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Spectrum: 900,000 downloads and counting

Open Access Week marked with recognition for Concordia’s research repository
October 16, 2013
By Pamela Carson, David Macaulay and Tomasz Neugebauer

OpenAccess-620 Spectrum facilitates global access to Concordia research. | Photo by Concordia University

A vast body of research created by Concordia scholars is freely accessible worldwide, thanks to Spectrum, the university’s web-based Open Access research repository. And the repository was recently ranked among Canada’s best, giving us something to celebrate during Open Access Week from October 21 to 27.

The worldwide ranking of repositories is an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, the largest public research body in Spain.

Repositories were ranked in terms of web presence and web impact; Spectrum placed fifth out of 48 in Canada, and 50th out of 318 in North America.

Since Spectrum’s inception in 2009, the repository has grown to hold more than 10,000 items. This includes peer-reviewed articles, book sections and conference presentations submitted by Concordia faculty, as well as graduate theses. The repository has seen increasing use each year. The overall number of full-text downloads recently surpassed 900,000.

Concordia is an established leader in the open access movement in Canada: it was the first major Canadian university to make the full results of its research universally available and to put forth a landmark Senate Resolution on Open Access. The 2010 resolution commits the university to “take a leadership role in Canada and exemplify social responsibility by supporting the principles of Open Access,” and encourages Concordia faculty and researchers to deposit their research in the repository.

Concordia University Libraries has provided much of the administrative, editorial and technical support for Spectrum's day-to-day operations, including providing assistance in depositing faculty publications.

Spectrum is searchable via Google and Google Scholar, and its content is accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Therefore, depositing in Spectrum can substantially increase the readership and impact of research by Concordia scholars.

“Spectrum allows me to publish in peer-reviewed journals and also make my work accessible more widely,” says Rosemary Reilly, associate professor in Concordia’s Department of Applied Human Sciences and recently appointed Provost Fellow, who currently has 29 items in Spectrum.

“I feel a responsibility to share what I learn from my research with the wider world. I have had requests for my work from South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as the Pacific Rim – areas that might not be able to afford costly journals but do have internet access.  Greater access to my work also means that more people will use it as a springboard for their own. Practically speaking, this means that the number of citations of my work increases.”

Reilly goes on to explain that the rationale and support for open access is based on the essential need for the knowledge discovered through publicly funded research to be accessible to the public. “Knowledge dissemination is a high priority for the federal funding agencies. Spectrum has been a key component of my knowledge dissemination plan, and proof that I have a track record of making my work accessible.”

Here are the top 10 downloads from Spectrum:
  1. Mlek, Magdalena (2011) Nursing Students' Learning Experiences in Clinical Settings: Stress, Anxiety and Coping. Masters thesis, Concordia University. Downloads: 5687
  2. Dosiek, L. and Pillay, Pragasen (2007) Cogging Torque Reduction in Permanent Magnet Machines. IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, 43 (6). pp. 1565-1571. ISSN 0093-9994 Downloads: 3151
  3. Naidoo, R. and Pillay, Pragasen (2007) A New Method of Voltage Sag and Swell Detection. IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery , 22 (2). pp. 1056-1063. ISSN 0885-8977 Downloads: 3065
  4. Shakeeb, Marwa (2011) Circularly Polarized Microstrip Antenna. Masters thesis, Concordia University. Downloads: 3024
  5. Mukerjee, Kumar K (1973) A critical review of the mechanics of metal rolling, its application to the design of hot strip mills ; a major technical report. Masters thesis, Concordia University. Downloads: 2998
  6. Zhao, Lin (2012) Development of an Integrated System for the Simulation and Assessment of Produced Water Discharges from Offshore Platforms. PhD thesis, Concordia University. Downloads: 2786
  7. Chintapalli, Sridhar (2006) Preliminary structural design optimization of an aircraft wing-box. Masters thesis, Concordia University. Downloads: 2420
  8. Maduna, Mamokhele Julia (2002) An analysis of the use of teaching aids and the implications for teaching and learning mathematics in Qwaqwa phase one schools (South Africa). Masters thesis, Concordia University. Downloads: 2226
  9. Farah, Carlos Abou (2004) Ultimate bearing capacity of shallow foundations of layered soils. Masters thesis, Concordia University. Downloads: 2189
  10. Rajagopalan, Jayashree (1996) An iterative algorithm for inversion of matrices. Masters thesis, Concordia University. Downloads: 2093


More statistics about repository usage will be made available in Spectrum’s fourth annual report, to be released this fall.

During Open Access Week, on Tuesday, October 22, undergraduates are invited to celebrate the success of the Library Services Fund in the atrium of the J.W. McConnell Building. Check out the event details.

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