River Campus Libraries recently unveiled UR Research, an internet repository for faculty, researchers and graduate students to post their scholarly work.

This program allows outside users to search and cite scholarly work completed by the Rochester community.

Avalible at http://urresearch.rochester.edu, the new Web site will help encourage faculty to showcase their research to a global audience.

“I believe UR Research will be used by researchers, faculty and graduate students as a way to share their scholarly works with colleagues from around the world in an easy and efficient fashion,” Assistant Dean for Public Services at Rush Rhees Library Susan Gibbons said.

“Conference papers, dissertations, working papers, technical reports, images and rare materials can be unearthed from individual hard drives and diskettes and shared,” he said. “It is also a way to showcase the scholarship, teaching and learning that is occuring on the UR campuses.”

“The idea for UR Research dates back to 2000 when the provost asked the libraries to look into the concept of a ‘faculty e-archive,'” Gibbons said.

A committee examined the available Internet repository systems. It determined that DSpace Federation – an open source software organization created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries and Hewlett Packard,which invited UR to join its system – best fit the needs of the university.

Other members of DSpace Federation include Cornell University, Columbia University, the University of Toronto and the University of Washington.

“The UR Research site is a heavily customized version of the DSpace software,” principal investigator of a one-year Institute of Museum and Library Services grant-funded project David Lindahl said.

Lindahl guided the technological development of UR Research.

According to Gibbons, the inspiration for UR Research came from the Provost’s interest in scholarly communication.

“The current publishing model restricts access of faculty works to just those who subscribe to the journal and limits publication to just a small percentage of faculty’s scholarly works,” Gibbons said.

UR Research offers an easy way for faculty to share their scholarly works with their colleagues.

Freshman Max Ehrmann believes the system will be very useful.

“UR Research is a useful tool for more research done by Rochester faculty to be accessed by academics from all over the world,” he said. “By making more of the school’s good research available to the rest of the world, Rochester’s reputation and noteworthiness will improve as well.”

The developers of UR Research are excited about the future and are optimistic about the new technology that can make interactions between researchers at the university much easier.

“On the homepage of UR Research is a download counter,” Gibbons said. “We started the counter in late January. Since then, there have been over 11,800 downloads from the repository, which has been about 1,175 items.”

Bruml can be reached at abruml@campustimes.org.



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