10 Million Free Downloads from IUPUI ScholarWorks

In 2002, IUPUI’s libraries formed a working group to explore the idea of launching an institutional repository. Like many universities, IUPUI was looking for a way to provide digital, no-cost access to the scholarship authored by it’s faculty and students. It was hoped that the institutional repository would become a key way for a library to offer the free (sometimes called “green” open access) service to its patrons.

In 2003 the campus became one of the first universities to deploy the newly released, open source repository software, DSpace. Initially named IDeA (IUPUI Digital Archive) and rebranded as IUPUI ScholarWorks in 2008, the repository grew slowly at first--averaging a little over 300 deposits per year in the first decade. Today, IUPUI ScholarWorks grows at a rate of around 3,000 items per year.

ScholarWorks Deposits by Year

With that growth in deposits, the site has also seen an increase in readership. Readers from all over the world download IUPUI’s articles, posters, theses, chapters, working papers, conference presentations, and reports. In 2010, the library installed a new version of the software that, among other features, allowed the campus to track the number of downloads from the site. On May 25, 2021, IUPUI ScholarWorks recorded download number 10,000,000.

10 million downloads by year

IUPUI ScholarWorks provides access to a wide variety of materials authored by IUPUI faculty, students, and staff. The repository includes published journal articles, masters theses and doctoral dissertations, conference proceedings, reports, white papers, educational resources, and historical works. While many of the items shared on IUPUI ScholarWorks are accessible only from IUPUI ScholarWorks, many others could be downloaded at a cost from a publisher’s website. Large publishers charge $30.00 or more for a single download of a paywalled journal article--others permit users to rent an article for 48 hours for close to $50.00. IUPUI ScholarWorks works within copyright policies to share more than 13,000 published, peer reviewed journal articles. These articles alone have been downloaded 2.34 million times. If these articles were to cost readers (at a very conservative estimate) $5 per download from the publishers’ websites--collectively, IUPUI ScholarWorks has saved Indiana citizens, former IUPUI students, unaffiliated scholars, and readers from around the world as much as $11.7 million.

Piggy Bank: $11.7 M

IUPUI University Library is proud to offer this valuable service to our patrons. IUPUI library staff work diligently to ensure that open access to IUPUI authored items can be provided in an accurate, affordable, legal, and discoverable way.

Take a look at IUPUI ScholarWorks--are we missing something that you’d like to share as an IUPUI author? Get in touch with your librarian to get started!

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Digital Scholarship Blogs
Open Access
Scholarly Communication
Updated Jun 03, 2021 by Scholarly Communication Librarian