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University of Maryland Libraries becomes the institutional home of SocArXiv

The University of Maryland (UMD) Libraries is pleased to announce that it has become the institutional home of SocArXiv, an interdisciplinary, open access repository of scholarship. The new partnership between the Libraries and SocArXiv ensures the future development and sustainability of the repository, which had previously received seed funding from the libraries at the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with additional support from the Sloan Foundation, the Open Societies Foundation, and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at UMD. Working with partners, the UMD Libraries will sponsor SocArXiv to help sustain shared infrastructure for open scholarship and to provide equitable access to this diverse collection of research for scholars at UMD and around the world.

Founded in 2016, SocArXiv is a digital repository of research papers which is free for authors and readers alike. SocArXiv is governed by a volunteer steering committee of scholars and library community leaders, with University of Maryland sociology professor Philip N. Cohen as the founding director. As of April 2021, the repository holds almost 8,000 papers in all fields of social and behavioral sciences, arts and humanities, education, and law. It provides a shared platform for social scientists and other scholars to upload working papers, preprints, and published papers, with the option to link data and code. Papers in multiple languages are moderated by an international team of volunteer academic researchers. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the pace of new papers posting at SocArXiv has increased, and there are now more than 500 papers related to the pandemic.

SocArXiv is based on the Open Science Framework (OSF) platform of the nonprofit Center for Open Science (COS). This arrangement will continue under the new partnership between the UMD Libraries and SocArXiv. Eric Olson, Institutional Product Owner at COS, said: “We believe that transparent and reproducible research and research products lead to better outcomes. By helping to sustain SocArXiv, UMD Libraries and its partners will continue to advance the shared platforms, tools, and systems that promote open science and open access in the research community.”

“We are delighted to be joining the Libraries at UMD, which is a leader in the growing movement for open scholarship,” said Cohen. “As the first preprint service available on the COS platform, SocArXiv has been an innovator in this arena during an exciting period. We are grateful for the Libraries’ support and look forward to working with the team here to build the future of academy-owned scholarly communication infrastructure.”

“SocArXiv fits into the UMD Libraries’ strategies related to enhancing open access and supporting academy-owned infrastructure for scholarly communication,” added Adriene Lim, Dean of Libraries. “It has an outstanding reputation in the field and we’re proud to be the institutional home and sustain this valuable resource for the entire research community. We look forward to working with Dr. Cohen, COS, and SocArXiv’s steering committee in the future to enhance equitable access for research, teaching, and learning.”

The Libraries also manages the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM), which hosts material from UMD researchers, including theses and dissertations as well as research articles. In the future, SocArXiv hopes to integrate submission of Maryland researchers’ content with DRUM, extending the reach of UMD’s research output, as well as leveraging other benefits offered by SocArXiv.

To learn more about SocArXiv, visit SocOpen.org and SocArXiv.org.


ABOUT THE UMD LIBRARIES

As the largest university library system in the Washington D.C.-Baltimore area, the University of Maryland (UMD) Libraries serve more than 41,000 students and 14,000 faculty and staff of the flagship College Park campus. The Libraries’ extensive collections, programs, and services enable student success, support teaching, research, and creativity, and enrich the intellectual and cultural life of the community. A member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance and the Association of Research Libraries, the UMD Libraries was honored with the 2020 Excellence in Academic Libraries award in the university category from the Association of College and Research Libraries.