A growing, new collection of UCF digital information – from Central Florida history podcasts to theses such as Exploring the Effects of Social Media Use on the Mental Health of Young Adults – can be accessed around the globe in a new institutional repository system administered by UCF Libraries.

STARS – an acronym for Showcase of Text, Archives, Research & Scholarship – already contains about 20,000 documents as librarians seek to add to the collection.  

STARS was set up to preserve and present information by, for and about the University of Central Florida, such as publications, presentations, theses, dissertations, patents, research, videos, podcasts, digital storytelling, images, old campus newspapers, UCF Forum opinion columns and other content. The project is funded by the university’s technology fee.

“The main goal is to increase worldwide discovery and access of UCF scholarship and creative endeavors,” said Lee Dotson, digital initiatives librarian at the John C. Hitt Library. In addition, STARS documents and records UCF’s history and progress, and aims to foster scholarly collaborations. Author dashboards and readership reports provide statistics on download counts and page hits so contributors have insight into where their materials are being accessed.

“Our Google Analytics shows an average of about 100 users per day. The numbers are steadily increasing as we add more content and more items are being indexed by Google,” Dotson said, adding that there were about 15,800 downloads around the world in the past 30 days.

Through the years the library has been approached about hosting digitized content and partnership opportunities by faculty members working on digital projects, she said. Without having such a repository in place, UCF sometimes had to find a partner at another university that could host the materials for UCF faculty.

“UCF Libraries recognized this need and saw the potential support we could provide by facilitating a repository like STARS,” Dotson said. A repository of this scope is a collaborative endeavor with nearly all departments in the library sharing their expertise.

Works submitted by faculty, staff, students, alumni and university affiliates to the STARS repository must be original, creative, scholarly in nature, research-oriented or of institutional significance. The authors retain the copyright.

To check out the growing list of STARS entries, go here. Entries can be searched by collections, disciplines or authors. Email alerts are available for anyone who wants to sign up to keep track of newly published content.

The best way to be included in STARS is to fill out a new project request at https://bit.ly/stars-project. The request helps the library staff understand the project’s needs so the contributor can be connected with the appropriate staff and resources.

For questions about STARS, potential contributors can also send mail to [email protected].