Skip to main content

SCWG: eCommons and Unit Libraries (includes survey link)

One of the 2017 projects of the Scholarly Communication Working Group is gaining a better understanding and better supporting the efforts of unit libraries in recruiting content for deposit in eCommons. eCommons is Cornell’s general-purpose Institutional Repository (IR), available for the use of the entire Cornell community (more information about eCommons is available on the eCommons LibGuide). Some individual colleges also have their own IRs with their own branding. The School of Industrial and Labor Relations is served by DigitalCommons@ILR, the School of Hotel Administration is served by SHA Scholarly Commons, and the Law School is served by Scholarship@Cornell Law.

Over the summer the Scholarly Communications Working Group interviewed staff from across the library to see how eCommons could work better for them, these are the questions we heard the most:

Who can put things in eCommons, and who can look at them?

Anyone at Cornell may put content in eCommons! And anything in eCommons is viewable to the Cornell community or to the world at large!

What cannot go in eCommons?

Sensitive data, dynamic web content (eg: flash videos or databases), and large files (3GB or larger) cannot go in eCommons. Content in eCommons must conform to copyright law and to FERPA regulations, and our staff can help you navigate what can or cannot be deposited.

Why should I put content in eCommons?

eCommons is durable and stable! The library is committed to keeping the content that’s in eCommons, and we provide permanent links to that content. And unlike privately held platforms (eg: or ResearchGate), because the library runs eCommons, it will not be sold or monetized.

eCommons is free! Unlike a personal website, you do not have to pay for space to store material on eCommons.

Who is putting things in eCommons, and what kinds of things are there?

Schools, departments, and centers from all across the Cornell community are represented in eCommons! Here are some examples from around campus: the Graduate School deposits Theses and Dissertations, many departments deposit newsletters and reports, Cooperative Extension has all kinds of informative pamphlets, Cornell Botanic Gardens has hundreds of pictures of plants, the Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines mandates inclusion of writing assignments. There are also entire textbooks by Cornell faculty, and an amazing series of lectures delivered by distinguished visitors.

What’s next?

As a result of the interviews, we’ve made numerous additions and updates to our help pages (the LibGuide). The Scholarly Communications Working Group and eCommons staff would also love to answer your additional questions about eCommons. We are currently running a survey to find out both WHAT you want to know about eCommons, and HOW you want to find out about it. Please complete the survey to help inform future outreach efforts!

The survey will remain open through Friday, November 10, 2017.

Scholarly Communication Working Group (SCWG) Supporting the Collection Efforts of Unit Libraries – eCommons members:
Eileen Keating
Sarah Kennedy
Chloe McLaren
Gail Steinhart
Drew Wright


Comments are closed.