Digital Commons - Information and Tools



Paul Royster

Date of this Version



The month recently ended saw new record levels of usage, both for new documents added and for number of downloads furnished.

In April, 1,048 new open-access documents were added to the UNL Digital Commons, including significant collections of articles from Insecta Mundi, a scholarly journal of insect systematics, Proceedings of the Eastern Pine and Meadow Vole Symposia 1978–1982, Cornhusker Economics, Bird Strike Committee Annual Meeting Proceedings, Nebraska Beef Reports, and Nebraska Swine Reports; Paul Johnsgard’s book Diving Birds of North America, plus fairly large numbers of articles from some emeriti, including animal geneticist Dale Van Vleck, radiation physicist Robert Katz, P. Frazer Williams from electrical engineering, and clothing specialist Rose Marie Tondl.

As a whole, the repository showed a 33% jump in usage for April over March (from 73,000 to 97,000 downloads)—perhaps an indication that students’ papers were coming due, causing a worldwide surge in Googling for scholarly articles.

Users came from 136 different countries, and about 25% of downloads were from international users. A list of nations is attached below.

Users who arrive via Google searches may not realize that the repository is organized by series, and the statistics on downloads by series provide an interesting view of the available content. Obviously, there is wide disparity in the number of documents per series, and in the amount of time they have been online. Usage figures are not an indication of scientific value or literary merit; many depositors have documents in more than one series, and some departments are collected into a single series, while others are broken out by individual faculty, or even individual works. Even so, the statistics for April are given below, for whatever they are worth.

Finally, all 308 documents that were downloaded 40 or more times are listed, as usual.

Among the “most-downloaded,” two newly appearing articles deserve special mention:
• Dana Boden’s “Miniature Cattle: For Real, for Pets, for Production” (223 downloads) — No, you can’t dress them in doll clothes and carry them around in your purse, but then, you wouldn’t want to make T-bones out of that miniature bichon, either. So, 1) size matters, but 2) everything is relative.
• Marshall Olds’ essay “Literary Symbolism” (222 downloads) on the French aesthetic movement exemplified by Charles Baudelaire (1821–67), Stéphane Mallarmé (1842–98), Paul Verlaine (1844–96), and Arthur Rimbaud (1854–91). (This essay has been near the top before, but not since I’ve been adding commentary to the bare list).