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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

SU Unveils New Online Academic Repository

 

SOAR@SU
Pictured, from left, at the SOAR@SU unveiling: Dr. Frank Shipper of the Management and Marketing Department; Dr. Beatriz Hardy, dean of libraries and instructional resources, Dr. Diane Allen, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs; Dr. Stuart Hamilton of the Geography and Geosciences Department; and Laura Hanscom, scholarly communications librarian.

SALISBURY, MD---The public now has easier access to academic research and papers by Salisbury University scholars thanks to SOAR@SU, a new initiative of SU Libraries.

Unveiled as part of International Open Access Week, SOAR@SU is an online repository where faculty and students may provide their works for public viewing. SU joined 10 other Maryland campuses in creating such a platform as part of the Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MDSOAR).

Containing nearly 50 items during its unveiling, the repository is expected to include faculty, graduate and undergraduate research; Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program capstone projects; and conference papers, among other files.

According to Laura Hanscom, SU scholarly communications librarian, members of the University community will have the opportunity to submit their work directly to the repository, where it will be checked for copyright before posting.

Open-access repositories initially were created with the rise of the World Wide Web in the 1990s as a way for research scholars to streamline the publication process and share information faster, she said. Today, making such research available without a paywall provides greater access for middle and high school students, as well as researchers in developing nations.

At the collegiate level, these repositories are supplementing traditional — and increasingly expensive — academic journals as sources of scholarly material, helping to offset library budget struggles, Hanscom said. At SU, the initiative is expected to raise the University’s global profile, creating opportunities for collaboration.

Many government and government-funded agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, require research funded by their grants to be posted on open-access repositories, she added.

SOAR@SU will fulfill that requirement for faculty. It also will give undergraduate students an opportunity to experience the peer review process for academic publication, she said. Once enough content is available, the repository is expected to begin appearing in search results from Google and other Internet search engines.

SOAR@SU is available online at https://mdsoar.org/handle/11603/9. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at www.salisbury.edu.


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