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The digital library

Lisa Goddard is spearheading the Library’s digitization efforts.

By David Sorensen

The world of scholarly publishing is experiencing a digital-based renaissance and Memorial’s Library is at the forefront.

The combination of the cost of traditional publications and the vast reams of data now available electronically have forced scholars to seek increased access to digital material.

And university researchers are heading in that direction willingly. Open Access journals offer authors an opportunity to retain copyright over their published work, and to share their research globally, not just among the privileged few who can afford subscriptions to gated journals.

Lisa Goddard is Memorial’s acting associate university librarian IT. She said the Library is collaborating with campus partners to develop a new suite of web-based scholarly communication services that are tailored to meet the needs of researchers working in a digital environment.

These services include the Digital Archive Initiative, Open Journal Systems, the Memorial University Research Repository and, in collaboration with the School of Graduate Studies, the eTheses@MUN initiative.

“We want people to know that the library is moving in non-traditional directions that could really help them with their research,” Ms. Goddard said.

“With more and more research information and learning materials coming out in digital formats, the move is away from filling the stacks with paper and responding to what our user community wants and how they want to use the information,” added University Librarian Lorraine Busby.

Another part of the effort is to digitize primary documents, said Ms. Busby.
“We take what we have that is original source material – photographs, letters, documents – and increasingly we need to put it out there for people to use.”
That material runs the gamut from Newfoundland newspapers to audio recordings of former Premier Joey Smallwood to vessel blueprints at the Marine Institute.

Ms. Busby said the Library is ideally suited to assist faculties and schools in digital projects in which they have an interest.

“We’re not doing this on our own,” said Ms. Busby. “Where we will provide the value-added is in the promotion of this and the access.”

She said the digital efforts are not taking away from the library’s traditional activities. It’s a complement.

“We’re building for the future, but we’re not abandoning our print users.”

Digital Archive Initiative

The Digital Archive is your gateway to the learning and research-based cultural resources held by Memorial University and partnering organizations. From books and maps to photographs, periodicals, yearbooks, newspapers, video, music, and spoken word, the DAI hosts a variety of digital collections which together reinforce the importance, past and present, of Newfoundland and Labrador's history and culture. The DAI currently hosts over 800,000 digital objects in 105 collections contributed by over 22 organizations from across the Atlantic region, and we’re adding new objects every day. Memorial Libraries have made a special commitment to steward NL cultural materials, but we’ll consider any unique collection with value for teaching or research. Contact: Lisa Goddard,

Open Journal Systems

The Open Journal Systems (OJS) platform provides a full suite of services for creating and hosting online journals, including mechanisms for article submission, peer review workflow, journal layout, reader access, and long-term archiving. As of January 2010 there were over 5000 journal titles on the OJS platform, many of them hosted by Canadian university libraries. Any faculty member, student, or campus group can use OJS to publish an electronic journal, magazine, or newsletter. Your publication will be freely available online, and will be easy to discover through major search engines like Google. The library will help to get you up and running. We can also assist in identifying specialized indexes appropriate to your subject area or audience. Contact: Lisa Goddard,

eTheses @ MUN

Theses and dissertations are major research undertakings for graduate students, and represent a sizeable proportion of the total research output of the university. These works are of considerable interest to the larger research community, but they have typically been very difficult to find and access. In order to increase the visibility of our student’s work on the global stage the library has partnered with the School of Graduate Studies to build an open access collection of theses and dissertations that can be discovered through search engines like Google.

Memorial University Research Repository

In fall 2010 Memorial Libraries will be launching the Research Repository, an initiative to showcase and preserve Memorial University’s creative and intellectual output. Memorial University Libraries are committed to collecting and safeguarding the University’s unique products including article pre-prints and post prints, finished data sets, conference papers, lectures, colloquia, presentations, reports, and performances. The repository will support faculty efforts to discover and communicate new knowledge, will improve the visibility of Memorial’s research in the global arena, and will help our students and faculty to build impressive, lasting digital portfolios.