SURFACE repository surpasses one million downloads

SURFACE wheelIn December 2014, Syracuse University Libraries’ SURFACE repository surpassed its one-millionth download, just four years after its launch in October 2010. Items downloaded on that historic day spanned the disciplines and represented ten SU schools and colleges, University Archives, Syracuse University Libraries, the Slutzker Center, and Syracuse University Administration.

SURFACE is a full-text, multi-media online database that provides global, open access to the work of Syracuse University faculty and researchers. Among a number of benefits, SURFACE increases the visibility of authors’ works, maximizes the impact of research conducted at Syracuse University, and facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration. SURFACE is one of over 2,700 open access repositories worldwide.

In an average month, researchers from over 150 countries download materials from SURFACE. Almost half of visits to the repository come from outside of the U.S. The 11,000 plus items in SURFACE have been downloaded more than 450,000 times in the past year alone, a testament to the usefulness and impact of this open access repository.

Isidor Wallimann, a visiting professor at the Maxwell School, is co-author of Genocide and the Modern Age, one of the items downloaded on the day of the millionth download. An expert on social policy, Wallimann has embraced the use of SURFACE to disseminate his work to “areas of the world that have little access to physical books.” He says,

“SURFACE is a great program and I am very thankful for it, since it allows the entire world to partake of knowledge irrespective (almost) of income or wealth.  A real contribution to democratization and treating knowledge and education as a public good.”

Senior Professional Writing Instructor Jonna Gilfus’ dissertation, Political Emotions: Toward a Fresh Perspective on Collective Emotion in Composition Work, was also among the one-millionth group. In explaining her decision to use SURFACE, Gilfus says,

“I really wanted to make my work accessible to anyone who might find it interesting. When I am notified about the number of readers who have downloaded my work, I’m glad to know that it is useful to others, not just sitting on a shelf (or in a microfiche drawer) collecting dust.”

SURFACE can accommodate a wide range of print and multimedia content, including articles, journals, newsletters, books and book chapters, theses and dissertations, conference proceedings, working papers, reports, presentations, reviews, audio and video. Eleven of Syracuse University’s schools and colleges are using SURFACE to disseminate their scholarly output. SURFACE is also the official online source for current SU theses and dissertations.

Members of the Syracuse University community are invited to deposit completed scholarly work, work in progress, and university-created materials into SURFACE. In addition to preserving the item and providing a permanent link to it, SURFACE content is searchable and accessible worldwide.

Interested in contributing material to SURFACE? Email the SURFACE team at for more information.

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