The Community Bibliography is “[a] celebration of Villanova University community authors and scholars past, present and future.” It is “an open repository of the entire published output of the Villanova University community.” The goal is to digitally preserve “our proud scholarly heritage, from our community’s historical publications of the 19th century to the cutting edge research of today.” Community is defined as any individual (faculty, staff, student, alumnus, Augustinian, administrator) affiliated with Villanova University.
This Bibliography may be of interest to Villanova alumni returning for Reunion 2016 (Thursday, June 9 – Sunday, June 12). The Community Bibliography hosts citations for alumni authors from the Class of 1920 through the Class of 2015. Here is an opportunity to check out what your classmates have accomplished.
The Community Bibliography evolved from discussions among Library Director (at the time) Joe Lucia; Darren Poley, Theology/Outreach librarian; Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator; and Andrew Nagy, a former Falvey technical developer. Poley explains, “The idea was to use the citation management software Andrew developed for the Finding Augustine project to manage a comprehensive list of published artifacts by anyone affiliated with Villanova since the inception of the University. Michael and I agreed that his team would manage the image management associated with creating an institutional repository, while my Outreach team would oversee the development and maintain a bibliography that would be fully searchable on the Web and that [we] would not need to worry about copyright issues since it would only be supplying the citations.”
A data entry pilot project began in January 2007 and that was a pivotal year for the Community Bibliography. In May the project officially came under the supervision of the Outreach team and, three months later, the project gained momentum with increased multi-faceted data gathering. Later that year Falvey personnel began talking to people outside of Falvey about inter-operability. In November a content review produced procedural and system refinements.
The Community Bibliography was unveiled to the University’s academic leaders at a March 1, 2008, gala dinner in Falvey. There, Poley said, “Our Community Bibliography specifically allows for all works, popular and scholarly, to be documented, but why bother? This information is already gathered both formally and informally. Professors keep track of works for Curriculum Vitae, offices and departments monitor faculty and staff publications. But how does one know altogether what Villanova as a community has published? The problem is that there is no one place where information on all of these works is available … Our Community Bibliography becomes the device for allowing ourselves and others to see in a measurable way what our community has produced.”
A February 2008 newsletter article, “The ‘institutional repository’ rethought: Community Bibliography debuts,” not only explains the significance of the project, but also tells how it relates to the Faculty Fulltext project created by the Digital Library.
Stephen Spatz, assistant Outreach and Research Support librarian, does most of the day-by-day work on the Bibliography. He gathers and uploads citations of works by Villanova University community members; he searches mostly Falvey’s database collection, but also occasionally locates materials in faculty and departmental webpages and “even in a few cases, typewritten bibliographies, both published and unpublished.” He says, “There are currently about 12,000 citations in the database, most of which cover the most recent scholarly output of the VU community, but about 5% predate 1980 and, even in some cases, stretch back into the 19th century.” Spatz also maintains the Digital Library’s Faculty Fulltext database “which aims to parallel the citation-only content of the Community Bibliography with full-text versions of the most recent scholarly output of VU faculty.” Spatz also supervises students who do some of the data entry.
The two projects, Community Bibliography and Faculty Fulltext, developed from an academic movement to counter the commercialization of intellectual property, making information freely available as a means of sharing and promoting scholarship. Falvey’s early creation of these two projects puts it on the cutting edge of new ways of using technology to share scholarly information.
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Darren Poley, Stephen Spatz and Michael Foight generously contributed information for this article.
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