Open Access Publishing and Media at Indiana University

This week, Indiana University joins the international academic and research community in celebrating Open Access Week. All year round, IUScholarWorks raises awareness of open access publishing and enables Indiana University scholars to preserve and make their works freely available through this model. Maximizing the exposure of information supports the advancement of scholarship and enhances educational opportunities for students and the public. We asked Shayna Pekala, Open Access Publishing Manager, to discuss the solutions she has found for providing access to audio and video content and future steps for open access publishing and streaming media at Indiana University.


The IUScholarWorks Repository allows scholars to preserve and provide access to their research and data. What challenges have you have encountered with media content?


The IUScholarWorks Repository is built on DSpace open source software, which unfortunately does not have a mechanism for streaming video. While it is possible to store a video file in a DSpace record, the user would then have to download that file and view it with their own media player. Another issue is that users can only submit files up to 250MB, and many video files are larger than that. 


Currently, adding video to the Repository is a three-step process that involves:

  • creating a descriptive item record in DSpace,
  • uploading the video file to the Libraries’ legacy video system, the Video Streaming Server (VSS), where it can be streamed, and finally,
  • editing the DSpace record to include a link to the video file


When the Avalon Media System ultimately replaces the VSS, we will modify this practice by putting the video file in Avalon instead. In fact, we have already begun to do this with some videos from the Black Film/Center Archive (check out their collection in the Repository: It would be great if we could come up with a way for users to upload video to Avalon while they are creating a record in DSpace, but that’s something we haven’t explored yet.


You also support the Indiana University community in publishing open access journals and conference proceedings. How has Avalon supported this work?


IUScholarWorks Journals is based on the Open Journals Systems (OJS) publishing platform. Streaming video in OJS is only possible through the use of an embedded media player, which is where Avalon comes in. Our first example of an OJS site with embedded video  is the Proceedings for Collaboration, Advocacy, and Recruitment: Area and International Studies Librarianship Workshop. In the case of these workshop proceedings, we were able to store videos of the speakers, screencasts, and PDF transcripts in a single “article,” which provides a better experience for the user by allowing them to view all of these parts in one place.


What are your thoughts on the future relationship of streaming media and open access publishing at Indiana University?


The ability to integrate media is a growing request in all areas of open access publishing, especially for journals and conference proceedings. IUScholarWorks is keen on exploring new forms of digital publishing, and incorporating Avalon video lays a great foundation for what we might accomplish in the future.


To learn more about open access publishing and ways to support and take advantage of this model at Indiana University, consider attending the Open Access Week events hosted by the IU Office of Scholarly Publishing and the IU Libraries' Scholars' Commons.


We would love to hear your comments. How are you celebrating Open Access Week? What kinds of challenges and opportunities regarding open access publishing have you encountered?  Any thoughts on the future of media and open access publishing?