SMARTech Repository Preserves Unique Digital Scholarship

SMARTech crew

Georgia Tech Library's SMARTech repository crew. From left, Digital Curation Archivist Wendy Hagenmaier, Digital Curation Librarian Susan Parham, Scholarly Communication Librarian Fred Rascoe, Digital Projects Coordinator Katie Gentilello and Metadata Repository Specialist Karen Manning.

In late 2020, Yakut Gazi, associate dean for Learning Systems at Georgia Tech Professional Education, ran into a problem. The collection of essays she edited with Dean Nelson Baker detailing pandemic-driven remote and online delivery of courses was ready for publication and distribution, but the funds didn’t exist to take it to market.

The essays included input from a dozen international authors and experts, but time was not on their side, as traditional printing and shipping would take months, if not years, to get the collection into the hands of those who needed it most.

“I researched for weeks to find an online publication platform,” said Gazi. “Many of the services were fee-based. [Additionally], the book was about Covid-19's impact on learning at scale, so it was very timely.”

Gazi knew of Georgia Tech Library’s SMARTech Digital Repository, which collects, curates, preserves, and provides access to unique digital content of enduring value to the Institute, including Georgia Tech scholarship and research.

She reached out to Fred Rascoe, scholarly communication librarian, and by February 2021 Moving Horizontally: The New Dimensions of At-Scale Learning at the Time of COVID-19  was safely stored, published, and ready for digital distribution across the globe.

“People around the world accessed our publication,” said Gazi. “Besides it being a free book, with this kind of publishing we dramatically reduced the book's time to market. Had we followed a more traditional publication path, we would probably just now be seeing the book hit the market.”

Susan Parham, digital curation librarian, manages and helps maintain the SMARTech open scholarship repository with Rascoe and a team of content curators

“We collect Georgia Tech scholarship and research, international publications, grey literature, and all sorts of other content of value,” said Parham. “Our work helps to ensure the authenticity, reliability, integrity, and stability of Institute scholarship.”

This includes pre-print versions of journal articles, research datasets, conference presentation material, videos of scholarly lectures series, technical reports, working papers, faculty podcast recordings, student scholarship, and the entire digitized collection of Georgia Tech Theses and Dissertations.

In addition to the archival value for the Institute, the repository also helps researchers meet funder and publisher requirements for sharing and archiving research results. This means researchers don’t have to worry about long-term data management or sharing – SMARTech takes care of it all.

That includes persistent identifiers for archived content, guaranteeing long-term access. This is important for researchers submitting manuscripts for publication that require a permanent link to underlying datasets or other supplementary material. Plus, the repository is indexed by Google Scholar and other search engines and repositories, broadening access to content.

“Our goal is to help Georgia Tech researchers disseminate their scholarship widely by providing a permanent, easily discoverable home for their work,” said Parham. “If SMARTech isn’t what they need, we’ll always help them find the best vehicle for sharing and archiving their open access research and scholarship."

To learn more about SMARTech, its collections, or how it can help you in your research efforts, visit https://smartech.gatech.edu/.