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eCommons: Cornell's Digital Repository

Information and user support for eCommons, Cornell's Digital Repository.

eCommons Communities and Collections

What are eCommons communities and collections?

Communities and collections are the structuring mechanisms by which eCommons content is arranged. Communities may contain any number of other communities ("sub-communities") and any number of collections, but they don't contain individual items (records, with associated files). Collections may contain any number of individual items, but only items. Other than these restrictions, there is considerable flexibility in the arrangement of communities and collections.

Top-level communities and sub-communities tend to correspond to Cornell University academic or administrative units (e.g., a department, institute, or research center) that produce research and scholarly work. Collections can be organized around a topic, or by type of information (such as working papers or datasets) or by any other sorting method a community finds useful in organizing its digital items. Many types of collections are possible and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. To request a new collection, please contact the eCommons administrator.

Each eCommons community and collection has its own entry page which can display relevant information, images, and links for that group.

A collection may be administered by a Collection coordinator who acts as a liaison with eCommons staff at the University Library.

What are the benefits of having a collection coordinator?

If a coordinator has assumed administrative responsibilities for an eCommons collection, then those responsible for that eCommons collection have the right to:

  • Decide policy regarding content to be submitted (within eCommons Content Collection Policy).
  • Decide who may submit content to their collection or community.
  • Define an item submission workflow for each collection or community.
  • Limit access to content at the item level to Cornell University members only.
  • Receive a copy of submitted content upon request.
  • Request and approve the addition of or elimination of sub-collections.

What responsibilities does a collection or community coordinator assume?

If a coordinator has assumed administrative responsibilities for an eCommons collection or community, then that eCommons coordinator agrees to:

  • Understand and observe all eCommons Policies. The technological ability to perform operations that are not consistent with eCommons policies does not constitute permission to circumvent those policies.
  • Arrange for deposit and description of content.
  • Educate depositors to their collection about these policies.
  • If a coordinator assumes responsibility for the deposit of items into eCommons, then they also assume the responsibilities of depositors (see Depositor Responsibilties).
  • Establish submission and access guidelines for their collection.
  • Make decisions about collection and sub-collection definitions and names.
  • Clear copyright for items deposited when copyright owner is other than author(s) or Cornell University.
  • Notify eCommons staff of organizational changes affecting deposits.
  • Reply to periodic reconfirmation of collection information.
  • Communicate specialized needs and requests to eCommons administrators and staff in order to identify mutually acceptable solutions.
  • Abide by the recommendations of eCommons administrators and staff.

If there is a community or collection in eCommons for which you may be an appropriate coordinator, please contact us

How will the Library assist the eCommons collection/community coordinator?

The University Library will:

  • Educate the coordinator on using eCommons and on eCommons Policies, best practices and guidelines.
  • Provide support and guidance to the coordinator for any collection related questions.
  • As necessary, work with a coordinator to deposit large numbers of items in batch.
  • As necessary, review and revise metadata in accordance with metadata staff recommendations and eCommons best practices.
  • Notify the coordinator of significant changes to content management, software, and policies and procedures.