Ann Arbot, MI -- June 25, 2004. ProQuest Information and Learning has launched a new digital institutional repository (IR) product, Digital Commons. The resource, powered by the vigorous Bepress platform (the technology partner driving the University of California's eScholarship Repository), offers a highly desirable combination of feature/functionality and price that is unmatched by any other IR product currently on the market.
Bepress, the Berkeley Electronic Press, based in Berkeley, California, was founded by academics to improve the scholarly publishing model. One of its goals is to create comprehensive repositories promoting one-stop shopping for researchers. ProQuest Information and Learning, a unit of ProQuest Company, creates and publishes databases for libraries and educational institutions worldwide.
Institutional repositories are an ideal way to capture, preserve, and disseminate the intellectual output of a university, consortium, or discipline-specific organization. Libraries that use Digital Commons will be able to offer key services such as full-text searching, export to XML, full support for OAI, personalized email notification for new updates, and more. These features cannot be matched by any so-called freeware solutions available on the market.
Additionally, ProQuest can provide a head start on content and reinforce credibility for its Digital Commons customers by immediately loading all of an academic library's dissertation content--creating an immediate critical mass of valuable content at no cost to the library.
"Electronic repositories are an ideal way for a university to showcase all its assets under one site, and will enable funding agencies and other bodies to view the depth and breadth of information produced by the institution. The program is a natural extension of what we do at ProQuest, leveraging our heritage and experience as a library services company," said Austin McLean, director of scholarly communication and dissertations publishing for ProQuest.
Digital Commons has experienced rapid market acceptance. Two prestigious academic institutions, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of New Brunswick, will be using the new service.