For immediate release

Berkeley Electronic Press and ProQuest Announce New Institutional Repository Service

Bepress technology gives new digital offering a powerful combination of features and affordability

ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 25, 2004 -- ProQuest Information and Learning has launched a new digital institutional repository (IR) product, Digital Commons @. The resource, powered by the vigorous Bepress platform (the technology partner driving the University of California's eScholarship Repository), offers a highly desirable combination of feature/functionality and price that is unmatched by any other IR product currently on the market.

Bepress, the Berkeley Electronic Press, based in Berkeley, California, was founded by academics to improve the scholarly publishing model. One of its goals is to create comprehensive repositories promoting one-stop shopping for researchers. ProQuest Information and Learning, a unit of ProQuest Company, creates and publishes databases for libraries and educational institutions worldwide.

Institutional repositories are an ideal way to capture, preserve, and disseminate the intellectual output of a university, consortium, or discipline-specific organization. Libraries that use Digital Commons @ will be able to offer key services such as full-text searching, export to XML, full support for OAI, personalized email notification for new updates, and more. These features cannot be matched by any so-called freeware solutions available on the market.

Additionally, ProQuest can provide a head start on content and reinforce credibility for its Digital Commons @ customers by immediately loading all of an academic library's dissertation content – creating an immediate critical mass of valuable content at no cost to the library.

"Electronic repositories are an ideal way for a university to showcase all its assets under one site, and will enable funding agencies and other bodies to view the depth and breadth of information produced by the institution. The program is a natural extension of what we do at ProQuest, leveraging our heritage and experience as a library services company," said Austin McLean, director of scholarly communication and dissertations publishing for ProQuest.

Digital Commons @ has experienced rapid market acceptance. Two prestigious academic institutions, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of New Brunswick, will be using the new service.

About bepress

Founded by professors in 1999, bepress exists to serve academia. We deliver scholarly communications and publishing services for academic institutions, empowering their communities to showcase and share their works for maximum impact. Through our services bepress seeks to link communities of scholars, listen to their needs, and provide solutions to support emerging academic missions and goals.

Bepress is the provider of Digital Commons, the leading hosted institutional repository software platform. Digital Commons is a suite of tools and services that enables institutions to manage, display, and publish scholarship to the web in a beautiful, highly visible showcase. Digital Commons offers the features of a traditional IR as well as professional-grade publishing software, management tools, and individual faculty and researcher pages to promote and disseminate scholarship and serve academia.

With Digital Commons, universities can collect, preserve, and make visible all of their intellectual output, including pre-prints, working papers, journal articles, dissertations, master's theses, conference proceedings, presentations, creative works, and a wide variety of other content types.