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UMBC Digital Repository Research

A digital repository is suite of services for managing and disseminating scholarship, research, and creative works authored by community members, as well as a highly visible, centralized research portal for appropriate academic scholarship.

The Benefits of a Repository

  • Provides a showcase for UMBC research and scholarship, raising UMBC's research profile.
  • Amplifies UMBC's global impact by providing valuable scholarship to the global community of scholars.
  • Improves institutional visibility and relevance by giving back to the community.
  • Features a centralized location for research and other valuable university content, making it more easily found, and more valuable in context.
  • Highlights areas of expertise, centers of excellence, and specific strengths that would benefit being shared with the world via Works pages that are automatically created for academic departments and campus centers.
  • Increases visibility of researchers' accomplishments and citation of their works.
  • Enhances scholarship on campus by providing a platform for publications.
  • Fosters collaboration by making it easy to discover colleagues in other departments with similar research interests or issues.
  • Functions as a marketing tool for UMBC and UMBC's academic content demonstrating the fruits of academic labor and how money has been spent.
  • Serves as a tangible symbol of academic quality for investors.
  • Attracts top students when student publications are included, allowing institutional scholarship to speak about UMBC and what prospective students might learn.
  • Provides a tool for analyzing research output not only for senior administrators but also providing individual statistics that faculty can view and download.
  • Provides a means of fulfilling funding agencies' requirement to make research data and results publicly available.
A digital repository at UMBC would be a searchable, full-text, non-exclusive, publicly accessible database:
  • Comprised of scholarly materials, including research and creative works
    • at various stages in the scholarly communication lifecycle, including materials that don't fit into traditional publishing models.
    • created by UMBC faculty, affiliated researchers and students.
    • voluntarily contributed by the scholars and stored in the IR.
  • Made accessible through metadata, which is
    • information that describes the resource; provides information on the type of file, who created it, when, what it's about, etc.
    • provided at the time of input by the authors or creators of the posted works, according to UMBC's standards and needs through an online interface.
    • the basis of the IR's indexing, abstracting and cataloging of posted materials.
    • makes it possible for the general public to browse, search, and retrieve posted documents via the internet.
  • Used as
    • an open access research resource for scholars, both internal and external
    • a showcase for UMBC research and scholarship
    • a means of collating UMBC scholarship by individual, department, or school
    • a way to raise UMBC's research profile
    • a tool for analyzing UMBC's research output
    • an archive for UMBC's digital publications

USM Repositories:

Examples of Peer Repositories:

UMBC Repository Partners:

The Humanities Academic Council

The Humanities Academic Council wishes to go on record endorsing your efforts to begin a Digital Repository Initiative at UMBC. The Council has discussed a variety of problems related to disseminating and preserving digital scholarship, especially in terms of issues of promotion and tenure. For faculty whose scholarship exists primarily or to large extent in digital media, the real possibility that this work can become unavailable or disappear is not only disheartening but also career threatening. We believe that it is crucial that UMBC make efforts to preserve and disseminate the digital scholarship of its faculty and students.

The Council also believes that a Digital Repository is an important way to promote the cutting edge scholarship of its faculty and students. We would like to see the Digital Repository function as a kind of homepage for scholarly work, allowing outside visitors to see and access research produced at UMBC. A Digital Repository might also include digital versions of student publications like The UMBC Review or create a venue for bringing together undergraduate student research or honors papers. Showcasing academic scholarship in this way will enhance UMBC's reputation for excellence in undergraduate education and as a research institution across all disciplines. Therefore, the Humanities Academic Council believes the Digital Repository Initiative should be made a high priority, not just of the Library, but of the University at large.

The Center for Art Design and Visual Culture

They have available to contribute 1-2 terabytes of video footage, 50-75 gigabytes of text documents and image files that contain essays, invitation postcards, and poster, documentary installation photos, and miscellaneous additional materials. They would additionally check with their curators and writers on an individual basis to see if they wanted to publish any of their essays in this way. They would like to utilize a portal to gather student research that includes videos, photography, and design work published via other media channels (YouTube and Facebook).

The Center for Advanced Sensor Technology

They have available to contribute posters, presentations, papers, lab safety manuals, operations manuals, process manuals, video tutorials, and protocols.

The Hilltop Institute

They have available to contribute publications on their website, which they'd like to include in a repository by linking to them.

Martha Ross Center for Oral History

They have available to contribute selected undergraduate and graduate projects completed for an oral history course. These are oral history interviews that consist of multiple files in a variety of formats, and the repository software would need to handle them appropriately. Because these include interviews, this would need to be discussed with IRB and approved by them.

Center for History Education

They have available to contribute outreach materials, instructional materials, and resources for teachers.

UMBC Faculty Contributors

  • Shawn Bediako, Psychology, has available to contribute materials gathered for the History of Psychology class.
  • Alex Pavlak, Engineering, has available to contribute student scholarly papers written for the ENMG688 engineering project course.
  • Tom Rabenhorst, Geography, has available to contribute maps and atlases. The atlases include: "Digital Atlas of the Physiography and Geology of the United States," "U.S. Megalopolis Map," and "Maryland Agriculture Atlas."
  • Helen Burgess, English, has available to contribute a peer-reviewed online journal, Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, which she edits. It require PHP and MySQL, and it would be nice (although not necessary) if it could include .ASP or mod_mono (to emulate ASP). She is also interested in publishing e-books.
  • Tim Phin, Ancient Studies, has available to contribute pre-peer reviewed articles.
  • Lynn Watson, Theatre, has available to contribute recordings of plays, audio and visual materials, a podcast of the Basset Hound, and an article published in a now defunct online journal.
  • Frank Hanson, Biology, has available to contribute symposium publications, all important publications, and datasets. He needs scanning services to convert some of his older work to a digital format.

For additional information on the digital repository research at UMBC, contact any member of the library IR Group:
Michelle Flinchbaugh (, x56754)
Gergana Kostova (, x53592)