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The article originally appeared in the Pace University Library newsletter, The Information Edge v.14, no.1, Fall 2008

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Article

Abstract

...beyond showcasing faculty and student works, the repository, popularly referred to as the Digital Commons, really is a tool to preserve in digital format, the various digital artifacts that are being produced nowadays in many university campuses. Many of these digital materials are being produced with no standardized way of compiling, preserving, and indexing them. At times they are produced and remain undiscovered because they remain in a sort of digital flotsam due to lack of a proper venue where they can be highlighted, or where, in the company of similar works, they can be made to appeal to a bigger audience. In most cases, there are disparate departmental sites where a given department may have a quonset area where faculty or student publications are listed and accessible digitally but it is often buried several layers below the surface of a departmental or institutional website. These are then institutional resources that sometimes remain undiscovered, or get bypassed by researchers and yet, local and native resources as they are, they have values that go beyond what is available generally in libraries or university bookstores. In fact, as institutional resources, they are paramount sources of information from local experts who can easily be reached, communicated with and consulted personally for follow-up research. They are the intellectual, sometimes artistic, products of local faculty, resident specialists, or the university students themselves for that matter. It used to be that they were not also readily available outside of the immediate university community where some counterpart printed copies of their work may probably be languishing, undiscovered, in some shelves in the library.



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