BY MELISSA WAINAINA
Researchers and readers will now have easier access to academic papers written by Salisbury University faculty and students after the Oct. 21 unveiling of Shared Open Access Repository at SU (SOAR@SU), a new online academic storage area.
SOAR@SU is the university’s first institutional repository, which will provide an innovative way for the library to have an increase in global visibility of work that students and faculty members want to share.
The project is funded by the University System of Maryland and affiliated institutions, with SU being one of several USM universities including Frostburg, University of Maryland Baltimore County and Towson using SOAR.
According to the SU Blackwell Library guide, the repository was not only created for people to upload and share work, but also to spark collaboration with other academics nationally and internationally.
“Smaller institutions looking at the possibilities of creating a repository individually, and the libraries of this organization has a consortia, instead of everyone paying the same amount, to make their own,” SU librarian Laura Hanscom said. “Let’s just combine and make a big shared one.”
SOAR@SU is not only offered and accessible to undergraduate students, but also graduate students. It gives them a chance to build their portfolios by including examples of their work in a digital collection that they can share with world, including future employers.
It will provide links for all material and will be also be visible on Google Scholar.
“SOAR will benefit students and staff, because it will make their outputs of their work more wildly accessible,” Hanscom said. “Google Scholar, and other things like that, will be able to find these works, so it raised the visibility and work that staff and students here do. It also helps students build their digital footprint, as far as their academic work goes.”
For students interested in starting their online portfolio, they must be sponsored by a faculty member in order for their work to be visible.
Currently, SOAR@SU has about 50 items posted.
The repository can be accessed through the Blackwell Library’s website front page, or through searching SOAR@SU online.