Friday, May 30, 2008

Academic Commons (no longer DigitalCommons)

On Monday, if all goes well, our current institutional repository system (DigitalCommons@Columbia) will be replaced by the new "Academic Commons" repository. You can preview Academic Commons.

Initially the content of Academic Commons will be the same as DigitalCommons, with the same three content 'communities':
Center on Japanese Economy and Business working papers, etc.
Economics Department discussion papers
Columbia Dissertations and Theses
Over the next months you'll be hearing from the new Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) about plans for enlarging Academic Commons with additional collections and communities.

Under the hood Academic Commons differs from Digital Commons in that it is built on a local implementation of the open source dSpace software, rather than on the commercially-vended, remotely-hosted ProQuest system. The dSpace-based system will allow us more flexibility in developing our institutional repository over time and more options for integrating the content into other CUL and campus information systems.

We have tried to minimize the impact of this change on current users by configuring a full set of redirects from the old system to the new, so as not to break bookmarks or URL references that users of the DigitalCommons may have made. All items in Academic Commons now and in the future will have a permanent CNRI "handle" assigned rather than the ProQuest-specific URLs available in DigitalCommons.

The main differences between Academic Commons and DigitalCommons that staff might encounter are in the Columbia Dissertations and Theses collection. In the new system, descriptive information displayed for Columbia dissertations will now be based on catalog records extracted from CLIO rather than on data supplied directly by ProQuest. (Actually what's displayed in Academic Commons is a combination of CLIO and ProQuest data, since we want to continue to acquire and load ProQuest's valuable dissertation abstracts in Academic Commons and CLIO.) This change in information flow will mean, among other things, that individual dissertations may show up in Academic Commons at different times than they do in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses or would have in DigitalCommons. The actual workflows for getting accurate information about new online dissertations into CLIO and then into Academic Commons are still being developed and will doubtless improve over time.

Other differences in the Columbia Dissertations collection include:
Answers to Other Likely Questions:

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