Category Archives: Repositories

OA Week 2018: Emphasis on Access

With a name like open access, it goes without saying that accessing scholarly literature is not just an important piece of OA initiatives, but a primary goal.

One popular method of ensuring access to open materials has been through the utilization of institutional repositories. Institutional repositories are “digital collections capturing and preserving the intellectual output of a single or multi-university community” (The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper).

You may have heard about UT’s very own institutional repository, Texas ScholarWorks, which turned 10 years old this year. (They sure do grow up fast.) However, you may not have known that a majority of universities have their very own repositories, and they are also full of open scholarly resources.

In the past, there has been no way for users to search across these repositories simultaneously, making it difficult for researchers to locate materials posted outside of their own institution’s repository. A new tool, Unpaywall, is quickly breaking down this barrier to access. “Unpaywall is a free web-browser extension that hunts for papers in more than 5,300 repositories worldwide, including preprint servers and institutional databases” (Unpaywall finds free versions of paywalled papers).

Available as both a web search and a browser extension, Unpaywall makes it possible for individuals to quickly and easily locate free versions of scholarly articles legally hosted in institutional and organizational repositories. When using the Unpaywall browser extension, users viewing an article with a paywall will see a green or orange open lock graphic on the right-hand side of their screen if an open access version of the text is available. Clicking the lock graphic will take users directly to the open access content.

With planned Zotero and Scopus integrations in the works, Unpaywall is rapidly increasing the visibility of open scholarship hosted in institutional repositories and allowing researchers unaffiliated with an institution to access significantly more materials without hitting a paywall.

A comprehensive listing of repositories is searchable on OpenDOAR, a global directory of open access repositories.

Unpaywall’s repository source list is searchable and downloadable from their website.


Digital scholarship office hours spring semester

We are offering digital scholarship office hours again this semester. Gilbert Borrego, Allyssa Guzman, Jessica Trelogan and Colleen Lyon will be available to answer any questions you may have about digital scholarship, Texas Data Repository, Texas ScholarWorks, research data services, or scholarly publishing.

Here are the dates –all sessions are in PCL 1.124 (one floor below the entrance level of PCL)

  • Wednesday, Jan. 24th, 10:00-12:00
  • Wednesday, Feb. 28th, 10:00-12:00
  • Wednesday, Mar. 28th, 10:00-12:00
  • Wednesday, Apr. 25th, 10:00-12:00

The office hours are open to anyone at UT Austin – we’re thinking of it as an alternative to booking a consultation. No appointment is needed, you can just stop in during the two hour time frame and chat with us. As a bonus, we’ll have sweet treats or snacks for anyone who stops by.

We are of course still available for consultation at any time via email, phone, or in-person. You can continue to ask questions that way if you prefer.


arXiv celebrates 1 billion downloads

arXiv has announced they achieved a huge milestone in 2017 – their one billionth download! arXiv is a fantastic example of a successful pre-print repository.

They have information about reaching that download milestone and other updates for 2018 in their January update.

It’s important to remember that much of the work with repositories like this can be invisible to users. Running a successful repository takes a lot of planning, active management, and outreach. Hats off to everyone who supports arXiv!

Thank you to Clifford Lynch!

As part of our “Year of Open,” UT Libraries hosted CNI Executive Director Clifford Lynch for a public presentation. Titled “Evolving Scholarly Practice and the New Challenges for Scholarly Communications, ” Dr. Lynch discussed multiple topics pertaining to digital scholarship, including data management, digital curation, research replication, and data packaging. He also held a special meeting with UT Librarians to discuss these topics in more depth. Learn more about Clifford Lynch.

Again, thank you for your incredible insight!

Scholarly communication brown bag discussions

The Scholarly Communication Group at UT Libraries organizes periodic brown bag discussions on a variety of schol comm topics. These brown bag sessions are open to anyone, although the primary audience is UT Libraries staff. They provide an opportunity to talk through either current or emerging issues for the Libraries and for the University.

Our next brown bag discussion will be May 8th, 2018 at 12:00pm in PCL 1.124. The topic will be a viewing of Siva Vaidhyanathan’s talk from ER&L, Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects People and Undermines Democracy.

Here is the history of our brown bag discussions:

  1. January 31, 2014: Economics of the scholarly communication ecosystem
  2. April 18, 2014: Green vs gold OA
  3. June 13, 2014: Altmetrics
  4. September 12, 2014: Preview of OA Week 2014
  5. November 21, 2014: UT Press
  6. February 20, 2015: Scholarly Communication Strategic Initiative report and Sherpa/Romeo
  7. March 13, 2015: Open Education Week
  8. April 10, 2015: ACRL round-up
  9. June 19, 2015: #icanhazPDF
  10. September 25, 2015: Texas ScholarWorks
  11. February 12, 2016: Ethical vs deceptive publishing practices
  12. March 2, 2016: Statistics in Texas ScholarWorks
  13. March 21, 2016: Finding and repurposing data
  14. April 15, 2016: Publication agreements and author rights
  15. July 14, 2016: Conference round-up
  16. September 23, 2016: Journal club
  17. November 2, 2016: Data question and answer with Mike Geruso and Elizabeth Vandewater
  18. January 12, 2017: OpenCon discussion with Adam McBride
  19. February 17, 2017: Misinformation and Fake News
  20. March 31, 2017: ACRL round-up
  21. July 19, 2017: Digital Badging
  22. February 21, 2018: SciHub and LibGen in Perspective
  23. March 28, 2018: The legislative process and SB810

If you have a suggestion for a brown bag topic, please send it to tsw at

Institutional repositories and academic social networking sites

The University of California Office of Scholarly Communication has a really great blog post about the difference between open access institutional and subject repositories and academic social networking sites like and ResearchGate.

Here’s the post:

I particularly like the table they created to demonstrate the differences:

Repository competition for OA Week 2015

UT Libraries is having a competition to celebrate Open Access Week and to get library staff involved in using the repository. A permanent library staff member may participate by uploading content to Texas ScholarWorks (either on behalf of someone else or uploading their own content) or by talking to someone else and getting that person’s commitment to upload something.  All competition participants will receive a prize and will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize – 100% reimbursement for conference travel within the U.S. The contest runs Oct. 1st – Oct. 31st, 2015. Contact Gilbert or Colleen at tsw at utlists dot utexas dot edu for more information.


1. What is appropriate content for Texas ScholarWorks?

Content that was created here at UT Austin and has scholarly or historic importance. Examples include: journal articles, technical papers, conference proceedings, conference presentations (where applicable), posters, newsletters, event recordings or photographs, student work (undergraduate student work requires a faculty sponsor), educational resources, or data.

2. Can students workers participate in the contest?

No, only permanent UT Libraries staff members may participate.

3. Does this mean I have to upload all content for my subject areas now?

No, since the purpose of the competition is to get library staff involved in using the repository, for the duration of the competition, library staff are expected to upload their own content. After the competition ends the repository unit will resume uploading content on behalf of authors. In the event that a UT Austin unit/department wants to submit dozens of items during the competition period, please contact Gilbert or Colleen for assistance.

4. I’m not a UT Libraries staff member, but I’m interested in this competition. Is there anything I can do?

If you are a UT Austin student, faculty, researcher, or staff member you may work with a UT Libraries staff member to get your work added to Texas ScholarWorks (TSW). You won’t be able to win a prize, but you could get fame and fortune by sharing your work online via TSW. If you are unsure of which staff member to contact, please see our subject list or contact tsw at utlists dot utexas dot edu for assistance.

5. How do I record my activity for the competition?

You can use this form to record your competition activity. Each contact will count as an entry to the grand prize drawing and each entry should be recorded using the form. For instance, if you upload three of your own pieces of scholarship that would count as one activity/one entry. If you then uploaded two items on behalf of someone in a department that would count as another entry. And if you talked to someone in a department and got their commitment that they would upload something that would count as a third entry. For the example above our hypothetical participant should have completed the activity form three separate times and would be entered into the grand prize drawing three times.

Discrete Analysis – a diamond open access journal

I just came across a blog post about a “diamond” open access journal called, Discrete Analysis. It’s being described as diamond open access because neither the readers nor the authors pay. The journal sits on top of the arXiv infrastructure but maintains the traditional peer review process. The journal will consist of short descriptions of articles and links to the content in arXiv, and will serve a filter and certification function for this subject matter within arXiv. There will be a numbering system for the articles, the journal will have an ISSN, and articles will get a DOI. To limit infrastructure and costs, the journal will not offer typesetting or copy-editing and will rely on authors to do that work themselves. Discrete Analysis will be using Scholastica software to manage the review process and to provide a homepage for the journal. Scholastica charges $10 per submission and that cost is being covered for the first couple years by a small grant from Cambridge University. Since the costs are so low, the editors anticipate being able to find funding after the Cambridge grant is exhausted. The official launch of journal will occur in early 2016.

Blog post about the journal:

Temporary website of Discrete Analsis: