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Eagle Research Provides Vital Resource to Education, Business and Military Communities

The Scholarly Commons digital repository is open to the public and has seen a large increase in downloads and author contributions in the past year.

Have you ever wondered about the type of complaints that airlines receive or how much baggage was mishandled by a particular airline?

Or what factors impact the retention of female aerospace engineers or how to handle conflicts in the workplace?

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Scholarly Commons, which has been highlighted in the industry as a resource for educational institutions, government agencies and businesses, has a wealth of free information to help answer questions like these on a host of topics.

Scholarly Commons, an open access digital repository of work produced primarily by the faculty, students and staff of Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach, Prescott, Ariz., and Worldwide campuses, has seen a surge in downloads and is continuing to add more publications, journals, dissertations and theses not only by faculty, but also by students.

In a year’s time from July 1, 2016, until June 30, 2017, there has been almost a 50 percent increase in downloads from all over the world with a total of 316,396 downloads. Contributions from authors also increased by 32 percent.

Scholarly Commons showcases more than 11,000 campus publications, archival materials, library special collections and other University-related creative works. But the repository also hosts materials from about 20 conferences and also will live-stream conferences.

Established in 2013, Scholarly Commons has research and articles from faculty dating back to the 1970s and student master’s theses from the 1980s.

“An institutional repository demonstrates to the world the importance of what you are doing and what your contributions are,” said Dr. Anne Marie Casey, dean of Embry-Riddle’s Scholarly Communication and the Library. “[Also], I think it’s a social justice issue. Providing open access to the research done at Embry-Riddle makes it available to everyone, not just the people who can afford to pay high subscription costs.”

A variety of people currently download research and articles from the repository, including almost 50 percent from educational institutions, 41 percent commercial users, 6 percent government and 4 percent military.

Casey said some of the top downloading government and military institutions include the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, the U.S. Army Information Systems Command and the U.S. Air Force’s 754th Electronic Systems Group.

“The applied research that faculty are doing is being used by the people in the field,” Casey said. “We are providing access to important information for everyone to find.”

Topics related to aviation are the most popular, though research articles by faculty in the College of Business on the Daytona Beach Campus are also commonly downloaded.

The top three downloaded articles this past year were Airline Networks: A Comparison of Hub-and-Spoke and Point-to-Point Systems; Determination of Factors That Influence Passengers’ Airline Selection: A Study of Low Cost Centers in Thailand; and Yield Management in the Airline Industry.

Embry-Riddle’s Scholarly Commons has also been highlighted internationally as an example of an institution effectively reaching external audiences.

Journals and magazines are also part of the published works. The journals include Beyond: Undergraduate Research Journal; International Bulletin of Political Psychology; International Journal of Aviation, Aeronautics, Aerospace; Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research; Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law; and McNair Scholars Research Journal.

This past year, magazines were added, including Embry-Riddle’s alumni magazine Lift; ResearchER; and the Annual Report on Philanthropy, along with back issues.

In August, Embry-Riddle also added the Language as a Human Factor (LHUFT) in Aviation Resource Center and the Language as a Human Factor in Aviation Safety Bibliography; composed of references of articles, books, reports, dissertations and theses on a variety of topics pertaining to language as a human factor in aerospace.

The goals for the coming year are to increase student and faculty contributions from the three campuses and to establish a repository of Open Educational Resources that faculty can require as an alternative to sometimes costly textbooks.

Plans include adding more research from students in the Honors Program as well as projects from students in the university’s Study Abroad programs. Faculty universitywide will also be asked to recommend high-quality student research papers.

“Good student research is important to the body of literature in higher education. There hasn’t been a way before to capture it,” Casey said.

Kadie Hayward Mullins, director of Embry-Riddle’s Undergraduate Research for the Daytona Beach Campus, said Scholarly Commons is a vital repository for students to showcase their undergraduate research works and create an easily accessible platform to communicate their findings and build their personal brand.

“Often, students conduct outstanding research and participate in quality scholarship and inquiry resulting in wonderful products that not only benefit the student but also advances the field in which they are researching,” Mullins said. “Scholarly Commons allows students to generate a ‘one-stop’ profile to supplement their applications particularly for students pursuing research-intensive careers or graduate school.” 

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.