By Andrew Creamer, Scientific Data Management Specialist
The Office of the Dean of the College and Brown University Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) would like to announce that the first digital collection of undergraduate research posters from Brown University’s Summer Research Symposium is now published online in the Brown Digital Repository (BDR). There are 63 posters from students who consented to share and publish their research covering projects in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Each poster has its own permanent link and record, containing the image and .pdf file of the poster, the names of the undergraduate researchers and their faculty advisor at Brown, the name of the students’ funding source, and an abstract and keywords. This post highlights one of these undergraduate researchers and her reasons for choosing to place her scholarship in the BDR.
There are several reasons why undergraduates can benefit from having their research archived in the BDR, such as having the potential for their research to be discovered online in a search and be cited by others, having a permanent link to include in a CV or an application to graduate school, and having the ability to share their posters on a website. Another important purpose of archiving research that can be overlooked by undergraduates is that depositing their digital research products in a public data sharing repository can help them to comply with their research sponsors’ requirements for disseminating their research and making their results publicly available. Indeed, complying with her funders’ public dissemination and access requirements was one of the major reasons Ada C. Bersoza Hernández ’15 decided to archive her poster in the BDR.
Ada would like to pursue a career in science and her motivation for conducting research as an undergraduate was gaining hands-on experience and the opportunity to collaborate with Brown faculty and other researchers. Ada worked with Professor Dov Sax (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) to write a funding proposal to support her exploration of data that could help shed light on the extent to which climate change affects tree species’ latitudinal and altitudinal boundaries across North America. These data can help conservationists identify which species and ecosystems are most sensitive to climate change and therefore help scientists, policymakers, and the public prioritize conservation efforts. Ada received two undergraduate research awards to support her research, the Henry D. Sharpe, Jr. ’45 UTRA (Brown University’s Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards) and she is a Voss Environmental Fellow, funded by the Henry David Thoreau Foundation and Peter and Pamela Voss, Brown University’s Swearer Center, the Woods Lectureship Fund, and the Center for Environmental Studies and Environmental Change Initiative.
“I wanted to archive our research in the BDR because I was interested in making our work discoverable outside the bubble of scientists.” — Ada C. Bersoza Hernández ’15
With her funding securely in place, Ada worked with Dr. Sax to set the groundwork for her senior thesis by locating and evaluating data sources to use for their research project. Their poster details this work, and she feels that by archiving it in the BDR she will be able to preserve this stage of her research and share this output with others. Among her funders’ conditions was the recommendation that she produce a research product that is accessible to non-specialists, and not simply focus on a scientific publication using scientific jargon aimed only at an audience made up of the scientific community. As a Voss Environmental Fellow, Ada is interested in doing research that has the potential to affect policy, and for her that means finding ways to disseminate her research as widely and as clearly as possible to the public, including publishing her poster in the BDR.
Please visit the Brown Digital Repository’s Summer Research Symposium Collection at https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/collections/id_660/
You can view Ada and Dr. Sax’ research poster at https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/item/bdr:381056/
Photo Credit: Ben Tyler