groups that support the data repository, and the group’s approach to writing policy that is responsive and flexible.
  • Please @ Me: Using Social Media to Promote IR Content

    George, Christine Anne (2019-06-18)
    For many institutions, the brass ring is to upload as much into their institutional repository as possible. There are plenty of hoops to jump through to achieve this goal—copyright permissions, scanning, metadata, etc.—but the work doesn’t end once the item is posted. If scholarship is posted in an IR, but is never promoted, will it have any impact? Institutions and authors need to take a proactive approach to drive people to the IR. Social media—mainly Twitter—is an excellent tool to achieve that end but poses its own challenges. How should an institution choose what scholarship to share? How do you support faculty who want to share their scholarship, but are wary of social media? How do you build a network to amplify posts directing users to your IR? What happens when, in the process of promoting their work, faculty create new scholarship? While this session can’t provide all the answers, it will provide the foundation for an outreach strategy that can be tailored to different IRs and their institutions. After this session, attendees will be able to: Identify IR content that will translate well to social media; Articulate why their institution and faculty should use social media to promote scholarship in the IR; Develop support materials to encourage using social media; Locate other social media accounts that can amplify posts.
  • Repository Refresh

    Peri, Nina; Battaglia, Hayley (2019-06-18)
    A repository should continue to grow and improve to match the progress of the institution whose scholarship it reflects. To ensure this growth, it is important for repository managers to take a step back, assess current practices, explore the potential of the IR platform, and remain aware of new developments in the community. Over the past year, we have worked to revamp our IR, DigitalCommons@Fairfield, by designing a new aesthetic, working with our community to build new collections, including work form a wider pool of contributors, and communicating the purpose, value, and potential of the IR to our stakeholders through additional outreach methods. Our presentation will cover the steps we took to inject new life into DigitalCommons@Fairfield and how we worked to incite interest in the possibilities offered by our repository.