Ball State University Libraries welcome members of the Ball State University student body and faculty to contribute to the Cardinal Scholar Institutional Repository by uploading works of scholarship, including published and unpublished papers, presentations, projects, and essays. Cardinal Scholar is an online space designed to promote the university’s research-publishing distribution strategies by providing open access to scholarly work produced by the Ball State University community and electronic records produced by Ball State and affiliated organizations and departments.
By contributing work to this freely accessible user-deposit repository, scholars can enhance access to and raise the impact of their scholarly work amongst researchers worldwide. While traditional library databases are a vital part of the scholarly communication process, they can provide barriers to accessing the published works of scholarship they contain. These databases make scholarship available at high costs in a digital space that is often buried and not easy for the user to discover. By adding scholarship to a repository like Cardinal Scholar, an author or contributor can promote open access to his or her work, making it freely and easily accessible to those using Google or other popular search engines, thus overcoming some of these obstacles.
For creators of unpublished works, Cardinal Scholar provides an opportunity to freely upload a scholarly work in an online environment.
Statistics compiled regarding the use of Cardinal Scholar from June 2011 (the time of the launch of the current 2.0 version of the repository) through November 2011 support the realization of this model of facilitated access. Over this period, 31,191 overall visitors have accessed the repository, 26,437 of whom were first-time users. Of these visitors, 22,768 directly accessed Cardinal Scholar via search engines through 18,170 unique searches. Over one-third of the 31,191 visitors are from outside of the United States, with 154 countries represented.
Regarding measures of content viewing, over 330 item records in the repository have been viewed 20 times or more over this 6-month span.
These statistics demonstrate the ability of Cardinal Scholar to promote successfully the scholarly output of Ball State community members by allowing works in the repository to be readily accessible to search engine used globally. By depositing their own scholarly works in Cardinal Scholar, Ball State students and faculty can raise the profile of their scholarly work by taking advantage of the opportunity for enhanced access provided by Ball State’s institutional repository.
For more information, contact Michael G. Szajewski, Archivist for Digital Development and University Records. ◙