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Academic Works at the CUNY IT Conference

The City University of New York’s 14th annual IT Conference was held at John Jay College on December 3rd and 4th. While a number of sessions addressed open access initiatives at CUNY, a few specifically highlighted the role of CUNY Academic Works as part of these efforts — from the preservation challenges presented by digital dissertations at the CUNY Graduate Center to the launch of a new open access journal devoted to the scholarship of teaching and learning in art history, Art History Pedagogy and Practice, that will be published in CUNY Academic Works.

On Friday afternoon, William Casari, Jill Cirasella, Miriam Deutch and Megan Wacha presented “Opening CUNY: Academic Works at Work.” This session introduced attendees to the repository initiative and discussed how opening content to the world impacts CUNY and its community, both local and global. In order to provide a sense of the range of content types collected by CUNY Academic Works, each speaker addressed a specific collection at their institution: dissertations at the Graduate Center, open educational resources (OERs) at Brooklyn College, the “Save Hostos” Gerald J. Meyer archival collection at Hostos Community College, and faculty research from across the entire City University of New York. Slides are available via CUNY Academic Works.

 

(left to right) William Casari, Megan Wacha, Jill Cirasella, and Miriam Deutch discuss Academic Works at the CUNY IT Conference.
(left to right) William Casari, Megan Wacha, Jill Cirasella, and Miriam Deutch discuss Academic Works at the CUNY IT Conference.

Woah, we’re halfway there

Woah! We're halfway there.When CUNY Libraries embarked on the trail to a more open CUNY, the Office of Library Services communicated three actionable goals for the first 18 months:

  • In 6 months, 50% of institutions will have at least one collection in the repository
  • In 12 months, 100% of institutions will have at least one collection in the repository
  • In 18 months, CUNY Academic Works will have 15,000 items representing diverse content types and disciplines

In just eight months since the goals were announced at the Academic Works kick-off this March, 100% of institutions have at least one collection in the repository, and (WOAH!) we’re already halfway to the 18 month goal. There are now over 7,500 items in CUNY Academic Works.

Open Trails

Back in November of 2011, the CUNY University Faculty Senate passed a Statement and Resolution on Open Access – a resolution which supported the establishment of a CUNY-wide open access institutional repository and which has been a guiding document in the development of that repository, from its collections policies to its mission and goals:

CUNY Academic Works is a service of the CUNY Libraries dedicated to collecting and providing access to the research, scholarship and creative work of the City University of New York. In service to CUNY’s mission as a public university, content in Academic Works is freely available to all.

CUNY Academic Works aims to:

  • Provide centralized, public access to the scholarly and creative output of the students, faculty, and staff of the City University of New York.
  • Promote research and collaboration within and between the twenty-four campuses that make up the City University of New York, as well as the larger public.
  • Preserve the history and development of the City University of New York.

While the mission and goals of Academic Works are clearly stated, it’s understandable that the first steps to meeting them can feel a little uncertain. Therefore, in order to support the Libraries as we embark on the trail to a more open CUNY, the Office of Library Services communicated three actionable goals for our first 18 months:

  • In 6 months, 50% of institutions will have at least one collection in the repository
  • In 12 months, 100% of institutions will have at least one collection in the repository
  • In 18 months, CUNY Academic Works will have 15,000 items representing diverse content types and disciplines

Sound familiar? OLS has been busy getting the word out about Academic Works since the kick-off this March, and, less than four months later, CUNY Libraries has met its first goal. In fact, we passed it. Thanks to the commitment and hard work of CUNY librarians, eighteen (count ’em, 18!) of twenty-four institutions have their first collections in the repository within four months. And these initial collections have us well on our way to meeting the 18 month goal; they include 2,500+ items spanning from traditional journal publications and monographs to data sets, student work, open educational resources, and archival collections that capture the history of the University.

CUNY enters the scholarly communication landscape at an exciting time. It’s a time that some find reminiscent of the wild west (and it certainly has its good, its bad, and its ugly), but it’s also a time in which CUNY has the opportunity to pioneer the way.

CUNY Libraries prepare to enter the ild west of academic publishing.
CUNY Libraries prepare to enter the wild west of academic publishing. Eighteen of the campus libraries are trained and ready to go, with more on the way soon!

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