Archiving Undergraduate Research: An Examination of an Institutional Repository’s Effect on a Sixty-Year Tradition


Published in Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Case Studies and Best Practices, Volume 2, edited by Merinda Kaye Hensley, et al., Association of College and Research Libraries, 2023, pp. 117-152.


At Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU), engaging students in high-impact educational practices like undergraduate research and capstone projects has a long history in multiple disciplines. This chapter examines the library’s role in preserving this tradition as it relates to archiving two types of student works: honors projects and annual research conference submissions. Faculty and staff at The Ames Library use both the University Archives and the institutional repository Digital Commons @ IWU (DC@IWU) in managing these collections. Details in this chapter include insights into the partnerships for conducting this work, analysis of the academic divisions in each collection, methods of collecting non-text genres, and attitudes of departmental faculty and staff. The appendices contain different iterations of the licensing agreements used. The shift in established practices necessitated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, speculation about the impact it will have on future practices, and recommendations for the future conclude this work.


Archival Science | Library and Information Science | Scholarly Communication