SOAR@USA Tops 10,000 Downloads in a Single Month!
In February 2022, SOAR@USA hit a record 10,000 downloads in a single month. The Scholarship and Open Access Repository (SOAR@USA) archives the research work of University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences students, staff, and faculty, making it accessible to researchers around the world without cost-barriers. Anyone with an internet connection can instantly access student dissertations, capstones, and scholarly projects, as well as open access versions of conference presentations and faculty publications.
“This is a tremendous milestone for SOAR@USA.” says librarian Eric Robinson, who manages the SOAR archive. The archive has seen steady growth since its launch in 2018 and has now been accessed by researchers in 195 countries around the world.
Open Access (OA) publication is a fast-growing part of the landscape of scholarly communication, with an increasing number of journals offering OA options to authors. This allows more authors to place their work in university archives like SOAR@USA. The library regularly assists faculty in determining whether they can add their work to the archive while respecting copyright and the terms of their publishing agreement. Deposit of research in an archive like SOAR@USA makes that work available to more readers, since there are no cost-barriers such as subscription fees or article-access charges. “This leads not only to easier access to the research,” says Robinson, “but many studies have actually shown an increase in citation rates for research shared through OA venues.”
The USA library has also begun publishing new OA journals through SOAR@USA. A student-led OA journal, the Student Journal of Occupational Therapy, is managed and edited by USA students and has been in publication since 2020. The journal provides a unique opportunity for USA students to learn about research publication and to participate at all levels of the journal review. The journal invites interested students to apply to be reviewers or to join the editorial board by contacting email@example.com.
The library also recently launched its second journal, the Philippine Journal of Physical Therapy, an international publishing partnership between USA physical therapy faculty and the Philippine Physical Therapy Association. The journal published its first issue in February under the leadership of USA faculty members, Arvie Vitente and Rolando Lazaro. A third OA journal publication is currently in planning.
Figure 1. Worldwide downloads from the SOAR@USA archive.