The University of Southern Mississippi's institutional repository, The Aquila Digital Community, commemorated a significant milestone on March 20 as the site logged its 100,000th full text download. Aquila, which collects and preserves the research and scholarship of Southern Miss faculty and students, launched in January 2012 and has grown rapidly in the past two years.
Aquila was originally conceived as a means of providing open access to faculty publications, but the site has broadened its capabilities and now offers a journal publishing platform, streaming media archives of participating campus lecture series, and research data preservation for federally-funded grant research.
Among Aquila's first 100,000 downloads, the majority are from the following collections:
* Honors College theses (http://aquila.usm.edu/honors_theses): Since December 2011, all Honors College theses are uploaded to Aquila. Because of its multidisciplinary approach and extensive collection, these are often the most downloaded files in Aquila.
* SLIS Connecting (http://aquila.usm.edu/slisconnecting): "SLIS Connecting" is a journal edited by Dr. Stacy Creel and Dr. Teresa Welsh in the School of Library and Information Science. The journal launched in February 2012 and now boasts an international readership.
* Online Journal of Health Ethics (http://aquila.usm.edu/ojhe): The OJHE, edited by Dr. Sheila Davis in the College of Nursing, has a longstanding reputation among scholars in the field of health and nursing ethics. Since relocating to Aquila in summer 2013, it has become one of the most utilized resources on the site.
* Documenting Runaway Slaves (http://aquila.usm.edu/drs): DRS is a digital humanities project headed by Dr. Douglas Chambers and Dr. Max Grivno of the Department of History. The project focuses on documenting newspaper advertisements in which slaveholders sought to reclaim their runaway slaves, and is a valuable resource for historians and other researchers interested in the history and nature of slavery.
Southern Miss faculty and students interested in including their research in Aquila are invited to visit the site at http://aquila.usm.edu or contact Josh Cromwell at 601.266.6200 or Joshua.Cromwell@usm.edu for more information.