Dakota State University has launched an institution-wide repository called Beadle Scholar, which will be an accessible clearinghouse for research and publications being produced by DSU faculty, staff and students (see page 1).

The repository will be used by all four colleges at DSU, the nascent institutes at the new Madison Cyber Labs, and will also include creative work and student portfolios (such as artwork or photography) in addition to academic research.

We've long thought (and expressed to university friends) that academic research and publications are commonly circulated among too few readers and put on shelves to gather dust. People put tremendous effort into research, and so many people could benefit from reading it -- but never do so.

Beadle Scholar is intended to make everything available to the public. There is no login or password to access the website (www.scholar.dsu.edu) and there are no fees for its use. The project is being coordinated through the Karl Mundt Library on DSU's campus, but everything can be accessed through the website.

Jan Brue Enright, eirector of the Karl Mundt Library, said the system just launched last week, with no fanfare, and people are already accessing it from all over the world. There is a cool map on the home page that graphically shows where users are.

The Mundt Library staff will host a reception on Tuesday from 2-4 p.m. to demonstrate the system and answer questions.

We're eager to start accessing the system and encourage readers to do the same. Coming to Tuesday's reception would be a good way for us to understand its potential.

-- Jon M. Hunter