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Home Rodcast 201712

UNI ScholarWorks: Improving Availability for Two Iowa Journals


Rod Library has started adding both the Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science (JIAS) and the Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science (PIAS) to UNI ScholarWorks. This joint effort between the Iowa Academy of Science, headquartered on the UNI campus, and Rod Library will eventually make most volumes available to the public. While UNI ScholarWorks now holds volumes from 1965 through 2009, volumes dating back to 1897 will become accessible by the end of the project.

The Perfect SolutionThe Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science and the Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science

The process of digitizing these journals began when Ellen Neuhaus, digital scholarship librarian, first made contact with Craig Johnson, executive director of the Iowa Academy of Science, at a UNI Connexus event. The Iowa Academy of Science had digital copies of both the JIAS and the PIAS but lacked an adequate platform to make them available for the public to discover. At the time, Ellen was in the process of implementing UNI ScholarWorks, which has a journal publishing capability that was a perfect fit for the digitized versions of these journals. The two decided to team up and agreed that the Iowa Academy of Science would supply the digitized issues, and Rod Library would add them to UNI ScholarWorks to make them discoverable and freely accessible to a worldwide audience.

Creating a  User-Friendly Format

To increase the searchability of the articles in these journals, Rod Library decided that instead of supplying the journals as one large, single-volume file, it would be better to add each article individually to UNI ScholarWorks in a journal format. This method provides a way for users to quickly search the web and link directly to a relevant JIAS or PIAS article within UNI ScholarWorks. Since Rod Library is working with annual volumes dating back to 1897, it means that this will be a long-term, ongoing project. However, it is already apparent that this extra effort is paying off. Since March 2017, JIAS and PIAS articles have received over 3,800 downloads from 98 different countries.

The digitization of these publications in UNI ScholarWorks just one example of the many ways that Rod Library is striving to make previously hard-to-access scholarship available to a worldwide audience.

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