Purdue e-Pubs reaches milestone with 3 million downloads from across globe

October 23, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - When Purdue civil engineering emeritus professor Sidney Diamond published his work on "Methods of Soil Stablilization for Erosion Control" in 1975, he expected it to primarily be read in Indiana. After all, assisting the state to improve its transportation infrastructure was and still is the primary goal of the Joint Transportation Research Program, which published Diamond's work.

Today, however, the readers of report JHRP-75/20 are as likely to be in India, Brazil and China as in Monticello or Frankfort, Ind. Thanks to Purdue e-Pubs, the university's online publishing system administered by Purdue Libraries, Diamond's research is helping practitioners worldwide to cheaply and safely reinforce dirt roadways made unstable by heavy rainfall.

Purdue Libraries announced Tuesday (Oct. 23) that "Methods of Soil Stabilization" was the 3 millionth download from Purdue e-Pubs, the open-access repository system that now contains more than 25,000 articles, reports, conference papers and theses written by university faculty, staff and students. Since July, the system has generated more than 500,000 new downloads, indicating an accelerating pace of use. Visitors came from 224 Indiana communities, every state in the nation, and more than 211 countries. Publishing new scholarship on Purdue e-Pubs is entirely free of charge for Purdue faculty.

JTRP reports on Purdue e-Pubs are particularly heavily used. The more than 1,500 reports now online have been downloaded more than 400,000 times. Previously buried in the basement of the Engineering Library, JTRP reports provide a treasure trove of invaluable information for transportation professionals and include papers by many civil engineering graduate students who have gone on to distinguished careers. These include Delon Hampton, for whom the Civil Engineering building at Purdue is now named, and Essam Abdel-Aziz Sharaf, until recently prime minister of Egypt.

Through the involvement of publishing professionals at Purdue University Press (a Libraries unit), Purdue Libraries ensures that JTRP and the other publications on Purdue e-Pubs are discoverable, citable and carefully preserved.

"JTRP's partnership with Purdue Libraries is enabling our research to have global as well as local impact," said Darcy Bullock, professor of civil engineering and JTRP director. "I am proud that it was one of our technical reports that was the 3 millionth download from Purdue e-Pubs and excited that it was as likely to be a reader in India or China who downloaded it as one in Indiana. This example shows how making Purdue research openly and freely accessible online increases the value of the state's investment as well as boosting the university's profile."

Bullock has also been named the recipient of the 2012 faculty award for Leadership in Open Access that will be presented Friday (Oct. 26) by acting President Timothy D. Sands. This is the third year that awards have been presented, and the timing coincides with International Open Access Week.

Contacts: Charles Watkinson, Purdue University Press director, 765-494-8251, cwatkinson@purdue.edu

Darcy Bullock, 765-494-2226, darcy@purdue.edu

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