FAQ - RIT Digital Media Library


What is the DML?

The Rochester Institute of Technology's Digital Media Library (RIT DML) is an �institutional repository� which captures, preserves and distributes digital copies of RIT research and scholarship and RIT documents of historical or archival significance. The RIT DML was implemented in 2003 by library staff in the Wallace Center and was created to support the Institute's scholarly research in a digital environment and to provide RIT faculty, staff and students with the opportunity to share their research with colleagues on campus and throughout the world. Included are thousands of student theses, preprints and postprints, technical reports, conference papers, and papers of the Institute governance groups. If rights have not been obtained to freely distribute the full text of scholarship, the DML can also capture and preserve the citation information for academic works published by RIT faculty, staff and students, creating a comprehensive �institutional bibliography� of RIT scholarship.

Who may search the DML?

Anyone may view the contents of the RIT DML. There may be exceptions to a limited number of full text materials that may be unavailable to the general public. Email alerts are available to registered users and anyone may register. Submissions are limited to the RIT community.

Do users need to register to the DML?

Registration is not required to view the contents of the RIT DML but all users may register if they wish to set up a profile and subscribe to collections to receive email alerts of new items added. RSS feeds are also available for all collections. Some content may be restricted to the RIT community and will require an RIT username/password to view.

How is the DML Organized?

The DML is organized into two portals, which can be searched together or separately: RIT Scholars and the RIT Digital Archive. The RIT Scholars portal contains scholarly works created by RIT faculty, students and staff such as monographs, preprints, postprints, conference papers, technical reports and theses. The RIT Digital Archive contains important RIT documents that capture RIT�s institutional history but are not scholarly in nature, items such as Newsletters, Press Releases, Institute policies and procedures and meeting minutes from Institute governing bodies such Academic Senate, Staff Council, and Student Government.

The content within the DML follows a hierarchical arrangement. Each portal of the DML is organized into communities, sub-communities and collections. Communities correspond to RIT administrative entities such as colleges, departments, labs and research centers. Each community contains one or more collections, where digital materials are stored as items. Most communities have a Community Administrator who provides oversight for the collections within the community. Each community has its own entry page displaying information, news and links reflecting the interests of that community, as well as a descriptive list of collections within the community.

How can I search the DML?

The DML can be browsed by communities and collections, issue dates, authors or titles. In addition, keyword searching is available and users can search on keyword, titles or authors. Advanced searching functionality allows the search to be refined further offering searching of additional indexes, combined searching and sorting. Users can search the entire DML or limit a search to a specific portal. Searching is also available within a specific community.

Who is submitting content to the DML?

Each of the eight colleges at RIT has established communities to preserve and distribute the scholarship of their respective college. Many administrative units and Institute governing bodies are also using the DML to preserve the record of their institute work. For example, meeting meetings of the Academic Senate, Institute Council, Staff Council and Student Government are all included in the RIT Digital Archive.


Who provides support for the DML?

The DML is administered by the Asset Management and Technology Support Services Teams of the Wallace Center. These teams provide technical support, oversight, training and handle the majority of the submissions to the DML.

What is the technology behind the DML?

The DML is built on the open source software application DSpace, developed jointly by MIT Libraries and Hewlett-Packard (HP). DSpace is a digital repository system that captures, stores, preserves and distributes material in digital formats. Institutions from around the world use DSpace to preserve a record of their institution's scholarship.

What is the role of the Community Administrator?

Community Administrators review content that is submitted before it is posted to the DML and decide who can self-submit to a collection. If a Community Administrator does not approve a content submission to the DML within 30 days, it is automatically added to the DML. Not all collections require a review by a Community Administrator.


Who can submit content to the DML?

Members of the RIT community. The work must be produced, submitted or sponsored by RIT faculty, students or RIT staff.

What type of content is accepted in the DML?

The work must be scholarly or research oriented or it must possess archival value or historical significance for RIT.

The author/owner should be willing and able to grant to RIT the right to preserve and distribute the work via the RIT DML. The majority of the submissions in the DML are open access but access restrictions can be set at the collection or item level.

The DML accepts all manner of digital formats but provides differing levels of support depending on the format type. Some examples of items that the RIT DML can accommodate are:

  • Documents (e.g. articles, e-prints, working papers, technical reports, conference papers)
  • Books
  • Theses, thesis projects and dissertations
  • Data sets
  • Computer programs
  • Administrative records
  • Visualizations, simulations and other models
  • Images
  • Audio files
  • Video files

What file types are supported?

The DML will support and recognize as many known file formats as possible. Supported file types include: Adobe PDF, Postscript, gif, jpeg, tiff, html, text, html, and xml files. If you have a question on support for a particular file type, please contact the Wallace Center Asset Management Team at diglib@rit.edu

How do I submit content to the DML?

You can email electronic files to be submitted to the DML to the central Digital Library address: diglib@rit.edu. If the files are too large for email transfer, the RIT Tiger File Exchanger application can be used. The files will then be submitted to the appropriate communities/collections by the Asset Management Team at the Wallace Center. Following approval by the Community Administrator, if required, the files will be added to the DML. If you wish to self-submit content directly to the DML, please contact the Asset Management Team at diglib@rit.edu for instructions and training.

Printed files can also be scanned for submission to the DML. For more information, please contact the Asset Management Team at diglib@rit.edu

Why should I submit content to the DML?

The DML provides a way to preserve and share scholarly and Institute work. Many publishers allow the submission of pre and postprints to an institutional repository, broadening the reach of scholarship. Faculty and student research can be located by using an easily searchable interface and content from the DML is harvested by search engines such as Google Scholar, increasing distribution and visibility. There are currently 9000+ items archived in the DML - submitting content to the DML adds to this record of research and scholarship of RIT.

How long does it take for content to be accessible in the DML once it is submitted?

This depends on the review level for the content. Some content is immediately accessible. If content needs to be reviewed by a Community Administrator, content will be available as soon as the review is completed. If a Community Administrator does not review content within 30 days, the content is automatically added to the DML.

Aside from author submission, are there other ways that content is added to the DML

Content such as Institute Newsletters can also be harvested and submitted directly by the Asset Management Team of the Wallace Center. Digitization projects, such as the digitization of the RIT theses collection and University newspaper also provide content for the DML.



How is my content preserved within the DML?

The RIT DML attempts to support as many file formats as possible. Two levels of digital preservation are identified: bit preservation and functional preservation. Bit preservation ensures that a file remains exactly the same over time - not a single bit is changed - while the physical media evolve around it. Functional preservation goes further: the file does change over time so that the material continues to be immediately usable in the same way it was originally while the digital formats (and physical media) evolve over time. Some file formats can be functionally preserved using straightforward format migration, such as TIFF images or XML documents. Other formats are proprietary, or for other reasons are much harder to preserve functionally.

The DML uses the Handle System from CNRI to assign and resolve persistent identifiers for each digital item.