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Digital Scholarship Lifecycle & Broader Impacts Support

The UF Smathers Libraries ensure that full socio-technical supports (e.g., people, policies, technologies, activities for building communities) are properly in place or in ongoing development to support wide public access of all materials and collections, and to support next steps that build upon the existing socio-technical infrastructure to ensure support for the Digital Scholarship Lifecycle and Broader Impacts. .

When used by the National Science Foundation (NSF), "Broader Impacts" has a specific intent which is explained by NSF. The University of Florida's Office of Research also has a helpful guide for "Broader Impacts." NSF's definition is social and technical and spans many types of activities. The UF Smathers Libraries use the Open Source SobekCM system to power the UF Digital Collections and Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC; www.dloc.com) specifically because it enables highly integrated production and user service functionality, to integrate a wide range of activities from collection development to digital production to digital scholarship project development. The SobekCM system addresses several elements of "Broader Impacts" specifically in regards to the wide dissemination of materials because SobekCM is a preservation and access repository, ensuring long-term access to materials, and because SobekCM is optimized for search engine indexing to ensure maximum findability. Further, SobekCM frames materials within aggregations or collections to provide the context necessary for understanding the materials once located.

Many programs and projects are hosted through the UF Digital Collections, which is powered by SobekCM, and where the libraries create additional materials to increase impact, including lesson plans and teaching materials, as well as direct integration with scholarly research and teaching. While these leverage the technical capacities of SobekCM, these are social supports that are implemented by the specific program and project groups. SobekCM was designed with scholarly needs in mind. SobekCM was designed to ensure permanent access to and preservation of materials, within a system that is always current for web standards and user needs. SobekCM was also designed with specific supports for digital scholarship, including support for scholarly projects and programs with scholar curated collections and online exhibits, as well as support for specific materials in the IR@UF.

In addition to program or project-specific additions for impact, the UF Libraries frequently conduct training, outreach, and support for the many partners using the UF-hosted SobekCM with UF as the technical infrastructure partner. Faculty and staff in the UF Libraries frequently liaise with multiple partners creating opportunities for intra- and inter-institutional collaboration. Again, this is a social support enabled by the robust technology and a social support that is tied to specific programs and/or partners as collaborative opportunities serendipitously emerge. For all programs, projects, and partners hosted by SobekCM from the UF Libraries, the UF Libraries are a collaborative partner working towards broader impacts.

The UF Digital Collections team within the George A. Smathers Libraries at UF and others at partner institutions are conducting ongoing work to enhance the existing digital collections and digital scholarship projects/programs as well as the system-wide support for digital scholarship.

Human and Social Support: Outreach, Promotion, and Reference

In addition to system-side supports, the UF Digital Collections include social supports for digital scholarship, including liaison, facilitation, promotion, outreach, reference, project planning, evaluation and assessment of programs and projects, and many additional and growing elements to support the full lifecycle for digital scholarship. The UF Libraries also seek to support and sustain building communities of practice around digital libraries, digital curation, data management, and digital scholarship, with many activities and programs underway. Please contact the Digital Scholarship Librarian, Laurie N. Taylor (laurien@ufl.edu and 352.273.2902), with any questions regarding these supports or on how to get involved with some of the communities at UF.

Assessment, Reporting and Measurement

Assessment: SobekCM provides a number of features to support reporting and measurement. Monthly usage statistics are tracked and available online for all materials at the item, title, and collection levels (usage statistics). These are analyzed to ensure usage and promotion of materials. An annual usability study is conducted to ensure optimal usability of all materials. Further analysis on impact is conducted on different collections on a rotating basis to ensure maximum usage and impact for all materials. The UF Libraries conduct additional assessments for specific concerns, programs, and projects to ensure optimal support.

Reporting and Measurement: SobekCM provides a number of features to support reporting and measurement. Monthly usage statistics are tracked and available online for all materials at the item, title, and collection levels (usage statistics). These are analyzed to ensure usage and promotion of materials. An annual usability study is conducted to ensure optimal usability of all materials. Further analysis on impact is conducted on different collections on a rotating basis to ensure maximum usage and impact for all materials.

Altmetrics

Altmetrics or alternative metrics, are new methods for measuring impact that complement existing models with citation counts. Individual faculty and scholars, as well as research groups and institutional entities, all benefit from making their materials openly available online as Open Access. The benefits from Open Access include higher citation rates and various broader impacts that can be assessed through various web and social metrics.

The UF Smathers Libraries support the IR@UF as a central, visible location that is optimized for traditional library searches and for general search engines to ensure materials can be found. All materials in the IR@UF are supported for long-term digital preservation. Additionally, the UF Libraries provide reference support for the materials in the IR@UF and conduct outreach and promotion for the IR@UF which further supports and promotes your materials.

For all contributors, monthly usage reports are sent out and these reports include: total number of views for all of your items, number of views for all of your items in the past month, details for your top 10 items, and a link to view usage statistics for all of your submitted items. To see the usage statistics for all of your items, you can login to myUFDC and select "View usage for my items" from the main menu.

Please see the IR@UF for more information and to submit your materials.

Publications, Presentations & Trainings

Selected recent publications, presentations, and trainings on the UF Digital Collections, Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), and related digital collections and scholarship projects are listed on the Presentations & Trainings page.