A better home for your scholarly work: the Stanford Digital Repository

April 25, 2017
Amy E. Hodge
Johan de Witt

What do you do when a Google search for an article title only returns one dead link and two advertisements? And yet you have this article in front of you so you know it exists? If you want to cite that article in a research paper but you don't have all the publication information to create the citation, you do the obvious thing.

You contact a librarian.

A student at Berkeley recently contacted Stanford Libraries, hoping that we could provide her with citation information for an article about Johan de Witt (the dashing gentleman in the image above) that she knew had come out of Stanford. The URL where she had accessed the article was at web.stanford.edu, but, sadly, this link no longer worked. She hoped someone at the library could help her identify the publisher of this article.

Your friendly Stanford librarians took up the charge, but quickly discovered that while the author appeared to have been at Stanford in the past, they could not find any references to the specific work. And to make matters worse, the web site where the work had been published turned out to be personal web space. These personal web spaces are purged of all content when the owners leave Stanford. This is standard practice, and has caused problems for people before (see the story on Malin Pinsky).

How can you make sure that the content you make available online lives on past your Stanford tenure?

Use the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR)!

We did eventually find a current email address for the author of the article in question and recommended that our Berkeley student contact him directly.

But if you have scholarly content that you'd like to make available -- research data, articles, conference proceedings, presentations, you name it! -- then consider depositing that content in the SDR. The SDR provides a unique identifier and persistent URL (PURL) for your work that ensures it is citable and accessible. And since it's backed up by a robust preservation system, you can be sure that it's going to be available for a long time to come -- unlike content in your personal web space.

We have a convenient online deposit application with license, visibility, and embargo features that you can set. Content is indexed into the library catalog, which is regularly crawled by Google, ensuring that your content will be discoverable via everyone's favorite search engine.

Contact us today at sdr-contact@lists.stanford.edu and let us know that you'd like to deposit scholarly work into the SDR and we'll get you started right away!