DigitalCommons@ILR: Research bulletin board for the world of work

DigitalCommons@ILR is a worldwide bulletin board for the research and scholarship of the ILR School, managed by the Martin P. Catherwood Library.

Established in December 2005, the digital repository currently logs an average of 7,000 full-text article downloads a week. Recent popular articles were "The Good, the Bad and Wal-Mart" by Maralyn Edid, senior extension associate in Cornell's Institute of Workplace Studies; and a sample chapter from "The State of Working America," a biennial report from the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., published by Cornell University Press.

ILR faculty members have posted more than 2,500 documents so far, including what librarians refer to as "grey literature" -- working papers, papers presented at conferences and other material not formally published and, therefore, hard to find.

In addition to documents provided by faculty members, the Digital Commons includes collections of digital material selected by the reference librarians and archivists at Catherwood. Among these are a historical collection of collective bargaining agreements (union contracts) provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; bibliographies of labor union periodicals, ILR theses and dissertations; and Work in America Institute publications. Many collections were created out of a growing concern over the loss of "born digital" materials, such as online newsletters and government documents that are posted on the Web for a short time and then disappear.

"A repository adds an extra layer of curation," says Mary Newhart, Web and digital projects manager for Catherwood Library. "Librarians can add metadata and other ways to search."

The Digital Commons is also home to the online edition of the Industrial and Labor Relations Review, including the full texts of articles published from April 2003 to the present.

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