The digital library
Goddard is spearheading the Library’s digitization
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
“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
“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
“We’re building for the future, but we’re not
abandoning our print users.”
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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.