New improved experience coming soon for Digital Repository users

Nov 11, 2020 · Nacuya Rucker

Starting January 19, 2021, Iowa State Digital Repository authors and users can look forward to enhanced searchability, streamlined submission forms for authors, and a seamless user interface for easy navigation. The new platform, DSpace, is freely available as open-source software. The project is a result of a two-year collaboration with faculty to assess the current capabilities of the Digital Repository and identify opportunities to create a better experience for both authors and worldwide users in search of creative works, research, publications, and reports by Iowa State scholars.  

With over 29.5 million downloads, the Digital Repository – curated by students, faculty, staff, and administrative units – serves as a free, accessible information hub for scholars around the world. Since its launch in 2012 more than 93,000 papers have been uploaded, and over the last 12 months alone, the repository has seen over 7.5 million downloads – a testament to Iowa State’s land-grant mission. 

Although Digital Repository users have two months left before changes are implemented, below are three new features you can look forward to seeing right before the start of the spring 2021 semester. 

1. Enhanced searchability: DSpace’s top of the line search engine allows for greater ease of use. The search function is built on SOLR, an open-source enterprise-search platform, and major features include full-text search, hit highlighting, faceted search, real-time indexing, dynamic clustering, database integration, NoSQL features, and rich document handling.

2. Easy submission for authors: New streamlined submission forms make it easy for authors or administrators to submit their own content to the repository on their own schedule. For articles that are published through library-sponsored Read and Publish Agreements, DSpace allows for the use of SWORDv1 and v2 protocols, which are the most commonly used protocols to deposit content from external providers in a repository. DSpace includes the option to populate metadata fields through PubMed, Scopus, Crossref, and ScienceDirect, which allows for faster and more efficient uploads.

3. Seamless user interface: Rather than being forced to work within a specific design template, DSpace allows for custom website design tailored to the needs of our university. 

Wondering how this change may impact your work personally? Click here to take a look at our most frequently asked questions

To share your research and scholarship with the world, visit to submit your work or email