In 1925, Boston College acquired Bapst, and in 1984, O’Neill. Now, in 2015, the University is creating a new kind of library. BC recently launched eScholarship, an online repository of faculty and student work. The digital collection was created in order to facilitate greater accessibility to scholarly material for BC students and faculty, as well as offer greater security in the preservation of these materials.
This online resource will ease research by allowing readers to specify searches to works by a certain author, collection, school, discipline, and degree level. Readers can search for PDF versions of published and unpublished work, as well as submit theses and dissertations of their own.
“Open access allowed us to rethink what is it that our purpose is providing an international readership, a broader readership, and inviting a broader group to participate in the conversation,” said Dr. Michael James of the Lynch School. “This gave us a great platform for both access, a new business model, and appealed to our sense of justice and in terms of new scholarship and accessible authorship.”
Through eScholarship, BC is focusing on the digitization of its hundreds of thousands of publications and records. The plan is to make this resources publically available free of charge.
David Quigley, provost and dean of faculties, said that open access of information connects well with the idea that the work a university does holds the power to make a global impact.
“The first thing that comes to mind is the ‘Light the World’ campaign and slogan for the University,” Quigley said. “The idea that a university and its mission to research, teach, and educated in service to making the world better for not just our students but for the broader community.”
Research has shown that literature and articles are more widely read the more readily available they are, according to head librarian Jane Morris. A system like eScholarship will also allow students to get their work published and more easily seen by prospective employers or schools.
“One important feature is that the work gets indexed better in Google scholar, so people will find it more easily using search engines,” Morris said. “For an academic, this is their life’s work, so they want it to be widely read and easily visible. This is another way to do it.”