October 20, 2008

OpenSIUC site offers research, scholarly material

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- As fast as you can say “Open Sesame” you can OpenSIUC and find a treasure trove of knowledge. OpenSIUC is the new Southern Illinois University Carbondale institutional repository.

Essentially, it’s an online storehouse giving one and all permanent, reliable, free access to research and scholarly material produced at the University. A service of Morris Library, it is a one-stop location for accessing material previously unavailable or posted on scattered Web sites here and there.

Faculty, staff and students contribute to OpenSIUC with published and unpublished materials. Featured will be journal articles, conference papers and proceedings, technical reports, working papers, posters, videos, audios, data sets, theses and dissertations, honors theses, REACH posters and much more. A visit to http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu throws wide the virtual door to tremendous resources and knowledge.

“The idea is to make SIUC output more visible, more accessible and to preserve it,” said Jonathan Nabe, SIUC collection development librarian/science and technology. Nabe is part of the three-person team administering the repository. Working with him are Andrea Imre, electronic resources librarian, and Julie Arendt, science and engineering librarian.

Nabe said materials within OpenSIUC are more visible because Google, GoogleScholar and other search engines index them higher than they would the same content on individual or departmental Web sites. The entire world can access items within OpenSIUC. Morris Library staff is committed to assuring the site is reliable with regular backup of content and URLs that never change.

They’ll accept all file formats for inclusion. Microsoft Word documents automatically convert to PDF files. Nabe said the site’s software also supports journal publication and includes a peer review tracking system and other necessary tools. Those who contribute can elect to receive automatic monthly e-mails indicating the total downloads of their posts.

“We help with copyright issues as well,” Nabe said. “Many publishers allow the posting of journal articles in repositories.”

Library officials also see OpenSIUC as a valuable tool for recruiting faculty and students to the University.

“Right now, we are simply seeking to get as broad a representation of materials as possible as soon as possible,” Nabe said. “The library is committed, to the extent possible, to making sure that the files last and remain useable in the future.”

For more information about OpenSIUC or submitting material to the repository, go to http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu or e-mail opensiuc@lib.siu.edu.