ThinkIR’s 1 Millionth Download a Major Milestone in Bringing UofL Scholarship to Global Audience

UofL’s Institutional Repository, ThinkIR – a digital platform which hosts and offers open access to scholarship of UofL’s faculty, researchers and students – has passed the one-million mark for downloaded scholarship. As of March 12, some 5,136 research papers, thesis and dissertations have been downloaded by a worldwide audience.

thinkIR homepage

Since launching in 2015, ThinkIR has become a major open-access source for scholarship from UofL faculty and graduates, averaging more than 1,000 downloads per day, reaching world-wide audiences, and increasing UofL scholars’ visibility.

“This milestone represents the 1 million people who have been able to access scholarship at UofL from all over the world, for free,” said Bob Fox, dean of the University Libraries, which sponsored and funded the creation of the institutional repository.

“You can see by looking at the world map on the site where all the scholarship is being downloaded,” said Sarah Frankel, Open Access and Repository Coordinator for the University Libraries. “The dots on the map represent real-time downloads, so we know who is interested in our scholars’ research.

“The scholarship is much more discoverable through Google searches if it is hosted on ThinkIR; the search engine optimization ensures that items appear near the top of search results,” Frankel continued.

Formerly a Technical Services staff member, Frankel as OAR coordinator assists faculty in depositing their scholarship into ThinkIR and oversees the approval and publishing of graduate and undergraduate student self-submitted theses and dissertations. She creates profiles for each faculty scholar, helping them post biographical information and navigating copyright restrictions relating to their scholarship.

The repository’s name evokes the Rodin statue that graces the front steps of Grawemeyer Hall.

Currently, the top downloaded work is a 2012 Master’s Thesis from the Department of Pan African Studies: “The hidden help : black domestic workers in the civil rights movement” by Trena Easley Armstrong, followed closely by another Master’s Thesis from 2012, from the Sociology Department: “An analysis of Hindi women-centric films in India” by Srijita Sarkar – both titles have been downloaded more than 11,000 times since February 12, 2015!

In addition to providing access to UofL scholarship, ThinkIR also hosts peer-reviewed open-access journals. These journals are managed by UofL faculty and staff with support from Libraries staff. While most peer-reviewed academic journals are subscription-based, requiring high fees from hosting institutions, these journals are free and open to the public.

UofL Football in Photographs


UofL football players MacFarlane and LaFramboise.

After such a sweet victory at the Sugar Bowl I thought it would be fun to take a look at the UofL football photographs we have. Looking through the historic UofL photographs  some of my favorite pictures are action shots like this one from the 1960s with Tom LaFramboise (#14) blocking for Al MacFarlane (#33) during a game. Other great shots show cheerleaders, the University of Louisville Marching Band, and mascots.

While I love the historical photos I’m equally excited about a collaboration with UofL’s official photographer, Tom Fougerousse, which will bring more recent University photographs into the Digital Collections. He has taken some amazing shots which are available at the University of Louisville Flickr page. By adding the images to the University Libraries’ Digital Collections they will be preserved for the future with information about the events.

One of the great aspects of the University of Louisville Images collection is the input we receive from the community. UofL alums have helped us provide more information about these past events. The image above, for example, was originally posted without the players’ names, but a sharp-eyed viewer recognized the players and sent in their names. Now the players are identified and can be found by interested fans.

Parkway Field images and other university landmarks

During a recent conversation about my job, a friend asked me if 1) it was possible to order images from the collections, and 2) if we had images of Parkway Field. He remembered visiting Parkway Field as a child for baseball games and wanted a photo of it. The answer to both of these questions is Yes.

Within the Digital Collections, there are 10 images with the subject heading of Parkway Field (Louisville, Ky.) Many of these are in the collection University of Louisville Images, which focuses on the university and its history.

Parkway Field, 1950s

A football schedule posted on a wall at Parkway Field, 1950s

Ordering procedures for reproductions depend on which library or library department holds the original. Each record contains a field identifying the Digital Publisher and a field with Ordering Information, generally a link to the policies, possible fees, and contact information. Contact the Digital Publisher for the details about specific images.