Published March 19, 2015
Preserving and sharing the knowledge of today with the scholars of tomorrow is a crucial part of any learning institution’s mission. UB’s Digital Repository is a free resource for all UB-affiliated scholars to protect and share their research.
The Repository is a highly advanced cloud storage space specifically for digital files of all kinds relating to UB research, from data and analysis to published papers and portfolios. And the benefits are numerous: scholars receive 500 GB of free storage for their research (and can upgrade if they need more); access to this research can be closely controlled, meaning individual files or entire collections can be made public, private or accessible only to certain individuals with a URL address; and files are also automatically backed up, indexed for popular search engines and monitored periodically for any changes or data loss.
UB scholars can start uploading work in the Digital Repository for free right now. It only takes a few simple steps to set up an account and get started.
But despite the benefits and ease of use, many UB scholars don’t use the Repository… or even know it exists.
Mark Ludwig is Director for Research Systems Development for UB Libraries, and he’s charged with functional support and operation of the Repository. For him, the Repository’s work is an extension of what libraries have done for thousands of years: preserve human knowledge.
“Think of what we have from 100 years ago versus what we’ll have 100 years from now,” Mark said. “We have a few photographs from the University from 100 years ago…but we’re going to have so much more in the future.” For instance, Mark notes that the Center for the Arts has already archived more than 11,000 professional-quality recordings of events and performances.
Many large collections of research have already been deposited in the Repository and are publicly available. MCEER’s technical reports on natural disasters, for example, are accessed all over the world by engineers hoping to build more resilient structures capable of surviving earthquakes and other disasters.
A list of current holdings in the Repository, from recordings of dying languages to cutting-edge research on the use of robotics in physical therapy, reads like a list of compelling arguments for making research open and secure for the future.
The space required to store and back up the information in the Repository is hosted by UBIT’s core systems. Saira Hasnain, Director of Enterprise Infrastructure Services (EIS) for UBIT, tells UBIT News that “15 terabytes have been allocated for the Repository.” As of yet, Saira says that “only three or four of those 15 terabytes are being used.”
Saira notes that Institutional Repositories like these are becoming an expectation of higher learning and other institutions. “I know that certain grants for research even require that scholars plan for preserving their work,” Saira said, emphasizing not only the importance of Institutional Repositories in preserving work, but also in funding research.
UBIT and UB Libraries are invested in making such an important resource available to scholars of all kinds at UB. For any questions or more information about contributing to the Institutional Repository, contact Mark Ludwig.