Digital Resource Commons FAQ

August 12, 2008

What is the Ohio Digital Resource Commons?

The Ohio Digital Resource Commons is a robust, statewide platform that enables institutions to save, discover and share.free of charge.the instructional, research, historic and creative materials produced by the University System of Ohio and Ohio's liberal arts colleges. It benefits instruction and research by providing a single access point to Ohio's scholarly knowledge. Imagine being able to save your institution's knowledge materials without having to fund the hardware, software and staff necessary to maintain the technical system. The OhioLINK Digital Resource Commons (DRC) uncovers this hidden knowledge and makes it freely available to scholars statewide and beyond.

The Ohio Digital Resource Commons is part of the Ohio Digital Commons for Education, a collaborative initiative of the Ohio Learning Network, OhioLINK and the Ohio Supercomputer Center, to develop leading-edge education resources, services and capabilities in Ohio.

What are the benefits of a statewide solution?

The Ohio Digital Resource Commons eliminates redundant and costly local investments by enabling Ohio colleges and universities to rapidly publish and access all types and formats of digital materials using OhioLINK's hardware, software and staff. At the same time, each participating institution's repository looks like an extension of its virtual campus and Web site, and appears as if it were hosted on the institution's own servers. Content submission is easy; institutions and communities can add content online and control how that content is shared. End users can quickly discover resources available from their school or the entire statewide commons.

What makes the DRC different than other digital repository systems?

The Ohio Digital Resource Commons builds on the strength of acting in concert with other educational and cultural institutions in the state. Individually, we share the same need to save, discover and share content across the community, yet we may not possess the same capacity to address that need. The DRC, as one of the pillars of the Ohio Digital Commons for Education, represents a pooling of resources to maximize the availability and use of valuable content in our state.

At the same time, we recognize the need for institutions and communities to store and present content in a manner consistent with local practice. While we all are sharing one actual content repository, the software can be set up to present the content the way each institution and community prefers.

The DRC represents a commitment to content access and preservation that is different from other options. As a state agency, OhioLINK values preservation of the scholarly record and long-term, open access to knowledge.

How does the DRC benefit administrators?

Administrators will appreciate the ability to utilize OhioLINK's disk space, staff and system and their institution's branding elements to develop local, state-of-the-art institutional and learning object repository capabilities. Many institutions would not have the expertise or financial means of having these capabilities otherwise.

What benefits does the DRC offer to faculty and researchers?

Faculty members, researchers and other contributors will appreciate being able to store, share and preserve their research, digital learning objects and publications. The DRC enables faculty and researchers to distribute research results to worldwide audiences quickly.which will likely lead to increased visibility and impact.or limit availability to a single colleague. Faculty will also appreciate a central resource for finding learning objects and course materials from colleagues statewide. The DRC also enables contributors to maintain ownership of their work and permanently control who sees it.

What benefits does the DRC offer to students?

The Ohio Digital Resource Commons provides students with a versatile resource for sharing and showcasing theses, dissertations and other research projects as well as accessing course materials, research and learning objects to support their learning.

What is an institution in the DRC?

An institution in the DRC is typically a university or college with full membership in the OhioLINK consortium. Additionally, an institution can mean other Ohio contributors with content and courseware to be saved and shared like the K-12 community or other non-profit, educational organizations.

What is a community in the DRC?

A community is a group within an institution or among institutions. It should be a scholarly unit, such as a school, department, institute or center that produces research or educational materials, has long-term stability and can assume responsibility for setting policy for content under the stewardship of the community.

Who is participating in the DRC?

Wright State University was the first institution to add materials to the DRC, beginning in 2007. Since then more than 20 institutions have started contributing to the commons. A wide variety of collections are in development including an archive of narratives exploring the literacy practices and values of U.S. citizens, Bowling Green State University's Nickel Weekly novels from the late 1800s and early 1900s, cartoons by R.M. Brinkerhoff from the University of Toledo, and much more.

Who can participate?

All OhioLINK member institutions are automatically eligible to create their own Digital Resource Commons. In addition, OhioLINK will work to incorporate the K-12 community and other Ohio educational institutions. Interested institutions are encouraged to contact John Davison, OhioLINK's assistant director for DRC development, at john@ohiolink.edu or 614-485-6755.

What kind of content can I contribute to the DRC?

The Ohio Digital Resource Commons supports virtually all types and quantities of content including documents, such as articles, preprints, working papers, technical reports, conference papers, theses, dissertations, images and data sets. It also supports a virtually unlimited variety of digital file types and formats including audio, video, streaming video, multimedia presentations, animations, simulations, learning objects and Web pages. A large storage area network allows for virtually unlimited storage space.

Content in the DRC may or may not be peer-reviewed. Communities will determine the criteria contributions to their DRC must meet and the type of review those contributions receive. There will be no central review or approval of materials being submitted unless there is an exceptional situation.

Will you really host all my content in the DRC?

Yes. A large storage area network will allow for virtually unlimited storage space.

Why should I trust the DRC with my content?

Regular offsite tape and disk backup will ensure the long-term safety, security and preservation of content contributed to the commons. DRC servers are located close to the center of OARnet, ensuring maximum availability and speed. The DRC offers not only a promise of high availability for today's needs, but also the commitment to long-term preservation of your content. Ohio's academic libraries have come together to create this preservation solution for digital content, because we believe that acting in concert is the best way to successfully safeguard Ohio's digital research.

Can content be updated in the DRC?

Yes. Communities will determine what is updated based on the nature of the content and if multiple or the latest versions are retained.

How does submitting content to the DRC affect my copyright?

In accepting content for the Ohio Digital Resource Commons, OhioLINK only obtains a non-exclusive right to make the content available for personal, research and educational purposes to the chosen user access level. Ownership of the content remains with the institution or contributor as determined locally. Choosing a copyright license is quick and simple, as authors can specify a Creative Commons license when contributing an item to the DRC.

Does the DRC accept metadata for items that are not submitted to or contained in the repository (e.g. virtual items)?

The primary intent of the Digital Resource Commons is to store metadata (data about data) and the objects described. It will also act as a vehicle to locate digital content from Ohio Institutions, regardless of where that content is stored.