Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



American Library Association Science and Technology Section meeting, June 28, 2021.


Slides from a lightning talk presented remotely during the American Library Association Science and Technology Section meeting on June 28, 2021. Includes accompanying materials.


Background: The University of Nebraska-Lincoln University Libraries institutional repository was founded in 2005 on the Digital Commons platform. It currently contains more than 118,000 full-text scholarly works that have been downloaded over 73,000,000 times.

Problem that drove the project: Older scientific literature may only occasionally circulate from university library collections or be purchased by readers from remaindered publishers' stock.

Methods: This research will employ statistical analyses to demonstrate the value of making available four series of scientific literature in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln University Libraries Digital Commons: Insecta Mundi, the Nebraska Bird Review, the Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, and scientific research from the University of Nebraska State Museum.

Findings: As of February 19, 2021, the materials in the four series include collectively 3,859 items which have been downloaded 1,256,191 times.

Discussion: When older scientific publications are uploaded to an institutional repository, their download numbers can be staggering across all subjects and all years.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion considerations: Uptake in World Bank–designated low- and middle-income (LMI) countries of these materials accounts for approximately 31% of their downloads.

Impact: We will explain what we know about the readership of these materials and make a case for their broad value both within and beyond academia.

SG-LF-PR_ALA-STS_poster-abstract-and-data_2021-02-19.pdf (397 kB)
ALA-STS poster abstract and data

SG-LF-PR_ALA-STS_poster-script_2021-06-21.pdf (78 kB)
ALA-STS poster script