Enterprise Information System Committee

Executive Summary for Digital Commons

The purpose of this business case is to identify the need and proposed solution for establishing an Institutional Repository (IR) at Central Washington University. The IR will facilitate the collection, preservation, and dissemination of the intellectual output of the students, faculty, and administrative offices of the University.

Institutional Repositories provide a digital 'storehouse' and showcase for academic institutions to host a wide variety of scholarly material created by students, faculty, and administrators. They also provide a readily accessible depository for selected archival material, video and still images, current news and events, procedural and policy guidelines, and other information that benefits the university community and other users, including the public. It can provide an immediate complement and portal to the existing scholarly publishing model and advance the individual and collective interests of faculty researchers, the library, university administrators, and the university's overall institutional memory.

A sampling of items intended for the CWU Digital Commons will include faculty publications and research, presentations, graduate student work such as theses and scholarly work published while at Central Washington University, student publications and SOURCE entries, scholarly journals published by or associated with the university, video materials such as webcasts and webinars, multi-media collections, streaming-video  (the IR will support the newly purchased Media Amp platform) including digitized collections and materials from the Archives and Special Collections Department, Facilities blueprints, plans and documentation when appropriate.  Essentially, Brooks Library intends to utilize the IR as the institutional memory that is accessible to its extensive user communities, both globally and locally.

The Library Ad Hoc Committee on Institutional Repositories (convened AY2012/13) has completed extensive research in order to examine and identify how other institutions are using IR models to publish, promote, and provide access to their intellectual property.  The committee has also identified a wide array of materials that are currently produced that could be populated quickly into an IR. A suitable open-access software platform, bepress Digital Commons (http://digitalcommons.bepress.com/subscriber_gallery/172/), has been identified that will provide the necessary interface to create and maintain the IR.  Included in the analysis was the fact that ten of CWU's partner libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance library consortium, of which the Brooks Library is a member, have implemented the bepress Digital Commons platform.


Sponsoring Department(s):  Brooks Library

Date of Business Case Preparation:  October 3, 2013

Contact Person Name/Phone:   Patricia Cutright, 963-1973