Frequently Asked Questions

What is Digital Commons @ New Haven?

Digital Commons @ New Haven is a repository designed to store, showcase and share works created by members of the University of New Haven community. Search or browse the collections to find articles or links to publications created by UNH faculty. For more information, see About Digital Commons @ New Haven.

See our guide at Digital Commons @ New Haven.

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What are the benefits of posting to Digital Commons @ New Haven?

When people search for documents in Google Scholar, your documents will be higher in the Google hierarchy than if they were stored on a personal website.

Virtual visitors to UNH can browse your work alongside other UNH scholarship. You can help enhance UNH’s reputation.

A search of your name in Digital Commons will bring people to a professional-looking, user-friendly list of your works.

Your work will have a stable URL.

Digital Commons houses your work, and it will be backed up multiple times.

If your work crosses disciplines, it will be easier for people to find in DC than on a departmental or disciplinary web site.

If your work is published in a subscription journal, it is behind a paywall that will hide it from many potential readers. We can usually arrange to deposit your work in the repository for open access while honoring copyright.

Your citation counts may increase as a wider audience has access to your work.

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How will these publications be used?

Readers searching Google Scholar will discover them and use them in their research.

Readers browsing Digital Commons @ New Haven will see the kind of research being done here.

Students and professors will cite them in their own works.

Reports will measure the impact of individual works as well as UNH’s scholarly output as a whole.

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Are these publications protected by copyright?

Most items published by UNH scholars are protected by copyright. The Digital Services team researches the copyright status and holder of each item. In many cases, the publisher allows the posting of the author’s manuscript. In other cases, the item is published as open access with open distribution allowed. Contact the Access Services Manager for help with this.

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How will my statistics be used?

Your statistics may be used individually or in combination with others’ as examples of Digital Commons @ New Haven’s scholarly impact.

You may use your statistics for self-promotion. You may share your reports.

If your department uses SCI or SSCI statistics to measure scholarly impact, encourage them to include other measures, such as those found in Google Analytics and Altmetrics.

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How will participation in Digital Commons affect my statistics in SCI, SSCI and other sources?

People who access your works through other networks will probably continue to do so. Digital Commons has the potential to broaden your audience.

Scholarly communication is in a time of change, and measurements of scholarly impact are evolving to reflect those changes. Activities other than citation, such as views, links, downloads and social media mentions are being calculated in measures called altmetrics (little a, encompassing a variety of tools).

Digital Commons offers its own set of metrics. You can receive a monthly report on activity in your account.

Digital Commons @ New Haven is linked up to the utility (big A, aggregating data from several tools under a brand name). To see an example, click on the multicolored, numbered wreath in this record: If there is activity on your article from other sources, such as a referral on Mendeley or a mention on Twitter, it will be calculated.

Social media buttons in Digital Commons encourage “buzz” for your work. The more buzz you have, the more likely someone else will build on your work. Altmetrics (big A and little a) are gaining stature, and citation statistics are clearly not the whole story.

Altmetrics statistics can be presented alongside SCI or SSCI statistics as evidence of scholarly impact in the changing world of scholarly communication.

Digital Commons @ New Haven makes many articles available to the public that were previously behind a paywall. Traditional citation counts may measure use of subscription journals and subscription databases, but a five-year study of 27,197 articles showed that “Articles that are made OA (open access) have significantly higher citation counts.” – (Gargouri et al., 5).

An article from the open-access journal PLoS Biology points out that activities such as views, downloads, linking, discussions and recommendations are much more common than citations, at least in PLoS journals, and worth counting (Fenner, 1).

Feel free to post links to your Digital Commons @ New Haven postings on your other networks, and we can add links to any of your home pages to your items on Digital Commons @ New Haven.

Unlike SCI and SSCI, which are subscription databases, altmetrics are readily available to students, faculty and the public.


Gargouri Y, Hajjem C, Larivière V, Gingras Y, Carr L, et al. (2010) Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research. PLoS ONE 5(10): e13636. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013636

Fenner, M. (2013) What Can Article-Level Metrics Do for You? PLoS Biol 11(10): e1001687. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001687

Why don’t I just post my works on my own site?

Digital Commons aggregates repositories all over the world. Digital Commons repositories are indexed systematically by Google, Google Scholar, and Bing to raise your profile in search engines.

Digital Commons places your work in the context of the University of New Haven’s community of scholars, raising the university’s profile.

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What would I need to do in order to participate?

Digital Services has set up a system that requires as little effort from authors as possible. Faculty members will soon be invited to submit works. Be prepared to do two things:

Unless your contribution is a book, find a copy of your manuscript, preferably the version that was sent to the journal after review. This is known as the “post-print” or “author’s accepted manuscript.” We can work with paper copies if you don’t have an electronic copy. Many publishers allow posting of manuscripts, but not the published version. We will find out the publisher’s policy and let you know what is allowed. An example of a record with a link to a manuscript is at Digital Commons @ New Haven Mathematics Faculty Publications

You will need to fill in an author release form. It contains a series of check-offs and a place to paste or post your citations. Your citations do not need to be formatted in any particular way. It’s even acceptable if they are incomplete. The Digital Services team can track down the necessary information.

Our usual procedure with books is to post a description in a Digital Commons Book Gallery, with a link to its Amazon record and any nearby libraries that own it. An example is at Digital Commons @ New Haven Economics Books. If you happen to own the copyright, or have published the book under a Creative Commons license or open access, you may give us permission to post the full text. This is not yet common, but it does occur. Otherwise, we do not post the full text.

How will you ensure the quality of the content?

The Institutional Repository Advisory Board has representatives from each of the four colleges, and will soon add representation from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. The board sets parameters for acceptability of material. Materials may be posted to collections that have different standards. The first collections will be faculty publications that will be housed by department. There may be other collections for student publications, university information, ephemera, etc.

For assistance please contact:
Amber Montano, Access Services Manager, or (203) 479-4197
Whitney Roberts, Administrative Coordinator II,
Evelina Yim, Administrative Coordinator II,

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