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Central Washington University

CWU Joins a Worldwide Scholarly Network

Get ready, an online network showcasing to the world the width and breadth of scholarship at Central Washington University is coming this spring.

Traditionally, libraries store scholarly works in hard copy files, not easily accessible—even to the campus community. But CWU’s Brooks Library has contracted with bepress of Berkeley, California for a software service that brings a platform for scholars and universities worldwide to share and store their scholarly research openly and widely.

“This is a dramatic improvement in the scholarly infrastructure at CWU,” says Patricia J. Cutright, dean of libraries. “This system will allow our students and faculty to exchange perspectives and research with colleagues at a distance.”

Everything from faculty papers to student theses and community-partnered projects will be online in ScholarWorks, CWU’s new cloud-based scholarly commons. Bepress provides the platform and the support, the library will provide the content and maintain the repository.

Visitors to the library’s new scholarly commons won’t face a paywall, a subscription obligation, or even be required to register.

“Everyone can come to this highly searchable electronic repository for free,” says Michele Reilly, associate dean. “It will revolutionize the way scholarly work is prepared, revised, published, and cited, giving new exposure to our students and faculty.”

Here are some highlights of CWU’s new scholarly commons:

  • CWU’s scholarly works online will serve as a resource for researchers, writers, and reporters internationally

  • Internet open access enables the editorial process in the creation of a work to be a collaboration of experts and editors anywhere. Campus scholars can use the system as an editorial tool, tracking the process each step of the way assuring quick responses and cutting journal article completion time significantly

  • It will provide a simpler process for the submission of campus articles to professional journals, and for those journals to accept and reprint them

  • Students can send potential employers links to their works online

  • The university will have the capacity to add five new scholarly e-journals with the ability to showcase current and back issues

  • The platform has the capacity to showcase high-quality images, videos, and three-dimensional graphics

  • The library can track access and downloads to determine the most popular subjects, those that have significant relevance in the news, or are on the minds of scholars

  • There is additional potential for exposure through social media links and Facebook pages

Initially, the content bedrock for ScholarWorks will be the annual Symposium on University Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) that takes place in May. SOURCE is a forum presenting all CWU disciplines of research, scholarship, and creative activities by students, faculty, and staff.

That’s why we’re on the fast track to launch the scholarly commons on April 14 in correspondence with National Library Week,” said Ping Fu, head of library technology services. A soft launch is planned for early March and is expected to eliminate any technical bugs.

“Regardless of our cutting edge new tools,” Cutright assures, “there will be a no less rigorous process for publication of scholarly works at CWU. The peer-review system will remain in place, exactly the same as traditional print journals.”

CWU’s scholarly commons is a private and public collaborative partnership with funding from the Suncadia Fund for Community Enhancement.

For more information, contact: Jackie O'Ryan, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-2845, oryanj@cwu.edu