Summertime, and Submitting Scholarship is Easy

CUNY Academic Works logo

Ah, August. A time for relaxing at the beach with a good book, for going to cookouts with family and friends, for picnicking in a shady park…and for sharing your research and instructional materials with the world via CUNY Academic Works. Unlike the ephemeral summer, Academic Works can be enjoyed year round in any weather condition!

Maintained by CUNY Libraries, Academic Works advances CUNY’s mission as a public university by making the scholarly, creative, and pedagogical works of its community accessible to all, with no paywalls or other access barriers. Current CUNY faculty, staff, and students can upload their articles, presentations, open educational resources, and more to Academic Works by following the appropriate submission link for their campus. 

The reach of Academic Works is impressive and constantly expanding. It currently includes about 26,000 works, which have been downloaded more than 6.7 million times. Visitors to the site can find what interests them by searching or browsing, but the vast majority of readers are led directly to items in Academic Works by Google or Google Scholar.

Screengrap of CUNY Academic Works download map

More fun than a summer blockbuster: watching the Academic Works download map on a summer night! Click for a closer view.

There are many benefits of including your scholarship in CUNY Academic Works. In addition to helping you share your works with readers worldwide, it’s more durable than personal websites or commercial sites such as and ResearchGate. Also, every month you’ll be emailed a download report, showing you the reach of your work across the globe. Further, there is evidence that publicly available articles are cited more often than articles behind a paywall. Piwowar et al. (2018) explored the citation impact of open access articles and learned that, after controlling for discipline and age, open access articles obtain 18% more citations than average.

Materials in Academic Works are read and appreciated by more than just seasoned scholars. Information seekers of all ages and walks of life are finding real personal and educational value in CUNY’s contributions, as evidenced by feedback we receive from appreciative readers. (Readers can communicate with us by clicking “How does access to this work benefit you? Let us know!” on any publication’s cover page.) For example, an anonymous young reader recently wrote in about Electric Light: Automating the Carceral State During the Quantification of Everything, saying, “This is amazing, I am eternally grateful as a high school student to be able to access this information especially in times of surveillance of the police on the people.” 

CLAGS logo

One part of Academic Works that we are especially proud of is the collection of articles from CLAGSNews, the newsletter of the Center for LGBTQ Studies (formerly Lesbian and Gay Studies), which is located at the GC. CLAGSNews was published in print from the early 1990s until 2013, and CLAGS and the Mina Rees Library partnered to digitize all issues, seek authors’ permission to share their articles online, and upload them to Academic Works. The collection offers a rich and varied assortment of queer thought and culture within academia, arts, activism, and New York City. 

Another collection of note is COVID-19 Research by CUNY Authors, which highlights COVID-19 research from many different disciplines. For example, early in the pandemic (April 2020), researchers from The Graduate Center and Hunter College released a cutting-edge working paper titled CoV Genome Tracker: tracing genomic footprints of Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to important scientific research, the collection includes articles that consider the pandemic’s effects on education, law, the economy, and more. Nelson Santana wrote a compelling article about an oral history project titled Documenting Latinx Communities: Podcasting and Oral History in the Time of COVID-19.

Hopefully, this blog post will inspire you to contribute some of your own wonderful scholarly, pedagogical, or creative works to Academic Works! If you have any questions, consult the library’s guide to Academic Works or drop us a line at



Piwowar, H., Priem, J., Larivière, V., Alperin, J.P., Matthias, L., Norlander, B., Farley, A., West, J., & Haustein, S. (2018). The state of OA: A large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of open access articles. PeerJ, 6.


About the Author

Kate Angell is an Adjunct Reference Librarian at The Graduate Center.