Presentation Abstracts

A black banner with white and gold text and two horizontal gold feathers has the following text: 2024 Southern Miss Institutional Repository Conference. April 25 and 26, 2024.

2024 Presentation Abstracts

Panel – April 25, 2024

Rethinking Institutional Repositories
Scott Bacon, Coastal Carolina University
Erin Jerome, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Abigail Norris-Davidson, University of Mississippi
Jeanne Pavy, University of New Orleans
Karen Ramsden, Montclair State University
Arjun Sabharwal, University of Toledo

When IRs were originally developed, they were envisioned primarily as a place to collect faculty articles and showcase them to the world. However, many institutions have struggled to persuade faculty to contribute, and many publishers are hesitant to allow the final versions of research articles to be posted in the IR. This panel discussion features contributors to Rethinking Institutional Repositories, recently published by ACRL, who will share about the projects and innovations they have used at their institutions to rethink the way their IRs operate to broaden participation in the IR and to showcase new types of collections.

Lightning Talks – April 25, 2024

Finding Your IR Match
Melissa Chim, Excelsior University

Meeting with IR vendors can be almost as daunting as setting up a first date. What questions should you ask? If you hit it off, should you commit right away? This lightning talk will offer advice on how to navigate vendor meetings when starting to look for an IR. This talk will include what to consider when "dating" around to find your perfect IR match, such as how an IR vendor aligns with your institutional goals. This presentation is based on the experiences of the Excelsior University librarians, who were tasked with starting the university's IR from scratch in 2023.

The IR: Creating New Connections and Enriching Established Ones
Chuck Hodgin, Belmont University

Here, I will explore how the library's collaboration with the Director of Undergraduate Research, specifically leveraging our IR, contributed to the creation of a new, daylong event celebrating undergraduate research. In 2022, we restructured the entire process of collecting and showcasing student work created for the annual Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium (BURS) within the IR. This restructuring made our collection more exhaustive and thus accelerated its visibility. We also implemented changes within the IR which allowed faculty to be more involved in students' submission process, which strengthened connections between faculty members, the library, and the Office of Undergraduate Research. Belmont administration was so pleased with BURS that they accepted a proposal to lengthen and diversify the event. I will discuss the library's partnership with Undergraduate Research and how we changed our IR workflows and processes to enhance our BURS collection and achieve greater recognition for Belmont students.

Digital Accessibility and the Institutional Repository: Implementing a New Campus Policy
Anne Shelley, Iowa State University

In this presentation, I will cover efforts to evaluate and enhance the digital accessibility of Iowa State University's Digital Repository. The motivation for this work is to comply with an institutional policy affecting public-facing web page content and online courses; the policy's timeline began in 2022 and asks staff to meet benchmarks leading up to full compliance by July 1, 2026. I will share strategies taken, challenges encountered, decisions taken, and brief details of conversations with stakeholders inside and outside the library. This lightning talk will be of interest to repository managers who wish to improve the accessibility of their repositories.

”Walk Right In, Sit Right Down”: Baby Let Your Hair Down and Jump in the Middle of a Migration
Kate Blalack, University of Notre Dame

Moving cross-country and joining a new team, in a new environment, in the middle of an institutional repository migration can be a bit of a challenge, to say the least. Add to this recipe that the team is already suffering burnout, and is migrating a proprietary database, CurateND, to a vendor-based database, Figshare. The new position: service manager, peer leadership, and navigating stakeholder relationships. The team: one migration engineer, consultant, three librarians, and two graduate college staff. This presentation will discuss navigating relationships, strategy, and workflow of an already challenging migration project as a new library faculty member at Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame. It will focus on a "people first" approach, which makes all the difference.

Flotsam, Jetsam, and “Post-sam”: IRs and Redundancies, Relocations, and Collective Action Problems
Andrea Quinn, Emory University School of Law

A single faculty work may be posted to that faculty member's personal website, the publishing journal's website, a repository at the faculty member's current institution, a repository at a co-author's institution, a repository at the faculty member's previous institution, and so on.

For repository administrators, does the broadest possible availability of works outweigh adding to online "clutter" or (playing off the terms flotsam and jetsam) "post-sam"? What might best practices in this area look like, and what are some key hurdles to promoting standards when it comes to posting faculty works for those who manage and work with institutional repositories? How might such best practices be enforced?

This talk will outline some key challenges and briefly consider potential options in light of competing preferences.

Full Concurrent Sessions – April 26, 2024

Curation-Migration Cycle: A Preservation-Centered Framework for Institutional Repository Migration
Arjun Sabharwal, University of Toledo

Digital preservation involves an elaborate cycle of remediatory actions including data and format migration between infrastructures. In the Digital Curation Centre's (DCC) Curation Lifecycle Model (Digital Curation Centre, n.d.; Higgins 2007/2008), migration appears as a preservation action leading to data transformation and immunity from obsolescence. Institutional repositories (IRs) are essentially digital archives representing the structure, relationships, investments, and heritage of organizations trusting the technology to preserve records in digital form. The organization of IRs (e.g., collections, sub-collections, and communities) represent interrelated structures: those of the records (as organized into groups, series, and sub-series by processing archivists) and the hierarchies of record creators (as seen in finding aids). It is vital for curators to maintain this connection at times of migration between infrastructures, data models, and metadata schema (see Littman et al., 2023). IR migrations (especially with large data sets) therefore require extensive planning and thoughtful implementation.

The DCC model is a widely recognized cyclical framework requiring a socio-technological approach involving the ANT, and the relationship between human (participants, organizations) and nonhuman actors (technologies, policies, standards). A preservation action initiates migration (after re-appraisal if necessary) leading to data transformation using new metadata and/or format standards, infrastructure, or organizational context. The Levels of Representation framework can inform professional actions (such as migrations) on bitstream/physical entities to aggregations/data sets. Increased ontological commitments are necessary in migrating large collections due to multiple levels of relationships among contents and record-creating organizations. These considerations must guide preservation actions and migrations between different infrastructures, metadata schema, and content standards.

This presentation focuses on the curation-migration cycle—a preservation-centered framework for planning IR migrations. It will address theoretical frameworks like "Levels of Representation" (Lee, 2011) and Actor-Network Theory (LaTour, 1996; Herman, 2023) necessary for a socio-technological approach, and report on a decade of experience and lessons learned from four IR migrations at the University of Toledo.

IR Accessibility: Where Are We At? Where Do We Need To Be?
Carli Spina, SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology
Colleen Lougen, SUNY New Paltz

With the World Health Organization estimating that there are 1.3 billion people with disabilities worldwide, institutional repositories are never going to achieve their aim of widely and freely sharing information without careful attention to accessibility. Unfortunately, many institutional repositories are not achieving a level of accessibility that allows for equitable access to their collections by disabled users. In this presentation, we will share the results of our environmental scan of current institutional practice. We will also discuss the recommended best practices we have developed to improve access to these valuable materials by all users.

MavMatrix Reloaded: Migrating the UTA Institutional Repository
Whitney Russell, University of Texas at Arlington
Vanessa Garrett, University of Texas at Arlington
Hang Pham-Vu, University of Texas at Arlington

UTA Libraries at the University of Texas at Arlington is in the process of migrating from DSpace and other digital project platforms into a singular Bepress instance, which will include our open access journals, theses and dissertations, archives and special collections materials, data sets and data management, and student and faculty digital projects. This Bepress instance has been branded MavMatrix. Our presentation will discuss the stakeholders involved, the process of migrating legacy metadata, and condensing multiple platforms that hopefully meet the needs of everyone involved.

Sustainability, Experiential Learning, Scholarship, and Cross-Campus Collaboration: UGA’s Campus Sustainability Archive Brings It All Together
Mary Willoughby, University of Georgia/Digital Library of Georgia
Justin Ellis, University of Georgia
Camila Lívio, University of Georgia

The UGA Campus Sustainability Archive ( is a collection within the University of Georgia's ScholarWorksUGA Institutional Repository. It serves as a notable example of highly interdisciplinary and innovative scholarship, bringing together students, research experts, faculty members, and librarians. It demonstrates the advantages in partnerships with the Libraries, such as enhancing the project's visibility as an open-access resource and ensuring its sustainability as a digital project through robust documentation and management.

This collection supports the UGA Office of Sustainability's Living Lab program, a collaborative, interdepartmental effort to create sustainable solutions to campus challenges through collaboration between operational staff, faculty, and students.

Nationally, higher education institutions have increasingly embraced efforts to combine academic rigor with applied learning to address sustainability related challenges and opportunities, as such skills are increasingly in demand in the workforce and society. From its initiation, UGA's Living Lab Program recognized the importance of collecting, preserving and sharing hyperlocal data and lessons learned from an array of sustainability related internships, capstones, and other experiential learning student led projects. Inspired by the University of Utah's talk to other Campus Living Lab leaders about the importance of archiving an institution's record of transformative change, UGA's Sustainability Office and the University of Georgia Library began a collaboration to build a collection within the Institutional Repository focused on Campus Sustainability.

Our presentation will give an overview of the UGA Campus Sustainability Archive including its uses, evolution, and possible directions for future growth. We will present examples of the kinds of innovative scholarship and dynamic cross-departmental collaborations it supports and show how this work not only supports our current campus sustainability goals but also helps train a new generation of leaders for this vital work. We will also discuss the Esploro platform that hosts ScholarWorksUGA and give examples of the diverse types of scholarship and data that comprise the project.

What, No Modules? Exploring Your Versatile Admin Options in an Off the Shelf Figshare Repository
Andrew Mckenna-Foster, Figshare

Figshare is a configurable software as a service repository platform that handles any type of academic output from theses to datasets to media, and everything in between. Figshare development balances a fully maintained and always up to date platform with a range of admin configuration and repository management options. In this presentation, we’ll show time saving admin configurations and workflows that are a result of client questions or feature requests. We’ll demonstrate how admins can manage users, records, custom metadata, and overall repository structure.

Using AI with Digital Objects: A Plethora of Opportunities
Elizabeth La Beaud, The University of Southern Mississippi

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly evolving and affecting just about every industry imaginable. Libraries and institutional repositories are of course no exception to this. With all the possibilities, it can be difficult to know where to start with AI. In this presentation, we'll discuss potential applications of AI in digital libraries and institutional repositories and brainstorm possible workflows and enhancements. The goal of this session is to demystify AI and start seeing AI as a way to build capacity, improve accuracy, promote collections, increase accessibility, and much, much more.

Envisioning the Future of Scholarly Communications with Digital Commons
Saad Khan, Elsevier Digital Commons

We’d like to take you on a quick journey, starting at the very beginning to examine how institutional repositories came to be, why we think the library remains at the center of knowledge management and distribution and how the librarian community plays a pivotal role in advancing scholarly communication. We will then discuss the role Digital Commons plays in supporting this community and our ongoing commitment to furthering open access and scholarly communications.

Going Off-Script…Again: Implementing Code and AI to Simplify Content Management
Abbie Norris-Davidson, University of Mississippi

In a follow up to last year's SMIRC presentation, "Going off Script," "Going off Script...Again" will demonstrate how the University of Mississippi's Digital Initiatives Librarian preserved the university's news releases from 1998-2023 using a mix of free software, simple code, and OpenAI's ChatGPT. Building off of the resources demonstrated at SMIRC 2023, demonstrations will include preserving webpages as PDFs, remedying issues found in the initial preservation workflow, and how librarians can use ChatGPT to help troubleshoot frustrating-to-solve issues when using code. This presentation aims to inspire other repository librarians to pioneer new, innovative methods of leveraging artificial intelligence to preserve institutional history.

Short Concurrent Sessions – April 26, 2024

Something Old, Something New: Using DCX to Showcase IR Collections
Michelle Emanuel, University of Mississippi

Since implementing Digital Commons Exhibits (DCX) as part of its repository, the University of Mississippi has found new ways to present its digital collections, as well as revisit previous exhibits from years before the IR.

What’s in an (IR) Name? The Process of Renaming and Rebranding an Institutional Repository
Trent Dunkin, Louisiana State University

During the fall of 2022, it was decided that LSU Libraries would rename its institutional repository (IR). While there were many options to choose from, it was crucial to choose a name that would not only express the ultimate scope of the IR, but also reflect the mission of the university. This presentation will discuss pivotal points of the renaming and rebranding process:

  • Choosing a name
  • Asking for feedback
  • Getting authorizations and approvals
  • Alerting IR stakeholders and partners
  • Post-implementation response from the university community

Institutional Repository Migration: Experiences in Assessment, Planning, and Preparation
Matthew Mayernik, National Center for Atmospheric Research

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Library has operated an institutional repository, called OpenSky, since 2009. OpenSky provides access to open access versions of published scholarship, digital archival materials, audio/visual materials, and unique technical reports. Since 2015, the underlying technology for OpenSky has been the Islandora open source repository software. Due to end-of-life of some of the technical components that underlie the version of Islandora used by OpenSky, the system is in need of migration to a new repository platform. This talk will present the NCAR Library staff’s efforts over a multi-year period to set this repository platform migration in motion. The work involved to date includes identifying key functionality requirements for OpenSky, assessing possible repository platforms, meeting with repository vendors, performing user tests, completing metadata upgrades, evaluating prototype repository systems, and developing migration plans. We will discuss lessons learned in this process, including what has gone well and what difficulties we have encountered.

Creating Sustainable Solutions with Hosted Institutional Repositories: How Future-Proof is Your Infrastructure?
Andrew Mckenna-Foster, Figshare

This presentation will discuss the core purpose of institutional repositories and why universities are investing in them as well as the benefits of fully hosted infrastructure that supports this core purpose. To help the community evaluate the current readiness of existing institutional repositories so they can evolve with funding mandates, we're going to provide a checklist to assess your current state of play.

Institutional repositories help Universities promote their researchers' work, provide tangible mechanisms and infrastructure for growing funder policy compliance requirements, and strengthen the Library's role in supporting the communication of research. This is in addition to fostering a culture of proficient research management and championing core open research principles and best practices amongst faculty and researchers.

When we begin to think about what essential functionalities or capabilities an institutional repository needs to have to be able to support the core motivating factors for having one in the first place; a simple starting point is that it needs to be technologically sound and, wherever possible, be available at the point of need. If the repository infrastructure is down at the point a researcher needs to submit a dataset, reserve a DOI, or make a journal article openly available, this may not only deter that single deposit or action but put them off coming back to the service again.

The institutional repository also needs to be meaningful to all faculties and research areas. Research data management and the sharing of all outputs associated with the research process in a FAIR way has already become best practice and the 'norm' in certain subject areas, e.g. some STEM disciplines - however, there is still some way to go for other disciplines that do not traditionally see themselves as creating or having research 'data' that they need to share. To further this journey towards all research outputs being as 'open as possible', an institutional repository needs to be able to support a large variety of outputs in different file formats, have flexible metadata, and provide meaningful metrics if Universities are going to be able to support OSTP and NIH mandates in the coming years.

Across the pond, a recent paper explored software updates as a core part of running repositories and stated: "42% of repositories upgraded their repository platforms in 2022, and 74% of repositories stated that they were planning to upgrade in 2023. 21% of repositories that upgraded in 2022 plan to do it again in 2023. In total, about 60% of respondents have either updated their repository in 2022 or are planning to update to a more recent version in 2023. This presentation will propose a checklist for repository administrators and engineers to support repository upgrade and planning activities, and look at which existing hosted solutions might pose a more sustainable way to evolve institutional repositories in a rapidly changing landscape.

Launching an ETD Program in a New Repository
Emily Johnson, University of Texas at San Antonio
Elliot Williams, University of Texas at San Antonio

In 2023, UTSA Libraries undertook a project to ingest ETDs into its institutional repository, the Runner Research Press (RRP). UTSA did not have an institutional repository until RRP was launched in 2020, and ETDs were not previously included. Prior to this project, ETDs were housed solely in the ProQuest Theses and Dissertations database, with the library's Special Collections department housing print copies of theses and dissertations written before 2014. Through this project, nearly 4,000 ETDs from 2008-2023 were ingested into the repository, and librarians worked with the Graduate School to require that, going forward, all theses and dissertations be made available open access in RRP. This presentation will outline the different components of the project from start to finish, particularly focused on developing a work plan, managing external partnerships with the UTSA Graduate School and ProQuest, copyright considerations, metadata issues, process and workflow documentation, and outreach to former students. This presentation will be of interest to anyone at an institution who is considering digitizing print theses and dissertations or collecting ETDs in their repository for the first time.