For nearly 14 years, the University of Pennsylvania has used bepress’ Digital Commons software to host Penn’s institutional repository, ScholarlyCommons, which makes scholarly works of Penn faculty, staff, and students freely available online. Given bepress’ recent acquisition by a major publishing/information analytics company, Elsevier, the University of Pennsylvania Libraries has announced that it will explore alternatives to bepress’ Digital Commons platform. This provides the Penn Libraries with an opportunity to build new repository services that will better meet the needs of the Penn community.
What is “beprexit”?
This “bepress exit,” or “beprexit” for short, encompasses more than simply finding alternatives to bepress/Elsevier: It is questioning the purpose of an institutional repository and exploring the future of scholarly communication. We’re taking a hard look at the various types of scholarly expressions our academic community is producing beyond traditional book and journal publishing and how they are disseminating those expressions. We’re looking at needs – met and unmet – and rethinking how we support our community.
Are Penn community members still able to upload content to ScholarlyCommons?
Beprexit has no impact on the services that ScholarlyCommons currently offers, including Faculty Assisted Submission, our mediated deposit service for Penn faculty. Librarians, faculty, and series administrators are encouraged to continue adding content, asking us for new series, and managing their collections per usual. We would also encourage these groups to start thinking about what they would want in a new suite of systems and to share those ideas with us.
How will you select a new platform(s)?
Before we make a decision, we have a lot of learning to do. The Penn Libraries has charged a platform exploration team with leading this learning process over the next 9 months (beginning in November 2017). The team will research platform options; explore collaboration opportunities; and ascertain the Penn community’s current uses, needs, and desires for repository services. We see this as an opportunity to build services that better meet the needs of our community, so the Penn community is encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas with this group.
When will migration from bepress happen?
What will happen to my content when you migrate?
While the exact details of a migration won’t become clear until we’ve identified a new platform, we can assure the Penn community that their content will be successfully migrated and their works’ URLs maintained or redirected. Penn community members with content in ScholarlyCommons will not need to do anything to migrate their content.
How can I learn more?
We’re hosting a series of open houses this fall and winter for faculty, librarians, and administrators to ask questions and learn more about beprexit (exact dates TBA). You can also keep up with our progress on the beprexit blog or Twitter account, both of which are updated regularly.
How can I get involved?
As we continue having conversations and start a process of learning, we want to share our findings and conversations more widely, so please let us know if you have resources or stories to share, or if you have ideas on platforms or features that we should consider. We will announce additional opportunities to get involved as the project evolves over the coming months.
Submit to ScholarlyCommons
Make your works discoverable through ScholarlyCommons, Penn's openly accessible institutional repository. Take advantage of Faculty Assisted Submission by sending us your CV or list of publications (faculty only), submit materials yourself, or set up a consultation to discuss your digital project.