Digital Commons @ IC

Digital Commons @ IC

Digital Commons@IC is a suite of tools and services that allows the Library to manage, display, and publish IC scholarship to the web in a highly visible online showcase.  In addition, the Commons hosts content about the College itself and other content that the IC Library curates.

As the College's Institutional Respository (IR), it is intended to bring together and provide open access to the intellectual output of the College. With Digital Commons, the Library collects, preserves, and make visible all of our intellectual output, including pre-prints, working papers, peer-reviewed journal articles, student honors papers, conference proceedings, data sets, presentations, and images.   In addition, media presentations that are hosted at can be embedded in Digital Commons @ IC.  

Digital Commons' Impact

"Our teaching and scholarship are motivated by the need to be informed by, and to contribute to, the world's scientific and humanistic enterprises." -- excerpt from the Ithaca College Mission Statement.  

In support of this mission, the Commons:
  • Accepts all forms of scholarship, beyond content in licensed databases- i.e. scholarship/creative work does not fit the "standard" journal/book publication model. 
  • Increases the discoverability of contributed content in Google and other search engines. 
  • Facilitates connections with scholars outside of Ithaca College through inclusion in the international Digital Commons community. 
  • Provides monthly statistics that demonstrate the impact of the scholarship.
  • Serves as a showcase for the College's scholarly endeavors, including undergraduate research.  
  • Serves as a recruitment tool for new faculty, administrators and students.

Adding Content to the Digital Commons

The Library has established a mediated deposit protocol.  Liaison librarians work with faculty to add materials to the Digital Commons.   Faculty can submit a c.v. or list of publications, in addition to any preprints or postprints of individual articles.   The Library uses the process described in the "Copyright and the Digital Commons" pluslet in this guide to determine any permissions. As items are loaded into Digital Commons, contributors receive an email from the system that verifies the creation of the records.  

Staff and administrators who wish to contribute to the Commons should contact Bridget Bower, the site administrator, through

Liaison librarians also consult with faculty who are interested in adding student honors papers and/or Whalen Symposium materials.  

Usage Data for the Digital Commons

Bridget Bower, site administrator, runs reports that provide download and referral information for each article, series, department, or for the entire contributions for the college. Authors automatically receive monthly download reports for their papers.  In addition, all Digital Commons repository sites are fully integrated with Google™ Analytics.

Digital Commons content is full-text indexed in major search engines such as Google™ and Google™ Scholar. Scholars can discover Ithaca College content and objects by topic, author, or keyword. Customized email alerts and RSS feeds are also available to readers, allowing them to be automatically notified of new research.

Usage of the Digital Commons@IC is captured in real-time and displayed on the site.  Two screen captures: 


This theses is one of the most frequently viewed:

Contact Us

picture of Bridget Bower
College Archivist
(607) 274-3096
picture of Lisabeth Chabot
College Librarian
(607) 274-3182

Copyright and the Digital Commons

The library uses the SHERPA/RoMEO website
to determine if a publisher's copyright policy allows for archiving both the preprint and the postprint, archiving the postprint (draft after peer review), archiving the preprint, or no archiving is allowed.

Content placed in the Digital Commons does not have to be open access.  Works can still be deposited while the full text remains “dark” or embargoed.

If permission is limited to providing citation and abstract content this metadata will be posted.   When the content is available in a licensed database in the IC Library's collection, a link will be added that requires Netpass credentials for full-text access.

For related information, see "Authors' Rights" below, as well as the Library's Open Access Guide which includes information about Open Access journal models.

Authors' Rights

Copyright law gives the creator of copyrighted works exclusive rights to

  • reproduce the work in copies (e.g., as photocopies or online),
  • distribute copies of the work;
  • prepare translations and other derivative works,
  • perform or display the work publicly;
  • authorize others to exercise any of these rights.
Scholarly journals typically ask authors to sign a publication agreement or a copyright transfer agreement. These documents transfer ownership of copyright to the publisher and determine the uses an author will be able to make of his/her work in the future.

Note: If an author transfers ownership of the copyright, he or she can still retain the right to do certain things such as include articles in course packs, or place articles on a personal web site or in the Digital Commons.

Most open access journals allow authors to retain copyright or provide some ability to share the content.  If the author retains ownership of the copyright, he or she can grant a non-exclusive license to the publisher, typically for the right of first formal publication.

Science Commons has created a Scholars Addendum Engine that generates a PDF example of what an author can attach to a publication agreement. The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows an author to keep key rights to articles.

Source:  ACRL Scholarly Communications Toolkit. 

Creative Commons is both an organization, and a movement in response to expansive copyright protection. Using Creative Commons Licenses, artists and creators can proactively make their work available for public use, under specific conditions.   
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License