“For the Public Good”: A Public Institution and Its New Open Access Repository

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ran a column by Graduate Center Interim President Chase Robinson about the Graduate Center’s recent string of high-profile hires and overall success recruiting prominent and innovative faculty. One reason the Graduate Center is so appealing to potential hires, he says, is its “public character”:

“Hire after hire has responded to the mission that the Graduate Center volubly affirms: to create and disseminate knowledge, through research, teaching, and public events, for the public good.”

Knowledge that is created and disseminated for the public good of course does more good when it reaches more people. How can the Graduate Center make sure its research, teaching, and public events reach as broad a public as possible? The answer should be obvious to all regular readers of this blog: by making its research output, instructional materials, and public programming freely available online whenever possible!  

In other words, the Graduate Center can help its community fulfill its mission by promoting open access both in theory and in practice.

How can the GC do these two things? It can do the first by promoting conversation about scholarly communications and open access (which it does in many ways, including employing a scholarly communications librarian (that’s me!) and supporting JustPublics@365). And it can do the second by giving its faculty, staff, and students a place to easily and quickly make their works open access. And that brings me to…

Drumroll, please!

 

The Graduate Center Library invites you to take a sneak peek at the Graduate Center’s brand new open access repository, Academic Works:

Snapshot of Graduate Center Academic Works

The Graduate Center’s new open access institutional repository: Academic Works

So far, Academic Works includes only a small handful of publications, but soon it will be teeming with articles, book chapters, conference papers, dissertations, master’s theses, and other scholarly and creative works by Graduate Center faculty, students, and staff. (Look for the dissertations and theses of February 2014 graduates to appear soon!) Curious what a thriving open access institutional repository looks like? Prowl around UMass Amherst’s ScholarWorks, University of California’s eScholarship, or Digital Commons @ University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

To clarify a commonly confused point: Only the GC community will be able to upload works to GC’s Academic Works. But everyone everywhere will be able to access and download them (those that aren’t embargoed, anyway).

We’re still finalizing the site and instructions, but if you’re a Graduate Center faculty member, you’re welcome to start submitting your scholarly and creative works to the repository! (We’re doing a phased launch, and for self-submissions we’re starting with faculty only. But it will be ready to accept GC student self-submissions in the near future. Dissertations and theses will go into the repository in batches after graduation, not via self-submission.) Contact Jill Cirasella, Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communication, to learn more.

To the broader CUNY community: The rest of CUNY will be launching an institutional repository in the near future. So if you’re at CUNY but not affiliated with the Graduate Center, you’ll have a repository of your own soon!

About the Author

Avatar of Jill Cirasella Jill Cirasella is the Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communication at the Graduate Center, CUNY.