Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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Facts are not copyrightable; presentation and commentary are released for re-use.


To: Deeann Allison, Director, Media & Repository Services, UNL Libraries

I am pleased to transmit the following statistics report on the UNL DigitalCommons,

The DigitalCommons is the “institutional repository” for UNL. It’s function is to gather the intellectual output of the university for online public access. It was established in 2005, and now holds 99,000 papers, making it the 3rd largest in the United States, trailing only the University of California system (190,000) and the University of Michigan (120,000). It recently surpassed 50 million downloads, and is the nation’s current leader in that category. reports that the repository is the most visited subdomain of, representing 15% to 18% of all internet traffic.

The following schedules are attached:

I. History of growth (13 years) Growth of contents has been steady at around 6,000 annually. Contents and downloads shown here are UNL free public access only; i.e. they do not include ProQuest’s collection of 14,000 UNL dissertations (which are free to this campus & subscribing institutions only). Download numbers reflect changing interactions with search engines.

II. Distribution of contents and usage across series (50) : This schedule lists the 50 most popular series, July 2015 – June 2018, by downloads, and then by number of papers and annualized average per paper. These 50 series represent 36% of the contents and 63% of the downloads. There were approximately 950 series overall, with 19,583,432 downloads over the period.

III. Downloads by other educational institutions (115) We are able to trace about 25% of downloads to a network. The following are the most frequently downloading networks and their types.

IV. Downloads by continent: July 2016‐‐June 2018

V. Downloads by country (28) Between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2018, these 28 countries each received >0.5% of geolocated downloads. Note that 59% of downloads are international.

VI. Most popular paper by country (10)

The DigitalCommons platform is hosted and maintained by bepress in Berkeley, California; they were purchased last year by Elsevier. The repository is operated and administered locally by UNL Libraries faculty and staff: Paul Royster, Sue Gardner, Margaret Mering, and Linnea Fredrickson.