Many accreditation standards require institutions to demonstrate that they are connecting faculty, students, and alumni with the greater disciplinary community. Online publishing can be an ideal way to effectively connect these disparate groups while showcasing the scholarly output of the department. Faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi learned this firsthand with their SLIS Connecting journal, which aims to share news, information, and research with their School of Library and Information Science and the broader library community. In a recent presentation at the International Conference on Electronic Publishing in Sweden, Teresa S. Welsh and Stacy Creel explained how the student journal grew out of an ALA accreditation requirement that the graduate program maintain “contact and communication with students and alumni,” which can be challenging for a web-based program like USM’s in which students are located across the globe. “Fortunately,” Teresa and Stacy write, “re-accreditation coincided with the university library’s introduction of the Aquila Digital Community hosted through Digital Commons.”
The journal recently published its third issue since launching on the repository in February of 2012. In the interim the journal has enjoyed 6,048 downloads from 86 countries, with a geographic pattern in the United States that roughly matches the distribution of graduate LIS students. Welsh and Creel conclude that “with more research, more indexing, and more exposure” for the journal, “great things are anticipated.”
Read more about SLIS Connecting in this extended session abstract. To see other journals published through Digital Commons, including San Jose State University’s SLIS Research Journal and Kennesaw State University’s Southeastern Librarian, click here.