Dartmouth Digital Commons: building a collection of faculty publications

Dartmouth Digital Commons (DDC), an open repository for sharing Dartmouth-created content with the world, made its public debut this past October 2017.  Since then, collections on the DDC have been growing. There are a few communities to explore on the DDC (e.g., student journals), but one steadily growing collection to watch is the Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles collection. 

Open Dartmouth currently holds about 450 downloadable articles authored by Dartmouth faculty.  All articles are freely available and open for anyone at Dartmouth and to access and use. Finding freely available content can be difficult, and below are a few factors that help us make that happen within the Dartmouth Digital Commons:

  1. Articles published in open access journals: Some articles were originally published in open access journals, and therefore can be legally shared by default. The Directory of Open Access Journals offers a comprehensive list of open access journals for your publishing or research needs.
  2. Publishers with generous sharing options: Some articles are published in journals that offer flexible agreements, which will allow authors to share their work within open institutional repositories like the DDC.  SHERPA/RoMEO is a resource we use to help us determine rights.  We often advise authors to look at this site before they decide where to publish their work so that they understand what the publisher rights agreement will allow or restrict once it’s been signed.
  3. The Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy: Other articles found on DDC have been published in subscription-based journals, which typically restricts their access to those who pay for a subscription to the journal or pay for one-time access to the article.  The Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy allows us to share faculty articles written in 2015 (and onward), which is the year when faculty in the Thayer School of Engineering , the Arts and Sciences, and the Geisel School of Medicine had all completed a vote in favor of the policy.

But, before we determine what we have the rights to share on Open Dartmouth, there is the matter of first finding Dartmouth faculty-authored content. This requires significant time and work, but the Scholarly Communication, Copyright, and Publishing Program librarians and staff have access to data resources, which help us find articles online, determine our rights to legally share content, and help us steadily make content available on DDC.  Once an article is found and determined eligible for inclusion, we add the appropriate metadata to those articles, which allows them to be searched and discovered by those who visit the DDC.

That’s one method.  However, we also love to hear from faculty when they publish an article, and we encourage them to share their recently published work with us via the DDC “Submit Work” form.  Once an article is shared via the form, we (in the Library) determine whether Dartmouth has the rights to post the article (based on the above factors), taking pressure off of faculty for having to determine that themselves. Using the form is easy, and we hope that Dartmouth scholars find it convenient enough to participate and share their valuable research with Dartmouth and the world.



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